“Upstream” by Mary Oliver- Book Review

upstreamI can’t read Mary Oliver’s poetry (which I have been doing a lot lately), without considering her process.  Not knowing anything else, I imagined long walks and lots of quiet pondering.  Early mornings.  But also late nights afterwards.  At a desk.  With a warm lamp. Writing, drifting, thinking.  I imagined a dog with her, maybe, on these walks or by the fire. Sometimes. Lots of quiet.  Upstream, a collection of her essays, filled in some, but not all, of the blanks. Continue reading

“No Matter the Wreckage,” Poems by Sarah Kay- Book Review

sarah kay no matter the wreckageSome reviews, some books, some writers, I just feel inadequate to the task.  Sarah Kay has inspired me here, and I feel kind of speechless as a result.  As someone for whom poetry can sometimes feel like an almost spiritual experience, I don’t feel worthy or capable of doing the book justice.  Yet I feel compelled to say something. Continue reading

“Naked in the Woods” – by: Margaret Grundstein- Book Review

GrundsteinCompF.inddAt least once a week, and sometimes more, I think about running away.  Granted, I don’t usually get too far into the specifics.  But I do wonder, abstractly, what that would actually look like.  Just going completely off the grid.  No more career, no more fixed responsibilities, no more technology, or even electricity.  Well that is precisely what Margaret Grundstein did, which she describes in delightful detail in her memoir Naked in the Woods: My Unexpected Years in a Hippie Commune.

Continue reading

“Quack This Way”- David Foster Wallace and Bryan Garner Talk Language and Writing

DFW-Quack-This-WayWhat if you took two of the most beautiful minds known to man, sat them down in a room together, told them to talk about your favorite topic (language & writing), recorded the whole thing, and then turned it into a book.  Basically, that is exactly what has happened in Quack This Way.  I have had the distinct pleasure of reading several of Garner’s books and seeing him present in person.  I have read just about everything David Foster Wallace ever wrote.  The very idea of this book made me ecstatic with hope and excitement.  I was not disappointed. Continue reading

Vacation Reading- Ambitions vs. Reality

Reading a book at the beachIf there is one thing I lament in life, it’s the absence of sufficient free reading time.  I love to read, but by the time I get all my work done, and chores done, and finish all the other things I have to do, there is precious little time left over for anything else.  I read, sure, 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there, but it’s not the luxuriant hour upon gorgeous hour that I crave.  So on those rare occasions when I get to take a vacation, I am always excited to finally get caught up on some reading. Continue reading

Sharks vs. Zombies

sharkBedtime with young kids can be pretty special.  By the time you’ve given them a bedtime snack, cleaned up the snack, brushed their teeth, caught them eating another snack, brushed their teeth again, put them in (ideally, but not necessarily) clean pajamas, read them a book, sung them a song, read them another book, sung another song, said a prayer, kissed them goodnight, you’re well beyond ready to move on with your evening.  Oftentimes, I am getting home from a long day of work just about the time this delightful ritual begins.  I’m hungry, I’m tired, I’m desperate to just relax and find some time for myself and not be needed for just five freaking minutes.  Many times, my attitude is not much better than this guy’s. Continue reading

Before Midnight- Movie Notes

before midnight(The other two I’ve done in stream-of-consciousness/movie note form; I guess there’s no reason to deviate now).

We all lie to our children.  A lot.  At some point, remembering all those lies is going to become a challenge.  We are going to slip up.  And our then adult children will remember those lies as the only truth they know/knew.  That will undoubtedly prove awkward. Continue reading

Chase the Rainbow

When I was growingrainbow up (picture the place where Generation X meets Y), “unrealistic expectations” did not exist.  There were no limits.  Nothing was unattainable.  The only boundaries were those enforced by the furthest reaches of my imagination.  The only career advice I ever received was “follow your heart,” “follow your dreams,” “you can be anything you want to be.”  And I believed it.  Continue reading

How to Think More About S-E-X

how to think more about

I know what you’re thinking.  “More?  How could I possibly think more?”

But Alain de Botton’s How to Think More About Sex explores a qualitative more rather than a quantitative one.  A philosophical quandary rather than a sensual meandering.  In short, he explores ideas on how to think about it generally (he uses the catchy term “sex,” but it applies to all aspects of romance, relationships, and love), but does not share specific spicy episodes.

 

****DISCLAIMER- It hopefully goes without saying, but I don’t necessarily agree with the vast majority of his ideas.  But I found them interesting nevertheless.**** Continue reading

In confidence

It seems like love is more exciting when it’s unexpected.

And more exciting still when it’s unexpected because it is forbidden.

And so it was with her.

He told her things in confidence he had never told anyone else.  Had never even admitted to himself.  Not really.   But he wasn’t supposed to be talking to her at all, about anything, so withholding secrets just seemed kind of silly.

It wouldn’t have mattered anyway.  The words didn’t need to cross his lips for her to know exactly what he was thinking, almost before he thought it.  She saw straight through him like a piece of glass.

He wouldn’t say “soul mate,” because he’s not sure what that means, or if he even believes in it.  But she sure seems familiar.  Feels familiar.  He feels more comfortable with her than he has ever felt alone.  And some of the things she says, it’s like she is articulating his deepest, innermost thoughts.  Only more eloquently.

To say he “wanted” her would be insulting, both to her and to the term.  And there was no sugary “you complete me” nonsense here either.  He didn’t think they needed to say or acknowledge anything to each other.  He hoped they just knew.

In his mind, they were like incestuous, overlapping yin yang twins, both yin and both yang, complementary opposites and perfect matches for what the other needed and desired.

But he had no way of knowing what she thought.  If she felt it too.  Some things just aren’t said.  When you’re both spoken for.  It was the only question he could not ask her.

http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/