19 May 2004
This, in a nutshell, is why I love reading Teresa Nielsen Hayden: "The only real answer to 'Why are you the best person to have written this novel?' is, 'I wrote it, and no one else did.'" Bingo. Oh, beautiful.
I was talking to a friend about whether he was ready to write a novel -- he asked, and I made the faces your dog makes when you get away from known phrases and start talking to her about the curvature of spacetime. I believe in the idea of being ready or unready to write a specific novel. I am, for example, not ready to write The Winter Wars, because I have a few more references to pick up about the Winter War. But ready to write novels in general -- I have no idea what that means, really. If it means that your novel will come out badly if you're unready, okay, so...so your novel comes out badly. Lots of people's novels come out badly when they're convinced they're ready. Lots of people's novels come out badly when they've already written a few good novels before. And writing a bad novel can be preparation for writing a good novel, for some people. It just depends on who you are and how you learn and how big your story ideas are.
I got borrowing privileges at the U library yesterday, and now that I have paid for them you'd better believe I'll use them. It's easy for me to remember how much of a PITA it is to try to browse Library of Congress libraries. But then I get into a university library, and oh, the sheer number of books hits me all over again. They have so many books. They have so many books I haven't read. They have so many books I want to read. When I'm in this mood, LoC shelving becomes a treasure hunt, rather than the annoyance it generally is. I had to be in focused, non-treasure mode yesterday, because I was there in the middle of a series of errands, with work that must be done. But it's there, all big and bookful and now accessible to me me me.
Ahem. Also bought another birthday present for Mark, borrowed C.J.'s mower, got wrapping paper, picked up groceries. I've got more errands for tomorrow. Today is for home. Jon came over for breakfast and hung out for awhile, and that was cool; sounds like he's doing pretty well, going to spend time with his local family and friends for awhile, then with his fiancée, and then head down to Mexico for research (oh, darn), and then back up here for more time with us and occasionally with Tessa (the fiancée, who is in Iowa). So we'll get to see Jon again before he heads back south in the fall. Possibly even more than once. Yay! This is all bonus; when he left for Tulane the weekend before we came to house hunt, I assumed we'd essentially missed him. Not entirely, apparently.
I have braided my hair today. In college, I wore my hair in a ponytail or a braid almost every day: the first thing I did after showering and getting dressed was usually to go outside and walk around getting to class. The old college cheer starts out "Yee yay college, built on the Hill." Top of a hill in the Minnesota River Valley. So when it wasn't cold enough to freeze my contact solution, it was windy. Always. And did I have time to corral my hair? I did not. I was a physics major who wrote stories and had a social life and got nearly enough sleep and ate regular meals. I think you could skip maybe one of those things and have enough time to fiddle fiddle fiddle with hair, but I didn't want to skip any of them. They all seemed like a good idea. I don't regret any of them; dragging my hair back every morning was a decent exchange there. The thing is, it got to feel like a default. It got to feel like what I did when I was pressed for time and didn't care if I looked my best, and I stopped evaluating whether it actually looked decent pulled back. Which it sometimes does. I don't hear people complimenting me or anyone else on long hair in a braid or ponytail, whereas on loose long hair I both get and overhear compliments. But sometimes it looks nice this way. And then my little crow-and-star Elise earrings are clearly visible.
I've finished the easiest of the tasks on my to do list: I made Mrissa Bridge Mix. We discussed how I like bridge mix in theory but never in practice because other people make it with stuffs I don't like, like coconut balls (BLEH). But really, chocolate-covered things in a mixture, this doesn't sound bad. So I mixed together the ones I like. It's like trail mix or gorp: much better if you make it yourself and don't have to put up with other people's nastiness.
Ditto potato salad, which is also on my list.
I mentioned this in my livejournal, but I'm still shaking my head over this, and I know not all of you read the lj: my college alumni magazine reported that I had a baby called Sydney in November with a man named Bruce Gritters. This was quite a surprise to me. (What's the big deal people make about labor? I didn't even notice it! Just went about my business!) A few minutes later, Stella called from work, so our caller ID popped up "CHILDRENS HOSP" and I thought, "Oh, crud, a fundraising call." Then it was Stella, and I expressed my relief considering the caller ID. And Timprov hollered, "They're calling about your baby!"
We're going to get a lot of mileage out of this.
Yesterday, Philip wrote to me, "So, here I am reading your journal, agreeing that the extent of conspiracy necessary for a 50-year-old man to pass as Karina is simply not on.
Secret babies and vampire clematis. It's all part of the Amazing World Of Mrissa. And you, yes, you! can be privy to it through the wonders of the internet. Aren't you lucky.
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