Making Progress: Blogging, but not reading

In my last post I said that I haven’t been reading lately, which was kind of a lie…. I have been reading, but not anything new. One night a few months ago I picked up the Tao of Pooh again because I couldn’t sleep. It’s an interesting, mildly entertaining read and -most importantly- it was helping me fall asleep. After about 2 weeks The Tao of Pooh was getting annoying so I stopped reading it and started reading Jane Austen instead. I started with both Mansfield Park and Emma and decided to stick with Emma. I’ve been reading that for the last few weeks whenever I’m having trouble falling asleep. Reading Jane Austen is, for me, like eating a warm, gooey grilled cheese sandwich or chocolate chip cookie- it’s comforting.

Sarah Addison Allen wrote, “Sometimes it’s a comfort just to have a book around.”

That’s how I feel about Jane Austen novels. Having them there is a comfort, reading them is soothing. So when I read a Jane Austen novel I’m not reading it to read- I’m reading it for comfort, to relax and calm down. It doesn’t exactly count as reading. Know what I mean?
I swear I’m going to read a new book soon! But not just yet. I’d rather wait until the kids are back in school. Only 8 more days now.
But what to read? ….What to read…?

Think, think, think.

Hmmm… I went to the Dublin Irish Fest this past Friday. Dublin is a suburb of Columbus and its annual Irish Festival is HUGE. Of course I loved it, I always do. It’s amazing. There is so much to do and see and hear at any given moment. It’s a very inspiring atmosphere and it gave me an idea about what I might read next. I discovered last summer that Oscar Wilde is the author responsible for some of the best, most famous quotes ever, and he was Irish. Two of my favorite Wilde quotes:

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

and,

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

There is such wisdom in that one especially. Such wisdom. And the same could be said for the company we choose to keep, or the TV and movies we choose to watch. What you put into your mind, who and what you surround yourself with, will undoubtedly influence your personality. I’ve seen and experienced this time and time again.
There are two other quotes I’d like to mention. I can really relate to these.

“I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.”

and,

“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”

The last one is basically why this blog exists, the reason why I wanted to start a blog in the first place. I am completely enamored with intelligent, creative language, but that doesn’t mean I’m really good at it! (Oh, how I wish I was!) So I substitute the wit of others in place of my own. Like Mary (played by Jennifer Lopez) says in The Wedding Planner, “Those who can’t wed, plan.” I say, “Those who can’t write, quote.” Or, “Those who aren’t quick, quote.” I think I’m a decent writer, but I know I’m not quick witted- not verbally and not when I’m put on the spot. I’ve had my moments here and there, but it’s not often. However, if I have the time to think about it and write it down, then I have a better chance of displaying some amount of wittiness, but nothing profound. Nothing like Oscar Wilde, or Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees. That entire book is quotable, it’s just one big quote- the whole thing! That’s what prevents me from attempting to write a novel- I don’t think I could write anything that’s as good as what I read. I’ve said I want to write books since I was ten, but so far I’ve been too much of a chicken to do much about it. Sad, isn’t it?

But, you know what makes me happy?
Sally Field as Miss Betsey Trotwood, that’s what!
Sally Field as Miss Betsey Trotwood?! Are you kidding me?!
What delicious bacon-wrapped goodness is this!? What did I do to deserve such a treat?

Much earlier this year I read my first Dickens- David Copperfield. Before reading it I did a little research about the novel and one thing that came up consistently was the strength and quality of the characters, and it did not disappoint. Enough cannot ever be said about the characters in David Copperfield. I could go on and on about that novel but truly it deserves its own post so it will all have to wait until then. Now, back to Sally Field. One night last week it suddenly occurred to me that I had been wanting to see if I could find a David Copperfield movie on Netflix. I ended up finding the TV movie (from 2000) on YouTube and watched it that night. I was up until 3 am! And I was so very pleasantly surprised to see Sally field as Miss Trotwood, I only wish there had been more of her!

When I do start reading maybe I’ll read David Copperfield again…. Or maybe it will be something by Oscar Wilde…. The Importance of Being Earnest… Or The Picture of Dorian Gray…. Hmmm…

Hermione would know what to read next.
Hermione would know what to read next.

Well, this certainly has been an eclectic post. Not the most organized or creative mass of words or ideas, but at least I did it. Getting something out there is better than not posting at all.
My next post will likely be on Monday, August 10th, and will mark (for me) the return of Moon Post Monday. It’s an idea I came up with when I was working on my last blog. I sort of stole the idea from another blog that I like and occasionally read, A Witch’s Ashram. (Formerly a WordPress blog but now on patheos.com.) The author of A Witch’s Ashram does Mantra Monday. I realized that I could do something similar with my collection of “moon quotes.” I love the moon; not for any profound or mystical reason, but simply because it’s pretty. (And doesn’t burn me, unlike the sun…) So over the past few years I have recorded or made note of dozens of moon quotes. Many writers have been inspired by the moon so those quotes are easy to come by. The Monday Moon Post can be as detailed and substantial as I want, or as simple as I may need at the time. It’s the type of post that can be done ahead of time and scheduled for “publishing” at a later date, which makes it a realistic way to ensure I post at least once a week- which, as you know, is essential to a successful blog.
See you Monday….

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