3 June 2004
So many books in Finnish. So many, many, many books in Finnish. I could have cried. I stood there and moaned, "If only I spoke Finnish!", and a passing middle-aged male professorial type gave me an indulgent grin. What he thought I was, I don't know: I think a Scand Studies grad student in the Finnish section probably would know Finnish. Anyway, I know enough to be dangerous, enough to puzzle out things like "Karelian Historical Society" and "Kalevala Mythological Studies." Whimper. On e-mail, my mom reminded me of yesterday's mantra, and I really don't need to learn Finnish this week. But oh, so many books.
The Friends Of The Library cards only get you ten books at a time, and six of them were taken up with contract work research. I will be back. Oh, goodness, will I: even with all the treasures locked to me, there were a few joyful exceptions written in English, one or two per shelf. Maybe more in the sections I didn't get to yet: there are Finnish-related sections to which I did not get yet. Let us not even speak of the Icelandic stuff --
In fact, let us not, because I can muddle my way through reading Norwegian with a good dictionary. Which might give me the mistaken and highfalutin' impression that I can read Icelandic, and that I should certainly try. I will work on that impression before I return, or at least before a few returns from now: the Finnish stuff will take up all ten slots next time, and as I am working on Thermionic Night and Sampo before The Mark of the Sea Serpent and its little siblings, The Alder-Wood Statue and The Vine Princess and Island Duel and the unnamed prequel with Kjartan and the volcano and the mead, I shall get all Finnish books for at least one trip.
Do you understand? They have enough Finnish stuff that it will take me more than one trip, probably more than two. It is so good to be home.
Celia said in her Wiscon report that Sharyn had said that YAs were stories in which the protagonists didn't yet have the tools to deal with their problems. If she feels that way, I can see why she edits YAs: I think much interesting literature falls or can be shoehorned into that category. But I immediately thought of the prequel with Kjartan and the volcano, because at the beginning he has the tools to deal with almost none of what he's facing, and at the end he has the tools to deal with about half of it, and that's the half that hasn't come along yet.
A few days ago (probably longer: it's been a long week), one of my friends put his immediate novel ideas in a locked post. He counted those he could write pretty much right away, those he could write up a proposal for today. I'm not sure who's got more to do, but I think it's me: I have three children's book ideas, nineteen YA ideas, seven ideas that are collabs with Timprov (all adult), and twenty-seven adult book ideas. (That is, grown-up book ideas; I have had no particular urge to write erotica, and I have no expectation that that will change.) My friend's latest book is longer than mine, but I think the sheer number of outlines/possible proposals is probably going to go to me.
Last night, Timprov and I were talking about how I have things to work on for when I can't work on the next thing. I have so many different projects that I have to be in a much deeper and more writing-specific funk than I've been in to not have something I can do, some file I can open and start flinging words at the screen like monkey dung at zoo visitors. Er, like a monkey flinging monkey dung at zoo visitors; I don't make a habit of -- oh, never mind. Anyway, the thing is: lots and lots of projects means there's almost always something I can work on. The down side is that they're all in my head, and there's a certain pressure to them.
Spam title: "Pork chop lunatics defined by fifty." Oh, I should think so.
We looked at furniture last night. We were not mad keen on any of it, but we took a few notes in case we don't find better. Lots of furniture stinks these days. People are building houses with un-usably large living rooms, and then they have to get un-usably large chairs to go in them, or the furniture gets lost. But we didn't buy a house that was stupid that way, so I don't see why we should have to have chairs that are stupid that way, either. And to be clear, I'm not talking about chairs that accommodate larger people: those are fine by me. I'm talking about chairs wherein the entirety of the thing is twice as wide and twice as deep as the seating part itself. Those are dumb. We'll have none of them.
I'm off to the chiropractor this morning. Much needed.
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