Back Up! Back Up!

10 March 2002

When I was in the junior high age range, somewhere between 12 and 14, Mom and I were leaving for my piano lesson. I accidentally punched the garage door opener so that the garage door was closing while the car was in park halfway out. And instead of hitting it again so that the door would open, with 13-year-old aplomb, I started shrieking, "Back up! Back up! Back up!"

Mom laughed at me for days about that one. It still comes up from time to time.

Has almost nothing to do with all of the backups I've been making of my work. But that's okay. I have been making them. My folks have off-site backups for me, and Mark's computer copies my entire "Fiction" folder every night, but I'm printing out hard copies of everything, just because it seems like a good thing to have on hand. Also, it makes me a little bit smug when I can deal with the sheer bulk of my work. Not insufferably smug, I think. I don't try to make anybody else look at my binders or hold them or anything like that. But just a little bit smug for the amount of work I've done.

In other news, we are never, ever allowed to buy books again. Okay, maybe not never. But certainly not soon. We found a bunch of good stuff at Half-Price Books -- I found a lot, Mark found some but they were trade paper and not cheap. So our book-buying and other entertainment budget is used up for awhile. And I'm heading to the land of Uncle Hugo's and Dreamhaven in less than a week. I'm limiting myself severely there. Quite severely.

It's still fun to go, though, especially to Uncle Hugo's, because the staff is so nice. They don't know us yet like the Nice Mean Man does (at The Other Change of Hobbit), but I give them time. The Dreamhaven staff is not nearly so friendly, but they do have the books that you didn't know existed, which is a plus.

I think many of us are learning from the Dreamhaven anthology rejection letters that the owner of Dreamhaven should not be called Mr. Snuggles at all. Mine yesterday was merely brusque. I've heard that other people got flat-out meanness. Yuck. No call for that.

Oh, but to balance the brusque Dreamhaven rejection, I got the most effusive request for rewrites I've ever gotten from a different anthology. I think I can do what the editor wants. It will remain to be seen.

But despite that, and despite the fact that I have a seventh story to write today, and despite the fact that I have a piece of pseudonymous contract work to finish before Friday, and despite the fact that I'd really like to get the rewrite of "The Children's Village" finished and out to Analog...none of that is my priority today. Really. My first priority today is relaxing.

No, really. No, I mean it.

Yesterday, I finished "The Un-Wisher" before 10:00 a.m. It was a children's/YA story, so it was only 1800 words, but still. That was a good feeling. It will not happen again today, I don't think, as the primary candidates for finishing are "Window Shopper" and "Endgene." Mark and I are trying another church this morning (up in San Lorenzo this time), and then we're stopping off home for awhile to get Timprov, and then we're heading out to lunch with Jenn. And then...well, there's a stir-fry in our future for dinner, and I'll probably talk to the parental types. Other than that, I'm going to try to relax. Finish the seventh story, of course. But also relax.

Last time I did this, the seventh day was really hard. I didn't know what story to write, and nothing was coming naturally. Today isn't like that. I feel like I could continue to do this. I'd rather work on the Not The Moose Book more intensely, but I could probably do ten stories in ten days instead of seven in seven, if I wanted to push it. There's a part of me that says that pushing it is good, that if this is fairly easy, I should do it until it's not fairly easy. But I'm doing plenty of things that aren't easy -- I'm pushing myself in lots of directions. Volume output of short stories doesn't have to be one of them.

I finished reading Graham Joyce's Indigo today. It was my least favorite Graham Joyce book so far, but I like his other stuff a lot, so that's not a big insult. He did tend to BS a lot in this one -- he was on about how science doesn't allow for the existence of indigo. And he gave precise wavelengths of light that "science defines" as red, violet, etc. Nonsense. No scientist who's being serious will claim to have red defined to four sig figs. It's just a manner of speaking. Science allows for the existence of pretty much any color combination you can make. It certainly allows for the existence of indigo. I also felt that Joyce had been reading a bit much of Illuminati style books, but it was enough gentler than they that I wasn't overwhelmed. After that, I started the last of my 50-cent Father Greeley novels from the library's cheap bin. It's a very gentle book so far, as his almost always are, and I'll be able to get into some of the more serious stuff on my stack later today. I'm going to get the paper and see what I feel like doing this morning.

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