Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Reading Plans

Summer readin’ had me a blast - Summer readin’ happened so fast
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ @TNBBC posed the following question on Twitter: Do your reading habits change in the summer? Everyone is posting their summer reading lists... #confusediam

I replied: Mine do not. #JustMe?

I don't read brainless books. If the temperature is above 80 degrees & I'm on a beach w/ a pina colada I STILL DO NOT READ BRAINLESS BOOKS.

I get a tan in the summer. I get in a little better shape usually. But I don't get dumber and neither do my reading habits.

As a kid when school provided suggested summer reading the books were classics. Why should “summer reading” as an adult mean brain candy?

Applying "Summer Reads" label certainly does suggest that readers will seek different types of books than they do at other times of year. Why?

I guess literature didn't already have sufficient labels so it needed a seasonal one. When is someone going to create a SARCASM font?

When you see the titles that are advertised as great for summer reading it tends to be frivolous reading. “Frivolous” as I define the word anyway.

You’ll see certain books labeled “chick lit” for example 10 months out of the year, a “summer read” for the two warmest months. I’ll ignore it all twelve months.

My guess is that the majority of people reading 50 Shades of Grey Twilight in the summer don't switch to Nabokov for the winter. Lite reading is an all year round thing for them.

I’m certainly not against escapist fare, and perhaps summer is the most appealing time of year to read such literature for some people.

But whatever the genre or plot, if I’m going to invest myself in a novel I want and expect quality fall, winter, spring AND summer.

Looking for a summer read that won't make you think or feel or care? If so, Patches of Grey isn't the book for you.

Or maybe it is the book for you. Maybe you don't mind thinking and feeling and relating to characters who seem true to life when you immerse yourself in a novel. If so, not only Patches of Grey but also my second novel Matters of Convenience may be just the type of story you're looking for any season of the year.

** The artwork in this posting can be found at the Etsy shop - Erin Go Paint **

Friday, May 11, 2012

                                                                     Mother in Training

I have a wonderful mom and my daughter has a wonderful mom.  What more could a man ask for? My fondest wishes to all of the mothers out there. If necessary, insist on being treated like the queens that you are, even if only for a day.  But hopefully you won't need to ask.  On the other 364 days of the year you may have to settle for being treated like mere duchesses.

p.s. If you're looking for gift ideas, click on the link directly below.

Great Gift Ideas For All Of The Great Moms (and moms to be) Out There  

Enjoy the floral arrangement courtesy of Erin Rogers Pickering. Also to be found below are a few of my thoughts on parenting.

On occasion (usually reaching a crescendo around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) I see some harsh exchanges on social media about single parent (usually the mom) households.  Some people act as if it’s inherently wrong. Some act as if it is a flawless scenario.  I find fault in both extreme viewpoints.  Below are my thoughts on the topic.

Parenting is hard. A solid support network must be situated. Whether there are 1, 2 or 10 parents in place, it's easy to screw the job up.

No shame AT ALL in being a single parent, unless you want to place that shame on the parent who voluntarily is rarely if ever around.

But by the logic of math, it’s tougher to get the job of parenting done right when there’s just one of you.

You can literally be the best parent ever, and have the most cooperative kid ever, and things can still easily go wrong due to that math.

Child-raising requires a solid support network. That It Takes A Village cliché could not be more accurate.

Daycare expense eats up a huge chunk of a single salary if it doesn’t happen to be a CEO level salary.

A single parent household means a greater likelihood of latchkey kid scenario. That has blatantly obvious potential to go wrong.

Parent can be saying and doing all the right things, kid can have heart of gold, yet if that kid is on their own too much, trouble won’t need to work hard to find him/her.

That’s why the solid support network is critical. Locally located family members who are willing to pitch in are literal life savers.

Also essential to the single parent is a job that is parenting friendly. If flex hours and telecommuting are options offered by employer, that’s huge.

A strong support network will enable a good single parent to be comparable to two good parents and better than two inept ones.

“Two are better than one” is too simple an equation. Try “a strong support network has more of a fighting chance than a single person who can’t possibly be two places at once”.

Tony and Tanya had grown accustomed to seeing their mother pushed around. Listening to her now, they viewed her as if for the first time. She was indeed a wise woman. She was a teacher. Her lessons would be in how to survive, for she possessed a PhD in the subject. ~ from PATCHES OF GREY