It's been a very mellow day. Yesterday evening I started reading Robin McKinley's Spindle's End; I finished it this morning. It's a gorgeous retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story -- although it almost doesn't feel right to call it a retelling, because there are so many differences in this version. It's lyrical and funny and interesting and almost made me cry at one point -- although that was the point when she was slipping in a reference to Damar, the country where her The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword take place -- and those are two of my favorite books from childhood. The Hero and the Crown is definitely in my top ten children's books -- if you haven't read it, you should. It's suitable for almost all ages.
I could have felt guilty about not reading submissions, but didn't because my hand was killing me by yesterday evening -- shooting pains every ten minutes or so in the tendons below my second and third fingers, bad enough that they made it difficult to fall asleep. Kevin told me I wasn't allowed to use the computer for two days. I ignored him, but I did take most of today off -- I've only read ten stories so far, and I'm not going to stress about it if I don't finish them off by tomorrow. You have been warned. My current estimate is that I'll send out first-cut rejections on Monday. I'll probably send out a notice Tuesday to the rest of the authors, telling them they're still in the running. Then I'll do another round of winnowing, and then I'll send the top fifty or so on to the guys at Melcher for their opinions. That's when it'll get really slow.
Roshani came over around lunchtime and worked here until 5:30. Her mother-in-law was watching the baby, so Roshani managed to mostly not fret. We only goofed off a little bit; I mostly unpacked and put things away, with a little reading and artwork in there, while she studied medical stuff. I think it was nematodes for a good part of today -- nematodes and planaria. Fungi. That kind of thing.
I've started another collage, of "Stone and Wave". I'm pretty happy with it so far -- it has a heavy silver frame, a thick white mat, and translucent poetry on a translucent background. Comic sans font. It's looking very elegant and spare at the moment, and I think I'm going to try to keep that look. I need to know what the Japanese characters are for "love". Any ideas? I think I'm going to write them down the right side of the mat, in either silver or dark grey or black. I'm a little nervous about being able to do a nice job of it -- I'll either have to practice a lot on regular paper (which seems like the appropriate approach) or come up with some clever alternative (like cutting them out or some such -- which might be cool on silver paper, for example). I'm very tempted to find some small stones on the beach in Hyde Park and glue them to the bottom left, but Kevin's trying to talk me out of it; he seems to think it's better to keep all the elements behind glass, so the piece is less fragile. I think that takes some of the beauty out of it -- I really like having some of the elements exposed, personally. But I can understand why someone buying the art might prefer that it be protected. I'll have to think about it.
Left hand twinging a bit, so I'm going to go. Kevin'll be home in a couple minutes anyway, and we're going out for dinner tonight -- one of the nicer Greek restaurants, I think. Nummy. Hope y'all are having a good week -- and if you're not, take heart. It's almost over.
That enough of an entry for you, Tim?