Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Outside Reading

No, not the kind of reading you did outside class, but reading while you're outside. That's how I spent this afternoon—under the big maple in my side yard.

Because today was wonderfully clear and not too hot, I took the book I'm currently reading, The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, outside to finish.  While the book sounds like it's non-fiction, it's actually a debut novel by Michelle Young-Stone, whom I met at Galax.

The book is about a couple of young folks who are lightning strike survivors and whose lives parallel each other. It's a complicated story about complicated characters—and it's wonderful. From the Publishers Weekly review:

Damaged people inhabit this debut novel: people who have been struck by lightning as well as those who have lost loved ones from death, divorce, drinking, or duplicity. Young-Stone tells parallel stories that hurdle storm after storm headlong into one another. . . .What happens when they do finally meet is inevitable. Young-Stone is a very fine writer who has created a host of endearing losers--young, old, literate, and simple, all full of longing. What she does best is portray the incredulousness of the unlucky.
While I read, several cats kept me company. Camilla sat with me, but others lingered nearby.

 Chloe sort of blended in.

Eddie-Puss wasn't far away.

Spotz was down the hill a bit.

Other cats were probably lurking around, but I didn't see them. When my eyes weren't on the book, they were on the leaves overhead.

. . . or the crape myrtle just down the hill . . .

. . . or the crape myrtle as seen through the maple leaves. . . .

Anyhow, I spent a pleasant afternoon with cats and a good book. I feel lucky to have met the author in Galax, and I highly recommend The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors

You don't have to have cats to enjoy it.


Blogger Elena said...

I was able to sneak in an hour of outside reading today too, only I did it in the sun with "Anthropology of an American Girl." It felt good to get lost for an hour until the yellowjacks came.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

Looks like a lovely place to spend a summer afternoon. Great photos and great company too!

10:33 PM  
Blogger Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

It sounds like you had a perfect afternoon. I can't think of any thing I'd rather do than sit outside with my cats and read.

10:52 PM  

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