First and foremost, I get to visit my family in Indiana for a 6 day Thanksgiving/Christmas/"ZOMG I haven't seen you since Mother's Day" celebration. I haven't been able to spend that amount of time with them for about 2 1/2 years, and it's going to be amazing.
But before that I have to survive a 16-hour train trip.
I say "survive", but really, I quite like trains. I greatly prefer them over flying. It's not that I'm afraid of flying. Excluding the horrific migraines I get between Albany and DC, being eye level with the clouds is neat. What I don't like is the palpable tension and paranoia of the airports themselves. I'm forced to lurk near the terminal, clutching my baggage tightly, hoping that The Voice of the Airport Gods won't announce that I and my fellow travelers are the newly chosen victims of their capricious cruelty.
In contrast, the nice people at Amtrak are just that. If I'm in the bathroom at the station, I know they won't leave without me; if I fall asleep on the train, I know they'll make sure I'm awake when I reach my stop. I feel like these people really want me to get where I'm trying to go, and they want me to be comfortable in the meantime. I appreciate that.
Next on the list is a blog redesign. The current look did the trick for a while, but I'm becoming increasingly less satisfied. I'm hoping that my father (a veteran web developer) and I can figure out a set-up that better reflects my content and image - assuming an unpublished dork like me can possess the latter. To any concerned, the turtle will stick around, he just might be attacking his strawberry elsewhere. Custom banner, better colors and improved functionality ahoy!
Finally, once I'm back in New York I'm going to start a series of posts about my favorite books this year. Becoming a writer has changed the way I read, which means that although I'm much pickier than I used to be, I also can better articulate why I love certain books as much as I do.
This year my nightstand has seen more variety than ever before; I'm reading lots of different books for lots of different reasons. So, instead of doing it Top 5 style, I'm going to rate them according to my completely subjective opinion of what I found the most: Compelling, Entertaining, Beautiful, Informative, and Challenging. (Not necessarily in that order.) Detailed descriptions of what those categories mean will be included in the posts themselves, so you'll just have to wonder what my idea of things like "beauty" are until then.
See you in December!