Category Archives: Learning
I need to tell you all something; I need to come clean.
Questions posing conversations based on thoughts around owning vs. borrowing, keeping vs. giving away, what snacks you prefer to accompany your reading, etc., are of minor interest to me. The above are surface conversational topics and throughout this current month I planted them on our site as a test. I wanted to understand what would draw more traffic and discussion. The express purpose that prompted this reading group was to facilitate discussion over mutual reading. At the plea of several people, over the span of a couple of years, I finally decided to put together this group in order to collect fellow readers. Not being a big blog reader, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, so now, after a few months, I need to readjust. My intention and hope is that this group will flourish into a space where individuals can enter as their schedule permits and thoroughly discuss their reads, for good or bad.
In realizing that people need to connect in order to be inspired to return and participate, I am trying to write quick pieces, here and there, that draw interest, while relaying what I am, personally (outside of the group selections) reading. I am wondering, will this be enough for you, or do you need those light-hearted postings to connect with. And yes, I am going to continue using the word connect, because it is essential to my purpose.
I want to give space for you to connect, but I need to admit that I do not think I have the stamina for daily posts on things like, whether anyone keeps the dust jackets on the books they are reading or if you can watch television and read at the same time or do you take breaks when you read? Such topics are featured on just about every other book related site I have come across and while these may be easy to respond to, I prefer more depth. I want to clarify – I am not, in any way, saying that these are bad questions or that they are not worth your attention, but rather that this is meant to be a reading group and not necessarily just a book related blog.
I am not a blogger. I am much more accustomed to small groups, lingering moments and good conversation. This is just me, personally. I do not want to discount any other method, I merely wish to focus a little more specifically to actual reading discussion.
I would like to hear your voice on what I have expressed. Here is what I am thinking in broken-down form:
My personal passion lives in discussion that is rich, full of various points of view and goes in-depth over what I am reading. This is what I would like to focus on with our site. What I am wondering is how would you like this? Would taking away the lighter questions of what you enjoy eating and drinking when you read take away from your experience? The moment I publicly published this site, it became not only mine, but more yours.
Please feel free to express any and all thoughts along these lines. I do not want to chase anyone away or infer that these lighter questions are not good enough, but I have never been one that has any talent or as I said before, stamina, for small talk. This does not mean that small talk doesn’t have its place, just that I am not good at it.
Let me know your thoughts.
It is Saturday morning. The sky, grey when I awoke, is making its collective effort to reflect blue. Either way, no clouds in sight and that is a welcome situation. I am meeting a fellow reading group member, Kelsey, for brunch in a few hours. Later tonight I will be heading to the Elliot Bay Book Company for a reading, possibly their last, to hear Melissa Febos read from her recent publication, Whip Smart. More on this later.
Here are my prospective focuses:
1. After brunch I will return home, straight to my desk, to write. This will take hours as I have a lot to get done and my goal is to make my mind work like a machine. Or, at the very least, be productive like an assembly line.
2. After hours of writing, I will return to my car, the highway, the streets of downtown Seattle, the blocks of Pioneer Square to hear Febos dazzle my mind and most likely make me blush, though involuntarily.
This isn’t making any sense to you yet. Let me explain. Melissa Febos is a woman who paid her way through a MFA program at Sarah Lawrence University by working as a professional dominatrix in New York City. Now living in Brooklyn, she’s made the necessary sacrifice to travel across country, through the adventures of the Pacific Northwest, landed in Seattle and I will land in a seat in the crowd this evening and hear what she has to say.
Febos’ book, Whip Smart, is her first memoir. And I say first because I am attempting to be realistic. Everyone and their mother and third cousin, thrice removed are writing memoirs and if my tone sounds mildly sarcastic, it’s not. I am up for the challenge of wading through the crap load of crapy memoirs to find the few gems, which is the balance that I believe exists in the collective existence of memoirs. I have decided to collect memoirs by writers who will talk about their writing careers. Namely, writing memoirs of writers. Mouth full. This idea being the only reason I recently bought Amy Tan’s The Opposite of Fate, when I have never read any of her work.
So, on this Saturday, I have adventures to run, writing to write and all the while I still have not finished American Rust. I am taking it with me everywhere today so that I have the option of sneaking in a page here, a page there, a sentence, a word, anything that claims progress.
If I can run like a machine today, making use of every moment, today should be enjoyable. I am announcing, just in case, that I am forcing myself to finish American Rust this weekend. By the end of Sunday, sleep deprived or shame-filled, I will make the announcement of my next read.
I have to say that I am really proud of the membership we have here at, Reading With Sea. We have a diverse group and that is always a wonderful and unique dynamic. At times, in certain circumstances (or most) diversity is a difficult goal to reach, but I can think of nothing better than diversity to lay a solid foundation that great discussion and camaraderie to flourish out of. I am so pleased with our members. The reason I am choosing this moment to make this sweeping sentimental announcement is that I have come across some writings by a couple of our fellow members. One may not agree with the beliefs held in the ideas written about, but I could not imagine anyone being able to say it’s not amazingly well written. On that note, I want to invite you to check out the blogs of a couple of our members:
With minds like these, no wonder these two just so happen to be married.
If you (fellow members) write and have your blog and want a “spotlight” get in touch with me and let me know. I’d love to read your writing and be a support.
We are nearing the end of March. This is the second full month that our group has been alive. I cannot tell you all enough that the more input we share with one another, the better this group will be. How do you want this group to look as we head further on down the road?
On that note, I want to open discussion now. If you have ideas, reflections, complaints, comments, musings, wishes, desires, expectations, etc., etc., share them with us here, by responding to this post. Let us know how we can improve our group and continue to make this experience beneficial and enjoyable.
Adrienne Rich wrote a collection of poems entitled, The Dream of a Common Language, which I have always thought to be a nice sentiment. I hope you will chose to respond to this post and express your thoughts so we can move into our third month with excitement and continue to improve our reading group.
Are there any new directions we want to take? Focuses we want to enter? Trends we want to comment on? Literature we want to explore?
I am following a curiosity and wanted to ask who all thinks they may be reading one or more of the selections in April? What can I do to help set you up or prepare for a good discussion? I welcome any and all suggestions and please always let me know if there is something I can do on my end to make this group easier for you to access, etc.
I appreciate you all.
If you could describe what type of books you prefer to read or read the most, what would it be?
It’s that time: again.
I have added a poll on the Book Raffle page for your voting pleasure. So, make your way over and put in your vote. If you haven’t had a chance to read the descriptions of the books listed on the Book Raffle page, no worries, they are still posted.
Take your time and look through them. If the books do not seem interesting to you, please send me some ideas for things you would like to read so I can make sure to include them on the next month’s poll. Again, the more input I hear from you, the better this group can be. You, as the members, are the owners.