I’m in the country.
It’s amazing here. We got stressed out in Brooklyn, so we rented this old house a couple of hours outside New York City. Nothing fancy, but it has a pool, and when you sit on the front porch you can see about five miles of woods and meadows and exactly one other house.
It’s beautiful. It’s enough to make you feel like all of human civilization was a bad idea. Like, the trees got it right the first time.
Halcyon found a frog in the pool this morning, drunk on chlorine, and we rescued it and it hopped away. You should have seen her face: I don’t think Halcyon realized frogs were real — I think she had them grouped with hippogriffs in the mythical category.
Part of the time here I’ll spend working on a long piece for Time. But most of August will be consecrated to fiction. I’ve been frustrated lately, and to be honest kind of depressed, trying to make time for novels and do my job and promote my books and so on. I think the balance got a little out of whack. Time to whack it back into balance. So this is the next couple of weeks.
Then I’ll be doing the third and final leg of the Magician King paperback tour: a reading at Boswell Books in Milwaukee on August 7, then another reading in Winnetka, IL, on August 8, then Leakycon, which will include an on-stage conversation with one of my very favorite contemporary writers, John Green.
I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging here as much lately. Partly it’s the business/depression, partly it’s that my vital blogging fluids are being diverted to Time‘s entertainment blog, where I’ve been writing a weekly books column. In the past few weeks — for example — I did a piece on the hallucinatory effects of reading children’s books aloud that I think came out well, and one on reading and walking at the same time. You can tour my rare-and-not-so-rare book collection. And here’s my response to a New Yorker piece about literary fiction and genre fiction.
And so on. For tomorrow I’m doing a piece tentatively titled “On Hating Books.” The column’s a lot of work, but I’m enjoying it. Feel like I’m exploring my critical voice, that sort of thing. Saying things I don’t get to say in reviews
All right, back to work. By the way there’s no Wifi here, so I’m talking to the Internet through my phone, with images off. It’s like I’m back on an old Lynx browser. Hence no image to go with this post.
Picture a drunken frog.