Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Don't Call Me Nincompoop



Last week I mentioned the book, The Leisure Seeker, by Michael Zadoorian.  About, Ella with cancer and John with Alzheimers, packing up their RV and hitting the road in Detroit, destination Disneyland.
This is one funny book. It’s also an enduring love story. I’d recommend it to anyone with a partner, relative or friend, currently losing their marbles, or their health.
My sister and I, in our early twenties, enjoying the local delights in Puerto Escondido, Algarve, Portugal, made a pact. Firstly, we would never enter the institute of marriage.  Secondly, when the time came we’d establish and inhabit our very own old people’s home. Aged good times guaranteed. Single-fun-seekers need only apply. Despite our youthful ages we were obviously convinced our hedonistic tendencies would never stop.
After reading, The Leisure Seeker, I can see we were on to something. In this story the desire for adventure and the light relief of humour never wanes, even when the participants have a combined age of 170 and rapidly rusting bodywork; it just comes with Antacid, random napping and a five pronged walking stick. In fact, this novel could be a guidebook. How to enjoy a US road trip of the octogenarian kind: pack meds, Manhattan mix, handgun and memories.
Despite her increasing ‘discomfort’, Ella manages to keep John under control. Hiding the keys to the RV at each stop, so he doesn’t take off without her.  Dosing him with valium so they wake at the same time. John doesn’t know Ella is dying. There's no point telling him as he wouldn’t remember. 
“I’m feeling better, no longer shaking, but John hasn’t said an intelligible word since we got here. He’s yawning and talking to himself, his window of lucidity squandered by nincompoops.”
On the lighter side the pair has hilarious conversations, swearing at each other like truckers. It’s the dialogue of two old friends, gnarled with familiarity.
My sister and I didn’t keep our first pact, we’ve both happily married. As for the second, it’s too early to know. And  you’ll need to read the book to see if Ella kept hers.

Last week I read a blog posts about the current DO’s and DON’TS of blogging on: Anne R. Allen's Blog . It said:

Don’t write TOO much. Oops.  (Mostly I aim for 800 words a post).

People skim read everything onscreen, even novels on E-readers. Really? 


Leave     a      lot     of     white     space.   Another oops.


Photos aren’t necessary. Oops again.

You don’t have to write about writing. Phew.

Moreover, if you are a pre-published author you NOW don’t have to keep a blog as a prerequisite to building your author platform.  Right.

You don’t have to blog regularly either: but it helps.

It went on. Don’t let blogging affect what you really need to write eg. that novel.  

Turn off the spam filter codes under 'post a comment', and your comments will triple. Tick.

Subsequent to this post, many bloggers commented. I subscribed to the comments link, 25 and still coming. I learnt more.
                 
My conclusion: if it feels right; write it.

Depending to whom you say, “I write a blog” to, it can be a bit like saying, “would you like to buy an entire Encyclopedia Brittanica set, 1974 edition. Mint condition."  “I’ll send you the link,” and their eyes glaze over. So be it. People are busy. I can’t keep up with all my online reading. My gmail inbox often sits on 300. Eek.
Luckily, one of my busiest and bests friends told me my blog posts are one of the things she looks forward to each week. She subscribes by email and reads them at work. She does work for a local council, so probably needs a break from educating the powers that be and rate payers. Nevertheless, that one comment was enough to make me want to blog-on until I buy an RV, pack my meds and hit State Highway One, with the old boy and his surfboard. 
Thank you for reading readers and happy blogging bloggers.

Ps. I’m almost through Ms Denise LSC’s book. Some of the editing makes me SCREAM.
Next I’m reading, ‘The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket’, by John Boyne. Two thirds of my children start back at school tomorrow and I need to get back into children’s fiction mode. There’s that novel to write…

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