Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Return to the Classics

I was browsing through the bookstore the other day, not a strange occurrence given the amount of hours I spend in the bookstore in the run of a week, but what was strange was the area I kept gravitating to. The books I kept picking up. Lately I've felt like changing up what I've been reading. Certainly not giving up reading romance, that's just pure craziness. But branching out. And what I keep coming back to are the classics.

Now I'll be honest - outside of some Jane Austen, I haven't read the classics. At least not all the way through. I've been known to pick up a Dickens, flip it open and read passages, or pages or even a chapter or two, then set it down and go back to what I was reading. But there has always been this part of me that wanted to read more of what created the backbone of classic literature.

I picked up The Count of Monte Cristo, Crime and Punishment, Madame Bovary. My fingers skimmed over the rows and itched to toss all of them into my arms and rush to the check-out. I did manage to stop myself. The $20 in my wallet would only go so far and pay day was another week away. But it got me to thinking maybe I should readjust my goals list and add 'reading two classic pieces of literature' onto my Personal Goals. Does anyone else have classics that are their favorites?

In other news, I am reconsidering San Francisco. The more I look at it, the more I am balking at the cost, which would probably end up being in the vicinity of $2500. As much as I want to go, I am just not sure the cost will be justified - at least as far as how much it will progress my career. By July I will have already contacted all the agents that interest me, so meeting one of them face to face doesn't justify the cost. I will have already sent Brimstone to Berkley long before July as well.

The only hitch is the Golden Heart. Should I be lucky enough to final, I would love to be there for the gala event at the end and see my name and picture flash up on the screen when they announce the nominees. But that's a really expensive ego stroke, and again, I'm just not sure I can justify it. Going to conference might get me a foot in the door somewhere, but so will staying home and doing it the old fashioned way. Sending queries, partials, contests, etc.

Now if I had the money kicking around to spare, I'd be on that plane in a heart beat and not think twice about it. But I don't. And I'm also trying to save for a trip south with friends in April 2009 and another trip to Italy in September 2009. Both of these I'm really excited about and don't want to give up.

So, it isn't written in stone yet, and if something should happen that some extra cash should magically fall into my lap I will change my mind, but for now, it looks like San Fran is not in the cards this year.


Annie Mac said...

I can see why you can't justify the trip to SF - it is expensive, isn't it?

If you final in the GH though it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity to be the belle of the ball.

There's a KOD retreat in Portland, Maine next year that I'm hoping to get to.

Cat Schield said...

I read the Count of Monte Cristo and loved it. As a matter of fact, I gave it away after I finished it (stuck on a plane traveling back from Mexico. The woman in the seat next to me started reading it after I finished) and I recently went out and repurchased it to someday read again. I also got the 3 Musketeers at the same time.

I'm stumped by National as well. In my case it isn't the money (what's another $2500 on my credit cards?), but the timing. My day job pays those credit card bills and the last 3 and first 3 days of the month are the busiest time for us. Taking time off would require someone to do my job in addition to theirs. So, of course, this would be the perfect year for me to final in the GH! When I couldn't go to take advantage of all the opportunities. LOL!

I hope we final anyway!

Toni Anderson said...

I've decided against SF too, for the same reasons. :(

I can't even think of the classics I've read... Shakespeare. RL Stephenson, hmm.. brain has died. :)

WTG on the guitar!!

Tess said...

I too have had to reconsider SF, which really sucks as a cousin I haven't seen in 24 years lives there. But, like you, I just can't afford it right now.

OTOH - IF you final in the GH, I can see you reconsidering again :) A couple of my friends who've done it say it really is worth the trip!!

Are you now considering DC? Or is that out too because you're planning that Italy trip?

If I go to any conference this year, it will be the one in Ottawa, in late September.

Lexi said...

I hear ya on San Fran being out. I can't justify the cost either. Although, I do agree with the others that if you final in the Golden Heart you should rethink your decision. I'd go if I finaled (but I didn't enter this year).

julia said...

San Francisco would be great, of course, but like everyone else, your reasoning about the cost strikes me as being very clear-headed. Someday soon you'll be able to hop on the plane and go anywhere. But your other trips sound so amazing, Kelly!

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm having second thoughts about attending a writing conference, too - not only for the expense, but because I'd like to save my money to go on a real vacation and not a "work" vacation.

MaryF said...

San Fran is Very Expensive. I'm not going this year, and it's my pink ribbon year! Argh! It's not only $100 more conference registration, but $100 more a night at the hotel (Mary doesn't share rooms.) Then the airfare, because we couldn't drive....

And I would LOVE to go to San Fran.