Sunday Salon: Lifequakes and Self-Importance (Mostly)

Ocean, Rain, Rocks
Tunnels Beach, Kauai does its Nova Scotia impression
December 2010
This morning my clock radio brought me a story about a woman who gave away all but a hundred of her books and has never felt happier.  I woke up, heart pounding, yelling "NO!!" at the top of my lungs.

Talk about your fight-or-flight mechanism.

I'm at the office all day today, prepping for classes and reading stellar job applications.  Sundays just aren't the reading extravaganzas they used to be.  In fact, I'm in a bit of a pleasure-reading slump.  Sigh.
But it's been a fascinating week.  First of all, I joined 750words in an effort to get myself writing every day.  It's a site that tracks your writing (keeping it private, not to worry) every day and encourages you to write about three pages a day on any topic you like. It sends you reminders, gives you wee bits of encouragement, and does some of the most bizarre analysis of your writing patterns I can imagine.

After a day of writing (I couldn't stop! I wrote nearly two thousand words that night.) it crunched the numbers and told me that I was "feeling mostly Self-Important" and was "concerned mostly about Family."  Who needs a therapist when you have a nagging website?  (It also gave me a PG for swearing and violence.  You know me.)

Then, on Thursday, an even greater lifequake hit: I saw the house I think I want to buy.  It's lakefront, half an hour from the city, eighty years old, and on almost six acres of gorgeous land.  There's a pond to skate on, a gazebo to read in, and a wired outbuilding to (I'm not kidding, this it what they claim) keep my ponies in.  Because that's what my life needs right now: ponies.   I'm so nervous about the whole process I can't sleep.  (This is our first house purchase, and it's throwing me for a loop.)

After day two of writing, 750words recalibrated its sense of me.  Now it thinks that I am "mostly Upset" and "concerned about Home."  Let me clarify that what I am writing on the site is a work of fiction, not memoir.   How does it know?

Back I go to my Playboy of the Western World, my Ghost Sonata, and my plans to convince 45 first-years that close reading is a quasi-scientific process of evidence-gathering.  Wish me luck.