I wrote down everything I read and began writing my own first novel...

This blog aimed to contrast what I was reading in in 1975-79 with the same month, week and day, 30 years later in 2005-2009. I'm leaving the blog up in archive mode, blogging in real time on Live Journal--and still writing novels.

Lynne Murray's Live Journal and Bride of the Dead Blog

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Turning Points & Hill's Law of Work

I had this quote above my typewriter for years although I don't where I got it, or who "Hill" is. Internet searches bring up Napoleon Hill, the "think and get rich" guy, but this doesn't really sound like him. Maybe it's a lost cousin of Murphy's Law, but it describes my life pretty well:

"Hill's Law of Work: Everything takes 8 times longer than you expect it to."

By the same token you never know when you're reaching a turning point until way afterward. In 1979 I came back to San Francisco after a few years hiding out in Los Angeles, That dark time in my life taught me how to write my way out of the hole I'd fallen into. That didn't happen overnight, when I wasn't working a day job or scribbling down my suffering, my other hobbies were drinking too much and alternately dieting and bingeing. I was isolated from most of the people around me, which gave me lots of time to read and write my first novel (as well as some very self-pitying journals). The journals show the darkness starting to lift around 1978-79.

I finally finished the novel, a sensitive story of disillusioned youth. It was essentially unreadable, but I didn't know that then, and anyone who did look at it was too kind to tell me--fortunately. The major thing those years taught me was that I liked writing novels. So the next question I asked myself was. What kind of novel do you want to write next? That's a question I still ask myself often. I also discovered Susie Orbach's Fat is a Feminist Issue somewhere in here, though I haven't found it in the list of books I read, it began to have an impact on me that took several years to fully manifest itself.

Last week I did another guest blog for Body Impolitic on the subject of
fat women in film fat women in film (or the lack thereof).

May 2, 1979

Bird, the Legend of Charlie Parker by Robert George Reiser
Dispatches by Michael Herr
Note: very well done.
The Suicide Cult by Michael Kilduff, RonJaners, SF Chron staff
Oscar Wilde by Philippe Julien
Compromising Positions by Susan Isaacs
Murder on the Yellow Brick Road by Stuart Kaminsky
Sandlot Peanuts by Charles M. Shultz
Murder R.F.D by Leslie Stephan
Designing Your Face by Way Bandy
Dr. Zismor's Brand name Guide to Beauty Aids by Zizmor & Foreman
The Magician of the golden Dawn, story of Alistair Crowley by Susan Roberts
Altered States by Paddy Chaefsky
Super Wealth, the Secret Lives of the Oil Sheiks by Linda Blandford
Women of Watergate by Edmunson & Cohen
Killed in the Ratings by William L. DeAndrea
Marriage with My Kingdom, the Courtship of Elizabeth I by Alison Plowdon
The Face of Rock and Roll, Images of a Generation by Bruce Bollack & John Wagman
I looked up Bruce Bollack and found an interview he did in 1977 with Leonard Cohen, the interview was more about Bollack than Cohen, yeah, I know, humor
the website owner at Speaking Cohen went looking for Bollack also, and mainly found the book listed above. However, I managed to find out
what Leonard Cohen is doing nowadays. Cool! Happy 75th birthday, Leonard Cohen!

Watership Down by Richard Adams
Note on June 19, 1979 "peculiarly comforting"
I remember reading this book while camping out on my friend's sofa after moving back to San Francisco.

July 3 I read
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, another comfort read

From May 3 to July 5, 2009 I read:

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
A tour de force
about Connie Willis

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