Take A Deep Breath

My Facebook friend, Katherine Natasha Lott, has a story to tell.  A big story.  She has mapped out a five novel fantasy series and is ready to embark on this writing adventure.  As part of her preparation, she has been reading a variety of novels, not exclusively but mostly in the fantasy genre.  She recently asked for suggestions. 

I thought about the writers who had spurred my imagination and motivated me to write.  Tolkien, Rostand, Huxley, Potok, Lehrer, and all of the guys at Mad Magazine.  I suggested the first couple of the above.  

Katherine then mentioned the Pawn of Prophesy by David Eddings and I said, “Huh?”  And that’s when I realized how little time I have for pleasure reading. 

I do read.  A lot.  I start each day by reading the entire Plain Dealer.  My average day includes a visit to the Health and Human Services (HHS) website to review the newest rules and regulations.  And then I read the major analysis of those new rules and regs.  You have to read the analysis to know what the politicians will be saying in 3 to 5 days.  The rest of my daily reading time is usually reserved for politics and industry publications.  That leaves precious little time for much else. 

I have only read two books in the last year.  One was Game Change, a comprehensive, behind the scenes look at the 2008 election.  The other was 2030, Albert Brooks’ dystopic novel about the decline of American civilization due to weak, self-serving politicians and a shlub who finds the cure for cancer.  Even my reading has been about politics and health care.  Crap. 

The last year has been marked by the illnesses and deaths of several friends and clients, poisonous national politics, and the upheaval of how we pay for health care in this country.  And when it looked like we were about to relax for the holidays, we suffered the devastating slaughter at Sandy Hook.  This blog has reflected our times. 

I created a new recipe last week for my Type 2 and low carb readers.  It was Aglio Et Olio with chicken breast.  I dutifully recorded everything as I made the dish.  But posting the recipe seemed frivolous.  I couldn’t do it. 

There are people who bemoan our society’s apparent apathy.  I disagree.  I have talked to my friends.  I have read your blogs, your tweets, and your Facebook posts.  We care.  Hell, we may care too much.  And we are hurting. 

I need to stop and take a deep breath.  You might need to as well, but I can only speak for myself.  Sitting here at home, feet up, a totally irrelevant football game (for a Browns fan) on TV, I realize how little joy there seems to be nationally and how that is impacting me (us). 

So I am going to find something good to read.  I might revisit The Lord of The Rings.  I can almost hear Cyrano calling me.  Or maybe I’ll look up David Eddings.  Katherine seems to have enjoyed his book.