Thursday, March 09, 2006

From The Infirmary

Her: That's too bright for my eyes. My head hurts. I'm so sick!
Me: I know. Do you want some medicine?
Her, wailing: Noooooo!
Me: You'll feel better. Just a tiny bit? Please?
Her: No! I want to be sick! I want my head to hurt!

And that sums up the day. She woke at 12:30 a.m. and at 5:00 a.m. (Oh wait. I think I already said this.) After accepting a dose of ibuprofen at 7:00 a.m., she has refused all medication, so once the pain relief wore off around noon, she's been miserable. All she wanted was for me to hold her in the "big green chair," and if it weren't for the 9-month old who is determined to stick her fingers in the electrical sockets and her hand into the DVD player and the 15-month old who slept only one hour instead of two and the 3 and a half year old who needed snacks and the 12-year olds who needed my assistance with math, history, and science and, of course, the still-sick 8-year old, I could have held her all day.

My own head began to ache late this afternoon, but that could just be sleep deprivation talking. Even if I don't come down with this illness, I'm not sure I can leave my baby girl while she is so ill. And yet, my grandmother is turning 100! And my relatives will all be assembled from across the country. Sigh.

Now, for a completely unrelated matter. I have just started reading Jane Smiley's Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel. I have long admired Jane Smiley's skill and talent as a novelist. I adored A Thousand Acres, her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, though the story was devastating. I've read nearly all her novels (but not The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton--I own it, but haven't read it yet).

The only complaint I have so far (three or four chapters in) is that the hardback book is so huge that my hands literally fall asleep while I hold it and read. The perils of reading!

I just finished Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love, another Christian "romance" novel. In this novel, as in the last Christian inspirational novel I read (A Family Forever, by Brenda Coulter), the male protagonist wooed the obstinate and clueless (stupid?) female protagonist. Perhaps the plot similarities were not all that similar, but in both books, I found myself exceedingly annoyed by the women's behavior. Are all Christian romance novels populated by women who are too dim to notice the stellar male character who offers them True Love? Or is it just that I happened to read two in a row? (I rarely read so-called Christian fiction.)

I think this is why I shy away from romance novels. I spend the whole book being frustrated and annoyed by the characters--which I know, I know--the story must have conflict and obstacles and all that, but I have little patience for all that nonsense.

I just sneezed. I hope that's not a bad sign.


Blogger judy said...

Hey! Maybe I'm not liking 'Lidie' because the book is so huge! I've been reading it on and off for over a year now, and I just cannot seem to get it finished. I loved the historical fiction part of it, but now that I am nearing the end of the book, I barely give a rip what happens to Lidie. Not enough anyway, to hoist up that heavy book at night.

I tired of Christian fiction from the days when the female always ended up marrying a pastor and lived happily ever after.

Gee Mel, I'd think you'd LOVE those! :)

May you be blessed with health!

5:33 AM  
Blogger portuguesa nova said...

My math skills are failing me here...aren't there just 24 hours in a day? Where do you get reading time?

5:44 AM  
Blogger WordsRock said...

Don't sneeze again! It's rarely a good sign. Besides, I'm doing it for you and I'm doing a darned good job!


5:47 AM  
Anonymous Christy said...

Boy, can I relate to the whole "Christian romantic fiction" thing. I hate those romance novels with a passion - especially the historical ones. You nailed it - the women are usually completely clueless. And I love how all the heroines are supposed to be "fiesty" & "irrepressible". I would call it "annoying". They're really no better than their secular counterparts. Funny how you can put a "Christian" label on something that's basically trash & it's all of a sudden good? Uh-uh.
Anyway, I just discovered your blog through MommyLife and I'm really enjoying you - you're terribly funny and a great writer! We're fighting off illness here, too (going on a MONTH) and I can totally empathize. Hope you feel better soon!!

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Emily said...

You should try "Color the sidewalk for me" by Brandilyn Collins, excellent book. Also, Betty Nordberg's Serenity Bay...excellent books. In my former life I held a book club at Family Chrisitian Stores in DC, loved it!!

10:32 AM  
Blogger yorkist rose said...

"Lidie" It was sort of a chore to get through and I ive in the area where it's set, so I had some added interest there.

I don't love any romance fiction, it all seems kinda dumb to me, except for Jennifer Crusie.

12:26 PM  
Blogger violet said...

(And you have time to read while all this is going on around you?! You are superwoman!)

Agree with you about Redeeming Love. I got very annoyed with the author, feeling she was trying to manipulate me with this stubborn, no-sense character and I wasn't buying it. (I haven't read a book by Francine Rivers since.)

If you want to try another Christian book, not so much romance as just a fun read, try Like a Watered Garden by Patti Hill. Anything by Dale Cramer is also great reading - especially Levi's Will - but his are also not romance.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous cari said...

Surprise!!! I'm finally leaving a comment!! I liked Redeeming Love better when I understood that it was a "modern" day tale of the book of Hosea. I most enjoyed Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series which takes place in the generation immediately following Christ's death in ancient Greece. It was inspiring!! Give her another chance Mel!! (Her novelettes about the five women in the geneology are good as well, but I know that your reading stash is approximately 2 years deep.) Also check out Ted Dekker's Black, Red, White trilogy - a bit Lord of the Rings-ish, but some unique and awesome pictures of Christian theology.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Gem said...

You gotta try Kristin Heitzmann! The men are just as flawed as the women, lol.

7:25 PM  

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