Interesting mention of…

Interesting mention of my work in SLATE -- apparently I'm a little too restrained for their tastes (although actually, it's unclear whether they've actually read my work or are going off a description).

Ditto similarly at MOUTHORGAN, a rather interesting little column/magazine/thingie. They definitely have read my stories.

Spending the morning catching up on e-mail and keeping in touch with various people. Clearing my desk, etc. Getting ready to do some serious work.

Yesterday was a nice day -- ran around in the morning like a crazy woman doing errands (Fed Ex story to Jeff, return library books, sign financial aid form, buy groceries, make potato curry to take to potluck) and then spent the afternoon at a local misc.writing potluck. Finally met some of personalities of the group - Jack Mingo, Bill Quick (sf writer), Dorothy Heydt, etc. Nice people, if a little too given to puns. (I admit it, I'm pun-phobic. My *father* used to pun, and I'm afraid I've been scarred for life. :-)

Leah from Clarion went with me, and while it was wonderful to see her and talk to her, it brought up a huge wave of missing people again. I came home and called Alex; talked to him for over an hour I think. Made all sorts of ridiculous plans to see each other again, which will probably never happen. I'll probably call Kate tonight. My poor phone bill.

Overslept by a couple hours today, and am feeling a bit tired and irritable as a result. Work is helping, though...

3:17 - A quiet day. My desk is finally pretty much clear, the important things to be done are sitting and staring at me. Tomorrow morning -- either revise Deep with Sea or write two stories for Sizzle. One or the other, Mary Anne.

In the meantime, I've been cleaning up the house a bit in preparation for David's arrival Friday. He'll be staying here for a week or two while he apartment hunts out here. He's tired of Philly, and besides, sooner or later everyone comes to the Bay Area. :-) So the guest room is swept, the bed is made, fresh towels wait in the linen cupboard. I admit that while I don't generally approve of women's magazines, I do rather want a home like the ones you see in them. Where the guest room is bright and welcoming, the house is cozy, fresh cookies and fruit are sitting ready...ah well. I do my best. The house is never quite as clean as I'd like it to be (as I mentioned earlier, I never dust), the curtains in my bedroom are too long, some of the furniture is a bit ragged -- but it is comfortable and comforting, I think. It's a place where one can work, which is the important thing.

I just watered the plants again (twice today, since I forgot yesterday :-). There's a tomato almost ready for picking and a new chili pepper growing. More exciting, the bell pepper plant has its first little bell pepper. There's a real thrill to cooking with vegetables and herbs (the basil is doing splendidly) from your own garden. I wish I'd planted more. Next year.

It's been a domestic afternoon. I made Cliff Cookies. What, you ask, are Cliff Cookies? They're cookies that my roommate, Cliff, (who is allergic to chocolate and nuts) can eat. Recipe follows.

Cliff Cookies

1 c. (2 sticks) margarine, softened
1 1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 T milk
1 T vanilla
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c. (6 oz.) white chocolate chips
1 c. dried cranberries

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy.
3. Add eggs, milk and vanilla; beat well.
4. Add combined flour, baking soda and salt; mix well.
5. Stir in chips and berries; mix well.
6. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 10 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. About 2 dozen large cookies.

Not very healthy, but oh so yummy...

Not sure what I'll do next. I'd read, but the book I'm reading now is a bit dense. I almost wish I had another book like the one I read yesterday...oh, but that's weak of me. Yesterday I read...a trashy romance novel. I did. I'll even tell you which one -- Nora Roberts's Finding the Dream. Now, Ms. Roberts is not quite at the height of the genre -- Amanda Quick, for example, has a wicked wit. But it almost doesn't matter. Roberts writes well enough. Well enough for what? For whatever it is that romance novels do -- somehow they tap into something pretty basic. They have to, to capture what I've recently heard is 40% of the book market. I want to know what it is. I want to do what they do and do it better. I have no clue how. I'd love to be able to dismiss romance novels, but a) they have great sex scenes, often much steamier than anything you'll find in a magazine like Yellow Silk that claims to be erotica and b) they tug at my heartstrings. They really do. This silly book I read yesterday made me cry at one point. Dangerous books, romance novels...

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