Wednesday, June 06, 2007

These Boots Weren't Made for Walking

Jess discovered the greatest website for me in PC World the other day. I am a big list maker. I have lists for to-do's, library due dates, books I want to read, movies I want to see, shopping lists, lists for just about everything. Backpackit let's me make several lists and I can rearrange or delete items easily. I used to carry a notebook with me everywhere, but I was constantly rewriting lists as I changed items or scribbled them out. It's free, and I keep it open all day long on the desktop computer to update as I get things done or remember things to add.

I haven't touched my novel in too many months to count, and I've been feeling a bit of a failure as a writer. But I was reminded that I am doing creative writing in many ways at work and home. I had an article published in the two local newspapers about organ and tissue donation (I'll post it on Friday), and a brochure I produced for the hospital was printed up and will be distributed to all patients and placed in all local churches. I'm writing lots of reviews, and I will be getting some of them published in The Midwestern Book Review. So even if I'm not writing in the conventional way, I'm still using my skills, and I'm grateful for it.

A few posts back, I mentioned that I was having a hard time seeing God in the big things. A couple days later, Molly and I were riding in the van on the way to Mom's. How to Save a Life by the Fray came on the radio, and then Molly pointed at the sky. She said, "Hey Mom, look those clouds look like a cross." And they did. Two jets had crossed, and there was a huge cross in the sky directly in front of me. So I guess He's speaking to me in the big things too, I'm just not listening so well.

These Boots Weren't Made for Walking by Melody Carlson follows the travails of Cassidy Cantrell as she falls in love with a pair of designer boots and her life quickly falls apart. The two seem unrelated, but Cassie has a hard time separating the boots from her sudden loss of everything important in her life. She loses her job, her credit rating and her boyfriend in just a few days, and in the depression that follows soon packs on the pounds as she uses food to try and comfort the ache inside her heart. She decides to return home to her mother in hopes that they can repair each others' wounds, as her mother tries to recover from the recent defection of Cassie's father to a younger woman. As she packs to leave, she finds herself befriending a man across the hall despite her initial misgivings about him. When she goes to her mother's, instead of a distraught matron she finds a fit fashionably dressed hot mama! Cassie's relationship with her mom quickly sours as they each have unreasonable expectations of the other. Cassie's bout with depression and overeating rang incredibly true, and Carlson handles Cassie's thoughts of suicide well while still keeping the overall light tone of the book. I was very impressed with the theme that while being fit and wearing nice clothing can make a woman feel better about herself, it won't heal a broken heart. Another theme was the idea that many women have that if they just get thin enough or beautiful enough, everything else in their life will be perfect. Cassie struggles with these thoughts and comes to realize that once she starts putting God first in her life, the other things do seem to fall into place. Cassie's relationship with Will is fun, sweet and light. My only complaint with this book is that every time I saw the title, the Nancy Sinatra song started running through my head. Perfect for beach reading and handing on to a friend. Chick lit with a great message.

Ian, Molly's boyfriend, started up a blog yesterday. He's a nice kid, and I look forward to reading what he has to say. He and Molly are funny together. Because he lives in Louisiana, they are on the phone almost constantly. While she often isolates herself in her room to talk to him, she just as often sits with the family and relates to him everything we say and do. We tend to watch America's Funniest Home Videos all together. Sometimes when she's at her dad's, she'll call him and then three-way me into the conversation so we can chat. In the past year, Ian's become part of the family. He's coming up for a visit for two weeks in July, and we're planning lots of fun stuff for when he's here. Molly also has a blog. It's a frightening stream of consciousness look at a teenage girl's mind.

Today's pic is Mia from at my mom's last weekend.