Thoughts for Thursday - Ti(red)

Tomorrow is my birthday -- well, anti-birthday. I refuse to have a birthday this year. Theoretically.

As birthdays do, this one got me to reflecting upon the year past. It seems to me that the American culture in general has gone into hyperspeed. I don't think I'm the only person who feels that way, either.

How it affects me is that I do not have time (or energy) to reflect and think, and that in turn affects my quality of life. (I can even see a degradation in my blog posts over the past dozen months, from lengthy and rather complex to quick and dirty.) What to do to change the dynamic...? Answer is not clear yet.

First things first: I'm taking a few days off. I'll be doing some fun things to celebrate my anti-birthday (yes, you can still celebrate, even if it's an anti-birthday) and generally slacking.

So, see you soon. Until my next post, here is a link you might enjoy perusing.


I am not a big fantasy/sci-fi buff, never have been. I figure this world has enough interesting people and plots to deal with; why add distant planets or goofy names to the mix? But, I'm trying.

I think I'll check out the Best American Fantasy 2006 for starters. (Here's a sneak peak, via Edward Champion.)

Then there's Carl V.'s Once Upon a Time Challenge (god, I love Carl's challenges!). He has listed some damned fine choices (I also think Kailana chooses some good examples of the genre.) While I cannot devote so much time to the entire challenge, I thought I'd try one or two. (I hope Kate Mosse's Labyrinth counts, since I already have that one.) I'll sleuth around and see if something, anything strikes my fancy.

It's perfectly okay to have strong reading preferences, and I certainly don't want to waste my time on crap when there are so many classics I need to read but...doesn't hurt to keep an open mind. Who knows? I might develop a taste for intergalactic romance or Hobbity type creatures. Anything's possible.


10 (+2) Books I Couldn't Live Without

I should subtitle this: "10 books that make me want to write." Because I cannot separate "books I cannot live without" from books that influence me as a writer: The two activities, for me, are irrevocably intertwined.

These are books that use language, plot and/or character in delightful and astonishing ways, that engross me even upon multiple readings, that make me gloriously happy and terribly humbled over the human capacity for language. The +2 are books that I loved as a young reader. In some way, these books touched my core and spoke some truth. I hope, too, that I have many books left to add to my list.

This is for Kailana, who asked the provocative question in the first place. (No particular order).

1. Jane Eyre

2. Pride and Prejudice

3. Swann’s Way

4. Shakespearean Sonnets (or, to really cheat, Collected Works of Shakespeare)

5. On the Road

6. Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath

7. Bleak House

8. To the Lighthouse

9. Anna Karenina

10. Crime & Punishment

Little Women
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn