Blink Blink Blink

16 January 2002

The DSL light goes blink blink blink, blink blink blink, blink blink blink. The DSL light goes blink blink blink....

Okay, so I don't think it'll catch on as an extra verse to "The Wheels on the Bus." But it's the situation here. (I wonder if modern kids sing, "The cell phone on the bus goes ring ring ring...The pager on the bus goes beep beep beep....") We went out for dinner last night because I accidentally lost hand strength and dumped last night's dinner down the sink when I was draining water from it. While we were out, we bought a splitter that should actually work on our kitchen line, and we got a dial tone on the kitchen phone. But the DSL hasn't managed to reconnect in eleven hours of trying. Is this annoying? Why yes, just a trifle.

I'm letting it try without the splitter. But if it isn't all ready to go without the splitter in, say, half an hour, I'm calling customer service. This is ridiculous.

Especially because I have a story ready to go out and no address to go with it. Ah well. I finished "Loki's Fishnets" yesterday -- that's the story in question. I also worked on Reprogramming and the Not The Moose Book. Also, I finished editing Out of Apples and got that ready to go out to the picture book markets.

It's funny: whatever part of my brain allocates activities has decided that picture books texts are not What I Do. Even though I've done two of them now and like both. So when I send out picture book texts, it feels like something that's Just For Fun. I have carefully edited each of them. I am not treating them like they're for amateurs or anything like that. But the part of my brain that allocates What I Do is certain that What I Do involves publishing novels and short stories. It's not at all convinced on the picture book thing.

Last night I got the idea for the sequel to Reprogramming; it'll be awhile before I write that, thankfully. If I can help it, I don't want to do any more sequels without contracts for them. I'm glad I wrote The Grey Road, but it's frustrating to just have it sitting around the house waiting for someone to get interested in Fortress. But it's not just that. It's also that I want to do a bunch of different stuff first, work in different worlds before I get back to a world I've already done work in.

Nonetheless, I do have the sequel, and it'll probably end up with some working title like Command Line. Which would be geeky enough if you didn't realize that these are not the geekiest books I'm writing so far.

Last night Mark also had a great idea when we were talking about the fourth Indiana Jones movie. "I know," he said, "he could find the real scripts to the first three Star Wars episodes!" Oohh. Ow.

Timprov spent most of yesterday flat on the couch under the Mama Blanket sick, and he was barely able to join us for supper. (Frankly, I wasn't sure he was going to be able to handle the eating part, much less the driving to a restaurant part.) One of the things he watched was this show about Pennsylvania Station, where this woman was moaning about how so much of our history was lost. And Mark said, "Most of history is lost! That's why it's an interesting subject." Yeah, I think so.

It's my Uncle Phil's birthday today. Which just makes me mad. I mean, I'm glad that it's his birthday and all, glad he's still around and getting older, glad he's himself. But they have a good dozen cards that claim "You're like a father to me," and not a single one that says "You're like a grandfather to me." Hmmmph. Ah well; similes are probably too weak here. Uncle Phil is my grandfather on that side of the family, genetics notwithstanding. It's just a bonus that he's also our kind of people (or we his; he got to megageekdom first, obviously). I'm hoping we can get hold of Uncle Phil this evening, but I may try this morning, since they're two hours ahead anyway. Then again, I wouldn't get to talk to Aunt Ellen that way. Hmm. All right, evening it is.

I am a creature of morning and evening routine, I'm afraid. I can deal with a good deal of variation in how I spend the middle of the day -- reading, writing, or editing, good heavens! -- but the morning and the evening are supposed to go a certain way. Today they are not. The routine has been disturbed! Ackackack! What now? I am breathing deeply. I am versatile. I will carry on.

I will call the DSL people. Honestly.

Oh, and my Morphism Question of the Day: when did vodka become popular in Western Europe? Have they been importing it for ages and ages, or was it at some point a trend? If you don't know, do you have an idea where I might find the information? A History of British Drinking seems to be what I want, but I doubt that such a book exists.

Later. Up to Oakland and back and still no DSL. Bah. I finished reading Perdido Street Station, which was, contrary to Clute's comment on the back, much, much better than The Difference Engine. There were some things about the plot that I didn't like, but on the whole, definitely worth reading. Much better than King Rat as well. I just finished "The Three Grannies," and I've got a good head of steam on "The Butler's Black Arts." I'm trying to balance listening to novel critiques with the knowledge that I will nitpick and nitpick if I let myself. We'll see how it all turns out.

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