In Which Our Heroine Tries to Recover from the Alarm Clock

23 August 2004

Early early airport run this morning. It went fine, but I got hungry on the way home, and I knew that once I stayed up long enough to eat, I would be up for the day. So I woke up at 4:55 today. Wheeee.

I read some of Quicksilver yesterday and then picked up Rosemary Edghill's Speak Daggers to Her as a (physically) lighter volume to read in bed. It was also mentally/emotionally lighter and good fun; I'm really glad Stella sent it home with me last time we were ransacking her shelves for my temporary gain. It's in an omnibus with two sequels, so I have more to enjoy when I decide to do so. It was what I would call a Wiccan murder mystery. The main character is wry and practical and does not have delusions about historical facts etc. There's a lot of balance -- most of what little I've read with Wiccan and Neo-Pagan characters has had Good and Evil characters but not annoying or boring or stupid or weird characters really. Also this one does: not everyone is grandiose. Almost no one is truly grandiose. Also I liked the internal conflict about the balance of seeing justice done and exposing one's subculture to a wave of "those evil freaks" style journalism if someone within it had committed a crime. Well, I didn't like it per se, but I thought it was very well-handled. The ending was less satisfying, but at least the main character is having to deal with it at the beginning of the next book.

Which I'm going to read soon, I guess. Book of Moons. It's sucking me in. And it's a good contrast to Quicksilver in both style and content.

Quicksilver...occasionally suffers from that most hallowed of diseases, "I suffered for my art and now you will, too." It's not too much suffering, because Stephenson is a decent writer, but there are little exchanges he couldn't resist putting in (the origin of the word "dollar," for example). They don't take much room, but they add up and slow down.

I may not be doing enough of this with Sampo and Thermionic Night. I think I may need to give a clearer sense of the war that was just finished, where Finland was in it and why. I may be assuming too much. But that's what first-readers are for, right? I'm going to have to do my own Finnophile fact-checking, but I should have a really good sense of what isn't clear to the lay person by the time I'm done getting feedback, because everybody's the lay person here.

Michelle gave me new bath and lotion stuff in my bridesmaid gift bag, among other things, so now I'm wandering around the house smelling a stranger following me around again. The soap smelled like Michelle, but the lotion smells like someone else entirely. So itís not even really as though I smell Michelle following me around the house, which would have its good bits and also its weird bits and also maybe a sniffly bit or two since I'm not sure when I'll see her until Christmas or after.

My mom is getting demanding about pictures, since I forgot to show her the dress either time she was here briefly in the last month, so I will get around to them as soon as I can. And then there's the rest of the list, of course. I'm not quite up to my normal energy levels today, but there's no 4:55 alarm for tomorrow morning, so it should be better tomorrow. I have to uproot at least one of our tomato plants and put it in the yard waste bin: it's got some funky disease that's rotting the ends of the tomatoes before they ripen, and C.J.'s mom says there's nothing for it, so we're going to have to keep buying romas at the store or the farmer's market. The big tomatoes are looking a bit dubious, too, but the cherries, at least, are coming on strong. I'll keep an eye on the big tomatoes just in case. The herbs are still large enough to eat unwary guests, and the Hungarian-pepper-that-wasn't is producing like crazy. This gardening thing is not all it's cracked up to be, but it's something, at least: the cherry tomatoes are so sweet, and I love making things with fresh garden herbs in. I'm going to have to harvest basil and make a batch of pesto one of these days. I'm not sure what can be done with sage in as much bulk as we have sage, but if any of you have suggestions, I'll be glad to hear them.

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