I swear, I'm going to switch to a format that doesn't require daily titles.

11 May 2002

Good morning. I "slept in" this morning: 7:00. Ooooh. Many errands and good things yesterday. Running about. Getting Timprov's back fixed was the highlight, I think. Dr. Bill said he'd never seen it so bad, and Timprov had to agree. So. Good to have it fixed. Yay for Dr. Bill.

I finished The Golden Thread, and I have to tell you guys: I don't remember any of this book. There are cetaceans in this book. I don't remember those at all. I would have thought they'd make an impact, being rather large and, well, plotty, but it was all new to me. Which is good in some ways, I suppose, and I liked it, albeit less well than the others. I'm frustrated, because it seems clear that Charnas is done with these characters and this world, but they were only barely getting started at the end of The Golden Thread. And I doubt that she's going to be willing to do new books POD with Wildside...but maybe if she started a new series with the same characters and this was, like, the prequel series....

I still need to write to Madeleine L'Engle and tell her to write about Charles Wallace as an adult. These authors of my childhood -- falling down on the job while my back is turned.

Of course, both L'Engle and Charnas have been doing a few things in the interim....

I started reading The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones -- after the sort of week I've had, I'm in the mood for rather straightforward fiction just now. Anyway, I'm enjoying Christopher Chant quite a bit. I'm glad I started reading Diana Wynne Jones. I just can't figure out why I never discovered her when I was a kid. I definitely need to go to the library, but my week has had rather more urgent needs in it. And while I could go today, Mark isn't home that much while he's doing this policy seminar as well as his normal PhD work and job, and I'd rather not go wandering off for something that isn't really immediately necessary to anyone.

So the big question for yesterday in the Not The Moose Book was the relationship of Ansa to the others. Ansa was the most recent POV character, and while I've added a few people who are relevant specifically to her life, this is going to be a huge enough book with enough characters in it that I don't want to add more of the other characters just to flesh her out. On the other hand, she's been doing things more than she's been interacting with people, and that's not really very interesting unless I deal with her not interacting with people. So I've been dealing with it.

One of the most interesting things for me has been that this is not only in the aftermath of WWII and some horrible war reparations paid to the USSR, but it's also in the aftermath of being allied with Nazi Germany. Finland took in German Jewish refugees, and the average Finn had very little idea, if any, what specifically was going on in the concentration camps, from what I can find out. They knew that Jews were being treated very poorly, but they didn't know how poorly. The problem is, my characters aren't average Finns. They have special magic powers. They have no excuse for not knowing what's going on down on the continent. On the other hand, they also know what's going on in Soviet Russia under Stalin. So. What do they do, with all of the knowledge they have, and with some fairly sharply limited forms of power? And how do they deal with themselves in the aftermath, when paying reparations to the USSR meant that many Finns were baking tree bark into bread to avoid starving? How my characters resolve those problems feeds into who's on whose side on seemingly unrelated issues, later on.

Politics. In a very small group of people who know each other very well. Fascinating stuff. Bujold's advice for plotting is to figure out what the worst thing is that can happen to your main character, then do it. That works, but I think that finding the hardest questions for your characters to answer is also an interesting one.

Ah well. So that's what I've been doing lately. And this morning, eating breakfast, reading the paper, etc. The high school vice-principal who did a thong check claimed, "This was a safety issue. It was not a choice-of-underwear issue." Riiiiight. A safety issue. Those thongs were popping out and snapping people in the eyes, was it? Or there were some terminal wedgies last year? Three deaths due to wedgie-related trauma?

No, actually the safety issue Ms. Wilson was worried about was the possibility that young women might expose themselves while dancing. So in the interests of safety, she exposed them before they could start dancing.

If I'd gone to that school, that woman would have committed hara kiri already, rather than face my mother. I guarantee it.

There was a gas leak on Mission (the major road nearest our place) yesterday, so it was closed from our street to the next major one south. Other than that, it's not very exciting around here. We all work, and read, and we watched VH1's "top 100 one-hit wonders" last night, and I'm going to make some blueberry muffins, I think. No great thrills, but things could be a lot worse.

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