I didn't think the Notre Dame game would be that big of a deal, but it ended up being pretty sweet. It was the last regular season game for the Irish, and they honored the seniors on the team. They played a great game and beat St. John's by 19 points. I'm glad we were there for it!
I did indeed finish my B-word book after we got home. I got to the point where I felt, "Oh please just let me get through this already!" I did finally start to feel some affection for some of the characters, and it looked like that was going to pay off with a tragic ending in which the butler died before he and one of the servant girls could elope. Tug at my heartstrings, make me shed a tear, feel bad for poor Charley Raunce...nope. They left for England where they got married and lived happily ever after. (And it even used that phrase.) That was quite a disappointment, believe you me. Not that I want characters that I've come to like to end up dead, but at least it would have provided some interest to the story! Gaaaaah, it was astounding in its lack of entertainment!
I've just started my next book club entry, The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett. (I'm about three books behind, but I'm working on catching up.) I haven't begun the book itself, but read the author's preface, and the final paragraph really struck me:
It has been asserted that unless I had actually been present at a public execution, I could not have written the chapter in which Sophia was at the Auxerre solemnity. I have not been present at a public execution, as the whole of my information about public executions was derived from a series of articles on them which I read in the Paris Matin. Mr Frank Harris, discussing my book in Vanity Fair, said it was clear that I had not seen an execution (or words to that effect), and he proceeded to give his own description of an execution. It was a brief but terribly convincing bit of writing, quite characteristic and quite worthy of the author of Montes the Matador and of a man who has been almost everywhere and seen almost everything. I comprehended how far short I had fallen of the truth! I wrote to Mr Frank Harris, regretting that his description had not been printed before I wrote mine, as I should assuredly have utilized it, and, of course, I admitted that I had never witnessed an execution. He simply replied: “Neither have I.” This detail is worth preserving, for it is a reproof to that large body of readers, who, when a novelist has really carried conviction to them, assert off hand: “Oh, that must be autobiography!”
I love that! How about you? Do you feel that you write with conviction? Does your passion for your subject reach readers, and make them care about what you care about? Can you wow them with your ability to make them feel that they are right there with you experiencing what you're experiencing...even if you're not? Because this has a flipside. If you are able to make someone believe that you have experienced firsthand that of which you write, while you've never even come close to experiencing such a thing, that's a powerful talent. The question is, will you use that talent for good or for evil? And keep in mind that there are those who create elaborate and false scenarios in their own minds (I believe it's called being delusional) and are able to convince others of the veracity of their stories.
It's an interesting thing to ponder, and I thought it was a fascinating anecdote. Based on just the preface, and the clarity of Bennett's writing, I think I might like this one a lot. He's already made me think, and that was just from reading the preface!