I am home again—well, home in Vermont (I have many places I feel at home)—and I am starting to get the swing of 2018.
As I write this, it is a brisk, frosty, nose-hair-crystalizing temperature outside and there are snow-plowed mountains peaking high among the streets. As I write this, my feet are toasty in fuzzy oven-warm slippers and I am serenaded by the trickling sound of water as it twists through the metallic veins of ancient radiators.
I am realizing what a blessing it is to have a month-long break between school semesters. With two more weeks left, I am properly hibernating with tea and a mound of books. I am doing a bit of writing (revising short stories and beginning a new novel), but mostly reading. I want to voraciously learn everything I can from my predecessors and my contemporaries.
I just finished Donald Antrim’s The Hundred Brothers (at Porochista Khakpour’s recommendation) and am halfway through this beautiful Penguin Horror edition of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, as well as Stephen King’s On Writing. I have Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters and Tana French’s In the Woods to pick up when I’m finished. Plus I just ordered a box of more bookish goodies for later in the semester!
One of my favorite ways to read through my ever-growing book pile is by reading while walking on the treadmill, which is almost as satisfying as reading whilst hula hooping. It’s amazing how fast the time goes by and how after reading 50-60 pages, I’ve already walked 3-4 miles. I believe that when the body is active, the mind is also stimulated and therefore, it is easier to absorb and comprehend complex plots and details. Plus, the gym in the dorm is located in the basement, meaning that it is quiet enough for me to read out loud. (It has always been a dream of mine to one day become an audiobook reader, so I practice as much as I can.)
And now, we return to the symphony of the humming radiator and the back-breaking shovel digging out a snowbound car.