Due to some complicated…

Due to some complicated circumstances, I had to leave for Chicago on short notice. I'll be here until Monday night, so if you're a friend of mine trying to call me and wondering why I'm not returning your calls, that's why. Nothing terrible happened -- don't worry.

I'm way way behind in my e-mail. I'm going to try and clear the backlog in the next two days, *and* try to send out responses to all the people who submitted to my anthology. It appears to be a go! I can't say now when it'll actually be completed and published, but I'll certainly let you all know when I do.

I'm diving deep into my MFA thesis. I still can't tell what the shape of it will be, and I'm revealing far too much of myself to be comfortable publishing it right now, so I'm not sure why I'm writing it, except that my advisor tells me publishing is not everything and she's probably right. If you're wondering what it's like, I recommend reading Dorothy Allison's collection of essays, _Skin_. I recommend reading them in any case -- they're funny and frank and brutal and sexy and honest above all. She's the author of a novel, _Bastard Out of Carolina_, which I haven't read yet but heard was amazing. Almost won the National Book Award, and there's a movie version somewhere. As I was reading _Skin_ I felt as if she were talking directly to me and to my current work -- spooky. I hear she hangs out in S.F. -- I'm tempted to track her down and offer to buy her lunch...

I also just finished Feist's _Rage of a Demon King_, mostly on the plane. (Good plane reading -- light and fast-paced; rescued me from having to watch _Air Bud_ for entertainment/distraction). I've been a fan of his for a while, (though I prefer the companion series written by Janny Wurts, the Empire novels), and reading another Midkemia (his imaginary land) book is like visiting an old friend. Very comforting. Next on my list is Susan Matthews's _Prisoner of Conscience_, the sequel to her first Inquisitor novel, which I found deeply interesting and disturbing. (Imagine you're a young doctor, a brilliant young doctor. Then imagine you're growing up in a somewhat totalitarian regime, though as a member of the aristocracy, that hasn't touched you so much. Then imagine that with pressure from your father and the government, you have been required to turn your skills into their service, as a torturer, an Inquistor. You do so with loathing and disgust, taking their training, learning how to use your skill and knowledge of healing to destroy a human being...and then, worst of all...imagine you discover that you like it. What then?) I can't remember if I've recommended _An Exchange of Hostages_ before, but in case I forgot to mention it...there you go.

I'm procrastinating, I'm afraid -- afraid to face that mass of e-mail. Best to just dive in, though...I could talk books for hours, days, years -- oh, yeah -- so *that's* why I got an English degree...

2:20 -- My little sister is just too cute. She sent me a coloring book page over the web, that she colored herself. (Note that she is currently 18 and pre-med in college :-). If you want to try doing such yourself, take a look at http://www.kidalex.com/.

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