I spent today quietly, rotating between two very pleasurable activities - workin' on the book, and reading R.J. Palacio's WONDER - and one very unpleasurable activity - obsessively tracking the ongoing Theater of the Absurd production of "Congress and the Fiscal Cliff." Really - How can some of our duly elected officials stand to look at themselves in a mirror?
But let's talk about fiction so we don't have to start throwing things. Let's talk about fiction so we can be calm and rational and civilized. Let me report that, at 75 pages, my book is now beginning to feel like a book, or at least a first draft, rather than an amorphous blob. Let me tell you how excited I am to have finally reached the stage at which I can put it on a leash and take it out for a walk.
And let me say that WONDER is pretty wonderful. I'm still only about a third of the way into it, except that for years now, I haven't been able to read books in any normal way. I flip forward, backward, completely randomly. I'd flip sideways if I could. A paragraph here, five pages there, whatever strikes my fancy. And then I go back and read the whole thing in linear fashion, and that way I can understand how it's constructed. That's the way I learn. So I already know everything that's going to happen to Auggie in fifth grade, but I'm still reading. See the difference? Anyway. More later after I've read it from beginning to end, but it's been a satisfying companion to me today.
And I guess that's my New Year message: be grateful for the little things. A good book to read. The time to write, and some well-turned sentences to show for it. A warm house. Two excellent dogs. A peaceful day (if you don't count the Congress part, and I won't).
Wishing you all those things, and other appropriate blessings, for the coming year.