100 Books Or Bust: Words And Wisdom

‘I enjoy books.  No room is fit for occupation without a lining of books.  They contain the condensed experiences of humanity.  To live fully, one has to read widely.  I do not intend to face a man-eating lion in the African veld, fall from an aircraft into the Arabian Sea, soar through outer space or march with the legions of Rome against Gaul or Carthage, yet books can take me to these places, to these predicaments.’

A Very Private Gentleman (filmed as The American), Martin Booth

When I was a kid and would announce to anyone who would listen that I was bored, my Nana would say, ‘Go read a book!’  So I did.

You should, too.


A Do Not Want List For 2011

Stop sign
Image via Wikipedia

These are things I could do without next year.  Just for the record.

Insomnia/heartburn/bad stress.  Who needs that?  Even if it does mean blog posts can run through your head at four in the morning.

My internal Editor.  Shut up, seriously.  When in doubt, let it out.  Just do it.  Write it/say it/send it.  And do a little dance when you’re done.

Mail that consists only of bills.  See Item 1.  Anyone want a pen pal?

Fear of turning 30.  It’s happening in March.  If I was scared, I’d be screwed.  Considering that on any given day I feel 8, 19, or 83 and half years old, 30 is just a number.

Cabin fever.   Get out of the house.  Now.

Bad coffee.   I don’t have the time.

Out-of-Order signs on accessible toilets.  Or said toilets being used as supply cupboards.  Or no accessible toilet at all.  Because I don’t want to pee on the floor.

Living in a place called Procrasti Nation.  Do it today.  And then do something else tomorrow.

Unfinished/Neglected projects.  Do SOMETHING towards SOMETHING every day.

Scatterbrain Suzy:  Put your cards back in your damn wallet.  Put the phone back on charge.  Tape your keys to your head.  File your paperwork.  Don’t leave books in the fridge.  Throw stuff away.

Inspired by a Reverb10 prompt.


What’s on your Do Not Want list for next year?

Stop Dreaming

I used to be obsessed with my dreams.  I was the one who bought the books and looked up the themes and symbols.   I asked questions right before I went to bed hoping I’d find answers in dreams.   I wrote single words and even lists in the morning and weeks later had no idea what I was on about.  That state of confusion isn’t limited to dreams.

I don’t remember my dreams anymore.  Perhaps because a major one came true, and I’m awake and living it.  Or maybe the alarm kicks on every morning and douses the lights on the play in my head, before I can remember it.

Some questions are answered, some ghosts laid to rest.  There are new questions though.  What are we doing this weekend?  What will I write today?  Is there any beer?  These are important these days.  And that’s OK.

Maybe waking up and living just to live makes dreams happen, and makes room for others we didn’t know we had.

What did you dream last night?  What are you living today?

The Sky through the trees in Pisa, Italy.

Switch Off to Switch On

Remember when I said I couldn’t write in clutter?  Well, I’ll add to it.  I now believe the people who tell you not to write on a computer connected to the Internet.  Because writing doesn’t happen.  Facebook happens.

I used to say I couldn’t write without music on, either.  Now when music is on, I can’t hear myself.  I get so caught up in the next song, and then the next one, I forget the next word and then they stop altogether.

And so, I’ve started to switch the computer off.  The office is set up with my desk, and Sarge’s desk, our laptops and his printer.  And I write in the living room or kitchen.  In a notebook, a real one with pages and lines.  I’m currently writing in three real notebooks.  I write every day, and my writing day starts when I switch the computer off.  There is now a difference between writing time and typing time.  The longer the computer is off the more there is to type when I switch it back on.

Try it.  The Internet will still be there when you get back.

Dear You

I spent all day Saturday looking for a particular piece I wrote on September 11th, 2001.

I couldn’t find it, but in the search I found all my old journals and other writing that goes back pretty far.

Some things are the same.  A lot is different.  I want to give that kid/younger twenty-something a hug, and tell her to stop worrying.  We’re not in Back to the Future, so I can’t.

But I can do this:

Dear you,

Relax.  Things will get better.  Your view will change.  Look out the window and savour what you see right now, because that view will change, too.  And you’ll miss it.  Yes, you will.  Wave to the cows.

Now close your book and call your Nana.  Hug your Gramps.  Sit by Grandma’s tree even more than you do.  There will be a time soon this is all you’ll want to do, but you won’t be able to.  Do it now.

Take more pictures and less bullshit.  He’s not that into you.

Yes, your braces will come off, eventually.  You will learn to like your teeth, eventually.  No, having your wisdom teeth out will not make you dumb.  Enjoy this time, because it really won’t last forever.

Go to Uni and stay there.  But please do keep all those poems in the drawer.  Do not leave all your work til the last minute.  Consider that Honours Philosophy offer.  Have as much fun as you will and then have more.

Be a coffee snob.  Be a music snob.  Do not listen to radio call-in shows at 4 o’clock in the morning.  Please don’t use your CDs as coasters.

Dry your hair so it doesn’t freeze on the way to class.  Well, let it go the once, so you’ll have the memory.  Take better notes when you get to class.  Light the candles in your room, but keep writing in the dark.

Send your writing away.  Don’t waste it on the wrong people though, they’re not worth it.  Some people are worth it.  Some people are.

Don’t change.

Those wishes on stars will come true.  Yes, they will.  The third star on the left will be particularly useful.  Songs will come true, too.  Sing the happy ones.

Lighten up.  Have fun.

Now get off the damn computer.

Love, as ever,