Self-improvement, Take One

I'm on day one of my Lenten reading list. I decided that while a junk food book was pretty self-explanatory, I needed to refine exactly what constituted a book of substance. Was I just going to focus on spiritual enlightenment? 40 days of devotionals? Or any book that served to improve me in some way? Did classics like Austin and Shakespeare count? Just non-fiction, or could fiction be substantial too? In the end, I decided that moderation and variety would be the key, and any book that had the ability to improve me was a book of substance. So I hit the library today and picked up a book on writing, two books on step-by-step stained glass work (a new hobby I'm trying out), a book on Catholicism, two books on finding your life's purpose, an audio tape on Beginning Spanish, and a book on classical music composers.

At the moment, I'm in the middle of Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamont, and I must say that it's really been an eye-opener. You wouldn't think that a book on writing would have much to do with spiritual preparedness, but I'm finding that a lot of her lessons for writing are speaking to me on a much deeper level than just a how-to for prose. Plus she's funny, and she makes me want to write. I highly recommend it.

Tomorrow I'm going to flip through the stained glass books as I plan out my first official suncatcher-type thingie. The one I'm going to try won't be confused for a Tiffany by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm counting it as a success if I can get through it without soldering my fingers together or slicing my hand open on a piece of jagged glass. We'll see how it goes. I promise to tell you if there's carnage.

How goes your Lent?