Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Gauntlet Is Thrown

I posted about my project on Facebook, to see if I could get some good book title suggestions. Of course I did – my friends are nothing if not a bookish bunch – and my reading list grew, to about 40 books.
I received some supportive comments (“Fun Project!”) and then this comment from my friend Cindy: “That's less than a book a week. I'd go nuts if I had so little to read!”

Wait, what? I am daunted by the prospect of a book a week! I think the only time I ever read a book a week, I was in college and that was my job! It is all I can do to find time to read!

I reply to Cindy: “That sounds to me like a gauntlet being thrown. Want to up the ante? Are you challenging me to a duel?”

Her response: “I read Chains of Gold, A Fantasy Novel by Nancy Springer (230 pages) last night.”

Oh, crap. Reading duel = bad plan. One of the things I am hoping for is that I will find time to read by doing this. I do a lot of things – I am not a lazy person by any stretch. I have a cat and a dog (until recently, an aged second cat who needed much medical attention); my husband; my daughter and her constant array of activities (swimming, girl scouts, theater, piano); I work full time; I make dinner from scratch nearly every night; I was PTA treasurer for the two years; have two stepchildren to visit every so often; I try to keep up with Dr. Who and Mad Men when they’re on; and I do the occasional load of laundry when needed. Boy, that doesn’t seem like so much when you write it all out. It feels like a lot when you live it.

Could it be that Cindy has less to do than I do?

I adore Cindy, she’s a great friend and what’s more, I’ve never met her in person. Really. We met on an Ebay discussion board, of all things; she was a regular, high-volume seller, and I wanted to be, and she gave lots of great advice about that, and then about other things, and before I knew it, I was friends with someone I had never even seen a picture of. I heard her voice, though – one of her many great qualities is that she takes phone calls at sometimes quite odd hours from people she’s never met in real life. That sounds odd to say it, but trust me, it’s a godsend.

Things Cindy does (that I know of) – sells at very high volumes on Ebay and Amazon and her own website, gives lots of good advice on discussion boards and internet groups, and paints. Paints a lot, these days, and blogs about it. She also codes her own websites and usually when I talk with her, she’s got some freelance web project going on as well.

That feels like more than I do, probably because I am hopelessly incapable of doing most of those things - but for sake of argument, we’ll call it even. So, somehow, she has found the time to read them at a pretty brisk clip – proving, I think, that not only can it be done, but my goals are modest indeed.

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