I do a lot of thinking in the shower. I'm not sure why, but I think it may have to do with the fact that I've always been attracted to, and soothed by, water. I loved swimming as a child and would brave the coldest waves if it meant I'd have my freedom in the ocean. As an adult I still enjoy swimming (although in much warmer temperatures), and I also love baths, showers, hot tubs, even drinking water (it's definitely my drink of choice). My favorite activity in the world, both as a child and now, has always been snorkeling.
So water provides me with fertile ground for thought. Sometimes I'm planning a scene for my novel or an entry for this blog, sometimes I'm creating a lesson plan, and sometimes I may just be having a philosophical discussion with myself.
This was a "philosophical discussion" morning. I'd just been working out, and I'd
been listening to the GooGoo Dolls' "Better Days". I'd gotten it mixed up with another song I have on my iPod, a different song that's terrific, but will probably be the "one-hit wonder". And I was reflecting on how many one-hit wonders there are these days, both in books and music.
We are speeding, hurtling through communications with incredible rapidity. We have so many choices in music, books, movies, TV, food, clothing that I think it's hard for anything to seem really special. I wonder what this says for our musicians and writers - how do they make something stand out? Of the masses and masses of "stuff" we have at our fingertips these days, what will we still want to retain 10 years from now? 20? And why, with the ever-increasing numbers of books and magazines in publication, do we see the same authors in the best seller lists? Are they really the best, or are we so tired of new choices that we grasp for anything familiar? And is this also true for music? How do songs or stories sift to the top?
So now, dear readers, I turn the question back to you - what do you think of all this? What makes something a classic, and why do you think our "top" lists in the arts contain the same names over and over?
And now for some BOOK TALK in advance of Day to Read, January 10, 2008:
Today's topic is author, scientist and producer, Kathy Reichs. I chose Kathy because when I wrote an earlier entry, several of you expressed similar joy in her books. I am just a huge fan. I love Tempe Brennan in her book series, and the very different Temperance Brennan of Bones. I love Andrew Ryan, the love interest of Tempe Brennan from the books, and Seely Booth, Temperance Brennan's partner (and maybe love interest?) from Bones. And I love the fact that Temperance Brennan of Bones writes a mystery series about a forensic anthropologist named Kathy Reichs.
For those who are not familiar with Kathy Reichs and her work, she is one of the fifty or so forensic anthropologists in North America. She works for UNC as a Professor of Anthropology, for the state of North Carolina's Chief Medical Examiner's office and for the province of Quebec, and at these last two, in her capacity as a forensic anthropologist. Her book character, Tempe, shares those jobs, and I'm particularly partial to Reichs's books that are set in Montreal. She brings Montreal to life with great affection, and it has now become a dream of mine to go there. Tempe is also in her forties, separated from a wandering husband to whom she's still attracted, and has finally allowed herself to fall into a relationship with Det. Andrew Ryan of the Montreal Police. She also has a college-age daughter. Themes of family are front and center throughout the series, as are timely issues. Since this is book talk, and not TV talk, I'll leave you with information about Bones via this link.
Kathy Reichs has fun with her world and her projects and it shows. I'm grateful to her for the many, many hours of delightful recreation that she's given to me and so many others.