Two Journal Girl

18 January 2003

I got the new Counting Crows CD in the mail yesterday (thanks, Ideomancer!), and I think it'll make a nice addition to the rotation, but for heaven's sake, did they have to remake "Big Yellow Taxi?" I don't use the phrase "yearn for Joni Mitchell" all that often (I'm more a Janis Ian girl, really), but it made me yearn for Joni Mitchell. I also have this perverse urge to play it again, asking myself, oh, it couldn't have been that bad, could it? It could. It was. Yick. But it's the last song on the CD -- easy to skip.

I worked on Dwarf's Blood Mead and also did some editing yesterday. And read a good bit -- Kate Wilhelm's More Bitter Than Death and Delia Sherman's Through a Brazen Mirror and the beginning of Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others. More Bitter Than Death was a fairly early mystery, and it seemed like a learning experience for Wilhelm. Which is fine with me. I enjoyed Through a Brazen Mirror in its characters and theme, and the plot and setting weren't bad, either -- they just didn't jump out at me as much. As for the Chiang stories, I do have to overcome the Ted Chiang hype and just read the stories for what they are. But I've enjoyed them so far.

Philip surprised me a bit in his journal entry last night. He said, "Part of the reason this journal is public is that journals really aren't private--the police will seize and read your journal if they have occasion to search your house. Opposing parties to a lawsuit routinely subpoena journals. I figure that it's much better to make my journal public--that way I'll never be under any illusions of privacy."

Hmm. I guess I assume, first of all, that the police will have no reason to search my house, and secondly, if they do search my house, I will be traumatized already -- having my journals read will be a minor part of it. And I don't really want to plan my life around whether someone could get a search warrant and come into my house. I hope Philip doesn't change his mind about this, because I like reading his journal online, but as for myself, I need both.

Thomas and I were talking about this earlier this week: that we both write quite differently in journals that are just for ourselves than in our online journals or other public forums. That's never been clearer than the last few months. But as Thomas put it, there's nothing incriminating in these journals. It's not that I write things that are too nasty for other people to read. It's just that I write things that are not for other people to read. I'm not even sure that most of the stuff that I consider not-for-external-consumption would be recognizable to someone who isn't me. It's just that I talk differently to myself, and I'm not sure I could handle not having that outlet.

And I say that, but I have the feeling that if I was in a more difficult situation -- an authoritarian government, for example -- I would find a way to deal in symbols, with the kind of privacy that comes from obscurity. But while I don't trust the government particularly much, it would be extreme hyperbole to equate it with Stalin's regime. So I can write what I mean to say in my journals, more or less.

That said, my paper-journal writing seems to ebb and flow, and right now it's at a low tide. I think I got a bit burned out from writing approximately a third of a young-adult novel out longhand in my journals when I was gone on my Midwestern tour. So I just make a few quick notes on mood or thoughts in my journal and leave it at that. I used to stress about how I "should" write more in my journal, but when I need to, I do, so I let it be now.

Speaking of the novel I was writing, I'm almost halfway done now. I have two different outlaw scenes to write, a little bit of a political spat between siblings, and the very beginnings of the geyser field section, and then I'll be halfway done with a bunch of stuff added in from my previous halfway estimate. And by "done" I mean "drafted," of course -- edits will come later.

I still need to figure out what Soldrun is brooding about at various points -- too many options! But it's all very exciting, and I really like this book. And I still get to work on the Not The Moose and various other things, so my work is good good.

I still feel like death on toast, but that's okay. This weekend will be quite unstrenuous. Mark and I are going to run down to Fry's to get me a new monitor, and then we'll stop and pick up movies and a few groceries, maybe. Timprov has already put a new kind of chili in the crockpot -- he's making up a wild rice chili. It smells good so far. We'll see. If it doesn't work, we'll make something else, but the nice thing about slow-cooking is that if it starts not working, you can add stuff and see if you can fix it before it's irredeemable. Amber's coming by for a movie and maybe some cards and hanging out, catching up after the holidays. We'll be getting Mark ready to head to Institution2 on Monday, and other than that, not much on the agenda. Work. Reading. Resting. Mark and I will probably go out on a date at some point. It sounds suspiciously like relaxing. I'm sure we'll find plenty of chores, but they're not big chores, and they're not vital chores,'ll be good.

Really. It will.

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