February 20th, 2007


Greater good cheer -- even related to Copper Mountain!

I'm still working out some back stuff, and the side effects have been unpleasant. Last night, for example, the entire top of my head felt warm and tingly, and not in a good way. Like in a somebody putting current through the top of my head sort of way. I did not sleep well due to back and neck pain. As I say, working on it. Not my favorite thing. Could be better. But probably will be better, so.

Finished "Carter Hall Judges the Lines" last night, or at least a draft of it. It's a novelette. Sigh. We'll see what another draft of it looks like, but not now, probably not soon.

I'm a little freaked out by how much better-behaved Copper Mountain is than Sampo was, and each day I come closer to advising parents with badly-behaved children to change their names. More seriously I'm pretty sure that's not what's caused the shift. I think it's three things: 1) I've been working on it long enough. I probably started writing those two books (Thermionic Night and Copper Mountain, the latter formerly known as Sampo, the both together formerly formerly known as the Not The Moose Book) long before I was ready to do so, and it has not, I suspect, saved me any time. 2) I got some mildly good news yesterday and am feeling more cheerful on this subject in general. I don't want to say too much about this, but suffice it to say that I am not the sort of writer who does well in a vacuum, despite my writing-related anti-sociability*, and I am also not the sort of person who draws great inspiration from glum periods. But also 3) I have given myself some psychological room. I am allowed to work on other books, or on short stories, or whatever. It's not this or nothing. It's this for a few new chapters and then letting it rest and breathe a bit while I finish a short story or write a chapter of a new novel. Today, for example, I will put one more tweak to Copper Mountain and then close the file and work on something else. And it will be good.

But I will also have lunch with an old friend and run to the bank and the office supply store and the pharmacy and generally get things done, and I will take frequent and bendy breaks for the sake of the back, to avoid the sensation of being electrocuted, because that was not so much fun.

*Why am I not in any formal writing-related communities online? Because I don't want to hate people. Not out of jealousy. Out of feeling like they/you were reading over my damn shoulder. Cannot stand that. I don't think it makes me morally superior or inferior to any of you people who are doing thingies in time frames. It's just a thing.
out with friends, crown

Scheduling for Bay Area trip

Okay, so here's what might be of general interest:

I'm going to spend the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 27, at Au Coquelet in downtown Berkeley. Assuming things are still set up there the way they used to be, there's a large back room as well as the front area by the registers, so if you decide to stop in and see me, check around back if you don't see me in the front. This will be my planned location from "after lunch" to "around dinner," with those two variables defined more firmly closer to the actual time. timprov may be with me there if he's feeling up for the trip into the East Bay, but also perhaps not. markgritter will be at work.

I'm also hoping to have dinner with those who want it at Bodeguita del Medio in Palo Alto on Thursday, March 1. It's in downtown Palo Alto, but not the one downtown Palo Alto, the other one. They have at least one vegan entree, again to the best of my recollection, not living there now etc. Odds are excellent that markgritter and timprov will be with me that night (also possibly dd_b, but I haven't been scheduling around him and can't speak for his plans -- I just know he likes us and mojitos).

I'm still waiting for word from a few people, so I will still be arranging a few more lunches etc. in the time we're out there. I have mostly convinced myself that no one will be able to make it to either "open Mris" event and I will have a quiet several hours of writing and reading and drinking pleasant hot beverages by myself in the former case and a tasty time eating good Cuban food and drinking mojitos with people I like but see all the time in the latter. And that will be fine if it works out that way, but I would like to see some of you if you can make it. Significant others, kids, houseguests, etc. welcome.

I should have remembered how all this goes from when we used to visit the Cities when we lived out there, but the essential piece that went missing is that I had sort of figured that there were lots of people to see and places to go here because it's where we belong. And out there is very clearly not where we belong for more than a week or so at a time -- but that doesn't mean there aren't people I'd like to see out there, and places to go, and things to do.

I am having the damnedest time trying to convince my subconscious that alecaustin doesn't live there any more. He moved away before we did! This should not be hard! I thought I had made some headway in this regard when the stray thought popped up, "I wonder if buymeaclue and nihilistic_kid will be able to make it to Bodeguita." Subconscious excuse for logic: they live near alecaustin. Yarrrrrg, stupid subconscious! We will not have spacetime-warping properties allowing us access to the greater Boston metro area on this trip! It's just ridiculous, really.

triumph over perishables

You know what silly thing I'm really no good at? (Okay, this is your time to listen inquisitively, rather than starting the list for me.) I seem to be physically unable to get rid of perishables without getting rid of less-perishables at an equal or greater rate. Olive oil. Plastic bags. Champagne mustard. These things would not go bad while we're gone next week! They could have awaited our return with the patience inherent to condiments and kitchen accoutrements! Yet we still have an entire red bell pepper in the veggie bin after tonight's broccoli diablo, and we did not manage to consume the entire population of kiwi fruits in the fruit bin. I fear that the process of using up those things will require us to run out of rice flour, almond extract, rubber bands, and brillo pads.

But I am patient. I will persevere, and I will triumph over the perishables. The lettuce will fall! The eggs will quiver before my wrath! Or something like, anyway.

I suspect that part of the problem is that it was *shudder* springlike here today, and just as fall brings about the urge to squirrel away food in the freezer and the pantry, spring brings the urge to clean them out! But tomorrow I will counter that urge by putting banana bread in the freezer instead of removing something. After all, it'll use up three bananas and two eggs, and that counts for a good deal.