Ignore the breach of parallelism in the title of this post. This submission is a think piece which I believe relevant to my primary mission of highlighting the benefits of Reading for learning English while still having fun. Reading is not an onerous task to be avoided with a distaste usually reserved for homework (IMHO).
On 26 August I began meeting classes in a new semester at Ma Chung University in Malang, Indonesia. I have had this “new” experience for a few years longer than the existence of this blog (approximately three years). For each semester, the first week is chaos. Not a criticism, this is just an observation, one that is not surprising to me and something I expect. I posted that I would interrupt my usual book review schedule for one week so I could focus my attention on classes. https://ron877.com/2019/08/26/administrative-notice/
After the one-week hiatus, my regular posting schedule did not resume. I continued my reading schedule of one novel per day, but I did not write or post reviews. My TBR (to be read) pile stood side by side with a TBW (to be written) pile. Folks who start a blog, post regularly, and accrue followers, have a responsibility to let people know when a hiccough in routine happens. Bloggers should not ghost followers. So, in my case, what happened and what will happen? The easy answer, one that arrived with a bang, is one word. I should not have been surprised. Life.
In one twelve-hour period on 31 August, my body reacted violently to an unknown viral invasion. Over the following ten days with twice-per-day doctor visits, a final test result indicated a type of cancer. Early in testing, somewhere around the second day, I had an indication of the possible determination. Focusing on the word “cancer,” I went into a deep depression, hence no writing. The only positive point of the ten days was that I had reached a low point of despair. I had nowhere to go but up. This post, four days after the diagnosis, is my turning point.
During all the tension I felt while testing, BOOKS and READING fenced free-wheeling and rambling thoughts. Good literature preserved my sanity. Lincoln in the Bardo, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Introvert, and Trust No One: A Thriller were particularly helpful. Reviews will be posted over the next few days as I get my posting schedule back on track.
BLOGGING will be a centerpiece of my post-testing and treatment life. I will not mention the cause of my attention shift in book review postings; I feel that is unnecessary wallowing in a display of personal “stuff.” I will post information from this post on a static blog page to note my change of perspective.
And then I come to AGING, which has suddenly become a focus of national attention because of an attack on and a response from Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Remarks intending to question Biden’s suitability for office conveniently forgot that the One Who Cannot Be Named, the current POTUS, is almost the same age. Even during my younger years with the US military, thirty years ago, I felt that there were two paths to aging. One was characterized by a slow, predictable, and easily observed degradation of physical and mental capabilities. Not a shameful thing, it is just Life, or at least a path leading inevitably to its end. The other track, with the same conclusion, is one I have seemed to follow. Judged healthy by many doctors, I have led an active life, and intend to continue to do so. My path has unexpected obstacles which seem to have a voice. Surprise!! There were no indications something was about to break.
A “conservative Democrat,” I will follow the current Biden kerfuffle carefully.
Meanwhile, I will make minor tweaks to my blog. More of my focus will be on “quality” literature. Previously, I focused more on anything free and works published by indie authors. I will still look at indie authors; some great stuff comes from new authors trying to break into the market with minimal cost. I will also abandon books that resemble vocabulary vomit to impress. Before my latest crisis, I finished and commented on everything except works that resorted to blatant porn as a sales gimmick.
And now, on to cheerier and more optimistic posts.