I often Tweet about or refer to my Golden Age reading at lunch. I thought folks might like a window into what those lunches look like.
I do most of my reading for my Vacation in the Golden Age on my lunch hour–at least during the work week. I pack my lunch, so I grab it out of the refrigerator and bring it into my office. I shut my door and spread my lunch out across my meeting table. Then I proceed to eat and read as much as I can in the hour that I have. I try to read at least 10 pages every lunch hour (10-pages for a 130 page issue means I can read the issue in 13 days, and have a day to put together my write-up).
Here’s what a typical spread looks like:
I am a creature of habit and my lunch rarely changes. You can see the current issue of Astounding (today, I finished reading Leigh Brackett’s “The Sorcerer of Rhiannon”). Peanut butter and jelly is my absolute favorite lunch, has been since I was a kid, and that’s usually what I pack. Along with it, I’ve got 3 Oreos (with double-stuff); a pack of fruit snacks; a chocolate chip granola bar; and a cherry Dr. Pepper.
Kelly got me the sandwich wrappers. They are reusable packages for wrapping up sandwiches and snacks. You can see the one spread out beneath my sandwich and the other holds my Oreos. And I use a cloth napkin. I bring all of it in a plastic grocery bag–the same bag I’ve used all month long and so most of the packaging in my lunch is reusable. This is a lot more environmentally friendly than when I used to pack sandwiches and cookies in sandwich bags that would get tossed every day.
These lunches are great because they get me away from my work, take my mind off my tasks and frustrations and give me an hour of stress-free reading from the Golden Age. I look forward to these lunches every day and on those rare days when I have to skip them (because of a meeting) it throws off the rest of the day for me. I discourage lunch meetings for this reason. My lunch hour is blocked off on my calendar with a note indicating to call me first before scheduling a meeting during this time. Some time is worth going to extra lengths to protect.
I take notes when I’m reading, using Evernote on my iPad, and at the end of each story, I’ll do my write-up for the story then and there while it is fresh in my mind. That way I’m not trying to remember the details of a story 2 weeks after I first read it. It also means that come the Sunday that the Episode is released, all that’s left for me to do is put together what I’ve written into a blog post.
Mostly, this lunch hour gives me an hour of peace. I can sit in my quiet office, eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich while being transported to other worlds and times, and for an hour, I really am in a Golden Age.