You knew I couldn’t stay…

You knew I couldn't stay in a bad mood, right? The day has gotten much better. First, I managed to finish off one small project -- getting the Cafe Press store set up with the "Fiddler" items. T-shirts, mugs, mousepads, tote bags. Very cool, and thanks to Lucy Snyder for helping with the graphics. We should have one up for "Ovigonopods of Love" soon. I really do hope to have a full line of mugs eventually. :-) (Not that I need more mugs -- I think I have about twenty now. How many mugs does one woman need?) I'm particularly pleased to have this store up because I'm utterly in love with this image. I don't know why -- it really speaks to me. And Shelton Bryant, the artist, has agreed to sell me the original small oil for only $75...which is out of my price range right now, but maybe in a little bit? Fingers crossed.

I have to be a little careful with money right now because some money I expected won't be coming in. Did I tell you guys that a Canadian film company wanted to do a tv version of "Seven Cups of Water", as part of an erotic series they're doing? It wasn't going to be a lot of money, but some, and it just seemed so cool -- I was really excited. Sadly, they called this morning and told me that they were very sorry, but had to withdraw their offer -- it seems they get most of their funding from the Canadian governement, and they'd just been informed that they had to use exclusively Canadian authors. Sigh. They were pretty disappointed; mine was their favorite story. Seems a shame, given that it would have provided work for Canadian actresses... ah well. Maybe someday, if they get money from another source. Or another company might pick it up. Bummer.

But all bummers today are erased by some marvelous news. I just got a phone call from Karen! She and Par and Mighty Tot are on the road...and headed this way! They'll be arriving in Salt Lake around 8ish -- I'll be back from class around 9, and they're going to spend the night! How cool is that? So very astonishingly cool that I'm going to have a hard time concentrating on work for the rest of the afternoon. But I'll try...

Karen's coming! Karen's coming!

Bounce bounce bounce bounce....

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Gods, just one of those…

Gods, just one of those days, y'know? I couldn't sleep until late last night, which meant that I didn't get up until 10. 10! I was so disoriented when I woke up that I just wandered around doing random stuff for a while...oh, stuff that was worth doing, but not any of the actual urgent stuff that was supposed to be done this morning. Eventually I figured out that I was running out of time, at which point I began running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I had a 1:30 meeting on campus, so I ran out the door at 1:05, with half the things I needed to do undone, to catch my bus. I then stood in the cold for twenty minutes until I was forced to acknowledge that the bus just wasn't coming, and that I had to call in and apologize to poor Paul who had to face the Dean and ask for money for our conference by himself. :-( This was only slightly softened by all the sirens that suddenly started sounding down the street, making it clear why the damn bus had been delayed. I still felt like a big flake, though I can't really think how I could have predicted that. Argh.

Anyway. Came home, and slowly started actually doing all the things that had been left undone. Am finally making some progress, and hope that by the time I have to go in for my workshop, will be able to say I've accomplished some damn thing today. Did I mention that the FedEx guy came by and I didn't hear him knock, even though I was here (!); he just left a note saying he'd try back tomorrow, which is lovely except that it cuts the time really fine; he's bringing the final galleys for Wet, which I need to proof and get back to Melcher Friday before leaving town. I was going to work on them this afternoon, so now I work on other things and hope I can clear away enough that I have plenty of time to do them tomorrow. Argh again.

Okay. Paul just called, interrupting this journal, and the meeting went great, so all is well on that front. They didn't decide we were flakes 'cause I didn't show. Sigh of relief. And apparently, they're quite confident that we'll have the money to do the conference again, and do it up spiffy again. Which is excellent news. We're tentatively scheduled for next spring, with the call for papers going out next August, so any of you humanities grad student types (especially Susan and Shmuel, y'hear me?) should start thinking about what you'd like to present at an interdisciplinary conference in Utah next spring. :-) Got that? You'll undoubtedly be hearing a lot more about this conference than the last one, since I'm a co-chair this time around.

Other good things have been happening too, of course -- it's not all doom and gloom around here. For one, John McMullen was feeling the need for some structured procrastination, so he decided to fix my porn/erotica market listing. It's one of the earliest documents I did, and I used the PRE tag for the long list of text, which was just kind of ugly, but swift, which was the priority at the time. And I never got around to fixing it. So he did. Yay, John! This pleases me. (What with Jed fixing my journal, I appear to be on a streak of sweet tech guys fixing stuff for me. I likes it, I do.)

And in Kingdom news, a few of you sent me heraldry info and now I know a lot more. I'm thinking if the goblet needs to be blue, then the background should be silver. I'm still a little confused by the no metal on a metal thing -- can I have adjacent metals? I.e., if I have my background be silver, can I cross it with a bar of gold? Or would the bar need to be a color, like black? Despite all the info on that page, I'm still confused! But I'm definitely leaning toward the goblet, and still waffling between a lion and a dragon. It'd be too much to have both, right? What I really need is an artist to do something like a lion and a dragon intertwined (sort of like all those images of a lion and a unicorn intertwined). I think with an image like that, I could get away with it as an element to parallel the goblet without the whole thing looking too cluttered. I'm not a big fan of cluttered. :-)

I should also note that C.J. has been officially appointed Seneschal. So if any servants show up, they'll be reporting to him. :-) Clearly, posts are going fast, and you should act fast before all the plum jobs are taken...

Okay, back to work. Deep breath. Diving in...

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I was hyper-efficient…

I was hyper-efficient about finishing that draft -- finished by 12:30 or so and sent it off to Melcher. Then I started burning CD's; four down, quite a few to go. It seems to work better if I'm *not* using the computer for other stuff, so I took the opportunity to treat myself with some reading -- re-reading, in fact, Lloyd Alexander's Westmark. Marvelous kids' book, reissued as part of the new Firebrand line. This is actually work, since I'm reviewing the first four books in the line for SH, and in theory, am getting Chris the review by Friday. He's not imposing that crazy deadline on me -- I just don't want to be lugging all four books around the Bay Area with me, so I'd rather have the review done with. And Westmark only took me an hour to read, so I suspect I'll have no trouble finishing the others in spare minutes here and there.

Not that I want to rush it too much. Reading that book reminded me how very much I love kids' lit -- it made me want to write a children's book that does the same thing for kids that Alexander's books did for me. The Taran Wanderer books helped me grow up, y'know? And they had moments of such joy... I don't know if encountering these books as an adult has quite the same thrill, but they're still good, still very readable. And they're just flat-out terrific for kids, I think. Even Harry Potter is showing signs of developing some sort of real moral sensibility -- and by that, I don't mean an easy morality imposed on the kids, but an encouragement to consider moral/ethical issues, to struggle with them, as the characters do. Good stuff!

Shower, dress, off to campus. But first I thought I'd share Shmuel's suggestion for a heraldic device:

Methinks, Your Majesty, that an esthely blue goblet, filled to the brim with wine, would be a pleasing and fitting feature for a standard. Mayhap it could be flanked by a lion on one side and a dragon on the other, but that might be too cluttered. Hmm.

A dragon *and* a lion seem excessive...but a dragon and a goblet? Or a lion and a goblet? The idea is tempting, though of course, it is impossible to depict the exact shade of esthely blue. But perhaps a similar color, such as cobalt, might stand in for it, symbolically? (I vaguely remember from SCA that there are some limitations on acceptable heraldic colors...anyone know what they are?) We shall ponder the matter further.

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Morning, my dears. I’m…

Morning, my dears. I'm pleased to report that my kingdom continues to grow -- it is now large enough to have an official roster. So:

Official Roster

  • Marissa Lingen, First Subject
  • Shmuel Ross, Grand Vizier
  • C.J. Czelling (want a position, C.J.?)
The king is pleased.

One of my potential subjects has asked what the flag/heraldic device will look like, before he takes any loyalty oaths. I agree that aesthetics are important, but I have not yet devised a device. Suggestions are welcome. I am rather fond of lions. And dragons. My favorite colors are gold, wine, forest green, deep blue. Swords are good. Though I'm kind of small, so maybe a dagger would be more appropriate. And this is a kingdom of love, not fear, so maybe hearts? Though that seems a bit soppy. Heart pierced by a dagger? Hmm....overly Catholic imagery, I think. Remnants of my childhood occasionally rise up to haunt me. We'll have to ponder this further.

In other news, I'm spending a lot of today burning CDs, I think. And tomorrow, and the next day... I'm hoping to have some "Esthely Blue" and "Morningsong" CDs ready to take with me to the Bay Area; I suspect I can sell a few at the Good Vibes reading (2/19). We'll see how it goes -- Zak thinks he can finish off the design by tomorrow morning, and if so, then we'll be good to go. Fingers crossed. Burning CDs is slow! But it doesn't really matter, since I can do other things on the computer while it goes.

Lots of other things to do today, of course. Firstly, need to finish at least one draft of the Melcher project and send it off to them; Duncan is anxious. Ideally, I'd like to do a second version...we'll see. I'll give myself 'til 1:00 to work on that. Then a bunch of little things, probably. Class at 3. Some tv in the early evening. Then I'll probably start work again; I've gotten into a somewhat later schedule than normal -- going to bed at 1-ish and getting up at 9. Not great, but not so bad, since I seem to be working steadily from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. So I'm not actually losing time -- it's just being redistributed. Which is good, 'cause there's really rather a lot to get done before I leave town. But let's not think about that at the moment, okay? One thing at a time.

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Two! Two subjects! Ha…

Two! Two subjects! Ha ha ha ha ha...

(I can't really figure out a good way to represent the Count's chortle, but you get the idea, I hope.)

Agreement signed by Shmuel, in consideration whereof, he is hereby appointed Grand Vizier of the Kingdom of Mary Anne:

"Droit du seigneur to be waived, of course, that being more appropriate for the commoners, but you'll get the undying loyalty (never mind the fingers crossed behind my back as I take the oath; it's an old family tradition signifying how intertwined our lives will be henceforth), the taxes (that bill I wanted you to sign? Oh, just a routine matter, certainly nothing at all about tax exemptions for those in the palace administration), and, of course, fawning and groveling on demand. I give very good grovel."

Back to Vesalius. 1563 -- corpses stolen in the night for medical student dissection...ick. Sorta cool, of course, but still, ick.

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Negotiations are in…

Negotiations are in progress with Ms. Shaw regarding potential admittance to my kingdom. She offered to let me be her king if she could be my queen, but while that's certainly a very tempting offer, I'm really not very good with the equal divisions of power in my kingdom. (I require a controlling share, at least 51%, for true happiness.) I've offered her the position of princess-consort, but she may choose to retain control of her own kingdom, and we can just be friendly neighboring potentates, smiling at each other over the border.

Of course, then she wouldn't get to buy a cool Mary Anne's Kingdom Member mug.

What mug? Of course there's a mug. There are always mugs. (When our sun goes supernova and eats up all the planets in a fiery conflagration, there'll be some green-skinned antennae'd beastie in a starship hawking mugs full of beer (festive native Earth drink!), inscribed with the words "I was there when Sol bit the big one!") There must be a MA-kingdom mug. There will be. Possibly even a t-shirt. :-) Zak, you wanna design me a mug/t-shirt/etc? Not that you haven't already done enough for me...

Did everyone check out how cool Zak has made SH look these days? We're so sharp and crisp and pretty! Go see! And apparently his e-mail is finally back too. It's a day for small wonders.

Okay, back to the salt mines. Read a charming essay by Tolkien, "On Fairy Tales" on assignment from Chris Cobb -- in theory, we're writing a paper together connecting Tolkien's idea of consolation with Kay's Fionavar concept. I think in actuality Chris will be writing it and I'll be cheering on the sidelines, sipping a fizzy drink and occasionally offering pointers to things he forgot. We'll see, though. Now I go and read Vesalius for class -- what did the Renaissance think about the human body? I don't know yet, but I will soon.

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I have managed to cross…

I have managed to cross one item off my to-do list. One! I will be excited, because that damn cosmology book (which I did like muchly) ate up like five days of list-item-crossing-offness. But finished it yesterday, and now crossed off *another* item, and soon I will be charging through my list with my customary glee. Fingers crossed.

But really, I came to offer you a glorious opportunity. Subsequent to an e-mail exchange this morning, M'ris agreed to let me be her king. Now, her agreement was somewhat lackadaisical, "Sure, why not?" or some such, but I think it constitutes a sufficient oath of fealty. E-mail agreements are binding, after all. So I wanted to offer y'all this exclusive opportunity to join my kingdom. Open only to readers of this journal (at the moment), and their affiliated others, is one kingdom membership, in the kingdom of Mary Anne. Along with your membership you get...well, the firm assurance that you'll make me giggle, on occasion, when I think of all of you. Maybe a Christmas card too, if you remember to send me your address. And in exchange, you offer me undying loyalty and droit du seigneur over all the members of your household. I pledge not to send you out to die on any battlefields unless the bad guys are really really bad. What do you think? If this sounds good to you, just drop me a line, and I'll add you to the Official Roster. (Not that there is an official roster yet, since I have only one subject, but one can certainly be created.)

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This is too fabulous –…

This is too fabulous -- the original LoTR movie, starring Humphrey Bogart as Frodo, with Sydney Greenstreet as Gandalf, Marlene Dietrich as Galadriel, Dooley Wilson as Sam, Peter Lorre as Gollum, Orson Welles as Saruman, and Charles Waldron as Elrond. Screenplay by Raymond Chandler, adapted from the Tolkien original.

Needs a pretty high connection speed, I think. Worked fine on my cable modem.

And whether you have high speed or not, Monday is always a good day for visiting Strange Horizons! :-) Peggi's hunted up some interesting-looking LoTR music; there's a great and funny story called "Not to Mention Jack" by Charles Anders (whom some of you may know from his appearances at Clean Sheets, though this particular story has no sex in it), poetry, an article, a review of Molly Gloss's Wild Life (which I'm going to read soon, dangit -- it won the Tiptree, and I loved her Quakers in Space book that I read last summer). Good week. Go check it out.

It's snowing fiercely here, and I'm wanting to curl up with hot chocolate and read trashy Stephen Donaldson novels (started the 4th Gap book last night). Instead, I'm going to make some strong tea and get some work done. That's right. Sure I am.

One quick thing first -- I spent a while last night watching X-Files, and while I did, I put together one of my Christmas presents from Kirstie -- a wooden dragon, in many many little pieces. I put a light stain on it first, which I'm pretty happy with. I already had the stain -- if I were going to do it again, I might go to the store and buy a bunch of different wood stains, 'cause I think that would be a nice effect. Still, I'm happy with my new dragon -- he watches of the corner of the sunroom now. :-) No glue! It's all held together with clever wood pieces slotting into other wood pieces. (I only broke one piece, and it's on the back, so you can't easily tell. :-)

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Had a lovely dinner…

Had a lovely dinner last night. I felt like getting a little fancy, so I actually set the table with placemats and napkins and napkin rings even. :-) A little civilization is a good thing. Rice and curries; pretty standard fare, but satisfying. I'll be eating leftovers for a few days, then will probably cook another big curry on...umm...Tuesday? The goal being to not cook too much or too often, since I'm leaving on Friday.

Pleasant conversation over dinner (though Marcia's still job-hunting; if you need an excellent copyeditor and don't mind her working from Utah, drop me a line...). Not really sure what we talked about; some publishing and politics, some movie chatting, that kind of nonsense.

Afterwards, we went to Mike's party. I was already a little toasted from dinner, and got somewhat more so at the party. Usually I'm really careful about watching my alcohol intake, but I think I had one or two too many glasses of wine last night. I drank water, but apparently not enough, as I've had a moderately rough morning. Wages of sin, as my mom would say. But I had a good time -- there was dancing, and it actually got a little dirtier than department parties normally do. I think it was Hope's influence -- she's a San Francisco girl, with chopped short blonde hair, and looks pretty damn cute when she gyrating in a white tank top and blue jeans (I think blue jeans? It was dark...). Made me homesick (once again) for the Bay Area. She's thinking of coming out towards the end of February; I'm hoping that she'll be out there for the Best Bi Erotica reading at Good Vibes, so I can introduce her to my friends. I think they'd get a kick out of her. It was much fun to dance like that again -- she has good hips.

Another cool thing about last night was that Paul and Marcia gave me my Christmas present! A very charming chest, quite medieval-looking. I was desperately needing something to keep all my hair stuff in (scrunchies and headbands and barrettes and such); it was spilling over the dryer and falling onto the floor. Now it's all neatly tucked away. I suspect it won't stay quite as neat inside the chest, but that's the nice thing about chests and cupboards -- you can close the lid/door, and the mess magically goes away. :-)

I ought to settle down and get some real work done, but it's not looking so promising yet. I'm still not done with the damn cosmology book (yes, I still like it, but I've been reading it for like five days now, which is just excessive). I'm going to finish that this afternoon, come hell or high water, hangover or no. After that...well, there are some last lingering Christmas presents to finish up, 'cause I'm a big goober. Maybe I'll manage that today. Also have to finish the Melcher draft, and possibly do a second version. That should be enough to keep me busy for a while.

Hope you're having a good weekend! Rest up. Eat chocolate bon-bons. (Paul and Marcia tucked a box of Belgian hazelnut creams inside the chest. Mmm....)

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Tim bought the poem I…

Tim bought the poem I sent him for Star*Line! When it comes out, I'll have to remember to write him another one... :-)

Feeling a bit tired; lots of shopping. The big department store was having a massive sale, and I ended up trying about a hundred or so items in three hours. I can be very efficient. I bought two sweaters (one bronze, the other a dark mossy-green), a dress (light cotton, very springy), and a skirt (dark orange with lots of glittery bits and Indian patterns) in the end, each one more than 50% off. My mother and middle sister (queen and princess-heir-apparent of the sales, respectively) would approve. Satisfying, but still tiring. Then bought groceries. And now I'm home, and really ought to clean up and cook, since people are coming for dinner at 7...but I think I'm just going to rest for an hour or so first.

Maybe I can finish off that silly science book.

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