Sunday Bookends: When ‘best selling’ authors are a total let down; taking the dog to the groomers; and the perils of living in a rural area

Sunday Bookends is my week in review, so to speak. It’s where I share what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been reading, what I’ve been watching, what I’ve been listening to, and what I’ve been writing. Feel free to share a link or comment about your week in the comments.

What Has Been Occurring

Tuesday morning I woke about the time my husband was leaving for work and sent him a text instead of leaving my warm bed, to tell him I loved him and to have a good day. When I closed my eyes to try to go back to sleep (but never did), I thought about the winding road he drives on to get to work and how it’s made even more dangerous by the threat of deer running out in front of cars and large water trucks taking up more than half of the already narrow road. I prayed for his safety and dozed for a few more moments before starting my day.

Little Miss and I took Zooma the Wonderdog to a local groomers so at the end of the day, when Hubby pulled into the driveway, I let the dog out so he could see her new “do”. The kitten snuck out at the same time and I was chasing her when I noticed my husband was looking very annoyed at the front of his car, taking photos of it with his phone. I knew that wasn’t a good sign. When I saw the smashed in windshield I hugged him and told him I was glad he was alive. More than one fatal accident in our area has been caused by a deer going all the way through a front windshield so the fact he was still standing meant more to me than having to figure out how to pay to fix the damage. The deer hit the left fender, rolled up over the windshield and the top of the car and my husband thinks it kept going. All he knows is that he didn’t see if after that.

Our insurance claimed we had some huge deductible so they won’t cover any of the repairs. Par for the course in our life. We will deal with the repair somehow. I’m just glad we didn’t have hospital expenses or a funeral on top of the car damage.

Other than that, our week was fairly routine and very boring. It was so boring I didn’t even pick up my camera this week so the only photos you’ll have for this week are from the smashed windshield. I would share with you the photos of how awful our dog looks after going to the groomers but one, she looks awful, (little tiny head and huge body because it was the like the groomer only half did the job), and two, I haven’t been able to get her to sit still long enough to get it. My pups long hair I love was pretty much butchered and we’ve decided we will do her grooming from now on.

What I’m Reading

I read a Fannie Flagg book last week and to say I was underwhelmed is an understatement. I was totally shocked at how the entire book “told” a story but never “showed” anything. There were no character descriptions and the dialogue was like I was reading Fannie’s outline for the book. It was like reading a tenth grade book report instead of an actual book. It was just the oddest thing because she’s a New York Times best seller and I couldn’t figure out how based on this book. The story was good, but the telling of it was…well, just a “telling.”

The book was The All-Girls Filling Station Last Reunion. The premise was truly interesting, but the way she just stated the story instead of showing us what happened was so strange. I think maybe she sent her outline for the novel and the publisher accidentally published it and was too embarassed to admit their mistake and retract it.

Listen, I’m not the best writer either but this read like a teenager telling a blow-by-blow telling of their day. In fact, most teenagers could have added more feeling and description to this novel than Fannie did.. Fannie Flagg, as sweet as she seems in real life, should have hired someone to add descriptions and inflections to her novel to make the reader really feel like they were there instead of feel like tey were being presented an oral pesenation on how paint dries.

So, the bottom line? I agreed with this Amazon review: “Although the story was good, the writing was amateur, which is surprising. Fannie Flagg has been one of my favorite writers, but this book was a complete let down. In good writing, the reader gets lost in the story, with no sense of the fact that he or she is in a fictional world. As I read this novel, I was aware at all times of the writing. The character development was often trite and under developed. There was far too much telling of the story–and not nearly enough showing. The story had potential, and with more development, could have been fabulous. Unfortunately, it just fell short.

This doesn’t mean I’ll never try Fannie Flagg again, of course. She’s a good storyteller (She wrote the book that the movie Fried Green Tomatoes was based on) and maybe this book was just a fluke.

I’m still reading Silas Marner and guess what? Once I got over Elliot’s tendency to “over describe” (I know, first I complain about an author that never describes and then I complain about one that describes too much. I’m never happy), and the older language (the book was written in 1861), I got caught up in the story and have been enjoying it. Unfortunately, because the language is a little more of a challenge than the other books I’ve been reading, I can’t read it late at night or I fall asleep. I feel bad I complained about it last week, and the week before, as if I was suffering through reading it. The story really is interesting. There is something for everyone in this one — romance (of sorts), a sweet story about an outcast who wants to adopt a little girl, a traitourous brother, a family scandal and family secrets.

The Boy and I are reading this as part of his Economics/English curriculum (from Notgrass) and he has gotten so into the story he’s been reading ahead of what I assign to him, which is fine by me. I like to see him engaged in something other than Minecraft or Harry Potter (though I don’t mind either of them. I just like that he’s broadening his horizons.).

As if I don’t have enough to read I’m also finishing Charles Martin’s book, which I mentioned last week, and just started Expired Refuge (Last Chance County Book One) by Lisa Phillps.

What I’m Watching

My husband and I watched a couple more episodes of Shakespeare & Hathaway Season 3 on Britbox and last night we watched Death on the Nile, a Hercule Poirot movie from 2004 staring Emily Plunt and David Suchet (who is well known for playing Poirot from 1989 to 2013.). This version of Death on the Nile was a television movie. A remake is being released this year starring Gal Gadot and Kenneth Branagh. See it in a theater near — oh, never mind. See it on your TV later this year.

For those who don’t know, Shakespeare & Hathaway is a fairly light crime show about a private detective team. They became a team sort of by accident. The woman, Luella Shakespeare, came to PI Frank Hathaway, to find out if her fiance is cheating on her. After the investigation the two become a team as she goes into business with him. It’s a fairly formuliac show, but I still like it and the reporte between the two main characters. Sebastian, Frank’s assistant, makes the show even better.

I’m also watching some rather sappy Hallmark movies. I’d rather not talk about that, though.

What I’m Writing

I’m still working on The Farmer’s Daughter (even though I did not share a chapter on Friday, but instead lamented on how I’m hating the story right now) and on Tuesday Quarantined, the novella, will publish on Amazon. On the blog I published:

Faithfully Thinking: Keep Your Eyes Focused on Christ, Not on the Storm;

Randomly Thinking: Pets are Trying to Kill us and Are Cats Inherhently Evil? I Say Yes.

and I shared a guest blog post on Blessings by Me about ways to support your immunity.

As I mentioned above, I don’t have any Photos of the Week this week but will be sure to take some this week to share for next week.

How about you? What’s been happening in your life? What are you reading, watching, writing, listening to, etc.? Let me know in the comments.

Published by

Lisa R. Howeler

I'm a mom, a wife, a writer, a photographer and a former journalist. I write a little bit about a lot of things on my blog Boondock Ramblings. In September of 2019 I self-published my first novel, A Story to Tell and published another one, A New Beginning, in May of 2020. I enjoy John Wayne and Cary Grant movies, Jan Karon's books, and I have an electic taste in music. Welcome to my blog and feel free to poke around. Fridays are Fiction Fridays, where I share a piece of fiction I'm working on.

11 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: When ‘best selling’ authors are a total let down; taking the dog to the groomers; and the perils of living in a rural area

    1. Ha! yes. We are still in the middle of it, but enjoying it. It’s so funny because my son will come down and say “Where do I keep the notes for the literature stuff from Economics? In economics or English?” I tell him English. “Isn’t it cool we can use this curriculum for English and Economics?” I ask him. He is much less enthused about that than I am. Hmmm….well, maybe when he gets older. 😉 But he is enjoying both of the books and I think Economics is one of his favorite courses so far this year. Thank you for the curriculum!

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  1. Thank goodness your husband was okay, I love that you’d just prayed for his safety that morning.
    We now groom our Yorkies ourselves for the very same reason!!
    Made me laugh when you said you’d rather not talk about the sappy Hallmark movies😊 I enjoy watching some of their Christmas movies during the Holidays❤️
    Enjoy your week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Hallmark movies are just so hit and miss. I feel like I go through ten of them (fast forwarding through half of it) to find one or two good ones. I did find a show on the app that I like called Signed, Sealed, Delivered. If I don’t finish them all before my subscription runs out, I might have to renew it for another month.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh nice!! I have to watch them at my moms or my in-laws because we don’t have cable but it’s kind of a treat…except some of them are cheesy…I agree you have to do some digging to find a good one!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hmm I’ll have to look into that…There are some movies on pure flix that I’m interested in watching and I suppose since we have the internet now I could probably do so..

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  2. Glad your husband is alive and well. Sorry about the botched grooming session. My brother lives in Iowa and he’s hit a couple of deer. One came through the windshield but lived and my brother had to put him down.I think his insurance covers deer related accidents because o the rural area they live in.
    I too just finished a book that I had high hopes for. It started off great but ended meh. Have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, my husband is re-doing our insurance. He thought it was covered so we will be sure it is in the future. So glad your brother was okay but it sucked he had to be the one to put it down. I’m sure that wasn’t easy.

      Sometimes books are like that I guess. Each person/reader is different so who knows. I guess I was just confused how it was so popular but I think it’s because the story was at least a good one

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  3. We’ve had more than one mishap with those “slam into your car out of nowhere” deer. Ugh. Sorry for your husband’s car but glad he didn’t get hurt. On another subject, you’d think I’d be watching more videos, TV, etc. since the onset of this ongoing pandemic (is it EVER going to end????), but I actually am watching very little. I don’t even turn the TV on or watch anything online. My hubby, on the other end, is watching more (usually, I’m reading or writing my blog while he watches). But he did convince me to watch an old series on Amazon Prime called Eureka with him. It’s a little wacky but not in a bad way and I’m enjoying it a lot. There are only 5 seasons and we’re already close to the end of the 4th one. After that, I’ll probably go back to not watching anything. I’m currently reading a couple books from the library by Colleen Coble. Good clean mysteries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will look up Colleen Coble. I liked clean mysteries. We were big Eureka fans but yes it is weird. Be prepared for a weird ending to the series, if I remember right, but it has been years since I watched the final one. I know it just got dropped and they barely let them end it. I actually do not watch that much TV but have found I can use some shows to distract myself from the depressing news. As for the pandemic, that will last as long as politicians can keep using it for their advantage so each one can say the other one caused it and made it worse and blah-de-blah!

      Liked by 1 person

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