Friday, May 31, 2013

trusting authors and being rewarded

I am an easy reader, a trusting reader.  When I start a book, I have a shining, innate belief in the skill of the author.  Every dangling bit will be addressed  somehow in the end.  This question I have, or this line of dialogue that just doesn't make sense in the world of the story: these are here for a reason.  I trust the author!  It is really gratifying when that trust is rewarded.  And pretty rare.

I've been reading this series for a while, and there were these moments of jarring incongruousness, flashes of something that just didn't fit, moments of unanticipated tenderness that really threw me for a loop in the midst of this incredibly dark and intensely brutal story.  And this time I had the gratifying experience of watching things play out in accordance with those observations I had made.  I was thrilled.  It wasn't the twist I was anticipating, but it was a twist (two actually, by golly, and they were doozies! 

Of course, I immediately went back and re-read everything in the light of each new set of revelations (not a time-consuming task since we're early in the prologue, still, apparently), and it was really glorious.  There are still lots of questions (so many questions), but I feel like I can trust this author to sensibly address them in the future. 

Not that I'm expecting perfection.  I can fully trust an author right up until they totally bungle the ending and still feel pleased with the overall experience (if exasperated that the ending funked).  I am not looking for the perfect book, the flawless author.  Or maybe I am, and that quest is what keeps me reading the varying degrees of successfully-told stories around me.   Maybe I should say I don't demand perfection all the time, but I love it when I see it.  So I keep looking for it and finding brilliant flashes of it, and that is why I keep reading.

Revenge of the Big Brother (how toddlers and babies help illustrate pain)

Once I explained the chronic left arm pain like this: imagine a small child who randomly taps you on the arm.  You ask the child what it wants, and the child says, "Nothing."  Repeat.  Ad Nauseum.  For years.  It's exhausting. 

For years, this pain was the ascendant one.  But recently, there's a new pain on the block, one that has been growing up until it takes up more of my attention.  I took it to the doctor, and it turns out that it's complications from a college racquetball dislocation injury.  For months, I've been babying it, using my left arm more than usual to give some rest to my right.  

I was sort of exasperatedly thinking of my left arm pain as the older brother in the pain family.  When a new baby comes, the parents and all the adults have to pay attention to it because it's loud and demanding.  And the older siblings have to put up with it.  They have to be good big brothers and sisters and protect the baby.   And my left arm has been behaving.  Surprisingly well.   Like a good big brother.

There usually comes a time, though, when the older sibling (especially if said sibling is a preschooler) has enough and snaps and throws a tantrum and demands attention in all manner of ways.  Last week, big brother pain snapped.  And how.

I felt it coming on for a couple of days; the signs aren't subtle at all, not surprising.  I tried to put some more weight on the right shoulder, but that only delays the reckoning.  It hit when I was trying to close the trunk after work.  Holy cow.  And then the next day at work.  Wow.  Stabbing, breathtaking, whiteout pain that just stops you cold in your tracks.

Not that I could really hold this attack against it.  I mean, it really was being a trooper of a big brother for a while there.  Maybe for long enough that I've started getting the maverick younger brother right shoulder under control.  We can hope.  We'll see.

Blurry glasses and crying books

The other day, I put on my glasses, and they were just blurred beyond belief.  I was like, "What on earth?!  I just washed these a couple of days ago."  Then I remembered, "Oh, right.  And then I read that book where I cried for roughly 350 pages.At the beginning, I remember wondering, "Is she seriously going to make me cry through this whole book?  Like, seriously the entire time?" And she didn't.  She gave me a bit of a reprieve after I thought the character had died and everyone had started to grieve and deal with other life-threatening matters at hand, and that other character I hated finally, finally died, and then more sad things of different varieties happened, and then there was that fan-pandering (but believable-within-the-world) happy resolution which involved more, additional crying.  For Pete's sake . . .  

It's possible the problem was that I haven't read many books lately, and I needed the crying (no matter how slim the justification).  : )

chilli dreams in spring

Did you ever wake up from one of those dreams where you were eating really good chilli with indeterminate loved ones?  What is that all about?

What I mean when I post something on Facebook

What I mean when I post something on Facebook: I found this interesting.

What I don't mean
  • I totally agree with everything about this.
  • You will totally agree with everything about this, and it will not require any critical thought.
  • Your friends from your church will totally agree with everything about this, and it will not require any critical thought.
  • This didn't offend me at all.
  • This won't offend you at all.
  • This won't offend any of your friends from church at all. 
Anyone have any other things to add to the list from your own experiences?  

(I'm just cranky about how many things I don't share because I know I'd get another late-night call from my mother because she doesn't like the title of the picture I shared.)

The Merry Month of May (Hiatus)

Sorry, I've been on a bit of a blog hiatus this month.  I was putting together a personal health record (PHR) by trying to pull together all the information from my various health care providers over the recent  (sometimes nightmarish) years.  How did I survive 2009?  Seriously.  It's been . . . challenging to say the least.  To all the folks who use one of these blogs to be sure I'm still alive (ha ha), sorry if May was a white-knuckled month for you.  In June, we shall hope to be back to our regularly scheduled blogram.