Thursday, May 17, 2012

On reading and writing

I started a new audio book for my drive time. Well I should say I restarted an audiobook. Before I listened to and enjoyed Silent in the Grave, I started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I must admit the title drew me in. Plus I love the word Guernsey, can't spell it on my own but love it.

When I started the book I found it hum drum. I did not connect with the story. I thought I was crazy for buying an audiobook that is written as a collection of letters. I stopped three letters in and thought some other time.

I can report that was the right decision. If a book or a project or anything is not striking you right sometimes it is best to just put it away and let it be. Most things are so much better when the timing is right. I find now that I am in the mood for a light humorous read when before I was not, I had wanted a mystery then.

So why do I love the book now? They speak of reading like I would speak of it if I were more articulate. Books are old friends to be mourned when they are lost. It is history without being dry. I keep meaning to look up little facts to educate myself but am still lost in the story. It is set in London and Guernsey after WWII. They speak of air raids, rations and enemy occupation. Such big and weighty matters, but with survivor's strength.

I must also say I am loving the letter element too. It seems so much that we have lost our ability to communicate. Well maybe not our ability but our history of communicating. I don't know anyone that keeps a journal, myself included. I always dreamed of later generations finding my diary and reading it with delight. I tried a couple of times to keep one and discovered to my horror that I am not a good writer. I would say things like checked on the cows today, saw my cousins and ate some strawberries from the patch. Oh yeah I saw a snake in there too. And that would be it several days of boring facts with nothing else to draw you in, no story whatsoever.

So I would sigh to myself and tuck my diary away only filled with a few pages of bland daily occurrences. It was not till years later that I found out how even daily household account books can tell a lost story. Still I know that my own ramblings would not have interested the most loyal historian.

Finally I accepted this about myself and moved on, I will never be a writer, I am no Laura Ingalls Wilder. I also will never be tall, it is just who I am.

I know when I started blogging D and I both thought I would do it for a couple of months then quit. It has been just over three years now and while I still struggle with telling a story, I am still typing here. I can not tell you the joy I've had connecting with people, even for a little moment of the day. My blog it makes me happy!


  1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of my all-time favorites! I've listened to it twice.

    1. I am really enjoying it. I am glad I did not try to force myself to keep going and like it the first time, now I am free to fall in love for its own merits.

  2. I've tried a few audiobooks and haven't been able to get really hooked on them. I think I have a tendency to let my mind wander when I'm listening to them.

    However, I am absolutely loving the digital books you can get now. So much easier than taking a stack of books with you whenever you travel!

    I've also read one or two books that are based upon letters and I usually find them very interesting. I read one by Nicholas Sparks (yah - i know...) that actually had the story told by a set of letters going back and forth between two individuals. It was interesting to see the story develop from two different people's perspectives.

    1. The first few times I tried audiobooks my mind wandered. I think I would just tune out the radio when I listened so I just tuned out the book too. Now I really prefer to listen to books rather than listen to mindless chit chat in the car.

  3. Your blog makes me happy, too. :) I think that it's intrinsic to many of us to tell stories, and the blog is a perfect medium for it. It allows us to talk about things that really matter in a way where we don't have to worry about an editor judging it for us. I'm glad you've stuck with it, too. I'd miss you if you disappeared!

    1. Thanks! It means a lot coming from my favorite Canadian blogger friend :)
      I always read yours last, it's like that last bite of cake so it can linger on your tongue for just a tad longer.