Three Days, Three Rules

I’m just home from a weekend away, three days in literary nirvana that included hours wandering around Powell’s City of Books.  It’s easy to get lost, that’s how big the city.  And the crowds of people.  Crowds in a bookstore.  Imagine.

Before I settle in for a much-needed nap, I have to share the titles that screamed, “Pick me!  Buy me!  Take me home!”  This morning, my suitcase felt satisfyingly heavy.

SMALL WONDER — Barbara Kingsolver

SHAKESPEARE WROTE FOR MONEY — Nick Hornby

WHAT I LOVED — Siri Hustvedt

CATHERINE THE GREAT  — Robert K. Massie

THE SUMMER BEFORE THE DARK — Doris Lessing

THE MIDDLESTEINS — Jami Attenberg

SEDUCING THE DEMON — Erica Jong

Also, I’ll be taking a blog break.  I swear.  I mean it this time.  If you see me here, avert your eyes.  Turn off my internet access.  Save me from myself.  I beg of you.

I intend to spend these next weeks focused on my manuscript, loving the holidays, and (obviously) digging into this new pile of books.  That said, I leave you with a few quotes that spoke to me this morning from the Erica Jong book:

The key is probably moderation, but I have never been good at moderation.

Neither of my sisters has ever forgiven me for being a writer.  Any writer has to be tough enough to take the condemnation of family.

There is in writing — or any creative work — a kind of fuck-you impulse.  If you want to be a nice person, don’t write.

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39 thoughts on “Three Days, Three Rules

  1. lisahgolden

    These words and a pseudonym and I’m good to go. xoxo

    The key is probably moderation, but I have never been good at moderation.

    Neither of my sisters has ever forgiven me for being a writer. Any writer has to be tough enough to take the condemnation of family.

    There is in writing — or any creative work — a kind of fuck-you impulse. If you want to be a nice person, don’t write.

      1. Teri Post author

        I went to Amazon to get the link, but was distracted when I accidentally saw this review for Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s so good I have to copy and paste part of it here.

        Forgive me. I can’t help myself. It’s too good not to share.

        _____________

        I really don’t like writing bad reviews. I admire people who have the courage to put pen to paper and expose themselves to the whole world, especially those writing erotica. Having just finished this book, however, I feel compelled to write a review.

        About half way through the book, I looked up the author to see if she was a teenager. I really did because the characters are out of a 16 year old’s fantasy. The main male character is a billionaire (not a millionaire but a billionaire) who speaks fluent French, is basically a concert level pianist, is a fully trained pilot, is athletic, drop dead gorgeous, tall, built perfectly with an enormous penis, and the best lover on the planet. In addition, he’s not only self made but is using his money to combat world hunger. Oh yeah, and all of this at the ripe old age of 26! And on top of that, he’s never working.

        Then come the sex scenes. The first one is tolerable but as she goes on, they become so unbelievable that it becomes more laughable than erotic. She orgasms at the drop of a hat. He says her name and she orgasms. He simply touches her and she orgasms. It seems that she’s climaxing on every page.

        Then there’s the writing. If you take out the parts where the female character is blushing or chewing her lips, the book will be down to about 50 pages. Almost on every single page, there is a whole section devoted to her blushing, chewing her lips or wondering “Jeez” about something or another.

        The writing is just not up to par, the characters are unbelievable, and the sex verges on the comical. I don’t know what happens in the remaining books, but given the maturity level of the first book, I imagine they get married, have 2 perfect children, cure world hunger, and live happily ever after while riding into the sunset, as the female character climaxes on her horse causing her to chew her bottom lip and blush fifty shades of crimson. Jeez!

      2. Jennine G.

        Wow, that is great. I’m sitting on my iPad in my studyhall trying not to laugh too loudly! Has anyone listened to “Gilbert Gottfried reads 50 Shades of Gray”? Google it – I think its just audio – it’s hilarious!

  2. Jennine G.

    I am finding out that middle quote as I wrote this past week…describing my siblings as I saw them growing up. They may not be happy with me!

    I will miss your posts Teri, I really enjoy them. I hope your time is productive! Enjoy the books, the Nick Hornby one catches my attention!

  3. Josephine

    dear lord. funny how some books leave words stuck in your cranial crevices–you don’t remember why, you just know you liked the book. geesh. thank you for the cliff notes.

    1. Teri Post author

      Thanks for handing the book to me. I’d have never seen it, and I pretty much read the whole thing before I even got home yesterday. With many underlined passages.

      When the writer is ready, the 2×4 over the head appears.

  4. jpon

    Those may not be THE three rules, but they’re as good as any I’ve seen. Hope your time away from the blog is relaxing yet productive.

    1. Teri Post author

      Good luck to you, too, Joe. Here’s to getting some writing done in the midst of the crazy holidays. We can do it. We can.

  5. girl in the hat

    “Fuck you impulse” for sure. When I’m there, I’m feeling it. Right now, I’m far, far away from fuck you. I’m at please, please, pretty please and it’s making me feel ill. I will close my eyes and think of you out there somewhere, holding up your middle finger, and it will make me feel much better.

    1. Teri Post author

      I long to have the fuck-you-impulse a lot more often than I currently do. Maybe I should do a mantra of fuck-yous before I open my manuscript every morning. Yes. Yes, I believe I’ll try that. It sounds fun, even. Doesn’t it??

      See what you’ve done, Anna?

      1. Teri Post author

        I’m imagining all the freed-up writing coming our way. And that said, I’m settling in today for some long writing hours, so I’ll be giving the FU mantra a try in about an hour.

  6. LauraMaylene

    I am busy trying to beat my jealousy into submission. A trip to Portland, visits with some awesome people, Powell’s, AND VooDoo Donuts? Argh!!! Wish so much I could have been there. But I’ve had the experience of a suitcase heavy with books from Powell’s — it’s bliss. (And yet also distressing, since I couldn’t take the entire store back with me.)

  7. Catherine

    I love suitcases heavy with books, and I agree that writers can be not-nice people (with regard to getting work done, no?). Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and work hard, be productive! Best, cat

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