So, my friends, my new year didn't stumble in tipsily, nor did it gently knock. It shattered my front door as sure as Vader blasted Alderaan. It has my full attention.
I must bow out (again!) of the blogging in order to do the living. It's a new living, and a challenging one: learning how to be a single mom, learning how to bid farewell to a love that leaves . . . as well as just lots of learning as I take four college courses while teaching part-time.
I know I disappeared last year, too. It's totally fair if you're not around when I come back. BUT! I'll come back in April. AND, I will offer you one of the BEST parting gifts!
My parting gift is the name and face of a new favorite: PATRICK ROTHFUSS
Back story: Laini herself first told Jen and me about Patrick Rothfuss when we met her in Chicago. Hearing we were from Wisconsin, Laini mentioned a great fantasty writer from Steven's Point. Okay, ANYBODY Laini recommends, I need to read. Unfortunately, I quickly forgot his name. Ack! But how can you blame me? I had just met Laini Taylor.
In December, Laini posted a picture of the back of her UK edition of DoSaB, and Rothfuss wrote the blurb on it: "Wow. I wish I had written this book." I thought, He blurbed her? How fantastic is that? And oh, yes, that's how you spell his name?
So I checked out his book, The Name of the Wind:
And friends, it's gorgeous. It's 700 pages of oh-my-god-he's-three-years-older-than-I-and-how-the-heck-did-he-get-so-amazing?-and-he-lives-an-hour-away!-and-I-want-to-eat-ramen-with-him-and-his-girlfriend-and-learn-everything-he's-ever-thought.
Wait, that was way too much inner dialogue.
It is, honestly, a beautifully-written tale of a young hero named Kvothe. Kvothe is a boy traveling with his troupe-family when disaster strikes. He struggles to survive for years before finding haven at the University. There he learns the magic of sympathy, but what knowledge he really seeks is a) how to call the name of the wind and b) how to find and conquer the baddies that attacked his troupe. Kvothe is a brilliant boy living in a ruthless world. Honestly, Kvothe is teaching me to take my licks these days better than any creed or self-help book. The boy gets knocked down every other page, it seems. But I'll be damned if he doesn't get back up every single time.
Check out Rothfuss' webpage and blog to learn more. (His blog Worldbuilders has raised over half a million dollars for Heifer International over the last several years. How fantastic is that?) And maybe, if you fall in love with the beard as much I do, watch a video or two of him to hear some of his thoughts of genre writing, Simon and Garfunkel, and trying to make the world a better place.
Rothfuss is coming to Appleton in April for our spring book festival. I'll be sure to return then with a post on his visit. Hopefully a couple of you will have joined Kvothe in his battle against the scrael and have enjoyed his captivating lute playing at the Eolian in Imre. :)
Keep writing. Keep hoping.
I'll talk to you soon.
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