I love used bookstores, especially this one that’s in the next town over. We hit it up a couple times a month; sometimes more, less when we’re broke. Anyway, I took a trip over there this week to see if I could find a good copy of Warriner’s Grammar (I did), Strunk & White (which I also did), and maybe a book about politics (struck out there).
On my way through the cramped aisles I spotted a stack of Elmore Leonard paperbacks. I pawed through them and fished out a copy of Be Cool.
Now, Leonard is an author I’ve heard about for years. At least a dozen people, several of them writers, have recommended him to me. “You’ll love this guy. Dialog, holy Jesus,” they’ve said, or words very close to that. And of course, I let that recommendation sail by.
Don’t you hate that? Missing the crumbs that get tossed your way because you’re too busy, too deeply involved with other authors, or just let the name slide right out of your head and never remember it at the bookstore? I do it all the time. But anyway, Be Cool.
I started in on the book Thursday afternoon and finished it the next day. Fantastic stuff; Leonard is every bit as amazing as I’d been told. And that, of course, made Be Cool a terrible distraction.
I blew off a lot of work those two days, and yeah, I broke an oath I’d made to myself, that the next fiction book I read would be an indie title, since I haven’t done a review in weeks. There’s a bright side on that score, at least: I now feel so guilty, I’ll be setting aside a couple hours each night from here on out for nothing but reading indie books.
In other news, my daughter is here for a little more than a week, something both wonderful and terrifying. Wonderful because I love her and she’s my favorite person in the entire world. Terrifying because I still don’t feel like I’m firing on all cylinders and I doubt very much hanging out with a seven year old is going to fix that.
So there’s my last couple of days: distractions, guilt, and Elmore Leonard. Still, I’m feeling pretty good about the direction I’m heading in. I’m about to start taking notes for a story I want to do. I won’t really be able to talk to anyone until Alex goes back with her mother, but there’s more than enough research to do before then anyway.
Now though, it’s time to grab more coffee.