6 February 2002
House of Nanking is three for three now. Last night they made the best eggplant I have ever tasted. Wow. I mean, I like a good ratatouille once in awhile, just as much as the next girl, but I don't usually get all excited about eggplant. Eggplant is what's in ratatouille to hold the flavor on something firm. But this eggplant...oh my. This eggplant was the sort of thing where you'd say, "I'm not hungry any more, but gosh, I really want one more piece of that eggplant." Not something I'd anticipate saying. So good. We're trying to figure out something for Timprov's birthday there, and also we'd like to take Scott there when he's out at the end of the month.
(I find that we're planning things a lot more with Scott than we were when Michelle and Scott were out, or even than with Sarah. I think it's because our time is more limited and Scott has more stuff he knows he'd like to do.)
So I've been fonder of the eggplant as a symbol than as a food. But last night proved that that can be wrong. (Eggplant as a symbol? Sure. As Corie, Kelly, and Zed can vouch, I have a big ol' coffee mug with an eggplant wearing a Band-Aid and a graduating hat. The inside of the mug says, "You finished! Yay Risstopher!" And from this you can deduce that it was made by Scott Heath, because nobody else in the universe is allowed to call me Risstopher Robin. Totally off limits in every way.)
The reading last night was at City Lights, which was only a few blocks up from House of Nanking anyway. We had a good time, and I got to hear readings I probably wouldn't have heard otherwise.
It seems to be the week for bad rejections. The one I got Monday said that my story was good -- they underlined "good" -- but that they couldn't buy it on their current budget. Reasonable enough. But they framed this with comments about how if everyone who submitted to them subscribed, they could afford more issues a year, and I should subscribe, so that they'd be able to buy my story or future ones like it. I thought that was pretty tacky, but whatever. Then yesterday I got a rejection suggesting that I should introduce and establish the characters first, and then move on to starting the plot. Don't start the plot right away! I think that may be some of the worst advice I've ever gotten about fiction. Both of these were from pro-paying, respectable markets. I was...startled.
I'm going to call my grandparents at my Aunt Doris' house this morning, to see if they know when they're coming up from there. They're in Phoenix right now, and they're planning to go from there to L.A. and then come here. And it would be really nice if I knew when. I'm trying to be able to make plans with people more than two days in advance, and some of said people aren't going to be around forever. Er. In the Bay Area, I mean. They're probably mortal as well, but I didn't mean to make it that kind of a journal entry. So anyway, I'm going to talk to them this morning and see what the plans are.
So I've been reading Peter Watts' Starfish, and I have to say I'm less than impressed so far. I'd be able to go with his idea that only people who are, hmm, outside the normal "sane" range on several parameters could adjust to life in a station at the bottom of the ocean. What I can't buy is that all crazy people are alike in this (or anything else). Somehow I doubt that being a child molester makes one more suited to life on the ocean floor, and Watts certainly hasn't justified it in the book. That is, he hasn't shown us that other characters would have more problems than the ones he's chosen. Suspension of disbelief, as Marion Zimmer Bradley often said, does not mean hanging it by the neck until dead.
I am no longer in freight-train mode -- yesterday I wrote four pages of novel and baked a pan of blueberry muffins before 9:30 in the morning -- but I'm still ready to go indefinitely on the novel. So the plan is: novel, shower, novel, lunch with Avi, grocery shopping, novel, making dinner (either pesto calzone or potato casserole, if I can figure out how to make the right kind of potato casserole), then more novel. Hmm. Possibly hugs and reading in the middle there. And sending out some stories and talking to the grands. But mostly novel.
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Or the next one.
Or even send me email.