I've been radio silent while dealing with my annual bout of Winter Malaise—which seems to get worse every year, maybe I should buy one of those full-spectrum lights or something?—but I'm finally starting to feel like myself again. And by "feel like myself", I mean that I'm finally wanting to blather on about books and, like, INTERACT WITH HUMANITY, and just generally do stuff other than play Gnomoria* and Kingdom of Loathing while drinking endless cups of tea and re-watching Next Gen.
But until I manage to get Totally Motivated, just so you know, I AM STILL ALIVE, and will be getting back to posting regularly very soon.
Annnnnnd I just looked outside and it's snowing again.
*HOLY COW I LOVE IT SO MUCH AND I REALLY CAN'T STOP.
Josh: How are your gnomes doing? Did your yaks run away again?
Me: Pretty good! I've even got some emus and alpacas now, and they're all just trucking along. No one's even died y— ...OH MY GOD HOW DID ALL OF THOSE GOBLINS JUST GET INTO MY FORTRESS THEY'RE PUNCHING MY YAK AND STEALING MY STUFF WHAT THE HELL WHERE DID THAT MANT COME FROM!?!??!?!
This'll be short and sweet, because my MAJOR GOAL is this:
To stop worrying about always staying on top of the newest, the shiniest, the most buzzed-about books.
To stop reading what I think I SHOULD be reading, and to read what I WANT to read.
To stop beating myself up for not writing at length about everything I read, for not posting every day, for not doing MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE.
I would also like to:
Read more adult fiction. I miss it, and I've been so busy over the last couple of years that it's been super-backburnered. I'd like to read at least a chapter a day of SOMETHING originally written for the adult market, if only as a palate cleanser.
Read more backlist. An easy 99% of the pitches in my inbox are for the NEWEST, the HOTTEST, the NEXT BIG THING. I feel like I've missed a lot of stuff over the years, and so I'm giving myself license to forgo reading some of the super-new stuff in favor of focusing on some older titles.
Earlier this year, a New York Times Magazine profile of the showrunner Shonda Rhimes (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) included a line that made me think she was even more than the talented and savvy TV writer she’s already shown herself to be: “Rhimes observes that people, even the ones who like ‘Scandal,’ describe it as ‘ridiculous,’ which she can live with, or a ‘guilty pleasure,’ which she ardently despises.” I despise it, too. If there’s a contemporary idiom that puzzles and irritates me in equal measure, “guilty pleasure” is it. I object to neither the pleasure, nor the guilt; it’s the modifying of one by the other that works my nerves, the awkward attempt to elevate as well as denigrate the object to which the phrase is typically assigned.
Which is especially hilarious, as Lemon's caterwauling this morning—I can only assume that she was insulted by the recent snowfall—reminded me that living with a Siamese is occasionally less-than enjoyable.
Me: *finally looks up from book* Hmm? What? Did you say something?
Josh: I'M SO BORED!! THE CYBILS ARE RUINING OUR MARRIAGE!
Me: Oh, pshaw. You say that every year. *goes back to reading*
(And before you get all worried about him, don't worry! After that conversation, he popped out to buy a new video game, so once gets home, I'll get him settled in front of the television, and he'll be FINE!
Not because I have huge affection for the movie—I have some affection for it, but I'm not, like, passionate about it or anything—but because if a new one happens, that'll kick off a whole new round of Josh chasing me around the house while saying "COME TO DADDY!!" in the super-creepy way that the possessed father (Or is it the uncle wearing the father's face? I forget.) does in the original movie:
He really does do a spot-on impersonation. It's so grodily creepy.
If so, I understand: believe me, I do. It took me YEARS to get up the courage to go.
Because, to be embarrassingly honest, I was kind of SCARED. I'm somewhat shy, and I've (sadly) never really grown out of that OH GOD I'M GOING TO MEET ALL SORTS OF NEW PEOPLE AND WHAT IF THEY ALL HATE ME AND NO ONE TALKS TO ME AND I END UP ALONE ON THE DANCE FLOOR??
Not that there's a dance floor, necessarily, but you know what I mean.
Yeah, it wasn't anything like that. I had so many moments—and I know I'm not alone in this—in which I'd recognize a name on a nametag, and then realize that the wearer of said nametag was having that same moment with my nametag, and then we'd make eye contact and get big dumb grins on our faces and give each other hugs and it was all just so GENUINELY NICE that I don't know how to talk about it without devolving into a big puddle of treacle.
It was like... the internet allowed me to Find My People and to get to know them, but it was at KidLitCon that they really became MY FRIENDS. There's just something about meeting face-to-face that makes the relationships more REAL, somehow. Now, when I read what they've written on Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr or their various blogs or even in their books, I hear their actual voices in my head.
And that's not even taking into account all of the panel discussions and the networking and the presentations and the food and drinks and so on.
It's SUCH a great time, and I'm sad that I missed out on it for so many years.
You only have a few more days to make up your mind, and I'm very much hoping that you'll take the plunge. It's so, so worth it.