I finished Anna Karenina Thursday.
Immediate thoughts, in no particular order:
a) This book makes much more sense as an adult woman, a wife, and a mother than it did as a high school senior.
b) Anna, after stripping herself of everything else except Vronksy, has no personal resources beyond him and therefore devolves into a self-centered, needy mess. Tolstoy sees this as the tragedy it is. (Ahem, Stephanie Meyer…)
c) That being said, that it manifested in her jealousy of other women strikes me as false. Her jealousy of his time and his outside pursuits seemed more true-to-life.
d) I have no patience for political discussion in literature. Levin and I are BFFs on this one.
e) Tolstoy is a genius when it comes to descriptive detail. The man knows how to use an adjective.
f) Want to study narratorial viewpoint? I recommend reading Anna Karenina!
g) I liked the story. Simple to say, but, really, how often do we like the stories we read? I even teared up at a few Kitty and Levin scenes. Tolstoy the Storyteller did his job.
This week, seven-and-a-half years after our wedding, we received our last wedding present:
My dad built this bed for us. Isn’t it awesome? He finished the posts years ago but did not have the wood to complete the headboard. Not only did he lose his supplier, but it’s just hard to find a piece of black walnut large enough for a solid headboard. This piece has “character” (his words), but, honestly, we like it that way. Thanks, Dad!
We should close on our house at the beginning of July. Then the contractor comes in and takes care of the wood floors, the windows, random odds and ends, like pulling out the ghetto shower stall in the corner of the middle bedroom. Yeah.
My sister, in the meantime, will give birth to my little nephew and godson. We’ll have a baptism. And then… move! We should be in Michigan the first week of August.
You know what book is just awesome? The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.
It’s good that I think it’s so awesome, because a certain little boy likes to read this book while sitting in a certain place training to do a certain thing. (Hint: it involves Big Boy Underwear.) I read The Snowy Day, on average, eight times a sitting. And I haven’t gone crazy yet.
Keats writes with a wonderful cadence:
“Crunch, crunch, crunch, his feet sank into the snow. He walked with his toes pointing out, like this:
He walked with his toes pointing in, like that:
Then he dragged his feet s-l-o-w-l-y to make tracks.”
“A stick that was just right for smacking a snow-covered tree.”
“And he thought and he thought and he thought about them.”
Writing a good children’s book is an art akin to poetry, I think.
(Sitting here in my favorite coffee shop, I quoted those lines from The Snowy Day from memory. Like I said, I haven’t gone crazy yet. Yet.)
Question: How do you manage social media?
I find that I simply can’t keep up with everything and still keep my mind clear and free and easy for writing (especially working on the novel). Both Twitter and the blogosphere are something of a rabbit hole. And then I want to get involved with discussion boards at the Catholic Writers Guild, but… media overload. There’s good stuff out there that I want to read and follow, but, how to prioritize?
How do you do it? What are your tricks?
I suspect that, for me, my social media issues are ones of temperament. Though I can be loquacious among friends, by nature I’m an introverted melancholic. “Social” anything tends to stress me out at a quicker rate many others, I suspect.
That’s why I spend Fridays and most of Sunday almost entirely off-line. I need to recuperate! The imagination needs some happy space! I need to read something in book form!
Read this and other Quick Takes at Conversion Diary. Thanks for hosting, Jen!