Little Things Adding Up Well

16 December 2002

The pressing question on my mind this morning is, what is my printer doing with all the magenta ink? I print things out in black and white, mostly. Sometimes a bit of blue creeps in accidentally. But it always pops up, "You are running low on: magenta ink." Is it printing out pages of purple prose without my permission? Why magenta?

Well, that's not the only pressing question. It's just the first one that popped up. Another one is, what is wrong with the buttons on this nightgown? And another one is, what are all those editors doing with my short stories? I keep not getting rejections and not getting rejections. Which would be great, except that I keep not getting acceptances, too. I have the sinking feeling that this means that the mailbox will be crammed full of rejections when Mark gets back, and still more will arrive in the time between then and when I get back, so that I'll have tons and tons of stories to deal with.

Either that or almost none, which would also, definitely, be bad.

I fear for my library list, you guys. I'm going to go several weeks without going to the library and getting more stuff from the list, and I'm not going to stop taking recommendations in that time. (That would be silly.) And the library list is long. I read a lot -- you guys know that. But the list is very long, and sometimes it doesn't get shorter very quickly, because there are entries on it like "Kate Wilhelm." Well, gosh, she's only written, what, how many books? Twenty, thirty...lots, is how many. So she doesn't get crossed off for awhile. And I've been a pretty dedicated Kate Wilhelm reader this year. doesn't get a lot shorter in some ways. But for some reason, it seems like my library list should not exceed three closely written pages. It seems like adding a fourth would be admitting some kind of defeat, although I'm not sure what kind of defeat it would be. I already know that I'm never going to have read all of the books I want to read, and even if I could, I'd never have reread all of the books I want to reread. A failure in organization, maybe. I don't know. Falling behind, somehow. But I like having a big library list, so I'm not sure why having a bigger one would be a bad thing, except that it's a bit unwieldy.

Yesterday consisted of little things that added up well. I called Scott and Michelle, but Michelle was writing a paper, so I just got to talk to Scott. Left a message with the other Scott. (Who is generally not the one referred to as The Other Scott...anyway.) Talked to C.J. for a good long time in the evening, too. I finished reading Chasm City -- it was all right, entertaining and interesting and all, although I felt like I could have gotten the same amounts and kinds of interesting from an Iain Banks novel, and it would have been about 100 pages shorter. But there are only so many Iain Banks novels, and I've already read all of the ones that are S.F., I think, so this was fine. Also I read Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson's Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits. I liked it much better than I thought I would. It was...well, I don't know the word for it, whether it was a two-author collection or a two-author anthology, or what. They each wrote three stories on magic and water. I expected that to result in sort of a mixed bag, but I pretty much liked the whole book. Definitely recommended.

I also started reading Across the Nightingale Floor, borrowed from Wendy and Daniel, and so far it's holding me quite well. And I worked on Dwarf's Blood Mead, a couple thousand words, good stuff, I hope. I know that it's necessary for me to write this bit, even if it doesn't make the final cut in the same form, so I consider that good work in its own way. And it might make the final cut in roughly the same form. I just don't know. Too early to tell.

We ate a nice satay with yellow peppers and peapods in it, and the fridge is starting to look barer and barer. Which is a good thing, although Mark still has to eat here for awhile longer than I do. The itineraries are printed. The packing list is printed. I've mostly figured out what to take on the plane to eat and some of what to take on the plane to read. The problem with the reading is that I want to take several huge, heavy books, and I don't want to break my back or my backpack. Some of them can be stowed in one suitcase or another, and I know that I'll get books for Christmas -- well, I hope that I'll get books for Christmas. Still. One needs a lot to read on the road, or at least this one does. So I'm pondering the relative worthiness of trade paperbacks. Hmmm.

So this morning, Mark has a [decently good thing I'm not telling the world about], and then we're eating leftovers for lunch and heading into Palo Alto, where Mark will work at Stanford and I will work at The Prolific Oven, hurrah. A decent coffeehouse! Where I can work! Never mind that it's 45 minutes away when traffic is good. I will take what I can get. And like it.

And it's Mark's grandparents' 55th anniversary, I believe. Fifty-five years is a lot.

Right, so. Back to packing and Dwarf's Blood Mead.

Back to Morphism.

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