Lately I’ve been reading

I’ve been reading a lot lately.

The past week has found me finishing two books, which I know isn’t much to brag for; but then, I suppose it is, me being near the end of finals and all.

I’ve also been doing a bit more writing. (Funny how quick I am to discount the writing I do for this blog as writing; in truth, I just see it as a different sort, not the same as when I’m writing fiction, for then it feels like I’m really doing something, as if I’m actively working towards my aspirations and whatnot. I should be better about that…) The writing I have done is small (a few pages, really) but nonetheless it extends the life of the novella I’m working on, and I’ll be damned if that doesn’t feel good.

It feels good to finish things; to close shut the covers, as I know I’ve talked about before, and just let that feeling of accomplishment touch me, embrace me for but a moment, before I’m picking up the next book so that I’ll feel it again.

Writing often feels one of two ways for me: either it is like one small staggering step after another up a hill; a hill that is ever-growing, and has been drenched in rain so that it is slick and I feel myself sliding down every now and again; or it is a dreamed dance: an elegant series of movements flowing into the next, with each one adding depth and complexity to the overall movement. Lately, fortunately, by miracle or not, it has started feeling like the latter again. Too often I forget how reading impacts my writing: it makes it all easier, you see, when the words you reach for are there at your fingertips, and not deep down inside you, dwelling. It feels good, this recent surge of productivity.

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of Neil Gaiman (First Coraline, towards the end of October; then The Graveyard Book, a few weeks ago; and this weekend, Stardust). I bought two others at the bookshop with a friend yesterday (The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Neverwhere), and while I will certainly finish these first, I could always use more recommendations. If you have some, please feel free to share.

Ideally, I’d like to keep this going. I forget how much better I feel when I read. Too often I’m lured into the addictive world of online entertainment and find myself straying from the old ways of leatherbounds and hardcovers.

But it’s nice to be back. I always imagine the flow of writing I talked about being a lot like the feeling of reading a good book, with each page effortlessly turning after the next. I love that feeling of flowing.

It’s warm, and safe, like the hearth of a fire: a place where stories have always been shared.

Maybe I’ll start a book club, for I’d love to share this feeling with others; and together we can all sit by the fire and share stories, and laughter, and most of all company.

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