Hey, guys. Okay, I’ve…

Hey, guys. Okay, I've been very bad, but really -- there hasn't been much to report. I've been getting up in the morning, working on the novel, having lunch, working some more, and then blowing off the rest of the day pretty consistently. The last three days I've been skipping the working part. Hit a troubling stumbling block in the novel. Actually, it's been there for a while, but only now am I confronting it. I'm going to see if I can work through it with the help of people here, but if I get really truly stuck, then maybe I'll come complain to you guys about it. Mostly a chronology/distance problem. Anyone know how long it would take a horse to cover an unspecified distance in Mughal India? (Yes, I realize the unspecified is a problem. sigh.)

Had a lovely tea Sunday, a fun Memorial Day yesterday (watched Emma and How To Steal a Million (Audrey Hepburn), both of which were amazingly excellent (though I like Sense and Sensibility better than Emma, but that was probably biased by Emma Thompson's presence in Sense), and generally have been socializing with pleasure. But a little nagging voice in the back of my head is muttering, "You're not getting any work done. And you can't. So there..."

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Heh. I thought I’d be…

Heh. I thought I'd be better about this diary while on semi-vacation here in Chicago -- I appear to be worse. Sorry 'bout that.

Mostly, I've been taking it pretty easy -- working on the novel, but not quite making my ten pages a day goal, and definitely haven't even attempted to catch up on all the e-mail I have backed up. I suppose that's okay, though -- I don't *think* any of it's too urgent, and I was getting really frazzled towards the end of the semester -- needed a break. So I've been spending a lot of time just hanging out with Roshani, Kevin, etc...dinner and chatting and all that jazz. Roshani has been motivating me to exercise a lot more than I usually do, which I suppose is good, except my thigh muscles have been screaming at me for the last two days. I think I overstrained them Saturday. They should be okay by tomorrow, though.

Not much else to report. Done with writing for the day -- going to go rent a movie and make some dinner with friends. Basically having a nice, mellow time. :-) Hope everything's okay with you guys.

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Still settling list…

Still settling list stuff. Cross your fingers for me.

Also a bit frustrated 'cause my connection to my U Chicago account keeps dying. Imagine this -- I open the account, open my e-mail, see the pile of letters, and then the connection crashes. Over and over. Argh. Good thing most people know to write me at Mills these days.

Just finishing up little things around the house; I'm a bit compulsive about leaving the place clean when I go out of town. The kitchen is a disaster, because I had six people over for dinner last night, and went a little out of control cooking. Fun, but you wouldn't believe how many pots I used (twice as many as I have burners on my stove :-).

Anyway, back to work, my darlings. Talk to you later...

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Sigh. Big mess on my…

Sigh. Big mess on my list. A lot of hurt feelings abounding and I hope I've handled things correctly. We'll see.

Otherwise life is generally good, though I'm a bit worried that Joe (visiting from Australia) didn't call me from his hotel last night when he got in as he was supposed to. Hope he arrived okay. Had a fun time at a Greyhaven reading last night, and going to a friend's potluck this afternoon. Mostly doing a jigsaw puzzle with Sherman this weekend -- we should probably finish it this morning. :-)

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Hey, guys. So I did, in…

Hey, guys. So I did, in fact, finish my paper on time. There wasn't really much doubt. :-) I do wish I'd done it a week ago, so I'd have more time to revise and polish it...this is the problem with being the sort of person who procrastinates right up until she runs smack into a deadline. Ah well. I'm getting better about that sort of thing, slowly. Maybe I'll even start that mystery for Puritan today instead of waiting a month. Although actually, now that classes are over, I have a whole pile of paperwork and revisions waiting for me.

Feeling just slightly ill and very lethargic. I think I've been pushing myself a bit hard. Today'll be a 'take it easy' day, I think. Maybe I'll finally plant that last poor tomato plant. My outdoor basil is getting eaten by some bugs, but the peppers and other tomatoes appear to be doing fine. I also have to plant some bougainvillea I bought -- it's been sitting in pots since the party. Did I mention that's probably my favorite flower? Ever since visiting Sri Lanka and seeing the way it just covered the houses, in huge swatches of red and pink and white...hard to resist. I'm going to try planting it behind this gazebo thing in the back yard -- don't know if they'll get enough sun there, but it's worth a shot.

The poppies are doing well. I don't know if y'all have seen California poppies -- they are these utterly gorgeous yellow-orange flowers -- really vibrant. They're also illegal to pick, since they're endangered, also I sort of assume that if you planted them yourself you can probably pick some. I've forgotten the names of the other flowers I planted -- petunias, I think, and then these odd little bristly cone-shaped flowers in bright red and yellow.

Eh, I'm babbling. Sorry -- still kind of sleepy. I should probably go exercise, though Ian woke me up yesterday at 6 to do sit-ups and 8-counts and jumping jacks with him and my stomach is still sore. He's over at his girlfriend's this morning, but that doesn't mean I should skip exercising. Maybe I'll just wait a little while longer...:-)

I've been reading a lot of children's books. I've finished the Tamora Pierce Alanna series, which I REALLY liked -- I wish they'd been around when I was a kid, although it's kinda neat discovering a new fantasy writer who I haven't read before. Also been catching up on all my E. Nesbit -- the generally utterly inadequate Mills library has, oddly enough, a really good children's section. Go figure.

Tomorrow Joe comes into town from Australia (for a month-long job training), and it'll be fun seeing him before I run off to Chicago, and actually, Kirsten is in town for a job conference early next week. Saturday night is a reading at Diana's, and Sunday is a potluck party at my friend Cris's. Oh, and Sunday night Brian and Yvonne are coming over for dinner. Maybe I'll make the curries tomorrow -- day-old curry is actually better, and I'll have more time to cook Saturday. In any case, it should be a busy weekend.

Okay, I'm avoiding my work -- you guys are really good for that -- but there's only so long that I can make this diary entry be. Will talk to you later, and if I don't write again, have a great weekend!

11:00 - hey, some good news! My publisher has managed to schedule a book signing for me at a B. Dalton in Chicago while I'm there. If any of you want to come buy a copy of my book, or have me sign a copy you already own, here are the details -- I'll announce it again closer to the date, but this will give Chicago people a chance to write it into their calendars...:

Wednesday June 11, 1997 12:00pm -2:00pm
B.Dalton Bookseller
129 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60602-1907
312 236 7615

Oh, and I'll also be at BookExpo in Chicago May 31 - June 2. I *think* that's more of a publisher's sort of event, but feel free to come by and say hi, at least. More details on that as well as it approaches.

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3 pages left to revise! …

3 pages left to revise! Almost done! Hooray, hoorah...

I should actually be waiting to cheer until I'm actually finished, but I just finished working on the Caddy section, which was clearly going to be the most complex, so I'm pleased. Now just to polish Quentin IV a little and then consolidate a conclusion (I hate writing conclusions) and then I can go turn the silly thing in. It's currently 2:47 -- okay, I'm cutting it a little close, but I should be able to finish it by 5 no problem. But not if I keep chatting with y'all, so off I go...

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Morning, everyone. …

Morning, everyone. Well, I got a good, solid ten hours of sleep last night, so I'm going to have to stop complaining about being exhausted. Today is dedicated to finishing my Faulkner paper -- wish me luck! I actually think it's going fairly well, though I'm not entirely sure I believe my premise. :-)

If you haven't been getting the mailing list notifications for the past couple days, don't worry. The diary has changed servers, and it's taking them a couple days to get mail up. Your regularly scheduled notifications will resume soon.

Not too much else to report. My regular e-mail account is currently down for maintenance, and it's funny how much it bothers me not to be able to check e-mail absolutely first thing in the morning. What an addict I am...but I suppose, as addictions go, this one is fairly harmless.

I'll probably check in later today and tell you how my paper is going. Talk to you then...

9:15 -- no, I haven't started working on my paper yet. I have, however, done lots of other things I've been putting off. Most importantly for you, I've moved the stories page from the iam site to Mills. The traffic load was getting too high for iam -- so could you guys do me a favor? Check and make sure the link works, and let me know if there are any links you find on my pages that still point to the old page? Not a tragedy if there are, since I left a pointer up, but it would be good to simplify the route at least here. I'll keep looking too, of course, but the morass that is this web site has gotten so huge that it's sometimes hard to track what's where. I'm actually pretty sure there's a command that will let me find all the links to stories.html -- maybe I'll ask Kevin. He usually knows these things...

1:00 -- okay, okay, so I've only done a little work on the paper. Still, a page is a page, right? I'm about to go back to it, but I wanted to share this with you, from a mailing list I'm on. It was just too funny...


...from a listmember in Minnesota:

So, there I was (4/19/97) innocently looking for the comics when I see a picture of a leather clad dominatrix wielding a flogger on the front page of a major newspaper. (Not the major story, just a little picture at the top). So I turn to the appropriate section which promises more pictures. It turns out there was a public flogging to raise money for flood victims in MN and ND. Seven people with criminal charges against them agreed to be publicly flogged and viewers were charged admission. The pictures were quite disappointing. There was a better picture of the dominatrix and a picture of the crowd (about 1,600 people) cheering.

Welcome to quiet and conservative Minnesota.

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Hey, guys. I’m…

Hey, guys. I'm exhausted. Not in a particularly bad way -- I've just been really busy with classes and the party and cleanup from the party (still going :-) and gardening and I'm tired! Almost done, though. If I can just finish my revisions for today (shouldn't be a problem), and my paper for Thursday (hopefully not a problem, cross your fingers), I'll be done! Finished the dominatrix article for Puritan and finally got the photos for it, so I'll be sending out that and the invoices today, which is a load off my financial mind, and hopefully the next week can be spent in quiet catching up and wrap up of whatever needs to be taken care of before I go to Chicago. Did I mention I'm going to Chicago for a month? Will still be on-line, don't worry.

Thanks to Gene (and others) for the information on the critter in my garden. He said:

"I suspect you saw a Virginia Opossum (_Didelphis virginiana_) a.k.a opossum. Like rats they have a scaled tail. A rat-sized individual is most likely a young animal. Adults can reach 8 -15 inches & weigh 4-10 lbs. They are primarily nocturnal & are scavengers. It's the only native marsupial in North America.

They are nearsighted, have poor hearing & in the face of danger tend to pretend to be dead, hence the phrase "playing 'possum.""

Good to know, huh? I have to admit, I had an initial shiver run through me when I first saw it and thought it might be a huge rat -- it's sorta too bad that we have these instinctive reactions. At least I like spiders (a good thing, because my house is apparently a spider haven. We even considered naming it Spider's Rest, but Cliff said that was a bad idea, 'cause it would call more spiders, given the power of names. Then we starting tossing around other names -- I think our favorite was Spiders Stay Out of Bedroom House -- 'cause while we're all kind of fond of spiders, none of us likes the ideas of spiders accidentally dropping into our faces in the middle of the night...(okay, this is really silly. I'd ask you all for naming suggestions for our house, except you haven't seen the place, and you don't know my roommates, so I doubt you could really help much...)). Anyway, the opossum was actually pretty cute once I got a good luck at it.

Anyway, back to work. Talk to y'all later...

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Well, a very productive…

Well, a very productive morning. Just wrote two little stories, "A Jewel of a Woman" and "The Survey". Think I'm selling them to Sizzle, and since they don't care about whether I have stories on my own pages or not, if I still like 'em in a week, I'll probably add them to my stories page. Shows what you can do if you go to bed at 9:30 and get up at 6:00. :-)

In other news, the concert is in half an hour, and true to form, I'm starting to get nervous. You would think that after all these years of performing, I'd be over this, but apparently, I'm the sort of person who never gets over being nervous, even when I know the material stone cold and it's only a piddly little student concert. I had a nightmare last night that I got up on stage and forgot my fingerings -- that I tried playing recorder with flute fingerings, and if you know anything about the instruments, you'll realize what a horrible sound that would make. Ah well. At least I don't get as terrified playing as I do when I'm reading my work aloud to an audience (I'm generally ok in class these days). Please keep that in mind if any of you ever here me read -- be nice, okay? I'm probably shaking up there...

This afternoon is dedicated to more gardening and grocery shopping for the party. Want to have the place looking spiffy. I'm trying to think what makes good veggie sandwiches -- I've decided on potato curry and egg salad, but can't think of anything else. Maybe I'll just make tuna salad and stick it on the 'meat' table. Don't suppose anyone out there has a power mower they want to drop by before Sunday? Imagine, poor pitiful me hacking at the grass with a weed clipper and then running a battered hand mower over it (it's our own fault for not mowing it for so long, I suppose, but I kind of liked the jungle look -- not good for guests, though).

I saw the oddest little creature in the garden yesterday. Sort of like a rat, but bigger, with a white face and a sort of grey-white body. Don't know what that would be -- any ideas?

Ah well...enough procrastinating. Time to head back to the chapel and warm up. Wish me luck.

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