In the U.S. it’s a holiday weekend, THE holiday shopping weekend. The stores are opening at insane hours, like 6AM. I am trying to figure out what is so important to buy at some alleged sale price that one would get up at 6AM to obtain same. OK, there are two books I can think of doing that for, if I could get them for less than a mortgage payment but otherwise, no, I wouldn’t do it. Not even for a Barbie. Really.
But then, I am not an early riser and never was. Wish it were otherwise. The world, it seems to me–at least my part of it–is designed for early risers.
I recently read that people are driving to work earlier and earlier in hopes of beating the traffic and all they are doing is making more traffic. Here are some fascinating statistics from our local newspaper, in a set of Then and Now columns:
U.S. population in 1967: 200 million
U.S. population in 2006: 300 million
Registered motor vehicles in 1967: 98.9 million
Registered motor vehicles in 2006: 237.2 million
Since the numbers speak for themselves, I’ll move on to the next topic. Or, the original one, which is, here it is Thanksgiving weekend, and I’m thinking of maybe taking in a show at the Worcester Art Museum http://www.worcesterart.org/ which ends on Sunday, called, Horrors of War. It’s a collection of works from the permanent collection dealing with–yes, you guessed it–war. This art museum is another Massachusetts jewel. Also on view (and this one runs until June 2007) is an amazing exhibition of works in jade, which I oohed and ahed over during my last visit. After the high culture, I’ll head out midafternoon to see the new James Bond (though my heart is broken because it isn’t Pierce Brosnan, I’m trying to have an open mind).
But all I really wanna do is sit back in a comfy chair and read my book. I am already getting ideas for my next opus, which means this quiet time will soon be over. So I’m treating myself to Patrick O’Brian, because his works, it seems to me, deserve quality time, i.e., when one is not embroiled in one’s own fictional world. Also, I have to be careful what I read while working on a book because I’m very easily influenced. My characters could end up sounding like sea captains or drunken sailors and I might start spouting incomprehensible stuff about forecastles and yardarms and furled sails skinned up in the bunt. Well, probably not but since I don’t know where my ideas come from, it makes sense, when I’m actively writing, to exercise caution about my reading, like avoiding fiction set in my time period, for instance.
All of which is to say that my brain is enjoying a vacation and, not wanting to exert itself too much, whispered in my ear (really easy for a brain, what with being right there next to your ear and all), “Why not ask THE QUESTION?”
So I will.
What are you reading now?
And would you like to give the rest of us a taste by quoting the last paragraph of Chapter Six?
Here’s mine, from Patrick O’Brian’s The Ionian Mission:
“He took a few turns up and down the quarterdeck in order not to evade the disappointed looks of the crews housing their guns, the sullen, disappointed atmosphere, the flat sense of anticlimax. The ship was profoundly dissatisfied with him: he was profoundly dissatisfied with himself.”