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The comfort of small things

Well, work on the book has slowed to a crawl the past two weeks because of various school and life-related crises. We also had a death in the family, one that we were prepared for, but one that also socked me in the gut in ways I did not expect. Getting back on schedule and back on track has been a challenge, and one I have not been dealing with very well in a variety of ways. And we’re also trying to deal with a major decision that must be made soon, and throw in some financial stress for the win!

So yeah. The world is tumbling now, it seems. It will, hopefully, find it’s balance soon. Or I will, at least.

Somewhere in all of this, I got the craving to read my old favorite book (series actually), and pulled it out of its box in the garage. It’s my copy of Tad William’s The Dragonbone Chair, and it has been a struggle to read.

Not a struggle to read the content. I am reminded of why I fell in love with Tad Williams, and the world of Osten Ard and the character of Simon Mooncalf/Pilgrim/Snowlock/that would be telling. The language, the descriptions, the warm embrace of his sentences and his lyricism, it’s been a real comfort in a difficult time.

But It’s been difficult to read because it is my original copy. I owe my ADHD/lack of details affliction for my introduction to this book. Back in the day, I was a member of the Science Fiction Book Club, and that was in the time when you had to send back those postcards or they would send you the book selection of the month, along with the bill (it may still be that way, I dunno, and I was 15 and a flake. I was going to send it back, but accidentally opened it up and read the first page, and this sentence grabbed me:

“It might have been the first day of Spring, , to judge from the air of breathless anticipation, but the calendar in Doctor Morgenes’ cluttered chamber showed differently: The Month was only Novander. Autumn was holding the door; winter was trudging in.”

That was it. And this was the book that rekindled my own desire to write. I wanted to create powerful moments for readers, like Williams did for me, and it was from that moment on, inspired to go into my room and start writing my bizarre little stories, that I really thought of myself as a writer.

This book, over 20 years old now, was a book club “hardcover.” Not meant to last the ages, and it has been much-reread and loaned out. Pages are falling out, its binding has collapsed and its faux-cardboard cover is useful merely as a folder in which to hold to collection of leaves. It goes without saying that the dustjacket has long since vanished into the ether. But i find that though I could go down to Barnes and Noble and pick up a new paperback, I want to read this one. It connects me to that part of me that is still important, and which I forget exists sometimes. I like holding the same thing that fifteen-year-old did, the one I have spent so many years despising, mocking, but for whom I have recently started to develop a tiny bit of affection. We are communicating with each other again through this physical object.

But maybe I’ll get a new copy if I decide to keep loaning this book out …. it’s already responsible for the existence of about a dozen Tad Williams’ fans, and it deserves its rest.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2009 in life, writing

 

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