Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Several of my favorite bloggers try to blog every day.  I can't do it.  But I said in an intemperate moment that I would try to blog Monday, Wednesday and Friday for awhile.  But here's the problem, and it's exactly the reason why I've never tried to blog on a schedule-- because on any given day, or series of days, I can be in a real bitch of a mood and I hate to spread that around.  Especially not to anyone who is kind enough to stop by to read my blog.  So you're forewarned.  Let's see what happens if I just sit down and riff.

It's snowing here.  And snowing and snowing.  Oddly, the weatherman predicted that a big wave of snow would hit and we would get dumped on from 5 to 7 p.m.  All kinds of things were cancelled.  But although it snowed all day, sometimes pretty heavily, it had slowed way down by late afternoon and by about 6:30 it had stopped altogether.  My son is still hoping for a big dump overnight so that school will get cancelled tomorrow, but I think chances are slim.  We probably got about 3" today, and that is plenty for me.  I just checked NOAA and according to them, we got less than an inch, but the layer of snow on our deck begs to differ.

Dear daughter is spending spring quarter in Prague.  I am thrilled for her, and she is so excited she's having a hard time remembering that she still has to get through winter quarter before she goes.  The extra good news, though, is that we may get to go visit her.  Dh has agreed, but we still have to figure out if the finances will work.  How often do you have a good excuse to go, though?  and a guide?  she will have been there almost three months by the time we get there.  I think this is one of those times where you just make it work.

We are having the usual midwinter problems getting MadMax away from the Xbox once his allowed two hours are up.  It's always difficult, but when the weather is this bad, there's really not much else for him to do.  If it were a little warmer, he could work on projects in the garage shop, or they could go sledding or whatever.  But it has been in the single digits for several days now.  This dump of snow is supposedly coming from a "warm" front which will bring the temps up into the low 30s, thus making other activities possible again.  Phew.

I've read a surfeit of genre fiction in the last three weeks (I am still working on Ulysses, but it's my break, after all.  It can't be all work and no play, right?)  Some of it was truly awful and shall be unnamed.  I bought a couple of romance novel "bundles" for my eReader-- because they were cheap --for the beach.  Out of the six or seven novels I read that week, one was worth the time.  You get what you pay for, I guess.  But it was all my brain could handle, so I'm not apologizing.  and it was kind of fun, in a rebellious sort of way, to read complete trash after a semester of academic reading.  Then read Garden Spells on the plane on the way back, and although I thought it was going to be a little too-too sweet during the first chapter, I ended up loving it.  Once we were home, I read Crusie's slightly updated Trust Me on This, which was even more fun than the first time I read it, and another one of Lani Diane Rich's, Wish You Were Here, which was also excellent.  Restored my faith in the genre--both of them are fun and intelligently written, as you would expect from those two.  Then read a few more that shall not be named.  Then yesterday read Goodnight, Tweetheart by Theresa Medeiros and How To Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn, both well above average.

OK, finally, there's something I can write about.  BFBetty wrote a post a couple of months ago about whether or not to blog book reviews (rather than me summarizing what she said, you should just go read it if you're interested).  It had never occurred to me that it wasn't a good idea to review books in your blog.  In fact, about 90% of the entries in my first blog were book reviews.  That was the reason I originally started a blog, because no one I know around here wanted to listen to me yammer on and on about the books I was reading.  So her post caught me by surprise.  Whaddya mean we shouldn't blog book reviews?

But the more I've thought about it, the more I've seen her point.  Not that I'm trying to get published, because I'm not, but just in general.  Now that I follow the blogs of so many writers, both published and pre-published, I'm coming to realize how enormously disheartening it is for them to read anything critical of their work.  It seems entirely presumptuous to think that any of the authors of the books I read will ever stumble across my blog way out here in the internet hinterlands.  I average less than 50 pageviews a week--which is perfect for me, but it's not like I'm generating a lot of buzz here.  But on the other hand, now that I'm getting to know some of these people (not that they know me, but I'm getting to know them a little from reading their blogs), I just can't stomach the idea of writing negative reviews, or even reviews that are less than positive, even if they'll never see it.  It takes so much courage to write a book.  And the amount of work that goes into it is staggering.  I had no idea.  I'm in awe of anyone that does it, now that I know, and I don't want to throw any negativity in the way of that.  I think that brief mentions of books that I liked and can heartily recommend, like in the previous paragraph, are as much as I'm going to do now.

There.  In spite of an enormous aversion to sitting down and blogging today, I did it.  Let me know what you think about the book review question.


  1. I hadn't really thought about "the book review question" in that light either. But I have been a bit concerned when pondering whether someone I have (slightly) trashed might come across my own blog. (Rare, but I've done it.) I agree (oh big surprise there) that writing/publishing books is such a huge undertaking and anyone who can actually get through it shouldn't probably get a big ole stomp from some no-name like me or you.
    However no-names are still entitled to their opinions. And really where else would we say these things except in our own wee corner of the internet?
    Also, you did great. My Wednesday post tonight is going to be much the same, ranting a bit, and "what I did today" kind of thing. Sometimes, that's just what comes out of the keyboard.
    OH! And deargawd make it work! You will NEVER get another chance like this to go visit Number One Girl in this setting.

  2. Yes, yes, yes, make it work. When are you going to get another opportunity to be in Prague with a guide? Fantastic.

    As to book reviews, I'll mention books that I liked, but that's the extent. Not because writers have fragile egos, they see more rejection than Danny Bonaduce, they're tough (or at least, they better be). But because, so what if I don't like it? I'm not the end all, be all authority on writing. It's too subjective for that. Just because I didn't like it doesn't mean you won't love it, so who am I to spread vitriol? I'm happy to recommend books I like, but that's as far as I go.

  3. Go to Prague, you will make such wonderful memories. Our son/DIL were there for 3 weeks. They had the best time and loved the city. Your daughter will have found all the best places by the time you get there. Go. I wished we had gone now instead of thinking work was more important.

    Blog when you want or not. Book Reviews - yes, I will find new authros.

    Carol, From The Coastland

  4. well you guys are giving me things to think about, as always. "no-names are still entitled to our opinions" -- good point. and Delia's comments about authors being stronger than I think. good point. I guess it's kind of presumptuous to think that my opinion would matter to them. I guess maybe I'm just going to re-think how approach book reviews. In the past, I've had a lot more fun writing book reviews of books I didn't like, because heck it's a lot more fun to gripe than it is to analyze why something worked. Maybe that's what I need to change. Because as Carol pointed out, I've gotten so of my best recent reads from reading other people's blogs.

    thanks for the thoughts, y'all. and I'm pretty determined to get over to Prague. yay!!