Semi-Professional Muse for Hire: Reasonable Rates
Guardian 1000 book challenge
So, via the lovely M. Molly Backes @ Bittersweet
, and at the behest therefore of Biblio File
, I've decided to enter the fray of the Guardian 1000 Book Challenge
. Just because I don't already have enough reading constraints for the year by only reading books that are already in the house.
This has to do with the Guardian's 1000 Books to Read Before You Die
.So, the challenge is to read and review 10 books off the list (that's 1%) between February 1st of 2009 and February 1st of 2010.
Of these 10, you must read 1 from each category and, if possible, 1 should be a book you have never heard of until you saw it on this list.
Fortunately for me, I counted how many of those books from the list that I have in my house: 42. Auspicious number! I definitely have books from each category (most from the Sci Fi/Fantasy category), but unfortunately I won't be able to do a book I haven't heard of until January of 2010.
I amazed myself by having already read 78 of the 1,000, and having heard of hundreds.
No, I still don't think I have a book problem; I'm just a naturally-born librarian.
In lieu of content, here's a story:
Paul put the plate of flapjacks gently down on the table, having learned his lesson about haste last time, and layered a thick stream of homemade maple syrup (tapped himself) upon them. His mouth watered at the sight of the mountain of pancake goodness, but the fire was dying and he needed more wood.
Donning boots and overcoat, Paul headed out to the woodpile and his axe, glinting cheerfully in the morning sun. He’d only chopped into the log twice, maybe, when he saw the message, “It’s time to go West.”
Paul had always seen the messages in the wood; sometimes faces, never words, but somehow the knots in the wood delivered the message. Swearing and longing for his stack of flapjacks, sadly cooling, Paul whistled for Babe and set off West and South on Babe’s broad back.
When Paul reached the coast, the ocean was on fire as far as he could see, with no people anywhere. Paul sat on the beach and Babe plunked down beside him, panting from the three-day run.
Paul watched the fire burn itself out for another three days, before once again riding away with Babe, the blue-tinged ox. Paul Bunyan, the last of the Nephilim, bears witness to the end of humankind before going home to his pancakes.The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
Copyright 2009 H.N.James
Dog days are here again
The dog is home! The dog is home! The dog is home!
Home again, jiggety jig
As of 12:30 a.m. this morning, we're back in Charleston. While I still have a love-hate relationship with West Virginia, a great wave of joy washed over me when we entered our house. This is our place, that Nick and I have created together. I missed it greatly during our slightly-under-two-week vacation. I missed my space, and my books, and my kitchen laid out exactly as I want it. I'm so relieved.
This morning I've already been out to Pantera Bread Co. for a decaf and a bagel; deposited a check; stopped by the bookstore to check next week's schedule; and done a rudimentary grocery shopping trip for essentials. It's sunny and 39 degrees and it feels balmy. The world seems a bit brighter.
While we cut various portions of our trip short by about a day in either direction, it turned out to be what we needed in terms of duration. We decided to travel yesterday so that we'd have a full weekend at home before Nick & I start working again on Monday. After 2008, which was chock-full of crazy travel deadlines and too much driving, we decided to start out as we mean to go on this year: in a leisurely fashion. The weather was clear, and it was lovely to watch the outside temperature sensor start registering higher temps as we drove south and the car began to get better gas mileage.
Tomorrow we'll pick up the dog and our homecoming will be complete.
I needed time away, with family and friends, to refresh my perspective and make me want to be here again, and ready to work on the things I need to work on this year. We're not planning much travel this year, if we can help it - ya'll will just have to come visit us.
Minnesota has never been my home, despite family roots and fond memories of childhood visit to my beloved grandmother. Wisconsin is not my home anymore, although it's familiar and easy to be there, and not challenging to me the way West Virginia is. Madison is an all-you-can-eat buffet of delicious foods and people and bookstores, but I always eat too much of everything and end up sick, literally and figuratively. I'm sure I can't live there again.
I have this weird intense joy just watching the sunlight through the sunroom door.
So, 2009 can bring it.
New Day Rising
I really just wanted an excuse to use the Husker Du song as a title.
I'm the first one awake today at Casa Coleman. I'm getting old. Even though I didn't drink much last night, it still affected my sleep patterns. I don't sleep as well or for as long. Maybe it's always been this way, but when I was younger I didn't mind as much.
I think I'm ready to go home and get back into whatever routines I decide to establish. I'm not entirely sure what they'll be yet. I do have goals for 2009, I don't do resolutions.
For example, my father-in-law has challenged us to do a 20-mile hike over several high peaks in the Adirondacks at the beginning of August, so we'll have to spend more time training for that and finding local hikes to prepare us.
I'm reading only books I already have (as of today, that are in my possession or in my house). That sounds pretty noble but I will come clean and admit that I visited several independent bookstores in Madison, WI (where they are thick on the ground, yo) and laid in stores. I also prioritized a path through the book stacks in the house in terms of interest and importance, although I reserve the right to jump into a novel whenever I feel like it.
When I'm back home I'll post my reading list for 2008 - I ended up at 127 books read for the year, which exceeded my goal of 100 nicely. I'll shoot again for 100 in 2009.
Professional (ha) goals include getting into a masters program for library science and getting my water aerobics certification (after 12 years!).
We spent a quiet New Year's Eve with good friends. The conversation was lively and fluid, and chock full of interesting ideas and comfortable digressions.
We all hope for better things in 2009. Peace and prosperity and hope.
I also want to eat, sleep, read, write, hike, and spend time with the excellent man I married.
And maybe be transported by music or fiction a time or two.