Friday, May 27, 2011

My favorite and most reliable way to find great new books used to be asking friends what they were reading and loving. I still do that. But my new method has moved up on the list, and it has me pretty excited.

Following blogs and tweets in the publishing industry leads to an ever-expanding network of more bloggers and twitterers. A while back, through that network, I started following Veronica Roth. I've enjoyed getting to know her over the past several months, all before the release of her first book. Of course I was cheering for her success. But I admit I'd wondered, what if I finally read the book, and I'm disappointed?

The novel was released this month. I finished reading it this morning, and not only was I not disappointed, I was thrilled. Ms. Roth linked the first hundred pages to her website, and I started reading yesterday. When I made it to page 100, I went straight to Amazon and bought the Kindle version, just so I could keep reading without going to the bookstore. (And I don't even have a Kindle- I read it on my Ipod. This was my first e-book.)

I wholeheartedly recommend Divergent, by Veronica Roth. I'm not going to review it like I normally would; I have all the links set up so you can check it out for yourself. This book is special to me because not only do I feel connected to the characters, I feel connected to the author. I'm proud of her accomplishment. I think you will be, too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Three months.

Has it really been that long? Sitting here again feels strange. Sometimes this monitor feels like a window, but today it's more like a mirror. Back in my theatre days, I learned hundreds of lines. My favorite line, the one that I've never forgotten, was from the musical Pippin. "Things never turn out the way you think they're going to." Whenever I have plans and life steps in and changes them, I always think of that line.

My husband processes things by talking through them. That's one way we are different; I tend to stew in silence. Instead of talking, when I am ready, I process with this silent voice, these words on a page. Mental and physical roadblocks have kept me away until now, and my line between what is personal and what is fit for public consumption is thick and curvy. That being said, I had some medical issues recently that required surgery. But I don't want to talk about that. What brings me back to the writer's seat is not the cause, but the effect.

I don't like to ask for help. With anything. By the time I do ask someone for help, I'm usually frustrated because I've already tried to do the thing myself, and I've failed. How do you humble the independent? Render them helpless. Physical pain is bad enough; helplessness adds the insult to the injury.

Surgery humbled me, if only for a short time. Getting out of the bed. Taking a step. Standing for more than a minute. Taking a shower. Getting dressed. Making a glass of water, much less a meal. Caring for my children. Driving. This is the short list of things I couldn't do without help, or at all. Even now I fear going to the grocery store alone, because I'm not sure if I can walk that far or for that long.

I have been exceptionally blessed, to have so many friends and family taking excellent care of me. I am so grateful. I hope that I can provide that same support, in some small way, for each and every one of them. But on a personal, more reflective note, I feel that I stand at a precipice. Now that I'm recovering, and am close to normal, will I have the resolve to embrace my opportunities and responsibilities? Will I remember not to sigh because I have to cook dinner, but to be grateful that I am able to stand and move and care for my family? Will I dedicate myself to my goals, because at least for the moment, I am the only obstacle to reaching them?

I pray that this note finds its readers healthy, well and strong. I pray that if you are not, you have the help and support you need to recover. And I pray that I will always remember the lessons I learned from this experience.

Now playing: Arcade Fire, The Suburbs