Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Monday Musing: No Real Theme

Starting is always the hardest part. Do I ease into the post with an introductory paragraph, or dive right in?

It’s supposed to be fun. Over the last few weeks I’ve been reading Stacy McKitrick’s agonizings over the Pittsburgh Penguins’ playoff fortunes. She’s up! She’s down! She’s up! She’s down! (Today, she’s down) And as I read it, I think, “Wait, isn’t sports supposed to be fun?” 

This year for me was one of the most frustrating years I can recall, as my Bruins started out of the gate like a house Dumpster afire (and here’s something that’s got me thinking: why is “a house afire” good, while a “Dumpster fire” or “tire fire” is bad? Dumpster fires may stink, but at least it’s getting rid of something we don’t really want), then rocketed all the way to the top of the division and looked like a lock for the playoffs before sinking into a tarpit in March. I can’t recall ever being more aggravated while watching this team, and on several occasions, I found myself thinking, “I can’t watch this.” Yet I always went back. Glutton for punishment.

For my part, I thought that the Pengins/Sharks game 3 was the best of the lot so far, the most even game from start to finish. We’ll see what happens from here. Here’s hoping for great hockey!

Here’s to re-reading. Last night at dinner the subject of re-reading books came up, and my wife mentioned one (and now I can’t remember what it was that touched this off, or which book it was) that was one of the few books she’s ever re-read. She’s not big on re-reading. For me, I re-read a lot, possibly more than I should. This weekend, I finished my third re-read of Robert Penn Warren’s All The King’s Men–and found that it just seems to get better each time.

I read it for the first time about eight years ago–it was a new edition, released in conjunction with a new film adaptation–and liked it. Probably three or four years I read it again and liked it more. Last week, having exhausted my supply of unread books for the moment, I grabbed it. Even better.

Still have no idea how it actually works!

It’s tough to play video games (particularly the puzzle-type games) over and over again. Even if you let a lot of time pass between playings, all the things that made the game challenging the first time come back fairly fast. “Oh, I remember this, I have to do this to get in the door.” Maybe it’s the writer’s mind at work here, but re-reading this book, I’d hit an event that would trigger a bit of memory: “Oh, right, this is going to happen to that character later on.” Rather than spoil it, it was insight into how a master writer did things. It was a little like getting to look at the intricate inner workings of a Swiss watch. And it’s beautifully written. Now let’s see if I can learn anything from it.

Vindication! (sort of) Remember back when Frozen was still a thing, and I posted this? The Hans Heel Turn never sat right with me. Apparently, someone else feels the same way, and has gotten to the bottom of the whole thing. Here’s an amusing–and eye-opening–read: “You Really Have No Idea Who The Villain of Frozen Is” (and be sure to read the photo captions in that article, too). Yeah, it’s from Cracked, but still–it all makes sense now!

That’s about all I’ve got for today; how about you?

 Image credit: Mechanism, by Alex Brown, used under Creative Commons license.

3 Responses

  1. Sports are fun–when you're playing them. Watching is a whole 'nother issue. Ask Pasqual Dupuis. He's going nuts watching.

    Frankly, I hope to be up again tonight. With my heart intact. 🙂

    I've re-read books all the time before I started writing. Especially with the Dark Tower series. By the time the next book came out, I'd re-read the previous ones so I could remember what happened! Nowadays, I have so many unread books, it's hard to think about re-reading. Well, until the mood strikes me, I guess. I've been itching to re-read The Stand. I just love that book.

  2. I can relate to Dupuis–some years ago I had to watch a team I played for win a championship while I sat out with an injury–you'd much rather be playing! Hmm, it may be almost time to re-read The Stand….

  3. Sports are a path to heartbreak. Yet I cried, ridiculously happy, when Peyton won his final Superbowl this year. I guess we're all saps for a good sports story! I used to re-read books a lot 'cause they were so expensive. I must have read Ender's Game 10 times 'cause I couldn't afford new books. Now there are so many ebooks out there at all prices, and so many author friends holding giveaways and the like, I have no real reason to re-read. That said, I just decided it's been enough time and I'm going to re-read Hamilton's SciFi books from Night's Dawn Trilogy on, which I have in actual paperback (since they're 20 yrs old.) It's going to be a real treat! 🙂

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