Again With a Plan

11 December 2002

Evidently nothing inspirational has ever happened to me. Every week, it seems like one of the market newsletters or websites has one of those inspirational books or essay collections or whatever, calling for Your True Stories. And every week, I think, oh, that'd be an easy $100-$300. Um, no. Not at all easy, in fact, at least not for me. Maybe my grandma and I should collaborate on these things. She can tell me what she finds inspirational, and I'll write it down with a wry, charming sincerity.

It sounds like a plan.

My eye appears to be totally fine, so I get to wear my lenses today! Yay! I've missed my peripheral vision.

I've got 2000 words yet to go on the Chinese book, so I should be able to finish it tonight. Tomorrow morning at the absolute latest. It'll be a relief to have it out the door and off my list. I may go over by a few hundred words, but that's all right -- my contract stipulates "at least 20,000 words," not "exactly 20,000 words." So they can choose pictures differently or something, or Jim can cut some stuff if he doesn't think it belongs. Or he can ask me to cut some stuff. That's in the contract, too. I don't think a few hundred words would be a big deal in context, though.

I woke up thinking about it. My current worry is that I am to pick 15-20 vocabulary words from the text and make them into a glossary. This would imply that I had some knowledge of which words are "hard" to seventh and eighth graders. I don't remember words being hard then. Or before, really. My first grade teacher taught me the futility of looking things up the dictionary by making me sit down and look up "Impressionistic" in the basic first-grader dictionary. The one with pictures. This would have been bad enough, except that I'd spelled it "Empressionistic," so I looked through all the e's. When I told her I couldn't find it, she snapped at me to "Keep looking!" Finally I consulted with the other first-grade teacher, who assured me that it was not in that dictionary, but told me where it would have been. I think this was my first-grade teacher's way of covering for the fact that she had no idea what Impressionism was. In which case, at the time, I thought it was pretty silly for her to assign us to write sentences about how flowers looked in the rain.

So do you see the problem here? I can write to a seventh grade reading level for a textbook -- I just skew the proportion of simple sentences as part of the whole. (I don't even do that when I'm writing YAs, at least not consciously.) But picking out which words are hard...I balk at that. On the other hand, this is part of my contract, and I'm a professional, so it'll get done, because it's supposed to get done.

Probably even today.

I also finished with the Christmas cards, yay! And ran errands to get groceries and printer paper, although I forgot to get stamps at the grocery store, so the last of the Christmas cards will have to wait until I run to the post office tomorrow with the Chinese book. (And Reprogramming, and Aunt Doris' present, and the presents for Scott and Michelle, so I have to get those wrapped and packaged up.) But still, it's one more thing off the list, and that's not a bad thing. The pharmacy people informed me that the insurance people won't pay for my Pill refill until Saturday, so I have to leave it sitting in the pharmacy until then. Stupid. Now I have to make another trip before I go. What sense does that make? I suppose they want to try to make sure that they're not paying for me to pass my birth control along to other people, but I still think it's pretty silly.

Mark came home from work with a cold yesterday. I can hear him showering and sneezing. Poor sweetie. I'm keeping up the fluid intake, myself, hoping that I can avoid catching it. And the vitamin C intake as well, I suppose. I had gingered brussels sprouts for dinner last night, and they were nice, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and so I think I may be done with the gingered brussels sprouts.

I'm enjoying Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief, but once again I find that I know I can finish it on the train to David's, so I need to bring two books. Ah well; there are worse situations to be in, especially since I have book piles to hold me for awhile. (Sarah, if you haven't read this stuff, do. I think it's definitely your kind of thing.) And I've got Nancy Kress' Probability Space from the library, so I think that's what it'll be.

Okay, so the day is pretty well figured out, barring any unusual occurrences. Finishing the Chinese book, lunch with David, packaging stuff up, reading Megan Whalen Turner and Nancy Kress. And various and sundry other things, all of which will be generally good, I'm thinking. We'll find out soon, I guess.

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