Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dear Diary...

It seems diaries are like diets in that they tend to start at the beginning of a time period... January 1st or maybe on the first day of a school year or a new job. You will notice that this diary starts on a Thursday... in the middle of the month... on an ordinary day. Now, I figure that either makes me unconventional and therefore edgy, or a complete over-thinker on this whole start date thing. I'm suspecting it's the latter.

Anyway, the purpose of this blog is to partially fulfill a childhood dream. I've always wanted a job where I would be paid to read and talk about books. I saw myself as an Olympic metalist in reading, someone who others would seek out for opinions and critiques. One word from me would make or break an author! Unfortunately, my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa seemed about as far from the literary world as you could get without falling off the edge of the universe, and I had no idea how to achieve my big dreams of literary infamy.

Instead, I followed the conventional routes. I got a job working in insurance. Accumulated a husband, an SUV and a house in a Middle-American suburb with no mature trees. By 33, it seemed I was as far off from my childhood visions as I could be.

Then, came 2009. The year of the downsizing. When I lost my job, I felt true terror. People around me thought I seemed cool and in control... someone who rolled with the punches easily. Inside, my guts had be put through a meat grinder. What saved me from a complete and total meltdown was my belief in Karma. It may be trite, but things happen for a reason. I just needed to figure out what that reason was.

I started with a little self-examination. I asked myself, what I would want to do if I had no where in particular to be on Monday. The first answer was read. The second was write. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be paid to do either of these things. Luckily, my husband has a well paying job and he assured me that I didn't need to work... at least for a while. He encouraged me to pursue my literary passions. Giving up the power of my own paycheck was not easy. It wasn't that I'm such a materialistic person or anything... I rarely spend money on myself... but I like the feeling of security that money brings me. I guess it's a remnant of my "monetarily challenged" childhood. In any case, beginning on June 5th, 2009, I officially joined the ranks of America's unemployed. Even though it was uncomfortable, I took those feelings of terror and stuck them into my back pocket. They are still with me, but I rarely take them out to examine them.

So, this is now April 8th, 2010. What have I done with my time off so far? In addition to reading a couple books a week and taking grad school classes, I've officially completed my first novel and started a second one. At the beginning of March, I started the query process to find an agent (which is sheer torture to my impatient and impulsive nature).

Now, that the writing part of my dream is well on it's way, it is time to fulfill the reading portion. Of course, I have always read, but I am now going to do something with my reading. I plan to use this diary to record the books I read and my thoughts about them. So what if no one is paying me for my witty and insightful opinions, I can still share them. Be warned though, I can and will read anything (except westerns for some reason) so readers of this diary will have to suffer through the craptastic trash novels and the literary classics with me. If there is one thing I have learned about books, you can find beauty and art in surprising places. come along on my journey with me. I welcome your comments and opinions. If you disagree with my rankings, let me know. I'm a big girl and can take a little healthy debate. :)

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