25 July 2003
I slept in -- all the way until 7:00! -- and I am in pre-birthday excitement mode. So keep them cards and letters comin', as someone I've never seen evidently used to say. And e-mails, and hugs, and boxes, and phone calls, and plans...it's all good. If you're the sort of person who reads journals all in a chunk after the fact, don't feel bad if you wish me a happy birthday next week. I will still be happy with it. Wheee. Birthday. I've got chocolate cherry scones to make this morning, and pots-de-crême with blackberries on top after that, and there are happy things waiting for me, and I am in a state of birthday anticipation. I don't know what we're going to do, exactly, but that's because I can come up with all kinds of good options, not because I can't think of anything. Pre-birthday bounce!
This is a very welcome change from the snarling misanthropy of yesterday afternoon. Yesterday afternoon...was bad. Was really bad. It was probably a good thing that Timprov was asleep and Mark was at work. It started out with me feeling misanthropic. Then the misanthropy spread when I realized that I'm a human and started snarling at myself as well. Then it spread to the book I was editing, and that was not pretty. There's a fairly shredded scene sitting on the floor by my chair. I don't think I was wrong, exactly, I just think I could have been nicer to me about it and gotten the same point across.
(Err, and people? Can we recognize that the same thing applies interpersonally? If you were not there for a critique, can you please recognize that you don't know how valuable it was merely by hearing of its harshness? Harsh and insightful are orthogonal variables: you can have a very harsh critique that has very little insight, or one that sees to the core of a story; you can have a tactful, personable critique that coddles the writer or one that helps the writer to see how to fix the story without making him/her hate the story. And can I also say that Jo Walton is a class act? Okay, good. Thanks.)
So I put down the manuscript, backed away from the manuscript, metaphorically speaking. (Our apartment is small. There isn't very far away from the manuscript I can back.) I had rented two movies yesterday when I went to get a few groceries: "Shanghai Knights," which I haven't watched yet because I thought Mark and Timprov would want to, and "Auntie Mame." I knew Mark and Timprov had no desire to see "Auntie Mame" whatsoever. It was on my list because it's a movie Mom and Mike and Tom really love and keep quoting at me, and I hadn't seen it. So now I have. It was...entertaining. Over the top, but definitely entertaining, and it wasn't like this movie was trying to be somewhere under the top and missed. (What do you mean, "under the top" isn't an expression? It is now.) Oh, and it wasn't like "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid": my mom didn't do all the good lines better. Some of them, but not all. It's not going to become one of my favorite movies, but now at least I'll catch the references.
Later in the bad mood, I found myself labeling a scene, "top-drawer, really top-drawer" in that horrible accent. So I backed away from the book again. Finished reading A Bone from a Dry Sea (fun) and started Paul Theroux's Millroy the Magician. So far I think I'd rather be reading Mairelon the Magician, but I haven't been able to get that from the library, so Millroy it is -- not as a substitute, really. Just as a different thing.
I managed to get some Tylenol and some calories into me -- somewhere along the line I had run calorie-short, which was contributing significantly to both the headache and the snarling misanthropy. And then I finished writing "Gilding the Dandelion" and put a bit of a polish on it. I may want to do something different with it later, but for the moment it's what I wanted, so off it went to the anthology for which it was intended.
The odd thing was, my brain had pretty flatly refused to work on "Thresholds of Pain" before. Then I finished "Gilding the Dandelion," and it was as if a gate had opened: I was allowed to work on "Thresholds." Well, all right. Could it be that my brain is developing some kind of self-defense mechanism against too many projects? No, no; I'm sure it's nothing that sensible, or else my brain just has a very skewed notion of how many is too many.
It's probably time for me to start pitting cherries for the scones, and maybe get some food into me so that I don't get all cranky and headachy like I did yesterday. Wouldn't matter if I was the only one to bear the brunt of my snarling misanthropy. I should be nice to me. It's almost my birthday.
You should be nice to me, too. I'm just sayin'. Many of you have already started, and the birthday princess is very pleased. Whee! Birthday coming!
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