I feel like I’ve been sick all winter, but I feel that I’m finally on the mend. On a day when I’m not hacking something up, speaking in a husky and not so sexy tone, or dying from a headache. But as the haze clears, where am I? Well, no better off on the writing front, that’s for sure. And strangely backwards in my thinking.
PUNKPUNK has sorta closed in its deadline. I’m sure I could still get something in, Ruzzie willing, but I’m in no form to continue the mess I’ve started. Which is nothing more than rough planning. The assassin story hasn’t even passed my mind. Very little has writing wise of late. I find myself with either that or a clean plate, with ‘whats next’ written at the top of the writing page.
But this isn’t about writing, or sickness, so much as it is about how I used to do things. I went into my local library recently. I write far more than I ever read any more, which is crying shame for a writer. I’m still hacking through my 1000 page copy of Shogun, a veritable doorstop of popular 80s fiction. Attempt number 5 and I still haven’t finished it. So I went looking, purposely, for something to read.
I was dismayed. I couldn’t find anything. In the genres I read, there were scattered volumes. Maybe book 3 or 2 in the series. Never book 1. None of my favorite authors are modern enough to be on the brand spanking new shelves. I left a little more than disappointed. Maybe a little at myself for not taking a chance on a book I knew nothing about, but probably more with the library.
The next day I headed to a second hand bookshop instead.
Wow. So much delicious choice, all just sitting there. Funny, because not only was it as disorganized, and it also lacked book 1 in the series, it was a more exciting prospect than the local library.
I used to do things this way. When I was 14. I used to spend all my loose change on second hand books, and back then (yes, woulda been late 80s maybe) second hand book shops were both plentiful and healthy. There was a $1 bookstand for sci-fi fantasy where I used to pick up some of the worst pulp, on its cover alone.
Picking through what were actually some pretty poor pickings at that second hand book store, I was filled with that same thrill I got as a kid. I picked something, shelled over my few dollars and made off with the book. It was all mine! No need for late fees or return dates, or renewals. I could take as long as I want to read this book. And I shall. But probably won’t.
That magic and almost dizzy remembrance of how I used to read, voracious and without a care for how bad the book was was a thrilling thing. Most of it was so I could stuff my bookshelf more and more with my own books. Now I think I own about 5 or 6 of my few volumes I could never part with.
With Spring officially being today, perhaps it might be a time to start doing things a new way. Reading again, with my own books. And now I’m a little better, writing again, with a new project …
EDIT: For the record, the book I ended up with was Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson. Meant to be a rather good series of sci fi books.