Kage Baker was a firm believer in the delights of anticipation.
It came under the same heading as “getting there is half the fun”. The journey is in itself a goal – the process is a purpose. Sometimes the purpose, if the ultimate destination turns out to be a bust.
Which sometimes it does. We once spent a magical weekend wending our way along the Northern California Coast and through the yacht clubs and oyster farms of the Back Bay. We were looking for Bolinas Bay. And we eventually found it – or what was very possibly a Twilight Zone version of it. The town was … inhospitable. People stared unsmilingly at us; clerks lingered in back rooms rather than come forward and serve us; signs near all the beach access roads indicated that only locals were welcome. The clothing, the architecture, the hair, the public art – all straight out of the 1960’s. The attitude – more like the 1560’s. In Spain. And us with English accents, and PROTESTANT written on our brows.
We left in haste, looking back over our shoulders.
Anyway, getting to a goal can be better than arriving. And even when it’s not, it is still a distinct joy and adventure of its own. Ideally, the run-up is as much fun as the actual performance: that was how Kage liked things to work out.
Today, Doctor Who begins not only a new season but a new Doctor! BBC America has been showing more and more Dr. Who all week; today, they are showing nothing else. The living room has been echoing with favourite episodes all day. As I write this, John Hurt is doing his brief but brilliant turn as the un-numbered Doctor, and Matt Smith is courting Queen Elizabeth the First. Or maybe a Zygon who just thinks it’s Elizabeth Tudor; plots get a little confused when you’re listening, while writing, from another room.
But the point is, Dear Readers, the actual point here is: the process of waiting out the countdown to the new Dr. Who is as much fun as watching it will be.
So I’m returning back to the enterprise at hand. I’m hanging my writing cap on the stag’s head handle of the cane that now lives beside my desk, and settling in to listen to someone else telling the story for a while.
I shall meet a lot of you, I suspect, on the aethereal plane when the new Doctor debuts at 5 PM Pacific Standard Time. BYOB and pass the kettle chips!