15 October 2002
Short Story Collections:
1) Nancy Kress' Aliens of Earth
2) Charles Sheffield's Georgia on my Mind and Other Places (Has there ever been a couple in this field that did as much for awesome short stories? Yes. Kate Wilhelm and Damon Knight. So far. That's pretty heady company to be in.)
3) Octavia Butler's Blood Child and Other Stories
4) Spider Robinson's By Any Other Name
5) Samuel R. Delany's Driftglass
(We'll return you to your regularly scheduled journal entry tomorrow. Don't worry. Some of this is pretty day-dependent. Other lists are fairly constant.)
Books I'd Love To Read Again for the First Time:
1) Katharine Paterson's Bridge to Terebithia
2) Sean Stewart's Galveston
3) Lois McMaster Bujold's Cetaganda
4) Nancy Kress' Beggars in Spain (because it's totally inextricable from my first impressions of it in seventh grade)
5) Pamela Dean's Tam Lin
Bands I'd Like To See In Concert:
1) Barenaked Ladies. Again. They rocked my world in concert in a totally different way than their CDs rock my world.
2) Blues Traveler. Also again. Much rocking of worlds.
3) Ben Folds. Without the other two making up BF5, but I will deal, as I was never such a huge fan of Darren or Wossface.
4) Tori Amos.
5) Jethro Tull. Because I really am that much of a flute geek still, deep down.
Smells I Miss:
1) Baby head
2) Puppy breath
3) Fall on campus at GAC: leaves, wood-burning stoves down in the valley, wind and wet, steam heating, wool sweaters that have been in storage since May.
4) Spring on campus at GAC: snowmelt, mud and wet gravel, green growing grasses and flowers and trees, earthworms and earthworm corpses, hormones.
5) My Gran's house: Emeraude and AquaNet, oregano, pot roast spices and vegetables, dust, lavender, peonies.
(Runner-up: Summer in Nebraska.)
Things That Worry Me:
1) Timprov's health
2) Mark's overload on work and school
3) Michelle and Scott living in DC up near the sniper and insisting on doing things like buying gas and groceries and going to school and work and otherwise not huddling in a lead box. Okay, so the lead box is not such a great plan. But I keep poring over the maps trying to convince myself that, really, most of the attacks are way far away from them -- fifteen, twenty minutes at least.
5) Entrusting my manuscripts to the post office
(Runners-up: Entrusting my manuscripts to some of the editors out there. Traveling. Oh, and that whole war thing.) (Also I worry about writers like Dan Simmons. I just read his books and don't think he's all right. Some of the books are pretty good, though....)
Grammatical Errors I Hate:
1) Possessives as plurals
2) Quotation marks as emphases
3) Adverbs that don't exist
Songs That I Can't Get Out Of My Head:
1) They Might Be Giants' "Mrs. Train" song
2) Disney's Robin Hood theme song
3) That Cat Stevens Or Someone Like Him car commercial song
4) Ben Folds Five "One Angry Dwarf and Two Hundred Solemn Faces" (the "Big and Important" song)
5) Blues Traveler "Girl Inside My Head"
Things (Not People!) I Miss About Minneapolis:
1) Frankie's pizza
2) Lund's and Byerly's and Cub Foods and being able to get groceries I need when I need them
3) The skyways
4) The lakes
5) Bridgeman's ice cream
(Runners-up: Dayton's basement delis. Caribou's caramel coffees. All of the bike/walk/ski paths. The Eighth Floor Auditorium. I think I'm going to stop now....)
Things (Again, Not People!) I Miss About Omaha:
1) Spirit World -- a liquor store and (more importantly) deli, not an occult supply of some kind
2) My folks' church
3) Vivace -- contemporary Italian yumminess
4) Pageturners used books (over on Dodge St., Jym, somewhere around 48th)
5) The way rain rolls in off the prairie in sheets
(Runners-up again too numerous to list in full)
Things I Love About Living Here:
1) BART across the street
2) Annalina running out to meet her mommy in the evenings and her little toddler voice and how she can be demanding of attention and love and not be stifled just because she's a little girl
3) The green smell in the shaded back part of our apartment building
4) Downtown Berkeley: Games of Berkeley and The Other Change and Au Coq and Long Life and that fabulous new Mondo Gelato for which Wendy and Daniel have my eternal gratitude and all of those other good things
5) Highway 1 along the coast
(Runners-up: Zachary's, Fry's, downtown Palo Alto, House of Nanking, the hiking trails up in the hills near us, the fact that we can choose to hike them in February if we're feeling zany)
Things My British Characters Will Not Be Saying Every Other Sentence:
Things I Hate About Being Anemic:
1) The dizziness
2) The beef -- having to figure out how long since I last had some, how much longer I can go, what halfway tolerable thing I'll be able to do with it, whether spinach or raisins will do for just one more day
3) The thousands of people who seem to be unable to distinguish between it and anorexia
4) Trying to remember to carry raisins in my purse
5) The taste I get in my mouth when I'm iron-short, craving for the liquid iron supplement I had to take when I was a toddler. It was nasty, nasty, nasty. There is no way I should ever want that taste again, and yet when I'm iron-short, there it is.
Reasons Why I Like Technology:
1) Contact lenses
2) Sewage systems
4) The Internet!
5) Birth control
(Again, too many runners-up.)
Reasons I Love Setting a Book In Finland:
1) The number of times my friends say, "Really? I didn't know that!"
2) The number of times I say same
3) The way people who barely know me do a double-take and start asking questions when I mention it
4) The endless hunt for more reference material
5) The challenge of depicting a culture that appreciates silences to a culture that does not
Things It's Hard For Me To Do Right Now:
1) Stop worrying
2) Come up with a title for the Not The Moose Book
3) Take the time to relax
4) Find books about Finland I haven't read yet
5) Trust the post office!
Reasons Why the NTMB Should Be Two Books:
1) Length. Part 1 is already longer than two of my books, and it's not done at all. It'll be in the big-fat-fantasy novel family either way. Question is whether it'll be unmanageably large as one volume. I think maybe.
2) Point Of View Characters: there are new ones in the third section
3) Ability to finish it this century
4) If it's two books, I can take on Avery's reluctance to deal with her home country (the U.S.) as an ongoing thing throughout. Avery has not been born at the beginning if it's one book.
5) More space to retell some of the more obscure folklore in fun ways
Reasons Why the NTMB Should Be One Book:
1) Plot Arc: the Uusi-Sampo's issues will not be finished at the end of the first book if it's two
2) Kari will kill me if she has to read two books to get to the whole story
3) Really huge fantasies seem to sell well
4) Publishers may not want to gamble on two books from an unknown, whereas one might be an easier risk
5) I can always write different additional books in the world
Plays I'd Like to See Performed:
1) Tom Stoppard's Hapgood
2) Tom Stoppard's Arcadia
3) Christopher Fry's The Lady's Not for Burning
4) Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine
5) Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile
Books That Ought To Be Written if There's Any Justice In The World, Dammit:
1) Madeleine L'Engle: book on Charles Wallace Murry as a grown-up (I actually wrote her a letter about this one)
2) Spider Robinson: the one where Erin and her daddy gets to go to Callahan's home planet
3) Mary Doria Russell: the one where Edward Behr has to try to disguise himself as Father Emilio: so that he has to live under the name of Sandoz
4) Pamela Dean: the rest of Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary with no cop-outs or Daddies Ex Machina
5) Steven Brust: Dragaera, the musical -- hey, it worked for Les Mis, and Brust's all into French Romantics, right?
(Note, please, how I avoided using this category to browbeat any writer-friends about writing faster. Yes, my restraint is admirable, thank you for noticing.)
Books I Would Like To Write Next, Assuming the NTMB is One Book And I'm Not Under Contract For Anything Cool Like A Sequel:
1) Starting Again, the neuropsych start-up novel
2) The alien diplomacy novel
3) The YA set in not-quite-Iceland
4) The architecture-witchcraft-contest novel
5) The first book in Timprov's and my trilogy -- we've got the title written down somewhere
(Let us not even discuss the numbers of runners-up.)
Books I'd Like To Own:
1) Diane Ackerman's Origami Bridges
2) Charles de Lint's Waifs and Strays
3) Diane Duane's Wizard Alone
4) Endre Bojtar's Forward to the Past: a Cultural History of the Baltic Peoples
5) John Lankford and Ricky L. Slaving's American Astronomy: Community, Careers, and Power, 1859-1940
Books From My Library List I'd Like To Have Right Now:
1) Alan Dundes' The Study of Folklore
2) Andrea Barrett's Servants of the Map
3) Kate Wilhelm's The Good Children
4) Laurence Yep's Dragonwings
5) Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, even though I trust you, Columbine, that the movie was better, because (as many of you have guessed by now) we watched it again yesterday, and I just have to see how the heck they did that
Reasons to Watch "High Fidelity" Again:
1) It's raining all the time in that movie. Hard. In Chicago.
2) Very romantic: you can spend the entire movie feeling mooshy about much less you've managed to screw up romances, friends, etc., and still be quite entertained
3) The scene where they beat up on Tim Robbins and the character who plays Dick is totally the instigator
4) The autobiographical arrangement of the records
5) The appreciation and indulgence of the list-making impulse
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