In Which Our Heroine Shares a Name and Some Questions

12 February 2004

For those of you who have been wondering, 5 pounds 15 oz., boy, name as yet unknown to me, baby and mother doing well enough considering his early arrival. Woohoo! Welcome, kiddo! Oh, I just have the dispatch: Noah. Okay then! Noah! Noah Mason Kirchmeier! Yay! Glad to have you, sprout. Noah.

Onwards. I think mystery writers have an advantage, because there is very little denying a mystery. No matter how much of a style monkey you are or how beautifully your characters relate to each other or what metaphors you construct, if there is a crime and you spend the book with some folks figuring out either who dunnit or how to prove who dunnit, you have on your hands a mystery. No disputing it. You can run into people claiming not to write speculative fiction or specific sub-genres of spec fic, but if your story features a mystery, it is a mystery story. They're lucky that way.

I'm feeling a bit fiction-starved this week. Not my own, happily; me and my fictions are getting along pretty well. But other people's. I've been running around doing errands and house things and working, and it's come out to mean less reading time; and then what I'm reading is the Fussell, so I have to keep taking breaks to chew on it. I'm reading it in part as story research, so I need to attack the stuff I'm processing from that angle. More than that, though, it's just really intense. Once again, I'm into the cycle where I need a little fiction to balance out the intensity of nonfiction, and then vice versa. I have a couple of fiction mags on the pile to read, and also a children's book on the library pile. Either one might do for a quick reading break before I dive back into the Fussell. I took the time to read Pat Murphy's Scifiction story this morning. Liked that. So.

I was too excited about the impending arrival of the wee Noah yesterday to express my disappointment that General Clark has dropped out of the race. Not my surprise, mind you, nor my disapproval: it was a reasonable move under the circumstances. Still. Woulda been nice.

Also woulda been nice if the headache I Advil'ed last night before bed hadn't been with me still this morning. Bleh. Short entry for that.

So as long as I'm going to keep this short, I've got a question for you-all to answer in e-mail or in your journals if you've got 'em. Series of questions, actually, about your schooling (at whatever levels). What were the biggest lies you were told in school? What were the biggest omissions from the curricula you were taught? And what were the biggest mistakes your teachers made? I was thinking of these questions primarily academically -- the Noble Savage instead of If You Don't Bother Him, He Won't Bother You -- but academic or social or both are welcome. I've been thinking about this a lot with the Fussell book and will have my own stuffs to say about it, but not this morning. Tomorrow, unless I get sidetracked.

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