In Which Our Heroine Bounces Around and Writes Some More

21 January 2004

You've heard of that anti-Dean commercial where the older, supposedly Iowan couple wants Dean to take his long list of adjectives freak show back to Vermont? I keep thinking my family and friends could do that one like when you take turns doing the Twelve Days of Christmas. Dad on "Volvo-driving," for example; they'd all have to have a round-robin arm-rassle for the "latte-drinking" line. And of course we'd all do the "FREAK SHOW!" thing in unison.

Who hates Volvo-drivers, anyway? It just doesn't make any sense to me. Some of the latte-drinking Volvo-drivers in my personal freak show are Nebraska Republicans. I'm confused at what that commercial was supposed to accomplish, and even further confused about whether it supposedly did.

I don't know why I'm stupid. I am, but I don't know why, knowing it, I don't get less stupid. Metaknowledge is doing me no good here. Here's what: my blood sugar crashes in the late afternoon. I know this. I've talked about it in this journal before, although I'm too lazy to look up the entry right now. And yet do I remember to freakin' eat something in the afternoon? I do not. Or when I remember, I sometimes don't do it anyway, out of spite and malice or something of the sort. Yesterday worked just fine: C.J. and I went to Panera with my journal and his laptop and sat and drank coffee and shared pastry and worked. And between the mocha and the pastry, my blood sugar was juuuuust fine. No crash at 4:00. No deeply held belief that my work is worthless, nobody loves me, etc. Because I ate something in the afternoon. Every few months I have this epiphany. You would think it would stick eventually; I would have thought that to be the nature of epiphanies. Ah well.

On the up side, we figured out why the Not The Moose Book is only now coming together: Stella. I was telling Timprov that from the evidence I have, Stella favors long books that are long because lots of things happen in them. "Like the Not The Moose Book," he said. Hey, yeah. And apparently also male protagonists. Also like the Not The Moose Book (although I also have a female protagonist). So here's how my problems aren't my fault: I'm apparently writing this book for the Stella, and I didn't know her before. So naturally it wasn't working before. Okay? Okay; good.

It's always so nice to find a way in which your problems aren't your fault, especially when it's pleasantly self-correcting. This probably means that having coffee with Stella or taking the Roo on springtime walks around the lovely lovely lakes or similar things when she's not working count as progress on the book -- or on the whole series. I mean, it only stands to reason.

I cannot use that expression without thinking of Spider Robinson and wanting to groan anew at the pun.

I know I said I'd play the Letters Game with whoever wanted to, but as of this entry, I am calling olly olly oxen free. Anybody else who wants to play needs to let me know today, because I got one in the mail yesterday, and it's the last one I thought might be coming. And I owe some letters, and I'd really like to know that nobody is going to come up with more for me. Unless I know you well and already loff you.

So. I finished Nordic Religions in the Viking Age and have a perfectly good explanation of how it differs from Nordic Mythology in the Viking Age. Which is always nice. I'm still reading Colours in the Steel, one of the aforementioned long books in which lots of things happen. I was baffled for awhile as to why the Horse Barbarians in Colours don't really annoy me while the ones in the two George R. R. Martin books I read and that whole David Eddings debacle drive me up the proverbial wall. I think it's a couple of things. I think part of it is that the rest of the book is working for me pretty well -- the magic system, in particular, does not feel like it's the same song, forty-leventh verse. So it's not Just One More Element in an already-trite book. The other thing is, we get a sympathetic angle on them right off. We don't get solely a sympathetic angle on them, but there are good things about them right away; there's no react-with-horror-or-condescension-at-the-barbarians. And they are not comic relief. So.

I think one of the things I like about funny books is that almost nobody has to be comic relief if the whole thing is funny. And sometimes the characters who might as well carry signs around their necks reading, "Comic Relief!" just make me want to kill them and make them tragic relief.

Now there's a thought: I wonder if comedy writers ever think, oh, this is getting too funny, we need some tragic relief over here. Maybe they should....

I also went skipping along, tra la, in the Not The Moose Book. Ansa Nikkanen killed somebody much more quickly than I expected, but, you know, good to stay on my toes and all. Would have been good for that other character, too, but...heh. Anyway. More book, oh happy me, la la la. And today: yet more book! This is how it's supposed to be going, though. This is how this part of the book writing feels. I got derailed for awhile, but now I'm on track going, "Oh, yes, I know this bit! This is a good bit!" Of the writing itself, though also, I hope, of the book.

And on that note, guess what I'm doing now?

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