Well, it appears that our advance scout has secured the terrain, and it’s time to form up the supply lines, by which I mean Carlota landed us an apartment (with separate bathrooms, a surefire road to domestic harmony) and I’m starting to pack.

Books form the backbone of my existence, and packing them up is the hardest bit. I’ve sold off a good half of my collection, but even more are going to stay here. Since I’m going for an estimated 6 months-to-one-year, it’s a little like the desert-island-scenario. I am bringing only the indispensable reference books (“Book of a Hundred Hands,”  “Artist’s guide to Facial Expression,” “Sibley’s Guide to Birds of Western North America,” “The Idiot’s Guide to Amazing Sex,”–you know, the important ones!*) and my comfort reading shelf, and leaving the rest in storage to await my return.

So the Pratchett comes with me, but the guides to birdfeeding stay. The guides to decorating a miniscule apartment come along, the guides to Santa Fe architecture stay. Lovecraft comes, but not Derleth. Snow Crash comes, Cryptonomicon stays. Demon-Haunted World comes, How the Irish Saved Civilization stays. Mieville comes with me, Dark Tower stays. Most of my comics stay here, because I don’t re-read comics all that often, with the exception of Sandman, which is definitely coming with me. And all the books that I read when I’m feeling low, or have PMS, or just feel small and lonely and insignificant come–Robin McKinley, Sharon Shinn, the better Tepper (including Gate to Women’s Country, which I re-read when I really want to wallow in my misery) Bujold, Juliet Marillier, that Anne Bishop trilogy that reads like fanfic and is a totally guilty pleasure, Diane Duane, a couple of random books by Georgette Heyer that I have no idea why I like, and the collected quatrains of Rumi.

Stripping down the bookcases is making it all start to feel real, but it’s not close enough for me to get excited yet. I begin to feel anxious, and slightly melancholy instead. I’m leaving the art up until the bitter end, because once the Barong come down, the apartment won’t feel like home any more.

Still, at the end of the day, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

*If you have to ask which one I’d take to a desert island, you haven’t been paying attention. I might not get laid out there, but I would damn well ID every bird on that island before they picked me up.

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