A (Thankful) Sunday Salon

I don’t know about you but I hate those posts where the blogger apologizes for not blogging because they are _________ (fill in the blank) busy, lazy, distracted, sick, tired, *whatever*.  So, I won’t do that.  Because really, nobody cares.

But from looking around I see it is time to dust off the cobwebs in the corners, water the plants, throw open the windows to air the place out and try to get rid of that smell of neglect.

Whew!  That’s better.  (Thank you, BOTB readers, for understanding, and for checking in with me.  I’m fine!  Just uninspired!)

At some point in recent weeks I all but stopped writing reviews.  I have all the usual excuses (busy, etc.) but mostly I’ve just not had the writing mojo.  I would sit down to write a review and the words wouldn’t come.  Now I have so many to write I may never catch up.  I’m thinking of clearing the slate and starting fresh, with the exception of books I agreed to review for others (thank you, authors and publishers, for your patience).  Has anyone else done this?  Just wiped the slate clean and moved on rather than trying to write reviews for books you read weeks ago?  (Thank you, blogging friends, for your advice in this area).

What happened to me?  There was a time when I reviewed everything I read, immediately upon finishing.  It’s much easier to write a review that way.  If enough time passes, the details get fuzzy, and nobody likes a fuzzy reviewer, right?

My aim in the new year:  fuzz-free reviews in a timely manner.

We’re looking forward to some quality family time this week.  The kids are off from school and I do not have to bust my butt cleaning my house and gearing up for company (yay!  YAY!) because Thanksgiving dinner will be somewhere else this year (thank you, Mom, for making dinner!).  All I’m required to do is show up with clean, well behaved children (ha!), a bottle of wine, and a casserole dish full of sweet potatoes (thank you, Tara, for the most excellent recipe!).   My holiday responsibilities end there.

The girls have NO HOMEWORK over the break (thank you, teachers!  I was expecting the worst!)  So we will be out carousing this week.. shopping, seeing movies, going roller skating, and just generally hanging out.  With no school projects to attend to, it will be a real break for them.  We are dying to see New Moon (even Mom’s looking forward to seeing werewolf  Taylor HOTner-all three of us are TEAM JACOB) and Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (thank you, Hollywood, for all the great movies this time of year!).  Daddy has to work (thank you, Dad, for being a great provider!), so it will be a whole lot of girl time. Hopefully there will be no drama and we will all get along.

I’m also looking forward to some reading time.  I’m reading How to Save Your Own Life by Michael Gates Gil, a super quick little guide to finding joy in unexpected places.  I need to finish Bold Spirit for a December book club discussion (thank you, book club friends, for enriching my life!).  And finally, I can’t wait to start Keeping the Feast by Paula Butturini this week (thank you, Penguin Group, for sending the book!)

What are your plans this Thanksgiving?  What are you reading?

I’m thankful for YOU.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


29 Responses

  1. Oh, I’ve had my slumps too. I feel about as inspired and creative as a big lump of poo. I’ve never wiped the slate clean before though. Scary!!! I just play catch-up, which is no fun.

    Daddy is working this week too, so I will be entertaining my two little angels as well. New Moon is high on the list, probably for Monday or Tuesday. Is it wrong for a 43-year-old woman to lust after a 19-year-old kid? Cause that kid is HOT. Wow. Edward who? The kids actually want to see 2012 as well, so we’ll most likely get our share of movie entertainment.

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. I love the idea of making it a New Year goal to not write any more fuzzy reviews. I’m so guilty with that. I intend to write them immediately after reading but when the writing part becomes tiresome or I’d rather be reading something else, I put it off in my “to write review” stack.

  3. Happy Sunday! Glad you are hitting the re-set button. That’s a good idea. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  4. Thank YOU Lisa for keeping on, keeping on and always writing fun posts. and for being a terrific blogging buddy. and… for bringing cool books to my attention.
    I’m behind on reviews, too. I am going to do one sum up and write only 3 lines per books and call it done.

    maybe, soon.

    Happy THanksgiving!

  5. I’m definitely guilty of doing fuzzy reviews sometimes. Perhaps you could do some mini-reviews? Just a few sentences about whether or not you liked the books, and why? Just a thought.

    Also, have a great week with your girls! They are lucky to have a mom as fun as you who is excited to spend time with them. 🙂

  6. Oh, fuzzy reviews. I try to write the review before I can start on another book, but sometimes I can’t! I’m definitely guilty of letting a few books fall by the wayside for reviewing in the past, but now I really don’t.

    I’m heading home with an armful of books to read, work on my NaNo, and spend time with my family.

  7. I’ve written plenty of reviews that I didn’t feel were my best. I just try to forget about them and move on. Our son’s home for Thanksgiving and he does have homework. Since he’s in college, though, it’s not my problem! That is such a wonderful feeling, believe me! Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. yep, i am in the process of starting over as well, but my case is a little different since nobody really cares what i think about a book. i don’t think anybody pays attention to the reviews i DO manage to write, so for me it’s no big deal. i’m currently re-setting my brain, and am re-reading some of my old favorites in an effort to relax, and just enjoy books again, instead of rushing to finish a book i may or may not really like just so i can slap a review up on my blog. 🙂 so far it’s going well. 😀

    Happy Sunday, Happy Holidays, and Good Luck with your own personal re-set!

  9. I haven’t done the clean slate thing, but I’d be totally OK with it if you (or any other blogger) did it, and I won’t be surprised if I do it in the future. I got way behind after my summer vacation, so in lieu of writing 7 full reviews, I did two “What I Read on My Summer Vacation” posts with one-paragraph mini-reviews of several titles as once.

    I also reserve the right to forgo a review when I just can’t get the mojo working (did that w/ the 2nd Stieg Larsson book) or when the book is just too good to dissect in writing (have done that w/ Richard Russo and John Irving).

    That’s the beauty of this blogging thing…you can do what works for you, and the people who love your blog will be OK with it.

  10. My reviews get fuzzy if I even wait a day or two, so I also believe in slate-wiping. Glad you’re getting a break from making Thanksgiving dinner!

  11. My pleasure! I’ll be making them, too.

  12. We do care when you are stuck and not writing. Happy you are back.

  13. Lisa, your reviews are always well-written, never fuzzy!

    My Thanksgiving break sounds a lot like yours, although I’m not sure if the kids have homework or not.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your readers! 🙂

  14. OH… but, I do care! (snicker)

    Well, I’m busy with the new job, finishing school, and the regular stuff. But, I did manage to squeeze out two book reviews this week. Miracle of all miracles!

    I just can’t walk away from my stack of 7 books that need review. I spent the time reading them… I can take the time to review them, ya’ know? But, the time is ticking away and I don’t know if I wil have the same *umph* in writing about them. We’ll see.

    But, I TOTALLY GET where you’re at with things. I think a blank slate is a good idea.

    I hope that all is well with you and the kidlets. Colie misses L.

    Miss you!


  15. Even when I’m not really behind, I find that my reviews are just so sucky I’m not sure if I should publish. I figure if I can at least get across I liked/didn’t like then post. I’ve been in a slump lately!
    You could just do mini-reviews for the ones you are behind on

  16. Just wipe the slate…no one is looking.

    I hope you have a wonderful week. My youngest is homework free but the other one, is not that lucky. PLUS they have school until Thursday so no much time off for them either. However, I have to work tomorrow (Monday) but then I am off for seven straight days! Wahoo!!

    I AM cooking but just for us and I plan to eat to my heart’s content and just be lazy. I am going to attempt to read Stephen King’s new one over the break. That is the plan but at 1000+ pages and shopping trips and high school reunion type hook-ups, it may not happen.

  17. Have a great holiday week! Your plans all sound marvelous.

  18. Hi, Lisa – Happy Thanksgiving! I say wipe the slate clean – you will enjoy your holiday season much more without scads of unwritten reviews hanging over your head. 🙂

  19. I’m about a month behind, and have been for the past few months. I’ll get caught up by scheduling posts for about 2 weeks, then I forget to write reviews in the meantime. So it seems like I’m either way ahead or way behind.

  20. Glad to hear that all is well, and that life has just been busy. It sounds like you will have a WONDERFUL holiday break – yay! And three cheers for Taylor HOT-ner – I’ll be seeing him (um, I mean, the movie …) after Thanksgiving myself.

  21. I have a friend who pretty much cured me of apologizing for some omission or another because of being “busy.” We’re all busy, she’d say. And she’s right. My youngest daughter has had an extremely busy couple of weeks, in terms of high school homework and papers, and she is might darn excited to have no homework over her week-long holiday break! When both her sisters are home, as of tomorrow night, I think the three are going to the new “Twilight” movie. I do love sisterly togetherness!

    I’ve been reading a mystery (latest Spenser by Robert Parker) which has been enjoyable. It’s a Spenser! That’s all you need to know. And I’m getting my dander up about education and the lamentable practice of teaching to the test through both my aggravation with our high school and through this book (” Lives of Passion, School of Hope”) on a progressive public school in Colorado that works. It follows alums and tells their stories. Guess what? They’re happy and successful. It is possible to have a public school alternative that changes lives. It’s sustainable education, one that sticks with its students as they move into adult lives and responsibilities. You’ll read it and say, “this is what I want for my own kids.”

  22. Oh, — and I don’t have to clearn the house this year either! For the fist time in about 15, 16 years, Thanksgiving is down the street at my sister-in-law’s. Of course, I now find out my kids are upset by this, “because we always have it here!” Not to mention, that having it here means they can go off and escape their relatives for a bit. Oh well…

  23. Well I am totally THANKFUL for the awesome pictures of Taylor Launter without his shirt on. I know that makes me sound like a perv but that is the reaction that the studio had in mind. They would like mom’s like you and I to drag our little tweens to see this movie. I do not have any tween girls so I will be kidnapping someone else tween daughter to take to the movie with me. All the men in my house refuse to go with me. Boy do I wish they made 17 year olds that looked like that when I was 17!

  24. I am glad that you have a great holiday week planned with your girls and that you are planning on having a stress free Thanksgiving. And don’t worry about the back ups in the reviewing department. I have a bit of the same thing going on and have to really push myself to go back and write them. I like the idea of a few mini reviews, it might make things a little easier if you don’t have to write a whole bunch of full length reviews and can instead write a bunch of small ones. I hope you have a nice holiday!

  25. I’d been wondering about you, so thank you for this Sunday Salon post!

    Clean the slate and start fresh, if that’s what feels right to you – or just do mini-reviews, as a few other people suggested, so you’ll have a record. I pretty much HAVE to write my review within a day of finishing a book; I try not to get too far into reading the next one till it’s done. (One more reason I’m no good at polygamous reading!)

    I just finished The Help on my Kindle and will post the review tomorrow, but it’s already on my “Top 10 Published in 2009” list. I think my next few reads will be books with specific review commitments, but then I’d like to read just what I want for the rest of the year!

  26. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy New Moon 🙂
    I review books as I read them, or else i’ll never get the reviews done.

  27. i know the feeling, lisa! i’ve been feeling so guilty lately because i’ve only been online once or twice a week. what can i say? i’m busy READING and living. 🙂

    have a wonderful thanksgiving and i look forward to catching up with you (and seeing how you and the girls like new moon) after the holiday!

  28. My daughter pointed out that Talyor Lautner is “shark boy” from the old disney “Shark Boy and Lava Girl” story that plays now and then on the disney channel and my daughter will watch over and over and over….nice to know he has having a chance for fame beyond the disney channel. Hard to believe he is only 17!!

  29. I just wanted to tell you that I’m thankful for you too. 😀

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