day 195 – Expertise

What are you an expert at?  They say follow your passion and the money will follow.

I’m an expert reader.  Not fast, but I relish each and every well-placed word.  Unless I become a professional proofreader, which I tend to morph into as I read and question the spelling and even highlight errors if it’s my own tome, I don’t see myself making any profit off my enthusiastic poring over of literature and non-fiction texts.

I love books!  I love to read!  I peruse instruction manuals, lists, signs, newspapers, computer screens, magazines, menus, mail, and flyers of every sort – anything in print.

Ask me a question and I won’t say, “Google it!” like the generation I spawned.  Instead, I’ll go straight to my collection of reference materials and look it up the old fashioned way.

Let’s say you have an issue, a relationship problem or need a new way of looking at something… Have I got the book for you!  I will recommend and lend you the latest edition of what ails you.  Something in the third chapter fits your dilemma and gives you an exact solution.  I flagged and marked out the page for you, already.

Sometimes in mid conversation (and I know it’s rude and abrupt but I don’t want to forget), I will interrupt with something like, “that reminds me of the fictional character in a Daphne du Maurier’s melodrama I read on the beach back in 2004 and it’ s the perfect quote for your situation, let me go get it and find the page…” I cannot help myself.

I have three days of rest.  I intend on plunging and dipping into several books I am involved with on a personal level right now.

I’m on the verge of finishing up a collection of snippets from seasoned chefs called  Don’t Try This in Your Kitchen.  Every short story is by a different world-renowned gastronome and encompasses their worst moments in a restaurant kitchen.  Disasters, humiliations and crazy scenarios are witnessed.  The survivors live to tell us their tales.

Then, I just started today; I’ll Never be French (no matter what I do).  It’s a memoir of Mark Greenside’s stay in a small village in Brittany.  His awkwardness and lack of language skills humble and change him.  I believe the transformation greatly influenced his comical and self-effacing style of writing.  Many of his sentences, observations and comparisons are pure genius.

Meanwhile, on my kindle, I borrowed a lending library book for free because of my prime account.  It is named, Written Together, A Story of Beginnings, in the Kitchen and Beyond by Shanna Mallon.  Another memoir, it’s about a food blogger who meets her future husband on line via their love of all things delicious.  I am about 20% into it.  I especially enjoy reading my kindle in the dead of night.  I don’t want to wake my husband up when hot flashes or insomnia strike so the backlit screen allows me to read under the covers.  Reading is the only way I can go back to sleep and I always read before turning off the lamp on my night table stacked with books, sticky flags, pens, highlighters and pads.

I also travel to every office and airport with my kindle.  My go-to reading preference is a real live physical page turning piece of inked tree – but I love having the back up, convenience and pure marvel of tons of books at my disposal in a neat pink leather wrapped five by eight by half an inch thick portable rectangle.

I also have an extremely long novel by Isabel Allende I am simultaneously consuming whenever I seek to visit a 16th century Nueva Espana historical account of a Spanish woman who withstands the sea, plagues, battles, natives and coarse men only to rise to become the Vice royal’s wife of Chile, as told by her, in first person, at a ripe old age, reminiscent of the way the plot unfolds in the first movie I ever saw Dustin Hoffman in, Little Big Man.

This weekend will be about walking, lots of lounging, eating and a fair amount of much needed time to read in my own library and home.  I intend to bury myself and thumb through my literary encyclopedia by the pool, in bed and on my balcony, all my favorite reading spots – on my tummy, lying down, sitting with my feet up on an ottoman and on my side, all my best reading positions.

I am a reading expert because it’s my passion to read words, I enjoy language and I love the brilliant turn of a well put phrase.  There’s very little subject wise that doesn’t interest me and I’m never bored because my field of expertise is to amuse myself and savor the details.  Reading is my vehicle and it leads me to the practice of writing.

What are you an expert at ? and why? Ponder it.

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