Yikes. Sorry for the…

Yikes. Sorry for the long delay -- I knew it had been a while, but hadn't realized how long! I didn't write much at the beginning of last week, because there really wasn't much to say -- after Kevin left to go back to Chicago (his advisor decided to move *back* to Chicago, argh!), I spent a while moping, cleaning my house, and reading a lot. Basically settling back in at home after being away for so long.

Then I was gone over the weekend down in L.A. (Buena Park, actually) for ConFurence. Lots of fun (I generally enjoy cons), and I sold five copies of my book, got to spend a fair bit of time with old friends (Peter and Steve) and finally met Elf Sternberg (ref: recommended erotica page). He's much as I pictured him -- cute and friendly and extremely vivacious. We ran a couple of panels on writing erotica, which went quite well, and I attended some other panels (the one on children's writing had some useful marketing tips (eg., you have to write your story in sets of four pages -- but keep in mind that you may lose a couple at the beginning for credits, title page, end sheets)).

Perhaps the most fun at a panel was when Elf started us brainstorming on a plot line. We ended up with a generation ship, a young female avian protagonist, her family lost in a major accident along with many other crewmembers, second generation, she's a navigator (just finished schooling/training) and one of the few left after the accident so there's pressure on her to mate and reproduce, she's fostered out to a feline family, and possibly falls in love with their female daughter (bringing up all sorts of lovely issues :-). She may also be indirectly responsible for the accident -- or at least blame herself for not being there. We agreed that we'd each write the first chapter of a novel based on this plotline, and they'd all send them to me and I'd put them up here -- we'll see if anyone follows through on this. :-)

Classes started today -- not sure what I'm taking, but probably at least Modern American Fiction, Writing Poetry and Early Music Ensemble. I'm also tempted by Writing Fiction and Asian American Lit (both meeting at the same time!) and auditions tonight for Midsummer Night's Dream (a Noh production, which should be interesting). I don't really act, but I do love Shakespeare, so maybe I can fake it... If I do try out, I need to prepare a comic monologue by rehearsal time -- or do a cold reading. Short on time, so I'll probably go with the cold reading. Or I may just go home after class -- still pretty tired from the Con, and I really probably don't need to commit to another major activity, much as I enjoy theatre.

For the Modern Fiction class, I'm supposed to keep a writing journal. I think I may keep it here to help motivate me to do it -- I get really lazy about such things. Feel free to ignore it entirely -- it probably won't interest most of you. If you are interested, the reading list for the course is:

  • Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time
  • Will Cather, The Professor's House
  • William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
  • Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • Sandra Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek
  • Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine
I've read the Pynchon, and I've been meaning to read the Ellison for a while (a very long while -- I think Kev gave me a copy not last Christmas but the one before, eep). I've reading some Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises), but not In Our Time, and the rest of the reading list is new to me (also read Morrison's The Bluest Eye). We'll see how it goes. I'm a little nervous -- I've been devoted to the Renaissance and Medieval period for so long -- modern fiction is a big gap in my education.

Guess that's it for now -- I have some time this afternoon, so will finish In Our Time (read half of it over lunch -- very quick read), finish the collection of short stories I'm working on (Black Thorn, White Rose), and try to write that damn Sizzle story. Had a bunch of computer problems in my attempts to work on it -- not sure what's up with that. If I have time left before class, I'll probably do a bit more stuff on this web page -- I'm quite behind. Ditto e-mail. Have a good week, you guys...

12:40 - Well, I didn't win the Celestial Story Contest (3), but I thought I might as well show y'all my entry any way. I had a lot of trouble with voice, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Lady Distressed.

Also got a funny piece of mail directing me to a neat new scientific advance -- a quantum computer that runs on coffee! -- Very cute, but I bet it'd be even better in tea....

1:05 - Added Course Evaluations of the Damned; Why Engineers Don't Write Recipe Books; What Engineers Do With Time on Their Hands; and If I Ever Become an Evil Overlord:.

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