#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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

#UpbeatAuthors: Relaxation

I often say, “I read the way most people watch television.” And I think that’s true. I usually read several books a week. Sometimes those books are re-reads, but thanks to the public library and my Kindle, I have easy access to more new-to-me books than ever.

Reading is how I relax. A good story is my vacation from the real world. I know a lot of people who are into travel, going on cruises, visiting exotic locales, etc. I would rather read a good book. When I do go away, I tend to stay in my hotel room and read. Why spend money to do that when I can indulge  in the comfort of my own home?

There is absolutely nothing as wonderful as coming home from a challenging day at the day job and losing myself in a well-written tale.  Not only is it relaxation, it is a blessing.

 

Favorite Childhood Books

#UpbeatAuthors are remembering their favorite childhood books this week.

I’m a reader. I have always preferred to read over watching television.  But given my status as a bookworm, I did not have a difficult time picking a favorite book or two. Both had a lasting impact on me. One is frequently mentioned by other authors. There was even a movie made when my children were younger.

However, I never hear–or read–about the second one:

Alvin’s Secret Code taught me a lot about the English language: frequency tables, doubled letters, common letter combinations, and so on. Apparently it is one of a series of books, but I never read any other installment. As you can see from the photo, my copy is well-loved, a sure sign of being a favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

Mondays with MJ: #UpbeatAuthors

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m mixing up my social media a bit in 2018. One of those changes is blogging on Monday instead of Sunday. The logic behind this move is that last year, I became of a group called Upbeat Authors, which is a “group of authors who support each other and take part in weekly, themed posts about happiness and positivity through their own social media and other outlets.”

We all need happiness and positivity.

This week’s topic is: one resolution you’re making this year you’ve never made before.

Except I don’t make resolutions. I set goals.

One of my goals this year is to self-publish a novella I wrote a couple of years ago. My critique partners and I came up with a theme for a self-published anthology, but due to life changes, that project never came to fruition. I, however, now have a novella about a werewolf baseball player.

And I’m going to self-publish it in 2018. As we used to say when I worked in TV: stay tuned!