In Which Buttons Are Sewn

16 June 2004

I got mosquito bites sitting out on the deck at Uncle Tom and Aunt Deb's Sunday night. And you know what? I'm still glad to be back in the Midwest. I'm no longer pointing them out to all and sundry as I did when we were back house-hunting last summer, but I am smiling quietly about them.

I read Elizabeth Enright's The Four-Story Mistake and Arthur Ransome's Winter Holiday yesterday. I can't find Peter Duck. I'm pretty sure I own a copy somewhere. It's probably with The Arm of the Starfish and my E. Nesbits and my Oz books. One of these times when I'm at the folks', I'll dig up the right boxes. Anyway, Peter Duck is out of the main line of stories, so I felt no compunction about going on to Winter Holiday. Now I'm squinting hard at Memory and Phoenix, trying to decide which to read next.

What I liked about The Four-Story Mistake this time around is that it was set during the Second World War but was not bending over backwards to be About War. The kids were buying War Bonds and having scrap drives, but it was just woven into their normal daily lives. Grand statements are not always necessary.

(Realio trulio I will have something to say about Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons. But today is not the day, either, because I've got a fair bit to say.)

I'm starting to think that maybe one of my own books would not be bad comfort reading, either. The problem is which. I don't really want to dive into editing -- that's not what writers do on their vacation! -- and I'm not sure I could help it with The Grey Road or Thermionic Night. And I can't read Fortress of Thorns right now without wanting to go diving right on into The Grey Road edits, which I should not be doing right now, so there's that. And I'm not sure I can reread Dwarf's Blood Mead without wanting to work on The Mark of the Sea Serpent, and I just did edits on Reprogramming, which involved reading it through again, and that leaves The Worldbuilders. This is extremely complicated. Maybe I should just stick to other people's books for comfort reading until I have some books in print and cannot change them.

Also, reading things in three-ring binders is not much fun. Which reminds me that I will need a three-ring binder for easy reading of Sampo in not too very much longer. Oof. This is why I'm no good at days off: I'm very good at coming up with the project list. "Oh, good!" says the brain. "You're not writing this morning, so that should give you time to run to Office Despot and get a binder and a file cabinet." Stupid brain. We need food, though, day off or no, so I'm going to scamper in just a moment. Thence to Stella's and Taste Of Scandinavia. Which is Kev-arrival-prep, because I'm picking up a pulla for breakfast.

Oh, wait: I'm taking time off. I'm not supposed to be justifying fun things as secretly work. Well, then: Kev could have Grape Nuts if he wanted to, and I'm going to hang out with Stella because I feel like it, so there sew buttons on your underwear.

When I get to the button-sewing, I really think it's time for me to do something else.

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