Monday things: the L edition

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post one of my “Friday things” posts, and so, this week, I give you: Monday things.

Monday thing #1: I’ve just spent far too long in the library. It’s a joy I’m rediscovering. I was raised going to the library often and carrying out giant stacks of books and records (yes, I’m that old). There’s something freeing about checking out books from the library. Experimentation feels more … possible. If you don’t like the book (or music, or movie) you can simply return it. When I buy books, I am more risk-averse. I tend to stick to things I’ve read reviews of; I seek out what I know. As I have written here before, my love affair with the library ended when I moved to San Francisco. Now, ten years later, with a toddler in the house whose interest in books is growing and changing daily, I have been visiting the library again on a regular basis. I’ve discovered the smaller, neighborhood libraries of San Francisco, which (depending on the neighborhood) tend to be relatively free of drunks, homeless people, loud teenagers, people eating lunch, desperate men hitting on young women in the stacks, and the other related reasons I stopped visiting the city’s main library. The neighborhood libraries seem to have a better selection of books. And by that I mean, fewer books seem to be lost or stolen. New(er) books can actually be found on the shelves. For example, today I came home with two recent story collections that I have been eager to read: Wells Tower’s Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned and Lauren Groff’s Delicate Edible Birds (LOVE that title).

Monday thing #2: L is for…. I don’t know what L is for. I am due for another Alphabet: A History post, but L … L is eluding me. L wants to be lilting and lovely, and yet I can’t figure out how it links to my life. It would be easy to get carried away, emotionally that is, by L. After all, L begins love. And loss. L is for late and last. I’ve been thinking of possibilities: latitude, perhaps? But then I think: I have never been to London, or Laramie, or Lahore. L might be a letter that’s hard to love. Consider: labor, leper, leeches, leftovers. Yes, I am aware that Monday thing #1 was all about my love affair with libraries. And, yes, I am aware that library starts with L. I guess the issue is this: I can’t quite seem to find an L thing to write about that moves me to write something that has a bit of wow factor, but isn’t too personal to share here. But I will, letter L, I will.

Monday thing #3: I am hard at work revising the short story I wrote during the month of April. The short story that may or may not be part of something longer. The story is full of firsts for me: my first time writing a child narrator, my first time writing a story that takes place some decades ago, my first time interspersing bits of a fictional journal in with the action of the story. It’s daunting. This morning I printed out my pages, read them carefully, and then covered them in red ink. Changes need to be made. A library makes an appearance in the story, and this morning I also spent some time researching card catalogs. It has been so long since I’ve used one, I’ve forgotten what the cards looked like. Updated library technology has hijacked my memory. In case that’s happened to you, too, you can view some old cards here and read about how such outdated modes of library research worked here. (Seriously, I need to stop dating myself here on the blog. Alas, it’s happened before.)

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