Post-Moriarty Brain Activity

Which, if read quickly, could be mistaken for “post-mortem brain activity.”

It was one of those days. The shuffley kind, lacking any crumb of motivation, where you’re depressed from thinking about how depressed you are despite the fact that there’s no reason in the world to be depressed!

It’s February that does it. I bet a lot of Victorian women agreed to bad marriages in February, entirely because they had desperate urges for something to happen, and their kittens wouldn’t chase balls of yarn. What else could the poor things do? (The women, not the kittens.)

I know what I do. I go for a comfort book, and willingly waste the whole day rereading. Forget school, forget writing, forget taking a shower (kidding). Most of the time it’s The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. But that’s only for genuine emergencies. Aimless, depressing, shuffley days call for something with a bit more speed. So I read Jaclyn Moriarty’s Year of Secret Assignments for the third time.

It’s one of those books where you wonder, “Is this just me? Do I have an abnormal fixation with this story, because I don’t see anyone else laughing out loud over their copy.” I think everyone has a book like that. A book that is there for you, and nobody else, but that’s okay, it gets the job done.

Not Pride and Prejudice. That one doesn’t count. People who go to Pride and Prejudice every time they’re out of ice cream are just reassuring their fantasies. It’s banging your head against a wall. I’m an Elizabeth and Darcy fan, but surely, the world has enough people quoting that book.

Of course, as soon as I felt better, the mail came and Writer magazine told me that writers who read while they write are hopeless losers. “For most blocked creatives, reading is an addiction. We gobble the words of others rather than digest our own thoughts and feelings, rather than cook up something of our own.”

Good thing I turned the page for the counterpoint “Trick of Reading the Right Things While Writing: Picking Relevant Material in the Formative Stages of Your Story Can Provide Inspiration and Information and Push You in New Directions.”

I choose … number two.

Croopus, the way people try and please everyone.

Well, I guess the day wasn’t a complete loss. I watched wacked and funny teenagers live happily ever after, laughed, wrote over four hundred words (though not on my novel), and had blackberry poppyseed dressing on my salad at dinner. Once again, Browning was right: God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world. And February is halfway over.


Erin said...

That was a really fun post to read.

Your "I bet a lot of Victorian women agreed to bad marriages in February" quip was hilarious.

I really need to find a copy of this book!

Janet Rubin said...

Yes, it was a very fun post to read. And I have to admit that for me it's Harry Potter. Now that I've read them all, I just keep them around. I'm slowly reading through the whole series again, in between reading other things, when I just want to "hang out with Harry." But I revisit Jane Eyre and To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm glad things started looking up for you!

Noel De Vries said...

I was thinking you were a Bronte rereader, Janet.

Yes, Erin, Moriarty is just plain fun to read. Not a novel I'd indiscriminately recommend, but there are certain people who come in and I say, I have just the book.