Monday, November 16, 2009

Books: Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

As I previously shared, I went on a shopping spree on scrap books, and one of these books is The Big Picture by Stacy Julian. In the book, she listed books that inspire her in her scrapbooking projects, I copied her list thinking that I’ll check them out the next time I go window shopping in our local bookstores. She had only good things to say about a particular book: Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. She said that it is a must-read for all scrapbookers. That the author has proven that ordinary life is interesting, important and valuable. Aha! That was enough for me… I got really curious and interested.

I got the chance last Friday. Hubby and I went to Powerplant Mall in Rockwell, Makati. Of course I simply had to pass by Fully Booked =) I asked customer service if they had the book in stock.. after a few minutes of frowning into the computer monitor… his face lit up, yes ma’am we have one copy! Lucky me!

He proceeded to ask an assistant to bring it over to us. When I got it, hmmm… it wasn’t really what expected, it didn’t really ring any bells and whistles.. It was a simple paperback…bearing my favorite color combination: blue and yellow. =) There was a simple upturned umbrella on the cover.. and these simple words: I have not survived against all odds. I have not lived to tell. I have not witnessed the extraordinary. This is my story.

That’s what struck me. Those statements summarized my whole life! Haha!

Although I was hooked, I wasn’t reeled in that easily. How do I say it? It wasn’t exactly love at first sight for me. When I opened the book I initially couldn’t understand what it was supposed to be. I had dates and lists and tables of random tidbits. I felt confused. This was supposed to be an inspiring book, and yet as I skimmed the pages I didn’t feel inspired at all.

So I stood there, in the middle of Fully Booked, trying to decide whether to purchase this supposedly great book… in the end, I decided to trust Stacy Julian (she is a scrapbooking guru after all). The book wasn’t that expensive anyway at P546.00.

When I started to read the book… I still didn’t like it that much. I just kept on. Until slowly, I started to understand…I started to relate…

And then I came upon an entry: “Tries to write fiction in a creative class in college. Keeps writing the truth, stuff that actually happened“. Ding! That’s me again! For the longest time a writer for me is a writer of fiction, and since I can’t even come up with a fairly decent short story, I have always cringed at the thought/dream of me being a writer. Friends keep on telling me I write well, but how can they understand that I write well only when I am sharing my own thoughts and feelings? How can I make them understand that I need to be inspired/moved by what I am writing about to be able to write well. All the while I though I was just a literary freak that way. Writers are supposed to write prose, and amazing stories… not short, simple, irregular statements of thoughts and ramblings. AKR understands! Hehehe! She even wrote a book about it! She went on to share how mastering the segue worries her, how her writing is such that each paragraph does not drift fluidly and seamlessly into the next. Goose bumps ran up my arms. It’s like she’s a kindred spirit!

I bought this book to inspire me in my scrapbooking projects, instead it has inspired me in my writing…

Thanks for the inspiration… thanks for understanding… thanks for giving due credit and attention to the much-unappreciated ordinary life.

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