A succession of ordinary days

by Jennifer on February 17, 2008

I need something to do. Well, I have things to do. (Like laundry. Or empty pages to fill.) What I need is something interesting to do. Somewhere to go. Some sort of conference or author event or meeting of the minds. A plane ride, with a hug from a dear friend at the end of it. A trip. A day trip. A mind trip. (But not a guilt trip. Or a shopping trip.)

To that end, I clicked over to Poets & Writers, to see if they might point the way to something cool and intellectual. (I am never the first. On a good day, I peek over the fence of the second.)

While I didn’t immediately find any local events, I was happy to discover that their cover story for the Mar/Apr issue is a profile of Tobias Wolff, who doesn’t know I’m stalking him is one of my favorite writers. If any of you have read This Boy’s Life, you know why. I haven’t read everything of his, but I’ll get to it. (I’ve read Old School and In Pharoah’s Army: Memories of the Lost War, but still need to read his short stories. Sorry, Mr. Wolff, I will.)

In the same spirit, the people at Writer’s Digest made me happy back in December when they featured Tom Perrotta who I’m pretty sure does know I’m stalking him is another of my favorites. (Pick up his latest, The Abstinence Teacher.) I was lucky enough to have him as an instructor at a writers conference in Maine a few years ago. (If you notice my friends rolling their eyes, it’s because I might have mentioned this once or twice a year.)

While I was on the P&W site, I noticed an ad in the sidebar: Study Creative Writing in Bath, England. Well, gosh, that does sound nice, doesn’t it? I’ve never been to Bath, having somehow missed it on my two trips to England. That said, I’m quite happy to get the privacy to read a book in the bath, let alone in Bath. I’m not asking for the world right now, just something to tide me over, so perhaps I’ll find a way to quell this boredom on a smaller scale. (Anyway, Mr. H travels a lot, and not always on a schedule, so it makes planning a bit difficult. Mr. H, I know my turn is coming.)

Still, I need something. My brain is restless. The cowboy high has worn off. Goethe said, “A man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days.” Turns out, one can stand it, it’s just not very pleasant.

In the meantime, I just ordered a book, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston, which was recommended to me by a new friend. Now, I’ll wait for it to arrive, and for my issue of Poets & Writers. And, since I can never remember if my subscription just ran out, or if I just renewed it, I will probably end up buying it at the bookstore a day or two before it shows up in my mailbox. How’s that for exciting?

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

suburbancorrespondent February 17, 2008 at 2:28 am

Yes, the tedium can sap you lifeless sometimes, can’t it?

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marlee February 17, 2008 at 3:34 am

Okay, now, I SWEAR you said you had children…how do you find time to do all this serious READING?? Please, I MUST KNOW!!!

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flutter February 17, 2008 at 4:18 am

I so want to go to Bath

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ByJane February 17, 2008 at 6:19 am

hey, thanks for the link. my fantasy is the mcdowell colony. of course i’d actually have to write something, would i? and capitalize, as well…..

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Melissa February 17, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Study creative writing in Bath. That sounds perfectly wonderful. I give you credit for stimulating yourself enough to check out Poets & Writers, my brain is so toast most days that I can’t do it!

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slouching mom February 17, 2008 at 8:38 pm

I just finished The Abstinence Teacher. I liked it, but not as much as Election and Little Children, I must say.

Sacrilege? Perhaps.

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HRH February 17, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Somedays just are endless…I think I could study just about anything in Bath…not much is going on here either, I was coming to you for entertainment–haha.

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JCK February 18, 2008 at 3:59 am

I could do with Bath, England about now…sitting in a bath of stress over here at my place.

How cool that you have been to some writers’ conferences. Sounds divine!

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Kellan February 18, 2008 at 8:08 am

I went to “the ranch” this weekend with our friends and do you know the magazine I had stashed down inside my purse – Writers Digest – love that magazine.

Hope you find something “to do” – hope you have a good Monday too! See you soon. Kellan

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Brenda February 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm

I guess I wouldn’t mind a bunch of days in a row with nothing exciting. My problem is that I need a trip to get away from all the excitement! OK, maybe it’s not “exciting,” exactly, but it’s non-stop chaos. There is never a second in which there is nothing to do. I LONG for nothing to do to just sit and read. or knit. or THINK.
But the wishes are the same. A getaway. How divine. That next “Victoria” needs to arrive in the mail for a vicarious getaway!

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Landon February 18, 2008 at 3:40 pm

I know that feeling of needing something to happen, something to break the routine, something to make you feel alive.

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Lisa T February 18, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Loved “This Boy’s Life”–I’ll check out the others.
It’s been a long while since I’ve had an ordinary day–maybe that’s why I am ‘smiling’ 😉
Would you believe I grew up in Bath (ohio)?
Thanks for visiting my cooking site!

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