Monday, November 07, 2011

Well . . . that was what I call a break

I'll update my sidebar in a bit, but I just wanted to drop in to say, "Hello! I'm alive!" I'm still going to be on limited-blogging status for as long as it takes to get my house in order and all that fun stuff (that could be eons) but I'm at least back to reading.

While I was away, I hardly read a thing -- literally, did not finish a book for almost 3 weeks. It was distressing. But, on the other hand, I had good reason in that for a good portion of the time I've been gone I was losing my mind over packing all the proper things and then for much of the rest I was hanging out here:

Huzzybuns and I went to Japan! We got to hang out with the charming Nat of In Spring it is the Dawn (and her delightful husband, H., the one day he was available). And, then we came home and one of us basically slept for a week. Can I just say Nat is (besides an excellent guide and lovely lady) a person with great stamina?

We had such fun. We ate a lot of terrific food. This is one of my favorite dishes. Anyone care to hazard a guess? Eel soup! Seriously, I love eel.

Anyway, we had a blast and now it's back to cleaning, purging and National Novel Writing Month. Unfortunately, I started out NaNoWriMo with a bang and then . . . you know . . . basically slept for a week. So, I was ahead but now if I continue at my current rate, NaNo is telling me I'll finish my novel by Christmas. Haha. I love it. I plan to get back on the proverbial horse, today.

The one book I managed to finish whilst on break was Philippa Fisher's Fairy Godsister by Liz Kessler, a Kindle freebie that I chose because it was easy reading and I was dead on my feet. We had pretty full days in Japan. I didn't finish it till a couple days after we returned.

However, today I just finished my second book since my arrival home: Remembering You by Tricia Goyer. And, I'm back to reading Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin ("back," although I did manage to read a handful of pages while we were in Kyoto) and Emory's Gift by W. Bruce Cameron (which I'd barely begun before we left, so I restarted the book -- and am currently on page 71). I'm also reading The Wind is My Mother by Bear Heart and enjoying it immensely. TWiMM is a book by a "Native American shaman" from Oklahoma and, at one point, I had to set it aside briefly to let myself wallow in homesickness. But, I got over myself and actually used one of his healing techniques to make my husband's achy shoulder feel better when it was keeping him awake.

So . . . that's everything I'm currently reading. I'll get back to Drama by John Lithgow soon, as well. Drama is a very enjoyable read by a stunningly down-to-earth actor. I think you'll like it if you're a fan of memoirs by the famous (I am normally not, but I have another one on the stacks, here, and I have a poetry book by Lithgow that I've only partially read -- enough that I already knew he was a decent writer and pretty much lacking in the usual arrogance, by the point at which Drama was offered to me).

My bottom-line assessment of Japan: Totally freaking awesome.

Would I go again? I would not have left, if there'd been an option to stay.

The People: Love 'em. So polite. You pick up on the bowing thing pretty quickly, but I only learned how to say, "I'm sorry" or "Excuse me" (kind of a general-purpose word, I think: "sumimasen") so I would definitely purchase a phrase book before returning.

Did I miss reading? Oh, yes. It was horrible not feeling like reading, but I just had no interest in reading at all! Weird.

And, yet, I managed to get zen for a time . . .

I missed my kitties but they were well cared-for by my son's lovely girlfriend, so we returned to relative calm in spite of our lengthy absence.

Since I'm working on writing a hasty novel, I can't say how often I'll check in during the month of November, but I'll be back whenever I can squeeze in the time.

What did I miss in Blogland, while I was away? Anything marvelous? Any flaming controversy? I hope you had a great time, too! Read anything wonderful?

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I'd love to visit Japan some day, though not sure I really want to try eel. ;) I met Nat at BEA in 2010 and she's absolutely lovely!

  2. Anna,

    I was a little leery of eel, too, but it's really good (and always cooked, thank goodness). I decided to "go native" as much as possible and pretty much tried everything. Japan is amazing. You should go. Nat was the perfect guide -- such a lovely friend to hang out with and she knows Japan well. We had a great time!

  3. Yay for getting the chance to meet Nat! That's awesome!

  4. Kelly,

    Absolutely! :)

  5. What an exciting trip! My son went to Japan after his junior year of high school and has been trying to figure out a way to get back there ever since.

  6. Kathy,

    Your son is a lucky guy. I have a feeling I'll be trying to figure out how to get back for a long time, too. Japan is truly an amazing place. So much beauty and history! I kept pinching myself and saying, "I'm in Japan!!!" the whole time. LOL

  7. So so so so envious that you got to hang out with Nat, and IN JAPAN! Seriously awesome, Nancy!

  8. Andiloo,

    Nat is a total sweetheart. We'll all have to find a way to do a get-together, sometime. And, Japan . . . I'm telling you. I'm almost envious of myself. I kind of can't believe I actually got to go there. It is a truly magnificent place to visit.

  9. So glad to hear you had such a great time on your trip. Sounds truly fantastic and very worth not reading!

  10. Amy,

    Thanks! Yes, I suppose the not reading is no big deal, since I was busy living. LOL But, it was still uncomfortable, you know? I just had no urge to read, whatsoever. I was so, so happy when I finally felt like reading, again.

  11. Welcome back! That's so cool that you got to hang out with Nat. Trips are always more fun when you can meet up with friends.

  12. Softdrink,

    Thank you! Yes, it was uber cool and Nat is the bees' knees, so doubly terrific. It was also really nice to have a guide. I'm pretty sure even my husband would have gotten us hopelessly lost in Tokyo. And, he's pretty good at navigating.

  13. so so so very cool. I'm proud of you for trying all the local cuisine! altho, not that I'm surprised - you are a good guest and always willing to try fun stuff. :)

    I love John Lithgow!

    Glad you are back.
    btw, I mailed you a postcard of cranberries today

  14. Glad to hear you're still living and that you had a fantastic time in Japan. I'd love to see Japan someday, and I'm so jealous you had Nat as your guide!

    Good luck with that hasty novel! =)

  15. I bet your fur-babies welcomed you in their own way, so I will do it too....MEOW!

    What a wonderful surprise. I really have no desire to ever visit the Orient (bad, I know) but it's HIGH on my husband's bucket list. I'm so glad that you loved it and made some memories. Don't ya love absorbing culture, experiencing and tasting the local delights?!?!?! Any desire to read Shanghai Girls now?? I think one of my favorite novels that takes place in the Far East is The Ginger Tree by Oscar Wynd. It's about a Scottish woman who leaves her homeland and travels to the Far East in the early 1900's. I loved it. Now that you have memories, reading will be like feeding them.

    You were missed....welcome back.

  16. Carrie,

    I'm actually still quite stunned at all the food I tried. We have a video of moi biting the head off a fish (a very small, very crispy fish). I guess he was dried . . . or very baked or something. It was one of the few things I disliked, actually (and squid -- oh, how I loathed squid). Why, thank you! I desire to be a "good guest". Warm fuzzy alert!

    John Lithgow is pretty awesome. Want my copy of Drama, when I'm done?

    Thanks. Cranberries!!!! Awesome!!!! How totally cool!!!! (I like exclamation marks!!!!)


    Thank you! Off and on, I'm not sure I'm still among the living. That jetlag business really ate my lunch for a few days. I'm still fighting the urge to go to bed around 4pm.

    You should definitely go to Japan! But, Nat is moving, so you'll probably have to find a different guide. Nat is an awesome guide and a great friend. We were lucky to get to hang out with her, for sure!!

    Thanks. I didn't get far on my novel, today, but the heroine and I realized something. The hero is Too Perfect. Oh, no. You know what that means, right? He's probably going to have to kill somebody, or at least try. Darn. I really liked him.

  17. Gaye,

    Thank you! My fur babies welcomed me with a bit of a pause and a lot of sniffing, at first, but then they decided, "Hey, it's really Mom!" and have followed me everywhere, since. They're such fun.

    Asia was never on my wish list of places to go, either. I honestly have no idea why. I've always thought of myself as more of the "I want to bike around Europe" type, but the opportunity presented itself and I grabbed. Boy, am I glad I did. Japan is a spectacular place to visit and now I want to go back!!!! Yes, I absolutely adore visiting new places, experiencing different cultures, sights, sounds, tastes, smells. I do need to read Shanghai Girls (but doesn't it take place in China?). I'll be reading a lot more Japanese lit, for certain. I've deliberately read a few titles, in recent months, but now I am dying to read more.

    Thanks! It's good to be back. :)

  18. Your break sounds like it was awesome, and I am so glad that you got a chance to go on the trip of a lifetime! Also, very cool that you got a chance to meet a fellow blogger. Those meeting are so cool! Are you going to be making some eel soup now that you are back? I would love to hear how it goes if you do try it! Welcome back!

  19. Zibilee,

    It was just the most amazing trip. I adore Japan! And, to think . . . Asia, in general, wasn't ever on my wish list of places to go. Now, I want to go back!!

    We had such fun traveling around with Nat. Meeting fellow bloggers is definitely fun and Nat and I have been online friends for at least 5 years, probably longer (we're pretty sure we were in a listserv book group or two, together) so that made meeting her especially exciting. There are a lot of old blog friends I hope to eventually get together with in person and I hope I'll manage to meet up with Nat more, in the future.

    Haha! If we can get eel, here, definitely! Although, actually, it will by Huzzybuns who does the cooking. The kitchen is his territory. :) Thanks! It's good to be back!

  20. What a fabulous reason for a blogging break! I'm glad you had such a great time!

  21. Alyce,

    I thought it was a decent reason. ;) Thanks! We did have a super time. .


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