Organization; 208th

23 February 2002

No specific word on the Great Grandma Lingen front, but she's slipping a bit at a time. Aunt Ellen doesn't think it'll be long now. We can hope not.

I slept well, at least.

Yesterday I finished two stories. I did the edits on "Loki's Fishnets," and I finished "Little Green Cure," whose existence I had utterly forgotten until I clicked on it accidentally while trying to get Loki. Then I looked at it and said, "Hey, only 500 words and this thing is done!" So I wrote 500 words or so, and it was done, and it was fun. That's the thing: I don't know if anybody will want it, because it's not Award-Winning Literature (which consideration pops up in SF, too), but it's fun, and there's something to be said for that. And I'm writing other stories about which I'm serious -- a lot of them, lately. This one can just be fun.

I'm thinking I need more organization for my files, though. (On the computer. My paper files are plenty organized, just sadly out of date. Filing is on my task list for before Scott gets here. On the long-term task list is buying more three-hole-punched paper and making hard copies of everything. I have the binders for it. I'm just quite out of date in the matter of hard copies of my stories, to say nothing of novels.) Right now, I have a file for fiction, separate from "Letters" and "Essays" and "Crit Stories" and etc. Within that, I have "Children's," "Fantasy," "Mainstream," "SF," and "YA." And within each subfolder there, I have a folder for each novel or partial novel, and folders for any stories that can reasonably be grouped together. But that's still kind of a lot of stories and story fragments. I started a file for "Never Will Sell," and that was good, got some of the stuff sorted out, and I also did one for "Sold." It's all a bit jumbly, though, and some of my filenames are not very intuitive. ("A Six-Letter Word for Mom," for example, is "insurance.doc," even though it has nothing to do with insurance or insurance agents or anything.) When I know the title immediately, I use that or some short version thereof, but I almost never know the title immediately. (That is, I hear tell, what Zed is for. But "askzed1.doc" through "askzed27.doc" seems like an even poorer file-naming convention than usual.)

Right, then. More than you ever needed to know about my file organization, I'm sure. But I've been a little focused in on organizing stuff this week. I control what I can, you know? So I've been thinking about that hideous invention, chapters, and about how I'll probably have to put them in the Not The Moose Book, and I may even have to put them in Reprogramming. Sigh. The Not The Moose Book will be okay, though: it has point of view shifts, so it's fairly easy to pick a number of discrete scenes and designate them a chapter. The scenes in Reprogramming are more fluid, less discrete, harder to count off and label. Oh, woe.

I'm also trying to decide if I want to do anything differently with this journal, after having done it for a year. I've seen people do "one year ago today" links, some with a brief comment and some without. I don't know if I want to do that, but it has nice points. A year ago today I explained how my young adult series is like my friend Ed. Among other things, of course. Everybody in the world who has a journal, has a fancier journal design than me. I'm pretty much okay with that -- every once in awhile I think I should mess with it, but I never really want to bother. I'm not a web-designer. I'm a writer. I'm not saying I couldn't learn more web-design, just that I don't particularly intend to spend more time on it unless I get a wild hare. Which is entirely possible, but -- unless you all write to me and say, "Hey, yeah, make it look cooler, I'd like that" -- unlikely.

I'm a little alarmed that an article in the Merc about artificial womb technology felt the need to have, in addition to a diagram of the uterus, a little woman's outline with a box around where the uterus would go. Good heavens. Does anybody think it's in the chest cavity? In the head? Is there any confusion on this point whatsoever?


So today I'm going to finish reading The Eagle and the Small Birds, a book about Soviet policy in Eastern Europe that I borrowed from David. So far very little of it has been about Hungary, but it's still interesting background. (They used the word "Finlandization," which, as another writer pointed out, seems to mean exactly the opposite of what really happened to Finland. I've grown to expect it, it just amuses me.) After that, I'm not sure what I'll read. I'm done with my library books, but I have a handful of books borrowed from David, and there are still new books around here I intend to read. Also there are old books I intend to reread. And, of course, there are lists for both. To keep it organized.

Oh, hey, my guy won! Samppa Lajunen, the Finnish guy in the Nordic combined, won three medals. I don't think my character, Riina Lajunen, could do that. But she can do botany and cast spells, so, you know, I think she'll be okay. Also, she's fictional. That helps.

So. To work again today, on some of the same stories as I worked on yesterday. The big contenders are "Letters to the Ancient Living," "Small Talk," and a story I'm calling "Endgene" for lack of better title ("Ask Zed 28"!). I've also started a list of recommendations for 2002 awards in SF. I'm never going to do a Top Five or Top Ten or whatever. I'm just going to say what I especially liked and where I found it. I should probably go back through the January and February issues of the magazines I read, just to make sure I'm not missing anybody. We shall see. It's just a method of being organized at the end of the year so that I don't have to reread everything again.

There's such a thing as too much of a theme. But it's been permeating my consciousness, the idea that I need to organize the bathroom cabinets, organize the fridge, organize the closets...I could just try to let it go, but somehow it seems easier to put the fifteen minutes into organizing the bathroom cabinets. And so on.

Oh. I had just copied all the text and was ready to paste it into the html file. And the phone rang. At 8:45 on a Saturday morning, so you can guess: it was my dad. Great Grandma died around 9:00 Central Time this morning. Thank God, thank God, thank God it's over.

It's real this time. That's going to take me awhile. It just seems...empty.

Back to Morphism.

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