Scott D. Parker
Yesterday, my family and I took a trek through some trails near my Houston home. Whenever I go for a hike, I always find that special companion with which to share my journey: a stick. This one wasn't a tall walking stick, my preference, really. It was short, about twelve inches long, thin, and weather beaten, all the bark gone. It fit in my right hand, with a little knot that separated my index and middle fingers. In some respects, it made me imagine a sword handle, a thin foil at the end of the thing and me the Musketeer. Throughout my walking, my hand learned the feel of the stick, becoming familiar with its shape, texture, and how best it fit into my hand. The wood become comfortable. By the end, when I neared my car, this inanimate object seemed like a part of me.
Then, as much as I loved holding that particular stick, I threw it away and left it in the woods. Next time, I'll find another one.
We're all readers here. We love books and the stories within them. We find a favorite author and devour everything he or she has written. If its a particular series, the joy we get when reading the latest exploits of the central character is like that stick I carried yesterday. It's comfortable. It's familiar. We love it.
But do you ever throw away the author?
Earlier this week, NPR Music ran a survey about bands with whom listeners have fallen out of love. You know what they're talking about. A band you absolutely loved, Loved, LOVED and bought anything and everything they ever put out. One day, however, something changed. Perhaps they did, perhaps you did. Nonetheless, you stopped listening to that band. You moved on.
Anyone ever move on from an author? Stephen King is one for me. I used to read everything he wrote and everything that was written about him. Somehow, gradually, I just stopped reading his stuff. My wife recently read--and loved--Under the Dome but it doesn't ring any bells for me. I will certainly watch the Dark Tower movies, however. Along the way, I've picked up new authors and I'm really digging them.
There are some, of course, that I picked up sometime in the past and they're still with me--Conan Doyle, Dickens, Burroughs--and I can't imagine I'll ever throw them aside.
Y'all ever pick up and discard authors?
Drink of the Week: Sun Tea. Now that it's 90 (!) in Houston in April (!), I can again brew sun tea. It's my absolute favorite drink for hot days. Sweetened, of course. Brew up a gallon. It tastes and smells like childhood.