1 May 2001

Timprov is mellower than I. This is a good thing -- it's just that it's not a particularly great accomplishment. It's like being more Protestant than the Pope. You can't expect people to get all excited if you put it on your resume. But it's nice for him. When he sends a story out, it's as if he threw it over the edge of the planet. Buh-bye, story! And then in his mind, it's gone, until one day it shows up in the mailbox again. At which point he flings it over the edge of the planet again. It's like he's reading a book while playing fetch in a nice big park, and so he doesn't really mind if the dog wanders off into the bushes somewhere for awhile, as long as she brings the ball back eventually.

Whereas I left my book at home, and feel like I'm playing by the freeway. So I keep shouting encouraging things like, "Here, girl! C'mon! Bring the ball!" Which, of course, have no effect whatsoever on the actual return of the dog, or whether she darts out into traffic with my favorite ball and requires surgery and the ball is never quite the same to me again, or....

Mark is not mellow on this topic. He doesn't write fiction much, but when he sends his papers out to conferences, he fidgets when they're supposed to respond. And when Mark fidgets, he literally fidgets. (Of course, he does this when he's not particularly nervous, too. It seems to be a family thing, although to be fair, not all of them do it.) So he understands my anxiety about sending out stories pretty directly.

All this by way of saying that I haven't heard about the book today, and I don't know if I will, and I don't know when I will otherwise. Timprov pointed out that editors have other lives that sometimes interfere with things happening exactly when they say they will. Look. These Delacorte people are supposed to be announcing about this today on their website. I've read today's update. It's not on there. So maybe it's not just me. Maybe I'm not the only one who knows nothing. Maybe one of the editors' dad died, as Timprov suggested. Or maybe they've been taking turns nursing the office dog through pneumonia. Or....

Other amusing scenarios would help pass the time, in lieu of small candy baskets, which I don't expect to get.

So anyway. So I'm working on the Amber article and the current novel. I really feel the urge to give this book a title, and it's all Tim's fault. It's got robots in it, and one of the major themes is control, violence, and civil rights for and with them. So Tim was teasing me and called it Robellion! Which was funny, and I laughed. Only now I'm thinking of it that way. Which is kind of like thinking of your kid as Four-Eyes or Chicken-Legs. It may be silly and accurate, but it ought to make you a little uncomfortable. So we were brainstorming titles last night. Timprov was trying to get me to just go with a placeholder title, so we were talking about near misses. My favorite was The Lord of the Bracelets, but it's not high fantasy, so that's probably not a good choice. I also liked A Scanner Drunkenly (that was after Mark decided to join the jokes rather than looking for programming language terms that might help me) and The Stars In My Pocket, Like Balls of Lint, but, hey, I may get short stories out of those. (I got one out of The Day the Earth Sat Still, so why not?) Upshot of it is, I still have no title. I may just call it Reprogramming until it's done, then demand titles of my first readers. It worked for Fortress of Thorns.

In good news, I got paid yesterday for my immigration books, and the editor asked if I wanted to work with him again. Uh, yeah! I can do that. No problem. I can do that here, but it's going to take tools, and it's going to take time....

I'm having a bit of a Jordan day. If you haven't seen Real Genius, put it on your list of Marissa Assignments, right next to reading Anne Sexton. Come on. I read what you recommend. (Really, I do, Jed: I'm in the middle of Not What You Expected right now.)

I know enough people out here now that I wish I could have done May Baskets this year. But the people I know out here are scattered literally all over the Bay Area, and it would take me at least five hours to deliver May Baskets to all of them. And, gosh, if I was going to go visit people, I wouldn't want to ring the bell and run. But if I went in and visited, they wouldn't have to guess who left their May Baskets. I'm just not that subtle. Another year, perhaps, back in civilization.

Do kids even do May Baskets any more? Or is it "unsafe?" I mean, any psycho could leave poisoned candy on your doorstep for your children to eat. I hope it's not "unsafe." I loved doing May Baskets. It was always a big deal: how were we going to make them, how were we going to decorate them, what were we going to put in them? A lot of the girls used styrofoam cups and Magic Markers. Three guesses whether that was good enough for me. And another one on whether it would have been good enough for my mom even if I'd been willing to settle. I liked weaving the strawberry baskets best. It was cool, it was pretty, you could fit a lot of candy and goodies in it, and we got to eat a lot of strawberries to get enough baskets. Oh no! I haven't seen a strawberry basket like that in ages! And you just can't weave construction paper in the plastic kind with the little tiny airholes. You just can't. Oh, bummer.

I guess I was wrong about the future being a pretty neat place, if it doesn't have good May Baskets. Although programming nanomachines to weave themselves into cool patterns sounds like a good mother/daughter project, so maybe it'll be okay after all.

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