In Which Dreams May Or May Not Drive Stories

14 April 2003

I have actual plans for today. Detailed plans, even, with times when things need to be done, rather than just times when it would be nice for them to be done. Good heavens, what is the world coming to?

Mark and I will be taking the monitor in the living room up to the monitor recycling place in Oakland, on our way to get David from the airport. Then back down here a bit, then over to Palo Alto for a dinner date and then meeting friends of his from work at a pub somewhere. They've instituted a Monday pub crawl at his office, but it's a very slow crawl: one pub per week. It's not going to be a weekly event for us, but now and then might be fun. In between those things, I need to pick up the Pill from the pharmacy (because they only let me have one month at a time, grrrr), sort the laundry and probably wash some of it, do some cleaning (again, because we're filthy dirty people), send out a couple of things to family members, and, of course, work on the Not The Moose and/or short stories.

And, if possible, figure out whether it's my browser or the internet that's so freakin' slow this morning. Bleah.

I started another short story yesterday, with the intent to send it to Spellbound before their Creatures of the Deep, Dark Woods reading period is over. But that's not for another month yet, so no stress. I'm just glad I came up with creatures of the deep, dark woods to write about, as that was by no means certain until last night. I think I've pretty much got the whole story figured out there, too, so I just have to finish that (provisional title: "Moss") and "Wishing on Airplanes" sometime this month. Among other things, of course. The essay I started the other day, and the first section of the Not The Moose...which theoretically doesn't have to be finished this month, but it would be nice, is what I'm saying. And we've got plenty of days left in this month. Sort of.

It might be less than two weeks until Liz and Tor are out, although I'm still not entirely sure on the timing of that. I'm sure she'll let me know. She kind of has to: they'll need directions to get here.

Time and I have a rather uneasy relationship right now. I spend half my time convinced that it's about to be October, right this very minute, and the other half convinced that Tuesday will never, ever come. I don't really mean October and Tuesday in a symbolic sense, either.

Meanwhile, I finished The Man in the Iron Mask and sighed and sighed. Being Dumas, he couldn't just come to a good stopping point; no, he had to go around killing people right and left. And the annotator had to go around annotating them to within an inch of their lives before that. Of course Dumas was viewing the 17th century through the lens of Romanticism. You don't need to footnote it every time there's a good example. I made myself read the notes a chapter at a time rather than every time they came up, which worked out all right, I guess, better than flipping constantly and growling constantly.

I read this month's Analog and F&SF, too, and started Annie Proulx's Close Range: Wyoming Stories, which came up because I was talking to David and attempting to triangulate exactly what kind of lifi short story drives me up the proverbial wall and all the way across the proverbial ceiling. So he lent me these as a data point one way or the other. So far, the answer is, yes, this kind, too. Slices of Wyoming life are not particularly more interesting than slices of New York life to me, and so far the slicing has seemed like the important part. We'll see if the rest of the collection goes that way, too, though.

Timprov made pepper beef with plum sauce for dinner last night again, and oh, was it good. And I dreamed of a little girl whose emotions got made into various kinds of chocolate and bundled neatly into the fridge at the end of the day, and then on the next day, she had to find someone to eat them, or she'd be stuck with that emotion, and it would keep building without external cause until she found someone to eat the chocolate. Of which there was usually lots. I like dreams like that, because I can poke at them and poke at them and maybe figure something fairy-tale-ish out of them. Something in very simple language. But with lots of chocolate. Curses given and curses turned aside and chocolate. Hmmm. I can't tell if it just sounds good to me because it was a vivid dream, or if it has a quirky modern fairy curse feel to it. Because the first line, I think, is, "Laurel Ellen Godfrey's fairy godmothers were ten years late. Luckily for her, the evil one showed up first." Anybody want to read that?

In other news, it turns out that a thin layer of lemon curd spread on toasted orange-peel limpe is nearly as pleasant as a thin layer of peanut butter on the toasted plain variety of same. Well, maybe not that nearly. But still pleasant.

Oh, and we also watched (or, yes, all right, listened to) bits of "Desk Set" and also hockey and "The Simpsons" and "Trading Spaces," and then the guys were watching "Extreme Engineering," and having structural engineering conversations and trading jokes about the construction of the Empire State Building, because that's just how geeky we are here. It flows around me while I'm reading or working sometimes, slap shots, crown molding, Emerac, Hank Azaria, earthquake proofing. I'm good at tuning it out. Popping my head up to laugh at Spencer Tracy's funny bits and going back to what I was doing before. It's convenient.

There's plenty to get done here today, and a rant about the Bush administration's behavior in the last few days will not get any of it done. So the rant is withheld, with the understanding that I can go back to it whenever I want to. We are all forewarned now.

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