Thelma & Louise (1)

Meet Thelma and Louise. They’ve been best friends since back in the day. Even though Thelma complains about Louise’s pink flamingo yard deco, they’ve lived next door to each other for enough years to see almost seventy birthdays together. They’ve had many disagreements and debates over the years but the one thing they do agree on is they both love a good book… and both have their own opinions. So much so that they’ve become their neighborhood’s gurus on all things books, reading, authors, fiction, nonfiction, you name it.

Thelma is a talker and if you ask her a question, get comfy… grab some cookies and a blankie – the answer may take a while. Most in her neighborhood call her wise, but tend not to call too often, or they’ll most likely miss their favorite afternoon game show.

Louise is the practical friend. She’ll always bring a hearty casserole to the monthly potluck (while Thelma usually brings at least two desserts, and doesn’t care who knows it), and still balances her checkbook to the penny. She loves reciting book facts she finds online. She brings her new IPad with her everywhere she goes.

Who’s the wisest between these two friends? You be the judge. Ask a question, any question, to do with books, reading, authors, words, writing, book reviews, book covers, titles, etc., and you might just get an earful from both of them.

For an example, here’s a recent question from one of the book club members, Alice, last month:

Q: How many pages should a good novel have?

Speaking of restaurants…remember that time Louise, when we asked where the nearest Black Bear Diner was cuz you were hunkerin’ for a good chicken fried steak with mushroom gravy, and the lady on OnStar told us it was 7.5 miles away? And then do you remember how she got mightily hoity-toity with me because I wanted to write the directions down on the back of the envelope…it wasn’t my fault the pencil point broke! When I responded with “Mind your manners, young lady,” in response to her snippy attitude, she tsked at me and then gave us the directions, and darn it, I had my suspicions she had sent us to the wrong diner when our GPS announced “Welcome to Idaho,” and my stomach started making loud protestations by then… Yep, it took so long Louise began napping and that was a tad scary since she was the one driving…. Me, I was bored to tears and really wished I had a good, long book to read.

So my final answer: A book should last at least a good three hours. Otherwise, no sense in ever going back to the Black Bear Diner. No way would I relieve that nightmare again – without a good book.

I’ve googled this and they say the average novel is anywhere between 55k to 90k, depending on the genre and age group. But then again, if a shorter book tells the whole story in less pages, I’m perfectly happy with that. Some days I just need to get to the church bingo game on time and a short story fits the bill.  With the popularity of self-publishing, anything goes, and there’s not the restriction of a publishing company telling an author what is required. What is required is that the author finish the story!

And Thelma, just for the record, you’re the one who was sawin’ logs. We were parked and in the diner within fourteen minutes of our call to OnStar. Tah, Idaho! What a nut.

Ask a question and it may be featured in the next issue of The RAC Magazine!

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