Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Anti-Boredom Month starts tomorrow!

I was late to the party for the International Year of the Potato, and almost missed International Sushi Day due to lack of focus. But for once, I'm right on time for an important moment in human history, where we focus our energies for a month on the worldwide problem of boredom. THIS is a movement I can get behind 100%.

I was notified of this important event in an email from Alex Fayle. His thoughts on this are so great, I thought I'd just copy them here to pass along the inspiration:

"July is Anti-Boredom Month and I want to know: Are you bored? Does life not thrill you? Do you wake up each morning excited to start your day, or do you drag yourself out of bed hoping that maybe something different will happen?

A great song from the 1990s, Being Boring, says "We were never feeling bored because we were never being boring."

Yes, that's right - boredom is a totally self-inflicted problem. If you're bored, it's because you're being boring. If your life isn't going the way you want it to, then you are choosing a life that's not as thrilling as it could be. In his book Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert talks about how even people whose life choices have been seriously limited by health issues call themselves happier than average because they are out there pursuing their dreams.

They're not bored because they are not being boring.

So, what are you doing to not be boring? I don't mean, what are you reading or thinking or talking about - I mean what are you doing?

If you're not doing anything then I suggest you brush off your dreams, take a good look at them and if necessary, get some help to put some excitement back in your life.

Because honestly, we're not here long enough to put up with being bored."

There you have it. Inspiring stuff, right? One morning recently when Steve and I were talking over some of the growing pains of moving to a new state to take new jobs, he said, "But you know what? Our days here are NEVER boring." We laughed together, knowing that we were on the right track.

Two things I've done recently to not be boring:

-Planned a trip back to Cambridge with a new friend to attend a cool conference.
-Admitted in public that I once cut all my sister's hair off.

Today, we'll see what happens to fend off the boring. But it's on the radar :)

How about you? What have/could you do to celebrate Anti Boredom Month?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Real Life, East of Eden

I didn't find the quintessential book on making it work "even after," but I found this article in the NYT implying that lots of couples do.

Not sure if this is happy news, or sad? I wish the article went deeper, explaining not just WHY betrayed spouses stay (children, finances, complications in disentangling lives) but HOW.

I'm 100% for making marriages work whenever possible. But I'd love to hear from the trenches how people are doing it.

(Random passing thought: has anyone read Elizabeth Edward's latest book? Does she talk about this?)

Thanks for your help with this, everyone! And to pay you back for all your recommendations...
I'm speed reading EAST OF EDEN by John Steinbeck for a talk I'm giving tomorrow. It's one of the best novels I've ever read (and one of the few about which I've ever agreed with Oprah). AND it has the added bonus of being a classic, so you can feel proud of yourself for reading it ;)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Book help!

I'm working on a tough section of my new book--it's about betrayal. Not between Steve and I (thank God) at least not in the way you think of with married couples cheating on each other. But I'm writing about watching it happen close-up, and how much it scares me, and the things I try to do to keep tempting demons at bay.

One of the things I do when I'm scared is I read. I love memoirs because I learn from these glimpses into other people's lives--things to try, things to avoid. In some cases (especially stories about normal folks, living relatively normal lives) it's like test driving strategies, seeing how they fit.

I've read a ton of books about marriage, more than I could ever list here. A fair number of these dealt with betrayal (the most recent being Isabel Gilles' HAPPENS EVERY DAY). Now, as I close out my chapter, I'm longing for a story of a couple who survived--the story of a husband and wife who stayed married, who pieced things back together and are back working toward their happily ever after.

Any suggestions?


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy International Sushi Day!

It's International Sushi Day! When it comes to sushi, I long to be an honorary Asian. (I'd be totally willing to swap genealogies with someone hailing from Japan or Korea who longs to tip back a pint on St. Patrick's day...)

The first time I had sushi, it was a business lunch. I was a brand new attorney, anxious to look like I had my stuff together. I didn't, so this made for some stressful days. I gulped down California rolls and sashimi and a giant clump of fish eggs wrapped in seaweed. I was so proud of myself, this Irish girl from Maine (who'd never even had Chinese food until she was almost in high school), gamely using my chopsticks to stab bits of fish and rice and cheerfully choking them down. I have almost no recollection of what any of it tasted like going down, because I was so busy trying not to make a fool of myself. But I remember quite vividly what it tasted like coming back up...

I spent that whole afternoon throwing up: at the office, on the sidewalk, back at my apartment. When it was over I thought sushi was the toughest weight-loss plan I'd ever encountered.

Two days later I woke up in the middle of the night craving Nigiri Sake (a slice of raw salmon on rice) and I've loved it ever since. Bizarre, but true. I think the not throwing up afterward has a lot to do with it, along with putting an early end to my law career. My stomach couldn't handle both law and sushi, so a choice had to be made. I'm pretty happy with how that's turned out :)

Tonight: celebration sushi style!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Goings on about town...and a question

A new post over at the 40 Days blog, about taking in the big picture...

Stayed up until midnight last Friday so I could be www.facebook.com/trishryan ...

I'm tweeting like a bird (even though I should be soaring through manuscript revisions)...

Talking a lot, about some interesting things...

Just read two books I'd been given to review and HATED them. So disappointed. (And if you're an author and I have your book on my TBR pile, please don't worry, I can guarantee it's not you...I'm pretty sure these two authors don't follow my blog). What should I do? Do I have to review and be honest, or can I just donate the books and move on?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What would Miss Manners say?

THAT DOG keeps begging to go outside so she can eat some wild animal's poop. Sorry girl, that's pretty much never gonna be okay...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Packing for vacation (at least in my mind)

Apologies for the silence. I've been posting every day over at the 40 Days blog, and moving huge chunks of my new manuscript around from one place to another...and then putting them all back where they started. And for a super-huge treat when I need a break, I catch a DVR'd episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Not exactly the stuff scintillating blog posts are made of.

Still, I missed you guys! I thought I'd drop by to share a glimpse of the pile of books I'm excited to read when I come up again for air. We're going back to Lake Moose next month for vacation, and I'm already stocking up, planning to bring a suitcase full of books, a bathing suit, and a tube of sunscreen. My version of traveling light.

Here's what's in the pile:

Julie Buxbaum's THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE, now out in paperback!!! I have wanted to read this for SO long I can't even tell you (both Manic Mom and Swishy raved about it when I saw them in Chicago last summer, but life was just too crazy then and I wanted to read it when I'd have time to really take it in)

Jen Lancaster's PRETTY IN PLAID. I adore Jen, love her writing, and I spent my teen years in the same decade of bizarre fashion options as that she writes about here. She went for argyle and alligator shirts, I went for giant hoop earrings and ripped I-wanna-be-Madonna t-shirts. But deep inside, I longed for a shirt with an open-mouthed reptile on the front. I may buy an extra copy in case I laugh so hard that I drop the book in the lake (which is what happened when I read SUCH A PRETTY FAT ...)

Julie Klam's PLEASE EXCUSE MY DAUGHTER. Her mother took her out of school to go shopping...need I say more?! It's the childhood I wish I had (see: deep longing for open-mouth reptile shirt, above)

Mary F. Pol's ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE. She's from Maine!!! I read snippets of the hardcover edition right before we moved, and loved her style and the funny, honest way she shares the unexpected path her life has taken. Can't wait to read the whole thing.

What's in your to-be-read-this-summer bag?

Friday, June 05, 2009

It ain't quite like that

Here's a great blog post about how authors wish the publishing process worked. For the record, my parents believe it works this way too, and look at me with genuine perplexity when I try to explain that no, my editor doesn't mind if I spend the afternoon watching back episodes of The Real Housewives of NYC/Orange County/NJ on my "lunch hour" (and might even encourage it if at some later point I write something funny about their romantic escapades).

On a completely unrelated note: I'm visiting my sister now, and before leaving for school this morning, my niece said "I don't want you to go home today, Aunt Trish...all the fun will go with you!"

Love that child. Time to get on a plane before she realizes I'm only fun in 36 hour increments :)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Day One: Ready to Go?

As some of you know, there's a chapter in my book called "40 Days of Faith," which tells the story of an experiment my church ran in the first year I went there, where we prayed and asked God for something that really mattered to us (something we couldn't pull off on our own) every day for 40 days. I prayed for a husband. The results weren't immediate, but let's just say that when the answer finally arrived, I was quite pleased with the results :)

Last year when my book came out, a bunch of us here online did this experiment together. I created a special blog, and we spent June and a bit of July talking about how to involve God in the deepest desires of our heart. It was a spectacular experience, and I knew when it was over that this was something I'd like to repeat.

Today's the day! June is back, and over at www.fortydaysoffaith.blogspot.com we're kicking off another spiritual adventure. Come by, check it out...and if you have a dream (or five) that seems out of reach, join us.

For me, June feels like the "official" start of summer...I'm excited to have something fun like this to do to celebrate :)