Tuesday, July 5, 2011

10 Signs It Might Be Time To Take A Break From Reading Romance Novels




1. Your Kindle breaks and you don't care.

2. You start looking for excuses not to read....like cleaning the toilets.

3. As an alternative to romantic fiction, you turn to Great Expectations and think, "It's only 544 pages long. That's not too bad."

4. Your reviews have morphed from well-written essays to "quickies" to a couple of sentences, to "meh."

5. You would rather watch Sharktopus on SyFy than read a romance novel.

6. You finish a book and the best thing you can come up with is..."Well, I guess the boinking part was okay."

7. You find yourself muttering "...the Brothers, blah blah blah, who cares..." under your breath.

8. You're personally offended by grammatical errors.

9. You realize that your husband cleaning the house is way more romantic than a hunky Scottish laird wearing a kilt. No contest.

10. It's summer vacation!


I never thought it would happen, but I've finally "hit the wall" with my romance reading. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that I appear to be having a mid-life crisis. Yes, a "perfect storm" of events (turning 45 and having a near-fatal heart attack last August) have me questioning my purpose, my importance, my hobbies, everything. For some strange reason, I am totally wigging out about the upcoming anniversary of my heart attack (which is August 3).

It's easy to focus on the physical part of recovery. You eat the right foods. Do the exercise. Take your pills. But contemplating the whole "I-have-a-second-chance-for-life" thing is much more difficult and troubling. I am nervous about August 3rd. What have I done this past year since God/Fate/Destiny/A Random Occurrence decided I would live? Am I squandering my second chance? What is the best way to make it count? What is the best way to make myself happy? Fulfilled?

I have no freakin' clue.

If this was a movie with George Clooney and Marky-Mark, someone would probably take a break in the action (giant waves crashing down upon our little fishing vessel) and give me some super profound advice, about how small and insignificant I am compared to the great big ocean, yada yada, or something like that. But unfortunately, George and Marky-Mark are no where to be found.

I guess I have to figure this out for myself. That whole idiotic saying "Life Isn't A Dress Rehearsal" has taken on new meaning for me. Because it isn't a dress rehearsal. One of my on-line friends was talking about the NKOTBSB concert, and I thought "That sounds really fun. I wish I could go." And then I thought "Why can't I go? WTF?" and then I called my sister, who is the best, and she said "We're there. Break out your sequins." And we went. And it was ridiculously fun and excellent...and alive. I felt alive and joyful and celebratory. As I swayed with 20,000 other screaming women while Donnie Wahlberg ripped off his shirt.

I'm not gonna read about other people doing fun things anymore. Like going to concerts with aging boy bands. Or heading to Alaska for a vacation. Or kayaking with whales. Or going to glass-blowing camp in Vermont. I'm gonna do those things, too. Which may cutback on my reading and blogging time. And that's okay. I will definitely pop in from time to time. And hopefully get my reading mojo back. And fall in love with writing again. I have a delicious fictional bearded lumberjack who is clamoring for some attention.

So, I'm hanging this sign on my blog.....

Gone Fishin'

No, that's not quite right. How about this....

Temporary Hiatus Due To Mid-Life Crisis, Hopefully Resolved Soon By George Clooney, Or My Own Self-Discovery, Whichever Occurs First


You might not see me on Twitter or the boards for a couple of months. Hopefully I'll be on a life-affirming adventure.

I hope that all of you have a wonderful summer adventure, too, something that makes you happy to be alive. ☺☺☺☺

Pondering Profound Platitudes,
Penelope

18 comments:

Isabel Roman said...

Good for you! Go out, have fun, enjoy life. It's what it's all about, after all. :)

Ella Drake said...

Enjoy your break and have fun! Let me know how the George Clooney thing goes.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Well, I'm freaking out on so many levels. I do understand, but because it's all about me, I'm thinking - oh god, she hates my book and it's so awful I personally threw her into this mid-life crisis!
No, seriously - anniversaries of life-altering events are scary. I'm a firm believer in the old saying - a little denial goes a long way. Resort to it often.
Not that it's any comfort, but we have no guarantees. We all muddle through life the best we can and a whole lot of it isn't up to us.
But...live, laugh, love - those are the things that matter.
You'll be okay, sweetie. Really. I know it in my heart.
P.S. I'm on a huge nonfiction kick. Barely touch romance these days. Still write it though because I do enjoy the genre - but a lot of the recent stories seem to morph into one.

Penelope said...

Thanks, Isabel!

Hi Ella....still looking for George. Hmm. I think he's in a villa in Italy or something. Maybe I should plan a trip there!

Julia, you dink! I haven't read your book yet! I am looking forward to it very much (as soon as I get my Kindle fixed!)....I think you have a good attitude about writing romance and reading a different genre. I might try that for a while, but right now I am more interested in DOING than sitting on my ass and READING. I need action, baby! Wooooo!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

OMG how funny. What a great list. When I get like this I take a break and/or switch genres. Good luck! Happy hiatus.

yaquelin said...

AWWWW....well you will be sorely missed :( have fun and go out and LIVE!!!

Penelope said...

Hi Juju! It's weird....I don't want to read anything right now. We are going to the Cape next week and I'm bringing my Kindle and hopefully will get reinspired to read. Maybe a fly-fishing mystery or something? ;^)

Penelope said...

Hi yaquelin! Thanks! I already signed up for a glass-blowing class and a cooking class with Natty...yay!

Mary Anne Graham said...

Enjoy your break but I hope you'll be back - I only found you recently!

BTW, maybe getting a second chance means you were getting it right all along! Your fears about it remind me of Anthony in Julia Quinn's "The Viscount Who Loved Me." He couldn't get over worrying about the date until it was past! (Sorry for the romance novel comparison. Please don't feed me to the Sharktopus.)

Sorry to hear about your health issues. I'm an almost 50-year-old Type 1 Diabetic so I'm due for something. Lately I've been giving lots of people just in case instructions (at the office, although it tends to fall apart whether I'm there or not) at home (bills, the kids).

I'm glad to hear that you got a second chance - maybe there's hope for me too. Kick up some trouble for both of us!

Penelope said...

Hi Mary Anne! I loved that book by Julia Quinn...one of her very best in my not-so-humble opinion. I'm still deciding how to commemorate that date....I am thinking about treating our local fire dept to a big lunch to thank them for saving my life. Still mulling it over....

Off now for vacation!

Teddy Pig said...

Well see, Ernest Hemingway wrote this book see and it was about this old man and this fish and the old man finally after years gets this fish and on his way back to shore the sharks eat it.

Anyway, it ends up being a pointless and depressing story and that is what Ernest was saying was life on it's own is pointless and depressing unless there are people to share your triumphs.

But then... Hemingway ended up committing suicide so what did you expect he would to say about life?

I think the lesson is no matter how well written a book is if the writer is a psycho paranoid delusional freak you are most likely going to end up with a pointless depressing story.

In other words you can make a silk purse from a sows ear but it will still smell like bacon.

Anyway, have a good break!

Shruthi said...

Oh no!!! Yours was the only romance blog I followed...

But I guess I'm being selfish... Go have fun. Hope you come back and read at higher speeds!!! :)

Take care of your health (physical, mental and other).

Lindsay Kiernan said...

Yup I hit that wall to, although for me it comes and goes. Right now I'm trying to get back into blogging but I don't think that when I start writing again I will be able to just write romance. It is like you're saying, there is a life out there waiting to be lived, why not do it!

And yes I hate it when I've spent hours reading a book and my best impression is that the boinking wasn't too bad! Enjoy your vacation, find yourself and let us know if you need any help with that anniversary that you are about to hit. Take care!

Penelope said...

Thanks, Teddy Pig. (Note to self: take plenty of Lexapro before reading Hemingway).

Penelope said...

Hi Shruthi! Don't worry....I'll be back! (uttered in Austrian Arnie Schwarzenegger voice)

Penelope said...

Hi Lindsay! Thanks! I am still deciding what to do about the anniversary. I just want to make sure it is a happy, positive day. :^)

Nina Pierce said...

Yeah, I'm kind of feeling this way too. Not sure things in my life are headed in the right direction. It's not a good feeling.

Penelope said...

Hi Nina! Oh no! I'm sorry you are dealing with this, too. It totally sucks! Shoot me an email anytime....Good luck, and enjoy your summer. Go down to Newport and drive around Ocean Drive....it will lift your spirits!