Several weeks ago, I read Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, a memoir by Anna Quindlen, a well-known journalist, columnist, and novelist. As I always do with a library book (since I don’t have to decide whether or not to buy it), I waited until I’d finished it to read the reviews on Amazon. I like reading reviews after I’ve read a book. Sometimes, it’s a little like being a fly on the wall at a book club, and reading other’s thoughts on a book often gives me insight or clarity that I’d earlier lacked. Besides, if I read them before, it can color my own opinion.
I liked the book quite a lot and was amazed—since our lives are so radically different—at how many of her reflections and observations I could relate to. She’s famous. She’s wealthy (with a “summer” house). She’s well-educated. She’s had a pretty easy life. I’m not. I’m not. I’m not. And I haven’t. Nevertheless, I found myself smiling and nodding in recognition a lot as I read.
So, I was very surprised to read so many negative reviews (although there were lots of folks that felt as I did). I was struck by how many people seemed to feel that her life of privilege rendered her incapable of relating to ordinary people and that ordinary people would be incapable to relating to her life. I can say that as a very ordinary person myself, I didn’t feel that way at all. And since she lives a life of fame and privilege, I don’t find it particularly surprising that she writes from that perspective.
But the thing that struck me most was how many people said that the writing was “egocentric” and “self-centered.” One person said that it was all about “me, me, me.”
People. Hello?? It is a MEMOIR. It’s supposed to be about me, me, me! (Or in this case, her, her, her.)
Anyway, for some reason reading all those negative reviews made me think about my recent Thirty Days of Grateful Praise. I started wondering just how many people might have thought that about my writing. That is, that there is too much “Me, me, me” on my blog.
This notion, of course (since I am a ridiculously neurotic person and have felt particularly neurotic lately), sent me into a state of being unable to write anything on my blog. Hence, the lengthy blog silence. I do apologize.
So…haha…I have just written over 400 words to tell you that I can’t write. Only to discover, to my surprise, that perhaps I can.
Nevertheless. I WAS going to simply post photos of the last month here at the Doublewide Ranch, so even though I’ve now written more than 450 words, I’ll post the photos anyway. Then, there will be 6,478 words.
Yes, I know. As we say here in the South, I’m a mess.