We drink a bit. The heat makes us inelegant.

July 19th, 2020Posted by Nancy

The only place to be in this heat. Sadly, this is NOT where I am.

One of my favourite quotes from Jane Austen is: “What dreadful weather we have! It keeps one in a constant state of inelegance.” Engraved on a tile, it made the perfect gift for my friend in Houston. I’ve applied it a number of times to the sauna that is Toronto this summer. I imagine it will only get worse.

I hate the heat. In my perfect world, it would always be Autumn, on a day when one requires a light jacket. Except when I have the opportunity to swim in a lake in cottage country, in which case it should have been high 20s celsius for the last two weeks to make sure the water is perfect. And no humidity, thank you very much.

We went to the Art Gallery of Ontario (timed tickets, masks on) and saw the excellent Diane Arbus exhibit and a show of posters from the Golden Age of Magic. Both well worth braving the subway to see.

Work proceeds apace on the video project. Fortunately, all I need to do is read into the microphone. Other projects remain stalled, though a way through the thicket has been glimpsed for the witch novel project. Now I just need to get going on it.

Things I’ve read:

Battle Cry of Freedom, by James MacPherson. This long history of the Civil War Era consumed a fair bit of reading time over the last few weeks. I also finished listening to a podcast/Yale course on The American Revolution. It’s time to start looking into Canadian history for a change.

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, by Alexander Chee. This one had been on my long list of books so long I couldn’t remember why I wanted to read it. I’m glad I did, however, because it contained some excellent thoughts on writing, as well as an interesting story. I don’t think I’ll write anything autobiographical soon, though. Or ever.

Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea, by Sarah Pinsker. I finally caught up with this collection by an author who just won the Nebula for her first novel. I’m looking forward to reading that one as well.

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock, by Imogen Hermes Gower. Another one for which I had no memory of why I thought I should read it. It’s beautifully written and conjures 18th century London with amazing vividness. The plot wobbles a bit, but the prose makes up for it.

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