In Which Our Heroine's Plan Is Retired

12 December 2003

I really, really don't like it when people -- especially authors and editors, but also critics and fen -- proclaim stories "difficult" or "challenging." In one of the introductory notes in the December issue of F&SF, GVG wrote, "These stories may seem a bit challenging at first, but they're well worth the initial effort." I didn't find it challenging at all, actually; nor did I have the feeling that it would have been worth more effort than it required of me. But mostly I had "challenging" because it seems like it tries to preempt criticism. "I didn't like this story." "Ah, it was a bit challenging, was it?" "Err, no. I just thought it didn't go anywhere very interesting." "Not up to the task, were you?" "Not given a task!" Etc. It's up there with "immature," "cranky," "defensive," and "overreacting." Any response to, "You're so immature!" or "Now, don't get cranky!" or "There's no need to be defensive!" or "I think you're overreacting," cannot contradict the statement. "I am not cranky!" Umm. Or, in this case, "It wasn't too hard for me!" No, of course it wasn't....

Also it's just condescending. Bleh.

Anyway, I finished that issue of F&SF and started reading Gordon Korman's The War with Mr. Wizzle. I had gotten a Scientific American in the mail and borrowed a book from Stella, but Mr. Wizzle seemed like the best bet to keep me in a fairly upbeat mood. So. Bruno and Boots, and we'll see what effect they have on my mental state.

You know how I've been going on about the Plan and how we'll stick with the Plan and the Plan is good and not to be questioned? Well. Funny thing about that. The Plan has been making me miserable, to the point where yesterday I burst into tears, declared that I hate this damn book and that it will never be any good, and then just huddled and sniffled for a few minutes. But! I'm not very good at self-pity where planning will do, so I reassessed my reasons for editing Reprogramming (still quite valid) and for doing so this very minute/month (not so good). So those edits are still on the Plan in the long-term, but in the short-term, especially with edits coming in for contract work...uh, no. Time for some new fiction for me. Not The Moose and "The Beast's Apprentice" and some other short stories that have been sitting around for awhile. My brain has been cranking out titles and story ideas like mad, with no encouragement whatsoever from me. So I think I need to just let it do new stuff for awhile. We'll see if that works any better, or if I'm just in a flailing time I need to get through. But trying something different seems like a better idea than continuing to be miserable with the same stuff.

One online quiz decided that my best picks for presidential candidate were Libertarian Candidate (71%), Dean (61%), and Kucinich (60%). I am shocked, stunned, floored, as I said on Utopia With Cheese. Apparently I'm a libertarian progressive. Who knew. Except, perhaps, everybody.

Took another online quiz, this one finding out which race in Middle-Earth I'd belong to. They said Rohirrim. And I'd rather be that or a dwarf than any other of the options they listed. I didn't check the "horse-riding" trait, so I must have been overwhelmingly Rohirrim otherwise. Hmm.

I got disappointing spam just now, with the title: "What would a Greek God Give?" That little extra r just made it not applicable at all. Very sad.

Mark complained that I am impossible to shop for. This is, of course, ridiculous. Totally ridiculous. I am the easiest person in the world to shop for, because I like stuff. Like crazy. I like sweaters and dresses and skirts and, okay, so I'm a little difficult with the pants, and the fitting of the other stuff, but sweaters. Anybody can buy a sweater or a shirt for me. Or socks. SmartWool or interesting tights, there ya go, great stuff, easy buy. And books, and CDs, and movies -- my Amazon list is huge, and half the stuff I'd enjoy isn't even on it. And I like stink, and he even knows what kind, and I like earrings and other interesting jewelry, and I like gadgets, particularly of the kitchen variety, and I like chocolate, and I like jam, and I like crazy-expensive cooking things like truffle oil, and I like...well, art, I like that, and blankets, and oddities. Mark is just a silly Mark, because I am so entirely easy to shop for.

Yesterday we had lunch with Curt and coffee, briefly, with Stella and Roo. Forgot allergy meds and/or the existence of the kitties, so we couldn't see more than the lovely icicles of the Evans abode and the very entryway. (They've got really great icicles, though!) They live on the border of Collegetown and Scandoville. Hang around there long enough and you'd expect to see Sir John. You know, Sir John Scand...oh, never mind. Anyway, strawberry cream cheese kolachy, yum. Why don't they have kolachies (kolachys? Ack! Karina! We now have a psychic pastry spelling problem link! This is getting out of hand!) in California? I don't know, but it seems like a nasty oversight to me. Also a distinct lack of popovers, crumbles, and excessively almond thingies.

Also they have huge lefse in Stella's neighborhood. Like, the lefse that ate St. Louis Park. It was massive. I don't know how you could have turned that even with the vampire slaying type turner.

I don't really have time to make lefse, but oh, do I want to. Because there is nothing nothing nothing in the world like fresh lefse, hot, buttered, homemade, yum. Maybe we'll find the time. Maybe.

Today I'm going with my mom to Bigdale to have lunch and play point and mess around and make fun of people and Christmas shop. Making fun of people was not explicitly on the list of planned activities, but...well. You know how it is. A girl, her mother, and Bigdale before Christmas. I don't think either of us is strong enough to avoid the mocking temptation on that one.

I've got an appointment for Monday with Ben's sister's chiropractor, dinner reservations for tomorrow night, and a list of items I might happen to find for people, maybe, if I'm lucky. And I've got a gorgeous view of the backyard. The snow is still pristine, cratered only by a few spots where the trees have lost clumps of snow in the wind. Our backdoor neighbors' backyard, which I can see through the trees now that the leaves are gone, is entirely different, with half-finished snow forts and moguls from little boots. Theirs is good, too. I could really go either way on this point. I appreciate having both around.

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