The Malazan Series

1st book of the series.

1st book of the series.

It has taken me three years–three full years in which I also read plenty in between each book–to finish all ten books in Steven Erikson’s gargantuan fantasy series: The Malazan Book of the Fallen. 

Being the longest series I’ve ever read, and possibly the longest series of epic fantasy (Jordan’s is thirteen books, but at least 6 out of Erikson’s 10 are well over 1000 pages), I feel that this is a momentous occasion. It’s an accomplishment that leaves me stunned when I think about actually writing that much. But to quote from Erikson’s forward in the tenth book: “What’s three and half million words between friends?”

Well–a lot of time, I suppose. And, as volumes this size go, quite a lot of those words were absolutely worth it. On occasion a book would drag on–get wrapped up in itself and set out on unnecessary detours. But mostly I just couldn’t get enough. And now that it’s all over I’m feeling…nostalgic. Continue reading

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Post-Graduate Life:The Long Home

Nothing has changed.

No, I’m kidding. It’s been a while since I’ve managed to find time to blog or write, and my life has felt scattered and unorganized because of that. Writing is truly one of my biggest centers. A focuser. And apart from that, many things are different–the biggest of which has the been the move.

Everything feels more temporary than it used to. More rushed. Not busier; it’s not at all what I thought. But it is less easy to define a day’s activities in a sentence than it used to be. Everything that happens seems to be punctuated with commas, breaths are shorter, and I’m looking around for what I might call “home” not just as a more permanent living place, but in the work place and other aspects of life.

Finding time to write more often will undoubtedly help with that.

This whole thing reminds me of a Christian Wiman poem I read recently while watching the Arizona clouds meander by in the West’s infinity skies. It was during a road trip with some long-time friends that this poem struck me with thoughts about home.

Home is momentary, a way of seeing, a sweet lingering in a cloud before it drifts beyond the form [we’ve] found for it.

Life is about transitions, I suppose. Everything settled is an in between-time spent preparing for the next transition. I used to hate transitions and moves and changes. Still do to a degree. I used to be afraid of unfamiliar places. Part of me still is. It’s the part of me that looks, or hopes to find the same shape in the cloud I just saw. And it’s the same part of me that not only misses that shape but also wants to move on too. Get things over with.

But things are never over with.

The cloud is still there, and there’s a new shape, and it’s made up of all the same principles, and even (in my case for now) people.

So home is a thing of fine fluidity, and transitions are adventures.

And no matter how melancholy it may seem, things were never meant to stay the same. Life has as many metaphors as it has transitions, so I won’t go on. But I look around me, and I find that all the things that have remained the same are the things that count most, that will hopefully never change.

One of these is writing, and I will have to adapt to different schedules, write in smaller places–create as fiercely as ever. Oh, and on the best days I’ll have to share them here with you all.

There are still so many more words to be written and to be read. So many more adventures to have.

I have an aphorism artfully written on a board I keep with me. It says: “Life is a novel. Let God be the novelist.” There’s more to be said about that metaphor–stuff about characters and about freewill. But sometimes I’ll say it to myself, and I like to let it hang in the air and be what it is.

And I feel at home.