(123) No Goldfinching This Time

24 more days with students…then summer break begins.

This year I have vowed: No Goldfinching. This refers to last year when I spent way too much of my precious break reading The Goldfinch, only to be completely disappointed in the ending. It has occurred to me since that I could have spent my time much better.  I could have read several novels in the time I spent reading The Goldfinch.

And do I have novels to read?  A gazillion here on the shelf and more on my wish list.

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Just a few of the novels waiting to be read.

The last two years I made plans ahead of time for my summer.  In 2013, I wanted to start a writing circle, and I did.  I had cataract surgery and my husband and I took our first driving trip in seven years. I started my first blog and wrote nearly every day until vacation disrupted the pattern.

Last summer my plan was to visit a lot of places, like the Dali Museum and Marie Selby Gardens, and use them as settings for stories.  I made the visit, but never wrote any stories. The Goldfinch beckoned, and pulled me away from short story reading I had prepared to begin. My short story collections sit here, collecting dust.

Collecting dust...
Collecting dust…

As do my story ideas.  The one I’ve been working on inspired by a picture I took of two girls with a horseshoe crab at the beach. The one based on Nanci Griffith songs I outlined in my head while driving to Sarasota. The one I have drafted based on a Kacey Musgrave song.  Oh, and don’t forget the one sitting here outlined in a notebook from two years ago after hearing Johnny Rivers sing “Summer Rain” on The Marty Stuart Show.

Let me be clear — most of The Goldfinch was very good.  I still remember the characters and many of the situations in fine detail. I would have never kept reading it if it hadn’t been of some worth. I was just so disappointed that the ending got preachy and rather pointless.  It felt like the author ran out of ideas.  But seriously, I don’t want to dis a Mississippi girl. Obviously many people love the book.

Lesson learned.  This year I have a few grand plans.  Read-read-read those novels.  I have found that school year drains me for reading. I am writing this blog every day, so yes, I will write.  I will continue my mandolin lessons. My husband and I have a project here to fix up his old office as a music room. And my journals — they are going, going, gone.  That alone will be a huge project.

Just some of my journals dating back to 1991.
Just some of my journals dating back to 1991.

The good news is that our county does not use landfills. Instead, they use combustion units in a “Waste to Energy” system. I was thrilled to learn this. Now I have no guilt about tossing all this STUFF we have here. It is time. And what I toss will be used for energy to cool and light homes, keep ovens going, and all other manner of amazing things that electricity does for us.

My husband and I are taking another fabulous road trip, back through places we missed in Mississippi, and to revisit Nashville again. We just can’t get enough.

When August comes, I will be turning 60. That alone warrants getting my life right. By now I know what I need to do.

Summer is on the horizon.  I am ready. I am resolved. I can do this!

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We plan on hearing more great bluegrass music in Nashville. This is Bobby Osborne and clan performing at The Grand Ole Opry.
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