of all the hobbies i’ve loved before

Before my official diagnosis in 2006 I was a voracious reader. I lived in a townhouse with husband #2 and we had bookshelves in damn near every room. The one in the living room was the largest; easily eight foot tall and four foot wide. R made extra shelves for it and I had every single one of them double deep. I read every damn book in the house, at least once.

When I was manic I could read a book in a day, two if it was really long. My favorite genre was, and still is, science fiction/fantasy. My dad introduced me to some of the OGs that he loved and then R hooked me on more. Reading was a drug for me.

My favorite author of all time is Robert A. Heinlein. His style, his philosophies, his universes, all of it appealed to me. Well, most of it. There were a few books and short stories that I just couldn’t get into, but the overwhelming majority of it spoke to my soul.

He wrote strong female characters during a time when women weren’t supposed to be strong. He wrote about sexuality in ways that were considered taboo at the time. And he wove messages of love and acceptance in his universes that we, in 2019, are still struggling with.

My favorite book of his is Time Enough for Love, the story of Lazarus Long, the oldest human. I’ve read it at least ten times, I love it that much. The story spans his three thousand years of life and is told through a combination of flashback vignettes and straight storytelling. It’s masterful. If you have any inclination to read something different and new (old actually), this is the book.

I find the philosophy of life that Heinlein espouses in that book highly appealing. It’s essentially “live and let live” and there’s not judgement of what love “should” look like or how it should be expressed. Children should be protected at all costs, assume the other guy is decent until he proves you wrong, and don’t be afraid to do what needs to be done. It’s truly one of the least judgemental books I’ve ever read.

He wrote other books and short stories, tons of them. Some of my other favorites are Fear No Evil, Stranger in a Strange Land, and To Sail Beyond the Sunset. If you want recommendations for other amazing authors, I would try…

  • Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon series
  • Patricia Kennealy Morrison
  • Patrick Rothfuss
  • Piers Anthony’s Xanth series (corny as hell but really good)
  • Brian Jacques’ Redwall series (kind of young adult lit but also really good)

Here’s a sad confession… At the height of my reading frenzy I owned several hundred books. When I was diagnosed and started meds I lost the ability to concentrate long enough to read. I gave away my books and stopped reading except for work. At the moment I own fewer than thirty books.

But –

Thanks to starting the MFA program I’ve found my reading mojo again. I’m able to sit still, concentrate, and enjoy what I’m reading. So hey, at least I’ve got that going for me.

In other news, life is mostly going great. I know I should follow up on the goals I had sort of set for February but, to be honest, I can’t be bothered right now. I can tell you that I finished the Davina shawl and made three headphone pouches (not on the list, but necessary). And I did well with my finances, though I can’t recall if that was part of it. And I submitted sixty new pages in my manuscript and everything got turned in a day early. I think that’s admirable.

This month I’m working to finish a shawl I started sometime last year. The construction of this one is very different than ones I’ve done previously. It’s made of shell shaped pieces and then sewn together. The pattern says to make 36 and I think I have five done so far. It’s going to be quite lovely though. The yarn has long gradients of green.

Eighteen days until Dublin…

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