Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Athens

"There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination.
Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments,
cellularly, like a laborious mosaic."

-Anais Nin

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Travel Tuesday: New Hampshire

"I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person."
-Sylvia Plath

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Insadong

A Korean tin man?

"When a man's an empty kettle,
He should be on his mettle
And yet I'm torn apart
Just because I'm presumin'
That I could be a human
If I only had a heart..."

-The Wizard of Oz

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Athens

"God enters by a private door into every individual."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What Is on My...


Nothing yet. Hah! I love New Year's. I love the open, empty expanse of a brand-new page in life. I tend towards synesthesia, and visualize the year sort of like a ladder. December is very far from January--visually, as well as emotionally and socially. I anticipate hibernation: days spent revising in front of the fire, lemon-poppy seed muffins just out of the oven, a pot of herbal tea at my side, snow falling.

It's nice that I live in a fictional world, isn't it? More than likely, I'll be pulling my hair out about  a scene, scarfing leftover Christmas chocolates, drinking day-old bottled water, and pulling a wool blanket tight around my shoulders because I'm freezing. However, hope springs eternal. Maybe there really will be lemon-poppy seed muffins.

An ice pack. A year ago, I sprained my sacroiliac joint after a weekend of thinking I was invincible: running a 5K, shimmying up a rock wall, heaving 50 lb bags of grain over my shoulder. I came undone when I tried to close my dresser drawer the next day. Pop. Pain. Physical therapy.

This past weekend, we hiked along the Mohawk River with my mother-in-law. I was careful where I stepped, but not careful enough. My foot went through the crust of icy snow up to my shin, and my back completely seized up. When I finally got my muscles relaxed a bit, I realized the problem wasn't with my muscles; it was in my sacroiliac again. How could it be that I fell six inches and now am bound for PT again? Sigh.

Ice, ice, baby.

On our road trip to New York over the holidays, we listened to three audiobooks: Liar & Spy; Bridge to Terabithia; and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. When Bridge to Terabithia finished, I remarked that that had been one of my favorite books, a book I read time and time again as a child. My husband asked me why. I couldn't answer, other than it made me feel something. Each time I read it, I would hope that this would be the time that Jess would invite Leslie along with them to Washington. But it never was. The ending was always the same. And I always cried.

Why was I drawn to that book? Why am I drawn to certain books now? What makes a book good? What prompts a reader to return to a book, when life is short and books are plenty?

I suspect that is a question I will ask myself over the course of my career, a question I will pose with each book I write, a question I contemplate even now as I approach revisions.

Agatha Christie. Yes, I should catch up on the Newbery contender lists, but instead I make Dame Agatha my bedfellow. I'm not certain why it is that I seek comfort in fictional murder (see above); perhaps it's the clever way solutions are teased out of seemingly impossible situations. Perhaps it's the 1920's vibe. Perhaps it's Poirot's mustaches or Mrs. Marple's knitting needles. Whatever the reason, I'm diving in.

Snow. Lots of it, with more coming. I don't mind, though, as I like the landscape monochromatic. I would be snow-shoeing in it, if I could walk, curse you sacroiliac! 

My long list of resolutions seems to rally around the edges of things, looking forward as well as looking back, shifting through boundaries of time, through borders of place, and into perspectives and points of view.

Time management, genealogy, parenting, travel dreams (Reykjavik? San Juan? Mumbai? Beijing? Yosemite?) The world is a big place, and I love it.

My life is big; my dreams are big. My goals are big.