In Which Our Heroine Does Not Refuse To Try

14 July 2004

"You can fake Finland," Minnehaha B. told me the other night. "You can't fake France." Words to live by, I suppose, and I think he's right: people who will read your books have been to France, whereas they generally have not been to Finland. I have been to both, though, and I think people try to fake France a lot more than they try to fake Finland. With less success. But still.

I've got a few Finnish books left from the stack I got from the U, and I keep coming to the conclusion that I now know a fair amount about this stuff. I think I'm going to leave the last few for now, take them back to the library and go fetch them again when I'm working on The Winter Wars, since they're about the Winter War almost entirely. They'll be there when I go back, and who knows when I'll write The Winter Wars, with all the other things on my plate?

I went to the local library yesterday to pick up the Hugo nominees I haven't read yet. I like being an informed voter. I haven't read the first in Robert Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax series, though, so I picked that up so that I could get through to the second. But was the library. I managed to maneuver to the car with the stack of books, but the librarians were once again skeptical of my ability to do so. (You know what? It's actually not creative and clever to speculate about whether my book pile outweighs me. Someone has already thought of that. Thanks, though!)

I finished Between East and West: Finland in International Politics, 1944-1947, but I'm still reading Libra and The Grand Ellipse, and they aren't even what I really, really want to be reading from Stella's stash or yesterday's library haul. I read the Connie Willis novella on the Hugo ballot and enjoyed it. I've got a handful of the stories to go -- I'll probably glance at the short fiction I've already read in F&SF and Analog and Scifiction -- to be an informed voter. It's a hard job, but somebody's etc. etc.

I'm in the mood -- I think partly because it's summertime -- to just read and read and not do much of anything else. I did that most summers of my life: in childhood, yes, but also when I was working for the actuaries, when I was at both of my physics research internships, and when I was preparing for the wedding. I just want to curl up and go through books at a mad rate. Usually I want to write, but right now I only really want to write the bits that deal directly with the Kalevala, so I can do them with a book in my lap.

It does not help that my hands ache.

But I'm working this morning, telling a bit more of the old Sampo story as my characters are building the new one. I'm going to have lunch with Ceej and drop books off at the U Library today. And as I just said on e-mail, my mom is going to be here for supper, or rather, my mom and we are going to be elsewhere together for supper. I'm thinking First Course and wandering around by Lake Nokomis or maybe the Falls.

One of the people on my livejournal "friends" (reading) list, in a locked post, had a rough day, and she said one of her friends gave her an assignment on such days: telling him ten good things. Just ten pieces of goodness. And I'm the kind of person who can always do that. On a wretched day, you can ask me, "Tell me ten good things," and I'll sniffle out, "Cho-o-ocolate..." and start looking around and finding other things good. The problem doesn't come when I try and can't find good things. The problem for me comes when I refuse to try.

Today I'm not refusing to try. So all is, more or less, well. And I hope it's more or less well with you, too.

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