Hey, munchkins. Well,…

Hey, munchkins. Well, today was an exciting day. Richard Kasak, publisher of Masquerade, indicated interest in seeing a manuscript from me! He's also interested in possibly having me edit an anthology (guidelines for it may be up here soon).

The pleasure of that has pretty much fogged out the rest of the day. :-)

Oh, and if you happen to be in S.F. tomorrow night, stop by Romantasy's Open House in the evening. Yours truly will be in an itty bitty fashion show there for their Grand Re-Opening.

Isn't really much else to report, since I've had a headache and not done much all day. Watched The Associate, which was pretty implausible IMHO, but had Whoopi Goldberg, who I adore. Also took place in the NY Stock Exchange, where my dear friend Alex is working these days, so it was fun imagining him in that atmosphere.

Oh, and my teaching demo went fine. I was nervous as hell, and raced through the first ten minutes, but then calmed down, slowed down, and had a good time. Think the class did too -- their evaluations were generally positive, though they did point out some areas that could use some work. A learning experience...

I’m doing a teaching…

I'm doing a teaching demo today. I'm going to get up and pretend I know what I'm doing in front of my colleagues. My nerves are frayed. I'll let you know how it goes.

In othe news, it's gotten cold here. Cold and rainy. Long skirts and sweaters. I love it, though it's odd to be huddling under covers when less than a week ago it was blazing. Fast shift.

Tired tired. Talked with Kevin until too late last night (far past bedtime) which was lovely but tiring. (Actually, we spent most of the conversation debating ethics, but I rather enjoy that. I think the last time we did this we were arguing pedagogy).

It's Roshani's birthday today! I'd tell you to e-mail her, but I don't think she's checking e-mail very regularly. Well, maybe she is. If you feel like saying happy birthday to a slightly mopey stranger, she's at rtananda@midway.uchicago.edu. Tell her I sent you. :-)

Okay, off to freak out some more about the demo...

A three-day hiatus in…

A three-day hiatus in diary entries may have convinced some of you that I did not love you anymore. Fear not! The arrival and settling-in of David, the cooking of a massive meal on Thursday, a reading at Greyhaven and a potluck on Sunday, not to mention the piles of looming homework have simply combined to take Mary Anne's life from just-barely-manageably-hectic to critically-stressed. Normal operation of this journal should resume shortly. Please stay tuned.

Morning, munchkins! Ah,…

Morning, munchkins! Ah, Thursday, at last. No classes today, so it's my catch-up day. Practice and cook, practice and cook -- that's the plan for today. Dawn and Adam and David and Ian and Heather to dinner tonight, and I'm getting mildly ambitious, making mas paan, which are these little meat buns. Heather is vegetarian, but hopefully the rest of them will like them. The street vendors sell them in Sri Lanka and I was addicted to them -- hard not to be, since they cost something like 5 cents in translation.

David's arrived, which is nice, if a little odd. I think of him as part of my Philly life, so it's a bit disconcerting having him permanently part of California life. We'll be having breakfast in an hour or so, though, which will be very pleasant. He's still a bit wired from driving across the country, but will hopefully calm down soon. :-) Jasmine (his kitty) made the trip just fine, and we're all relieved. :-)

I'm a bit nervous about the mas paan, but if it comes out well, maybe I'll put up the recipe. (It actually takes about four recipes in the cookbook, so I may not make the effort -- one for the curry powder, one for the curry, one for the dough, and a final one for the actual buns).

Btw, I was flattered to note that the latest issue of mouthorgan is prefaced with a quote from one of my stories, "Girl Behind the Fantasy". A little rush. :-) It's an interesting article, btw, as they generally are -- I find myself reading mouthorgan regularly these days (along with Ceej's journal) -- they're really the only things I keep up with on the web. I like screech and Intersmut and Hoot Island, but they're NOT UPDATED often enough. Drives me crazy.

On the other hand, I'm once again behind on my own column, so who am I to complain? Since screech and Intersmut are updating even less often than I am, there's less motivation to do mine on time. I wish I could get someone else to carry it -- various places seemed interested, but appear to have forgotten about me. :( If you feel like pestering Naughty Lynx or Good Vibes or Blowfish about it, feel free. :-)

The leaves may not be…

The leaves may not be turning the way they do in New England, but the chill air proclaims that it is indeed autumn. This is the first morning in monthst that I've woken up to a cold room (without having the windows open all night). Tumble out of bed, immediately layer on socks and shirt and skirt and sweatshirt and about ten minutes later I'm comfortably warm. It reminds me of when I was a little girl, and my dad was calling up the stairs so I'd get up for school, and the room was so cold, even if the heat had been on for an hour or so beforehand. I've always felt the cold more than most people do.

This morning I have no urgent homework that I haven't done yet, so I'm thinking of attempting finishing some fragments of earlier stories. Finishing one, at least. I should also practice. I'm hesitant to start on either, but there's only so long I can procrastinate by talking to y'all. And I'm going to stop now. :-)

11:55 - A productive day so far. Utterly reworte "Endings" and sent it out to you. Did a first draft of a new story, "Spirits in San Francisco", which is a fairly light piece for an erotic mythology anthology. I think it's a little too light for my tastes right now, and I also don't know enough (or don't remember enough) about Native American culture or mythology (any experts out there should feel free to volunteer their services :-) to do it properly, I fear. We'll see what my group thinks of it. Also spent some time this morning trying to get all my unfinished stories in one place -- there's far more of them than I'd realized. Fragments all over the place. Going to try to push to get a bunch of them into at least rough draft form this month, I think.

Meanwhile, I practiced only a little and have still much homework left for other classes. Ah well.

Hey, guys! I hope…

Hey, guys! I hope you're all doing well this morning...it's frighteningly early here (well, it's six, but I got up at five), and I'm oddly cheerful. I honestly think my body is just happiest at this hour in the morning. Which is fine, because I'm getting lots of work done.

Finished revisions on "Deep with Sea" and sent it out today! (Well, I haven't dropped it in the mailbox yet, but I will). I know it seems as if I've been working on this story forever; that's 'cause I have. Sorry if hearing updates on it got a bit tedious, but that's what the job is like, I'm afraid...at least for me, I tend to do multiple revisions over a course of months, if not years.

I heard yesterday that Leah, co-Clarionite, just had a story accepted for the same anthology that I'm sending this one too. Which is utterly thrilling, of course, but also a bit nerve-wracking...have I left it too late? She *thought* they were still reading, but wasn't sure. Cross your fingers for me, guys...I'd really like to get into this one, as it's the last anthology in a really lovely series -- the Fairy Tale series, edited by Ellen Datlow.

I'm really sliding back into student habits in some ways; I've been so busy yesterday that I ordered a pizza for dinner and fully intend to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner today. Appalling, no? Maybe I'll make a bit pot of curry next Sunday to carry me through the beginning of the week.

Anyway, back to work. Schedule for this morning: revise my CV, adding publishing dates. Put it on-line if I get motivated enough. Shower, dress, eat cold pizza, drink hot tea. Do journal homework that I'm getting painfully behind on. That should take me through until 8 at least, I think.

Have a lovely day, my sweets.

10:42. Got some nice e-mail; a new magazine, Whispers and Shouts has accepted three of my stories. Two (Fleeing Gods and Goddess Blessing) are on my pages, but the third (A Dream of Wolves) has only appeared in print (and I'm not even sure of that, since the magazine never appeared on my doorstep (they did pay me, though, so I was hesitant about reselling first rights). "A Dream of Wolves" is odd, since it's my only horror piece to date. You may want to check it out -- it'll be in issue #2.

They asked me for a bio, and I gave them half of the one from the back of my book, but then added my favorite ice cream. I don't know why. Here's a random list of some of my favorites:

  • Ice cream -- Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia (though Doonesbury is a close second)
  • Season -- Spring. I must admit to hating more than a week of either summer or winter. Autumn is nice, but it's not really a proper season unless you're in New England.
  • Pizza toppings -- chicken/artichoke heart/onion -- painfully snooty of me, I know.
  • Planet -- Okay, I admit, I don't have a firm preference on planets.
  • Non-alcoholic beverage -- water. Truly. Sodas make me ill, and while juice is okay, I'd generally rather just drink ice-cold water. I chew on the ice.
  • Fabric -- Silk...though flannel is sounding more and more attractive as the mornings turn crisp around here.
  • Computer -- Macintosh. No question, and I've worked on IBM's for years. I just love Macs -- I hope they survive. I will be loyal until the bitter end.
  • Alcoholic beverage -- Hard cider. Currently my favorite is Strongbow, but my taste varies wildly, and occasionally I even go for a single malt Scotch (Kevin's corrupting influence), preferably the Macallan.
  • Type of man -- Mathematicians. No, it's not just Kevin. They're something so sexy about incredibly smart, inarticulate men. :-)
  • Flower -- Bougainvillea (tiny little flowers that look like leaves, but brilliantly colored, that can just cover a wall of a house). This is of course not good for someone who wants to give me flowers, as it is difficult to hand someone a wall of flowers. In that situation, I prefer a single blossom of any of the classics -- iris, rose, lily, orchid, etc.
  • Jewel -- Ruby, my birthstone.
  • Animal -- Dragon. Or if you prefer non-mythological, then lion.
It started to get really silly, so I stopped. This is what happens when I have more work than I know what to do with. (That sentence totally didn't make sense, did it? Never mind.)

I did one journal this morning -- only 6 more to go. :-) (That's to catch up, of course. I have to keep up with the ones each week.) I also have an appalling amount of practicing to do; I've been very bad. On the plus side, I'm caught up in Fiction class, and can start work on a new story, "Endings", that I've been playing around with in my head for a while. In the same series as "Interruptions"...these may end up being my next book. We'll see.

Okay, so it was a lot…

Okay, so it was a lot harder to get net access while I was away than I expected. Apologies.

I'm back, tired and with piles of work, so you'll excuse me if I run away quickly to do it. In the meantime, you might want to check out a nice review of my book and some others at Paramour's webpage. They put out a nice magazine...

And a collaborative villanelle from this weekend, in the old style:

A Slight Persuasion
Are there words that I could say
To bring you to my arms this night?
I know it's true you cannot stay,

And yet if you should walk away,
The pleasure lost would not be slight...
Are there words that I could say,

To calm your soul, your doubts allay,
So reservations may take flight?
I know it's true you cannot stay

But what we could do... If I may?
Unveil this body to your sight...
Are there words that I could say?

We'd fly full-force into the fray
To drown among the sheets so white --
I know it's true you cannot stay.

Yet dearest, I would have you lay
Beside me... If I shape them right,
Are there words that I could say?
I know it's true; you cannot stay.

*****
Roshani T. Anandappa & M.A. Mohanraj
September 25, 1997

I’m going (on rather…

I'm going (on rather short notice) to Chicago for four days, leaving late tonight. I assume I'll be checking e-mail regularly, but it's possible I won't, so don't stress if I don't get back to something you send me for a little longer than normal.

On Her Wedding Day

We stand, enclosed within a sanctifying circle, redwoods
extending. The white pole of the chuppah steady in my hands,
dark blue ribbons fluttering from the lace canopy. She a fairy
dream in wedding white, auburn curls cascading, facing away, drowning
in his eyes. The rabbi's voice rises and falls, and if
now and then a catch of breath interrupts, if salt water
gleams, we will forgive. She speaks, and weeps, for us all.
Do not think that this is grief. How could it be? For him, an
angel clearly walks the earth. He barely hears the rabbi's words, a
'yes' hovering on his lips. He has lost himself in her. The
rabbi speaks the solemn Hebrew, pauses for a silly tale or two;
everyone laughs. Yet even this laughter is but another note of
joy; a rising crest, a wave that will not spare flowered maiden aunts
or cousins in dark suits. Quarrels silenced, hands clasped, perceived
injustice forgotten, lost in the gathered blessing. That the pair and their
children might live in love. Fervent wishes from rabbi and gathering,
in our best hearts. And if but a hundredth of the joy that shines
new-forged in his eyes survives this day, we need not worry; love so
grand will fill their lives, spilling out in a happy contagion.

*****

1:40 - Finished final (?) revision of "Deep with Sea". Thank the deity. Tired, satisfied. Mailed out to list of those of you wanted to read stories from me -- if you're not on that list and want to be, drop me a note.

Oh, I'd appreciate feedback/criticism on the poem above, btw. I'm vaguely considering doing it up pretty and giving it to Kira and Sean as a wedding present...

Sorry about yesterday. …

Sorry about yesterday. I had exhausted myself helping with Kira's wedding (I think the loveliest I've ever been to, and I've been to many) and hosting out-of-town guests (which was, I must emphasize, a pure delight; wonderful seeing Steve, Becky, Michelle, and esp. Curtis again) and forgot to take my meds until late last night, so I was just utterly wiped by the end of the day. Still a little tired, but feeling much better today.

Karina's birthday is tomorrow, and I have once again not managed to find her anything spiffy in time. Ah well -- e-mail on her birthday and present following some time after, I suspect. I haven't even mailed Kevin's birthday present yet, and his birthday was weeks ago...

I have piles of work to do. At least it feels that way. I'm beginning to get a sneaking suspicion that if I just *do* some of the damned work it'll turn out to be not as hard or as much as I fear....but it's so much easier to clean my house instead. :-) But seriously. Goals for today:

  • Apologize to Stephen for missing appointment with his class and reschedule
  • Talk to school about missing grade from last spring
  • Write reader-response to Tanner article in AWP Chronicle
  • Read and crit two stories for tomorrow's class
  • PRACTICE!
  • Pack Kevin's present
  • Clean up house :-)
And for tomorrow morning:

  • Do dishes
  • Final revision of "Deep with Sea"
Okay, off to deal with the first two items on that list. Talk to y'all later...