Just a quick update today, since I am actually already a day late in posting. Thanksgiving was lovely, if strangely appended with a funeral for my grandmama. Lots of things went right that day (beautiful weather when rain was predicted; gorgeous photo albums showing GMM striking poses in her wide-traveling youth), some things went wrong (better left unsaid on the internet). We all took turns staying up late with my 4-month-old nephew, a jolly chap and terrible sleeper.

I miss my family. They are delightful and de-lovely.

Ok. It’s maybe the last week to vote for my story in the storySouth Million Writers Award (I’m not sure…I saw a last-week-to-vote notice somewhere, and I also saw a voting end date of December 21), so if you haven’t already, why not go ahead and do that? And goad your friends to do the same! And relatives! And stuff.

In other news, I have lots of books all ready to read, and yet I am instead re-reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I turned the last page, and then turned immediately back to the beginning.

On the first read, the book’s sheer heft seemed at times to be a disadvantage (I wondered if perhaps a less-known writer would have been encouraged to make cuts). But by the end, we’ve been through so much with these characters in terms of incident (a term that doesn’t do justice to the richly-drawn scenes, but bear with me, I want to make a point about the difference between plot & theme here) that Tartt has leeway to leeway to delve into some incredible philosophical discussions. (Literal discussions. I remember a teacher of mine in grad school pointing out that contemporary writers rarely let their characters monologue for long, but Tartt does – she lets them monologue at one another – and to great effect.) Which is to say, I’m glad they didn’t make her cut it down. Roughly 800 pages, and I was happy to read each and every one.

Enjoy your lives, fair readers.