September 23, 2015

We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.
— Dmitry Golubnichy, b. circa 1987
Latvian happiness promoter

I’m just going to jump in here, 100 days before year’s end, and, as I have always done after a long silence in this space, begin again. Here’s what made me happy today:

Happy1Above you see my most recent book purchases. The stack on the left contains the books I brought back from Bread Loaf. The volume placed face up was pre-ordered in August and arrived yesterday, its publication day. I have posed them with my favorite coffee cup because that’s what I’ll be holding each morning of the next 100 days as I work my way through them.

I started this morning with After the Parade, a novel by Lori Ostlund, whom I met at Bread Loaf in 2010 and who has been a friend and an encourager of my work ever since. The other titles, top to bottom  on the stack, are:

Leaving the Pink House, Ladette Randolph’s account of the houses she has lived in
Take This Man, a memoir by Brando Skyhorse about “a boy, his five stepfathers, and the mother who was determined to give her son everything but the truth”
As the Moon Has Breath, poems by Doris Ferleger
P.S., a novel by Helen Schulman, who was my workshop leader this year at  Bread Loaf
The Turner House, Bread Loaf fellow Angela Flournoy’s debut novel that has been nominated for several awards.

Read a hundred books like the one you want to write, advises Heather Sellers.  Here are six. Let’s get busy.

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