Tuesday, August 21, 2012


This has been a long summer, in most ways wonderful, but I haven’t been blogging at all.  I was thinking today about why this is.  I’m currently publicizing my upcoming middle-grade novel, PRETTIEST DOLL (due out from Clarion in November), trying to interest an agent in my travelogue/memoir of my mother (my own agent doesn’t represent non-fiction), revising a new novel, and traveling twice a week to visit my mother, who continues to decline. 

So I guess that’s why.

In truth, I have a lot of ideas for things to write about, but no inclination to do anything more than jot them down.  (In my head.  I haven’t held a pencil since 2007.)  So I figured that today, I would just take note of a few things and not beat myself up for not fashioning a whole post on any one thing.

--What is the proper etiquette for acknowledging other people while you’re running?  I run the same route through my neighborhood every day, and I see the same people.  There are a few friendly women who comment on my shoes (neon pink adidas) and an elderly man who walks slowly with a cane, pausing when he sees me to say, “Ah! Youth!”  There is a man about my age with a dog who always says something encouraging, and a lesbian couple with their dog that barks at me.  (His owners think he doesn’t like my shoes.) 

But there is a woman I see almost every day who ignores me completely.  She is not listening to an ipod.  I have tried saying “hi,” holding my hand up briefly for a cursory wave, and smiling.  There is no response.  Because I am a children’s book writer and children may read my blog, I will not tell you what I think when I see her coming now.  It’s mean, though.

--I love listening to big band music from the thirties and forties when I cook.  In the car, though, I only like blues or seventies R & B.  Why is that?

--I have recently read Alice Munro’s “Too Much Happiness” and Nathan Englander’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank.”  Both are short-story collections, and both are wonderful.  This is from Munro’s story, “Child’s Play:”
For a long while the past drops away from you easily and it would seem automatically, properly.  Its scenes don’t vanish so much as become irrelevant.  And then there’s a switchback, what’s been all over and done with sprouting up fresh, wanting attention, even wanting you to do something about it, though it’s plain there is not on this earth a thing to be done.
Sometimes the universe gives writers a gift, and this quotation is one of those gifts.  I’m going to use it as the epigraph at the beginning of the book about my mother.
--I am usually the worst person in the world to watch the Olympics with, because I am always complaining about how little-girl gymnasts don’t get to have a childhood and why American TV doesn’t cover things like women’s weightlifting.  But I was better this year.  I really got into the spirit of the whole thing.  I’m starting to get why the things athletes do are meaningful and inspiring to people like me, who would never in a million years have thought I had anything in common with them.  But the older I get, the more I think that sports is really just a metaphor for life: you struggle and you overcome and you deal with setbacks and when you win, the whole thing was worth it, and when you lose, you wonder, but you keep doing it anyway, because the only other option is giving up, and that really isn’t an option.
So I liked the Olympics this year.
--There is a dj on KPIG named Uncle Sherman who I think is stoned whenever he’s on the air.  I just want a dj to tell me what’s been played and who sang it.  Nothing else.  Uncle Sherman should just stop talking.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, dear Gina, I love reading your blog and I have missed it. It always makes me think and be grateful.

    Regarding the woman who does not acknowledge you, send her love and continue to smile. It is a mitvah. We do not know the pain she is in. If I were a runner, I would run with you and would be the one to shout a friendly "Hi there!." However, the last time I ran might have been 1984... love you!