It was clearly a weekend of decadence.
My desk is strewn with bills, catalogs and other reminders of tasks I left abandoned. My kitchen is piled high with dishes, the surfaces covered with more leftover chores. The compost bucket is full. The fresh corn, collected on Saturday, has still not been shucked. A corner of the living room couch has a pile of shoes beside it, kicked off over and over again, as people made themselves more comfortable. Half-filled glasses with various liquids and empty snack packages are lying across the end and coffee tables.
I spent the weekend with an old friend. Several old friends, really - Harry, Hermione, Ron, Hagrid, and to show my tuna fish sandwich side, some of my personal favorites of their crowd - Severus, Luna and Neville.
I swore I was going to savor this last adventure. I was going to read it slowly, wait until after my other family members had devoured the 784 pp. as they usually do.
But like the glutton I am, a day and a half after arriving early at Barnes and Noble and actually finding it open, the thing was done.
My orgy was over.
I'm also reading The Courage to Write, as I mentioned in a previous entry. I haven't finished it yet, but the crux of the book is being courageous in your writing. Staying true to yourself and your observations and your characters, etc. Very pretty words, and true ones. But it's often hard (from what I hear and read) doing that in the current publication environment. Publishers, naturally, want to sell books. Books become longer and longer, because the public wants more when the latest of their favorite series comes out. Mysteries get sexed up. I still love John Burdett and what he's trying to do with his Bangkok series, but whereas his first one only touched on the ideas of sex (which can be a lot more sexy, than being explicit, thank you very much), his second book becomes almost soft porn at points. And from what I've read of the third, it will go even further in this direction.
J. K. Rowling has got to be one of the most courageous authors I know. There has probably never been a writer in history who's had more notoriety - or pressure. One of the world's wealthiest women, coming from her infamous tea rooms and single motherhood, scratching out bits of Harry on legal pads, I believe she succumbed to certain pressures in the middle of her beyond-famous series of the boy wizard and his fight to save the world.
Not this time.
For those who can eat a box of chocolates and let it last for weeks (which I can, actually, but don't have this discipline with cheeses or favorite books), no, I'm not going to give anything away here. But let me just say, that I think, this time, Joanne Kathleen Rowling did things her way.
And we should all be grateful.
So, I'm off to put my house and family back in order, and to leave those two summer days of ravenous reading behind me. If anyone who's finished The Deathly Hallows wants to e-mail me to discuss, well... anything, please do! I'd love company.
I'm missing my old friends already.