Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring is here?

Saturday morning we woke to snow covering the roofs and the cars. Today, we touched sixty degrees, and the kite-eating tree in the lakefront park was displaying the broken bones of its first victim. Spring is here--and more than six hundred years later, we still follow Chaucer's lead in this season:
Whan that Aprille, with hise shoures soote,

The droghte of March hath perced to the roote

And bathed every veyne in swich licour,

Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth

Inspired hath in every holt and heeth

The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne

Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,

And smale foweles maken melodye,

That slepen al the nyght with open eye-

So priketh hem Nature in hir corages-

Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages.
And that's where I'm headed tomorrow: a pilgrimage to Donald E. Westlake's house, to look through his files with the help of Ethan Iverson, who knows Westlake's work as well as anyone on the planet. Blogging may therefore be a bit spotty in the coming days--and even the coming months, frankly. Editing a book is a new plate to add to my juggling act, and since it comes with a deadline, with all the looming that implies, it has to take priority. Hopefully the occasional dry spells here will be more than made up for down the road by the appearance of the book. I spent most of the weekend using the University of Chicago Library--from my couch!--to dig up more nonfiction pieces by Westlake, and the combination of what I found and what I've got on the way from other libraries has got me very excited about the project!

So thanks for your patience, and enjoy the spring. If, that is, you're in one of those areas that's bothering to have it. As for Chicago, I'll believe it's here to stay around July.

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