The idea of being "plugged in" has never really appealed to me, and yet, in this world of Facebook, blogs, twitter and texting, I am finding it hard to avoid. I would much rather spend a long afternoon in the quiet of an old house next to an open window overlooking a garden, reading a beaten copy of "The Hobbit" and sipping a cup of tea. In fact, one of the most deeply pleasant memories I have is of sitting outside the Powerscourt Hotel in County Wicklow, Ireland, near a giant chessboard on the emerald lawn. I sat on a white bench wrapped in my pea coat and Ravenclaw scarf while the sun beamed down on me, the green of the Irish landscape, and Sugarloaf Mountain. As I recall, I was reading the afore-mentioned battered copy of "The Hobbit," feeling the age and life and glow of my surroundings seep into the story. I knew what Bilbo meant as he described the rolling hills and gnarled forests and winding walls.
I love the feeling of a book in my hands, especially an old one. I'm a lover of antiques, old buildings, old cars, old music. I also truly enjoy writing letters to my friends, practicing my penmanship and receiving notes in the mail. In fact, the first draft of this blog entry was written in pen in a notebook. (Speaking of the word "blog," I'm not sure I like it. It sounds like a mix of "blob" and "log" and "blab." Something messy, with no planning or forethought. Hopefully, what I write here will be more akin to a journal or captain's log.)
Despite my love for tradition and history and everything old-fashioned, I've found out that, due to the obliviousness of agents and publishers, I must turn to this vast frontier called the internet in order to deliver my books to you lovely readers. So, although my tale comes to you across a screen, imagine that you hold in your hand a battered copy of it, while you sit in the sun on a white bench, within sight of Sugarloaf Mountain.