Sunday, July 6, 2008


A lone figure wanders the vast and cavernous halls here at Secret Headquarters. A bitter southerly has blown for days now, howling Antarctic winds with needle-sharp teeth. Christchurch shudders under snow, sleet, frost and hail, sometimes in the same day.

In these dark and echoing chambers, a faint smile plays at the lone figure's lips. A faint tuneless sound teases the ear. Could it possibly be... whistling?

Yup, whistling. You see, winter it may be, but in my heart, summer reigns.

The lovely and talented Agent Anne has the latest manuscript. There are no revision notes yet, and no new project has been started. It's even too cold for oil painting. The Full-Throttle Lifestyle is as close as it gets to idle.

My to-be-read stack is dwindling. This...

is gradually becoming this:

With my time undivided, I'm reading whatever I want to, whenever I want to. It's bloody lovely.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put my feet up by the fire with a small stack of favorites.

I'm hoping a few well-placed matches, a comfy chair and a big mug of hot cocoa should transform this...

into this:


Charles Gramlich said...

Well, blogger ate my first post. But it sounds like you are having a heavenly break. Good, good, good.

I think I'll do some reading myself, work on my to be read file.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Yea, Steve. Lookas like you'll have another book out soomn, I'm guessing. He That Is Pelecanos Shall Quake In His Penny Loafers.

FANCY said...

You have a lot to read I see...:)

"Hans Christian Andersen that was a simile I feel very proud over Thank You"

Riss said...

I can't imagine being covered in snow on the 4th of July but such is life when you're on the other side of the planet. I am sending happy thoughts of fireworks. Unless you don't like them. In which case, I'll keep 'em. :P Where do you find all the photos to stick on your blog posts? I'm worried about tromping all over copyrights and being a bandwidth thief.

Bernita said...

This is charming.
~of course I like the top photo best~

cs harris said...

Snow sounds good about now! So does putting up one's feet and doing nothing but reading for pleasure. Enjoy a well-earned rest.

When I get to be a senile old lady, I'm never going to be able to keep my seasons/months straight. After two stints downunder, the heat had me thinking the other day that I need to start getting ready for Christmas.

Steve Malley said...

Charles, right now I'm trying to see how much Terry Pratchett one man can take. A very pleasant experiment!

Wayne, from your mouth to God's ears, as they say...

Fancy, I've been reading so slowly because of the writing, the stacks get taller and taller.

Riss, who doesn't love explosions!?! We get the seriously kick-ass fireworks here, but only around Halloween. Well, okay, around Guy Fawkes', which is around Halloween.

And the pictures? I tromp all over copyrights in my search for what's fun.

Bernita, we're currently encouraging the rumour among the villagers that this place is nine kinds of haunted but only three kinds of abandoned!

CS, I'd like to spend a year in France sometime, but otherwise, I do hope I don't have to go back to the old order of the seasons...

Shauna Roberts said...

Sounds like heaven! As well as a good way to recharge your creativity.

It seems that you just finished writing that book? Do you only do one draft?

Steve Malley said...

Shauna, 'that book'(said phrase often muttered with Frasier-like loathing)suffered

a) four false starts,
b) a harrowing months-long period of writer's slowdown (not quite blocked, but not exactly moving at speed either),
c) five or six minor drafts and
d) two major rewrites

before it (finally) left these hallowed halls.

If it seems to have gone quickly, I can only blame the inhuman amounts of coffee amping up my already-hummingbirdlike metabolism to the point where the air around me smolders.

And I still can't beat the frailest members of Clan Dynamo at racket-sports!

Sidney said...

Looks like your to be read stack would injure you about as badly as mine would injure me. I read as much and as fast as I can and yet it never really seems to dwindle.

Only death will free me.

Lana Gramlich said...

Enjoy the reading. Personally I liked your descriptions of your Winter, as they offered me a brief, mental respite from the oppressive, wet heat we're suffering these days (which is only going to get worse in the upcoming weeks.)
Thank you for the Antarctic winds, even if they live solely in my mind...

Steve Malley said...

Sidney, I sometimes wonder if teachers know what they're doing when they teach us to read in the first place.

Lana, you're welcome for the cold breezes, and thank you for the summer heat on your blog!

Barbara Martin said...

The top photo is a great introduction right down to the cozy dog by the fire.

Happy reading and toasty toes.

SQT said...

I hope you enjoy your break. I wish we had some winter weather going on around here. I'm tired of 100+ degree heat.

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