Five Things on Friday

Sunflower-remind-flower-81168-lIt's summertime, in case you hadn't noticed, and my brain is feeling lazy.  So, inspired by Tim Ferriss, who sent out a 5-Bullet Friday to subscribers (I'm one, though I have a little bit of a love-hate relationship with him), I thought I'd write a lazy blog post.  Besides, today is a holiday, or sort of one (for those of you not in the states, tomorrow is our Independence Day, more often known as the Fourth).  So here goes:

Book I'm Reading: Little Night by Luanne Rice.  Jury is still out on this one, a women's fiction novel to be sure.  I've read a ton of her books so I'm sure I'll end up liking this, too.  (By the way, she's got a nice piece on writing novels on her blog.)  And, since I'm feeling lazy, I'll add a couple more books I've read lately rather than write a whole post on this topic.  I finally got The Girl on the Train from the library, and read it in a couple of days.  The first couple hundred pages were fantastic, and then I got a bit weary of it all.  But read it as a primer on adding conflict–lots of it–to your novels.  Also read A is For Alibi by Sue Grafton (duh) for purposes of a structure discussion. This is the first book in the series that is currently at X, coming this summer, and it held up well.  I loved these books when I first discovered them and got to about F or G, before I got bored with the same set-up over and over.  But this series was groundbreaking in presenting a female private detective, and its fun to read a book set before the internet and cellphones changed the world.

What I'm Writing: My next novel.  It involves crystals and female correspondents of the journalist type and that is all I will say.  (The macaron novel is currently being shopped.)  Oh, and I'm managing to pen the occasional blog post.

What I'm Listening To: I don't listen to music when I write and I always feel a bit inferior when I read the elaborate play lists that other novelists compile for each book.  But I do love music, and in our kitchen the radio is always on (weird old-school habit I got from my mother) and it is always tuned to our local station, KINK-FM, which plays a fantastic variety of tunes.  Go to the website and stream it and you'll see what I mean.

What I'm Complaining About: The heat.  It was 97 degrees here yesterday, and that's after a couple of weeks of temps in the 90s, with more to come.  Bear in mind that I live in Portland, where the joke is that summer starts on July 5th, the day after Independence Day, which is always rainy. Not this year.  We've had a crazy warm and dry winter and spring and now a hot, hot summer.  Ugh.

What I'm Loving:  Getting up every morning by 5:30 and sitting outside on the deck writing.  It's my favorite time of day.

So, what's up with you this summer Friday?  Please share.  You can use one of my "whats" above or create your own. I'd truly love to hear what's going on with you!

Photo by remind.

10 thoughts on “Five Things on Friday”

  1. Yeah, I don’t know how crazy I am about tunes that are thrown into the manuscript for no apparent reason. The earliest I remember that trick was in one of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch books. Harry likes a sax player, Frank Morgan, I think. I found it really kool at first. Having considered it over the years I’m not sure Bosch would tell anyone if he liked music. He might shoot you if you disparaged his player, but I don’t see him admitting to liking it. I may have someone discover a CD in the player at Moses Palmer’s apartment, as if he were listening but not telling anyone.
    My musical taste hasn’t changed, but there’s a difference in how I value it. As I began this post “The Edge of Seventeen” by Fleetwood Mac was playing on the radio. The instruments play chord changes but no melody. Stevie Nicks’s voice provides the melody. So I wonder where Lindsey Buckingham was while she was singing.
    Relationships change music. For years I was a bad guitar player. When I picked it up and tucked it under my arm, it was an instrument I thought I knew–believed I knew!–but I so disappointed myself. In a flip of the usual order, with time I have improved (at least in my mind). My touch on the fretboard is different. Playing requires more heart than mind. One must think, must treasure every note that is played as if it were the last sound. It is not so much hammering as caressing the frets, praying the sound from the box. Therein lies the patience. Knowing where you want to take the song is not enough. One must wait for the right moment to arrive. When correct, there is the question did the player evoke the sound or did the instrument coax the right move from his hands? Nothing is more disappointing than a correctly played tune that doesn’t sing, and nothing more satisfying than a melding of instrument, heart, and player. A late night performance for only one can be the jewel in a bucket list you didn’t even know you had.

  2. I learned with Emma Jean that any song lyric is expensive to include, also.  I had her singing lyrics to all kinds of songs–it was just something she did, like I do–and my editor nixed it because I'd have to get permission from the owners of the rights and that can actually be expensive.  So I wrote around it.  I think I mentioned that I saw Fleetwood Mac last fall and Lindsey Buckingham was incredible!  Talk about melding of instrument, heart, and player. He just happens to be doing it in front of thousands.

  3. What I’m reading: “Looking for me” by Beth Hoffman. This quirky read takes place in three different spaces of time and tells the story of a woman who grew from adolescence to adulthood living out her dream and not conforming to what those around her expected. She restores old furniture, which is something that interests me. I love the references to her childhood, which resembles some of my own memories. Also- “the life changing magic of tidying up” which needs no words. I’m realizing much of what I have in my home I could do without. My husband worries he will come home one day and I will have thrown everything out. I keep reminding him I’m not that extreme….he’s not buying it. :). I have three other books awaiting my immediate attention. (You know who you are!). My summer reading is exciting, for sure.

    What I’m writing: my very first novel! I’m going at a snails pace, but I’m going! I have a great, small, but MIGHTY force of cheerleaders rooting me on and even coaching me when needed. I’m forever greatful and you’ll all receive a spot on my acknowledgement page 🙂

    What I’m listening to: mostly Norah jones jazz type. This is what we play in the boutique I work in. Melody Gardot is awesome. She has a layered, throaty sound and her personal story is amazing. Music is therapy.

    What I’m complaining about: the rain. Well, so far it’s subsided. We didn’t go 24 hours without rain during the entire month of June. July is looking better. But it could warm up a bit. (I’m a summer girl)

    What I’m loving: July. July to me is what December is to others. I. Love. Summer. I’d take a year of Julys the rest of my life and be happy. I am also loving the process I am in right now with my book. You only write one first novel….so I’m trying to enjoy and remember the process. So far so good. And my job- outside of writing. I manage a great little boutique on a historic downtown square. It’s truly delightful and inspires me every day I am there.

    Happy Fourth of July everyone! Enjoy the freedom this day gives us. Despite of the worlds troubles, we are a blessed people.

  4. Hey! I love Norah Jones. Also love Gardot.
    Restoring old furniture has to be a metaphor for something.

  5. Oh Dona, I love this! First of all, I want to read that novel–and I’m in the same space as you, going through stuff like crazy. However, I’d trade you your rain any day. I’m so sick of this hot weather! Your job sounds wonderful and so does your novel. I am SO happy that you are excited and enjoying the process so much. It makes a huge difference!

  6. I believe you are right, Charlotte. Aren’t we all trying to fix or repair, or at the very least, keep some part of our life in balance? It takes work. Life takes work. A good life doesn’t just happen. We have to work for what we get. Every day is a restoration of what has been, what is, and a reset to aim for what we want.

  7. Thank You! There are days where I’m not sure what I’m doing. Or why. But anyone could ask themselves that. Even the most rich and famous. We are all alike. Just looking for that certain sweet spot in life. And if we are in one, just looking to maintain it 🙂

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