Flash forward to last week, when I'm coming home from Seattle and my grading for class is done... nothing to do on the plane. Kij offered several books to read en route, and I picked "The Fellowhip of the Ring." OMG is that a great book! I'm loving it! I got about 140 pages into it just on the airplane, and did a bit more reading last night after the parents left for Omaha.
(Yes, it was another weekend of carport-building: Now almost done! All the structure is in place, the construction is reinforced to withstand anything short of a North Korean nuke, and the roof is tar-papered... just needs shingling to be complete. Was a great visit with them, too, including dinner out at La Familia, outside of which we listened for a minute to a live band taking up the street; Saturday afternoon at the RenFaire with lunch there - largest crowd I've ever seen there - and "dinner" at The Smoker [go next week if you haven't yet]; Sunday breakfast at the Slow Ride Saloon to entertain my Harley-lovin' 'rents; then building all day Sunday after the brief Saturday-morning building stint.)
A thought occurred to me recently: If I'd read "The Lord of the Rings" when I was a kid, I suspect I might have written a lot of fantasy rather than mostly hard-SF. Interesting, the things that make us who we are, and the things that could have made us different people.