I’ve been reading Mark Twain’s “Roughing It”, and it’s good for the soul. Let me share a particularly poignant passage.
“Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with. The land that has four well-defined seasons, cannot lack beauty, or pall with monotony. Each season brings a world of enjoyment and interest in the watching of its unfolding, its gradual, harmonious development, its culminating graces–and just as one begins to tire of it, it passes away and a radical changes comes, with new witcheries and new glories in its train. And I think that to one in sympathy with nature, each season, in its turn, seems the loveliest.”
That’s just one example. The book is littered with witty rejoinders that make you smile and curse at the same time, for you know nothing you can ever think of will be quite that clever.
In any case, a change of season is in the wind for me as well. I’m going to Ukraine! Next month, sometime–the tickets are pending. Chernobyl has long been an ardent fascination of mine, and I’ve always wanted to visit those haunted wastes and experience the desolation and history first hand.
Well, come November, they’re tearing it down. Not completely. But the government is sliding a new “sarcophagus” into position over ill-fated Reactor Number 4, entombing it inside a lead-lined shield to protect the area from its peculiar form of invisible death. After that, they’ll slowly move robotic arms into place under the new structure, and begin dismantling the old reactor and disposing of the radioactive remains.
While the new sarcophagus will be around for probably the next hundred years, the original structure and current, famous reactor will disappear forever. That’s a welcome change for most people, but I’ll mourn its passing. It’s pretty iconic, and so before it’s lost to time, I want to sojourn there and explore all its nooks and hidden crannies for myself.
So that’s the biggest news. Past that, there’s lots of exploring in the book world to be done. I’ve got a big pile of books to read for research, and hopefully in the next few months I can begin the next trilogy. The plan is to write three books at once, and release them all together, a-la Lord of the Rings style. People like to binge watch TV shows and binge read book series, so the more content you put out at once, the happier they are. I’m doing world-building right now, and I could certainly just begin to write the story at this point. But there’s so much more I need to know about the world before I do that. This may be a long absence from actually writing the book, but it’s building the foundation for a better series, and that is definitely worthwhile.
In the meantime, my personal commitment–and you can hold me to this–is to update my website here at least once a week. That’s tangible progress to reaching my goals, and with everything else going on, it’ll be a good chronicle of the journey. I’m also taking up photography more seriously, and buying a camera soon. I’m borrowing the one used to take these pictures, and I have to say I’m impressed with the results. So this site will be transitioning to showcase some of my photographs as well. A friend challenged me to amass 10,000 followers by the end of the year. Who knows what’s possible until you try? Challenge accepted.