In Which Bad Books Make Good Presents

2 January 2005

The Strib and the sound of our neighbors spinning out and revving their engines outside told us to stay home today. It iced first for a good layer, then snowed. It didn't snow quite enough, either, but close; another snow on Tuesday would leave the grass covered, which is what I really want. So here we are, and being firmly part of a target demographic, I'm leafing through America: the Book before we watch the extended edition of "Return of the King."

I finished reading Charles de Lint's The Road to Lisdoonvarna this morning. You could read it, too, if you wanted to, but I don't really see why you should. I'm not coming up with strong reasons why you shouldn't, either. It was...there. It had the elements of a crime novel, but the mystery was not very mysterious and the characters were not very compelling, and...meh. Also, I had thought that it was de Lint trying something new, and that was a good thing, but no: it's an unpublished novel from back when he was trying new things. Distinctly less encouraging.

I want to say again that even bad books make good presents, especially if I've asked for them specifically. If I ask for a book and you give it to me, you've done your bit. If it then proceeds to suck pond scum (to quote my mom) or to just meander around the pages not doing much, that is not your fault in the slightest, unless you also wrote it. You still gave me a good present. I tend to be hesitant of being too critical of gift-books because I don't want to seem critical of their givers, but I really don't feel critical of their givers, either.

Unless it was something their giver really should have known I would hate, The DaVinci Code's Ravishing Love Affair with Morrie on Tuesdays or something like that. No points for that gift.

Anyway, anyway. I finished writing "Swimming Back from Hell by Moonlight" last night, and I discovered that the mice were not, in fact, optional: that not only did I need them, but my main character needed them as well. So all right; so we have mice. There are worse things in the realm of Hades than mice.

Our New Year's Eve was not perhaps up to our fabled fantabulous rock star lifestyle, and worse than that, I didn't get any Sebastian Joe's or any Bridgeman's and had to settle for the dreaded ice cream we already had in the freezer. Oh woe and alack.

I have pictures of Christmas stuff with Mark's family. I'm not done with all the pictures from the Conservatory, but you can look at them starting here when I have them ready.

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