We have a bumper crop of saskatoons and raspberries so after picking a couple hours a day, I dream of purple and red blobs. I freeze the berries individually on large trays and then transfer them to containers. I’m fast running out of freezer room.
There’s never a dull moment in acreage life. The highlight of my morning was cleaning up the remains of a dead skunk—mainly fur with an amazingly small skull attached. Now I know why Hayley dog was going out every morning and sniffing the air! After that undertaking, writing this monthly musing was a delight.
No matter what needs to be done, I always find time for reading. This summer I decided that I’d read some romance just to see if I could ever write it. Everyone in the writing world knows that writing romance is the route to a healthy bank balance.
There’s only one problem: According to my husband, I don’t have a romantic bone in my body. I think that’s an accurate statement. Therefore writing romance without being romantic may be an issue.
However, I’m not easily deterred so I thought if I read some romance, I might “get a feel for it.” Well so far all I’ve done is avoid gagging in parts of the books I’ve attempted. I tell myself it’s not necessary to do a critique on every book I read, but that analytical part of my brain refuses to turn off so that I can study author’s technique in romance novels. Conclusion: I’ll leave the romance writing to the authors—mainly women—who are so good at setting the scene and describing the action. They certainly know how to get readers to turn pages right to the end even if we’ve figured out the ending after reading the first paragraph.
My favorite read this summer is not a romance: A Man Called Ove by a Swedish author named Fredrik Backman. Of course, I read the English translation. This is a well-crafted novel about an elderly curmudgeon who has a “big heart” in more ways than one. What I found fascinating was that Backman only told the reader information when it was absolutely essential to the story. I found his prolonging of detail a refreshing change from the authors who write so much unnecessary description that I start skipping the flowery fluffy details so that I can find the plot before I forget what has already happened. Backman’s book is at times poignant, other times hilariously funny, and contains so much of life’s lessons without the reader realizing that the author is making valid comments about the value of life and relationships. I’ve now reserved some of Backman’s other books through the library system.
As always, I continue reading non-fiction. I enjoyed Glacier Skywalk about the building and experiencing the cantilevered glass-floored walkway located in the Sunwapta Valley at the boundary of Jasper National Park. The authors are Clea Sturgess, Trevor Boddy, and Jeremy Sturgess (architect) and the stunning photos are by Robert Lemermeyer. I must get to that Glacier Skywalk and have a look for myself. If you are interested, check http://www.brewster.ca/attractions-sightseeing/glacier-skywalk/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=glacier%20skywalk%20canada&utm_content=%21acq%21v2%2129613074452-10590540756-4634135180&utm_campaign=s-glacier-skywalk-us-ca
The second non-fiction book I enjoyed is 25 places in Canada every family should visit, compiled by Calgarian Jody Robbins. What a wonderful book to help celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday. We certainly have amazing places, events, and people in this vast land of ours. Check out Jody: http://www.jodyrobbins.com/more-about-jody/
Hopefully it will rain soon so that I have more summer reading time. Don’t forget that you can comment on my website and let me know what you’ve been reading. And, hopefully, the only skunk you’ll find this summer is the type that I cleaned up today—well past the point of being able to spray anyone or anything.