Sorry, I must have mixed up blogging once a day with blogging once a season. I see I almost missed summer. Sigh.
I am not doing too well with the work-life balance thing these days. It's hard to say no when you're a freelancer, because then you wonder whether something else will come along. And even when you do say no, somehow schedules shape-shift and the next thing you know, you've got everything going on at once. And then you get offered projects you really can't say no to, because they're so awesome-sounding or because you want to please a long-time client or impress a new one. All of this is to say that I've been working ridiculous hours all summer, including weekends and evenings. No fun, and all my fault. I need to spend a little time figuring out how to be a better boss to myself.
Being overworked means that I want to make the most of what little free time I leave myself. I've gone to some Red Sox games, seen a few movies (nothing too note-worthy, I'm sorry to say), had a mini-camp reunion with some old friends (by which I mean people I've known since 1973), and saw some far-flung cousins who were all in town at the same time, but I haven't done a lot of reading. As I get older, I find that I am becoming positively ruthless about giving up on books that haven't grabbed me after a decent chunk of pages. I used to force myself to finish every book, but no more. So, here are three books I started but opted not to finish:
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante: Everyone has been talking about this book, the first in the four-part "Neapolitan" series. So my book group decided to do it. Let's just say that we had to postpone the meeting once because most of us had been able to get past the halfway mark. When we finally did meet, only three or four people had actually finished it (I was not one of them), and only one person actively liked it. I just could not get into it. Nothing happened, I didn't care about any of the characters, and I finally threw in the towel. I am happy for everyone out there who raced through it and couldn't wait to begin the second book, but there was just nothing for me to hang on to.
The Book Borrower by Alice Mattison: I can't remember why I had this book on my shelf or who recommended it to me, but I was bored silly for the first 50 or so pages and just gave up.
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George: I should've loved this, but it was so sappy I had to put it down for fear of becoming hyperglycemic. It's about a lonely Parisian book seller who "prescribes" books to heal his customers' hearts and souls. But I found him pathetic rather than endearing, and the whole story was turning out to be about as corny as could be (his true love had sent him a letter after she left him, but he never dared open it, and then many years later he finally did, and...). I eventually couldn't stand it any longer. (I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.)
But! I am happy to say that I am about two-thirds of the way through a very thick book that my mother-in-law lent me nearly 14 years ago and am loving it. Stay tuned!
I am also very excited to say that I am heading to NYC in a few weeks for the national meeting of the Editorial Freelancers Association. Look out, Manhattan, the editors are coming! Some of us are talking about taking a field trip to CW Pencil Enterprise because we are crazy like that.