I am in debt.
I have a ton of stuff to do today.
Seriously, there is an entire list of things I have slated to do today. There are phone calls to various institutions that I hav been dreading. There’s governmental paperwork I need to fill out. I have a movie review that I need to write — which means that I have a movie I have to watch. I have a short story to finish and edit by Saturday. There is formatting and editing which needs to get done.
Plus there is the picayune minutiae of everyday life that is a requirement which comes with being a grown up.1
What is the best way to get things accomplished? To set achievable goals and provide oneself with rewards for meeting those goals.2 Fortunately for me, I had the perfect reward sitting right at the top of my TBR pile.3
Zig Zag Claybourne’s most recent publication, Conversations with Idras, A Satire is a perfect reward for a day filled with accomplishments. This was already marked as a reward, since I didn’t start reading it the moment it arrived in my mailbox. I forced myself to finish at least one of the other books I was reading before starting it, something I achieved yesterday.
So I was all ready to start Conversations the moment I woke up.
The problem was, I had all of this other stuff to do.
But I REALLY wanted to read that book.
So I did.
Conversations with Idras is a collection of, well, just that. It is a series of conversations that Claybourne had with the (possibly fictional) Idra Melba. These conversations range of the ridiculous to the deeply philosophical. As always, Claybourne mixes thought provoking and deeply personal material with an amusing narrative that leads the reader entertained, enlightened, and at times lost in thought. The books is filled with clever turns of phrase.4 Each tale is accompanied by the wild and wildly amusing illustrations of fellow author Patty Templeton.5
As with his Jetstream books6, Claybourne tackles BIG TOPICS but doesn’t hit the reader over the head with them. Instead readers come away feeling better about themselves, the world, and their place in it. It is the perfect book for those working their way through pandemic recovery. Idras, acting like a way cooler Aristotle, leads the narrator (and by extension the reader) through a series of observations about life, making us all see how we should be acting and how we can live happier lives. Claybourne is fortunate to have Idras there to help guide him and one is tempted to be jealous of this deep connection the author has.
Then we realize we don’t need Idras, we have Zig.
1 It was strongly suggested that it would be nice if the dishes were done, for example.
2 At least that is what I’ve read.
3 And this moved immediately to the top of the TBR pile as soon as it arrived.
4 The kind that fellow writers enjoy and are deeply jealous of at the same time.
5 I’m just going to put this link here, for the new people who haven’t read it yet.
6 Some more of those links here and here.
Sometime You Have To Have Dessert First
I am in debt.