All Better

15 December 2001

I woke up this morning...not tired, what's the word? Not exhausted. It's a word I haven't had reason to use for awhile. Ah, yes: rested.

How strange.

Also, I can poke at my side and have no pain at all. WOOHOO! All better!

Last night, Mark and I went with Amber to La Bodeguita del Medio in Palo Alto. It was very nice Cuban food. We were led to believe it would be tapas, but "not very authentic." Who knew that "not very authentic" meant "from a different culture entirely?" It was good Cuban food, though -- I had the Plato de Vegetales, and the asparagus was to die for. (I have a bit of a thing for asparagus of late.) And Mark enjoyed his sea bass, and Amber enjoyed her arroz con pollo. So we weren't bitter to be there. It was just not at all what we were expecting. We're going to try another recommended tapas place up in the Berkeley area after the first of the year.

They also had Surf 'n' Turf -- "Tierra y Mar." So I guess that's Turf 'n' Surf. Ahh, strange and wacky are the ways of these Cubans. (Timprov says it's "Land and Sea," which makes him wonder if one is eating Paul Revere.)

But best of all, they had mojitos. Oh. Nice mojitos. Crushed mint, citrus juice, sugar, rum, soda water (but not enough to offend my anti-carbonation sensibilities)...very nice. I could go back again for mojitos.

Also, Amber was fun to be with. But when is she not? Not news.

So earlier this week, I was thinking about The Tides Between the Worlds -- not because I was going to start working on it again, because I don't need to work on another novel project just now. Just because. I knew that there was somewhere to go, some memory of mine that would illuminate Miri's new relationship with her older sister Laurie once Laurie headed off for college. And it had to do with Christmas.

And then I got it. Twelve years old. The door opens from cold and snow smells to cigarette smoke, warmth, pizza. I've been reading Stephen Lawhead on the sofa by myself, with the lamp and the colored Christmas tree lights illuminating the page. Aunt Dor has put a plate of cookies next to me on the sofa, in the ongoing struggle to Get The Kid To Eat.

"David's home!"

And Aunt Doris has thrown down her cards in the kitchen and is running down the stairs to greet her baby, and my mom is next, but I'm in line there, too, getting a hug and my hair toussled when Dave gets to the top of the stairs. "Hey, kid, how ya doin'?" And then it's Christmas, when it wasn't yet before.

That's what I've got, and that's what goes into Tides. It's not exactly like that, not even particularly close. But there were scenes about Miri and Nate that I knew how to write because of Scott and me, even if they weren't facsimiles of our behavior, even if Miri is not Scott and Nate is not me. (Thought that went the other way, didja? Well, it does. And it doesn't.) It's what I have to draw from. It's how I know. It was just kind of an "Ohh, yeahhhhh, that's how it goes" sort of reaction.

I also figured out that one of my major characters in the diplomacy novel needs sisters. I have a tendency not to give people families that don't figure into the plot, but most people have them, and sometimes it just works. But I'm also not working on the diplomacy novel. I'm just putting notes in the back of my head (and also on paper, lest I forget).

So the deal is: I'm going to make a happy asparagus mushroom chicken thingy with garlic mash for lunch, and then have a low-key dinner. I'm going to pick up my prescription and work on "Loki's Fishnets." Basically, "Loki's Fishnets" is my goal project for the next several days. I'm going to have to get ready so that I can leave Wednesday morning. Other than that, "Loki's Fishnets," and then I'll mostly do novel stuff while I'm gone. Maybe some work on "The Butler's Black Arts" or something else that pops up. We'll see. I do best with specific goals, but I'm not at all sure how much work time and inclination I'll have. Maybe lots, maybe almost none. Well, by my standards, anyway....

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