FaN Notes for July 30, 2010

So I’m going back and forth with myself. I decided to stop checking my Amazon stats until August 1st, b/c it was driving me crazy, but now I’m so used to relative sanity, that I kind of don’t want to check the stat on Sunday. I make it a policy to do the things I’m scared of, but I also make it a policy to aggressively attend to my mental well-being. Not for the first time, these two policies are in conflict. I don’t want to be a scaredy-cat, but I also don’t want to be an obsessive. What would you do? Let me know in the comments. And while you ponder that, here are my thoughts on this week’s FaN.

Yes, of course this photo of a homemade In-N-Out burger was my favorite pic of the week. Click on it to see the original item.

1. Man, do I feel Kelli Bielema’s woes re her out-of-control To Do list. Someone on Facebook suggested putting only three things on your to do list a day, so as to feel more accomplished. While a good suggestion, I think I’d be afraid that only having three things on my list would make me feel like I wasn’t accomplishing enough. Also I tend to use my to do list as a memory tool as well, which is why I guess it gets so long and out of control.

2. Monique King-Viehland’s article on the Tea Party sparked an interesting debate about ignoring verses speaking out. I’m a big fan of aggressively ignoring people and organizations like the Tea Party, because I really do think they’re fueled by our attention. But one commenter argued quite smartly that we can’t afford to ignore the Tea Party if they really are turning into a hate group. It really is the old “if a tree falls in the forest” debate.

3. I’ve been told by so many people that they only read non-fiction. That makes me sad, not only because it means that their imagination is getting little exercise, but also b/c I don’t think there are many fiction readers that just refuse to read non-fiction. Case in point, Amy Brown’s review of Sam Kean’s THE DISAPPEARING SPOON. If this fiction lover can embrace non-fiction, then should non-fiction lovers give fiction a chance? That’s all.

4. I completely agree with Joe Rusin that vacations are better after you take them … except when they aren’t. Occasionally there’s a vacation that is so good, it sparkles as you’re having it. On my last full day with Gudrun in Paris, we were walking over the Seine, after a fantastic lunch and a two-scooper of Berthillion ice cream, and I was literally stopped in my tracks by the beauty of not just Paris, but also the entire vacation. And I would argue that my memory of that moment isn’t better than that moment. But that really is the exception to the rule. In general, Joe is right, usually the memories of vacations past are the best bit.

5. Speaking of Gudrun, I loved her article about public speaking and her new job as a teacher of Filmmaking in Paris. It’s funny, b/c I was terrified of the public speaking aspect of my summer book tour, but I ended up loving it. Though, I do agree that it is physically exhausting. I had my last book event of the summer at Esowon Books yesterday, and I woke up feeling wrecked, just like I have the morning after every speech I’ve given. I wonder why that is?