Well, it is officially 8 days until I leave for Prague for four weeks of poetry, screenwriting, and travelling! I am very excited and also rather nervous--nervous mostly for packing, which I've barely begun. So far I have three jackets or varying thickness, for use depending on how cool the nights get, pants, and two dressy outfits for when our group goes to see a show.... and I have most of a suitcase left to fill. Yikes! Better get started on that soon, but first must do laundry.
As I've mentioned before, I have been doing a great deal of reading. I'm currently working through the Earth's Children series by Jean M. Auel. This is the third time I've read the series (which consists of 5 books, all of which are between 500 and 900 pages long--the sixth and final book in the series is due out next year, and I am SO EXCITED!!) since middle school. I've been taking the books out of the local library because my copies are still at my parent's house, 6 hours away, but I've just discovered that my library doesn't have the third or fourth book! I finished the second two days ago and spent many moments yesterday and this morning aching to continue reading the story. Today I plan to go to a library where my boyfriend grew up and check the books out from there. And yes, I do plan on having those two books finished by the time I leave so I can get the fifth from my local library the day before I leave. What can I say? I love books!
I actually feel some fear about reading this third book, called The Mammoth Hunters. The very first time I read it, I stayed up the whole night to finish it just so I wouldn't have to spend hours dreaming about what might be happening to the characters in the pages. It is an agonizing story about love, communication, truth, and exploration. And when I say agonizing, I mean agonizing--think Love Actually, when the boy Sam says "Worse than the total agony of being in love?" and Liam Neeson's character replies with, "Yes. Total agony." Well, this book is like that; the cultural differences between the two main characters and the people they are spending the winter with make for some grave miscommunications, misunderstandings, and a near loss of their relationship.
Just thinking about reading this book again puts knots in my stomach and a lump in my throat. But despite the professed agony that I know to be buried in the long pages, I can't help but love the book and the whole story that follows the series--I could no more skip this book and move on to the fourth than I could skip a dificult time in my own life and move on to simpler times. So, I may be a glutton for punishment; I do love a good tear jerker. A book that can make me cry and laugh and cringe and read in awe has my seal of approval any day--and Auel's endearing series never fails to surprise and torment me.
What I did yesterday instead of read was cook. I made blueberry muffins in the morning, and manicotti at night for a barbeque my boyfriend and I were going to that evening. We were going to bring the leftover muffins to the barbeque, too, but they were so delicious that we decided to keep them all to oursleves. So I have blueberry muffins for breakfast again this morning!