Oh, Those Reindeer

15 December 2002

"Oh, it is so rheinning!" said Omyra as we passed her on our way out. "So rheinning!" And it was. It rained most of yesterday, although Mark and I managed to get Timprov to the airport and Northwest managed to get him to Minneapolis in a more or less timely fashion, from the looks of the e-mail I got when he got there. Mark and I got home from the airport and made ravioli with this tomato/Merlot/balsamic vinegar/eggplant sauce he got in Napa with his brother, and it was good, and it was none too soon, because the power went out for a good long time. We lit candles and sat at the kitchen table reading. It amused me to read Chasm City by candlelight.

I switched over to Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy From Mars in the middle of the afternoon, hoping that it would be a good change of pace, and it was. It felt more purposeful than the other Pinkwater books I've read, though. Don't know why. Now I'm back to Chasm City.

The power went back on in plenty of time for the gates to operate and let us out, so we ran one of my few remaining errands (picking up my birth control, now that the insurance will cover it) and headed up to Berkeley. We got seated pretty much right away at Zachary's, but the pizza took awhile to get there. Which was okay; we had Daniel and Wendy to talk to, and we had figured it might be a little slow on a Saturday night. Spinach and mushroom and tomato-y goodness. Yum. And then we were part of the Zed Fan Club at Zed's improv show at Café Eclectica, and Zed was the best of the improvisers again, and a good time was had by all.

Daniel is a good person to take to an improv show, as I knew he would be, because Daniel genuinely likes people. I don't. I like you and you and him and him and her and him and sometimes her, on a good day. But people, no. But Daniel does, and he wants very much to enjoy himself at something like an improv show, and so he does, and it's much better that way than going with someone who doesn't want to enjoy himself. (There is something to be said for the category of person who wants to enjoy himself but does not like people -- the snarkiness can be fun -- but not with live performers in a small venue. No.)

And one of the things Daniel wants to enjoy himself with now is Dwarf's Blood Mead, because we talked about it as we were waiting for the pizza, and he's all psyched about it now, and has ordered me to write it. Which is fine, because I was doing that yesterday and planned to keep on even before I got my marching orders. I got in a couple thousand words before the power went out. Also worked some on the Not The Moose.

I have to say it's a bit cognitively dissonant to be reading Chasm City and working on Dwarf's Blood Mead. The Not The Moose (I'm still having a hard time thinking of it as The Long Night) is a little better that way. Not much. I realized that out of all the things I'm working on right now, not one of them is science fiction. I'm not sure if that's more disturbing or if it's more disturbing to contemplate adding another project to the mix. I'm kind of leaning toward the latter (being more disturbing, I mean)...but on the other hand, a short story every once in awhile probably wouldn't hurt. Maybe?

I don't know. I'm not feeling inspired to write any short stories. And while I know that for me, "inspired" means "looked at the list of short stories I want to write," I'm actually avoiding doing that. I'm even avoiding outlining the episodic novel, even though I've got most of the outline in my head, and it'd probably be more comfortable if it was down on the page, just because I don't really want to get into another project. I'm happy doing work on long stuff for awhile, until it's done, more or less. Until some of it is sort of done.

And while I do like short stories, they tug at my brain proportionally less. I get many more impulses from the various novels floating around than from the short stories, even though there are more of the latter. The neuropsych start-up and the alien diplomacy novel and the Oregonian YA that I thought was going to be mainstream, but oh, how it isn't, and the architecture fantasy have all nudged me in the last day, pointing out that, should I desire to do so, I could write a chapter or so of them. And indeed I could, but I'm not going to, not yet. They can wait their turn quietly.

I suppose this is where some concept of the usefulness of lines would have been a good thing to pick up from grade school. But really I never did get it, so novels kind of mill around in herds in my brain. Occasionally they have fights when their antlers are new and they're feeling feisty. Because, obviously, they're not herds of cow, they're herds of reindeer. Obviously.

And not Christmas reindeer, either. I knew that I had spent waaaaay too long with my brain up north when someone was supposed to portray a reindeer trainer last night at Zed's improv show, and the ones that go with Santa did not cross my mind until the improviser mentioned Rudolph's nose. Oh, riiiight, I thought like a dork, those reindeer. Yeah.

I'm just a bundle of confused Christmas joy, people.

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