Tuesday, August 10, 2010
So this is how I spend my days: lovin' on my baby. And oh, am I ever in love! I'm sure I was like this with my other boys, but somehow in the interim between infants I forgot how head over heels this mommy feels when it comes to a fresh-from-God babe. Bliss. I was made for this.
But I was also made for writing... And I'm back at it! Actually, in spite of my lack of sleep, I woke up in the middle of the night a few days ago with a fully fleshed-out scene playing like a movie reel in my mind. Nothing could be more fun for my author side! I got up and hammered it out as fast as I could. Ever since, it's like a floodgate has been opened. In other words, it's time for me to get back into the swing of things. Slowly, of course. ;)
Anyway, today I would like to issue an invitation... But let me give you a little background first. We only have one TV in our home and it happens to be tucked into the basement. I'm a fresh air and sunshine sort of a girl, so I don't go down there often. Truth is, I'd rather read a book upstairs than watch the tube down. So, you can imagine how many books I've read throughout my month-long maternity leave. I am, after all, nursing. I was planning to write a couple posts highlighting some of the incredible reads that have kept me entertained these past weeks. But there is one book that deserves much more than a quick review.
Have any of you read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller? It's a popular book--I'm certainly not the first to recommend it. But I do recommend it. Highly. In fact, I would dare say that A Million Miles is one of the most influential books that I've read in the past ten years. Yup. It was that transformational. And I want to talk to someone about it... It's not enough to have read it. I want to discuss it.
So why not discuss it here? For the next few months, I'm going to host a sort of book club. Every Monday I'll write a post about a chapter of Miller's book. If you want to pick up the book and follow along, great! If not, I believe A Million Miles offers enough challenge and insight to make participation in our discussions meaningful for even a first time reader of my blog. It's a win-win.
Still not convinced? Let me tell you a bit about the book... From the back cover copy: After writing a successful memoir, Donald Miller's life stalled. During what should have been the height of his success, he found himself unwilling to get out of bed, avoiding responsibility, even questioning the meaning of life. But when two movie producers proposed turning his memoir into a movie, he found himself launched into a new story filled with risk, possibility, beauty, and meaning. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years chronicles Miller's rare opportunity to edit his life in a great story...
Ultimately, I believe this book is about helping the rest of us edit our lives into a great story. I know I've been giving my own story a lot of thought these days. And, if that's not compelling enough, Miller spends a lot of time discussing the concept of story itself. What makes a good story? What sorts of characters are readers drawn to? What makes a tale memorable? Though I didn't expect to glean writing advice from this book, I have to admit I learned a lot about my craft.
So, there you have it. For the next several Mondays I'll be posting (and longing for your comments and interactions!) about A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Get thee to a bookstore and join the fun! Or jump in whenever you feel so led. I hope this turns into a very meaningful, and possibly even inspiring, exercise.
If you plan to read along, let's cover the first three chapters by next Monday (Random Scenes, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and They Fell Like Feathers). Don't worry, they're not long, and my guess is you'll actually want to keep reading. See you in a week!