we’ve had a string of out-of-the-house commitments for the last week. i prepared + planned, gave the children plenty of downtime in between, got rest myself, and had a wonderful time. but now the big push is over and it’s only Wednesday! longest week ever! the upshot of course is that i get to post here about the wonderful novel i just finished called Falling from Horses by Molly Gloss.
it’s the story of a year that a young man from a ranching family named Bud spent working in Hollywood westerns. not my usual fare. i’m not a rancher, don’t really like horses, or care much about Hollywood. but Molly Gloss creates characters that are rich, thoughtful, and honest. characters that you love to spend time with, that you can’t wait to get back to. time itself is almost a character. it pools and unfurls in unexpected ways. a single incident grows rich with meaning while years lay quiet and unheeded.
It was a relief to be away from the concrete sidewalks and under the shade of those big old canyon oaks. And a shock, almost, to hear quiet for the first time in two days. Once I left the road and hiked down into the gully, there was almost no traffic noise, no rattling streetcars, no buses whining through the gears, no muttered voices through cheap hotel walls, just a lot of bird chatter–California birds, their strange sounds not the ones I recognized–and the understory buzz that crickets and grasshoppers make, and every so often the dry rustle of a snake or a squirrel or a gopher moving off through the brush. I think that may have been the point at which I realized I’d been taking such things for granted my whole life.
the novel will be published at the end of October. it will be a wonderful way to spend an Autumn evening or two or three.