Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Santa Ana Winds Blow In, and With Them, I Change

I like bringing the garbage and recycling bins back to the garage after dark because of the different feel of the atmosphere, far quieter than during the day, nothing else going on, nothing urgent to be taken care of, nothing else to think about. The day is done, the evening is here, and it's only time for reflection of what the day has done and looking to what the evening can do.

I hit the garage door button, waited as it went up, and saw that the tops of the trees were being blown to a flattop style. The Santa Ana winds have officially returned after small fits in the weeks before that didn't even register enough to say that they had arrived. A little late in the year for them, but here they are, and the feeling of the world around me has changed. In a few weeks, December will come, it'll get colder, I will reluctantly have to start wearing sweatshirts even though I swear I can get by with a white t-shirt under a short-sleeve t-shirt and a thick jacket over that, but I will feel empowered.

I always get this way in December. It's cold enough to the extent that no one really wants to do anything. There are jobs to go to and they will do only that and then rush right back home to the warmth of a fireplace (If they have one, and a few do, judging from that smoky smell in the neighborhood) or the heater spurting 80+ degrees throughout the house.

Me, I'm ready because the winter gives me what I want: I feel an impatient drive to get to work, to read a lot more, to research now, to see finally where this next book will take me. By this time last year, I was long finished with What If They Lived?, save for reading over the proofs before the new year and making sure my essays were exactly as I wanted them to read, and that whatever was rewritten conformed to my writing style.

I have not yet begun to read the books I have bought for this first round of research, and even so, those books will not be the only ones necessary for this project. For just these next few days, I'm getting back into the discipline of reading for long hours. You might think I do with how much I express my deep love for reading, but every day, there are chores, occasional shaves and showers, errands during the weekend. There's not a great deal of interruption (I bring whatever book I'm reading into whatever store we're at because I've seen these stores so many times over these past eight years. There's nothing new), but reading comes in fits. I need to get back to reading for hours, and including taking notes while reading. It won't be hard to get back into the groove of that, but I need it to run smoothly.

Of course, there's an ulterior motive to it, being that The Garner Files, James Garner's memoir, which I ordered in March, was released today and I got an e-mail from Amazon saying that it shipped. It'll be here tomorrow. I think I'll practice on that.

Fortunately, my research will start off well. I plan to read The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West first to get a feel for the book I want to write, and West captures the atmosphere I want. Not how he writes it, but that background.

Let winter come. I'm ready to be industrious again.