The Secret About The Secret

Several years ago, this book took the US by storm.

Someone gifted me a copy, but I have not read it.

A friend did read it, and subscribed to the theories. She explained to me how it works, which sounded a lot like Abraham and the Law of Attraction: if you believe something wholly and completely, it will come to pass.

My take?

If that were true, no babies would ever go to bed hungry.

Texture: It’s the Details

My brain has always focused on the details of a scene. The minutia. I remember the wallpaper of my bedroom when I was two. It was tan with cowboys and lassos on it. My grandmother wore my favorite apron the day my parents brought my baby sister home from the hospital: white, with blue tea kettles on it. The kitchen was yellow, and the bassinette was next to the stove.

I think putting the details into a book adds texture. The details reveal character. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a genius at doing this. What I Did for Love is full of texture, and that’s why it’s one of my favorite books. Jennifer Crusie does it in Bite Me.  The books I go back to and re-read  all the time have the little details that appeal to me.

I need to remember to add these things in my own writing.

 

Female Quest Stories

Many years ago, when I first got on the Internet and was hanging out on AOL, a discussion came up about quest stories for children where the searcher was a girl. We came up with two: The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass.

Since that time, I’ve come up with another:  A Wrinkle in Time.

One of my writer friends says the Narnia series also has a female protagonist. I never read the books. I tried to get my children to read them, but they didn’t care for them.. If she says there was a girl protagonist, I believe her.

Can you add to this list?

#UpbeatAuthors: Self-Respect

When I become interested in an author, I will read all I can about that person. Many years ago, someone recommended A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf to me. I read it. I liked it. I bought several of her books. Didn’t care for her fiction. I took out volumes of her letters from the library and read them. I purchased A Writer’s Diary, a book with excerpts from her journals as compiled by her husband after her death. There were relatable moments. One might say I studied Virginia Woolf as an author.

A friend of mine was involved in a book discussion group at a local university. When the group was scheduled to discuss Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, my friend invited me to attend with her. We went to the college professor’s home for the discussion. I was young, impressionable, and feeling rather awed that these educated people were including me, with my high school diploma, in their discussion. We drank tea in a room with red “oriental” carpets strewn over shiny wood floors. There may have been Georgia O’Keefe prints on the white walls. I was a little intimidated.

I didn’t say much. After all, who was I?

I now regret not speaking up at the end of the session, when the professor said, “We should all strive to emulate Virginia Woolf.”

As I said to my friend in the car as we drove home, “Why would I want to emulate a woman who committed suicide? Killing myself isn’t my definition of success.”

My friend was shocked. She didn’t realize Woolf had indeed killed herself. She berated me for not speaking out. I confessed my intimidation. She replied: “But you’re right.”

After that night, I didn’t feel quite so belittled for skipping college to get on with life. Not having a degree doesn’t mean I’m ignorant. It merely means I’m self-educated.

 

#UpbeatAuthors: Self-Help Books

I’ve read a lot of self-help books in my time. Most of them haven’t stuck. Oh, there was one–I can’t remember the title or the author–where the author said if one more person/article/guru suggested getting up an hour earlier in order to accomplish whatever it was they were selling, she was going to do damage to someone.  I happen to agree.

I do like SARK’s books. I own several. I’m as attracted to the bright colors as I am to the contents. It was through one of her books that I learned about my favorite self-help book:  Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace  by Gordon MacKenzie. Unfortunately, it’s out of print. My local library has a copy.

Here is one of the most important things I learned from this book. “Orville Wright did not have a pilot’s license.”