Hiccups of the Apocalypse

28 October 2001

Some of my aunties on both sides of the family are known for having a flair for the melodramatic. Just now I wish I could borrow it, because you're not going to get the apocalyptic nature of what happened last night.

I got the hiccups.

These are the Lingen hiccups, people. They are the equivalent of shaking my entire body and yelling, "Hiccup!" They can be painful when I don't have cracked ribs. This is the disadvantage to online journals: you don't get to see the weird habits someone has, including the strange hiccups. There are people who have been my friends, lo, these many moons, and have not witnessed the Lingen hiccups. Lucky them.

They hurt like a...they hurt a lot. I felt pretty pitiful when Mark got home, and I looked up at him and said, tragically, "I got the hiccups." But they pretty much knocked me on my butt. The hiccups. Sheesh.

I'm still getting used to the difference between college friends and not-college friends. Mary Anne was suggesting filling, feel-better meals for me this week, and realized she didn't know if I liked any of them, or habitually ate any of them. And that's pretty true -- I can tell you some things all of my friends eat, but I wouldn't say I have a good feel for many of their eating habits. Whereas in college, I could tell you how they reacted to the idea of breakfast, what kind of ice cream they'd bother to get up to get, what meals they'd pine for while eating cafeteria food...and more than that, I could tell you how tolerant they were of my folk music habit, how much they procrastinated on big papers, what kind of cards they liked to play....

Like Tim and Susan, I'm trying to collect music from my college years, to fill in the gaps and to remind me of people I don't get to have around as much any more. I still think Ed was horribly inconsiderate to take his music collection with him when he graduated. And I'm frustrated, because The Traveling Wilberries evidently don't exist. I've tried spelling "Wilberries" a million different ways, but Amazon doesn't have them, and most stores I've been to don't, either. I'm going to have to make a pilgrimage up to Berkeley. It seems silly to me -- they're not a favorite band of mine -- but every once in awhile I need to be reminded of Matt's pantomime for the Wilberry Twist, and how Andrew laughed and laughed, in his funny small-burst way of laughing.

Right. Well, we went out for dinner last night, and that was good, but the car ride was hellish, so I'm sitting here contemplating whether I want to do a much longer one to get to church this morning. I'm a Prot, so I don't have to go, don't believe God will smite me if I don't. But the flip side of that is that I generally go because I want to, I like it, it's my congregation and in a way my home. (I always feel weird about trying to explain this to people who don't go to church, because they seem to get hung up on the smiting idea rather quickly. This is probably because other Christians get hung up on the smiting idea, too.)

Also, I just want to get out. I need to get out. I've been in this apartment with very few breaks for two weeks now, and I've got cabin fever. So if I do manage to go to church, I will consider it a trial run for BART and for forays into the greater outside world.

But I can be felled by the hiccups of the Apocalypse, so my confidence in dealing with the outside world is not exactly at an all-time high.

Ah well. I read The Victorian Internet yesterday -- not a very large or important book, but fairly successful at its goals, and I now know a bit more about telegraphy. (There's no reason for me to know more about telegraphy. But I do.) I started Julie Czerneda's Ties of Power -- this is one of those cases where used bookstores are not a good thing, because I can tell that the previous owner of this book burned a lot of incense and never dusted. Ah well. And I worked on the edits for Reprogramming and a bit on the Not The Moose Book. I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to send Reprogramming to first readers, so if you've served that function to me before and want to do it again, drop me a line. I currently have enough first readers for my taste (three for sure, another three in the drop-me-a-line category), and it's a very, very specific role for me.

I don't want anyone to be offended here. If you'd like to read Reprogramming in the next step down the line, let me know, you're most likely welcome. But I do feel the need to limit how many people are allowed to tell me in detail exactly what's wrong with my book. Especially within a given time frame. I realize that once it's published, people will do exactly that, and some of them will get paid for it. But we're not there yet, and in the meantime I need to be able to keep confidence and sanity going. If you've ever tried to sell a novel, you know what I mean here. If you haven't, just try to imagine what it's like to hold your novel in your hands, and know that the dominant message you will likely receive for months is, "This is not good enough." Now try doing it with two books at once.

Oh, it's a joyous business, it is.

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