Ha! I bet that title got your attention, huh? Well, I've been waiting to hear back from my last crit partner on The Earl's Engagement and I bet you know what I've been doing for the last week. Yeah, cleaning my house. When I write, the house kind of gets...you know...messy. This time it was, well, a little bit more than messy. I think this time, my dust bunnies were going to call the housecleaning ladies up the street. I don't really blame them. With all the Christmas goo-ga hanging around, pine needles, tinsel. Yeah, a little overwhelming.
So, amidst all the madness, I found my big dog had secretly peed on the carpet in the front hall. Yeah, we don't use it at all, so it was a surprise when I went to the hall closet and my feet squished. eewwee. Please don't judge me. I know I'm not the best housekeeper, but the dog pee is not mine. She was soundly yelled at and put outside. She promised never to do it again. (Of course, my telling her she was going to live outside for the rest of her life was probably what made her promise.)
Anyway, I dug out my old James Taylor albums (yes vinyl) and threw them on the turntable. Yup, record player. The carpet was old so I decided to rip it up. Eewwee. Nothing like soggy dog pee carpet. Once I got the carpet up, I had to take up the foam underneath. Oh, by the way it's 40 years old, so it was falling apart. And then under all that, there were the staples and the carpet nail runners. Fun stuff. And I didn't hurt myself. Not once. Yay me.
But, during all the hard work, it was me and James. Singing off key with the front door wide open. I think my across-the-street neighbor was laughing at me. I didn't care. Nothing like old Jimmy boy. Did you know he was from North Carolina? I didn't until about 10 years ago.
I'm not sure what the point of this post is, but I do know that when I was singing with James, it brought about a lot of old memories. And it got me thinking about old books I'd read, back when I used to listen to James at my childhood home on Hendricks Street. L-O-N-G time ago.
I read my first Harlequin romance THE HONEY IS BITTER by Violet Winspear (Still have it too, believe it or not). I read Rod McKuen (ALL of his poetry -- still have all those books too, and a few albums he made.) National Velvet. Trixie Belden. Louisa May Allcott. Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys. I think I even started Thoreau back then but didn't finish it until 20 years later.
While sweeping and vaccumming up the remainder of the mess in the front hall, I made a promise to myself, that this summer I was going to read all the books I haven't read. The classics. Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Stein, Dickens, Vonnegut. Perhaps they'll help me to be a better writer. lol
Tell me -- Are there books you haven't read, but think you should? What are they? Have you ever ripped up carpet without having anything to put in its place? (Yeah, I probably should have planned that a little better.)