In other news, my vacation week is going well. Getting a lot done, from putting away the last of the Christmas stuff (yes, I know it's March), to finally getting a coffee table, to moving DesiLit over onto its own server and sweet-talking some tech folk into fixing up the pages for me so they aren't such a hellish pain to edit, to getting the SLF mentorship program up and running.
There are five groups, and they're in the midst of answering their first set of questions now. One of the interesting elements this year is that something like half the authors are Australian, presumably because the call was posted on a popular Australian writers' site, and so we're getting e-mail in two waves, based on different time zones. Makes for slightly disjointed conversations, but I think they'll all manage. The mentors have already started giving some great responses to the questions we've devised, which we may try to collect and somehow edit into a longer piece at some point. My temptation is to just collect all of their comments, put them up on a draft web page, let them edit it until they're happy, and then make that public. Do that every year, and we should have an amazing collection of craft and business comments, I think...
The big thing this week was yesterday, when I had two deadlines which I scrambled and managed to make. I went over to Nilofer's because I'd tried to work on them at home Tuesday and utterly failed. Her new place is a ten-minute walk from me -- v. nice! I picked up a steamed milk with almond for her and went over, and helped her unwrap the plastic off a few items. Then worked steadily until lunchtime, adapting "A Gentle Man" to play form. Then she made me yummy salad (avocado cranberries pine nuts mmmm...) and wild rice and then right back to work. Finished adapting "Monsoon Day" to play form by about 5. That one was a challenge, since it's entirely internal in story form; now it's a monologue, pretty much. I think it works. Not sure. So, plus "Seven Cups of Water" and "Sister Mary" done earlier, that was four stories adapted, comprising together The Tin Cup. I like it. I helped Nilofer hang a few pieces of art, and then right back to work, finishing the short story "Counting to Ten," sending that to Catamaran, and then revamping it as a ten-minute play and sending that to the Many Voices contest (along with The Tin Cup, of course.) It was almost 7 by the time I got home, printed them out, and took them to the post office so they'd be postmarked appropriately, and I was moderately wiped, but oh, it was a productive day. Some deadlines are horrible, but others are great!
Had a nice dinner that evening; Kevin and Pete (houseguest) and I went to Francesca's Forno, an Italian restaurant at Damen and Milwaukee that I've been wanting to try. We celebrated the completion of my first play(s) by sharing a plate of delectable pumpkin pasta, some incredible chicken-mushroom crepes, spinaci agli oglio (I think I got that right), and a bit of soppresata. Plus an apple tart ala mode. The chianti was so-so, but the rest -- splendid! And to top it off, afterwards, Pete let me crush him at Scrabble, with a little help from Kevin. I managed to play 3 (!) 7-letter words (and I had a fourth one that I couldn't place on the board), which has got to be some kind of record for me. The game dissolved into silliness at the end, but up until the last turns, I was hitting around 375 in points, so I think I would probalby have broken 400. Cool. I know that's not super-impressive by David-Scrabble-standards, but for me, that's astonishing. My best 7-letter was 'ribands,' which I wasn't absolutely positive meant what I thought it did. But it does.