Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blessings of a Sinus Infection

    One might think this would be a fairly brief list. I was knocked out Ali-style with a sinus monster for the last week and a half. It isn't that I thought I would die. . I just sort of hoped I would. Okay, not really, but the hyperbole carries the point. I was low. And in that lowness I could do little but rest and read. I had one day that I was home all by myself for hours, and I willed myself to stay in bed. Guilty pangs of productivity bothered me: "I should vacuum" "I should organize our garage" "I should create a better storage system in our kitchen" NO! I shouted. I will rest and recover! Though I could not sleep, I vowed I would stay in bed--away from computer screens that burned my eyes and ladled away my time.
    What did I do? I reintroduced myself to Annie Dillard and pen and paper. And in the throes of infection, I remembered who I was. I was once a reader, a voracious one. I was once a writer, a prolific (unpublished) one. I used to love words. I would mark pages, re-read paragraphs, and tilt my head back as the beauty of the words washed over me. I was a Reader. I decided to be one again.
   Where to start? With my MA in English I've read much of the canon, though certainly not all. I queried the Facebook universe but my hook came back with far too many options. It was then that the Pulitzer Mama Project was born. I found a list of all the Pulitzer winners (84!) and pronounced it as my own personal reading list. I aim to read through the list, staggering it at times with excellent non-fiction finds, until I've read them all.

The Guidelines. . .
  • I will not read a book I find offensive. I recognize this might undermine the purity of the project, but is is my project and I can do what I want. So there.
  • I will read the books in order, re-reading those I have already read. Yes, I recognize this means I must again venture into the mammoth that is Gone With the Wind. I can take it. Bring it on Scarlet.
  • I will not put this on a timeline. As a full-time teacher and mother of three, my personal reading windows might be fairly small.  This could take years and I'm fine with that.
  • I will write as I read. Observations, thoughts, memories, and opinions that the texts stir will fill this blog. This way anyone else who is joining the challenge can find a place to dig deeper and respond as they read along.
  I hope that this project will encourage lots of folks to join in this adventure. Reading, especially for women that enjoy reading, often gets placed at the bottom of the list. The "to-do" we can only do if the rest of the "to-do's" are done. Can't we look at it instead as a method of growth, productivity, and enhancement? We make time for exercise, we scour articles about weight loss, and we research parenting methods. What if we just read a novel and sat with it a bit, and see what it stirred within us?

First up: His Family by Ernest Holmes.

Away I go.

P.S: In full disclosure, I am fully aware that it will take time for my writing to settle into my own voice. I will have hits of Dillard, Holmes, Wharton, and whomever else I might be reading for some time. I might be too flowery, obtuse, or long-winded for many of my posts. I recognize that, and I am determined to be patient with my writing until it catches up to my ambition. Having been warned, I hope you'll be able to do the same.


  1. I just found this blog due to a recommendation from a dear friend whose life and literary taste enlighten and uplift me. She was right in thinking I would be interested in your blog. I taught school for several years and still substitute occasionally, I have three children, I adore reading, and I love to think and converse about ideas I find in the books I read. Unfortunately, I do not live in a place that has much in the way of bosom friends who share my love of literature. I dearly miss discussions about interesting books with others.

    I am excited to read along with you. I have a quick question, however. Is His Family actually by Ernest Poole? I was unable to find one written by Ernest Holmes. You may have written about this in more recent entries but I am waiting to read them until I catch up a little with the reading. Thanks!

  2. Audrey,
    What a delayed reply!! I am so happy you found the blog. Now that my semester is finished, I am determined to be regular here again. So, let's read together. And yes, you are right, not sure where I got Ernest Holmes. Ah well. . have you finished it? I am on to Age of Innocence now, and will write about it today. I hope you get this somehow!!