Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Unexpected Trove of Books

“I made cranberry sauce, and when it was done put it into a dark blue bowl for the beautiful contrast. I was thinking, doing this, about the old ways of gratitude: Indians thanking the deer they'd slain, grace before supper, kneeling before bed. I was thinking that gratitude is too much absent in our lives now, and we need it back, even if it only takes the form of acknowledging the blue of a bowl against the red of cranberries.”
Elizabeth Berg, Open House   

Gratitude for all the wonderful little things in my life is what I’m feeling. I’ve been writing and reading and shopping and visiting and enjoying it all! 

I’ve also been working on my First Monday columns as this is a busy time of year and the deadlines have moved up. By the way, you can read my magazine columns on this blog site. They’re all listed on the right sidebar. And, of course, Christmas is just around the corner and after that I’ll be packing for the cruise we booked. Yay!!!!

Speaking of happy, happy…A friend stopped by yesterday with the most wonderful surprise. A DOZEN used books she’d picked up with me in mind. More books, I thought. My yet-to-read stack was already a wobbly tower on my night table. Then I spotted the top book on the pile and knew it was a must-read-without-delay. It was Elizabeth Berg’s ‘Escaping into the Open…The Art of Writing True’.

My Stephen King book ‘On Writing’ has remained an all-time favourite and though Berg and King are polar opposites – but then again, not – I can hardly wait to read her take on the art of writing fiction. King and Berg both make writing look effortless. When I’m reading their books, it feels like they’re sitting across from me, telling me their story. They have that easy yet spell-binding style. The obvious difference is in the stories they tell.

My heart raced as I uncovered book after book. Since they are top-notch handbooks and guides for fiction writers, obviously a writer from our area had owned them. Who? Who? Two popular writers passed away in the last couple of years and I wonder if these ‘writer go-to books’ came from their shelves. It’s a lovely thought.

Some of you may have seen my recently published book review of Linwood Barclay’s thriller, ‘The Accident’. It’s on Brian Henry’s Quick Brown Fox site. You can read the review here.

Further writing updates include the entry of my novel, Bad Seed, in a contest. It’ll be several months before they announce the winner. If any of you are inclined to cross your fingers or mumble a prayer, that’s okay with me. My short story, Whiskey Nights, is also in the running (I hope) in a short story contest. You’ll know by my excited squeals if I get a mention.

Today an interviewee regretfully cancelled our appointment. Of course, I’m disappointed, but you know my attitude – there’s a bright side to everything. This gives me free time to polish the draft of my next magazine column, or begin wrapping Christmas presents, or meet with a friend for coffee, or vacuum the house.

OR snuggle into my reading chair with a mug of hot chocolate and some of those yummy cookies reserved for company, and peruse my newfound treasures.

The busy holiday season is here, so remember…Don’t sweat the small stuff… Stress less!                                                                                                                 

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