Fifty Things I Should be Doing Besides Reading the Fifty Shades Books

Okay so I am totally embarrassed to say that I got caught up in the whole Fifty Shades thing. There, I’ve said it. Whew – feels good to get that off my chest. I do read every day and I read a huge cross-section of books – kids, fantasy,crime thrillers, historical fiction and on and on. I’ve read a number of Oprah’s picks as well as Heather’s (Indigo/Chapters) and I typically pay attention to both the Globe and Mail and the New York Times best seller lists for fiction.  Lots of rationalizing going on here. Fifty Shades of Grey was on ALL the best sellers’ lists. And everyone seemed to be talking about it, even way up here in Canada.

courtesy E.L.James

So I bought the first one and read it – only at night and I didn’t tell anyone. Especially not my kids! Then I couldn’t help myself, so I bought the second – and sent the first to my sister. I figured at least I could talk to her about it. For the third, I skulked around my local Indigo but they were all sold out after Mothers’ Day. So I surreptitiously picked it up at London Drugs wearing my sunglasses and rain-hat


along with a bunch of other necessities like shampoo, toothpaste, and toilet paper.

So why the fascination? The brilliant plot twists? The scintillating characters? Nope – must be the setting – it all takes place in the Pacific Northwest – where the sun always shines in the books. The author is actually British so I guess she thinks the entire west coast has the same weather as L.A. Sure – no rain here, ever!

So yea, the setting – that’s my story and I’ll stick to it. In the meantime, here are the 50 things I should really be doing:

  1. reworking my manuscript
  2. writing a real blog post
  3. biting my lower lip
  4. laundry – piles and piles of it
  5. buying groceries
  6. swiffering up the dog hair around the house – 2 labs shed tons in the spring
  7. dung patrol
  8. rolling my eyes and smirking
  9. walking the dogs
  10. talking to my sister – except she won’t talk to me ’cause she’s reading Fifty Shades Darker
  11. harassing my teen aged children
  12. watching the Real Housewives of Vancouver – Preview of episode 11
  13. weeding the back garden – it’s a jungle
  14. cleaning out my car – it’s a mucky stinky disaster
  15. sleeping – I usually read at night, so if I read for too long…
  16. spring cleaning the scary storage area under the living room
  17. packing my daughter’s stuff for camp
  18. answering my emails
  19. updating my itunes account
  20. unloading the dishwasher
  21. ironing my blouses – yea, well I could in theory
  22. making dinner
  23. brushing my dogs with the furminator 

  24. answering my home phone instead of letting it go to voicemail
  25. paying my bills
  26. doing a Costco run
  27. connecting with friends
  28. taking a shower
  29. scheduling that mammogram that I’ve been putting off
  30. polishing the silver
  31. backing up my computer
  32. syncing my blackberry
  33. washing a winter’s worth of slime off my outdoor furniture
  34. finish reading the Steve Jobs biography
  35. cleaning the coffee maker
  36. wrapping and mailing the Father’s Day gift to my dad
  37. phoning my mom – Jeez I really hope she’s not reading Fifty Shades!
  38. taking a spin class – I’ve never been but everyone says they’re great. Yea.
  39. finish reading Niall Ferguson’s brilliant Civilization: The West and the Rest
  40. giving myself a manicure
  41. indulging in a pedicure
  42. setting my watch and all clocks in the house 5 minutes fast because I am always late
  43. making chocolate fudge – using our family’s super secret recipe
Okay so I’m stuck at 43. Am I the only one who can’t tear themselves away from the guilty pleasure of the Fifty Shades? Please tell me it ain’t so and please give me some more suggestions as to what I could be doing instead…I’ve got to make it to Fifty.

Calling all readers…

Lately I’ve been reading kid’s books. For some silly reason my own kids don’t read very much at all – unless you count Facebook, which I don’t.

So what happened to the kids of today? Oh, the experts have tons of theories, but all you have to do is look at the size video gaming market, the rise of reality T.V., twitter and all the rest.

But maybe there’s more to it than all the easy answers. When I was young, a thousand years ago, my favourite books were Pipi Longstocking, Anne of Green Gables and especially The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. In the 90’s we had Harry Potter. But now?

We need stories that are humorous but have meaning, we need stories that grab a kid’s attention but in a positive way, we need stories that kids can relate to and still enjoy. We also need stories that are set in Canada, that celebrate the beauty of Canada and yet aren’t boring.

So do we need a miracle?

Maybe, or maybe we just need Queenie…