Chad Grayson

Things that are making me happy today

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn checkout

I am on record many places stating that the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy by Tad Williams is my favorite series of all time. I have my own executive dysfunction to thank for me reading it. When I was a teenager, I was a member of the Science Fiction Book club. The deal was this: every month you would get a catalog of books, with one of them as the featured selection. If you didn’t send in the little postcard that came with the catalog, they would send you the featured selection, and you would be billed for it. I, of course, routinely did not send in the postcard, and accidentally bought a lot of books that way.

When I was fifteen, I received The Dragonbone Chair because I had not sent in the postcard. I was not intending to read it, but one day I picked it up, and was hooked from the first page. It immediately became my favorite book of all time, and there it sits until this day.

When I first started working at the library, I was scanning our tiny sci-fi section and saw that we had The Stone of Farewell, the second book in the series. We were missing the first and third books. Now, this could not stand, and I was not about to donate my copies. But the library director made the mistake of asking me if there were any books I could recommend we buy for the sci-fi section because someone had donated money for us to buy books with. Most of our books are donated, so this is rare. Of course, I insisted we buy The Dragonbone Chair and To Green Angel Tower. In the years since, I have recommended them to everybody looking for fantasy, but haven’t gotten anyone to check them out. I was afraid they were going to remove them for lack of circulation, and that would have broken my heart.

But yesterday a guy came in to the library, returning a Dragonlance series he’d borrowed. I made no suggestion, but saw that he was heading back to the SF section, and when he returned to the front desk he was carrying the entire Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series. I let out a very manly squeal and was like “I am so excited you are checking these out!” He looked at me like he was wondering why I was so overly invested in his checkout habits, and just said, he’d heard about them for a while and had always wanted to read them. I gushed about them as I checked him out. We usually only get rid of books when they haven’t been checked out for five years or more. So, this patron was saving these books for another five years.

Look, I know our SF section doesn’t have the widest variety, and is generally an afterthought. Hardly anybody uses it. Most of the books we check out are mysteries or inspirational fiction, but there is at least one person using the SF section besides myself, and that is making me happy.

Sometimes the raccoons know what they’re doing

I often compare what is going on in my non-neurotypical brain as being the work of a colony of feral raccoons. Any productivity or genius is accidental. But once in a while something happens that makes me think the raccoons are smarter than I give them credit for…

So, today I was writing my 1000 words, trying to get to the end of Burden of the Stars, the third book in my Broken Stars series. And I knew I needed to introduce a new character. No big. I wasn’t expecting this character to be very important, he was pretty much a placeholder. But then when I went to assign him a name (I hadn’t even thought this far ahead) I had a brilliant idea that could tie him to the central conflict, and solve a bunch of plot-related problems I was having as I come to the final third of the book. I swear a light came down from the sky as I typed his name and knew I had figured out a major problem. I’m not getting too specific to avoid spoilers, but when you get to the third book and are introduced to the main character’s temporary assistant, Walter, that was the moment that surprised and delighted me. This is my favorite part about making up stories. So, thanks, Raccoons! (Maybe I need to get a raccoon tattoo now).

So that’s a couple of things making me happy today. Nothing earth-changing, but that’s not required. I try not to use this blog to complain all the time, and try to bring joy instead (Though I still haven’t heard back from the IRS, grrr). I would love to hear about whatever is making you happy right now.

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