In Which It Is a Good Book Day

12 May 2003

Wow. You guys are pretty good guessers (those of you who don't refuse to play). Novel project guesses averaged 34.778. The most commonly guessed answer was 37, so David, Wendy, and a journal reader who goes by k.d. can all congratulate themselves. Woo! Yay you guys! And the actual answer is 36. The lowest guess was Shannon's 15, and the highest was Sylvia's 79. Good heavens, Sylvia! I do intend to write all of these, and to have new ideas in the next 50 years.

k.d. further covered himself in glory by finding my Laestadius book, which was listed on yet another book site as being written by L'Stadius. Now here's a hint for you: even when Finns are Latinizing their names, "L'" is never a Finnish combination. Ever ever ever. Finns are quite fond of their vowels. So I have ordered it without having to call Canada or home or anywhere else. (I did try calling home anyway, for non-book-related purposes, but home didn't answer, so I'll try again later this week.) And Google may have failed me, but the internet has not. Rah!

Thirty-six. Some of you think that's a lot of book ideas and some not so many. (I wonder how many who think that's not so many have ever written a whole book or been around someone who has. It's a lot.) It's more than a little overwhelming to me some days, and some days it's just...what I do.

Oh, crud, no. I'm sorry, guys. There's another four-book series Timprov and I discussed in detail up in Berkeley awhile ago, and I took a bunch of really good paper-journal notes but forgot to put it on the list. In which case Philip's guess of 39 would be the closest to the actual answer of 40. But if you want to be a list purist rather than a conceptual purist, then those four were not written on the physical list as of Friday when I asked for guesses. They were not, however, new to this weekend. So count it as you like -- you're all winners at Novel Gazing!

No, not really. Just Philip, actually.

And now I'm a bit fearful of looking at my journals: what else is going to pop out at me and say, "Ha ha, extensive novel notes, here's another one you want to do"?

Well. I can ignore them for now. I had great fun writing the scenes for The Mark of the Sea Serpent -- went around bouncing about it and about the headless god scene in specific. I also got going pretty well on the Not The Moose, and I think that'll translate into good work on it for today.

Also in good book news, the library apparently found the copy of Artemis Fowl they thought I had lost. So...well...yeah, I'll probably keep using them. But I'll also probably have my books checked in by hand rather than dumped in the returns bin. It's a pain for me and the librarians, but I know that I bring back what I take out, and I want to make sure they know it, too. And after the librarian we dealt with before refused to even check for the book they said Timprov lost, I don't want to count on getting the competent librarian again.

And speaking of competent librarians, happy birthday, Kev!

Yesterday I finished reading Red Moon Over White Sea. Oh, uff da. I kept waffling between wanting to learn Finnish so I could do a better translation (or at least do an edit of this translation -- it needed a good soaking in a sea of red ink) and knowing that it wouldn't help my fundamental problems with the book. The author kept skipping over the major events. The main character hates her grandfather. No, wait, it's five years later and she loves him and he's cool! The Russian Revolution happened between sections and got a couple sentences worth of mention. No big deal. And the telling-not-showing extended to the small things, too: "She was bitter" or "She felt sad," all the time, never any demonstration unless it was of the most obvious kind. Ick.

I started reading Richard Rhodes' Deadly Feasts, which is about prions. Perhaps not the most pleasant book ever, as it starts with cannibalism and goes from there. But it's good stuff to know. I don't feel like I can go around just avoiding knowing about prions, and while I'm not wholly ignorant right now, More Knowledge Good.

So the plan for today is to finish that, work on the Not The Moose, make a couple of phone calls, watch hockey, and take Timprov to the first of this week's medical appointments. A good, focused plan: not too many elements, none of them unpleasant. Later in the week I'll probably bake some bread and do more around the house, but for today, it'll be mostly working on the book.

I like the book.

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