Books and other lovely things

My recent lack of blogging can largely be summed up as “where the hell did November go and why is it December 6th already?”. Sorry about that.

(ETA: For further examples of how quickly time has gone, witness my conviction (above) all day that today is December 6th rather than 7th. No wonder so many things seemed to be going wrong today…)

I’d try to catch you all up with everything, but November and early December has disappeared with me only really aware of two events:

– My birthday was awesome and I had a lovely day. I spent the evening with my knitters and, despite my only contact with family being a video chat with the parents, I felt much less alone than I did last year. It seems that I’m developing the kinds of friendships that feel like a family rather than just being people I see sometimes and I’m so grateful for that. My friend’s baby being born on my birthday was the best present I could have had – little Isla is gorgeous.

– I hosted the knitting Christmas party. It’s the first time this house has hosted anything that large, the first time I’ve really had people over here that aren’t family and the first time the cats have had to deal with lots of strangers. We did surprisingly well and had a fabulous night. I feel much more confident about hosting people now that I’ve done it and am already trying to think up some things I can do in the new year.

So, yes, six weeks went by with only two really outstanding events (apart from new Doctor Who, obviously).

I’m not quite sure why my ability to write, blog or really think went so badly AWOL over the last few weeks. I’m blaming books, though.

I’ve been on a bit of a murder mystery kick for the last two months. As entertaining as it’s been, mystery fiction doesn’t really get my thinky side going. It tends more to get me being lazy about thinkiness. I had a brief break while I read the source for a writing challenge, then I was back to mysteries with “The Killings at Badgers’ Drift”. I enjoyed that hugely (it confirmed that Midsomer really is a set of villages inserted into and/or based on the area I grew up in) and finished it on Saturday morning. I’m going to England in less than two weeks (!!) and I can’t borrow anything new from the library because I may not have time to return it before I leave. So I wandered down to the office/library to look for something new to read.

Why haven’t I re-read The Dark Is Rising sequence since I was a teenager? I remember loving it and yet I’ve not picked it up since. I accidentally brought my Dad’s copies to Canada with me and it appealed as a nice break from crime fiction so I grabbed the first one on Saturday.

I finished Over Sea, Under Stone yesterday. The only reason that I haven’t finished The Dark Is Rising is because I had to work today. They’re really very compelling. And they’re making me think and imagine again, although I’m not sure that I can put much of it into words.

Reading The Dark Is Rising is reminding me a lot of the feeling I get when watching The Box of Delights. I think it’s the mixture of Christmas setting, older wise mentor (I’m sorry, Merriman Lyon looks rather like Cole Hawlings in my head), magical snow storms and a young boy coming of age and having adventures filled with magic and time travel. They’re very different stories, really, but the surface elements are there.

It’s rather a good time of year to be reading that kind of thing.

Going back to the non-blogging thing, I’m hoping that I won’t be taking this kind of break again any time soon. I need to remember that, as good as a good crime novel is, it doesn’t stimulate my imagination or my mind in quite the same way that a good dose of fantasy or children’s literature does. I miss my imagination when it’s not working properly.

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