January 6, 2018
This one’s gonna be a rant.
It’s only the first week in January and I’m already quaking with a bad case of cabin fever. Four days buttoned up inside my house, wearing no make-up, and I’m rattling the bars.
I could have gone out. We just endured a year of unemployment. We got through it by Ignoring Problems. Now that the paychecks are coming in, it’s time to Solve the Problems. I promised myself, every day this week, that I would go to Wal-Mart and find the Magic Thing That Would Solve the Problem.
And every time I came close to tying my sneakers and zipping up my coat, I thought of the minus signs in front of the temperatures. I thought of the wind chill. I thought of hat hair.
I never made it to Wal-Mart.
It’s also time to Try New Things.
Yes, I promised myself, every day this week, that I would get myself to Ulta and look for the New Thing. And every time I came close to tying my sneakers and zipping up my coat . . .
I also planned, every day, to get to the church and practice organ. I’ve got some stirring music on the docket but it won’t happen unless I put in some work.
Yeah, you know I never got to the church.
By Friday night, every little thing bugged me. The prospect of playing my easiest, most boring music this Sunday. The cat, staring with her big, play-with-me eyes. My contacts. The smell of sweet potatoes (my husband eats a lot of those).
You know what we need on these cabin-fever days?
That’s right! A good book!
* * *
I had a good one. And I finished it — last week.
This week, I have a stupid one. I’m not even done with it yet, but I’m going to tell you everything I dislike about it.
Amy Gentry’s Good As Gone is about a family whose daughter is abducted. A few years later, the grown daughter shows up.
I could swear Gentry read Elizabeth Smart’s story. Then she moved it to Houston, added some seedy elements and got herself an agent. Congratulations, Amy Gentry.
But just when her story hooked me, she started in with changing her character’s name. Then again, and again, and again, and again. Then a second character changes his name.
By now, Gentry’s tale has lost nearly every unifying element. It comes off like a mash-up of movie trailers. You know the shots all the directors love — the star turns around to look into the camera (tossing their mane of hair, if they’ve got it); the star bursts around a corner, both hands gripping a weapon, his/her jaw clenched with fighting determination; the star and the starlet tumble themselves horizontal, flashes of bare skin; the starlet’s eyes open wide as she look off camera at something zooming her way. We don’t know what it is, but it’s LOUD and HUGE.
Gentry mixed all this and more into her pot. About the only thing she forgot was making one of her “stars” emergency-fly a jetliner. Add in some passages that make no sense (Person A talking on the phone to Person B, while Person B is in the room) and some trash talk about religion, which is neither daring nor original anymore, and there you have it.
Books should immerse you in human experience. The experience I’m getting feels not so much like two parents in pain, but more like a bunch of unknown actors giving it their all in auditions.
I’m gonna need something else to break this cabin fever.
Wish me luck.
January 7, 2018
Awarding myself a gold star. #motivatedbyfood
We’ll discuss the good book next week.