Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I feel like I'm posting every twenty-minutes. It's a bad sign. The end is nigh. I was asked to come to campus for a meeting. A budget meeting. Twice, I have tried to imagine where the books I plan to teach this fall might be hiding. With great proximity comes great speed, so says JFK or Batman and even greater pretend-fatigue. I'm so tired but so little has happened in the past day that it's nearly impossible to imagine three whole items to write about but I have pledged my undying, 30 day devotion here and since I'm not so devoted other ways (except in the following enumerated bit), I may as well follow through.

1. For the first time in I don't know how long, I read an entire book in a day (24 hours). Yesterday, the library, which I forget actually has, occasionally books I might enjoy, emailed to tell me to renew my, Zoe, and Max's recent check-outs. But one of the books had a hold on it, which means, it turns out, that I can't renew it. This gave me 48 hours to read the book. So I did. It was not a great book. It has been greatly hailed. I read it quickly. It does have a lot of plot. But the depth of character was zippo. It may as well have been a murder mystery, like the Nancy Drew kind, which Zoe was reading next to me as I read. I like murder mysteries but this book promised to be the best book ever. How could it be? There were no leitmotifs! No larger political sentiments! No insight into how to be a person, or, even, really insights into how to be a writer. But it was highly readable in that the sentences were transparent. No fancy language or big words. I remember running into this problem last summer. I wrote an essay about it. The essay was full of leitmotifs complaining about the transparency of sentences. No one has taken the essay. Perhaps, if I actually want to publish, I should lay off the leitmotifs. But why would you write without leitmotifs? Apparently, I am 100% off in my own insight into books. My failure is secure. I find some satisfaction in that. Nancy Drew might even be the better book. Zoe, comparing the movie to the book, said, "The movie was a straight line, but the book was a circle." Like a whole world.

2. As Zoe read Nancy Drew next to me, she wanted to keep pace but I have had lots of practice. It has been so long since I just read a book--in the way that you ignore your children (only Max. I'm training Zoe into joining me on the ark side). I left him to watch TV and play ninjas. I do get updates every five minutes about which ninja is the best (Kai, Cole, Jay, and Zane) but I just nod at him when he tells me the sword broke or the car had no top. NONE!), in the way that you go outside first thing in the morning with your book and your coffee, in the way you sit on the front porch in the rain and read and read and read. It's almost the same zone as writing all day but in writing all day, there are many, many more interruptions and a better ability to understand Ninjago Lego. At least, thanks to this book, I saw no Facebook which has become my only goal in life.

3. Erik drove to work for the first time all week. He's been riding almost everyday since May, but not today. Max said, "So dad didn't get exercise but his car did." On Sunday, we biked all day and hiked far. Yesterday, I swam and ran. Today, I ran. It doesn't matter though. I always look the same. It is similar to writing. I do it a lot. Nothing changes. I am practicing finding satisfaction in that.


radagast said...

I perceive a leitmotif, if you will, in your recent posts. To put it in Intro. to Lit terms, "I feel that the writer is trying to say that writing sucks. Walker attempts to do this both by directly stating that writing sucks and by adopting a tone that says the same thing, only indirectly." This is a motif that makes me sad--not because it is untrue but because it is coming from you, the One Whose Writing Does Assuredly Not Suck, the one who may be, in fact, a writing ninja.

Nik said...

I am nothing if not one big walking Leitmotif. It's in my name. I promise to find some satisfaction in being less more embracing of the good news. That does come. Sometimes. Slowly.

Lisa B. said...

Well, I loved this:

>>Today, I ran. It doesn't matter though. I always look the same. It is similar to writing. I do it a lot. Nothing changes. I am practicing finding satisfaction in that.

Also, I really want to know what novel that was.

Nik said...

Lisa B. I'm so happy to see you. I sent you a message!