As long as life lasts, there’s s&*t that has to be done. Losing friends doesn’t change that. I’m maybe a third of the way through the current project. I ran into a plot and direction quagmire that took a while to sort out, but I think I can see my way through now. Bad things are happening so that less bad things can happen later. Or more bad, depending on which character is involved and the reader’s point of view. So I’m writing. What I’m doing very little of, at least to my way of thinking, is reading.
It seems almost a staple of the blogging community here and elsewhere. What novels you’re reading. What short stories you’ve come across lately. What new writers are making themselves known. I always feel a little left out, and there’s a reason for that. You know what I’m reading now? A HISTORY OF JAPAN TO 1334 by George Sansom. And it’s not even accurate to say I’m reading it, because the guy is dry as dust. I’m cherry-picking it for information on the Nine Years War and Later Three Years War. Minamoto Yoshiie’s role in the rise of the Genji Clan in the late Heian period (their later conflict with the Taira is still a hundred years off). All for research for the current project. Glanced at the Locus Awards this morning and realized I hadn’t read a single one of the winners, and very little of anything else.
It’s not that I have no interest in the current state of the field. There are some fascinating things going on right now (and some not so much), but my to-read pile is dominated by research material and that is unlikely to change, and my time even for that is way too limited. I’d like to read WINDUP GIRL and then I’d only be a few years behind, but I also owe myself a reread of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and Grey Mouser series. I can’t do it all. I can’t even do a substantial fraction of it.
And that fact ticks me off more than I can say.