“… an epic bigger than an epic. A story that spanned worlds and eras.”
Arcanum Unbounded (Sanderson, p. 11)
It’s not the size of the to-be-read pile that alarms me. My to-be-read pile of books is ever growing, ever taller, and I will never catch up because I can’t read as fast as the writers are writing books.
What does alarm me is my “currently reading” pile of books: the pile of books I’ve started, which should never be more than two books tall.
But I got carried away this month.
It’s wonderful. =]
~ Drink coffee, read psalms.
~ Avoid the internet.
~ Work on some short stories, for fun.
~ Work on some novel, also for fun, but also for Serious Writerly Ambition.
~ Tidy up my desk.
~ Buy groceries.
~ Research gardening.
~ Fold laundry? I don’t know…
~ Attend a craft show, buy a hat.
~ Try not to drop anything on anyone while waitressing on Saturday.
~ Celebrate my sister-in-law’s graduation on Sunday =]
~ Write a letter.
~ Move on to Next Book in my to-read stack because after a couple hundred pages into Current Book, I’m just not that into it, and life is short.
Have a lovely Saturday/Sunday, all you wonderful people. Erika out.
~ Are you in the middle of a chapter? Or just a page or two into a new chapter? Now is probably a good time to put the book down and go to bed.
~ No chapters? Okay. Are the characters experiencing a happy moment of some kind? Now is probably a good time to put the book down and go to bed. (Wait – not the villains! If the villains are having a happy moment, you should probably keep reading.)
~ No happiness? Well. Are the characters experiencing a quiet moment of some kind? Walking? Researching? Drinking in the atmosphere? Having a conversation that’s not laden with emotional peril? Now is probably a good time to put the book down and go to bed.
~ No happiness OR quiet? Fine. Are the characters experiencing a moment that is not-quite-completely-infused with emotional and/or physical misery? Now is probably a good time to put the book down and go to bed.
~ None of these things? Unfortunately, in this case, you may have to stay up and finish the book. Yes, it’s an extreme solution, but it’s the only way to reach the peace of mind necessary to sleep that night. After THE END you can finally put the stupid book down and – wait, what? A series? The second book in a series? Oh……..
Oh, you poor fool. You read all the way to the end of the second book in-a-series, didn’t you. Excuse me a moment while I point and laugh at your suffering. You think so-and-so-book-character has it bad? Not really.
You, though. Oh, you. Your suffering has just begun, because you must now make yourself a cup of coffee and start over, with the next book, except this time, FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR PILLOW LISTEN TO ME AND STOP READING WHEN I TELL YOU TO.
I am not an idiot.
I speak from the long years of painful experience.
I read 1.33 books yesterday, between 5 PM and 4 AM and am now exceedingly cranky about it. It’s always J-names: I don’t know what it is about J-names. Remind me to never name anyone a J-name: I’d want him to stay in the house all the time, where it’s safe.
Decide to compose post about how using social media annoys me.
While writing . . .
Decide that composing a post about how using social media annoys me is itself an annoying use of social media.
As I’m revising . . .
Decide to address self-annoyance while discussing other annoyances in what is now a post that annoys me.
After finishing post . . .
Decide that the finished blog post is even more annoying than I’d originally thought, and that if it’s this annoying in regular paper-and-pencil form, putting it on social media will make it so unbearable I will have to stop reading future posts by the blogger who wrote it.
Post-giving-up-on-post . . .
Decide to make dinner.
This is a book.
It’s a book in a series. I find books-in-series to be frustrating because you have to read all of them before you get satisfying answers to the questions raised, and I can be a bit …. impatient. I didn’t start reading the Harry Potter books until the last one was about to come out, and I didn’t start reading the Wheel of Time until Towers of Midnight had been published.
I suppose I should have waited. Or paced myself. One chapter a day. Would have taken forever.
Good book. But now there’s no more book. And no more books, at least not yet. I will now feel the grumpiness of “done with book” for the rest of the day.
Poetry and I have a difficult relationship. In my youth, I read it very rarely, my primary exposure being Shel Silverstein. Growing up, I was forced to read it for school and every now and then came across one poem or another that I admired for reasons I couldn’t explain. I understood my inability to enjoy most poems as a fault, resulting from ignorance of the craft, but made no attempt to correct this. I was busy writing novels and didn’t want to spare any brain for the study of line and meter.
To major in Cornerstone’s undergraduate writing program, a poetry class was required, one I went to with dragging feet. I wanted to learn about Great Books, about fiction, about how to improve on what I was already good at. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of my department, certain my poetry attempts would be read during professor free-time and laughed at.
This was not the case. The class was a breathtaking experience: the professor a gifted man who loved poetry and made anyone listening to him love it to. I went from ignorant indifference to less ignorant respect of what is likely the most lovely, most difficult form of written art.
I also came to conclude that I was not a poet (despite my professor’s encouraging feedback) and that I didn’t want to devote the necessary time and effort it would take to become one. I was only nineteen but already dedicated to the Very Long Fantasy Novel form of storytelling, and I didn’t want to switch back and forth between the extreme economy and the generous heaping of language.
This was about the best I could do, poetry-wise:
At dusk, when the sun
Dips beneath the horizon,
Setting clouds on golden fire,
I like to pull on old boots
And join the family dog
Outside in the chill air.
We walk beyond the lawn and barns,
Until we reach the brown-white field,
Bare and dry and full of wind.
We walk there together; I talk
To myself while my dog snuffles
Through empty corn-husks.
We reach a stopping-place,
The end of a well-worn lane.
I shuffle my old boots,
Scattering stones underfoot
As thoughts rattle upstairs.
I watch the leftover sunlight
Glint off the bellies of clouds.
I count the airplane specks against the sky,
Going where I can’t go. Seeing what I can’t see.
I resolve to travel. Someday.
I’m happy for all of you that can do the poetry thing. It is most impressive.