Well. Ask a simple…

Well. Ask a simple question, get a lot of simple answers. I have been reliably informed by many of you (and yes, there are definitely lots of you still out there :-) that tomatoes are a one season affair -- I don't need to prune 'em unless they're diseased, and they're all going to die soon from the frost in any case. So I will leave the other six plants alone (except for harvesting the green tomatoes that I think are not even going to ripen).

I picked most of the ripe tomatoes yesterday and made two bottles of tomato sauce (very basic, just fried onions, garlic, herbs in olive oil and added diced plum tomatoes and simmered). I feel frugal. :-) I hated seeing all those tomatoes rotting on the vines. Now I get to decide when is the right season to prune back the roses....how do you tell seasons in this crazy climate?

We turned on the heat for the first time last night -- it was so nice not being freezing. Once the rain starts, we'll probably start using the fireplace too -- god, I love fires. I'm such a pyromaniac. :-) There was this time when I was a kid (maybe 8?) and I had a metal jewelry box. For some bizarre reason, I was setting little pieces of paper on fire and watching them burn inside the box. Fairly safe, except the outside of the box was coated with some flammable paint, and when I got a little careless dropping in some paper, the whole thing went up WHOOSH! Scary as all heck, but not actually very dangerous as I'd actually been prudent enough to keep some water nearby, which I promptly dumped on the box, making a sodden mess (sodden is my new favorite word :-). I have no idea why I just told you that story.

Clive did come for dinner, and I made too much food as usual. Potato curry, mixed vegetable curry, Sri Lankan fried egg accompaniment and my reheated leftover kung prao chicken (I didn't cook that - Kevin and I ordered Chinese a couple nights ago). Ah well -- dinner tonight as well. It was great fun talking to him -- he's interested in all sorts of music and storytelling stuff (he had a GORGEOUS Plains Indian flute -- I was so jealous), and he's managed to retain the accent. :-) He's apparently spending about half the year at his house in England and the other half bumming around with friend in the U.S. Not a bad way to live.

Did a bunch more household stuff this morning and started reworking my novel. God, it drives me crazy sometime. Here are my working notes on it -- perhaps they'll amuse you. Got to go revise some poems and Interruptions now, and critique some of my classmates' work.

Dreams by Lamplight -- an exploration

Women. Sexuality. Prejudice. Memory and dream and stories. A woman's search for her past and identity. Patriotism. Loyalty to self versus country. A society's image of itself and other societies' images of it. Its ethics reflected in the way it treats its malcontents. Hypocrisy and betrayal. Faith. The durability of love.

Radhika begins the story appearing as a blank slate, a woman wiped clean of memory and identity. In actuality, she is who she is, regardless, which becomes apparent as she struggles to regain her freedom and past. In her encounters with people as she journeys, we see reflected both her society and her own identity and opinions. She takes shape once again throughout the course of the book, until by the end, when she regains her memory, it should be clear to the reader exactly what she will do on receiving some disturbing information.

Radhika blank -- sold as slave. Conversation with eunuch defining her position and exploring her society's (Ranek) treatment of slaves. Conversation with fellow slave exploring women in Ranek. Conversation with Daniv - story? Conversation with Amesty and Arjun on the road - Arjun's story reflects life of peasant in Ranek. Freedom within constraints. Radhika at court in Liella -- Danivs actual treatment of her within his society. Radhika and priestess -- direct confrontation of cultures; priestess' story of submission to constraints -- wililngly, because unwilling constraint is the only other option. Radhika and Daniv in bed -- story of an episode as courtesan; Daniv's reaction. Radhika to Melusane; women searching for identity/place in society/peace. Memory returns. Radhika's early story. Daniv finds her -- queen is not dead; ruse -- Radhika left to confront loyalties. Climax. End of first book.

2:05 - Just spent entirely too long rearranging the poems directory the way it should have been arranged originally. Undoubtedly messed up a bunch of links to individual poems. Sigh. Just couldn't stand the mess in my main directory anymore.

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