Notes on a Week

I know I promised, barring disaster, a Fall Reading List, but I woke up thinking meh. Suffice it to say that on my nightstand are Anne Lamott’s Operating Instructions, Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder, a book by Eleni Sikelianos called The Book of Jon, a book about tigers that my husband recommended, and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, which I started last night. Oh, and those damn New Yorkers.

Been a little crazy in Crazytown of late. I remarked to another preschool mom the other day that I am a “yes-sayer.” She said breezily, “Oh, I’m not. I’m so good at putting up boundaries and saying ‘no’ that sometimes I look around and realize I haven’t seen anyone all day!” I instantly liked her.

But not me: I took on a bigger position at the school because they needed someone, I decided to revamp one of the major assignments in my composition class, I agreed to a more aggressive blogging schedule over on popcorn, I took an extra shift in the writing center?you know, the usz.

And fun stuff, too. My friend A. is getting married this weekend. I arrived at her house yesterday morning to find her and her family dreadfully hungover. The wedding dress was slung across a chair in the living room. The bride answered the door in false eyelashes, heavy mascara, and sweatpants, talking on her cell phone. Her mother told me three times, “I’m so glad you’re here!”

There’s a short story in there somewhere, I know it.

I’ve coined a new phrase: “procrastiblogging.” As in, blogging instead of writing your book or doing your schoolwork. Not that I’m guilty of this or anything, but you know.

Have been thinking I want to start a food blog…

Need to learn how to use Twitter…

I have had a good idea about how to treat all the extraneous characters in my memoir?all the fellow travelers, the hostel owners, the guides, the people who are a very real part of the fabric of life when you’re backpacking for a year but who make the fabric of a book a little overcrowded. I think I have figured out how to retain those characters without them being too distracting.

I am ruminating on titles, too. I have two possibilities that are exciting me a little (still top secret, sorry).

The end stage of a book is excruciating, you know that? I keep telling myself I just need to work harder at finishing it (maybe true; see above about being compulsive yes-sayer and procrastiblogging). On the other hand, I remember that writing is a process and that this process may be slower at some times than at other times. That maybe dragging out this last revision is just





And to quote Garrison Keillor, here is a poem for today.


God grant me the serenity to work things

hard, and carefully.

I accept the things I cannot change. I lie

fallow between mountains.

God grant me the hamster wheel, fly wheel, nautilus.

Copper pipe with brass fittings.

God grant me the Mill river, all in a sheet

over the dam. Grant me the wide Connecticut

and everything that falls beneath it

because it is fast, and silent,

and sometimes I feel breathless.

(? Susie Meserve, 2012)



Readers! I made a bit of a tactical error way back when, by creating a mailing list AND a blog with its own separate...


  1. hopeforheather

    How do you find time to read and post on your blog? 🙂 I always say each night, “I will NOT read blogs I will READ dangit!” Then sure enough…I’m searching other blogs to fill my nights. I have 3 books I’m reading (kinda) and I want to finish them before Christmas. 🙂

    PS, Twitter is the BEST!

    • Susie Meserve

      It is? Tell me how to use it! : )

      Honestly, I don’t know where I find time for most things. I’m kind of a hyper, overscheduled person (could you tell?). Whatcha reading?

      • hopeforheather

        I just did that “Goodreads” on my blog…but frankly, I don’t know much about that. HAH. I have “Eat, Pray, Love” that I started in July. I LOVE THAT BOOK. I have 2 others, “Dying to be me” and “The House on Mango Street.”. GREAT books. I love non-fiction but sometimes I need some good fiction to lighten the mood.

        Twitter…well, it depends on what you want to use it for, in my opinion. Do you want to use it to promote your blog? Do you want to connect with people who share you common interests? I first got onto Twitter to connect with rare disease folks and raise awareness for my 2 rare diseases, but then I’ve found some Days of Our Lives fun stuff and some other things as well. I actually don’t promote my blog too much on it, only on occasion. 🙂

      • Susie Meserve

        Heather, I need to learn it for Popcorn. So, mostly blog promotion and just getting that word out there.

        I’ll figure it out. You’re reading some good stuff!

  2. Katherine Deumling

    Oh Susie, I love it! If this is what procrastiblogging looks like, please, please don’t stop! hugs from PDX.

    • Susie Meserve

      Oh, thanks my dear! Love to you up north there.


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