Nagging, Escapes, Instructions

30 January 2002

I don't like to nag.

I don't think there are many people who would think, "Oh, I do! I love to nag! It's my favorite thing!" I know that. But often I dislike nagging so much that I will just refuse to do it. I'll do things that I don't think I should have to, just so that I won't have to nag anybody about them. Or I'll come up with ways of nagging that don't feel so much like nagging to me. The white board on the fridge with the lists on it is one of these.

Unfortunately, the apartment people can't see my lists, and the kitchen sink was something that needed taking care of yesterday. And it was taken care of. Sort of. The plumber believed that there would be a leak, and I'm not sure whether there was one or who was coming back to fix it or when, so I stuck a bucket under the pipe that might leak and went on with my kitchen activities, yay!

Stressful afternoon, though. Shots in the Dark was a very, very angry book. I can understand why the author was angry -- a lot of AIDS vaccine research has been mishandled. But I felt like he was yelling at me throughout. I kept wanting to say, "I didn't do it! It wasn't me!" I did finish it, but I started Michelle West's Hunter's Oath first, just so that I would have a book that wasn't screaming at me. I'm reading it on Mary Anne's recommendation. It's been a long time since I read a high fantasy of precisely this type. I would describe it as entertaining. Not bad, although some of her structural choices give me shudders. Not The Great American Novel, but I didn't really want that, I just wanted to be entertained.

Timprov and I were talking the other day about how we're both really bad escapists, because only a very tiny handful of books provide escapist experiences at all any more. I can't speak for him, but the only way I'm guaranteed some really good escapism these days is to write my own, and to write it without a lot of interruptions so that I can really get into the worlds in my head. And what kind of escapism is it when your every flaw and fear pops up somewhere in disguise?

Oh, the normal kind. Right.

Astrid Lindgren died. Sad. (Actually, I assumed she had died while I was a teenager sometime. Oops.) I never understood why Pippi Longstocking was popular and Ronia the Robber's Daughter and The Brothers Lionheart were not. If you can get your hands on the more obscure Astrid Lindgren books for kids, do so. Amazon shows The Brothers Lionheart as out of print. That one was my favorite. Drat. But they're are plenty of Pippi tie-ins....

I finished "Take Back the Night" yesterday, which is good. In case you didn't know, Tam Lin is not just a book by Pamela Dean -- there's an old ballad/folk tale of Tam Lin, on which Dean based her book. "Take Back the Night" refers back to the ballad, not to Dean, much though I love Tam Lin. Ah well. I have 34 short stories in circulation just now, and I don't think I need to get more out there just for the sake of getting them out there...on the other hand, all these stories need writing! And I don't feel like I'm making much headway on my list, because I keep coming up with new ideas. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I just would like to focus on novel stuff for the next few months. I think I'm going to try to do that, with a short story or two here and there for the fun of it. The next anthology deadlines for which I'd like to have short stories are in May, although something might come up at any time between now and then.

Thirty-four short stories out, two novels, two picture book texts. I think that's okay.

I have a good rant going about my new least favorite euphemism, but there's been enough ranting in my life lately. So I'm going to give you my thoughts on eating a moose cookie. I know that with a normal animal cracker or cookie or a chocolate bunny or what have you, there's a difference of opinion on whether the head or the feet should be eaten first. Some people say the feet so that the animal can't run away, which is reasonable; others say the head so that it doesn't know where it's going and is easy to catch. With the moose cookie, I take a mixed approach. (This is with the large moose cookie. The small moose cookie is a two-bite cookie for me, a one-bite cookie for most of the rest of the world, people who put French fries in their mouths whole.) I take the antlers off first. They're the most dangerous part. You don't want to get in the way of a moose with antlers. (Also, they crumble the most easily.) Then the back leg, then the front leg, and then the head; last the body, starting with the neck and eating backwards until the last thing you eat is moose butt. Mmm, moose butt. We're on our last moose cookie for the time being, so it was on my mind. And now you know.

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