Posted in books

Writing on a rainy day and The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

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There is something about a big cup of coffee on a rainy day. Or even two or three cups of coffee on a rainy day. And writing on a rainy day; that’s nice, too. Sitting in a coffee bar writing, reading, and surfing on a rainy day is about as perfect as it can get. Other than being in the Rockies on a snowy day OR in Caribbean on a sunny day. Those might beat out rain.

This is my second day of hanging at Starbucks and writing. And I’m actually being productive. Of course, it might be all the caffeine in my system. But it might be the atmosphere and the fact that I feel TONS more creative lately away from the house. I think it’s because when I’m home I know that there is laundry to be done and counters to clean and dinner to think about. When I’m at Starbucks working, all those worries seem like a dim memory. It helps that I started laundry before I left and the hubs is on dinner detail tonight.

I do miss my dogs, though. They don’t care how dirty the house is or that we don’t have any clean socks. They just want me around.

The rain helps, too. The cloudiness after weeks of beautiful, sunshiny days makes me feel like there is nothing better than creating indoors. On a computer, with a cup of coffee nearby.

Music, too. Starbucks does play some creatively light music, but this morning I plugged in my headphones and rocked out to some classic tunes. Classic rock. Cheap Trick. Foghat. Blue Oyster Cult. Lou Reed. And then I switched it up to some classical. Slower, easier, beautiful. Rainy day beautiful.

So I created a bit of fiction today, and started something that I think will be good. We’ll see. But I know my heart feels better when I’m creating, and my life runs better when my heart is good. So I’m going to keep creating, and I think that means that I need to rethink my home space. As much as I love Starbucks and coffee shops, I don’t think my budget can handle working here everyday.

Okay, enough rambling. Onto Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings.


I’ve been meaning to read Wolitzer for awhile, but she keeps getting put on the backburner because authors I do know keep writing books I’m dying to read! Well, I finally took the plunge and dove it, getting a chance to read The Interestings, the story of a bunch of camp friends that stay close throughout their extraordinary and ordinary lives.

Julie Jacobson is an ordinary girl in a boring Long Island suburb in 1974, her fifteenth year when she gets an opportunity to go to a creative arts camp. Somehow, and she isn’t sure how, she is taken in by the ‘cool’ group and becomes one of The Interestings, the name they give their collective selves. Julie is THRILLED when she becomes Jules, a new, more creative form of herself. She becomes best friends with willowy, beautiful, creative Ash Wolf, a privileged teen from New York City. She becomes the love interest of Ethan Figgman, a homily, amazingly creative boy. Also part of the group are Goodman, Ash’s spoiled, underachieving, entitled brother; Jonah, the creatively beautiful boy and the son of a folksinger, with a dark secret that keeps him from the music he loves; and Cathy, a dancer whose world is shattered by Goodman. (Goodman’s life is also shattered, by the way.)

The story revolves around Jules and her next four decades, and her evolving friendship with Ethan and Ash, who marry and live an incredible life thanks to Ethan’s amazing creative talent (and who still love Jules more than anything, although he is married to beautiful Ash and Jules is married to a good man). We watch the world change through the 70’s and 80’s, live through the Moonies,  AIDS (mostly through Jonah’s story; we learn early on that he is gay and watch as he comes to terms with it), computers, and 9/11. We see the world change, but also the ordinary shifting of life as The Interestings grow and change, come to the realization that the life you thought you were going to have might not come to pass, and understand that as special as you thought you were at 15 has to do with whom you surrounded yourself.

Wolitzer does a wonderful job of reeling out these people’s lives. We understand them and feel for them, and, at least for me, fall a little in love with them. The books abrupt ending is fitting, and pretty much thematic. The Interestings is a good one to read–and, may I say, perfect for a rainy day.

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Author:

I love to read; writing is my outlet. My blog is my way to combine the two, with a some life stories thrown in for good measure.

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