May 20, 2016
I’m in that state where I have a bunch of things I ought to be reading, so of course instead I sat down and re-read Austen’s Persuasion. It’s my favorite of hers. I just finished that and am now trying out Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road, which appears to be an unabashed pastiche of late Victorian adventure novels, which is totally in my wheelhouse. Although he dedicates the book to Michael Moorcock, which also tells you where it’s coming from. There’s also a dash of Fritz Leiber in there. I’m intrigued at how Chabon built up a reputation as a wholly literary writer, but then has used that platform to unabashedly mess around with various genres and genre conventions. In the process he’s won a Pulitzer and a Hugo. Nice work if you can get it.
I’m absolutely fascinated by the current popular phenomenon of mystery boxes like Loot Crate. Everyone is talking about them. Everyone posts pictures of their goodies on FB or whatever. At Wondercon, there were at least three or four companies, including Loot Crate, selling boxes out of their booths. I totally get the attraction. It’s like Christmas and the lottery wrapped up in one. Getting things in the mail is already awesome, but getting a big surprise in the mail is even more awesome.
But I’ll tell you my problem: Right now I’m trying to get rid of things, not get more things, and most of these boxes seem to be all about things. Tchotchkies. Cool nerd stuff, but still stuff, that then ends up in boxes or as clutter. I’ve spent two years sorting out things and carting them off to the thrift store, I don’t need more. Prediction: in about 10-15 years every thrift store in the country is going to have walls full of Funko Pop figures that no one has room for anymore and that no one wants to keep.
Well, at the Creative Ink Festival I was introduced to the Novel Tea Club. This is a mystery box club where you get a book (you can pick the genre), and then some things like tea, tea infusers, candles, bath stuff, etc. All designed for a nice relaxing read-in. And — all entirely consumable. No clutter, nothing to find space for. It’s all stuff you use. And then get more of. Fantastic idea.
And today, the sun is shining, I’m out in short sleeves, and it’s magnificent. That gray weather we had all last week really got me down. But I’m better now.