Sunday, February 05, 2006

Reading and Other Distractions

I think it's safe to say that if I'd really, really, really wanted to go into the office tonight, which I really, really, really needed to do, I'd have gotten in the car and gone. Instead I've mostly been in front of this computer, beta reading pages 5 through 36 of a fantasy novel and watching a featurette about Groundhog Day, plus the first twenty minutes of the movie itself. Of the two activities, the beta reading has proved more compelling, which is why I haven't even reached Phil's second shot at February 2nd. This is despite the fact that I've wanted to watch Groundhog Day again ever since, you know, Groundhog Day. I even went out Friday night to buy it on DVD. We had dumped our VHS copies on the grounds that we had the movie on DVD - except that we really didn't. We do now. But I'm too interested in the manuscript of a friend's novel-in-progress to put up with nasty, self-involved Phil Connors as he is at the beginning of the movie.

That's right, I'm beta reading a work in progress by one of my own beta readers, Sara. This is actually the only thing I'm interested in doing tonight. It's only a first draft, but it's well written enough to have sucked me in. Until I realized what I was going to write about, I didn't even want to stop reading it long enough to write this blog entry! That's saying a lot. You know there are very few things I find more interesting or rewarding than blogging. (There's a certain amount of shame in that admission, but we'll leave that for another time.)

Considering the fact that I'm a writer, and that I own at least a thousand books (excluding John's), I don't get much reading in these days. Yes, I follow about twenty or thirty blogs, and I suppose that counts as reading. But the last actual book I read, other than unpublished manuscripts by someone named Blocher, was the most recent Harry Potter novel this past fall. Heck, I used to read books all the time. Every day. Most of it was novels, but there were also hundreds of short stories in there. I even bought my share of science fiction magazines, once upon a time. And for years and years, whenever a new L'Engle novel or Pern novel came out, I'd reread all the other books that led up to it.

So what happened? Somehow I just don't have the time anymore. Working full time, interacting with my family (one husband, one dog), and the lure of the Internet are more than enough to fill every waking minute, including a few hours that shouldn't be waking minutes at all. I managed to add schoolwork to that schedule for over two years, and before that, I was writing Mages. And now I'm slowly getting ready to submit Heirs somewhere. Everything else gets pushed to one side, to be done when I either have more time or can't put it off any longer.

But I do miss reading - miss it, and feel guilty about it. And when I do start reading, and if I get past the first few pages, I'm likely to keep going, all night if necessary. I can't stop. I don't want to stop.

So I'm going to wrap up this blog entry, and read a little more about Andricas and Falkus before I go to bed.

And tomorrow, I'd better count on working a few extra hours at the end of the day before I leave the office. 'Cause if I go home, intending to come back later, I'll probably end up reading instead.

Oh, I was going to say something about this picture. This is where I was earlier today, while other people were getting ready to watch football. Me, I don't know or care who won that game. Didn't watch a second of it. But I had fun on Mount Lemmon earlier this afternoon, with a small but diverse group of people. That's all I'll say about it for now, because I'm saving the subject for a future entry. Meanwhile, here's a little teaser. This is Windy Point Vista, and the people in the distance are mostly rock climbers. You'll never catch me doing that stuff! One of these days I'll explain why.

Good night!



fdtate said...

I hate it that I don't get as much book reading done as I used to. I almost have to force myself to make time.

DesLily said...

I go in spurts of reading.. taper off a while and then get back into it.. seems like a cycle.

great pic.. waiting to hear more about it

Globetrotter said...

Hi Karen,

I came across this quote recently and wanted to share it with you:

"In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. "
S. I. Hayakawa

The quote made me feel very guilty because lately like you, I have found very little time to read. I did love reading journals and am going to try to take a LIMITED amount of time each day to just read selected ones, but it's hard to be selective when there are so many good blogs out there.

That picture is amazing, and how fortunate you are to live close to such a breathtaking site!

I don't think you should work on Sunday. Not because I'm especially religious, but because I think it's important to have a day off. And I agree about the SUperbowl, I don't even know who played nor who won! said...

Yeah, Karen, I know what you mean about time, and not having enough any more, and not being able to read as much as you used to... I miss reading for pleasure, too. Your photos are fabulous, especially the clouds... I read your entry about the genre of Heirs of Mavarin... I enjoyed it, and never realized that fantasy had so many subcategories. From your definitions, I suppose I like High fantasy (with the medieval slant), and I like fantasy with magic (but don't care for the dragons, witches, elves, and unicorns); I like fantasy that suggests Christian influences and morals... which to me, doesn't make a lot of sense, but I know when I read it, it appeals to me. I think I would enjoy your book! And, thanks for visiting my journal!