Monday, August 10, 2009

Novels and life

I've just finished leisurely reading a novel entitled Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I say, leisurely reading, as when really enjoying a book, I revel in stretching it out and relishing each time set aside for the reading. I found the author's writing style compelling and just the right tempo for me in most every way. The story's plot was replete with the main character's childhood memories, of enough historical and geographical references (Ethiopia, India, Rome, New York) to make me personally feel I was learning while enjoying the plot, enough love and mystery to make it just about a perfect read for me. I say, "just about" as it was full of nuances and descriptions that I wasn't always comfortable with but so well written that I was surprised when some events took place that I should have easily ferreted out prior to them springing onto the pages. (In case you'd like to borrow the book - let me know - yes, I'll mail it to you!)

It is fascinating to me that a good author can take daily life and spin it out on a page as to convincingly make me a silent figure in the dialogue or intriguing tableau. Obviously it is a gift to capture life and spin an interesting tale about it at the same time. I'm not sure I could string my own personal stories together enough for a riveting novel but reflecting on my life, I do find it to have been and to be entertaining with enough historical and geographical references (New York, Rome, Athens, Walla Walla:), enough love and mystery to make it just about a perfect life for me. I say, "just about" as it has been filled with nuances and descriptions that I wasn't always comfortable with but so strangely choreographed (or self directed) to find myself surprised when events take or took place that I should have easily seen coming prior to them springing on to the pages of my life.

I am hopeful that I have many more years and chapters in this life of mine and that I continue to be surprised, entertained, and joyful over future events, the big ones and the little ones. Thinking about your own life are there many things you would have changed, those that you're glad you didn't or shall I say couldn't, wished you had and going forward - how many really great chapters will you complete? True, I don't think we get to know how many chapters are going to be in our life books but I do think we have the power to make them good ones, to do the best with the gift of life that we have been given. Novel writing and life, go for it, and if you can't do it on your own, then ask for help from whomever is around - it could make for a more interesting plot for you and for the persons you involve in your quest for the pulitzer prize winning author of your own life's story - published or non-published.

Well, I know you might be thinking what's the MindSieve up to now with this post? Same as always, life, love, happiness, God, and of course, I know that my life, as well as yours, have in common with the great novels - birth, tragedy, sorrow, death, mourning in them - the bad times in story and reality, make the really good chapters such good reading and living! Happy composing, living, loving and joy! And, hey remember to ask me to send you the Verghese book remembering that only one of you gets it:)


  1. Anonymous4:39 PM

    Do I win? Anyone else ask for the book yet? -KB

  2. Sorry - too late. It's going to my friend, Pat in CA. Maybe she'll consent to send it to you next:)


  3. so, that's how we get KB to comment...give away something free? :-)

    lovely post. it reminds me of my memoir writing class. the memoir is different from the class auto-biography which is filled with "just the facts". memoir weaves the techniques of novel writing to draw the reader in just as you have so beautifully written.

    well, i certainly think i've had an interesting life, too. some of the things i might think i want to edit out are exactly the ones that have helped shape me into who i am today...and in case you're wondering...i like that person very much (most of the time.)


  4. Re KB, I guess so. I don't think she reads MindSieve very often.