Remember last week's survey in which I blindfolded you, led you to a bookstore, spun you around three times, and set you loose? Then, notebook in hand, I slyly followed you through the aisles.
Despite what the doomsayers and curmudgeons in the publishing world say about the public's increasing hunger for the "real story," (i.e. non-fiction) a surprising number of you headed straight for the fiction section. One of you was even kind enough to say you were looking for my (as yet) unpublished novel. (Thank you, Quillhill.)
So okay, it's probably a skewed survey. Or should I say definitely a skewed survey.(The fact that your second choice was poetry proved that the readership here is a) atypical and b) particularly wonderful.
Not that there's anything less marvelous about the other categories. Like many of you, I've left my muddy footprints in every corner of the bookstore.
The official tally went like this:
Fiction: 63 points
(The always mysterious) Other: 36
Spiritual Inspiration: 20
How to: 14
But what's proving to be the best part of the surveys is the uniqueness of the comments, and the things I've learned in the process.
This week, for instance, I learned what I'm missing in life when Sharon Hurlbut described the wonders of Powell's. And Kathryn pointed out a great resource she'd heard about on NPR, the PaperbackSwap.
And I particularly loved Peter's description of his annual pilgrimage to the book store:
But whether you rode on fat bicycle tires to a book store with beach sand on the floor, or got lost in Powell's for days, or travelled with your fingers to Amazon, I thank you for sharing your trip.
This week's survey was inspired by a question our family discussed recently on a long car trip. When you think of your best holiday memory, what is the first thing you recall?
a) a gift
b) a spiritual experience
c) a person
d) a particular moment
Though I've tried to stay out of it in the past, this time I want to play, too. My best memory was d) a moment--and one that was so seemingly ordinary that I have no idea why it stands out from all the other moments in all the other holidays of my life. It was Christmas Eve about eight years ago and our house was full of family and friends, spread across several rooms. I was wearing a long silky skirt, my legs curled under me on the couch, a glass of wine in hand. There was a fire in the fireplace and lights in every window; the Chieftains were playing on the stereo. But the real live music was the laughter and talk that flowed around the room, and looped through the house. For just a moment, I stopped and absorbed it all--the warmth, the light, the sounds--and I knew that this was it. This was happiness.
Peace and goodwill to all!