Monday, August 22, 2011

What I'm reading (because I sure as hell am not writing)

I went to a songwriting workshop at 826 Seattle a few weeks ago, mostly because the instructor was John Roderick of The Long Winters, and he's a very smart and talented guy. Before anyone gets all excited, nearly nothing came of this. I have never had the desire to be a songwriter, and I still don't. I thought maybe it would kick me into some sort of alternate universe where I was inspired to write and write and write every waking moment (that is, every waking moment I'm not writing web documentation, HOLDMEBACKNOW!) but it's mostly made me clean a lot. You know, to avoid the writing. Which is normal, I know.

Other bits of inspiration:
  • Molly Wizenberg of Orangette talks about writing (and the prerequisite of avoiding doing so)
  • The TED talk Molly linked to in the post above, led by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love)
  • This Dear Sugar column, sent to me by my dear dear friend who knows my heart entirely too well and knew emailing me this column on doing what you're meant to do would make me start to cry at my desk
And meanwhile, I read. Right now on the Kindle:
  • And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft, edited by Mike Sacks. I had a humor column in my middle school newspaper. It was not funny at all, which, I suppose, made it just a "column". But regardless, this book called to me: Buck Henry, David Sedaris, Dave Barry, and Stephen Merchant? I would love to know how their minds work; this will have to suffice.
  • Private Life by Jane Smiley. The book begins with an older woman in Vallejo after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, visiting her Japanese American neighbors interned at Tanforan. After that initial chapter, it flashes back to her younger self around the time of the Civil War. How can you not be interested in a book with this kind of flashback? It's good so far, though there are a LOT of characters, and it's difficult to keep them all straight.
The fall is coming, and I'll be less inclined to want to spend every moment outside soaking up what little sun we see up here in Seattle, and possibly more inclined to pursue my creative side. But first, that floor isn't going to sweep itself!

Oh wait, yes it will, we have a Roomba. I'm running out of excuses.