Monday, January 21, 2013

Interlude: How Can I Keep from Singing

Ok, so my next few Memory of Light posts have been delayed.  Should have at least one up by later today.  In the meantime, an interlude: one of my new favorite songs.  Uploaded from my phone, where I simply rotated the screen to get the video right-side up.  If you're watching it from a desktop...oops? What can I say, haven't done this before, and tech-savvy I am not. I'll work on it...  



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Memories of Light, part 2

In this blogpost you have a compilation of my off-the-cuff, stream-of-consciousness posts to the rereaders on Facebook during my read of A Memory of Light, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. 

After waiting 16+ years to read the end of this story, I was hugely excited to read A Memory of Light.  I was also very conflicted.  This story has been part of my life for a long time now; the characters are like old familiar friends; friends who were about to a) die, in the story, or b) if they didn't die, they might as well, since I wouldn't get to read about them anymore.

I don't know how to explain the mix of emotions I felt; driven to devour the book as soon as possible, on the one hand; driven to draw it out and linger over the last new Wheel of Time book I'd ever read. 

Thus the reread community has been a godsend.  They are in the same boat, know just how it feels, and could share the excitement and the ambivalence. 

So, during my read, when excitement or trepidation or dread threatened to overwhelm me, I would siphon off a bit of that and share it with the reread community.  What follows are those posts, from January 8 through 12, beginning just before I got the book and continuing for a day or so after I finished reading. 

Note that these posts were all, by design, spoiler-free (and are certainly influenced by Leigh Butler's brilliantly funny and profane Spoiler-Free Review, which you can find on  As such they don't actually SAY anything.  They just record my emotions, mostly for my benefit, and perhaps for other Wheel of Time fans. 

Tomorrow I'll go back and identify what I was reading when these reactions took place. 

And now, the post!

January 8

9:26 a.m.  “Oddly, I seem to have waked (from a dream of sitting in a crowded stadium of folks awaiting our books) in a non-twitchy state. Now I know it's really here, I'm sort of...stretching my morning routine, since I took the day off. Still, I'll be setting off for the store in the next half hour!!”

11:15 a.m.  “The weird non-twitchy phase has passed with a vengeance. Heading out now to claim my copy! The nearest Walmart parking lot is like a deathtrap at the best of times, and I have this horrible feeling that as soon as I put my gleeful hands on a preciousss copy the earth will crack and swallow me whole, but there's no help for it. Time to dance with Jak o' the shadows....”

5:40 p.m.  “ Hey, Linda...I just realized that I'm reading about you in AMOL!”

9:43 p.m.  “I've never read this slowly. P. 246. I keep stopping to squee. I agree...wonderful. Squeeing, occasional getting choked up...but a mounting sense of dread, too.”

9:56 p.m.  “My ‘break’ lasted ten minutes; after five I was twitching again. I'm going back in! Hang in there, bleary-eyed friends; tai'shar tor-rereaders!”

10:27 p.m.  “Wow. The scene I just I never expected *that* to go like *that*.”

10:32 p.m.  “And two pages later, I'm stunned all over again. Why did I never realize this? Completely logical, completely unexpected. Wow. Brain explodey.”

11:23 p.m.  “And now, I do a snoopy dance of joy. What a CMOA!”

January 9

1:08 a.m.  “Oh good grief, I thought the rest of you were crazy, I can't believe you were right about this! Ah hah hah, it was all a trick! Bloody marvelous! Oh, well done.

And then, That happened, closely followed by THAT. No, I don't like this at all.

Ugh, so good."

1:31 a.m.  “Ok, bed. For now.”

11:38 a.m.  “I told myself not to read before going to work this morning, but I couldn't help it. And...i got to a section where things began to suck. Not the story, but what's happening to Our Heroes! Just the beginning, I'm sure, and then it was time to leave. Now I'm going through the whole day filled with dread. Argh!”

12:54 p.m.  “Oh no. OH NO. This is a disaster. How is that even possible? And if he is, they *both* could be! Light! 

I really shouldn't have allowed myself to read a chapter at lunch...”

1:34 p.m. "Turns out it's not as bad as I thought. Or it's worse. I haven't decided yet."
10:54 p.m.  “Home from my twelve hour work day. Exhausted, headache. Logically, considering the next chapter is 180 pages long, I should just go to bed, right? RIGHT? 

Yeah, right. *sarcasm*”

11:07 p.m.  "Pg 624. Lol. But i think there's not much more laughter in the near future...."

11:10 p.m.  "Well...the next paragraph made me laugh. And the next page did again."

11:19 p.m.  "Crap. Didn't see that coming, he's totally insane."
11:57 p.m.  "Bwah hah hah, that is hilarious! In general, though, everything is so tense and dire I can hardly stand it."
January 10

12:05 a.m. "Yeah, it...gets worse"
12:38 a.m.  "Oh. Oh, god, no."
12:54 a.m.  “Aw, man, that SUCKS. Makes sense, though.”
12:56 a.m.  “Oh...tears now.”
1:13 a.m. “No. No, i think I'm going to give...what happened...the weight it deserves. I will rest here. See you all in the morning.”

7:10 a.m.  “And we wake, and within 5 pages, we have more sucking.  I have to admit, despite everything, I always had a soft spot for him.  Man. This is gonna get brutal, isn't it?”

7:24 a.m.  “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!? Bloody Seanchan.

7:35 a.m. “ YES!! Awesome! (please don't turn this into sucking when I turn the page)”

7:43 a.m. “Well, that was a good bit of fan service, but this next, *expletive*. This book keeps making me want to curse, something I usually avoid. (How can something so horrible be so good?!)”

7:50 a.m. “Awesome! (oh nos)”

7:51 a.m. “Hah! Pg 726 'if any of those...' "

7:56 a.m.  “I have never hearted Mat Cauthon quite like the rest of you, until this book.”

8:02 a.m. “Aww. Together again.” 

8:08 a.m. “OH! OH NOS!  And now I have go to work.”

8:14 a.m. “Hahaha that is hilarious that man is a tool and you are awesome! Ok...NOW I can go to work.”

9:26 a.m.  “Pg 780.”

9:32 a.m.  “Ohnononononononono”

9:45 a.m.  “oh

i don't want to read this anymore”

10:25 a.m.  “Tai'shar Manetheren. Tai'shar Malkier.”

10:44 a.m.  “Where is she? Where are they?”

10:51 a.m.  “Hahaha haha hahaha bloody genius.”

12:17 p.m. “sads”

12:32 p.m.  “I finished reading the last book of the Wheel of Time on Thursday, January 10, at 12:26 p.m. EST. 

I...don't know. It was great. I...don't know.”

2:07 p.m.  “Yeah, it's a little odd, after thinking of "Dragonsworn" as people like Masema's bunch, but once I decided to see us as Dragonsworn, it made things even more engrossing.”

5:00 p.m. “ Any good post-apocalyptic snacks in the bunker? What do you fix for supper on the day the world/pattern/series ends?”

7: 59 p.m.  “It's a good thing I live alone, is all I'm saying. As it is, the walls of the apartment aren't *that* thick. And I may have lost it a time or twelve at 2 a.m...two nights in a row....”

11:16 p.m.  “The White Tower's got, like, 1500+ novices now? Including the likes of Sharina Melloy? And Egwene made great use of them in the Seanchan attack on the Tower, and then we're told they're...just off Healing? MAYBE that's a good enough use, or maybe every Aes Sedai ought to have been in a circle of 13 the whole time, with 12 novices hidden in the camps...”
January 11
9:43 p.m.  “A friend who likes to post 'Question(s) of the Day' just asked "What is the last book you read that made you cry?" Hmm, let me think....”

 January 12
 10:34 p.m.  “Finally managed to put some thoughts down in the Spoiler thread. Already up to 250+ comments.”


Memories of Light, part 1

I began reading Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series, "The Wheel of Time", in May of 1996.

 The series began in 1990, and by 1996 there were already 6 books out with a seventh on the way. I borrowed the books from a friend. She was excited to loan me the first one - then was shocked at how quickly I devoured it and was ready for the next one. She became increasingly concerned as I burned through all 6 currently existing books within a week - 5000+ pages - during a time when I really should have been studying for finals. It was, after all, the last few weeks of my last semester in college!


Avid reader that I was, the Wheel of Time pulled me in like no fantasy series had since I read the Lord of the Rings in 5th grade. (Still the best and most powerful read of my life!) After devouring the first six books, I had a torturous wait for almost a week before book 7 came out in Hardcover. I snapped it up immediately! I had to know what was going to happen!

Little did I know then that I'd be waiting another 16 1/2 years for the series to finish.

Or that the author would tragically die after a hard struggle to live long enough to finish, passing away in 2007.

Or that he would nobly and bravely leave notes and outlines with his wife and editor, Harriet, and entrust her with the task of finding someone to take those pieces and finish the story.

Or that Brandon Sanderson, the man Harriet chose, would do such a magnificent job.

Or that in the midst of our long mutual wait for the next book, complete with much *twitching* and impatience, I would find an online community (The Wheel of Time Reread at who loves the books as much as I do and would, with much laughter and teasing and brilliant analysis, make the wait for the next book a fun and unforgettable experience, rather than just torture. To clarify - the wait was always torture! But it didn't have to be fun, and thanks to those folks, it was!

Because of the Rereaders, I've been able to share these books that I love with others. Because of that commuity, though the Wheel of Time has circled to a close, it's only *an* ending to the experience, not *the* end.

In that spirit, over the next day or two I'll do another couple of posts on AMoL, sharing some of my thoughts and experiences as I read the final, 903 page volume of the Wheel of Time - one of my all-time favorite books!

In the next post, I'll consolidate and repost the stream-of-consciousness non-spoiler reactions I shared with the Reread community as I read the book. Following that, I'll attempt to interpret my own comments, and figure out what I was reacting to at the time! That post will have spoilers, and will be labeled appropriately. For now, if you've not read Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, I order you to do so at once.

You can thank me later.