Thursday, January 17, 2013

Row 80, Norman Mailer and Other Musings

I'm a little late but I'm here. This week has been an odd one for me. I've been reading...and very little else. This is, in one respect,fantastic!  I used to read for hours as a child, as a teenager, hours upon hours.  I'd read walking to and from school, would have a book cracked the instant I got home, got in trouble for reading in class even (and on more than one occasion).  It was a rare thing indeed to catch me doing anything else.  As an adult, I've found that my time and interest go in fits and starts.  Often, the two terms were interchangeable.  I'd read a book, then go months before picking up another.  Start a book only to leave off halfway through, distracted by something in the periphery, and never go back. 

This year the promise was 10 minutes a night.  I started with The Road by Cormac McCarthy, a book I'd started once and never finished.  It was too dark and too depressing and I had so many other things to do.  But the story always sort of nagged at the back of my brain.  I wanted to know what happened.  Spoiler alert!  Spoiler alert!  As it happens, nothing much happens.  But starting over and starting out at ten minutes a night, I worked through the pages, the hard pages, the dark pages.  No, it is not a happy read.  It's an interesting read.  The language is in places magnificent, the images evoked, the deep and abiding sense of melancholy, despair.  I took interest in the dialogue and the chances Mr. McCarthy took with his narration.  Was it a favorite book?  Hardly.  But there was something about reading, the act of engaging with the written word...

I wanted to read more.

I found my way to  And I signed up to try and read a book published in the year of my birth and another for every year thereafter to the present day.  And I'm supposed to do this in a year.  The idea intrigued me and I was so fired up about reading!  My current book is The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer.  I've never read Norman Mailer before.  I think I've been missing out.  I'm perhaps a quarter or a third of the way through and I'm hooked, hooked in the way I remember from when I was young.  I'm carrying my Nook around with me wherever I go, hoping for the extra moment or two or ten to read.  It's fantastic and a little out of control and I think I need to pull back a little.  Can one overdose on a book?

That said, my writing has not fared as well thus far.  But I'm not giving up.  I got a little sidetracked thinking about outlines and debating the merits of how best to move forward.  But the truth is?  I just need to move forward...250 words at a time!

1 comment:

  1. You're right... I think that you're right...your writing will likely be richer, and your life fuller, for the reading time.

    That's worth the time, and, I find, I go in cycles of input, processing, and creation.

    It sounds like a great challenge it. I may adapt it a little, and see if I can do if from my 44th birthday at the end of July, to my 45th...