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An eye-opener!

Well now! Full disclosure. I must confess I’m  a political junkie. I believe it’s because I lived in the province of Quebec for over fourteen years. And that province is a hot-bed of intensity.

How do I find relief?

When the news gets too overwhelming, or I get too rattled, then I resort to a social-media black out. That’s the only way I can gain balance and strength and return to my regular life of inventing stories and putting words on the page.

Last week was not the time to move away from the screen.

No, it certainly wasn’t. I was riveted to the Ford/Kavanaugh testimonies in the USA.  In my opinion it was compelling. The theatre, the blame, the arcane rules of the Senate Committee. A daughter of a journalist remarked, “Why is everybody so old?”

My post today is not to display my opinion. Although I must admit, my chosen graphic certainly makes a statement. Everyone can come to their own conclusions as to what was unfolding in front of their eyes.

After two days of watching this event and the resulting discussions,  I decided I’d had enough. I put away the controllers to the t.v and closed the doors to the armoire.

What happened next?

I resumed my life. Chores, groceries and house work were on the list. Then I went to the library and picked up a book called, all we ever wanted by Emily Giffin, Penguin, Random House, Double Day Canada, 2018. And yes, the title is all in lower-case, although it pained me to write it that way. (too OCD for words).

I enjoy Ms. Giffin’s writing so picked it up. It’s so popular that it was considered an Express Read (with a 7 day loan). I inhaled it.

And guess what?

This book explored the identical themes that I’d just witnessed on t.v. Two different worlds. Wealth and privilege versus the middle class. The dueling points of view of ‘he said’, ‘she said’.

Lies and deceptions. Truth and honesty.  Entitlement on full display.

The advance praise for this book included authors Jodi Pocoult, Harlan Coben, Elinor Lipman and Kristin Hannah. Heavy hitters in their own genres.

This is a fast-paced, timely novel that I would highly recommend.

The Irony

 This wasn’t the novel that I intended to read or needed to read, considering the timing, but it was the one I ended up choosing. I didn’t know much about this book before I launched myself into it.

And I’m glad that I did.

The Question

Do you stay current with political events or do you find it too depressing and exhausting? Or do you find it energizing?

Can you stay in your fictional world while outrageous and addictive news is unfolding?

How do you cope?

7 Comments

  1. I wasted too much time listening to Kavanaugh – until I realized he was doing the same thing over and over: refusing to directly answer questions and trying to distract, obfuscate, and attack. If he’d been a judge listening to a witness who did that, I’m sure he’d have had serious questions about the witness’s credibility. As someone who is a judge and wants to be on the US Supreme Court – and for whom the questions can hardly come as a surprise – you’d think he’d be more intelligent in his response strategy.

    Yes, I feel compelled to follow the news on a daily basis. This only started when the current President was elected. And I do find it depressing, exhausting and downright scary. But it’s like a train wreck and I somehow can’t make myself look away for any length of time.

    I’m also reading a lot. Women’s fiction (and thanks for the Emily Giffin recommendation), romance, mystery, suspense. I really get lost in these books and I’m extremely grateful to the authors. The books are certainly doing their part to keep me sane.

    1. Like you, I spent way too many hours watching the saga unfold. I have friends who ignore news of any kind. But I’m too curious for that approach. So, I guess I’ll just have to minimize it when it gets me feeling depressed.
      And like you, reading gives me an escape. Thanks for dropping by.

  2. So you read a tense novel about private schools to escape the tense American political situation (or judicial in this case)? Good grief. And it works?

    1. Aha Sharron. It wasn’t my intention. But the novel focused on wealthy, privileged high school kids, so it gave me a better understanding of their thinking. All in all, the entire scenario was exhausting, the tv piece followed by the novel.

  3. I’m a news junkie, Jodie. Part of it, I’m sure, is that I was a journalist before I became a fiction writer, so it’s inherent in me to follow the news. But I also think it’s just the way I’m wired. I need to know what’s happening in the world. And it’s not always easy to follow current events and then immerse myself in my writing, especially lately. Last week was tough. Like you, I was riveted to the Ford/Kavanaugh testimony. I finally had to tell myself ‘enough.’

    Thanks for the Emily Giffin recommendation. I’ll look for it!

  4. I suspect that my curiosity leads my drive to understand the world around me. I want to be informed. And like you, I did reach the point when I had to walk away. Today, I’m definitely ‘in the work mode’ so I shall stay away from the news. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  5. Hi Jodie,
    I like to stay current on the news as well, and the latest events are extremely fascinating and totally alarming. However, I tend to watch BBC as well as CNN so I get a bit more of the global view rather than a total US focus. And I refuse to turn it on until evening–that leaves my day free to tend to other important things, like writing. 🙂
    Sylvie

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