And now for something completely different, v.2

Some days just don’t go according to plan. Today I was late for meeting an old friend. And she gave me her book anyway.

I should know by now that when she gives me something to read, I might as well give up the rest of the day. I should know that I’ll just spend the rest of the day thinking about it.

This book was a self-published collection of free-write pieces from her writing group. The group is called BREW; this book is called Volume 1.

You’d think that a book of spontaneous writing wouldn’t be very good. But it is. The little stories have some of the snapshot quality of poetry, or photographs, or vocal ministry. It took my breath away.

I read it sitting in an Indian restaurant. The palak paneer burning my mouth; the stories making my eyes water; the warm naan consoling in both ways.

I know one and a half of the women, well, one is my old friend, and one is someone I met once or twice a long time ago in another context. I know this old friend well enough to recognize some of the elements in her stories but not enough to have known these stories of her life, her family, her travels, her lovers. What a window, a rare and raw re-entry into her life.

Sometimes, when I read good writing, I become more acutely observant: the smooth heat of the steering wheel, the sand between cobblestones, the dried-up water spots dappling a rear windshield, the leaves on a pruned tree. I don't think this makes me a better driver. Maybe I shouldn't read poetry and drive on the same day.

If you’d like to read it too, you can buy the book at www.lulu.com.

P.S. This morning, I just re-read the inspiration for the first time I used this title on my blog, because I found that my son had brought the original book home again. I commend it to you too.

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