Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Another Christopher Morley fan is born

A new bookish blog is coming out of Cambridge, Massachusetts - Frognall Dibdin's Shelves - isn't that a terrific name! And it looks as if we've gained another Morley appreciation society member. Welcome to the club, it's small but has such depth... actually, kidding aside, if you spend much time at all reading books about books, Morley's name is bound to crop up in very short order. He knew so many book people in the first half of the twentieth century - booksellers new and rare, publishers, editors, authors, journalists, auctioneers, collectors, readers. A true man of letters. But I digress, as I often do. Welcome to the new blogger.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Book shopping at a *chain*

Hi, I'm Sarah, and I spent some time near a mall yesterday, at the local Borders. Now I feel like I should go to the book-addict's version of AA. Is there such a thing? If not, can we please start one? (It would be called, of course, a chapter.) I can say, in my own defense, that I needed a few gifts that my local independent bookstores just didn't stock (and I also needed to buy packing tape at the Staples on the other side of the parking lot, and no, there is no local office supply store anywhere around here anymore). Borders. Essentially a mob scene, though an orderly one, because these are book buyers, after all. And how: people buying baskets full of books and dvds and what-have-you. A long wait in a long line to buy the three little things I came in for. I felt kind of sick afterwards, and I came out of there like a drunk staggering out of a bar. Then I got stuck in horrendous traffic. I don't know what I was thinking, being anywhere near a mall two days before Christmas. It was profoundly depressing to see all the rampant consumption and worse, to be a part of that rampant consumption. The holiday season was never like that in my little shop - and I don't think I would have liked it so much if it was, despite wanting to, you know, make a living and all. Well, at least a lot of people around here are getting books this year for Christmas.

Which is a very white one here in Maine this year - in fact, it's snowing again right now. Before the big snow came, Ryan and I went into the woods behind our house with a bucksaw and cut down a small balsam fir, then brought it into the house and decorated it sparingly, and now it's sending out its wonderful scent. I wrapped a few gifts this morning, some books included, went for a walk, lugged in some firewood, and thought about the meaning of the season. Endings and new beginnings, hope in the dark of winter. Giving. Receiving. Quietude. Not a mall in sight.

Blessings to you and your families.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


The Lost Blog Posts

I feel like I've really lost the knack for writing blog posts. I wrote some good ones in my head last month, but they never made it to the page:

Life at 58 Degrees (pre-woodstove)

Life at 72 Degrees (post-woodstove)

Don't Cut Holes in Your Roof as Winter Approaches, and Other Life Lessons

Serious Books by Funny Guys

Home is Where the Art Is

The titles will have to suffice. Instead of blogging, I'm spending time dealing with unfinished creative projects. Such as my bookshop memoir (which I thought was finished, until I, you know, closed the bookshop - and now I think I can write the real ending). Of course I say I am finishing my memoir, when what I really seem to be doing is utilizing that age-old distraction: reading. Reading other people's memoirs. I'm even reading books about how to write memoirs, instead of finishing my memoir. (I just read The Autobiographer's Handbook: the 826 National Guide to Writing Your Memoir, Holt 2008 - it's very, very good! I recommend it!)

In the Serious Books by Funny Guys category, I recently read Born Standing Up (Scribner 2007 - hey, a memoir!), in which Steve Martin offers the following advice:

"Through the years I have learned there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration." (p.80)

We need those delusions, don't we, if we undertake creative projects of any stripe. Otherwise, we can quickly come down with a bad case of what I call The Why-Bothers. I'm doing my best to fight them off.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Poking with a sharp stick actually works

Ok, I've been hiding out. I am still here. I've been living in the physical world all fall, not so much in the internet ether. But Ian has tagged me and I feel obliged to respond to his kind prompts, and rejoin the party, as it were. Quote:

I am so sorry. So very sorry...but not so sorry not to inflict this upon you, too. Please consider yourself 'tagged':

You have been tagged. Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person or persons who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

End quote.

Now, one of my favorite painters (besides myself! I am truly so good!) was also recently tagged with this same set of instructions, but his friend added a new requirement - add an extra item to your list. A fake item. And see who can spot it for the dastardly deception it is. I'm using categories, because "random things" is too random for me. To make things difficult, some of these are two-parters. To wit:

1. Food: my favorite vegetable is the green and humble leek. Yum! My least favorite is the shiny and bitter green bell pepper. Blech!

2. Personal appearance: my hair is sort of naturally blondish/brownish, but has been all of the following colors: platinum blonde, black, and orange.

3. Literary habits: I have never read a book written by William Faulkner. I hear he's good, too.

4. Upbringing: I grew up in an old house with no running water. We had an outhouse out back. It was character-building!

5. Outdoor activities: sitting on a beach in the hot summer sun is true bliss for me. I can spend hours this way. And I have.

6. Musical taste: I secretly love ELO (Not so secretly now, I guess! Turn-to-stone, when you are gone, I...turn...to...stone...) and Eagles (Take it to the Limit makes me cry, and if someone really wants to know why, I will spill the beans).

7. Gamesmanship: My husband Ryan can usually beat me at Scrabble, wordy as I am. He has better pattern recognition than I do. I get too caught up in attempts at elegant and/or funny wordplay.

Can anyone spot the fake? Hello? Hello?? Is anyone still there? No? Oh, well, this was fun anyway.

I'm tagging Kate, Jonathan and Justine, Rachel, and I really can't think of anyone else who hasn't already been tagged. That's how long I've been out of the blog-world... aeons! (That, and all of a sudden everyone is on Facebook instead.)

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?