In Which Our Heroine Might Be Able To See Normal From Here

2 December 2003

I want to point out that if you send me a picture in a Christmas card, I will put it on the refrigerator. It doesn't even have to be a picture of you, nor even a photograph. Just a picture separate from the card. Photographs of or pictures drawn by your spawn, should you have any spawn, are favored. Mrissas Like Spawn. But all pictures are welcome.

I got into some of the children's book boxes yesterday, oh yay! And discovered lots of L. M. Montgomerys and Arthur Ransomes and happy things of that sort. And The B.F.G. and Captains Courageous. I'm still looking for The Arm of the Starfish. It is the most vital thing I'm still missing, I think. But I'm sure there will be others that make me exclaim. E. Nesbit, for example. I could do with E. Nesbit.

I could do with my mail, too, but there's not much I can do about that, according to the man at the P.O. yesterday. He verified that I had the confirmation letter and had received some of the forwarded mail. Yep. Other than that, apparently there's little to be done. He suggested that I should put our names inside the mailbox, but I strongly doubt that the mailbeing is getting the forwarded mail, delivering our normally addressed mail, and deciding that the forwarded mail looks wrong somehow. I really don't think that last step is the one that's gone wrong. But there's no harm to putting our names in the mailbox, and it'll take me a good two to three minutes. So it's on the list. Sigh. Five rejections, total, in November, and one acceptance; one rejection yesterday, but it was from a story I sent out once we already lived here.

I did some requested edits to my recent contract work yesterday and got that out of my hair. And I turned my hand to editing Reprogramming, and it went pretty smoothly. We'll see if I'm still saying that tomorrow. It's the right thing to be doing right now. It's part of the Plan. It's better than fussing about getting another three to five stories in the mail to make up for the ones that the mail is already keeping and won't let me have. (Some days I sympathize with Jenn's current e-sub-only policy. But those get lost, too, or hard drives reportedly crash, or other unpleasant things happen.) It's the Plan. The Plan is good. I should not be sidetracked from the plan by shiny things, including short stories, including new novels. Editing. Then Not The Moosing. Then new short stories. The Plan.

The Plan may get slightly sidetracked for an anthology or two, but it is basically sound. Unfortunately, it doesn't include a lot of incidental things like groceries and driver's licenses and all that. Ah well. No Plan is perfect in every detail; some details must be left for mere plans.

I read bits of The Porcelain Dove in line at the post office and also at the bank (with the car in park -- dang, I love drive-through banking). I'll continue with it and hope to finish it today. I'm way behind on periodicals -- I don't remember ever being two months behind on all my magazines before. It's not that I didn't read, either: it's that the contract work ate my reading time for a good while. Soon to get back on track. Maybe.

Truthfully, I haven't had normal since the week before Labor Day. Maybe earlier. We were doing move stuff, and then we were doing the other side of move stuff, and Mark was in a different time zone. I tried to keep reminding myself and others that November was not setting a norm, in fact could not set a norm. Lack of Mark was the biggie. Lack of furniture also had something to do with it: there was not a piano for me to get used to playing, no couch to get used to lounging on, barely enough chairs. But mostly: no Mark. It wasn't even like that time could set what was normal for when he's gone on a business trip, because a business trip is a few days, and then he's back. Not the same at all.

So I have a Christmas tree to put up and presents to buy and cookies to bake and cards to address and write in and send. It's not supposed to be normal now. No one ever said it would be. I'm just hoping to get something like a routine established. Doesn't have to be very like. Just a bit. Maybe.

All our lovely snow is melting. Sigh. I know it'll come again -- this is Minnesota, it has to come again -- and I know I won't look forward to doing my share of the shoveling when it does. But still, it was lovely when it was all white, and I can't help but hope for more. And long before Michelle gets here, too. (In college, she used to shake her fist at the sky and order it to snow. I think she's grown more moderate since, but it still seems appropriate for her to come home to a whitened world.)

But first, there's some safe travel to be had. I don't want too much, of course: just for my loved ones to come and go safely while fluffy white precipitation follows an exact inverse of their schedule. That's all.

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