Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Sunday Salon: Thankful and Thankfully Reading

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic tonight. Judging from my Facebook feed, I'm not alone. Friday night was my 25th year High School Reunion, and apparently it was the place to be. People flew into Philly from all over the country (and even outside of the country, in at least one case).

I didn't attend the reunion, as The Husband is still recovering from his cancer surgery earlier this month. It was impossible for him to make the trip in and likewise, he still can't be left alone for an extended time. Still, if you'd told me back in 1987 that I wouldn't be at my 25th high school reunion, I would have probably rolled my eyes and said something sarcastic like "tell me something I don't already know."

Likewise, if you'd told me in 1987 that I would want to have been there, I'd have thought you had me confused with someone else.

Instead, this was a low-key weekend in which I participated in Thankfully Reading. (I only read 81 pages, thanks to a migraine that had ahold of me most of the weekend.) If anything, the whole reunion thing in the background made me even more thankful - and yes, extremely reflective. You see, one of my goals back in the day was to have a book (at least one) published by the time I made my way back to my old stomping grounds. And at the 25 year mark, I'm kind of close, if you can call my novel-in-progress and my piece in the Post-Gazette close. Hell, my overambitious high school self wanted a damn book published by the time I was 18. (That one's written; it's just in a desk drawer these days.)

But with some lucky exceptions, this writing life (and life in general) is a bumpy one, which is why we need the company of other writers along for the ride. I've been reading Joan Frank's book, Because You Have To: A Writing Life, which is exactly that kind of book. It's one that you read for whatever you need as sustenance for this writing life. Motivation, commiseration, encouragement - Frank has it all in abundance in this slim volume, just like a good friend with a waiting cup of coffee and a supportive ear.

Just like any good friend, always, through the years.

The Sunday Salon is akin to a "university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. To join the Sunday Salon, see the Facebook group

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christina said...

I hope hubs is doing good.

I have no desire to go to my 20th reunion - do they do reunions every five years? I feel like, by the end of the high school experience, no one really got me. I'm a little nervous confronting their ideas of me in person.

I wanted to do more Thankfully Reading weekend than what I ended up doing. Buffy and Bones distracted me though. ;-)

Lisa Gradess Weinstein said...

My 30th is in June, still debating if I'm going to go but probably will. After all, I have several months to go on a diet and then buy a kick ass dress! Hope Bill is recovering ok.