A Brief Hiatus at The Green Study

The Green Study will return on June 15th, 2017.

canstockphoto1397569It’s down to the wire on getting my novel draft out to some amenable friends and family for reader input. Thanks to my skillful procrastination, this will be like writing my senior thesis in college, except that I won’t be running to someone’s office, reeking of all-night coffee, cigarettes and stale sweat, clutching a mangled stack of papers. Fortunately for my beta readers, I will only be repelling the postal carrier and she’s used to that.

Until my return in a couple of weeks, I leave you with the latest bits and bobs from my brain. I’m having a clear out so that I can wrestle my unwieldy novel into compliance.


canstockphoto5811625On a holiday to honor and memorialize the war dead, you can also get futons 20% off. I tend to agree with some veterans that Memorial Day should never have been moved in the 1960s to create a three-day holiday weekend. I associate the smell of barbecue with the day, more than the stench of war. I say move it back to May 30th and create a three day voting weekend during a warmer time of year. Let’s make voting a bigger deal, in order to truly honor those who have fallen.


Yesterday, I went off to do my favorite thing – peruse a used bookstore. It’s a couple of miles away and I have never left without a stack of books. Half-Price Books opened at the end of a little strip mall ten years ago when I first left a full-time job and it became my bit of escapism.

canstockphoto20059048My daughter and I spent many hours wandering about the bookstore, always making discoveries. She’d find the latest in a series she was reading and I’d discover a collection of stories from a favorite writer. It was the thrill of the hunt, the surprise discoveries on a random table that made it a pleasure. The more jumbled a bookstore, the happier I am.

Yesterday, I stood in front of an empty storefront, a realtor’s sign taped up haphazardly. I could not explain the feeling of sadness that came over me. A sense of loss. My daughter grew up with this store, toddling about the picture and activity books until her teenage slump into the young adult novel section. I’d grown up here too, moving from parenting advice books to gardening tomes to the last few years of writing books.

Enough has been written about the demise of brick-and-mortar stores and the death of bookstores. For me, this feels personal. I was thinking about the fact that if I ever made any decent money, I’d open a used bookstore in my area. Bookstores tell me about the culture of a community. My community just opened a shooting range, Dunkin’ Donuts and has five drugstores within a 5 mile radius. I’m a stranger in a strange land.


canstockphoto6557234It’s raining this morning again. The windows are open and Mr. Cardinal is making a racket from the fence, letting all know far and wide that this patch is his. My husband and daughter are asleep. The cats have resumed napping after breakfast and the coffee is still fresh. A moment of gratitude to start the day. And then back to writing.

Thank you to readers, old and new, for reading, liking and/or commenting on posts at The Green Study.

You make blogging a genuine pleasure!

32 thoughts on “A Brief Hiatus at The Green Study

  1. Good luck with the writing! Hope you find yourself in a zone where you lose track of time and the words flow. I share your sense of loss over the. bookstore. So many of my favourites have closed over the years. Bookstores have always been the place I’ve escaped to, somewhere I could lose myself and leave reality behind.


    1. Thanks, Fransi. I just hope that it looks like a novel when I’m done, but it’s now or never. It’s taken me forever to write and I’m anxious to move on! I was surprised how sad the bookstore closing made me. It makes me regret any books I bought online, but I know this is the direction we’re moving in – even our book choices are going to be a computer-generated algorithms.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If you subscribed through email or followed this blog and had it added to your reader, you can do one of two things. You can un-follow, or you can change the setting in your reader to not send email notifications when I post. The notifications are based on your settings.

      UPDATE: I just discovered that WordPress now has a function to delete followers. You have been deleted, so you will no longer receive notifications, nor will I show up in your reader.


    1. Our suburb has been trying to get businesses and has, for the most part, done a good job – we have a good grocery store finally. The drugstore thing is baffling. We have CVS and Walgreen in some locations, a block from each other. If it were a healthy competition and it benefited consumers, that would be great, but they’re equally expensive. It really does say a lot about our culture. I’m just not sure what!


      1. Well, we have more fast food options to make us ill and more drugstores to get medication for our illnesses. In my mind, that means the centrifugal force in society is over-indulgence and fix-its rather than quality of life in body and mind.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Luanne. There used to be a paradox of choice – we had the freedom to choose, with an ever-expanding array of choices to the point it could be paralyzing. Now we have the illusion of choice – different stores selling the exact same products, all decided by algorithms.


  2. Get ‘er done…I’m just getting mine restarted and made a plan and commitment today to launch by September..:see you on the other side! Bon voyage! Bill


    1. Thanks, Bill. Good on you for setting the wheels in motion. I had a conversation with an acquaintance about this book writing business and she said that she had a great idea for a book, but didn’t have the time to write it. It was like a visit from the ghost of Christmas past and that felt like a good thing. It feels like I’ve made progress to finally be in the eye of things and not just passively wishing.


  3. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ––๐Ÿผโค๏ธ๐ŸŽ‰
    Sending lots of positive energy and wishes for anything else you need for this interim push!! You GO!! ๐Ÿ˜


  4. Hi Michelle. I’ve worried a lot about the whole ‘unreliable narrator’ thing too. There’s a lot of writers who explore this issue really well and my favourite would have to be Kazuo Ishiguro, and the unreliability of memory in general is an overarching theme in his work. My way to reconcile it has been to focus on the underlying truth of the memory rather than the details. For example, if you felt abused by someone then you felt abused. The fact that you thought an incident happened on a Tuesday in May but some sibling points out it was really a Wednesday in August just adds unnecessary distraction. Hope the writing goes well.


    1. When Tim O’Brien talks about his book The Things They Carried, he says in fiction that something is true if it feels true, differentiating between factual and fictional reality. I think about that when writing, whether I’m writing something that is intentionally truthful or working on fiction. So when you talk about the “truth of the memory”, I understand exactly what you are saying. If we wrote a plodding, accurate account of something it might not convey the actual truth. The feelings we walk away with, the lessons we learn, those are likely the more truthful bits of the story. Thanks for sharing your perspective and best wishes in your writing!


  5. What a crazy Sunday afternoon! One minute I was reading The Boston Globe and then…I discovered you and The Green Study.
    Good luck with your book. I’ll be following you!
    Now it’s upstairs to my writing room. Gotta place a post-it note on my computer screen…….


    1. I’ve been going through my summer posts to make sure I hadn’t missed comments and saw yours. Sorry for the late reply (it’s been a long summer!). Glad you found my blog and thanks for following. I hope that your writing has gone well this summer. Mine seemed to hit a wall, but I’m getting back to it.


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