As usual, I live in fantasfy land. Reading Madeliene L'Engle's A Severed Wasp, one of my most cherished authors, listening to the Eagles' "Hotel California". This is not the version that most know, ind]cluding what I knew. I have that, too, not to worry. This is an amazing. It's from their live release, Hell Freezes Over. It is the same song, but with a slower tempo, and more on the Spanish guitar side than rock. I heard at the last Installation dinner, when I was sworn in as Recording Secretary. I love it.
I find it so easy to get lost in things. I love my life, but books give me the life I don't have. I have love, and I have responsibility, and I have adventure. This is important. But there is nothing... cosmic, I guess... about my life. Mostly that's fine. But sometimes we all want a little cosmic. To make a difference in some unimaginable way that Martin Luther King, Jr. or Charlemagne or whoever did. Without fighting a war, wouldn't that be ideal?
The way Madeliene L'Engle writes, just by living we are fighting a war, fighting darkness. I find that her writing about the cosmic things gives me a sense of balance. A sense of not being alone. That's a good feeling. One should not feel lonely ever. I find that while I would hate not having Luis in my life, I would not be lonely. I suffered more being unemployed by far than I ever have without a man in my life. I never looked down on Christmas or Valentine's Day because I was not with someone. I don't have a man in my life romantically. I'm a very complete person without Luis or another man. Without vocation, I am then completely rudderless. Afloat in a lost sea. Isn't that weird?
I think - I know - that for most women it is the opposite. I have many more identity issues without work than without romance. Strange, eh? I suppose everyone has the Achilles heal that they cannot handle. I happen to - amazingly - have a different Achilles heal than most.
Anyway... I've been coming home and instead of turning on the telly, I have been reading, reaquainting myself with my favourite addiction, the printed word! How I adore the way great books can just suck me in, make a part of it, lost in the imagery, the life, the lives, the events! A really great author is one that creates a very strong visual with words. Granted, my mind does that, really, but without complete images given by the author, there are some things the mind doesn't give... or gives incompletely. But a great author makes you forget that you are reading and makes for the best movie ever. I have thousands of books, and I love most of the ones I've read. (I'm going to have to live to be 200 years old to read all I've got and don't think I won't buy more books between now and whenever my untimely end comes.)
Some great books:
Almost anything by The Complete Idiot's Guide... to or ...For Dummies. If it is a topic you enjoy or wanted to know more about, this is a great way to start. If history is too dry for you, read these. I loved them. Historians tend to suck the joy out of history.
David Eddings' The Belgariad and The Malloreon - he writes five-book trilogies, if you can believe it
Madeliene L'Engle - anything
Anne McCaffrey - The Dragonriders of Pern series is wonderful but as she got older and lost her talent, they go dowhill. Still, you have lots of books before the inevitable happens.
Thomas Harris - Those sick Hannibal Lecter books... very educational but not to be read at night.
Tom Clancy - The Hunt for Red October made a better movie, the book was WAY too technical. But Patriot Games and Debt of Honor need all 800 or so pages and are also quite educational.
Leo Frankowski - He wrote a not-so-well known series, The Cross-Time Engineer. A guy in 1980s Poland goes hiking in the Lower Beskids and ends up in 1340s Poland, ten years before the Mogolian Horde shows up. A-MAZing!
Diana Gabaldon - OK, if you can ignore the real awful sex scenes (and they don't come up right away), then it is well worth reading. It's a series, too, but as time wears on, it becomes abundantly clear that the void she is trying to fullfill though writing really could be readily solved with a well-made dildo. Sorry. But the Scottish history described within is worth skipping a few pages here and there of "he reached out and grabbed my heaving right breast".
Elizabeth Scarborough - Very cool fun reading. Fantasy, of course. That is how I started, reading science fiction and fantasy.
Piers Anthony - He's written bloody boatloads of books. I'm not kidding, heaps. This doesn't mean you should read all of them. However, the series Incarnations of Immortality are completely worth it. The first book is On a Pale Horse, about Thanatos, the Incarnation of Death. Surprise! It is an office, not a person. You have the other incarnations as well - Time (Chronos), War (Aries or Mars), Fate (Atrpos, who cuts the threads, Lachises, who places the threads, and Clotho who spins and measures the threads for the Tapestry of Life), Nature (Gaea). The titles give away which character is featured - Bearing an Hourglass, With a Tangled Skein, Weilding a Red Sword, Being a Green Mother, For Love of Evil and the last book in the series, And Eternity. This illustrates a lot of interesting things, each Incarnations' struggle with their own baliwick, the struggle between Good (God) and Evil (Satan), God's indifference to everything. There are little bits of weirdness, as Piers Anthony is pretty weird, but the books are excellent.
John Grisham - what more need I say?
Dava Sobel - a new discovery. She wrote Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, but her best book to me is Planets, an incredible mix of knowledge and music and poetry:
"At totality, when the Moon is a pool of soot hiding the bright solar sphere, and the sky deepens to a crepescular blue, the Sun's magnificent corona, normally invisible, flashes into view. Pearla nd platinum-coloured streamers of coronal gas surrond the vanished Sun like a jagged halo. Long red ribbons of electrified hydrogen leap from behind the black Moon and dance in the shimmering corona. All these rare, incredible sights offer themselves to the naked eye, as totality provides the only safe time to gaze at the omnipotent Sun without fear of requital in blindness."
Tell me that is not incredibly visual!