Ahh, dammit. I forgot to post anything today! So in the interest of having something of some kind of substance, I thought I’d list all the books I read this year that I gave 5-stars on GoodReads. This is easier than making some kind of ranked list, although sometimes when I look at my star ratings, I say, “Really, what was I thinking?” But! Assuming that I knew what I was talking about when I ranked them, here are the ‘best’ books I read this year:

Prose division:
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold
Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu by Simon Callow
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Komarr/A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Magician’s Book by Laura Miller

Comics division
Various volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
Pluto by Naoki Urasawa
Irredeemabale by Mark Waid & Peter Krause
Unwritten by Mike Carey & Peter Gross
Phonogram by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie
The Losers by Andy Diggle & Jock
Power Girl by Palmiotti, Gray & Conner
Daredevil: Born Again by Frank Miller & David Mazzuchelli
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Fortune & Glory by Brian Michael Bendis
Avengers: The Initiative – Dreams & Nightmares by Christos Gage & Rafa Sandoval

Looking over that list, I suspect I was a little generous with the 5’s (and also inconsistent — did I really think Catching Fire was better than Wolf Hall or The Passage, which only got 4?)

I think what this rating system reflects most is the books that ended in a way I felt was really satisfying. I tend to fly to GoodReads as soon as I’m done with something, and if I’m glowing with the need to share how awesome something was, I mark it “5”. If I have doubts or hesitations, or am still chewing things over, I might mark it lower than that. So maybe books I have to think about more are penalized. But everything that’s on there, I can pretty much guarantee I enjoyed a lot, so I can’t really nitpick, now — even if some of what I labeled as 3 or 4 star books have stayed with me much more than some of the 5’s.

You can see my entire GoodReads profile here if that kind of thing interests you.

If you had any favorite books this year, you should let me know about them!

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The New York Times theater section has a neat post about a new production of “Hamlet,” focusing on what happens when you hear new readings of familiar lines. For the comment section (Yes! It’s a worthwhile comment section!) , writer Ben Brantley asks, “Have there have been instances where you feel as if you’ve heard for the first time a familiar line or phrase or even single word, thanks to a performer’s unexpected interpretation?” There are some neat entires there, including a few people who expand the analogy to covers of songs, which, as a cover fan, I approve of.

I’m not sure I have a precise example that I can think of about a single reading that changed the meaning of a familiar line to me. I mean, every time I see a production of a play that I’ve read, I discover new dimensions to it. Parts I may have skimmed on the page are suddenly there, being acted out. I’m thinking less, even, of particular Shakespeare lines than of Sidney Poitier playing Walter Lee Younger in “Raisin in the Sun” (from the Lorainne Hansberry play) or Julianne Moore playing Yelena in “Vanya on 42nd Street” (from “Uncle Vanya” by Anton Chekhov). Those performances are striking for different reasons — Poitier created the role of Walter on stage and so gives a lot of insight into how the character was first depicted; Moore interpreted a character from a play that was almost a century old in a way that went against the grain of the common interpretation but made it impossible for me to read the play without her interpretation in mind. I can’t come up with specific line for either performance, which means I should watch these films again. These might,
incidentally, be my two favorite film performances (certainly my favorite stage-to-film), which speaks to the power of what Brantley is talking about.

Thinking more specifically about Shakespeare, there’s a segment in Al Pacino’s film Looking for Richard where he talks about the famous opening that starts with, “Now is the winter of our discontent/made glorious summer by this son or sun; it’s either and both] of York.” What a thing, Pacino says, to start a play with “Now”! (Also? I *know* there is another Shakespeare play that starts with “Now” but can’t for the life of me think of what it is.)

I also remember a production of “Macbeth,” which did a great job with the play’s one comic interlude, with the character of the Porter. The scene is in this vein:

PORTER:
‘Faith sir, we were carousing till the
second cock: and drink, sir, is a great
provoker of three things.
MACDUFF:
What three things does drink especially provoke?
PORTER:
Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and
urine. . .

Et cetera. It’s pretty typical Shakespearean humor, and mostly stands out for being the only overtly comic scene in the play. What struck me in that production, though, was not so much the Porter’s delivery of the jokes but Macduff’s response. I remember the actor really drawing out ‘What threeee things — does drink — especially — provoke?” with the result being that the ‘straight’ line got a better laugh than the ‘funny’ lines. I’ve seen plenty of “Macbeth”s since then, and I’ve never seen another Macduff do much of anything with that line. But that delivery was a real revelation to me about how well stage comedy can work when everybody in the scene is involved in it. There’s a risk that the complex verbal humor in Shakespeare can sail over an audience’s head, particularly if the other actors on stage are just standing there. But in this case, the reading emphasizes that Macduff finds the Porter tedious and having Macduff react to him in the way you probably would react to somebody who opened the door in the middle of the night and kept throwing dirty wordplay at you when you just wanted to go to bed. Basically, it’s the same principle at work anytime Margaret Dumont shares a stage with the Marx Brothers. It makes the whole thing funnier.

No real big things today, but some small ones:

1. I pretty much spent the whole day eating cookies. I mean, I took breaks, but I work in an office and it’s around the holidays so people leave cookies sitting around and give them to you as gifts. And I like cookies. So it’s a good combination.

2. I need to get presents for my co-workers! I need to figure out what to do about this. I totally fell down on this last year, I was just too stressed, but I need to come up with something so I don’t become “that fail-y person who never gives Christmas presents when everybody else brings in nice cookies and Yankee Candles and stuff.” I have to admit, it’s been really tempting in the past to claim I don’t celebrate any holidays so as not to have to deal with this. But I’ve been better this year. I’m even listening to the station that plays Christmas music, and I have my shopping done for our family celebration this coming weekend.

3. Of course, it is supposed to snow this weekend, so I don’t know if this carefully planned family celebration is going to come off. I really hope it will work out and we can all get to Nomy parents’ this weekend!

4. However, I wouldn’t mind having a snow day from work tomorrow. We’ll see if that happens. Schools are already closing but it hasn’t actually snowed here at all. Most likely I’ll have to drive in whatever happens and I’m not really crazy about the way the roads get cleared around here. I did buy a scarf and hat and gloves tonight (easier than looking for what I did with the ones from last year, okay?) and stocked up at the grocery store in general. So if I don’t have to leave the house, that will also be good.

5. Now I’m watching Top Chef All Stars, which is making me hungry.

6. I’ve been using WordPress blogs for over two years, and somebody just explained the difference between categories and tags to me today. Whether this means that I start using those things correctly remains to be seen.

7. The Deceptionists podcast is available on itunes!

8. That’s all I can think of.

Or, I helped, anyway, which is cool. . .

A few weeks ago, my friend Kelly got in touch with me and a few other people (Paul, Dave, and Jim). We’re all variously connected through the Twitter/blogging/podcasting world, and had been involved in some conversations about writing fiction. Kelly suggested we put together a podcast to talk about some of our ideas about writing.

So “The Deceptionists” podcast was born. Episode One is available for download now*. I will admit I haven’t listened myself, what with the standard phobia of hearing my own voice. (And also because listening means thinking about what I need to improve, and I’d rather be in denial about that for a while.) But I thought this was a really enjoyable conversation. These are some smart, funny folks. All of them have been part of podcasts that I’ve enjoyed and admired in the past. While I’ve ‘appeared’ on a couple of comic-book-related podcasts in the past, this is my first time being part of “the crew.”

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, do check it out!

*We’ll have a feed on itunes, too, as soon as that is up and running.

When I was in graduate school, I took a seminar in literary realism, which involved reading a lot of thick French, English, and American novels from the 19th through mid-20th centuries. I can’t remember everything that was on the list but I know we started with Balzac’s Lost Illusions, moved through Bleak House and Madame Bovary and were on Dreiser’s Sister Carrie or Frank Norris’s McTeague when I commented to the professor how interesting it was that he had picked novels that were centered on a common theme. “What do you mean?” he asked me. “Well,” I said, “all of these books are about money. They all have plot points that revolve around debt. I thought you had done that on purpose.”

As it turned out, he hadn’t. He had just picked a syllabus that he thought was representative of the ‘realist’ mode of writing from the relevant time period, and. . .all those books happened to be about money and debt. Now, granted, you could find a lot of things that those books all commented on — sex or family or man’s role in the universe — because that’s the kind of thing literature is about. Still, the very specific focus on personal economics in all those books helped to cement in my head that “realism” equates with “books where it matters how people pay for stuff.” That might be why it bothers me so much that I can’t figure out how Joey Berglund can afford to go to college.

Let me back up for a second: Joey Berglund is one of the main characters of Freedom, a novel by Jonathan Franzen that was published this year, to both critical acclaim and popular success. I have to admit: I’ve been a little obsessed with this novel, or the idea of this novel, since I first heard that Franzen was going to be on the cover of Time magazine. He was the first living writer for this to happen to for a decade (possibly even dating back to when Time magazine was some kind of big deal?) It’s possible (and it’s been pointed out to me) that I’m giving this whole story too much attention, when it would be easy enough to ignore it, as many sensible people will. But (1) a lot of people whose opinions I respect started saying this was a really good book, and (2) I’m actually, in principle, afraid I don’t pay enough attention to contemporary realistic fiction.

As I found myself musing a lot, when working on my NaNoWriMo project, I have a hard time figuring out how to tell interesting stories that don’t involve dragons or vampires. (My NaNo project, for instance, has no dragons or vampires; it does have rock bands and politics, two things that Freedom also has). I’m never going to give up the books that have dragons and vampires (or murderers or spies or space pirates or any of the things that I love because they are awesome and fun and scary), but I certainly think that writers ought to be able to tell good stories where nobody gets murdered, or brought back from the grave. The stuff that my grad school seminar would have called “realism” and today for some reason gets lumped in literary fiction.

Now, what publishers call “literary fiction” isn’t completely synonymous with “realism”. Justin Cronin’s The Passage,” for instance, which is clearly post-apocalyptic horror, got reviewed as “literary,” maybe because Cronin had published realistic fiction before? The reviews were mainly good (including mine: I dug The Passage a lot). I couldn’t help but notice, though, that when I was looking at those “year’s best” lists I mentioned the other day, that most of those ‘best’ lists are dominated by realism, while The Passage might get relegated to a list of The Year’s Most Transporting Books. This is a fine list, no question, and I’d happily read everything on it if it’s as good as the Cronin book. Still, it underscores the idea that an excellent post-apocalyptic vampire belongs in some sidebar category.

Meanwhile, a Best Books post on Freedom tells us, “The most terrifying thing about the book is that, in many ways, he is writing about us. About you and me and both the flaws and goodness within all of us.” Or there’s this one, which says, “Joey, Patty, Walter, and all the rest are totally relatable even though we never get to know all that much about them. . . Each tic and stutter that we are given access to allows us to fill in the blanks, often with a little bit of who we are. And that’s why this novel can be so hard to read: Through the Berglunds we learn more about ourselves than we ever do them.”

Now, does anybody want to take a wild guess at what this book that is about “all of us” is actually about? Did you say anything other than “the marital troubles of a middle-aged, liberal, upper middle class, heterosexual couple”? Of course you didn’t, and why would you? To be fair, there are other things in the book. I already mentioned politics and rock bands. You also get college sports and conservation issues and horseback riding in Patagonia. I absolutely enjoyed the book and thought it was an excellent story about all of these things. Still. If you’re ever tempted to say that a book like that is about “all of us,” even if by “all of us” you just mean “the people you assume are reading ‘best books of the year’ lists on the website of NPR or The Atlantic,” then please stop and think about what you’re saying and what you mean by “us”. Insofar as this book is a well-crafted and specific portrait of the experience of particular people who belong to a particular, privileged segment of society, I have no problem with that. When you start making silly, blinkered generalizations about the universality of Patty Berglund’s experiences when she had to figure out how to sell the family estate that had belonged to her rich grandfather, I’m going to start taking exception.

This brings me back to the subject of Joey’s tuition. Joey is an 18-year-old kid from Minnesota who decides to attend a public university in a different state, without the financial backing of his upper-middle-class parents. The public university he attends happens to be in my state, and in fact it’s the same one I attended about ten years before Joey would have. Out-of-state tuition at that school is expensive. It would be, as far as I can figure out, quite beyond the means of an average 18-year-old. The book even hints that Joey’s financial circumstances are mysterious, and I spent much of the book expecting to find out that he was a highly-successful drug dealer. (Sidenote: It says something about Joey and something about me that I think I would have liked him a lot more if this had turned out to be the case; however, it wasn’t.) In fact, the book never explains where Joey got the money. It’s hinted that he was able to take out loans in his own right by signing a statement that his parents didn’t support him. I guess there are circumstances where this might be possible, but, having known people in the last decade who were trying to pay for college without support from their parents, it’s my impression that this is very hard to do until you’re in your 20s. If you have well-off parents, the state is going to assume they support you even if they don’t. At the very least, Joey would have had to jump through some hoops. I wanted to know how it worked but the book just skims over this. The details get fudged in a way that suggests the author either didn’t do his research or didn’t like the results and hoped no one would notice.

It might seem like I’m nitpicking a tiny detail, and in a way I feel like people who watch Friends and bitch that those people could never afford that apartment. I think there’s more to it than that, though. If a book’s claim to relevance is that it’s real, that it’s about us, then I don’t think it would hurt to acknowledge, as Dickens and Balzac and Dreiser felt they had to, that a big part of the “real” lives of their readers involved having to pay for things. If nothing else, the way we pay for things says something about us. When a university treats an 18-year-old middle class kid as his parents’ dependent, whether that’s true or not, this means something. So does the reality that a college kid with no money can (or could in the early 2000’s when this book was set, anyway) get a credit card that a low-wage person probably couldn’t. I may be pulling at a small thread in a big book, but failing to acknowledge this kind of issue leaves me looking oddly at the whole exercise. Not, I’m sure, that Balzac and Dickens and Dreiser had a perfect grasp on the economics of their times, but their books at least give the impression that they were paying attention.

Having gone through this rant, I’m reminded that one of my favorite books of 2010 was Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane, which I reviewed here. This is nominally a crime novel, and I’d be the first to admit the “crime” plot is a little perfunctory. It is, however, a bitingly real look at people affected by economy, living on the brink, worried about losing jobs and homes and health insurance. Lehane reminds me that if there’s a true heir to “realism,” it might reside on the crime shelves rather than the “literary” ones. Of course, I read the review of this book in The New York Times. The critic complained that the author kept going on and on about the recession. I think that says it all.

Yesterday, I went to the local indie record store, which in all honestly I mostly frequent because they tend to sell used DVD boxsets for really cheap. (Note to self: Check to see if they also buy used DVD sets. Because I have this Season 1 of Heroes that I purchased when I thought that was something I would want to re-watch, but never actually took out of the plastic). While I was there, I found all three of the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy for six dollars each. (Note to everybody: whenever you see an expensive ‘must-have’ DVD set for sale, remember that it will one day be sale for $6 on a shelf in a used record store somewhere, possibly, as in this case, never having been removed from the plastic).

Now here’s the thing: I own many DVDs and DVD sets that I end up watching, approximately never. (Or literally never, which can be determined when I realize the plastic has never come off, viz a viz season 1 of Heroes). So finding a DVD set for cheap isn’t exactly that worthwhile, unless it’s something I know I am going to watch. And literally, once a week or more for the last year, I have found myself wishing I could watch something from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and not owning them, so it does in fact constitute a good buy. Once I got home on last night’s rainy, gloomy night it was really tempting to think about sitting down with those movies and watching all of them without a break. But it turned out I’m not that crazy, and by the time I was done with the first movie, it was already two A.M., so I figured I had gone far enough. But I did get through the first movie.

It’s actually been a long time since I watched any Lord of the Rings and even longer since I read the books. I think, technically, my last “reading” was to listen to the entire trilogy on audio right before the third movie came out. I have what might be a strange relationship to Lord of the Rings. I’m certainly not a capital-F “Fan” by the standards of people who consider themselves Tolkien fans. But I have read all the books more than once, and for whatever reason the film trilogy meant a lot to me when it came out. (Let’s just pretend that “for whatever reason” is not just code for “Viggo-Mortensen-as-Aragorn-is-one-of-my-fictional-husbands” though I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a factor.) But the release of those movies, when it happened (winter of 2001, 2002, and 2003 respectively) marked some big transitional phases in my life. Growing up, changing directions, making different choices, re-evaluating and re-framing personal and family relationships. If it seems like I’m being vague and mysterious here, I’m really not; it’s just that it’s much more of a personal journey than I can really articulate. It was that whole mid-20s crisis where I found myself asking “What the hell am I doing with myself and why am I doing it?”

So, the “for whatever reason” is a way of saying that there was something about the ring quest that I connected to in a particular way. This stands out to me, now, because re-watching last night, I realized it doesn’t have the same meaning for me now. The moral absolutes of Sauron versus Gandalf, the light and dark/right and wrong oppositions that don’t really ever get questioned don’t have the same appeal to me. I’m more interested, now, in stories that take those oppositions and mess them up a little. This isn’t, I should say, a criticism of LotR itself so much as the way that I was approaching it; I needed it to mean something, in particular, at that point in my life, which isn’t what I need my mythology to do for me now.

It’s not that I don’t like the movies anymore, so much as that I focus on different parts of it. I’m more interested in the politics of the humans rather than the purity of the hobbits. I’m more sympathetic, I think, to Boromir’s viewpoint. He’s in the story to be a human who lacks the strength to make the right choice, but from another viewpoint he comes across as the advocate for people to do what they can with the tools that are available to them. I’ve always been a little sorry that his part of the story ends prematurely, because his skeptical viewpoint seems like something that the entire arc of the story could use. Even if he is wrong in the end (and, I suppose, we have to be happy that he is).

It’s very tempting to pop The Two Towers in right now, the middle chapter of the trilogy that has always been my favorite. But I have a writing project I should be doing, and it’s occurring to me that if I don’t knock it out now I have no idea when I’ll get to it before the holidays. So, maybe a reward when I get done with a draft. We’ll see how that goes.

I just spent thirty minutes writing, thanks to Jane Espenson. Espenson is a television writer and producer and author of the excellent writer’s blog Jane in Progress. (She doesn’t update so much anymore but you can still poke around the archives and there is some great stuff there, full of really specific and practical advice. She’s particularly great on the subject of what makes a joke work or fail, a topic I’m particularly nerdy about). Anyway, Jane frequently challenges her Twitter followers to 30-minute writing sprints, and if I possibly can, I always participate. I’m usually working on something (in this case a piece of fiction) and while I had worked on it earlier today, and thought about it some more, I had about resolved to put it away and come back to it tomorrow. But Jane said ‘sprint’ and I decided to do it. It’s that NaNo philosophy, which says that taking a few minutes to unplug and get something down is always a good thing, because now I have words that are probably slightly different than the ones I would have written if I had sat down at another time. Cool!

I wonder if other people have particular writing tricks that they rely on for something like that?

Today’s been an odd little day and I’m not exactly sure what happened to it. I think I’m still a big fatigued from being sick on Wednesday. But somehow it got to be nine o’clock, and I just found myself actually having the thought, “Well at least I got those mangas read, and an entire issue of Entertainment Weekly. So I’ve accomplished something!”* That, my friends, is what we call moving the goalposts for what qualifies as “accomplishment.”

In my defense, reading the mangas took some planning. I have been reading Fullmetal Alchemist volumes from the library, and I got through the first 17 volumes before realizing the library, for reasons unknown, did not have volume 19. It has 1-18 and 20-23 (which is as much of the series as has been published in the US at this point) but not 19, which seemed as good of a justification as I was going to get for sitting in the cafe at Borders and reading #19. Not like I even really mind paying for a book, but I would feel silly owning just that one book. But first I had to go to the library and pick up Volume 18, then go back to Borders and read both books while eating apple pie. Life is hard, y’all. Well, not really, but I was tired.

Then I came home and “read” an entire issue of Entertainment Weekly, which of course means flipping through and looking at all the pictures and reading the caption boxes. I did read an entire article, though, because it was an interview with Reese Witherspoon and I really adore her. In her next movie (which I can’t remember the name of because it’s very generic) she co-stars with Paul Rudd. Reading the article, I decided I really wish they were a couple in real life. For no good reason, because how could there possibly be a reason for being invested in the romantic lives of people I don’t know? (But they would be really cute).

Tomorrow, I swear, I am going to have thoughts about contemporary literature. Which is what I was going to write about, today, but by the time I got done reading about Reese Witherspoon, I was really tired.

*I did, also finish Christmas shopping for my family, which actually does count as accomplishing something, but this wasn’t part of my thought at that exact moment.

This is a post about year-end lists, rather than an actual effort to make any.

As I mentioned, I was sick all day yesterday and I ended up spending a good deal of it surfing the Internet and reading year-end “best” lists, particularly of books and music. (I guess movie “best” lists tend to happen later, because a lot of the most-acclaimed films aren’t released until December. Interesting that there’s a perception movies will be forgotten or missed if they aren’t fresh in our minds, yet several of the ‘music’ lists I read remarked that albums released late in the year actually have a disadvantage. It presumably takes longer for music to work its way into rotation, and I’m sure it takes longer for people to catch up with a book — if you make exceptions for hot new series books, anyway, which people tend to race through for fear of being spoiled.)

Anyway, yesterday I bookmarked a lot of ‘best music’ lists, mostly as potential downloads if I get an Amazon card for Christmas. “I could get a single or two off all of these that sound interesting,” I think, “and then I’d be well-rounded.” Not that this is how my music-buying usually works. I noted a lot of references in the year-end lists (and also references in conversations with friends) to the fact that ‘nobody buys and listens to albums anymore.’ This makes me realize I’m an outlier, because I’ve probably bought and listened to more entire new albums in the last couple years than in any time in my life since I canceled my membership to the Columbia Tape & CD club. (Dating myself. To get more specific, I’m pretty sure the first things I bought were “August and Everything After” by the Counting Crows and “Cracked Rear View” by Hootie and the Blowfish, although I will admit the possibility that I’m wrong, and those were simply issued to everyone who enrolled in college in the fall of 1993.)

But yeah, in 2010, I’m apparently going against the trend by leaning toward whole albums. Honestly, a big reason for this is that they seem so much cheaper (singles for .99, 13 singles on an album, album costs 8.99) that it doesn’t really bother me if I’m not going to love every single one of those songs. Also, it just occurred to me that albums make sense if (like me) you’re hoping to go to live shows of most of the bands you buy from. There’s value-added in knowing a bunch of songs when you go to a concert, and even something that sounds run-of-the-mill on a recording can be livened up in performance. Or, sure, the opposite happens too, but I’ve been pretty lucky in my concert-going this year.

I’m still not really in a position to make a year-end list, though. Pretty much everything I got I liked, which either means I’m easy to please or not stretching very much. When I see various records I liked turning up on people’s ‘Best of the Year’ list, I realize this only means that I’m reading lists by the same people whose recommendations I took when I was buying the music in the first place.

That’s even more true with books. This year I read Patti Smith’s Just Kids, Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, Justin Cronin’s The Passage, the first two books of N.K. Jemisin’s ‘Inheritance’ Trilogy, and the entire Hunger Games trilogy — most of which I’d recommend to most people, with a few caveats for personal taste. But you’re not wasting your time with any of these books. I’ve got a couple more of this year’s award winners or nominees at home waiting for me (Lords of Misrule, A Visit from the Goon Squad) and I’m imagining I’ll enjoy those two. Next year, though, I should probably go for more classics. I have Brothers Karamazov on the Kindle, and I’m, probably, going to pledge to that ’12 Shakespeare Plays in 12 Months’ thing.

Weirdly enough, the category where I’d be all slack-jawed and “I dunno” about the year’s best is probably comics. This may be a bad sign because I theoretically blog about comics. Possibly it’s the ‘week in, week out’ nature of the stuff that has me going, “That was this year? Really?” Or maybe I need to read more things that aren’t quite so same-y. It’s something to think about.

I’ll plan a future post where I’m more specific about awesome things I have discovered this year. And if you have any particular favorite anythings from 2010, let me know in the comments!

I spent a lot of today thinking that I’m on the low end of an ambition cycle. Lately I’ve been making a lot of plans for things I want to do but for the last few days I’ve really been dragging. To be fair, yesterday afternoon through this evening I’ve been pretty sick, so I do suppose it’s understandable. But, anyway, I realized that I have not been missing ambition so much as motivation. There are still things I want to be doing (ambition) but I don’t quite have the energy to put one foot in front of the other (motivation). I’m pretty sure this will pass. It just helps to observe that these things come and go.

Next time I swear I’ll actually have something to blog about!