Marching Forth

“Why do they not teach you that time is a finger snap and an eye blink, and that you should not allow a moment to pass you by without taking joyous, ecstatic note of it, not wasting a single moment of its swift, breakneck circuit?”               —   Pat Conroy

A year ago today, March 4th, my favorite author passed away due to cruel, diligent, incessant illness.
I’m a librarian and every time a new release calendar arrives in my email, I cannot help but skim the lines for Mr. Conroy’s name. I cannot help but wish so fervently for a new word from this author. If it’s an “I’m Dead and Here’s What I See,” that’s fine. I’ll take that. He’ll describe it beautifully. If the words were new pages of manuscript pulled from beneath a pile of old receipts and cupcake wrappers, I’d take that, too. Dust them off. Or don’t. I can handle dust. I just want to read what he writes.
But so far, no new words.
Recent literary offerings are writ in broadly painted strokes. Today’s attention span is ephemeral, a four-pica width, so tightly packed as to disallow for character development or description. Writers offer nuance, a shade, and leave intricacies to the reader.
And that’s what our general reading population wants. Quick story, fun plot, hopefully a dead body by page three, then let’s move on because I have things to do.
I respect that. I, myself, need to read many books weekly in order to stay on top of trends.
But. BUT.
When I need a real read, a story, an immersive tale, I adore a detail brush. And coffee. And a squooshy blanket.
It’s my Conroy Trifecta.
I had the joy of meeting Mr. Conroy once, and to this day, I squirm at my own geekiness. I didn’t ask what I wanted to ask, I didn’t apply enough Fandom to the situation, but I swam, denuded in nerd-dom, too briefly into Mr. Conroy’s ice-blue eyes and have pictures to prove it.
I guess that must work.
And I’ll still wish for his name on every New Release list.

Southern Titles to Read this Year — I have a list

Today — less than an hour ago, in fact — I acquired a list of books written by Southern authors, and I have challenged myself to read all items on the list.
The list enumerates 18 books, so my “one a month” theory is gone. (Librarians stink at math, but even I, illiterate in math, know I have 12 months each year in which to read.)
Thus, I changed “one a month” to “one every three weeks” but ‘cept I have to read one a week for the last three weeks — no matter that it’s the middle of the Christmas season (I’ll have loads of extra time; always do; I read best under pressure) — but we’re now firmly ensconced within the fourth week of the year, so one hour in, I’m already a week behind in my self-applied challenge.
And while finding copies of the shortest of the Southern Titles list to read quickly so as to get back on track with my challenge, I found 44 more books I want to read.
Which kind of pushed my self-inflicted reading-palooza out the door…
So now my NEW challenge for this, the second hour, is to get myself back on track for my FIRST challenge.
Whew. I’m exhausted and I haven’t even swiped a page.

“Why a SEAHORSE?” you might wonder…because my favorite author was a Southern writer who wrote often of the beach, the water, the tide…don’t remember him mentioning a seahorse, but they’re such perfect critters that I’m sure he thought fondly of them. And I thought fondly of him. Thus, the seahorse.
Makes perfect sense.