I stayed up late last night talking to Kevin (he wants me to come out earlier, so I may leave in mid-week instead of waiting 'til the 12th. We'll see), so I slept in today. Very nice. Then I just puttered all morning -- a little reading (I re-read a children's book, Patricia Wrede's _Searching for Dragons_), a little gardening (Ellie and Ian put down grass seed in some bare spots, so I've been watering the lawn), some munching on leftover curry, some laundry.
I puttered through the early afternoon too -- started packing a little (interestingly, I find that I want to take much music, but hardly any books; I guess I figure I'll buy plenty of books when I get there, and I don't have as many 'comfort books' as I have 'comfort or working music'). Put up an ad for subletting my room on Craig's List. I don't know why this sort of thing is making me so happy, but it is. I should probably schedule days without scheduling more often. :-)
None of you have responded to my new gallery. Don't you like it? Are you even out there? I haven't gotten mail from one of you in days and days! Are my entries getting boring?
I guess I'll just have to pretend you're still listening.
I added a new article to the writing section, on Getting your SF/F Novel to an Editor. You probably won't bother reading that either. :-)
*grin* I'm in too good a mood to be mopey. I'm young, I'm healthy (almost over my cold), I'm only a little broke; the sun is shining and I spent hours lying out on the grass reading a book this afternoon. The squash flowers are blooming, big and yellow; and a host of red poppies have opened. What more could I ask?
Have a lovely weekend, munchkins.
11:50 p.m. Oh no, she's writing late at night. She's alone in the house. She just finished reading a book with a very depressing ending. Be scared. Be very scared...
Seriously, I *am* feeling a little mopey, but I know it's just because of all the things I just listed, so I have lit a bunch of candles and put on some music (Tori Amos, and isn't *that* the most cheerful music you can think of?) and I am going to make some tea and close my door and wrap myself tight in Kevin's flannel shirt (and how can it be cold enough that I can wear a flannel shirt in June?? but never mind that) and I will be fine, really I will.
Of course, most of the candles are stubs and will soon burn out (I've been meaning to go buy more candles, but haven't gotten around to it) and we've probably already established that Tori isn't the most cheerful singer in the world even if she is a babe, and okay, I can't think of anything bad about chamomile tea, but closing my door won't really make me forget that none of my roommates are home and I'm alone in the house, and Kevin's shirt is probably worst of all, since he gave it to me the day we broke up last Christmas, 'cause I'd been stealing it from him to sleep in all vacation, and so when I wear it I think of him but I also often think about breaking up with him, so it's not the world's best comfort thing.
Lord, I'm in a mood. Can you tell?
Partly it's the fault of that darn book. I just read Katherine Kurtz's _King Javan's Year_, which is another of the Camber books (some of which are very good, and some of which aren't so good). And I liked this book; I should have really liked it, actually, because it has what is perhaps my favorite setup in fantasy novels -- take a young person and make them king (or otherwise come to power) in a situation where there are lots of grown-ups who want to control hir or depose hir or kill hir. I loved Janny Wurts' Empire novels (the parallel books to the Raymond Feist Riftwar series) for exactly that reason. But you know (spoilers ahead), her protagonist succeeded. She lived, and prospered, and yes, she had to do a lot of hard things and she *almost* died several times, and maybe in the process of growing up she lost a lot of innocence...but it was so damn satisfying.
Kurtz did not give us that. And you know, you suspected as much from the beginning. 'Cause the title of the book is _King Javan's Year_, which is a pretty big hint that the poor sixteen-yr-old kid is only going to get to rule a year and then he's going to die. And still I liked him, and still I got caught up in his story, and I could barely stand to read the last pages, where he and all his friends are (inevitably) brutally killed. I skimmed them, in fact, 'cause it was just too much. I don't know whether Kurtz was trying to warn us with the title or what. Maybe she was being diabolically clever. Maybe I shouldn't have read it at night. But I finished it half an hour ago and I *still* feel bad for that kid. He tried so hard...
So I'm feeling sorry for a character in a book, and a little guilty that I didn't get more work done today (though I made a conscious decision this morning to goof off as much as I wanted...my unconscious apparently doesn't agree with this decision). But otherwise nothing's really wrong. In fact, much is right. I'll see Kevin soon. (Possibly really soon, if I come early the way he suggested). Two people are coming to look at my room in the next few days, and another e-mailed, so I may well save that money, which would be really nice and save me some mental stress. I'm just in a mood.
What I really ought to do is write something; I had a bunch of ideas a few weeks ago, but none of them feel urgent now. I could write them, but they probably wouldn't come out to be much good. I don't know why my writing works that way, but it clearly does. If I'm feeling apathetic about it, the story comes out apathetic.
I don't know why I'm blabbing all this to you now; it's probably not so interesting. Just wanting to put words on paper, I think. I wish I had an idea. Maybe Utah will help.
I'm nervous about it. I'm so looking forward to seeing Kevin again, but we haven't spent this long in each others' company since I came out to Oakland for grad school. He thinks it'll be fine, and it probably will be; after this many years I'm not sure what I'm worried about, but I think worrying is my natural state. I should have been a Jewish grandmother. (I suppose theoretically I still could be, though maybe not an orthodox one (Shmuel, do the orthodox allow conversion?)).
One of the reasons I'm not writing is 'cause my hands hurt. Writing a story is a commitment to at least an hour and probably several of typing; my right hand is aching even at doing this entry. Actually, it's been twinging a little all the time, basically. I need health insurance. Ugh.
Sorry, depressing topic. Never mind.
Three Things to Be Happy About
- Lydia's girls are back in town and I got to spend a little time with them today and loaned Kaylie my flute so she can practice with it over the summer while I'm gone. I've missed having kids here. They've grown, of course, and they're bright things for their ages (9 and 10), but they still talk and think like kids and it makes me happy being near them.
- I spent a few hours reading in my backyard, feeling oddly like Lolita (in the movie, she lies there in a little summer dress, with the sprinkler playing over her, which is what I was doing...). The sun and the water felt so insanely good on my skin...
- Had a really good conversation with Kevin last night. I get so freaked out sometimes, especially when I don't talk to him for a while; I talk myself into a pitifully insecure state where I convince myself of utterly ridiculous (and patently false) things. Talking to him always helps. We talked about: moving logistics, the weather in Salt Lake, Roshani's wedding and whether he can attend, why I get so stressed about what people think of me, cultural differences between my family and his...umm...and a sort-of-theoretical discussion of dominance/submission. Oh, and raked over some ancient history, which I started to beat myself up about until I realized I was being silly.
Sometimes I think what scares me most is the thought that I might die having wasted my life. Does that make sense? It's not the actual dying that frightens me...it's that I might not have made good use of what I had. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, it's really important to me that I be able to look back (as I gasp out my last breaths in a puddle of blood, though actually, I'd probably just die instantaneously (oops, sorry for the probably unnecessary gore there, but I guess I'll let it stand)) and say something like, "Well, at least I really *lived*."
Experience isn't everything....I can certainly see the appeal/potential value in moderation and even deprivation (in an ascetic sense). But it ain't half bad either...
Okay, when I start spouting half-baked philosophy, you know it's probably time to go to sleep. Good night, munchkins. Thanks for putting up with me.
Well, maybe one poem before I go. Lessee...
Stone and Wavehe's always been the rock
the solid space where I can stand
where my waves can wash over
the water pooling in small cracks and crevices
held safe for a time
then retreating, returning
splashing and shattering
wearing the stone down over the years
softening the edges
a great big rock
that will last a long time
and I've been glad of it
I wouldn't want him to wear away too quickly
(am I growing wearing?)
but sometimes I think
how nice it would be
if I were the rock
and he were the waves
smashing and spattering
for a change.
Okay, I feel better now, having written something. Good night this time for sure. :-)