Sad. I've been avoiding my blog because I'm embarrassed for saying I'm throwing in the towel, embarrassed to say I changed my mind overnight, then embarrassed to have been away so long, not knowing what I want to say in an "I'm back!" post.
I'm giving way too much importance to something that's really not essential at all. Am I the leader of the free world? Does my presence or absence matter, in the grand scheme of things? Time to get over myself, already. Sit down. Type. Press send. Done. No worries how I stack up against other book bloggers, no grand illusions. Writer 'er up and ship 'er out. I need to remind myself why I started blogging about books. It was for fun, right? To have a record of what I've read and if anyone else enjoyed reading along, great! If not, okay! Navel gazing over.
But gosh diddly, have I been reading away. Sitting here I'm staring at various ARCs, not even 1% of what's creating massive clutter Chez Moi. There's Josh Hanagarne's The World's Strongest Librarian, Colum McCann's TransAtlantic and a couple I can't see the titles of because there's so much paper on top of them, and/or because I need a new glasses prescription and haven't bothered putting in my contacts yet today (it's only 6:30 p.m., give me a break!). To my left is Kevin Smokler's recent Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven't Touched Since High School. Oh, and open face down on my right is Snapper by Bria... Kimberl... (there's a pile of mail covering the rest of his name.)
Recently I finished reading Susan Cain's Quiet, Amy Gail Hansen's The Butterfly Sister (another ARC, set for early August release), a few ARCs in eBook form and the stunning Harvest by Jim Crace, whom I interviewed for BookBrowse.com. Such a nice, nice gentleman. He's vowing not to write any more, did you hear? So he's been saying. What a loss to literature. Why couldn't James Patterson decide that? Or that erotica chic who writes about gray shades? Even JK Rowling's abysmal writing for adults. Wouldn't miss one of them. But Jim Crace: that's a kick to the chest.
In author events, I went to see Joseph Epstein - the lauded essayist - last Thursday. Essayists do not get nearly enough attention, by the way. I could go off on one wicked screed about that. The man's a genius. His intelligence is wildly varied, like all us Liberal Arts majors with pretty but useless degrees, only he made something of HIMself.
He just published a book on gossip and is working on one about charm. It was gossip he spoke about at the Woodstock Opera House. And was he ever hilarious. There was a lot of waxing not so much poetic as nostalgic, talking about how people used to feel shame for their lack of decorum and now anything and everything goes. Crotch shot of Anne Hathaway, anyone? We can thank social media for that. Gossip about Jennifer Aniston's latest husband? Or lack thereof?
He signed afterward, so I bought his latest on gossip, as well as an older compilation of biographical essays. I was going to say something goofy to him, either ask that he write a juicy bit of gossip in the one book and that I wouldn't tell anyone - hoping he'd realize I was, indeed, not kidding. That, or tell him my own personal Billy Collins gossip, since he'd been brought up - during the Q & A afterward - as one of the few remaining examples of a charming person. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. I felt intimidated in his presence. All those authors I've met and talked to, saying some of the most outrageously stupid things (Good you writes, real good! Make you name with a pen!) and here, in front of Joseph Epstein, I was like a teenager meeting Justin Bieber. Why? Listen to the names he can drop, then ask me that again.
Some have asked how I get authors to reply to me, to grant me interviews almost without fail. Threatening is one great way. So is blabbing about them so much, so pathetically and so often they throw me a bone just to shut me up. Approaching them with due respect, tossing in a bit of educated humor, is another. Then, there's name-dropping. Never underestimate the power of name-dropping.
They're not gods, people, just incredibly fascinating human beings who make magic happen just by showing up at the keyboard every day. Get over it!
Anyway. I'm all over the place like always: suffering a mild nervous breakdown, busy with spring break activities (so pathetic it may wind up great blog fodder), working hard on my "Get More Healthy in 2013" plan - involving both healthier eating AND exercise! - and feeling generally drained and weary. All of which is to say I haven't felt much like blogging for a while, haven't felt I even had anything interesting to say and probably need the ol' anti-depressants titrated.
It is what it is. I'm easing back into blogging (and, by the way, I have no idea why my comments button disappeared) with an eye toward, well, I was going to say something profound but I think it's more appropriately described as "whatever." It's like when your dog's a puppy and eats all your stuff. We'll just see what comes out.