First, I’d like to…

First, I'd like to apologize to those who had trouble accessing CS or the chat room over the last week. We have indeed had minor Y2K problems which should all be sorted out soon. Your patience is appreciated.

I know the entries have been skimpy -- it's been an odd vacation. I think I was so exhausted by the time I left town that I just wanted to turn my brain off. I spent at least three days at my aunt's basically doing was only on the third day that I even managed to start reading (the quite delightful post-death Sayers/Paton novel, _Thrones, Dominations_, which tells you exactly what happened after _Busman's Honeymoon_ -- not quite Sayers, perhaps, but very satisfying nonetheless; good job, Ms. Paton!).

Speaking of reading, I have had to give up _Confederacy of Dunces_ as a bad job. Prakash loaned it to me with much praise, and I struggled with it for days before being forced to admit that I just don't think it's funny. It reminds me of my attempts at reading Joyce's _Ulysses_, actually; perhaps a similarity in tone? Well, I'll give Joyce a few more tries, but I think the _Dunces_ are done with.

I need to send a big thank you to reader Jim -- the card was lovely, and the gift certificate a delightful surprise to return home to. I'm buying the latest edition of _Year's Best Fantasy and Horror_ with it -- I need to get caught up on what's new in the field... Thanks also to all others who sent cards for Christmas. My ribbon holder is satisfyingly full.

As for Christmas, in some ways it was startlingly similar to what Jette describes here, but I'm not sure whether the lack of marriage nagging was because they've given up on me (I'm 28.5 now, which is awfully close to 30) or because they're afraid of scaring me away. I've been fairly distant with my family the last three years or so; less painful for both sides, I think. But I miss them. I don't want to put more bricks in the wall as Jette does -- the wall is plenty strong already, and a healthy thing, I think. But I could wish it were a little lower, or more transparent. Ah well. I'm afraid it would be more emotional stress than I'm willing to face to try to handle either of those tasks. Hopefully there will be time later... I'll say this for my family -- they're all trying. They don't understand me at all, but they're trying to accept me. It's something.

New Year's in California was pretty delightful. I stayed with Jed, and spent the Eve at a party he and Arthur and Jerry threw. Karen and Par showed up, which was marvelous, and I really had a good time. I danced! I miss dancing! If I can manage to get off my duff, I'll sign up for a dance class this semester. The extra seven pounds from Christmas (and all the extra before that :-) could use a little dancing, and it's good for my spirits. I really need to find people here to go clubbing with -- I hate the smoke, but I love tossing my body around in the pounding beat.

The rest of New Year's was mostly running around seeing people. A bit crazy, but good. High points included meeting Bill Noble and Stacy Wong at the CS meet on the 2nd, where there was much discussion of The Project. I'm going to hold off on discussing The Project here because it's very tentative at this point and somehow it feels like discussing it might jinx it. Soon, I promise.

It's good to be home, though. I spent much of the 4th at Printer's Inc. in Palo Alto, starting the 2nd revisions of "Seven Cups" -- I finished them yesterday, and will send them to Melcher today. Then, totally unexpectedly, an idea took hold of me around 6-ish, and I sat down and wrote until 10 and managed to pull out what I think may be a children's book. No, really. I have no idea where it came from; I'm totally mystified.

It's called "The Poet's Journey", and here's the first page:

In a far away land under the coconut palms, there was a quiet little house by the sea. It had old boards that creaked when the wind whistled through them. It had small rooms that filled with sunshine on sunny days and moonlight on cloudless nights. Sometimes the roof leaked a little rain. And it had a young poet.

The poet was not happy. She spent her days biting her lips and biting her nails. She spent her nights staring at the cracks in the ceiling, watching the lizards scuttle. She never danced in the warm rain. The poet was not happy at all.

She couldn't write poems, you see.

It goes on for 30 pages. I have no idea what to do with it. I know nothing about this field. I don't know how to edit it. I think I'll go on the general writer's list I'm looking for and ask to exchange critique with other children's lit people -- but I don't know how to critique their stuff either. And as for finding an illustrator, or a publisher, or whatever...well. Maybe I will just stick with my original idea and make a little book for my cousins. This is just weird.

Today I have a host of little tasks to do. Read some essays and decide whether to include them in my syllabus. Revamp my syllabus (which involves going to campus to get a copy). Do laundry and wash my hair. Sort out the Melcher stuff, which I shamefully neglected over the holiday. Unpack. Wrap a few late presents. Invite people to brunch Sunday. Generally pleasant prospects, actually. I suppose I could add 'take down Xmas tree' to that, but I don't really want to. I wonder how late it's acceptable to leave it outside your door for trash pickup...

I hope you all had a good holiday!

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