In Which Our Heroine Does Not Storm the Beaches

6 June 2005

"Singing Them Back" is falling together all at once. The way "Awake" did last week. The way stories used to do a bit more often. I love working on novels -- I prefer working on novels -- but every once in awhile it's nice when short stories come together the way they're supposed to do.

Which leaves me with only....

Let us not discuss how many short stories it leaves in the immediate queue.

I've been reading Katharine Kerr's Snare, and I've finally managed to get into it a bit. I'm still comparing it a bit with Rosemary Kirstein (not favorably, I'm afraid), but compared to the last Katharine Kerr series I read -- and got furious with -- and decided to abandon forever -- this is not bad stuff. I am rather sick of the character from the settled lands learning to respect the way of the horse nomads, though. That is a plot I could do without for several years now. I'm not unable to enjoy books with that in them, I just would like to see less of it. "I thought you were savages, but truly I have learned to appreciate how much I didn't know about the ways of the--" yeah, whatever. I'm pretty much over that.

One of the questions I ask myself about the Glorious Civilization Of Wherever is, "What if your kid doesn't want to do what you do?" This is perhaps not the most obvious question from our society, since the assumption in most families is that the kid has to figure out what to do with his/her own life, not that the kid will automatically emulate the same-sex parent (or the opposite-sex parent, though that's really not a very historically common pattern). When you live in a nomadic tribe, it's all very well if you love the glories of the wind in your hair and the horse beneath you, but what if your kid is really best suited to architecture or farming or electrical engineering? No society is perfect in this regard, but whenever a society seems to be glorified by the author, it's one of the things I squint at skeptically.

I think the problem is that I'm interested enough to want to find out what happens next, how Kerr handles the familiar elements, etc., but not interested enough that picking up this book and reading it is a high priority. When given the choice of unloading the dishwasher and reading the book I'm currently on, the former should not always be the obvious choice, I don't think. Not that the dishes should stay in the dishwasher, of course, just that it betrays a certain lack of enthusiasm.

Once again, I forgot to post this on the day it was written. I came home from the Boiled in Lead show last night to see that the file was still sitting open on my computer. I had already chattered away to Mark and was pretty tired, so I squinted at it and left it there. So now I can tell you that the Boiled in Lead concert was good, that I had a good time, and that the lady on my left smelled like chocolate scratch-and-sniff stickers. Not actual chocolate, just the stickers. Pamela thought she might have been gardening with a mulch that smelled like that. It occurred to me that this is a major part of my trouble with crowds: very few people smell familiar. This is rather less trouble with a Boiled in Lead show, these days.

And the puppy front joins the rest of the "no news is no news" fronts in my life. And I will refrain from comment on those and go on to something productive.

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