Thursday, June 7, 2012

Books Banned from the Bedroom

Our number one banned book (from Amazon)

 It's been a tough week. Sometimes living in a happier and funnier world through a book is the key to success during such a time.

So I've been thinking about the authors who are banned from our bedroom because one person laughing out loud makes it impossible for the other to sleep.

Here's our list of writers whose wit keeps our partner awake.

1. Terry Pratchett. Michael is definitely not allowed to read Sir Terry when I'm tired. There's no way Michael can control his laughter unto tears. Any book with Nanny Ogg in it is especially banned.

2. P. G. Wodehouse. Although Michael loves his stuff too, I'm the one who gets the giggles every few pages or so. I'll go along for a few pages holding in the laughs successfully and then he hits me with a simile which reduces me to hopelessly giggling jelly.

3. Dave Barry. Neither of us can hold back the laughter here. The man feels our pain and we feel his.

4. Peter Egan. For those not in the know, Mr. Egan writes for Road and Track. His funniest columns are those that make Michael laugh in empathy in memory of painful car repair experiences.

Please, please add your banned authors in your comments. I need all the laughs I can get right now.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ten Reasons Why Writers Need Vacations

Slowly I turned!

My husband's job has been overwhelming. So when he realized he had a true three-day weekend with no projects, he said, "Let's get out of town."
We took a wonderful trip to New York and saw Watkins Glen, Palmyra, and ...Niagara Falls! Niagara Falls has been top on my "must see" list for some time.
Now I'm back to work and I thought I'd share the top ten reasons (in no order) I needed a vacation. (I think most of them apply to writers in general.)

1. I needed to be humbled and reminded that there are experiences for which there are no words. Standing ten feet away from the bottom of Niagara Falls would count here.
2. I needed to spend time reading without feeling guilty about not writing.
3. I needed to learn more stuff. I learned a lot about hydroelectric power, geology and history. I even learned the origin of that silly Three Stooges skit "Slowly I turned."
4. I needed to reconnect with nature. A writer spends an awful lot of time inside.
5. I needed to meet more people. Even brief encounters add to my knowledge of human nature.
6. I needed adversity. No vacation is without trials. Even minor adversity adds to a writer's bank of emotional experiences.
7. I needed more visual memories.
8. I needed to experience child-like curiosity and wonder and surprise.
9. I needed a break from daily chores. Not worrying about housekeeping duties I neglect when I write was refreshing and revitalizing.
10. I needed to spend more time with my brilliant husband. It was enriching to talk with him and to see how he brought a different outlook to the new experiences we were having.
Michael with a hero, the great Tesla

Behind a waterfall in Watkins Glen
All photographs copyrighted by Michael Denney. Please ask for permission to reproduce any of them.

Watkins Glen