Right Now I’m Reading: The Likeness

While the arrival of autumn announces the dwindling of local produce and extensive outdoor adventures, it also brings the advent of many things I love and can’t quite find time for in the summer: lazy days with tea, crafting and quilting, and READING.  I’m already in the book devouring stage, and The Likeness by Tana French is one of the first casualties.

I added French’s second novel to my library queue after reading a most excellent blog entry/book review/generally awesome contemplation of the universe by The Rejectionist on books that are like Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.  If you haven’t read TSH, stop reading my ridiculous blog entry right now and go find a copy at your local used bookstore.  It’s downright addictive and dare I say perfect for the sort of weather we’re having in the Twin Cities these days.

The Likeness is almost as delectable as TSH, a murder-mystery-college-type morsel that has led to reading at a coffeeshop an hour longer than I planned and being twenty minutes late to work because I so desperately wanted to finish a chapter.  The characters aren’t quite the caliber of those in TSH, but I’m only about halfway through so I should probably reserve judgement until resolution.

Whether you are in school or the work world, The Likeness is a delightful break from reality.  Plus the author kind of looks like a fierce elf.

Next on the docket? Sheepish by Catherine Friend.  (Hit By a Farm was possibly my favorite read during the 2009 summer I spent working on sustainable farms in Western MN)  Recently finished?  Bossypants by Tina Fey.  Hi-freaking-larious.

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Videos for a rainy day

I may have written before about my painfully short internet attention span, but it has reared its ugly head again today in the form of intriguing-sounding yet disconcertingly long (to my internet monkey-mind at least) videos.  However, the likelihood of actually watching them during that hour after-work-before-bed is much higher if I share them somewhere in cyberland.  Today’s lucky audience are my few and far between blog readers, so without further adieu…

The Comedy Queen that is Tina Fey

and

A Likely Depressing but Nonetheless Worthwhile Historical Look at Russian Criminals

Thanks to Brain Pickings for continually unearthing cultural gems.

Words to live by: Ira Sadoff

“Poetry is associative, not dissociative: it proceeds neither by fact, nor chronological sequence, nor strictly reasoned argument. It follows the inexorable logic of the way we think and feel and what we notice.”
-Ira Sadoff

I had said at the end of December that I wanted to start writing poetry, and I think this quote describes why quite precisely.  Though I have become much more organized and list-oriented in the past couple of years, I still remember and create based on how things feel and the strange connections I sense between ideas and events and people.

Anything resembling actual poet status is far from happening, but slowly I’m releasing my reservations, my perfectionist limitation of needing to write something that is good at the get-go rather than just scrawling the bits of imagery floating in headspace into my journal.  The real test will likely come when I have something that seems worthy of sharing here.

What kinds of writing are others doing as 2011 begins?

~Lauren

Procrastination.

I’ve been noticing a number of blog posts lately about procrastination, and I think the universe is trying to tell me something.  For while I’ve never particularly classified myself as a procrastinator, I do often have surprising difficulty actually getting to the things I want to be doing.  Because there are emails to check, bread to make, floors to sweep, and a nap to take.

This procrastination, coupled with my near inability to focus on a single thing at a time, results in an occasionally crippling level of inefficiency.  I’m doing work, but it’s not the work I want to be doing, and what’s more I’m likely not doing it well because I’m doing at least two other things at the same time.  Le sigh.

One of the very few non-procrastination, non-multi tasking moments in the day is my morning yoga.  With the sun streaming in through the east facing windows (now a blessed hour earlier, so even when I get up at 7:13 it’s light, but not for long I suppose…) I go through my cat-cow stretches, my four sun salutations, sometimes a series of warrior poses, occasionally other seated poses as the mood strikes me, and always finish with tree pose.  And during the whole process I am centered, focused on the minute changes in my breathing and muscle movement.  When my mind does wander I notice it gently, and almost always am able to return to the poses I am pressing my body into.

Yoga is my time of solitude, of focus, of peace.  But it is only 15-30 minutes of my day.  As to the rest, it’s a toss up really, a mad dash to accomplish something, spend time over tea and in the out of doors as much as possible, and not berate myself too harshly for not accomplishing what I planned for the day.  Slowly but surely I hope to integrate the focus and presence that I experience while doing yoga into the rest of my day’s activities.

Until then, here’s a wonderful episode of Tales of Mere Existence on the subject.

Namaste, friends.

~Lauren