Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Continuing Education

November 14, 2007

I believe in a life of constant learning. I love Mental Multivitamin's blog; her motto is "Read. Think. Learn." I am often amazed at what I learn each and every week as a parent who educates her children at home. I never cease to be delighted with the sheer amount of information of all sorts that I have yet to learn. There are always surprises in this life.

Last night was one of those nights in which I felt again that magnets of both academia and of the writing world. The author Kaye Gibbons presented a lecture at our local Maryville College, and our Book Club made this its monthly outing. (We were all supposed to read her first novel, Ellen Foster, but none of us did. Mine came in the mail today at least! And I actually have read all of her other novels except for her newest.) Anyway, back to Kaye. We arrived a few minutes late and had to sit on the floor, but it was well worth our sore butts. Kaye was a wonderfully funny speaker. Vibrant and with a good dose of dysfunction that is necessary in order for one to be a truly successful Southern writer. Off-hand she mentioned a phone conversation with her friend Lee Smith, who is one of my favorite southern writers. And another time she referred to a conversation she had with Eudora Welty. Contemplating moving to New York City, Gibbons asked Ms. Welty if it would take the Southern out of her to move to NYC. Ms. Welty replied, "Kaye, if your cat has kittens in the oven, do you call them muffins?" Imagine having a conversation with Eudora Welty.

And so. After the talk and reading, we headed over to our new favorite place, Capitol Coffee. On the 5-minute trip from campus to coffee I had to work through the "how come she published her first novel at age 27 and raised three kids while churning out best-sellers and I haven't?" etc. etc. But I rarely spend much time in the throes of self-deprecation. Because here's the thing: I would not trade these years with my children for even a best-seller. I am not making a judgment on Gibbons' parenting skills; for all I know, she could have been a phenomenally attentive parent. But I know that for me personally, I have to do one or the other. I cannot parent wholeheartedly and write wholeheartedly. And so, for now, I choose these three faces. Someday there will be quiet mornings and long afternoons, and I will throw myself back into my writing.

The good news is, Heath at Capitol Coffee asked us to try out a new drink, which a frozen coffee/ Ghirardelli Chocolate Overdose kind of thing. Who can suffer from melancholy when drinking ridiculous amounts of chocolate? I'm pretty sure it isn't medically possible.

In the meantime, between learning with my kids and envying famous authors, I am picking up all sorts of new vocabulary words while I do occasional work for my friend Angie, who lives in Business World. Here are today's new words, which come from the latest issue of Assisted Living Executive (for which I do web formatting). I think those three words would make a snappy motto, a la Mental Multivitamin. I may start including them at the end of each post:

Psychographically. Incentivizing. Telehealth.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments! Thanks for taking the time to leave one. I have comment moderation on, so your comment will take a little bit to appear.