Tickets to the Universe


The How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women program is fabulous! The reading assignments are excellent, the class discussions are interesting, and the first writing assignment fed right into my current project. I pounded out 2500 words of the fantasy story I am submitting to the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest. Sweeeeet.

The only downside, and this happens every time I get involved in anything remotely involving academic literature, is this:

The Woman Upstairs
Big Brother
Last Chance Saloon
Bastard Out of Carolina
The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds
Bad Feminist: Essays

To Wit: these are books that I purchased within two days of starting this class because professors and students will just not stop talking about the great books they’ve read. And now, I want to read them, too! And believe me, this is but a tiny fraction of titles that caught my interest.

Nevermind that I’m just starting Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London, by Lauren Elkin. She autographed my copy at her book reading at Shakespeare and Company in Paris last month. The writing community still hangs out there, and after a lively discussion of the book, we mingled with everyone and drank wine. (It’s Paris, of course we drank wine). This is all Lauren’s fault, by the way, for getting me all waxy nostalgic, internally whining (again) Oh why didn’t I go into academia instead of law?????  [ok, so some of the whining is exterior, too]

Snapping myself out of that morass, I ponder the pile. More books. Now? With the bookcases already stuffed and the Kindle bloated?

In my defense, I love finding voices that draw me in with amazing tales, taking me places I’ve never been to, showing me colors, fabrics of life I’ve never seen, letting me taste and smell that which I may never otherwise experience. Books are the tickets to other dimensions of life and become part of me, taking my life from the ordinary to extraordinary. My world is smaller and duller without them. And we all know, Writers Must Read.

So, I rest my case. I definitely do need these books.  [law school apparently has some use after all]

And now, on to Flâneuse, accompanied by a glass of La Petite Muraille, a lovely French blend from the Languedoc region. I can’t wait to immerse myself in the stories of these women.

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