Breathing From Hope

The weekend was lovely, though far too short–mostly because I worked through most of it, in one way or another, as has become necessary or just advisable nowadays. If I slow down too much, I run the risk of drowning.

The solar-powered lucky cat in the office garden is busily waving away, a sign the grow light is performing as intended. Otherwise, it’s a very dim rainy morning indeed, and the other solar bits and bobs–mostly flowers–are breathlessly still, waiting to see if the clouds will part. They probably won’t, which pleases me to no end–running in the rain is a particular joy, and I have new running socks.

There is very little as luxurious as new socks.

Sunday was extremely quiet; I built a fire in the upstairs fireplace and read from Anaïs Nin’s diaries. I’ve often meant to read more than Henry & June (and some of the erotica) and now seems the time to do it. I did read Henry Miller during my first-ever bookstore job, but found him very much like Brautigan, Heinlein, Harrison, and a great many of the Beats–so in love with worshiping their own twig-and-berries that they can’t see anything else. They imagine they’re casting monolith shadows, but it’s really just a lone stick stuck in the sand at noon, only seeming a monument because they’re looking at nothing else. Nin, for all her faults, has to take a wider view.

Anyway, it’s really nice to read Nin after intervening decades. I’ve gone from “why would you even be thinking about this, Anaïs?” to “oh, honey, I’ve been there, it’ll be so nice to see you get to the other side of it.” That’s the power of age, of surviving a world that wants to kill anything female.

Another thing I’m thinking about a lot lately is the idea, prevalent in both fantasy and horror, that childhood is a time of great power that never comes again. There is certainly a great deal to be said for innocence and wonder, and the energy of a young thing. But I want to write magical systems and things now where age and experience means far more power and counts for more than “I’m a young and talented Gary Stu, hur de hur hur, and I’ll never be this good again.” My thoughts on this are a bit inchoate at the moment, but I can see the dimensions of the problem and have possible solutions in mind. I think that’ll be the theme of The Innkeeper’s War but I have to finish The Black Land’s Bane first.

It’s nice to have things to think about, to feel like there might be enough of a future to continue breathing out of hope rather than mere spite. I’ve been sticking myself head-down in stories to survive for my entire life, but the years since 2016 have been…something else. May you live in interesting times is a horrible curse and if I ever found out who inflicted it on us I shall have words with them, dammit.

This morning, for the first time in a long while, I feel like there might be a future to survive for. Or maybe it’s just that my focus has narrowed so sharply I am seeing different horizons? I don’t know. It could just be the fact that I’m up relatively early on a Monday and need a new office chair. Ideally, I’d like one I can sit cross-legged in while I type, but that seems to be a fond dream more than an actual item than exists.

I spent a long time writing novels on a laptop balanced on a lap-desk while I sat cross-legged in a papasan chair, and while that might’ve been bad for my back it was good for me creatively, and I could also stretch out when necessary. I miss that, though I’m sure I could just…stand up? And get the same thing?

I don’t think I want solutions. I think I want to complain. *snork*

There’s another Tea with Lili today, and I actually have a dedicated Teatime Notebook now where I make notes about future subjects and things to talk about. I think today it’ll be a follow-up to my feelings about the so-called self-help industry, which we touched on last week, and we’ll talk about the work of worldbuilding as well as why I like timers so much. It’s good to have something planned, though I’m sure I’ll go wildly off-topic, as per usual.

The dogs are prancing up and down the hall, eager for me to grab some toast and get started on the day. I still have a third of a cup of coffee left, though, and the morning’s quad shot tastes especially good today for some reason. Seasoned by survival, perhaps.

Happy Monday, beloveds. I get to go running in the rain, which always pleases me, and I hope you have something likewise pleasant to look forward to.

See you around.