Saturday, June 07, 2008

The First Book (a blog you should be reading)

Just when I'd almost lost faith in the publishing industry/my future as a writer/life in general, the First Book came along and reminded me that every author who is published sold a first book sometime. The First Book in a blog interviewing authors who've recently released their first novels--how they got published, what their novel is about, how they write, and, most importantly, whether or not they have cats.

I haven't read a lot so far, but I've thoroughly enjoyed what I've read so far, and that's not just because I'm procrastinating with it instead of writing. Put this one on the blogroll, my friends. You won't regret it.

On a more Zen-like note, my weekly skimming of TIME magazine revealed that the one article in the whole frikkin' thing that wasn't about Barack Obama* was fascinating. It was about The 100 Thing Challenge (which doesn't seem to have a website, and that's strangely fitting) where people are trying to cull their belongings down to 100 things. I first heard the idea of living with only 100 items when I read the Gospel According to Larry (the author of which probably deserves credit for this movement, but I digress.)

It looks like people are taking the plunge. A Guy Named Dave is working on cutting down his stuff, as is someone who is stuck in stuff.

My question is: what counts? Larry was pretty monastic in the novel--he counted everything that he owned as a seperate object (pairs of shoes count of one object, obviously, but apart from that, no breaks). Stuck in Stuff isn't counting books (don't blame her). Dave isn't counting the things he shares with his family, like the couch and the kitchen. But say there was an official set of rules. How would they count music? Would furniture be included? How would they quantify a bed--would each blanket and pillow and sheet count as a separate possession, or it all be one thing? And what about things that you don't have for very long, like food or toilet paper or tissue boxes? What would your rules be if you decided to take the plunge?

*I like Obama a lot, but four articles on him? Four? Have you no shame, TIME?