All posts tagged: Life

I Still Dream About You – Fannie Flagg (part 2)

(Some time ago I wrote part 1 of my reading experience about “I Still Dream About You” covering the novel to page 151 and then I put the novel down and took a breather.) I finished the novel! Finally! And I like it. “I Still Dream About You” isn’t one of the novels, that I haven’t been able to put down – I actually took a break from it at one point – but in a quirky, roundabout way, Fannie Flagg tells a wonderful tale about what we plan our lives, how our lives turn out, and most importantly, what happens then. Maggie Fortenberry was a small town golden child, crowned Miss Alabama back in the day, and celebrated as if she was Miss America. She never got the husband or family, she expected, and in her sixties, she is an aging real estate agent, living alone. However, Maggie isn’t alone in her life, and I believe this is the main theme in the novel. Her life is populated with her colleagues/friends, the woman who …

Writing is a whole other story

I love to read. I love to write. When I do either, I disappear down the rabbit hole and hours disappear in bliss. I love it! Seriously! Getting to know L. M. Montgomery, I am astounded by how many, many books etc. she wrote. She had the courage and the discipline – plus she lived without TV or internet to distract her. That is the problem for us wannabe writers: distractions. Books, TV, internet, real life, kids, jobs, dinner, laundry, the list goes on and on indefinitely – all the time keeping us (me) from what we love. I want to write. I even need to write. (Indeed I do, Rilke!) I have found that I have another problem. I come up with new ideas all the time. Initially, this sounds fine, creative even, but combined with actually writing, it is a major obstacle. Almost every time, I start writing, I begin page 1 of a new story. I write a paragraph or a couple of pages, before having to re-appear from the rabbit hole, …

My Bout with Mortality (by proxy)

The last couple of weeks have left me emotionally drained and just plain tired. A family member – my father – was hospitalized, and the only books I read were the Harlequin romances I bought in the hospital gift shop. My father is – thankfully – convalescing and little by little the normalcy of everyday life, routines, and the notion of “that’s just how it goes or is” returns, albeit with one major difference. One ugly theme looms at the very back of my mind just below conscious though: MORTALITY There it is in big, bold letter, that final “the end”. Reading it can be sweet, bittersweet, or gut wrenching, but in reality encountering it, even at a distance, is paralyzing. Medusa’s gaze could turn a man to stone, but I believe that it is the next of kin who are turned to stone in real life. My father underwent serious, emergency surgery, relied on a respirator, and round the clock care afterwards. To tell the truth, I didn’t know how to react, and as …

From my fingers to you

I am sitting in my comfortable white couch with my laptop, staring at the blank page in front of me. This is the fourth time I have started writing today, but so far without any result. I know a little about writer’s block and my experience tells me to stick with writing without trying to force the issue or in other words, writing what is in my fingers instead of in my head. Admittedly, I am one of the many, many bookish people, who dreams and fantasizes about writing a novel. I would camp out at my local public library to see a book I had written share the shelves with so many other books. I would also give every lender of the book a standing ovation. The fact of the matter is that I don’t write much. Life, work, single motherhood, and laundry gets in the way. So I don’t have a book manuscript in a drawer. I have a load of good ideas and even some that I have explored a bit, but …

Daring to do

It is easy to be daring when reading. You can easily be a secret agent, a seductress, an idealist – whatever your heart desires. It is more difficult in real life. Follow you dreams and carpe diem and all that, but which dream are you to pursue and which day? It becomes so easy to lull through your everyday life with its routines and sensible reasoning. Without my job, there would not be a roof over our heads. Without groceries, no dinner. Without endless loads of laundry, no clothes and no respectable looking mom and kid. Temporary lulls are excellent for catching your breath and planning your next move. However, don’t let you lull turn into a slumber. You’ll end up behind thorny hedges awaiting a shining knight with a miraculous kiss. Knights like that exist, but they are few and far between – and the waiting time is worse than at the dentist’s office. Being the knight yourself is much more fulfilling. Be not a damsel in distress, whether inspired by fairy tales or …

The Reading Group – Elizabeth Noble

I have taken several stabs at this blog entry without a viable result, probably because I have tried to start on a positive note about book clubs and work my way into the novel, but there is an elephant in the library. I love the premise of a novel centered around a book club as “The Reading Group” is, but the (i.e. my) trouble is the gallery of characters in the novel. For approximately half the novel, I was still reminding myself, who was married to who, who had the adulterous husband, whose boy had an accident, and who was a GP. Five women are in the reading group; all of them have one or more men in their lives; all but one have 1-3 named children, two have mothers that also play a role in the novel. There are many characters; the list of characters in front helps, although in my opinion it should not be necessary. I understand the monstrous task Elizabeth Noble has given herself: write a novel with five main characters …

The Ice Queen – Alice Hoffman

What if one of those ugly wishes, we mutter in anger before thinking it through, came true? That is the defining moment in the childhood of the protagonist in “The Ice Queen”, and it turns her into ice. Feel not and be not tempted to make wishes. As an adult, she is then stroke by lightning – literally. What does not kill you, is supposed to make you stronger; but it does not come automatically. The main character has to struggle through and (re)gain her life and sanity. Moreover, this is the story of “The Ice Queen” written in the magnificent Hoffman style of magical realism that hits home every time. “The Ice Queen” is a fairy tale for adults, which makes you question your own life, wishes, passions, direction, and more than anything, that secret many carry that turns into a shard of glass in our eye. With the title as it is, it is impossible not to compare the novel to H. C. Andersen’s fairy tale of the same name. The parallels are …

A new reading chapter

Finally, I am reading again and it is time to blow the dust off Louise’s Home Library. From May until now, I have not read a thing. Unbelievable, I know but nevertheless true. I have however leaped far in other fields during my absence. New job. Horribly long commute for four months. Buying a home and settling in. My son and I are not quite there yet, but we have come a long way. There are still no curtains yet, but a fresh stack of books on my nightstand gives me peace of mind. A new reading chapter has unfolded for me and my son. Two years old now, he is becoming interested in books and reading. A good night story is now obligatory, as is looking in books himself. The other night it was a Disney cookbook for children, but Mickey Mouse is Mickey Mouse and who does not love a good cookbook? I am of course hoping his interest in books and reading is a development and not a phase, and I thoroughly enjoy every moment …