To recap: had a completely brilliant August that included a two-week roadtrip with one of my dearest friends. Then the semester started again. That takes us through to December and the holidays. A lot of travel then. Glad to be home now.
It's not a very good recap. For reasons I don't quite understand, this autumn was hard for me. There was a lot of good in it--Patrick Madden at the Casper College Literary Conference (read Quotidiana--just a beautiful collection of unexpected essays); CrossFit (yes, I can't believe it, either); starting to plan the 2012 Equality State Book Festival; a publication in Memorious with excellent company (Bob Wrigley! Nina McConigley!)--but also a lot of feeling like I was never on top of anything, never caught up, never where I should have been. I also lost a pen I loved. A really *nice* pen. One I don't know that I can replace.
The rational part of my brain says that it's only a pen. It's a material thing. I have other pens. I even have the financial means that I could probably replace it with something even better. But I'd make a terrible Buddhist because my life is all about attachments, and I loved that pen, dammit. And losing it makes me feel irresponsible. This paragraph is my obligatory confessional, apparently. There. I'm done now.
Autumn is always hard for me. The growing dark. The cold. Skip that. Move ahead.
I've read very few books lately, but I did tear through Mark Gatiss's Lucifer Box trilogy (The Vesuvius Club, The Devil in Amber, and Black Butterfly) with more joy and excitement than I've had while reading for a long time. They're just cracking good reads--perfectly aware of themselves, playful, but containing a surprising amount of heart. My friend Laura has an excellent review of The Vesuvius Club at LibraryThing.
I'd say I'd resolve to read more of Gatiss's books, but there are only three novels in the Box series. That's its own tragedy. Mark Gatiss, if by some chance you ever read this, a few more books set between The Vesuvius Club and The Devil in Amber really wouldn't go amiss. But even if I don't get any more stories about the indomitable, irreverent, and irresistible Lucifer Box, I can remember that this is what reading (and writing) should feel like: there should be something joyful in it. Even when it's difficult, there should be something to love. Because, as Laura and I have been discussing, it's clear that Gatiss must have been having a smashing good time writing these books. I'd like to remember what that's like.
But this is the season of resolutions, isn't it? I'm not going to make any. (I'm lying--I'm making them, but I'm not blogging about them just yet. I abandoned this blog for six months; I clearly can't be trusted.)
I am going to link you to Woody Guthrie's list of 33 resolutions that he made for 1942. All of these "New Years Rulin's" seem wise enough models to follow.
This isn't a resolution, but something else I thought was worth sharing:
|Yes, that is a mug with a Beowulf quotation on it. Also, a nautical star shotglass full of milk and a gingerbread cookie. |
Don't judge me.