1 January 2004
Happy New Year! Last night Mark and I went to Heathah and Dave's for awhile, but Mark was feeling nasty with his cold, so we came home at 9:30. (Please recall our reputation for partying like the most fantabulous rock stars ever.) Mark turned on a first season Simpsons from DVD, and I read a bit more of Street Magic. It was fine, relaxed. We had a good time at Heathah's, too, and would have liked to stay if Mark had felt better. I hadn't seen Heathah's brothers in years, nor met their wives or spawn, so that was cool. I did not, however, manage to take any pictures of the copious cuteness surrounding me. Ah well.
In a few minutes (or an hour, we're not sure), Ceej will get here with Tony, Jenny, and Barnaby. They've had a death in the family, so things are in an uproar, and we're not sure what we'll be able to do. I made scones and chili, though, because, as I've said before, I don't understand death, but I have food down pretty well.
I have very few year-end tasks. One of them is writing birthdates and such on calendars (so if you think you belong on my calendar, let me know!). Another is doing a fresh submissions log -- changing "sendouts2003.xls" to "sendouts2004.xls." This mostly involves deleting stories that have been trunked or sold. This was the first year I had any trunked stories to delete from the list (due to lack of YA markets). They're still in the folders, they're still on the list of stories I've written, but they're no longer cluttering up my submissions log.
If I decide to try to reprint any of the stories I've sold, they'll go back on the sub log, of course, but for now, they're gone. And I need more stories. From someone else's standard? No, probably not. But from mine, yeah, I could do with a few more things out there. Especially SF things. I have fantasy things out there. SF things are needed. Just so that I don't forget that I do both.
(No, really, I do. No. Really. I do. Dammit. I was a physicist! A nuclear physicist! I write SF! My first adult novel, a perfectly reasonable novel, is SF! I am a speculative writer in general! Not a fantasy writer!)
(This mini-rant brought to you by the fact that I'm working on a fantasy novel, just finished a fantasy novel, have a fantasy novel coming up next to work on, and have written a lot more fantasy short stories lately. But I do both. I swear.)
It was very heartening that I sold stories and got to remove them from my sub log, though. It felt like a lot of stories when I bunched them all up into a year's worth. I almost never feel like I've done a lot. I enjoy it when I finally can feel that way.
Oh, and hey, guess what I got for Christmas? Pants. Pants that fit my butt. Mostly they sit slightly below the waist so that they don't have to fit my waist, too, but hey, I will deal. I have pants like a real genuine grown-up person. I have a pair of goose-turd velvety pants and some grey dressy pants (and the wind goes right through them and I swear my mother is lying about pants being more comfortable in Minnesota winters, because these are lovely and look great on me but provide as much protection as a good pair of tights) and some black velvety cords. And I may go up to Bigdale and buy some khaki cords if they still have my size at Nordstrom's. I just might. Even though it would mean spending money of my very own on clothing. Genuine grown-ups, I have decided, sometimes own pants; in fact, most of them own pants, in this culture. And it's ridiculous that I have no khaki trousers whatsoever. And these cords fit, from a brand that doesn't always fit, so...we shall see. We shall see.
I strongly suspect our mailbeing of phoning it in on holidays that aren't postal holidays. Yesterday was the second holiday in a row (Christmas Eve being the first) where we got only a catalog, which comes presorted, and no letters, which the postal being would have to sort him/herself. It's not proof. But I'm deeply suspicious.
Writing historical fantasy is tough on the brain, let me tell you. In the course of finishing the Bojtár book, I found more stuff that fits right in with my Finnish book stuffs. It just keeps clicking and clicking. It's a little eerie, and it makes any other understandings of history I have automatically suspect. Sure, they work well, but apparently so does this thing with the Finnish witches and the bards from Iceland....
I also read Avi's Crispin: the Cross of Lead yesterday, and I'll rate that one a big fat meh. Do not bother. Lloyd Alexander's Westmark did many of the same things, but did them all much better, and also did many other things, which it also did well. Got that? Good. Anyway, I started Tamora Pierce's Street Magic, and I'm not wowed with that one yet, either.
Today's note on the Post-It reads "Breathe." I also will have a few other things to do, though. Like the mountain of laundry that's been eyeing me threateningly. (Way to mix those metaphors, M'ris!) Some exchanges, a grocery run, a few purchases...it will surprise no one that I don't lack for an agenda. Or that I've been working at different stories and novels for the last few days, humming away happily. It's the humming away happily part that's most important, I think.
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