“When That April. . . .”

Here we are again in the month that, according to Chaucer, makes people want to go on pilgrimages! A friend over there in the States was just commenting today on how appropriate it is that, at this time of year when we finally begin to see and feel the sun again, when new life is bursting out all over, that we’re also in Holy Week. We’re about to celebrate again the Resurrection. In the words of the hymn:

“I know that my Redeemer lives.

What comfort this sweet sentence gives!”

Anyway, for me here, it’s been a week of getting organized for the new

My new file cabinet

My new file cabinet

 school year, which gets underway next week. I’d always wanted a file cabinet, and I finally found a store here that specializes in used office furniture. They had file cabinets in all shapes and sizes, and I finally decided on this one.

So I’ve just spent several days sorting things, labeling the hanging folders, and filling it up with stuff that used to be in cardboard boxes and drawers. It now holds:

1. All my important correspondence since 1997, in order and filed by year;

2. My writing projects and some works-in-progress of writer friends;

3. My teaching materials — years and years of handouts and ideas, gleaned from here and there or my own originals — all categorized for easy location now in folders with such labels as “reading homework,” “listening,” “pronunciation,” “grammar,” “games,” etc. This should make class preparation easier.

My apartment in Niigata

My apartment in Niigata

Oh — here’s also a picture of my apartment. That’s my place on the ground floor: my little verandah where I hang out my laundry — my office is right inside there — and my tatami-mat sleeping room on the left, behind the paper shouji window — the one that shows my silhouette to the neighborhood if I’m not careful. The building was sparsely-populated last year, but it’s completely filled up in the last couple weeks. This is the time of year when people move around, when the fiscal year begins.

What’s the universal writerly application of this posting? Am I skirting dangerously close to a “what-I-had-for-breakfast” posting here? Far be it from me! The universal application is: I commend to you spring organization, spring cleaning, and the opening of windows. It’s the time of year to sweep up the dust, clean off the tables, cast out the piles of paper you’ll never ever need again — and begin something new. Go on a pilgrimage! Tell tales with your fellow travelers, and be glad for their company.

Know that your Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand in the latter day upon the Earth; and that though worms destroy these bodies, yet in our flesh we shall see God!

Oh — semi-groink! — Issue #13 of Black Gate came in yesterday’s mail. And I see by the enclosed ad for what’s coming soon that my story “World’s End” is slated to appear sometime during the next four issues. That’s the first Agondria story — not the first one written, but the first in the intended order — and editor John O’Neill also bought my cousin Steve’s illustration for it. Don’t start holding your breath yet: we may be celebrating Easter two or three more times before the story finally appears, because BG comes out on an irregular schedule — Mr. O’Neill gives quality the priority over speed. When issues do come out, they are, for all practical purpose, high-quality books, like big, soft-cover trade paperbacks, slick and glossy and thick. But anyway, that story is coming eventually, and I was thrilled to see my name on a list of what people “won’t want to miss, so don’t let your subscription run out”!

As to the header of this blog: yes, I thought I’d put away the skeletons for awhile — how could I have skeletons up for Easter? — but they’re not gone, they’re just in the closet. What you see there are the first cherry blossoms of this year in Niigata, the photo just taken today. By the weekend, the city will probably be in full bloom!

May your projects and your work and your life bloom, too, to the glory of God!

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6 Responses to ““When That April. . . .””

  1. Preacher Says:

    You may have blossoms blooming, but we’re still getting 30 degree temps and biting winds. Snow flurries happen regularly and there was ice on my driveway yesterday. To combat all this we started an indoor garden on Sunday. We planted the corn, pumpkins, watermelons, and some flowers. When the weather gets nicer (in, like, a month or two!) we’ll transplant everything outside. That is, if it doesn’t snow again. (It did last year, on May 1st!) Regardless of the weather, He is risen indeed!

  2. Chris Says:

    We are in pollen blooming season and when coupled with the Santa Ana’s blowing in off the high desert it makes people with allergies unable to see the unrelentingly beautiful weather here.

    But on the up-side, with usual SoCal sun we are now harvesting photons in our photovoltaic solar array on our house and our last electricity bill was about 1/10th of the same time last year!

    Going to see Richard Dawkins tonight at the University!

    This isn’t such a bad April afterall!

  3. Chris Says:

    Oops, almost forgot, Fred, your file cabinet has me in danger of breaking Exodus 20:17

  4. mileposter Says:

    Well, what I covet is not the file cabinet itself, but the incredible efficiency of getting all of those things into it, and in order! 🙂 And here’s my vote for the cherry blossoms picture at the top of the page!

    Best wishes for the new school year!

  5. Catherine Says:

    In this part of the ‘States it’s not supposed to snow except maybe once-a-January or -February; and then it’s supposed to melt very quickly and leave behind only a few fallen snowmen melted into unrecognizable piles of brown-and-white. Supposed to. Christmas was white this–last–year, white with fresh snow and with snow that had already been on the ground for over a week! And even though it finally melted we kept getting non-stick snow, even on the first day of April, which is DEFINITELY odd for these parts! Well, just a few days after that, the weather finally warmed up enough for the leaves to start making their appearances on the trees, and for the people to wander around in shirtsleeves or jackets. Finally! We have cherry blossoms, too . . . in fact, a whole tree of them right in our front yard!

    As for spring cleaning, I did that just long enough ago that my room is full of a new mess! I’m hopeless.

    And the purpose of this, after responding to the blog post proper, is that I just read the final installment of the Star Shard! And it’s GREAT! And I wish it were longer . . . 😦

  6. fsdthreshold Says:

    Thanks, Catherine! I just got to see that final installment a few days ago, too. I’m also sorry that it’s over. I’ll especially miss answering the readers’ letters on Cricket‘s Website (but the administrator told me they’re going to leave everything archived there, which is good). I’m happy that you liked it!

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