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Monthly Archives: July 2008

Book Recommendation:: The Kite Runner

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Even if you haven’t picked up a book in six months, find time on your summer vacation for The Kite Runner. An engaging and unforgettable first novel by Khaled Hosseini, this book opens the window on a strange land, a privileged childhood in Afghanistan during the last years before the Soviet invasion. A disappointed father, a best friend who gets paid to cook his meals, and a dramatic escape and exile anchor the plot, but the heart of the story is woven in the complex tapestry of loyalty, cowardice, betrayal, war, and redemption. It is a gorgeous and dramatic read; the pages fly by, and despite the heartaches of humanity spread throughout the pages, Hosseini manages to find the joy in the fine details and leave readers soaring with the kites. It’s one of those books that left me realizing that I will never think of some things in the world as I did before I turned its pages.

The movie is fantastic too, but really only captures the plot and misses some of Hosseini’s inspired language. If you can, make time for both this summer. I’m picking up his next book, A Thousand Splendid Suns as soon as I can.

Also, Hosseini is a vocal advocate for the Afghani people and is offering his support to the Afghan Libraries Program to aid literacy in his homeland. It is my belief that literacy and education will do more to stop our cycle of international violence than almost any other effort. Find out more and order the books at www.khaledhosseini.com.

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Starting Over, Without a Map

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It’s been six months, and I’m finally all settled in my new job. I’ve learned where they hide the good pens and when there will be fresh coffee, hung pictures in my office and outlined a plan for the (newly minted) marketing department. And also, unfortunately, figured out I’m not in the right place.

I’ve recently had a series of revelations about my personal beliefs and the mission of the organization that raise some difficult questions. I’ve also determined that I can’t possibly meet corporate expectations with a staff of one, and more resources are not on the way. If I’m serious about choosing happiness, it’s time to cut my losses and head in a new direction. There are also dreams I want to move toward, not just situations to get away from.

Last fall, I quit my job and announced that I was going to to find a path toward writing for a living. But then a safe job with good benefits came along, and I chickened out. And I’ve felt a little like a sell-out, once again making excuses for why I wasn’t spending my energy fanning the flame. Starting this blog was an attempt to assuage that feeling without making a bold career change. I’ve reminded myself that health insurance and paid vacation usually don’t come with freelance writing, and that maybe when there’s a little more cushion in the bank or one more line on the resume or a more impressive writing portfolio, then I’ll consider a switch.

Also, I’ve also been so attuned to resume building for so long that part of me balks at changing course so completely, quitting a good job after only six months, with no contacts or experience or road map for the next phase of my journey. I have no idea whether I’ll end up freelance writing, proofing college papers, using my marketing experience in the publishing world, or working on my book while I swipe credit cards at Barnes & Noble. Not knowing which direction to move had me frozen in the headlights.

But lately it’s been eating at me more and more, and I realize I don’t want to look back at a good life and wonder why I didn’t do more to make it great. I think it’s time to jump. Wish me luck.