Ten years ago, I had recently returned from England and France on a trip with my high school's French Club. I was enjoying the feeling of not being a high school student at Ralston any more. I had registered for my first semester of college classes (Classical Physics I, Differential Equations, General Chemistry, Water Aerobics, and Journeys of the Hero) and had met my advisor and friend, Dennis Henry, but I had not yet moved in at Gustavus. I was still working around which friendships were going to survive no longer having daily events and acquaintances in common. I was spending a lot of time with scottjames and greykev and also Mike, Jackie, Jeff, and Chris. I was in the middle of writing a novella. It wasn't a very good novella.
Five years ago, we were still living in the cramped squalor that was our Concord apartment. I had recently dropped out of nuclear physics grad school and felt extremely relieved by it. I had finished writing Fortress of Thorns and a handful of short stories I was sending to and fro. I was not yet used to the rhythms of the mailbox. I did not realize that I was writing The Grey Road along with some short stories, because it was sneaking up on me with its sneaking sneakiness. timprov was about to go to Hungary for the second time.
One year ago, I had a cold, apparently, and was in a very cranky mood about what I was reading. (Journals are useful for this sort of exercise.) I was working on the draft of Sampo, though, and that was all right. (Dang, does that thing need a major edit. "Gutting" may be the proper term, though it is not to the point where I need to white-paper the whole thing, I don't think.)
Yesterday, I had really tasty black bean beef for dinner on a date with markgritter and finished reading Sami Culture in a New Era and started reading The Letter of Marque. I watched a "Jeeves and Wooster" with markgritter and timprov. (My dog likes Hugh Laurie.) I made a cake. I bought myself fruit and flowers. I poked the stupid synopsis for Thermionic Night, as you are not allowed to submit an S&3 with the "s" saying, "This is a really cool book and you should like it so just go read it." I hate synopses, but I'm also not that keen on having books sitting around my closet unpublished, so there you have that.
Today, I'm going to clean and make blueberry peach crisp and have a birthday party!
Tomorrow, we'll see how much markgritter can clear the underbrush along the future fence line without my help, and if he can, I'll take puppy duty, and if he can't, we'll crate her and clear together. My joy knows no bounds. Homeownership, blerg.
Five snacks I enjoy include really good chocolates, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, and those funky chips from alternate root vegetable sources (sweet potatoes, taro, etc.).
Five bands whose entire songlist I almost know by heart include, oh, gosh, lots of bands. BNL, I suppose, and Blues Traveler, but the thing is, I pick up songs extremely quickly. I had all but one verse of "Christians and Pagans" after hearing it once. So. Brains are funny things.
Five things I'd do with a hundred million bux: (luckily, I can shudder at "bux" for free) buy a house by Lake of the Isles and renovate it; write out artist grant checks for large/interesting works someone could complete if not for financial constraints; continue supporting the charities we currently support but in much larger amounts, with a few more added in; travel for fun and book research (more on which anon); spoil my friends rotten.
Five places I'd like to run away to: temporarily, right? Because I live in my city. I don't want to live anywhere else permanently. This is my home. But temporarily? Helsinki first, and Reykjavik shortly thereafter, for book stuff as well as fun, and also Budapest, Prague, and whatever the island is where they do the snow sculptures, near Japan.
You may notice that the phrase "tropical paradise" does not have a lot of draw for me, orange shave-ices notwithstanding.
Five bad habits I have: taking on additional projects, blaming myself for things beyond my control, buying yet more books, getting impatient, putting off basic bodily maintenance tasks like food until some nebulous later, at which point the hypoglycemic headache kicks in.
Five things I like doing: snuggling, reading, conversing, singing, writing. (And baking. Who could leave out baking? Also cooking. Um. I think I should stop now before the verbs overwhelm.)
Five things I will never wear: Never is a heck of a long time, and I'm a pretty flexible Mrissa. I could easily say, for example, that I will never again wear a long white dress, but if it was important to someone I loved and/or funny? Sure I would. I'm having a hard time thinking of anything that doesn't fall into that category. Foot-bindings, I suppose. Piercings in addition to the one-per-ear I already have. But mostly if it's funny and/or important to someone I love, I'll do it. gaaldine was trying to think of the most appalling description of a bridesmaid's dress she could get, just to get an opinion out of me, but I would have worn the monstrosity she described ("poofy bow, mermaid tail, printed with duckies") if it had been really important to her.
Five TV shows I like: Err. We've been watching "Jeeves and Wooster," so that'll come up immediately. "The Daily Show," I suppose, although for me it's more "The Monthly, If That, Show." I have enjoyed watching "Futurama," "The Simpsons," and "Babylon 5" in the past, though I have made virtually no effort to see the only one of those that's still on the air. I'm just no good at watching TV in any kind of timely fashion. DVDs are our friends.
Five movies I like: "Real Genius," "The Princess Bride," "Desk Set," "Enigma," "Sneakers."
Five people I'd like to meet: ksumnersmith. It is just wrong that I have not met the Karina. Just. Plain. Wrong. Actually, I think many of the rest of you qualify as well: would like to swap howdies if I have not already had the chance.
One of the joys of being a science fiction fan is that the live authors you like are likely to be people you can meet, people one of your friends knows/hangs out with all the time/etc. So it's hard to have the same daydreamy gushing fangirl thing when you know your friends would go, "X? Oh, I'll introduce you next time we're at a con together. I was in a band with her in 1987/he taught me to make the best carrot cake ever/did you know that X and I used to go to the wildflower garden every spring when X was in town?" And that's a lot of my world. I can poke around and think of people like Oliver Sacks who are not SF people and would be awesome to meet. Jesse Byock. Mark Kurlansky. Sometimes I think I should hang a sign around my head reading, "geek of many stripes." Other times I realize that it is not necessary; I have taken care of the general concept fairly adequately with my behavior.
Five biggest joys at the moment: Names omitted to protect the guilty? I suppose "the people I love" is a sufficiently non-incriminating single item on the list that no one will feel too squirmy at being included or excluded. Followed closely by "other mammals I love": Ista, though difficult at times, is a joy for me. (Sleepy puppy paw reaches out to touch my foot; she makes a contented noise and rolls over to continue sleeping.)
Right now I have the joy of actually believing in this book I'm polishing. It's a scary joy, but hey, it could get beaten out of me at any minute now, so I'm enjoying it as much as I can while it lasts. This is much different from the joy of new book, which I anticipate in one of the coming moments. This is a scarier joy than the joy of new book. The joy of new book is that you haven't ruined it yet and it shines in your head. The joy of a nearly finished book that you still haven't ruined yet -- well.
I am also really enjoying having a lot of birthday books yet to read. Booooooks. And this is very silly, but we're having pizza for dinner, and I am looking forward to it quite impatiently: stuffed spinach and mushroom Green Mill. Ohhhhhhh the goodness. With the large tomato chunks and the cheeeeese and the happy Mrissa.
(I have naturally pretty happy brain chemistry. It's not always perky, and it's not disproportionate: if someone dear to me is dying, the thought of Green Mill spinach and mushroom doesn't overwhelm that fact or even distract me much from it. On the other hand, I can be sad or worried or upset and still enjoy the heck out of the chunky tomato sauce. Multitasking, is what.)
Five favorite toys: computer, of course! And Legos. Mrissas Like Legos. Also paper dolls. Paper dolls were my token girly toy. The magnetic dealies lydy and pameladean got markgritter for his birthday are extremely soothing, and while we're at it, Tinkertoys. Buildy toys are good.
So okay then. There's that. Time to wake markgritter and get cleaning.