"In the midst of winter I found in me an Invincible Summer." - Camus ...On exploring strength in its many forms:
strong people, strong writing, strong curiosity, obsessions, stances, and loves.
Strength as a concept wide enough to encompass fear, truth, vulnerability, and joy.
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Things I'm mild-to-excessively obsessed with currently:
The color orange. Specifically, International Orange, or the color of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Flags on display at the International Orange exhibit last month at Fort Mason
A faux-store of all International Orange things, from the same exhibit. Me want!!
Some StickyWords from under the bridge
And the newly repainted writing desk! Now in Daredevil Orange (thanks to three coats of Sherwin Williams this weekend). Much less clashy with the rest of the house now. Next project: corral those ugly looking cords on the side.
For about a year now, orange has been my new favorite color. It's just so dang happy looking.
It's a very local icon. You can spot it almost anywhere in the city, if it's not ensconced in fog, but it is so beautiful when it is ensconced. (Sorry, I also watched a bunch of Anne of Green Gables lately, so I'm all Lake of Shining Waters-y in my speech) I can see it from my front window and am trying to muster up enough courage to tackle this gigantic blank canvas that I got recently with a rendition of it.
My scale model
The view from Golden Gate Park
The view from the Mission, with awesome crazy fog rolling by
Ever since I read the book The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner a few years ago, I've been intent on getting to Iceland someday. So recently, I've started writing a story about it in order to create the perfect excuse to make sure I do get there someday. I've also been checking out all the non-travel books on Iceland I can find at the local library. There aren't many, so it's not a daunting list. Right now I'm really enjoying Meltdown Iceland by Roger Boyes. It's about the economic disaster of late, but Boyes has such a love and knowledge of Iceland, it overflows with excellent details and stories of the place (for instance: because of the way last names are passed down through the father's first names, the phone book is alphabetized by first names. In the words of Holden Caulfield--I'm also currently reading Catcher in the Rye--that stuff kills me).
I'm actually planning a trip there, hopefully this winter. As much as I'd love to enjoy it's endless Summer hours someday, I'm equally fascinated with all the darkness there in the winter, as well as I'm hoping for a chance at seeing the Northern Lights (check out this image on Iceland Express http://blog.icelandexpress.com/iceland/2007/12/08/chasing-aurora/ ). If you happen to know anyone in Iceland who would be interested in housing a writer for a week or so this winter, drop me a line! Or, if you've been and want to give me tips, I'd gladly collect those too.
And, well, the Kittens
We've had the kittens for one month now. They've each gained over a pound, and I've spent more time this month in various pet stores than I thought humanly possible. Someone asked me recently what I've been up to and I had to answer honestly: "I do have a life, really. It's just that right now all I really have are kittens."
Clue, posing with the cat tree. Yes, I've become one of those people who has a cat tree.
Can I help you with that email? The kittens routinely find buttons on my laptop that do things I didn't know my laptop could do.
Bellies begging to be petted.
When they aren't teaching each other how to be lionesses, they are snuggling.
That's a roundup of my current obsessions. What are you obsessing about these days?
The exciting (or at least the inevitable) conclusion of Part One and Part Two of Icelandic awesomeness....
Day Six: Ekra Cottage/ Lagarfljótsvirkjun to Höfn
This day was all about epic scenery. Kilometer after kilometer of stunning beauty. The ever-shifting sweeping views afforded us herds of wild reindeer, giant snowy fjords, a mossy valley, snow blowing across the road like dry ice, lava rock, waterfalls. It was a total feast.
Our halfway point was Djúpivogur which houses a collection of giant roadside marble eggs, each one fashioned after a particular type of bird's egg.
We arrived in Höfn and checked out the harbor and the free museum (a welcome respite from the windy harbor) before checking into our guesthouse. Which we had all to ourselves. We made one last meal of fusilli and bell pepper (fusilli meal #4 for the trip for those keeping track - I'll be taking a good long break from fusilli now) and read. I found a left-behind copy of The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurðar…
The end of the second quarter snuck up on me: it feels like only three weeks have passed since my last quarterly report. Part of the speedy passing of time was from all the good books I've been reading lately. I've already told you how much I loved re-reading The Magic Summer. Here are my other favorites from this season:
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, by Mary Roach. This gem is from one of my favorite local authors. Mary Roach's sense of humor should really get it's own zip code, it's so wonderful. I learned a great deal, sometimes about things I wasn't sure I wanted to know (like how to properly use flatus in a sentence), and I can't tell you the amount of times per week I find myself thinking about the nutritional content of my dinner compared to my cats' on account of this book.
As a delighted listener once said at a reading she did: "You keep writing books about exactly the thing I'm most interested in, except I didn't know I…
It's been waaaaaay too long since I posted a Quarterly Reading Report. I'm about to amend that situation. I have lucked on some pretty spectacular reading in 2018 so far--some recent publications but most not--and I'd be a bad friend if I didn't share these titles with you.
In the excellent crime detective/thriller department, we have Yrsa Sigurðardóttir's THE SILENCE OF THE SEA, which I've already posted about. It was the perfect book for atmospheric Iceland. I also loved Tana French's THE TRESPASSER. Set in Dublin, Ireland (I think 80% of what I love best about a crime detective/thriller is that it is placed in an incredibly interesting setting), the protagonist is a difficult (and therefore interesting) woman in a man's world working the hardest case of her life. The writing is super in this engrossing page-turner.
I got to fill in some sad gaps in my consumption of books written in the 80s and 90s and early Oughts. Also a thriller, Peter Hoeg's …