Monthly Archives: June 2015

Tempted by the Re-read…Lev Grossman and the Chronicles of Narnia

Generally speaking, I’m not a re-reader.  Yes, I did read Treasure Island somewhere around three times in junior high, but that was then.  There are just too many books out there that I haven’t read yet.  I love to go to the library and wander through the aisles until a book jumps out and begs me to read it.  I love the smell of an old, musty book that has been in the library for thirty years and the brand-new ink-and-paper smell of a fresh book from the bookstore.

Yesterday I finished reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman.  It follows the story of Quentin, a young man who feels a bit lost in life and is about to enter college.  Even though he ends up stumbling upon a college for magicians, he still finds himself dreaming of Fillory, a world he read about as a child.  Basically, Fillory is Narnia.  Grossman changed the names to protect the innocent, but it’s all there.  Instead of a lion there are two rams, the Watcherwoman takes the place of the White Witch, and there are fantastical creatures galore.  The young boy in the books even gets to Fillory through an old grandfather clock, which is just a bit reminiscent of the wardrobe.  While I can’t say that The Magicians was my favorite book, it was good.  The characters were very well fleshed out, the imagery was great, and I wanted to see what happened.

Take a peek at my personal library, won't you?

Take a peek at my personal library, won’t you?

There was just one problem:  I finished it, and I didn’t have anything else to read.

This isn’t a problem that I’m usually faced with, since I usually have something lurking around the house that I’m interested in.  There are a few books on the shelf that I haven’t read yet so I scanned through them, but they just didn’t appeal.  What I did have on the shelf was The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

I’ve read them before.  I loved them.  Several times I’ve thought about re-reading them but have always resisted.  Reading about the pseudo-Narnia that Lev Grossman created made me want to re-read them even more.

I went to bed without deciding.  Today, when I’m done with writing, working, cooking, cleaning, and the general chaos of life, it will come down to the final choice:  Narnia or the library?

Which would you choose?



Filed under Books

Summer Writing…or Lack Thereof

Hello.  My name is Ashley O’Melia, and it has been at least three weeks since my last writing session.  You know why?  Summer break.  Oh, it isn’t a break for me, not by a long shot.  No, summer break means my kids are home all the time to ask for snacks, fight with each other, and basically keep me thoroughly distracted.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my kids and I love spending time with them.  Cereal in the living room while we have a My Little Pony marathon on a Wednesday morning?  Well, who could resist that?  Spontaneously deciding to bake chocolate chip cookies on a Thursday afternoon?  Heck yeah!  But all of this means that my writing schedule has been thoroughly, utterly blown off course.  And I NEED a schedule.

So after far too many days of floating along and promising myself I would do it tomorrow, I finally sat down at my computer this afternoon to write.  I edited the first chapter of my most recent novel.  I hated it.  I attempted to write a funny and poignant blog post.  It was humorless and pointless.  I did some freewriting.  I usually do this on my laptop because my brain can’t keep up with my typing speed.  I didn’t even save it.

So here’s to another writing session tomorrow (hopefully).  Here’s to finding the time to take for myself and write all the horrific drivel possible in the space of an hour, just to get it out of my system and dig back down to the good stuff.  Here’s to that moment when my brain says, “Oh, so THAT’S what you wanted me to do? Okay, cool.”  Here’s to recognizing and appreciating that moment when it happens, whether I’m at my desk, squashed under a pile of children on the couch, or hiding in the basement.  Here’s to summer writing.

Portrait of romantic young woman writing in a diary lying down over the grass. Relax outdoor time concept.


Filed under Family, On Writing, Parenting