Giving Myself Room

15 November 2002

I'm doing a little better, but I'm still mentally and physically crashing at 8:00 or so. Which is just pitiful. Especially because Mark didn't get home until after 9:00 last night. Gotta love that. He returns from a long day of wrestling down lunatic ideas from his advisor, and I'm already Zombie Lady. Woo. I'm hoping he gets home before 7:00 tonight, but I'd settle for before 8:00. If it's possible.

Yesterday I read Chinese Americans: The Immigrant Experience and Human Smuggling: Chinese Migrant Trafficking and the Challenge to America's Immigration Tradition. Some useful stuff in those. I have one more book in the house to read on this project, and then I should really start the prose. Actually, I should probably write some of the prose today. Hmm. We'll see. I have to get this done in the next month. It's due December 15, so I should really get a couple thousand words down on it. I've also got good stuff to do with the Not The Moose.

Going to Minneapolis got me in the right frame of mind for the Not The Moose Book, I think. For awhile I was trying to work on it sequentially, because I had this idea of finishing Part One and taking it to Minneapolis. I don't work well sequentially, never have. I think The World Builders fooled me into thinking that I could do that, because I did a lot of it in sequence (though not all), but the thing was, it's a short book. There weren't nearly as many scenes, so the number of permutations...yeah, okay, I don't have to do the math for you, you know what I mean. But this one? No, no sequential work here. Nope. Part One will still probably be done first, but I really have no idea what the timing will be like. And that's okay.

Basically, while I was in Minneapolis, the work got a lot smoother and more interesting to me, and I got myself convinced that I just need to keep writing this book until it's done. I keep telling people I'm trying to finish two books by the end of the year, and I am. But if I don't finish this one by the end of the year, it'll be okay, because I'll finish it soon after. It's not like I have a contract deadline coming up on it. Nobody is going to be upset that I haven't finished this book yet. It takes awhile to think about it, and that's all right.

I'm giving myself room on it, now, and that's a happy thing. I'm not very good at giving myself room, generally. It's much more relaxed this way. Not that I qualify as a relaxed person anyway. It would take much more than a trip to Minneapolis to get me there, I think. Like possibly a lobotomy.

Wake up, fetchmail! Wake up!

It's just this thing we do, me and fetchmail. Don't mind us.

I read more of Salt, although the Chinese immigration books had priority. One of the things I like about this book is that I think it would be easy for the author to overstate his subject's importance. He talked about the impact of a salt shortage on the lives of Southerners during the (American) Civil War, but he didn't claim that if they'd had a reliable internal source of salt, the South would have won. Which is good, because I doubt that they would have, there were too many other factors. But it would be quite easy for a microhistorian to decide that his topic was so key that everything hinged upon it, directly. I've seen it in biographers before. Once again, an author has avoided annoying me. The crowd goes wild.

For some reason, I have Buddy Holly urges this morning. I got "Rave On" in my head. I've given in to it. But that leads me to want to reread Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede, which leads me to want to reread Blackburn, and once you've done those two, it's pretty much time for an entire Brad Denton orgy, and pretty soon I'd be renting "The Big Chill," which would get me on a Jeff Goldblum kick...well, we'll test my willpower with just the Buddy Holly CD and hope for the best.

I think my problem is that I want to read everything. Maybe not everything. Just everything good. Like, today. Or at least everything on my book piles. Ah well. At least I don't want to write everything. Just everything that's left to go on the Not The Moose Book.

Which I really should start calling The Long Night, for practice, but, you know, I'll probably call my kids embarrassing nicknames at some point, so why not start with my books.

I made Heathah's chocolate caramel bars yesterday, finally. She gave me the recipe ages ago, but whenever I ask Mark if there's something he wants me to make for a treat, he says bombers. So we get them kind of a lot. Finally I decided it was time for caramel. They're good, but I don't know if Heathah is okay with me posting the recipe. I assure you, though: good stuff.

I took some pictures in Minnesota, and finally we've gotten around to cropping them and all. So you can see them here if you like. I think that's it for today. Have a good beginning to your weekend.

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