Hey, everyone. Haven’t…

Hey, everyone. Haven't been very productive lately. I keep almost wanting to write -- I get the urge (especially after reading another of the LeGuin essays on writing; I'm in the midst of her wonderful Language of the Night) but then it turns to nothing, dust when I sit at the computer. I managed to crank out one poem this morning, but only be resorting to a very strict form. Here it is -- I'm not sure yet if I like it.

It's pouring rain outside. Rather nice if you like the stuff, as I do -- I biked through it for a while this morning -- got thoroughly drenched, but it so cheered my mood for a while -- rather like a child splashing through puddles -- don't most kids enjoy that? I wonder when/why it is that most adults develop an aversion to rain...

One of you asked what other music I liked -- I thought I'd answer that in some detail here, in case anyone else was interested. (I'm occasionally still amazed that people are interested in the petty details of my life...guess we're all voyeurs at heart. :-) So, I'll listen to almost anything (except heavy metal), but I prefer music with interesting lyrics. So I like musicals (which tend to tell a story), especially Camelot, Les Mis, Chess and Jesus Christ Superstar. (I also have a sneaking fondness for Joseph, 'cause I was in a college production (I played Potiphar's wife -- typecasting, no? :-)).

I also like folk music -- both traditional and modern. Stan Rogers, Maddy Prior, Christine Lavin, Loreena McKennitt, Sally Fingerett....if you haven't listened to anything in the field, Christine Lavin is a great introduction -- her songs are all either really funny or really sad. I particularly like "The Kind of Love You Never Recover From" and "Don't Ever Call Your Sweetheart By His Name". Stan Rogers is one of the classic folk musicians, with great sea chanteys like "The Mary Ellen Carter".

I like occasional pop/rock singers -- Indigo Girls, Tori Amos, John Cougar Meloncamp (sp?), Sophie B. Hawkins, Annie Lennox, Tracy Chapman...oh, and the woman who does "The Queen and the Soldier". I forget her name, but that's an amazing song.

Finally, I also like world music and classical music. I don't know as much about world music, but I've got a bunch of favorite Celtic bands -- Boiled in Lead, Black 47, Dubliners, Chieftains, Clannad, etc. and so on. As for classical, I played classical piano for 10 years and flute for 7, so I got a pretty good exposure to the masters. I tend to like the more dramatic ones -- Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky. :-)

Whew -- that was probably more than you wanted to know...:-) Oh, let me stick in a plug for The Flash Girls -- a new group, one of whose members, Emma Bull, is also an excellent fantasy writer. That pretty much covers it.

Hey, I’m back from…

Hey, I'm back from visiting the family. Things went about as well as could be expected. You may see some poems or stories about it in a bit, but I'm still assimillating it all now. It's good to be home again.

Not much else to say right now -- I'm churning through the appalling amount of mail that piled up while I was gone (one of the fairly quiet lists I'm on exploded into a flame war), and after that there's lots and lots of work to be done. Bought a new CD today by Ani Difranco (on the recommendation of a soul- sib I recently met on-line). Haven't decided yet whether I like it, but I think probably yes. Finished the collected Time Patrol stories by Poul Anderson while I was gone -- excellent stories. If you like history and/or time travel, you should definitely hunt these up. It took me a while to get through them, because after each one I had to stop and think about it for a while (usually I just devour short stories -- a bad habit).

Playing Magic again today. The game is addictive. :-)

Well, sorry for the…

Well, sorry for the brief delay, but things have been busy here. Saturday I drove down to Virginia for a Furrymuck gathering at an amusement park, King's Dominion. Fun, but exhausting (woke up at 3:00, left Philly by 4:30 a.m., stayed up till 1:30 a.m. Saturday night) and have been very tired since. Only really recovering now. Tai Chi Sunday at 3 was very interesting, and then had a potluck dinner Sunday night (made sushi again). Someone asked for my sushi recipe -- I got it from the Complete Asian Cookbook, which I recommend highly. In brief:

Sushi
_____
Sheets of toasted nori (seaweed) (2 per person)
Chinese rice (the very sticky kind) (1/2 cup/sheet)
Seasoned rice vinegar (rice vinegar with sugar, available in Japanese stores)
Fillings (such as sliced cucumber, sliced avocado, chinese mushrooms marinated and simmered in soy sauce and rice vinegar, sliced egg (fried thinly), cooked shrimp, crab meat -- I don't have a reliable source for fresh raw fish, so I stick to these)
Wasabe (Japanese horseradish, extremely pungent; better if you buy it powdered and reconstitute it)
Soy sauce

1. Cook the rice (in double the amount of water as c. rice) and mix with 1-2 T. rice vinegar for every c. of rice.
2. Spread cooked rice over 2/3 of a sheet of nori.
3. Add fillings in a thin row over first filled third of sheet. Do not overfill. You may choose to add wasabe here as well.
4. Roll tightly from filled to empty end, sealing with a bit of water to moisten nori if necessary.
. 5. Slice in rounds, so it looks like sushi :-). Serve with wasabe mixed with soy sauce.

If you have a dinner party, let your guests do steps 2-5 themselves -- it's lots of fun. :-)

Other than that, mostly working. Catching up on mail, revising the erotica market list and the alternative sexualities list. Next step is revisions to two stories, "The Rewards of Virtue" and "A Holo Affair". When I finish those (recent stories), I plan to move backwards to "Married, 2026" and others. Also have a novella to write for Puritan and there's always the novel. Work is progressing on the magazine, and we're hoping for a first issue in early September.

So far I'm having some trouble settling down to work, but having Star Trek running in the background seems to help (of course, when I hit an episode I haven't seen (about 1 in 4), I have to actually stop and watch, so it's not entirely efficient.)

Morning, everyone….

Morning, everyone. Beautiful morning biking in -- clear and cool. I've gotten several nice responses to my poems, which is always a pleasure. There was a while in 1995 when I despaired of ever writing a decent poem again (you'll note if you go back to the '95 page that there's very little there), and it's really wonderful to have that coming back.

Last day at the office -- Kevin asked me this morning what I'd be doing for the next month, and I didn't know what to tell him. I'm not very good at just resting, y'know...but I don't know how well I'll be able to work full-time at writing and marketing, even if it's just for a month. I'm afraid I'll end up watching much too much Star Trek (David's taping all of the Next Generation episodes (my fault, I made him watch one, and he got hooked) -- it's 8 episodes to a tape, and I've been watching them in series -- I'm halfway through tape #5 now) or worse. I'm tempted to put a big black sheet over the tv set. Unfortunately, Kevin watches a fair bit of tv these days (he's not teaching again till August), and it just seems to suck you in if it's on.

I asked Helen (my replacement sitting next to me) if she wanted to say anything to the world...she sends peace, joy, etc. to you all. :-)

Kevin’s back! Pleasant…

Kevin's back! Pleasant homecoming yesterday evening...

Aside from that, not much exciting to report. Currently rereading David Brin's The Practice Effect, a very neat little sf novel. Ate leftovers for dinner last night, so no interesting cooking to mention. Just finished up a little going away present for my boss (a collection of all the poems I wrote on her time. :-), and am now considering the daunting task of coping with all the personal files on the office computer (it's an IBM, and I put a lot of stories on it, and I have a MAC at home. I know there should be a way to simply convert the files over, but I don't think I have the appropriate program). Big mess.

Life is good; I'm very sleepy; hope you all are well.

--2:40 - Two new poems - Pity the Children and Sri Lanka, Summer of '95. Don't read 'em if you're looking for a quick pickup. :-)

Gosh, sorry ’bout that,…

Gosh, sorry 'bout that, y'all. I'm training my replacement at work, and so I rarely have a free moment at the computer. Quick rehash of the last five days:

Saturday -- quiet. Did a bunch of cleaning and watching Star Trek. Finished Leaving Las Vegas, a very good novel about a prostitute and a drunk. Among other thing.

Sunday -- David got back from the Bahamas around lunchtime. He almost drowned there (he insists it wasn't that serious, but having both your main oxygen and your backup fail at 70 feet below sounds serious to me), but otherwise had a great time. Very nice to have him back. Dinner with him and Larry at my place.

Monday -- Busy busy at the office and a big foofaraw on my mailing list (on whether we should have a web page -- privacy/publication concerns versus advertising, etc.) Resolved by Tuesday, but some stress all around. Brian was a trooper, as always, in helping to damp the flames. Made the yummy Philipino chicken dish one of you sent me. From memory, my modified verson: Marinate 1 breast of chicken, sliced, 1 medium onion sliced, and two plum tomatoes, sliced in 5 T soy sauce and 1 T vinegar with 10 whole black peppercorns, 10 minutes.
Bring to boil with 1 chopped potato and 3 chopped carrots. Cover and cook on low 20-25 minutes. Serve over white rice. Simple and delicious.

Tuesday - Crepes at David's, SCA dancing at 7:30. Great fun. Came home and was sick most of the night. Slept 2-3 hours. Not fun. All better now, though.

Which brings us to Wednesday. Today has been busy, but productive, and am swiftly wrapping things up here at the office. My boss keeps looking mournful about my leaving (though my replacement is both nice and competent) -- it's nice to be appreciated. :-)

Will try to be a bit more regular, but this week may be somewhat erratic -- I may not be working in July, and if not, should have lots of time to chat with y'all when I should be working.

Well, nobody stalked me…

Well, nobody stalked me last night (though I did get several more phone calls (and hang-ups on the voice mail -- I wonder if it was because of Kevin's name on the machine?)) and I'm feeling somewhat calmer. Fluffing through some e-mail I found a note from the journalist saying the article will also be appearing in the August issue of NetGuide -- I wonder if I'll get another surge of mail then. We'll see. Kevin thinks I'm over-reacting. :-)

Otherwise, things are good. Went to see The Cable Guy last night with a friend (I adore Matt Broderick. Don't ask me why. Just go dig up a copy of Ladyhawke) and enjoyed it, but stayed up too late and am now very very tired. I keep yawning.

Puritan wants another novella (not for another 4 months -- lots of lead time). My editor would like it to be erotic horror this time -- I don't have a lot of experienc with that, but with the help of my brainstorming writer's workshop, I do have an idea....still percolating, but something with nuns, Catholic college students, and incubi... I'd use high school students, but the mag is pretty strict about nothing under 18. I'll have to check with the editor.

Hey. I’m a little…

Hey. I'm a little stressed, right now. The article in the Inquirer came out today, and while it's basically fine (the photo of me is okay, but he didn't end up using very much of what I said -- just a paragraph's worth at the end), I'm a little concerned about reaction. For one thing, I received a call at 8 a.m. from some man who wanted to know 'where to find people interested in this stuff' (meaning erotica). Ick. I referred him to the local bookstore and its Internet section and he went away. Funny -- I've had my address up here for over a year now, and only received one odd phone call -- the newspaper's out for an hour, and someone calls. Says something interesting about what people actually read, I suppose. But I'm still a little freaked, especially with Kevin away. May ask a friend to come crash on the couch tonight.

The office staff at work were a little bewildered but basically supportive (I warned my boss ahead of time). Good thing they're all such nice people.

Can't figure out if I should send a copy to my parents. They know I do write stuff that they don't want to read...not sure what they want to know beyond that. :-) Oh well. My sisters will be amused.

Life otherwise is fine. Spent something like four hours on the phone with Kevin yesterday, so didn't get any of the cleaning done that I had planned to do. Did take out the trash, though. :-)

Wrote a poem last night:

One Week After Departure
________________________

Today's mail is stacked neatly,
three small piles (bills, yours, mine)
on the kitchen table. Those rotting
tupperware containers are gone, and the
egg tray is freshly washed. Last night
I scrubbed the tub on hands and knees,
and tomorrow I will attack the moldy
shower curtain. Perhaps, by Tuesday,
I will have erased every trace of your
presence, and can work quietly at a
(dusted) computer...listening for your
muddy footsteps in the hall.

Hey, everyone. Busy day…

Hey, everyone. Busy day at the office today -- spent much of it spiffying up my boss's web page -- take a look and let me know what you think. A better caduceus would be muchly appreciated.

Dance last night was fabulous fun -- English country dances (I had forgotten how much flirting goes on at SCA events...:-). I'm definitely going to go back next week -- my one regret is that I didn't start doing this a month ago. You may have noticed by now that I have a bad tendency to get enthused about exercise, do it vigorously for a while, and then drop it entirely... (sigh) Oh well. I'll try to be better about this...

Counter indicates page has broken 400,000!

Lots more work to do, so I have to go. One of you wrote asking about the potato curry I mentioned -- here's the recipe, in case anyone else is interested. I forgot to mention the curry powder in the version I mailed out!!!

Sri Lankan Potato Curry

  • 3 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • two pinches black mustard seed
  • two pinches cumin seed
  • 1 T (or more to taste) red or brown curry powder (buy in Indian stores - you can make this with yellow but it'll taste very different)
  • 3 medium baking potatoes, cubed
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (can substitute 3 T ketchup (my mom does))
  • 1/2 c. milk, optional
  1. Fry onions 1st four ingredients till onions are translucent.
  2. Add red curry powder and cook till you start to cough (if you manage to find brown curry powder, you can simply add it with the potatoes in the next step).
  3. Add potatoes and tomatoes and cook covered on medium high (add water, as necessary, to prevent burning)
  4. When potatoes are cooked through, serve (or add milk, stir, and serve).

You can vary it a lot (adding cinnamon, cardamom, cloves to the onions, a dash of worcestershire sauce with the ketchup, some lemon juice, coconut milk instead of regular), but that's the basic recipe.