Wednesday, November 7, 2007

On My Mind

As you may recall, I started this blog with the intention of practicing my writing for a portfolio. A venue for sharpening my skills if you will, as well as a place to record what I’ve written. I also write quite a bit on Helium, though I haven’t written much in a while as I get rather frustrated with the whole rating system. They’ve improved quite a few things since I’ve written there this past summer, so perhaps I ought to give it a go once again.

Reading, however, has always been a passion of mine. At one point in my adult life, after years of neglecting my passion in favor of being a wife and mother, I was advised by a medical professional (of all people!!) to pick up my passion once again. After great grief, one needs to fall back on the things which provide comfort. For me, aside from my faith which is the greatest comforter, I find reading and writing to be relaxing, enjoyable, fulfilling, and it brings peace to my soul. It is also something entirely for me, which as a mother of a large family, me has been a bit neglected these past two decades.

So, what have I been reading? I’ve been reading through the classics. Well, obviously that is a rather long list, I’ve been making a dent in them. I have also been doing a lot of spiritual reading, which seems to be cyclical for me. I do not read spiritual books all of the time, but I often have one going along with some great work of literature. I am looking forward to reading a book about St. John Vianney which has been recommended to me. If I had to choose a favorite saint, he would be among my top favorites.

Also on my reading list of late was Harry Potter. I’ve already explained in an earlier post why I felt the need to read those books. I was surprised at how good the story was. One advantage I had was I read the books straight through. One disadvantage of doing that is the series really penetrated my thoughts for the two or three weeks it took me to read the seven books. I suffered through the first book, really didn’t enjoy it too much. Somewhere in the third book my interest was piqued, then I was hooked. The story is rather dark, definitely for a teenager and not for the young, but it was entertaining. There are some people who shouldn’t read this series, that is for the family to decide, but I enjoyed them myself. Surprise, surprise.

Upon a suggestion from Mary over at Against All Heresies, I’ve recently read the Maximum Ride books by James Patterson, also a current teen series. I must admit the story was compelling, dealing with genetic experimentation on humans. The heroine of the story is a girl named Maximum Ride, and she is a genetic experiment where they injected avian DNA into her making her bones lighter, her eyesight like an eagle, and she has wings which work, so she can fly. Patterson’s writing style was in teen-speak. I found the books to be a VERY fast read. I think I read all three of them in less than 48 hours. I didn’t care for the writing style very much, but the subject of genetic experimentation was handled in a way that would make teens pause and think. For that accomplishment, Patterson is to be commended.

More to my taste, however, I’ve just finished A Room With A View by E.M. Forster. This one really tugs at your heart strings, and also illustrates quite vividly why honesty is the best policy. The classics are more interesting to me, I think, because even the most indelicate subjects are handled tastefully, no vulgar descriptions, one doesn’t tend to learn new obscenities to spew in a moment of anger. Bound into the same volume are two more novels by E.M. Forster. I am currently reading Howards End. I’m not far enough into the story to comment on it really. I think I’m likely to pass on Maurice, the third of the stories. Has anyone read that one? It doesn’t seem like one I would much care to read.

But of all the books I’ve been reading lately, my hands down favorite has been The Books of Pellinor. I thought I wouldn’t like The Crow, as it is primarily about Maerad’s brother and I was disappointed at the thought of not continuing Maerad’s story. But, as it turns out, this third installation was excellent. Just as good as the first two, it really fleshes out Hem, Maerad’s brother, who is much more important to the story than was originally realized. Between Potter and Pellinor I’m developing a taste for fantasy stories where I never would have predicted.

Coming back round to writing, all of this literature (some definitely better than others) is starting to plant seeds into my head. Little story ideas are beginning to grow. I’ve always felt there is a story in me somewhere, ever since I was a little girl I expected I would write a book. I always thought it would be a creative non-fiction piece, but now I wonder if I’m not going to end up writing some teen fiction. There is so much trash out in the market these days, it is no wonder kids don’t want to read anymore. This is where my thoughts have been of late, while my computer is acting up, I’m reading and apparently forming ideas for some phantom book I hope will come into existence one day. If the seeds start to take root and grow, you all will be among the first to know! God bless!

Note: The image above is a live link back to the company where you can buy that lovely stationery set.


deb said...

I hope that you do write a great story. Like you, I enjoy the classics. I am always amazed that people before us could deal with difficult issues without cursing or being overly sexual.

Lily said...

Thanks for your words of encouragement! I'm glad you stopped by.

Heather said...

You and I should collaborate, Lily! Just think of the books we could come up with! LOL! ;-)

My blog is also to "practise" my writing, and keep it in a place where it won't get lost or add to the already overwhelming clutter here at Casa Izz. At some point, I would like to get what I write out there more, but I'm not sure how to, so I'll just keep going with what I'm doing, I guess.

As for reading, I tend toward the classics as well. Novels, poetry, histories, whatever. I love it. Right now, I'm reading "The Story of the Irish Race" by Seumas MacManus. Excellent read, if you are into Irish history. My next conquest will more than likely be "Great Expectations" just because I don't believe I ever finished it.

Other than that, I'm doing English Lit. (my first least literarily ;-) ) with the older kids for school, and U.S. Lit with the younger ones. It's really a lot of fun to delve into each story with them. I'm in my glory! LOL!

Lily said...

I'm all for collaboration. I have a friend I've been talking about book ideas with for a long time. She's not really in a place to start writing yet, and I don't feel as if I am either, right now. But I keep honing the skills and when the time is right, I'm sure I will know by the burning passion to get started. Or maybe not, lol. I've heard that it is more discipline than passion most of the time, ergo, the blog!

I read Great Expectations last year, David Copperfield as well. DC is my favorite, though I very much enjoyed GE. My only criticism of Dickens is that one can tell that he was paid by the word. But I do feel that, at least with the two mentioned here, the effort to get through the extra prose is worth the time. Wading through the muck to get to the nuggets, so to speak, a worthwhile venture.

Have you read the pickwick papers? That is a side of Dickens that I'm looking forward to, that is on my list of things to read soon.

I'm doing the Little House books with one of my children this year. I never read those as a child, very good. With my high schooler she is going through world literature, what a fabulous program! She is learning quite a bit, wish I had time to delve more into it. Her textbook is also on a list of things I want to read.

I've not read any Irish history, but since I have pureblood Irish on one side, I've wanted to read some. You know how it is with a large family, though yours is much larger than mine, time for yourself to explore your own interests is scarce for a few years (or decades as the case may be, lol).

M. Alexander said...

Dear Lily,
I have to tell you a funny story. My sister and I rented "Maurice" by E.M. Forster- not knowing the subject matter- a homosexual man. Upon realizing it we were about to turn it off when we heard my poor husband coming up the stairs. He had been puttering around in his workshop downstairs. We decided, with an evil grin, exchanged between us to leave it on and see how long it would take for him to realize it. Seconds after sitting down next to me- he jumped up saying "What are you girls watching!"

The thought of it still makes me laugh. Too bad. Forster was so talented- Passage to India, Room with a view, etc.

I love to read too!

Lily said...

LOL! That is too funny! I decided not to read it myself. On the back cover it said Forster had the manuscript amongst his belongings and they found it when he died. He had written in his own hand that the work was publishable, but wondered if it would be worth it. Apparently he wrote it just after writing "A Room With a View" (early 1900s)but it was published posthumously in the 1970s. If the author was worried that the book was too controversial, and the subject is homosexuality, that is enough for me to decide that maybe I could find something more suitable to read, lol.