I know, I know. Bad…

I know, I know. Bad Mary Anne. Very bad Mary Anne. My only excuse is that in the last two weeks I've written four stories (two of which I really think are pretty good), read and critted an appalling number of other stories, and read several novels. Basically I get up at 5 a.m. and work until 10 p.m., with brief breaks for meals. It's like boot camp for writers.

I decided I needed a break today when a particularly innocuous conversation sent me into tears. Exhausted and overwrought. Time to rest. So I'm going to write a little here, do some e-mail, and then go read a very fluffy book.

I note here that if any of you are so inclined, I would adore a care package. :-) E-mail me for the address...

Despite my silliness, Clarion is actually going exceedingly well. Exhilarating and exhausting, surrounded by intelligent, talented people who are managing to be remarkably sane (so far) despite the grueling pace. I'm working slowly through the plotting of my novel (yes, I decided to go back and replot the damn thing). I'm fascinated and slightly disturbed by some of the stories coming out of my head. I'm narrowly avoiding a minor crush on one of my fellow Clarionites. I've met Delany. I adore Michael Bishop - go read Ancient of Days. Then read it again. Nicola Griffith is beautiful and sardonic as well as talented. I'm going to be at Westercon all day Friday and Saturday (and will be on the erotic sf panel at 10 p.m. on Friday) -- if you're in Seattle, stop by. I'm going to be on tv. (Seattle's KOMO-TV, on the show: Town Meeting). I don't sleep enough. I don't exercise enough. I think I'm eating enough, but it's really hard to keep track. I definitely am not getting enough hugs. The intensity of the writing makes it all utterly worthwhile.

That's probably enough babbling for today. Sorry again, my dears -- no promises as to when I'll write again. Perhaps the next time I fall apart. :-)

You know how you have…

You know how you have days when you really don't feel like doing what you ought to be doing? This is one of them. I've got these nice books I'd like to curl up with (Bishop's Ancient of Days and Griffith's Slow river), and instead I ought to clean the house, make dinner, stop by Mills and pick up financial aid forms, water the garden...nothing terribly onerous, you understand? I just don't feel like doing it. :-)

Yesterday was a pleasant day -- El (Ian's SO) and I went up to Berkeley, stopped at The Other Change of Hobbit, bought some books, sat in a coffeeshop (La Boulangerie) and had some truly yummy sandwiches and soup. Had an excellent talk with her about plotting problems in my novel - very helpful. She suggested collapsing two of the characters and changing the timeline drastically -- which I think will solve a lot of difficulties I've been having. Hooray! Actually started plotting the whole thing out properly, the way Kev recommended. Maybe I can fix this thing after all...

Came back, got groceries and read Pierce's third Immortals book (excellent children's series - the next one won't be out until January!!! :-( ) while El read some more of my novel, just to get a feel for it. Then we made dinner, Ian came home, Adam came by (I'd offered him dinner in exchange for him setting up my laptop for net capabilities for Seattle). Puttered around in the evening and packed some. Nothing too exciting, but it's very good to be home. Felt right, y'know? Did some minor revisions to the latest short story -- all in all, a satisfying day.

I haven't been doing much actual writing in the last few weeks, but I haven't worried about it, since I have a feeling I'll be doing plenty at Clarion. Just tidying up all the loose details of my life (and taking on new projects :-). We're thinking about setting up periodic meetings for those working in the erotica/sexuality field in the Bay Area - the first one will be at my house this Friday; e-mail me if you live in the area, work in the field, and are interested in attending either this one or later meetings.

In addition to actually packing, I should probably also clear my room of stuff so that the people subletting my room for July have a place to keep their things. Maybe I'll go do some of that now.

Morning, everyone. Home…

Morning, everyone. Home safe, as you can see...it's nice to be back in the old routine.

The weekend was very busy -- Saturday night dancing at Gaskell's (though I only danced one waltz, 'cause I was *so* tired (Sherman's getting much better at not stepping on my toes, and soon I hope that we won't look like total idiots as we cross the floor -- we both need more lessons, I think)); Sunday morning brunch with some friends; Sunday afternoon potluck barbecue at Thida's. Potato curry was popular as usual. :-) A lot of fun, but tiring!

It was very interesting going through my mail when I arrived; a combination of dread (bills and did I miss anything urgent) and anticipation (a huge pile of who knows what!). Especially nice were the Engdahl books that arrived (ordered out-of-print directly from her web page). Even better, though, was the notice that I've received a $400 scholarship to Clarion -- that's only partial, but it'll help a great deal. Basically takes care of my money worries for the next couple of months. Hooray!

Have a bunch of cleaning and sorting and unpacking and packing to do this week, so I'd best get started. I'll be renting my room out for July, so I need to go through and pack anything I can't stand to have broken, make space in the closet, etc. and so on. Should be interesting, actually.

Talk to y'all later...

10 p.m. or so -- Well, spent much of the day catching up on news and various paperwork-y things. Some news that may interest you -- Intersmut on-line magazine is publishing an interview with me here, and it looks like I'll be at least attempting a regular column with them. Sort of like this journal but a bit more focused. I'll have TOPICS. :-) Thought that might amuse you guys...

I also wrote a short story tonight, set in the world of my novel. Not sure if I like it. Still, it's better than being terrified of delving anywhere near the darn thing, which I must admit is where I've been for a few weeks. I just read Master of Earth and Fire, by Diana Paxson and someone whose name I'm blanking on -- a nice partial retelling of the Finn legend, and it made me itch to write, thank the gods.

I should be tired, but I'm not. Guess I'll putter around a bit more. Sleep tight, dears.

Happy Friday the…

Happy Friday the 13th!

Despite omens, it should be a lucky day -- today's the day that my friend Alex officially graduates, with a Ph.D. in Mathematics -- I'll have to call him Dr. Alex from now on. :-)

The day started out a little frustrating -- I had to mail some boxes back to Dale from BookExpo, right? So I call the local UPS number, and they say they have a drop off spot right down the street, at MailBoxes Etc., right? Great. So I call Mailboxes, and ask them if I can use Dale's UPS shipper number if I bring the boxes there. And they check with someone in back who says sure, no problem, go for it. Well, I get there, fill everything out, Roshani's waiting with the car and in a hurry, and then they say, oh no, we were wrong, you can't use that number here. So I ended up charging it all to my credit card, which is fine (probably) since Dale will reimburse me, but I'm a little nervous about how much cash in hand I'll have come Clarion and going to Seattle time. It should be fine, and I know I have invoices coming in to cover all the expenses, but I fret...

ANYWAY. Sorry about the rant. It's actually a gorgeous day outside, and if I'm maybe feeling a little frantic about things to do and people to see before I leave, and more than a little wistful about leaving, I'm also very excited about going home and seeing if Ian and Cliff have killed my plants and dealing with the pile of mail sitting on my desk and getting ready for Clarion. Etc. and so on. I have no real complaints.

This afternoon, Alex's graduation reception. Tonight, dinner with the relatives and then (if I'm still awake) swing by a scotch tasting at a friend's place. :-)

I probably won't have time to write tomorrow, so have a great weekend, everyone.

Hey, everyone! Thanks…

Hey, everyone! Thanks to all those who came to the signing yesterday -- I sold 8 copies (and autographed 12 more for the store, which means they can't return them :-) and had a lot of fun chatting with people (yes, even those of you who didn't buy books :-). B. Dalton did a really nice job with in-store publicity (big posters), and were generally a pleasure to work with.

I may be doing a radio or other interview while in Seattle, it turns out -- watch this space for more details.

The next two events (in Seattle) are:

Tower Books signing
10635 N.E. 8th Street
Bellevue, WA
June 30, 1997 - Monday - 6:30 p.m.


Beyond the Edge cafe reading
703 E. Pike Street
Seattle, WA
July 23, 1997 - Wednesday - 7:00 p.m.
-- this'll be a neat format; I'll read for about 50 minutes, and then I'll be mc'ing an open mic erotica reading -- any locals are welcome to read (or just listen, of course).

Fun, huh? I'm starting to feel like a real author. *And* we finally got picked up by BookPeople (West Coast distributor), hooray.

Things are a little crazy here as I search for my plane tickets, try to find an extra bag I can pack, and try to talk to all the people I've missed in this trip. I wasn't nearly as efficient about seeing people in Chicago as I probably should have been.

But generally, life is very good right now. I've also been reading a ton, and can recommend Mona in the Promised Land (hilarious), Tanya Huff's new Blood Debt (more in the vampire private detective with the possibly poly relationships), Erdrich's The Beet Queen (I'm planning to read her newest, Tales of Burning Love on the plane), all the Miles Vorkorsigan books (okay, I haven't read all, but lots), Lawrence Schimmel's The Drag Queen of Elfland (if you like my work, you'll probably like his), Sex Magick and Sex Magick II (the latter with my story "Fleeing Gods", just out from Circlet Press), and especially The Ethical Slut from Greenery Press. Next on my list is Nicola Griffith's Slow River, which Roshani really liked.

Fingers tired. Going to go take a break from the computer...

Yes, it’s three diary…

Yes, it's three diary entries in a row -- aren't you proud of me?

I'm in a really good mood this morning. I don't know whether it's because I slept in, or because Sherman is arriving today, or because the weather is beautiful (one of Chicago's 8 allotted gorgeous spring days/yr), or because I took a really long hot shower this morning. Whatever the reason, life is good. :-)

I found a quote I wanted you guys to read. The context was on dealing with jealousy, but I think the quote can apply to a lot more:

"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy:
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief." (Kahlil Ghibran, The Prophet)

I found it in a rather good book, _The Ethical Slut_, that just came out from Greenery Press. While the book focuses on polyamory, the techniques and attitudes it describes can also often by helpful in monogamous relationships. It's a bit simple, and simply worded, but I imagine it would make a wonderful primer. I felt a bit odd reading it, because while I didn't really come across anything I didn't know (so far, anyway -- I'm only halfway through), it's strange to see codified and written down all sorts of things that I had to struggle through and figure out on my own. It's interesting watching other people come to similar conclusions. I doubt reading the book is really a substitute for struggling through it yourself -- but it may make the growing pains a little easier to bear -- it helps to be braced for it.

Oh, I saw the movie, _Jerry McGuire_, last night. Really quite well done -- I wasn't expecting much from a romantic comedy sports movie, and actually there were some stellar performances, an utterly charming female lead (who managed to be beautiful without looking unbelievably Hollywood), and actually intelligent writing. The dialogue was really impressively non-cliched. Of course, it's not Fellini, but for a romantic comedy sports movie, highly recommended.

Little else to report. Sherman has had some trouble with organizing this trip, apparently (loss of e-mail access and a memory failure in his electronic organizer!), so it's rather unclear when he'll arrive. Ah well. More reading, more e-mailing. Same old same old, but maybe I'll work outside for a while today. Hard to resist...and after all, why should I?

Hey, guys. Well, I’ve…

Hey, guys. Well, I've pared my e-mail down to manageable levels (11 messages and counting!), which was my big accomplishment for yesterday. I worked on that until dinnertime, and then went to meet an old friend, Curtis, and his new fiancee, Claudia. Had a great dinner catching up on who's dating whom, etc. and so on. Then stopped by a Skiffy (sci-fi club) meeting, chatted with more old friends, went back to the math department, got together with Kevin and some of the other math grad students, and went to Tiki. Tiki is a little hard to explain. It's a bar/restaurant, with a faux-Polynesian theme and a terribly tacky flavor. So bad it's good, you know? And I hear they make great zombies, though I'm such a lightweight that I usually stick to either ice water or a single simple drink. It's worth checking out if you're ever in Hyde Park late at night...

Today more e-mail handling, writing very belated letters to my sister and Karina and others. Really need to be more prompt -- turns out I missed a chance for a documentary on women who produce erotica because I was too slow to respond. Darn it. Also, my sister graduates high school June 8th, so I have no idea if she'll get her e-mail before she goes. We'll see.

Starting to get hungry, so soon will break for lunch. Then the plan for this afternoon is to try to revise some old stories. If that fails, I may update my web page some more -- added another item to the Amusing section yesterday. At six is the UCBU (U of C Bisexual Union) meeting, where I'll meet another group of old friends, with any luck, if any of them still live around here and show up to meetings. I really should have stopped by all the meetings when I first arrived, but ah well. What can you do?

Sherman arrives tomorrow, I think, or maybe late tonight. It's his 5-year reunion at Chicago this year, so he'll be here for the weekend festivities. Should be fun.

That's it for now -- talk to y'all later!