Suju's and the (Not) Moose

2 July 2001

Well, I was right yesterday: we had a really good discussion of the Not The Moose Book. It's not the book I thought it was. It's that plus a lot more. I'm so psyched about this book again. So much research to be done! So many details to figure out! I figure if any of you had good references on Finnish myth or history or anything like that, you'd have told me already. But if you know anything about the Sami, or Scandinavian music before 1975, or what it was like to be a computer geek between about 1970 and 1975, or general history of computing stuff, or any Northern spy stuff, or...well, there's a lot I need to know. I think I've got the general talismanic magic system worked out pretty well, or will when I sit down to deal with it, but the rest...well. It's a good thing I've got a week or two of Reprogramming yet to do and maybe some short stories before I dive in, because I need research time before I write too much of this, if it's not to be too much of a mess.

I've ended up with another linear novel in the Not The Moose Book. I thought it was going to be nonlinear, but it really isn't. I think there'll be significant flashback structure in the alien diplomacy book when I get around to writing that. If there are any in The Tides Between the Worlds, it'll be due to magic within a present day scene, as there was in The Grey Road, and thus will not be trustworthy as true past. I was looking forward to a different kind of structure, but that's no reason to impose it on a book that doesn't want it.

For awhile after I wrote "Gardens," I felt like everything had to be structured like that. It worked so well for that particular story that I wanted it to work for everything. Tra la, there it would be. Only I immediately came up with several stories for which it didn't work, not at all, for which alternating flashback structure would be weird and wrong. In fact, I think most stories are like that. Most stories are best served, I'm afraid, by putting the beginning at the beginning and the end at the end. Not all of them, though, and one of these days I'm going to have a novel idea that works out best with weird temporal structure.

In the meantime, I'm terribly, terribly excited about this book. I think it's going to be really good. I think it would be amazingly easy to mess up. But I don't think I'm going to. Wheeee!

All of this lovely stuff took place at Suju's. What, you may ask, is Suju's? It's a coffeehouse! In our area! Within a fifteen minute drive of our apartment! Woohoo! It is not the Chestnut Tree, whose demise I still mourn. It is not on a level with the Coffee Hag or Pergolesi. But it is a respectable coffeehouse near us, where one can sit and read or work or talk or whatever. They also sell juice which we did not try on our first visit, and scones, also left unsampled. (Also desserts and bagels and so on, but the juice and scones seem more likely to be important.) Perhaps most importantly, they sell small amounts of mocha for small amounts of money. They also sell large amounts of mocha for larger amounts of money, but I like being able to just get a little cup for not much. I don't always want extravagance. Although sometimes it's nice.

I would be happy, for example, if we got an extravagantly good report from the pathologists today for my grandpa. I'm not betting the farm on it, but it would be good. I'm going to call in a little bit; in the meantime, I'll be working on Reprogramming again. It may end up being That Kind of Day, but I'm trying to stay relaxed and internally quiet.

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