Sunday Coffee is a weekly post that is like a long letter to my Gentle Readers--a little chatty and discontinuous, a bit more personal that my other posts. This week we saw cool weather finally descend on South Carolina's Lowcountry. Now, I was born in Maine, and have crawled up and down the east coast for the last
twenty few years. This is not cold weather--it is weather that might call for a sweater, finally (in October we had one last heat wave). But my husband is from the Caribbean, so he thinks it's time to turn on the heat--high--so that the little blue light comes on for the auxiliary heat. Sigh. I'm from hardy, frugal New England stock. You're supposed to put on a sweater. So we're having the war of the thermostat.
This week was restful and delightful: no school! I will now sing the praises of sleep! I found out what it feels like to actually be rested, and it is amazing! I also made three trips to the library. I was surprised at how many people are in the library in the middle of a weekday. I am normally shut up in a school building from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or later, and I sometimes wonder what happens in that larger world while I am in my smaller world. I had a chance to see my friend Wendy, who works at the library: she is the happiest, most contented woman I know (except for our school librarian, who is always smiling). Wendy confided that the most surprising things happen at the library, and I don't doubt it--the most surprising things happen everywhere! A side note: Wendy's son is a dead ringer for Ron Weasley!
So, this week was three trips to the library, reading without restraint and...
I am having a stupendously wonderful time. As soon as I gave myself permission to write a terribly dreadful novel, and had a deadline, I was writing like a fiend! And it is a blast. Everything I've read or heard about writing a novel is true. The characters live inside your head, you pretend to be actively participating in life while secretly writing in your head, and characters take on a life of their own and do exactly as they please. What larks. Now, I am just superstitious enough that I won't say another word on that topic.
But this was great fun:
I found quite a few new blogs and visited some old favorites. While none of us can quite define what we mean by the term literary fiction, we all love it, read it, and write about it. The posts were idiosyncratic and impassioned, and I have more lists of more books to read, including:
Joseph and His Brothers (on my bookshelf) by Thomas Mann
Possession (a reread) A.S. Byattt
White Noise and Underworld by Don Delillo
The Edge of Sadness
The Ring Trilogy by Suzuki
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgkov
Almost as good as the posts (or maybe better?) were the conversations that took place in the comments. Thanks to Ingrid and Connie at The Blue Bookcase for coming up with this new hop--I'd say it is a success, and I really hope it continues.
Coincidentally, novelist Emma Darwin had a great post about exactly this topic at her wonderful blog This Itch of Writing. Here is the post: Okay, so what do I think literary fiction is?
I also lurked on the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy Jennifer at Crazy for Books. Even though I didn't technically participate in this hop, I thought the question was a great one, and I was interested to see how people answered it. The question was about how bloggers respond when they lose followers (I cry uncontrollably for exactly three days) and whether bloggers ever unfollow. I have to admit, I feel guilty when I stop following a blog. Occasionally I will follow in haste and repent at leisure, but I have gotten better at discerning whether a blog is one I will be interested in reading on a regular basis. I do follow many blogs, and use Google Reader to skim through them. When I am pressed for time, I skip commenting, but if I am following your blog I am probably
lurking reading your posts.
November for me is: birthdays (mine, and strangely, many friends and loved ones'); chrysanthemums, a certain slant of light; wistfulness; the realization that another year (arbitrary measurement that it is) is coming to an end. December is: snow (not--in South Carolina, anyway) and The Russians. I've decided that December is going to be my month of reading only Russian literature. That was a good enough excuse for me to go buy The Master and Margharita today. Let's see: Dostoyevsky (Brothers Karamazov?), Chekhov, Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy. Yeah, I could definitely go for some Russians in December....