Wednesday, May 4, 2016
It's strange to not be reading any fiction. I recently finished Thomas More's Utopia, which is certainly fiction, but I read it as a historical document, a research text. I'm reading a lot of research material right now, almost all of it related to my current writing project, Nowhere But North. Most of that reading has not been listed in my sidebar over there, the "currently reading" spot under the photo of Mrs Sheep. I will say that the book of Abe Lincoln's speeches and letters has been quite good, and originally had nothing to do with the novel I'm writing. Mighty Reader and I were in D.C. a month ago and we visited the gift shop at the Lincoln Memorial. I realized that I didn't know much of anything about Lincoln aside from the handful of things we're all told in school in the USA (or at least were told, back when I was a lad), so I decided to read his own writings. Possibly I am entering into a phase of life where I will begin reading collections of letters; I enjoyed the heck out of Chekhov's letters (A Life in Letters (Penguin Classics), 2004), so much that I read them through twice. I digress. I am reading a lot of non-fiction just now, and it's all work-related, if you consider drafting a novel to be work, which I guess I do. I find that I'm not in the mood to discuss any of this reading, because I rarely discuss a work in progress except to occasionally throw an excerpt up here on the blog. Why am I writing this post, then? I'm not sure. I feel, I think, the real lack of being in the middle of a novel. Not reading fiction has created a sort of emptiness in my head that I don't like, but my days right now don't leave much of a gap for fiction, at least not for anyone's but my own. Which is strange. But there it is.