So. Where have I been?
Mostly, I've spent the last month waiting for test results to see if I have cancer. I've gotten a mostly clean report back, except for one thing that we still don't quite know is going on. I thought I was handling the waiting well - this has been going on since the middle of summer - but I found I couldn't engage in the world while I waited these past three weeks. I didn't know this beforehand, or I would have left a little message! I only realized I was withdrawing last weekend, when I realized I had missed shopping for our youngest's birthday last Monday because I didn't want to leave the house.
I have been able to read, and am half-way through Jane Eyre, and took a break to read Flashforward by Robert Sawyer, which the new tv series is based on. I missed the beginning (3 episodes) of the tv show so I decided to read the book instead! It's good SF - I love the premise, but as is the case with usual SF, the characterization peters out about half-way through, and it becomes explanation, telling the story instead of showing us. In writer's circles, we are always being told "show the reader, don't tell." Science fiction, when they are trying to fit the characters and story around the science idea, always reminds me of this lesson (and how not to tell a story!). A good example of writing for characters and science is anything by Connie Willis, the new Doctor Who on TV, Neal Stephenson (and I just looked at Anathem by him and added it to my Christmas wish list!), Kim Stanley Robinson, Ray Bradbury - character driven science fiction. Among the best? Dune by Frank Herbert. At least for me it is, I'm sure many of you have science fiction authors you love. So Flashforward is enjoyable, but don't go into it expecting great storytelling. It's still worth reading, just for how the flash-forward is explained, and the philosophical discussions around a fixed fate vs free will: is our future already fixed? Or is it fluid? If we see what's ahead, does it have to be that way?
So, as I begin to recover from my first scare (and hopefully many years before any more!), I find I can to talk again. It wasn't just you, my dear Gentle Reader, I stopped talking to really everyone but my immediate family, without knowing I was doing it. I used to do this as a child, and apparently some coping mechanisms never go away!
I hope you all have had a really good Hallowe'en in the meantime, and have watched the leaves falling as the year darkens. The good thing about this time of year, as many of you said in your comments to my post about autumn, is that it means we can spend more time reading happily in our homes. I certainly will be. After getting the good news on Wednesday, I can start thinking about Christmas happily, and the first thing I did was -
go to a bookstore.
Even my husband noticed that I hadn't bought any books for almost two months, which is most unlike me. So I'm going to make up for it now! :
My Christmas Wish List (to be added to until Christmas Eve, and possibly after if I don't get everything I want!!)
Canadian Living Slow Cooker Collection (I love my slow cooker!)
Slow Cooker: Best Cookbook Ever - Diane Phillips
Diabetic Cookbook - Bridget Jones (for me, still getting used to this too!)
Fearless Fourteen - Janet Evanovich
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley (this looks really good, finally out in softcover)
Anathem - Neal Stephenson (one of the best books of last year, finally out in softcover, and it looks really good)
Champlain's Dream - David Hackett Fischer (since I didn't get it last year, and I still want to read it!)
All The Colours of Darkness - Peter Robinson (latest in Insp Banks series)
Arctic Chill - Arnaldur Indridason (the latest in the series)
Doors Open - Ian Rankin (stand alone mystery)
The Complaints - " " (new series with Malcolm Fox, I think is the main detective's name. Looks very dark and quite good).
The Private Patient - PD James
Tarot Wisdom - Rachel Pollack
Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom - " " (both are classic books in tarot reading)
Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories - Connie Willis (sadly the hardcover no longer available, still waiting for a soft cover version. Come on, Subterranean Press!!!)
oooh, her new one is just listed for next Feb '10:
Blackout - Connie Willis
I've only just begun looking, so more will be added! and I don't expect to get everything! It's just lovely to have lots to choose from. Is there anything on your Christmas lists yet, dear Gentle Reader?
I also have to apologize for not finishing the RIP1V challenge the way I'd planned, nor the ghost stories. In fact, I couldn't read any more horror or ghost stories; Jane Eyre was the closest I could come, and I put it down last week when it's her wedding day and she's about to find out about the wife. This is my least favourite part of the book and I hate her journey to the moors and the religious nut she finds (sorry but I loathe him!) so as my test results were given on Wednesday, I put it down until I'm ready to deal with Rochester's betrayal. I had forgotten what a masterful creation he is, such a complex character - he so loves Jane, but he's never quite fully honest with her, and I know he's trapped, but I still think lying to her was reprehensible. Do you have any thoughts about this, dear Reader? Let me know......
Do you want me to keep posting some of the ghost stories from Bluenose Ghosts? Or is it too close to Christmas now? I do intend to finish it now, so if anyone wants to hear a few more ghost stories, let me know (yes, Cath at Read-warbler, I'm looking at you.....)
Mmm. The pictures on the cookbooks have made me hungry.
And then, this book lover admits, it's time for my nightly viewing of an episode of Fringe. Yes, I've watched the entire first season (now on DVD) once, and am working my way through a second time. I love this series!! I won't confess to how often I watch each weekly episode of Season 2 as it airs this season, let's just say, this is one of those very rare tv shows that I can watch two or three times (in some cases many more!) and still feel there are things I'm missing.
Happy reading and Fringe-watching, everyone!