I’m baaaaack!

Jack Nicholson in "The Shining"

I'm baaaaack!

Yes, I’m back after an unexpected and drawn out hiatus.  It’s amazing how life can change in such a short time, and what’s equally amazing is how I have not spent one drop of that time reading or writing.  For some, this would not be unusual, but for me, it’s akin to living in Opposite World.

A quick update for those keeping track:

1.  I finished NaNoWriMo and actually submitted 50,000+ words by the end of November.  Now I need another November and possibly another 50,000 to get to the end of the story, but I was really proud of myself for reaching that goal. It makes me realize how much really is possible when I put my focused will into it.

2.  After the holidays, the business of which kept me away from my books and writing, I ended up relocating back to South Florida in a relatively sudden development, so the month of January was spent packing, cleaning and actually moving.

3.  I started and recently finished a temporary job which involved standing on my feet for interminable hours without the ability to sit, read, write, or do anything other than smile and chat up virtually non-existent customers.  My mind quickly proceeded to turn to jelly, and it was all I could do to arrive in my hotel room before passing out from physical exhaustion and mental stagnation.  As much as I appreciate the opportunity, I cannot express how glad I am that it is over.

4.  Of course, this now means that I am officially unemployed . . . but it’s May in South Florida and I’ve got a pool so it can’t be all bad.  Right?  Right???

5.  Relating to my previous post on technology, I acquired an iPhone 4 due to the infinite wisdom of Apple to share its hardware with a cellular provider other than AT&T.  It’s the only thing that kept me sane during #3 as I surreptitiously
checked FaceBook and email and text messages every 15 minutes all day.  It’s remarkable how quickly I was able to drain the battery during the long work day, not to mention pathetic how dependent I was on social media for a feeling of connection.

6.  Also relating to technology, most recently, I purchased an e-reader in anticipation of a vacation that I will be taking in about a week.  I went with an e-ink (black and white) version of Barnes and Noble’s Nook.  (Disclaimer:  a week or so after I received my cheap-o refurbished Nook from B&N, they came out with a new e-ink one which is where this link will take you.)  I agonized over the decision for quite a while before making a commitment, but the main reasons for selecting this particular item were the ability to “borrow” books from the local library because of the compatible file types, the capacity to “lend” books for two weeks for free to others who use a Nook (and I do know a couple), and I went with the e-ink because, bottom line, I have to be able to read it in the sun and that’s just not possible with any of the color readers currently available.  I’m sure they’ll figure it out eventually and I’ll probably upgrade at that point, but I’m really loving the look of e-ink right now.  So far, I’m delighted with my choice.

7.  Oh yeah . . . since this is supposed to be about classic books . . . I’ve read about half of The Scarlet Letter in the last 6 months.  Anybody familiar with that book knows that it should take a serious reader approximately 4 hours to read such a slim volume, particularly a reader, such as myself, who has already read it at least twice and written two separate research papers on it.  I actually enjoyed it in the past, so I choose to blame my inability to finish it to life circumstances rather than any fault of the book or the author.  I promise to finish it before the end of my vacation and report back.  Or maybe I’ll just copy an old research paper onto the blog.

8.  One final note or actually a plug.  My high school drama class friend Christy English has just released her second novel published through Penguin Books historical fiction division.  It’s entitled To Be Queen and I’m using it to christen my Nook.  It’s sort of a prequel to her first book The Queen’s Pawn which was on an earlier post of books I read last summer.  It deals with Eleanor of Aquitaine’s earlier life and marriage to the King of France.  It’s incredible to me that I actually KNOW somebody who is really making a living as a writer, and a darn good one at that (a good writer, I mean.  I have no insight into the magnitude of the good living she is making.)  It’s inspiring to me, and more than a little annoying that I haven’t been able to do it. I suppose I’d have to actually finish writing a novel first.  Details, details.

Go buy her books.  I’ll let you know when mine is available for purchase, but, uh . . . don’t hold your breath.

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