2. Clothes shopping online to replace things that have worn out. What did we say about pencil skirts for at least the last six seasons? Together now, in a weary drone: mrissa is not shaped like a pencil. Puff sleeves: do I look like Anne of Green Gables to you? (If yes, check again: red hair? No. Freckles? Only very pale pathetic ones. Best friend who would put a cake ad in my fiction? Not hardly. Earnest assumption of all humanity's goodness? Guess again, bucko.) It's a faux-denim faux-A-line skirt? Great! Then I'm faux buying it! And if you could pick out of all the possible women models in the world, and you couldn't make your shorts look any better than that, why are you selling them? Pick out the stitching, cut up the fabric for a quilt or a pillow or something and hide your shame. Some people would feel better that the shorts they tried on earlier in the season looked on them just about exactly as they did on the model. Me, I feel sorry for the model, because I took the things off and departed the scene as swiftly as the vertigo would allow, rather than standing around letting somebody get photographic evidence that I'd ever worn the wretched things. And the ones I tried on were brown; the model's are in periwinkle pinstripes! There are very few occasions that call for periwinkle pinstriped shorts, in my experience. Perhaps I'm missing out and you're all having parties for which they would be just the thing and not inviting me. Good. Carry on with not inviting me. Periwinkle pinstripes. It's self-mocking!
3. How being a little-known SF and fantasy short story writer is better than being a candidate for PotUSA/VPotUSA (selections from long, long list): the people you deal with like to teach you things, and some of them even like to learn. If someone tries to appoint you to a committee, you don't have to pretend to like it. You can do whatever you want with your hair and it does not affect the success of your career: shaved off? Longer than your butt? Dyed blue? Looped up in dozens of little loops with sparkly butterfly clips? Nobody. Cares. Also if a member of your family gets pregnant, the only people who have opinions on this event are people who have known her name for more than a week. Also if you try to get something stupid published, nobody cares as long as you don't succeed. And when there are good sushi restaurants in the cities where we have our conventions, we eat there.
4. Post-travel vertigo: the less said, the better. But oof.
5. I can tell I'm ready to start really serious writing on The True Tale of Carter Hall, because interesting tidbits about four other novels have popped into my head. I wrote them down and closed the files. Focus is our friend. Our elusive, popular friend who is never around when we want to catch up over a cup of coffee.
6. The vertigo is still making reading nonfiction less fun than it ought to be, but at the moment I feel compelled to be stubborn. We'll see how that goes.