I’m a born procrastinator. I was tagged with the nickname “Kate the Late” as early as first grade. I lived only a block from my elementary school, no more than a five minute walk away. My mom sent me off in plenty of time each morning, yet with some frequency I failed to arrive at school until after the final bell had rung.
I’ve had a big project hanging over me for a very long time on which I have made little progress. I do what’s required to keep it alive but not enough to move very far forward or, distant dream, to move on. It’s a bit like making the minimum payment on a large credit card balance–it keeps the bill collectors at bay but, with the accumulation of interest, the debt never diminishes.
I’m sufficiently stressed about it now that I’m grinding my teeth into stumps as I sleep. It’s time for drastic measures. To that end, I pledge to deprive myself of fiction until I’ve wrestled the aforementioned project into submission. Surely this will stir me to action. Indeed, with the deferred pleasure of fiction to motivate me, I suspect it will be only a matter of days... I’ll let you know how I fare.
In any event, perhaps a momentary break from fiction reading will also give me the opportunity to catch up on the blog posts I’ve been intending to write about recent reads: Deborah Crombie’s latest novel, Water Like a Stone, which fully lives up to the standard set by the previous installments in her excellent Gemma James/Duncan Kincaid series; all three of the installments in Arnaldur Indridason’s Reykjavik mysteries that have so far been translated into English, read in rapid succession; The Higher Power of Lucky, the controversial recipient of this year’s Newbery Medal; Gregoire Bouillier’s The Mystery Guest, the most mysterious aspect of which for me is why it has garnered such lavish praise in so many quarters; my first foray into audiobooks, Zadie Smith’s On Beauty read by Peter Francis James; and, finally, my long overdue contributions to the A Curious Singularity discussions of Delmore Schwartz’s “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities” and Jean Stafford’s “In Zoo.” And here I am, full circle, back to lateness and procrastination.