Saturday, June 30, 2018

Golf Gypsy and the Golfers Guide to Great Reads

The Trails Ladies Book Club

Our book club, Readers in the Rough,  began meeting in the summer of 2017. Because of our setting, The Trails Golf Course in Norman, OK, we decided to give our books ratings based on the game of golf. This rating system has been revised and discussed from time to time, as nothing is quite perfect.  We absolutely enjoy our lively book discussions and ramblings about life, and like the game of golf we read and discuss for fun and friendship.

At the end of each monthly discussion we talk through the rating briefly giving books thumbs up or down, or sometimes we gently struggle between ratings, based on our favorites.

A Double Bogey rating means don’t waste your time reading it.  

A Bogey rating means a book may meet some of the elements of fiction, but overall the book is not strong enough to gather our full attention.  We would not recommend it for discussion.

A Par rating meets the expectation of the elements of fiction: a solid plot, strong and dynamic characters, setting that is defined, a theme we can discuss along with a point of view that lends itself to telling the story, and strength of genre. A Par rating for memoir asks for a compelling story using truth, theme, voice, point of view being I, and an ongoing attempt to arrive at answers. 

A Birdie rating meets all of the criteria of a Par plus it creates excellent discussion based on a powerful theme, or other elements of fiction.

An Eagle rating says it is superb, exciting, and well worth reading. It meets all of the requirements for par and birdie, plus it is a book we will long remember for perhaps different reasons. We would highly recommend it to others

The Hole-in-One rating is reserved for only the best of the best, in our opinion, and one that we would reread, rave about and encourage others to read. It must meet all of the criteria of an eagle, birdie, and par.

As of June 2018 these are the books we’ve read and rated:

Hole-in-One Club


Eagle Club

Birdie Club

Par Club

Bogey Club

Hole-in-One: Beneath the Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Eagle:  Educated by Tara Westover, Killers of the Flower Moon by David Graham

Birdie: Hill Billy Elegy by J.D. Vance, A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Par:  Five Skies by Ron Carlson, The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg, The Black Painting by Neil Olson

Bogey:  At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen,  Kiss Carlo: a Novel by Adriana Trigiani

Double Bogey: none

I will continue to update this list monthly. Suggestions for new books to read are always welcome. You may use the comment page on the blog to list book suggestions

Monday, June 18, 2018

Excuses Excuses Excuses

Where is the perfect quote that shares the frustrations of writers? Often, I find articles simply stating  "write 20 minutes a day, etc. etc. etc."  Then I scream like Cathy in the cartoons, ACK! 

Don't they, whoever they are, ever have chores, housework, gardening, walks to take, exercises to do, friends to lunch with, beauty secrets to discover, a game of golf to play, travels to take, books to read, or excuses like I have today? How could leave out my favorite excuse for not writing? I cherish the time when I close my eyes and take an afternoon nap.   

It's been three weeks since I exercised my brain by writing,and I've missed it. But, I've completed many projects that reward my desire for 'immediate gratification.'   

I started painting the front and back doors in April but humidity and weather stopped me. So when we experienced a dryer day last week I returned to this project. It could still use some touch up, but I resisted today and turned instead to my Art Gecko room for inspiration. 

Of course, after seeing a picture of myself in a golf tournament recently, I realized that I needed a new hairdo, as my other one expired. The old graying long hair was easy to care for, but not peppy and sporty. So now I feel younger, and isn't that important?

Our hearts nearly broke during the last two weeks as our lively dog,Lucy, suffered miserably from eating a dead animal. One room in our house took the brunt of her vomit and diarrhea!  After the carpet cleaner slaved to clean the messes, we realized that we needed to cut out the carpet immediately, before company arrives this week.  Next we will order new carpet.

I am happy to report that Lucy is once again healthy and we are happy. 

But in the meantime I noticed the clutter in the closet. Naturally, I wanted closure on that task, so rather than write about visiting Presidential Libraries, playing in golf tournaments, or laughing with life, I cleaned the closet which then led to a stack of items to take to Goodwill. More Excuses!  

Best of all, Jack and I have divided forces and worked together to create a beautiful yard, and yes, it took me away from writing and playfully creating stories but the rewards are well worth it.  
Outside with nature is my salvation.
With a long sigh I murmur to myself, "Sometimes I struggle with a full platter filled with living every day to the fullest." Then I notice the radiant blue jay sitting on our feeder by my writing window, "This is the life I enjoy."