Tuesday, September 22, 2009

one thing at a time

I've been in a bit of a funk lately. No, don't feel bad for me or anything...I really have no business complaining. Honestly, my life is a good one, and I know it. It's just a matter of feeling overwhelmed in all facets. So, instead of just moping away, I'm going to try to really tackle some of these things head on. Make a plan, get organized, and then plug away. And hope that actually doing something about it all makes me feel better.

And the first area I'm going to try to get under control is my reading. Because how pathetic is it that I've let my bad reading habits make me so miserable?!! And what I mean by "bad reading habits" is having too many books going all at the same time. I'm not naive enough to think that I can get back down to just one book at a time...circumstances won't allow that. But I'm going to make an concerted effort to finish up all the damn books I've got started, and then keep it down to four books at a time. Even that sounds bad, but it shouldn't be, as it includes: one "for me" book, one book that I'm reading with the boys, one book of short stories, one book for school. (Once I get things under control, it's the one book for school that will pose the biggest problem. I often have as many as three or four going for school at once, and I haven't quite figured out how deal with this. I'm hoping for a jolt of inspiration to hit me.)

But first things first. I must clear up the backlog. Realistically, I wouldn't be surprised if this took me the rest of the year. Or longer. *sigh*

In the "for me" category, I'm currently reading Oh Pure and Radiant Heart (Lydia Millet). Which despite the fact that I've loved it from the start, I've been reading it for the past two months. At least. And I've started (just barely) and am absolutely loving to pieces an unpublished book called Kesterwood. :D (I can't tell you how honored I am that DesLily has given me this treat!) After that, there are three books that I haven't actually started, but that for sanity's sake, I'm going to schedule in there. Want badly to read Dangerous Angels (Francesca Lia Block) for Banned Book Week. Will not be able to stop myself from reading The Ask and the Answer (Patrick Ness) if Rich buys it for me as he's threatened to do. And need to read A Circle of Souls (Preetham Grandhi) for review.

With the boys...well this category poses no problems. We're still reading A Figure in the Shadows. And we'll follow that with The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring. (Both by John Bellairs.) We've given up on The Scary Stories Treasury for this year. Yes, I'm still sleeping in the living room with Gray every night due to our venture into this book last month. ;)

Short story collections. Okay, this is where things start to get ugly. I've got soooo many started. I wish I was the kind of person who could just tuck them away on the shelves and be okay with that. But I'm not. They each sit there bad-mouthing me for ignoring them. So NO STARTING ANY NEW SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS until all started ones have been completed. ***I mean it, Debra Anne...if you start a new one, you will be punished by having to give away one you haven't yet started!*** That ought to keep me in line, huh? Here are the ones I have in progress: The Best of Roald Dahl, Night Shift (Stephen King), The Starry Rift (edited by Johathan Strahan), The Golden Apples of the Sun (Ray Bradbury), Dreams Underfoot (Charles de Lint), Everything's Eventual (Stephen King), M is for Magic (Neil Gaiman), Scary! 2 (edited by Peter Haining), and Wastelands (edited by John Joseph Adams). I'll just work my way through one, and then move on to the next.

And then there's school. *more heavy sighing* I have three books started that we're done actually using for school (I just had Annie read relevant sections). Two of them are even from the last school year. But I still would like to finish reading them myself. Africa: A Biography of the Continent (John Reader), The Scientists (John Gribbin), and Collapse (Jared Diamond). Then there are the books for the remainder of this quarter (ending in mid-November). The Epidemic (Jonathan Engel), 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa (Stephanie Nolen), and Cry Bloody Murder (Elaine DePrince) for health. And All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque) for history. And at least one, but hopefully two of these, for science--Where the Wild Things Were (William Stolzenburg), Out of Eden (Alan Burdick), and The Sixth Extinction (Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin). I can't even face quarter two yet.

Maybe organizing myself wasn't such a good idea. Now I'm just more depressed. :/ Pretty much sucks having no room left for whims. But hey, if I succeed, I will be such a happy camper, right? :D

11 comments:

Jean said...

Not sure what to say here since I very rarely read more than one book at a time and, when I do, it's typically one fiction and once non-fiction. I wonder if you should cut yourself some slack, though, in terms of short story compilations and reading for school. If you're not reading multiple short stories at the same time, what difference is it if you're reading one story from Book A, then another from Book B, then back to Book A, and so on? As for the school books, I would think that keeping that to one at a time might make planning lessons a bit harder. Good luck, and we're all here if you need someone to yell at in frustration or success.

Nymeth said...

Sorry you've been in a funk, Debi :( *hugs* Your plan is a good one, though, and I have no doubt you'll succeed. I know what you mean about wanting to leave some room for whims, but at least after you finish all the "me" books you have going, you can pick those freely in the future!

Staci said...

Sometimes just getting it down helps a lot!! You have a lot going on and it sounds like you love to read!! Now, if you fail at the short story thing I'll send you my address so that you can send those little beauties my way!! LOL!!!

Amanda said...

Debi, you have absolutely no idea how with you I am on this. I've tried to take on so much reading this year, having 5 or 6 books going at once, thinking that's going to help me to finish more titles. I think it actually slows the process! I think I'm going to be creating a huge new way of reading for the New Year....we'll see how it goes.

Amanda said...

If I ever get to reading more than 2-3 books at a time, I start getting in a funk, too. I hope you feel better soon.

DesLily said...

I never have figured out how you manage as much as you do!... Does this mean you are human after all? You can't do it all? OMG!... cut yourself some slack Deb.. no one can go at warp speed forever..

Eva said...

*hugs* Good for you being proactive! :)

I'm pretty much always reading at least 4 books...plus short stories...and an audiobook. Of course, if one book really grabs my attention I'll read it straight through, but I like being able to alternate! And sometimes it gets me through a not-so-great book to know that once I've read 50 pages I can pick up a different one. ;)

However, if I had less reading time, I'm sure I'd feel differently! I think I mentioned that I checked out Africa: Biography of a Continent last fall, and the intro bored me so much I decided not to pursue it. Let me know if it's actually worthwhile! :)

Kelly said...

4 at a time doesn't sound bad!

I am feeling exactly like this right now. I have a tendency to over-start on nonfiction especially. Thanks for the post to let me know I'm not the only one & for sharing your ideas for how to dig out of a hole. :)

Vivienne said...

I can understand your feelings of being overwhelmed at the moment. I feel like that and I know it is because we have a holiday creeping up, followed by a big Halloween do to organise, a 70th birthday to organise and then the girls birthday and Christmas a week apart. I start to hyperventilate by the end of October!

You will get there in the end.

liz said...

My life is not perfect nor great at the moment, I feel alone and lost in a big empty world. Sometimes I feel like I have to much emotion for this place, its like there is no understanding of what the big picture is...my pain is something I have been carrying for a long time and still have no clue on how to prepare myself for more of lifes struggles. I feel as if I try everyday, and yet it still not enough...Im not a crazy person, or suicidal, I just am beyond my resources of being happy right now. How could you suggest I organize my life to see a better day? I am young and very bright, just confused about life and what is to be considered the "right" choices. Everytime I have made a decision believing it to be right, its not. How are we as people to live a righteous life when even when you think you make a good decision, somehow its not. Sorry about my rambling I just thought someone else in the world would know what Im dealing with and maybe shed some light....

kreed said...

I think you are ultra talented being able to read more than a couple of books at a time! I never cease to be impressed by the number of books you are reading and by how good you make them all sound when you write about them. I hope you can get to the point that you are less stressed about it, though - I know how it feels to be overwhelmed...even if it is by something you totally enjoy!