Library Poster

6 April 2002

Good morning. I'm kind of looking forward to "springing ahead" tomorrow -- then maybe I'll be able to sleep until 7:00 for awhile instead of 6:00. Maybe. Let's not bet the farm on it, though.

Yesterday I read The Wooden Sea, and Jonathan Carroll did it again. He spent much of the book having his narrator dance around going, "This is so weird! So strange! So weird! What am I going to do? Ack! So weird!" I enjoy some of every Carroll book I read, but that just drives me batty. I think I've reached the critical mass of Carroll reading, though, where I'm going to have to start deliberately filling in the gaps. I get to that point with some authors. Some of them are so immediately fabulous that after a book or two I simply must find everything else. But many others require critical mass: I kind of liked this one...and I kind of liked that one...and this one was really good...and this one was okay...oh, heck, why not read the other twelve.

I also read Judith Merril's Out of Bounds, which had a few stories I'd already read, but mostly was new to me. Timprov picked it up at Uncle Hugo's. His Uncle Hugo's shopping and my Merchant of Venus shopping was remarkably similar, with the result that I have some more Merril, Sheckley, and Gunn to read even after Monday's binge. Which is fine -- I like all of them -- but I'm trying to avoid too much of a good thing. Luckily, I borrowed several books from David that are not at all in that vein, so I should be able to alternate genre, tone, etc. fairly well.

I like it when choosing the next book to read takes me awhile. I mean, sometimes, yes, I have one book that I really, really, really want to read, and that's good, too. But I like having a stack of presumably good choices. (My current stack also has a few presumably mediocre choices, a Norman Spinrad from Scott Heath's discard pile and a few Diane Duane media tie-ins, but that's all right. It also has a wild card or two, but that, too, is all right. Sometimes I'm like a sincere version of those cheesy posters they put up in school libraries: "Reading is an adventure!")

La Michelle was alarmed upon reading my journal Thursday, because she thinks "dude" is not a Marissa Word. And actually she's right -- I only use "dude" when I'm delighting in my own irony. Which is particularly appropriate for days when I'm listening to a lot of Ben Folds, I suppose. But sometimes it's good to use words that are not one's own. It's like a miniature version of doing a pastiche of someone else's style. Broadens the horizons. (Unless the word in question is "nihility," in which case I don't care whether it's one of your words, you shouldn't use it.)

I worked on the Not The Moose Book yesterday, of course. (It's at the point where you should just assume.) I think the difference between my style of writing and the sequential style is that the people who write linearly write as if they're coming down the road -- they may know where they're going, but new detail is revealed as they progress. But me, in some ways I'm writing as if I'm coming in from space. The details resolve themselves at the high or bright spots first, then at the next highest or brightest, and then so on.

I'm a little worried about the "burning up in the atmosphere" aspect of this simile. One of the hazards of similes. Tricky little devils. They'll bite you in the butt if you give them half a chance.

All right. I'm going to throw most of my writing energy today into the book, and I'd like to get a good start before I feel I need to take care of cleaning the kitchen, buying groceries and office supplies, and all of that. Off I go. Have a good weekend.

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