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Dec. 3rd, 2007 | 10:36 am

I'm reading Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which I'd meant to wait for the paperback on, but after hearing him on an NPR podcast two or three times, I was seized by an urge to read the book now. And it's so gripping I'm carrying it around even though I don't usually like to weigh down my poor achey shoulders with hard-cover books. Temporarily bumped Karen Russell's also-gripping collection St Lucy's Home For Girls Raised by Wolves. Am looking forward to my week-long Christmas break for a chance to spend entire afternoons sacked out on the sofa reading, a past-time I don't seem to allow myself enough these days. I've got a high ziggurat of to-be-read volumes in place for this upcoming festival of lazitude.

Am glad I don't have to go anywhere or do anything over the December holidays. I'm still recovering from the socializing of my Thanksgiving week adventure in the midwest -- I'm not used to spending so much time, day after day, with friends, and have become quite a hermit with the passing years. I love being with my far-flung buds, but I need to RECOVER afterwards. Was supposed to attend my client's holiday party Friday night, but was so filled by dread at the prospect that I didn't go ... I've been like this all my life but these days it's starting to feel like one of those phobias that one must just shrug off as part of how one is. I'm the one who blanches in the face of a party.

The novel is making creeping (not creepy) progress that I feel good about. It finally feels like it's past the opening stages and in the middle-of-writing-it stage, which is good considering that I've actually been working on it for a few years now, when you add it all up.

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