I have the fortune to be sick this week.

Don’t get me wrong—it’s not that I like being sick. Far from it. I mean, low grade fever, nose red and dripping, snorkling, gagging, looking like something the cat not only drug in but chewed and then regurgitated…why there really isn’t much to recommend it, is there?

But I got to read. And read. And read

And the author I chose to read was Barbara Mertz, a.k.a Elizabeth Peters, of the Amelia Peabody mysteries fame. And for a while, as I read, I was transported back to a younger age—a time in my teens when I would devour Doyle,  Twain, Bradbury, and Haggard, and Howard, and I would feel the wonder as a glow in my mind that would shine long after I stopped turning the pages. I even found myself reading uncritically—something I seldom do anymore as a professional. That, nowadays, is a very rare thing. And it was nice to be reminded again of the golden age of fiction (a period I define as  stretching between about 1870 and 1965) and how truly wonderful words can be.

So thank you Ms. Mertz wherever you are. Your words took (and are taking) the edge off of being sick.