Which Concerns the Wardrobe (But Not the Lion, Nor the Witch)

22 February 2004

Well, Rachel vacuumed the furniture and shut the cats up in the bedroom, so we were able to stay at their housewarming longer than we anticipated. It was still only about an hour and a half, but it was long enough to see Ben's sister Jenny, who fell into the category of "people I liked at college but didn't become close enough with to stay in touch," and her boyfriend. And as we were going, we got to say quick hellos and catch up briefly with a few other people I'd known-but-not-well at college.

I really do love being able to tell people I'm a science fiction writer as a job, though. The reactions are so much fun. And it's always a good reminder of how much I love my life, when people ask how it's going. Oh yeah, I think, it's going pretty darn well.

I finished Fluke and got somewhat more deeply into Rites of Spring. I still don't entirely trust the author's analyses, but at least I'm more into the book itself right now, and it's getting more into the reason I picked it up, which is WWI. I think it would be good if I could just go through and write the endings to some of these stories I've been working on, to clear my mental decks. I've got a whole slew of them -- I could probably even do another story-a-day week, at this point, if I could just stop myself from working on the novel. But I think it's a bad idea to stop myself from working on the novel until it's going poorly. If I get to another spinning-my-wheels point, okay; until then, the short stories are just going to have to get slowly alternated in, finished off in spare moments, that kind of thing.

Poor short stories. Always the bridesmaid in my heart and never the bride. Well...some of them seem to be flower girls, that is, a few years from growing up to be the bride. Still. Poor dears. I do have a few short stories I love as well as my novels, but...well. The preference is clear. It's funny, because I don't have this reaction to other people's work -- some of the stuff I recommend most insistently is in short story collection form. But for myself there's no way around it. Although I do seem to have intermittent fits of adoration for some of them. It just isn't the same. It can't be: there's not enough to hang onto indefinitely in a short story. One has to finish with them and send them out into the world much sooner.

I've got a quiet house this afternoon: Ceej is off coaching, Timprov's sleep schedule is on days right now, and Mark is playing strategy games at Yore's. I like Yore but got enough of "out" and "people" yesterday. So I've changed out of my church clothes and am dressed absolutely ridiculously, but I don't care, because it'll be more comfortable for the yoga (sorely needed by my back, no pun intended), and it puts me in a good mood. My folks got me an orange T-shirt in Cancun to use as a sleepshirt (Mom has firm opinions about the area between tasteful clothing and fun clothing; she knows where this shirt falls), but I'm afraid it's not really long enough for that, possibly because I'm a bit taller than many Mexican women. So it's brilliantly orange and reads "Cancun" on the boobs. Brilliantly orange makes me happy, for some reason. This is only part of why the pareo and one of the bikinis are brilliantly orange. The other part is that I honestly look good in orange, as long as it's dark-or-bright enough. Sometimes it looks hideous. But I look good.

(This is a useful distinction for shopping with other people. "How do I look?" "As always, you look good. Those pants, on the other hand...they're not looking so fabulous.")

Finishing off the ensemble are brilliantly red foot duvets (shuffle shuffle shuffle) and a pair of really ancient leggings. (I've been married four and a half years, and I haven't bought leggings in all that time or received them as gifts, either...I think these are more like seven or eight years old. Meh. They're leggings: what's going to change? They keep my legs warm and don't do weird things when I yogify.) Wheee. I am a fashion plate, people. You only wish you were here right now to witness the haute couture. But alas, the Cancun boobs are denied to you. I'm just telling you so you know how you're missing out.

I have to say, my brain is processing all sorts of things about the possibility of going to WorldCon this fall, but one of them is, "Ackack, what am I going to wear?" I realize that it is, after all, WorldCon, so anything in my closet (including things my mother meant me to sleep in only) would put me in the upper quadrant of fashion sense. But it's not about what other people wear or how other people look. It's about having armor, the right costume, and yes, I mean both of those things metaphorically. I had this problem before the last WorldCon, you will possibly recall, and the problem (and the blessing!) is that there is no dress code. I'm not going to look out of place. I'm going to be more or less comfortable along each of several axes, though, and I'm trying to aim for the "more" along all of them.

I will have time to think about it. But if it really sounds like I'm leaning towards going, that's the case; I told my folks not to plan a big wondermous thing for that weekend. So I'm pretty serious about it. (Big wondermous thing to be specified later if we can get it figured out.)

It's the problem of meeting people you've only known online, writ large. It's a sea of friendly-but-strange faces, with a few genuine friends jumping out as life preservers and several common topics as...I dunno, those dealies that mark off lanes in swimming pools. Hmmm. Yeah, I think so: partly they're good for demarcating where you should go, so you don't go into a costuming panel expecting to talk about YA novel structure or vice versa (not that it won't happen, just that you can't bet on it). And partly they're there for something to cling to if you're absolutely exhausted or have a cramp, but you can't rely on them to entirely stay above water every single time.

By the time we get there, I'll be in "Yay, I'm in the pool!" mode. But in the meantime, it won't hurt to contemplate what I want out of a cute swimsuit.

Or maybe it will hurt. I get myself into trouble with clothes, because I think up what I want, and then people don't make it. I'm no good at wandering through stores and wanting the stuff they actually have. Scott calls me the Great Complicator. For a reason, I guess.

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