Journal of a Pandemic Year: Part Twenty

Dear Readers,

I hope this finds you healthy and free of the Rona. The past week has kept me busy dealing with giving and grading midterms, a couple of meetings (done remotely), and responding to work emails, usually about said midterm. It looks like my virtual teaching will extend through the Spring semester as well, so it might be August before I am back on campus again. That’s crazy to think about. I’d have never guessed when I left campus on March 6th, right before spring break, that it would be a year and a half before I was back. It’s a good thing I didn’t leave any food in my office! Actually, now that I say that, I’m not sure if I did or not.

I was going through some old boxes today and came across a battered copy of Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. I bought it the summer before I entered 6th Grade. I think I read the whole thing in one sitting and it was one of my favorite books back then. Being able to pull that book out and go on an adventure was just about the only bright spot of my junior high days.

Finding the book got me to thinking, always a dangerous proposition. I decided that I wanted to revisit some classics over the course of the rest of the fall. I’ll read this one, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in 80 Days, and then move over to H.G. Wells and tackle The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, and The War in the Air, before I spend some time with Thomas Hardy and Tess of the d’Urbervilles and DeFoe’s Moll Flanders. As you’ll recall, it is DeFoe’s Journal of a Plague Year that inspired this series of blog posts. I’ve read all these books before, but it has been a long, long time since then. It’ll be nice to read them again because they are familiar, and yet not.

Halloween is coming up. I’ve never been a big Halloween person, but I do have a Halloween tradition. Every Oct. 31st, in the evening, I listen to the original War of the Worlds radio broadcast (1938) on CD, using my retro style radio/CD player which is a copy of a 1930s cathedral radio. Since my house was built in 1932, it is quite possible that when the radio drama aired originally at 7pm CST, on Sunday, Oct. 30, 1938, the owner of this house was tuning in to listen.

In November, I’ll turn my attention to taking on the sequel to Molly’s Song. I hope to have the first draft done by the end of the year. We’ll see if that is possible, as my writing plans never seem to go the way that I want them to.

Until next time, friends, take care of yourselves, and each other.

L.H.

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