Avoidance behavior:
  • Washed half of my two sinks' worth of dirty dishes
  • Tried to transfer the Sri Lankan stories genealogy to computer, first by doing it in Word, then by doing it in Quark, then finally by downloading a simple genealogy program from the net and typing it in there. Reasonably satisfied with the result, which should help me track an increasingly complex set of family histories; ate up two hours
  • Read a couple de Lint stories (for "inspiration")
  • Watered outside plants
  • Took out trash
  • Did some CS work
And now I'm thinking I have more dishes to do, and I really ought to get my sheets into the laundry, and my plants need water, and I have some phone calls to make....sheesh. It's almost 11. Can you tell I woke up at 7 thinking I was going to write a story today?

3:20. I wrote it! Woohoo! "The Gentle Man" is out to the readers list, and please do feel free to send me critique on it if you get a chance -- it's not erotica, so I won't be sending it to the EROS list, and my other writer's group won't have a chance to look at it for weeks. It's the story of Raji's (from "Season of Marriage") father; a 19-yr-old Raji appears briefly in it.

I am still amazed at how much it took to get going on writing it. I had to take care of all even semi-urgent tasks, get laundry going, put on Indian music, light some sandalwood incense, and then sit down to write -- and I have a sneaking suspicion that the only reason that last bit worked is that I would have felt silly going through even that much ritual and then NOT working...

The writing flowed pretty smoothly, but at the end of each section after the first three or so, I really wanted to get up and do something else. Anything else. Over and over I had to tell myself -- "No, you're not getting up yet. Don't even think about it. Butt, you are staying in that chair." Pretty sad. But I can't be sad 'cause I wrote a story! :-) :-) :-)

All the bits are starting to link up, too. See, the protagonist in this story is Suneel. You remember Suneel, right? He's the husband of Sushila, the girl in "Seven Cups of Water". So this connects that story to the chronology -- really, these two stories are really the start of the chronology, since I'm not sure if I'll be going any earlier in time. From them, all the branchings occur. Suneel and Sushila have three children: Raksha, Raji and Riddhi. Raji you already know about -- she goes on to marry Vivek in "Season of Marriage". Riddhi is the mother of Minal, from "Minal in Winter". And Raksha marries Lakshmi, and their oldest daughter is Chaya, from "Bodies in Motion". With me so far? It goes on...

Once you're connected to Lakshmi, you get to know her story (and some more of Raksha's) in "Lakshmi's Diary". And then you meet one of her sisters, Luluah, in "Lulu's Husband". But what you probably don't realize is that another of her sisters, Latika, is the mother of Shefali -- and Shefali is one of the triad in "Challah". But wait, there's more.

See, there's the other parts of the triad. Now, Gabriel's Jewish -- he's not connected to the family anywhere else. But Roshan...well, it turns out that Roshan is the son of...oops -- can't tell you that yet. Spoilers for a story I haven't written yet. I'll just tell you that you have been introduced to his father already.

It all connects. I'm not writing a book -- I'm writing a soap opera. :-)

And I can't tell you what a headache it sometimes gives me trying to keep these people (and the dates) straight. Never mind that some of the early stories take place in India, and then I decided to move them (or most of them) to Sri Lanka, which totally confuses matters. Not just for consistency issues, but also because the historical events were completely different. India's crisis points were much earlier than Sri Lanka's in this century -- India has all sorts of troubles after independence; Sri Lanka's didn't start until 1983, and I wanted to write a war story...so I had to write it with different people than I'd originally intended. Or I will have to, at any rate -- that story isn't written yet.

I am noticing something interesting -- I started with one side of the chain and went backwards in time, telling women's stories; it looks like I may be telling men's stories as I come down the other end. Interesting. If so, I'm going to have to totally re-write "Challah" -- but heck, I knew I was going to have to do that anyway.

Okay, I'm clearly still giddy. I'm going to go do something calming, like kneading the bread dough that's now been rising for twice as long as it's supposed to...

5:20. I'm bored. Okay, I'm not really bored, but I don't know what to do with myself. I read some more. I ate dinner (unfortunately, I had leftovers, so it didn't take very long). I'm feeling very scattered, like I've used up all my real concentration. Part of me really wants to go dancing -- clubbing, I mean, but a) there are no clubs open yet, and won't be until I want to go to sleep, b) I don't know anyone here who will go dancing with me and I don't have the nerve to go someplace alone my first time -- I don't even know where the good clubs are, and this has been bothering me for a while, so please if you're reading this and live in Salt Lake and want to go dancing (please, just dancing and maybe coffee, 'cause I really don't like mixing dating and going dancing, call me weird) then send me an e-mail okay? and c) I was just sick yesterday and probably should *not* be jumping around a dance floor until I'm ready to fall over from exhaustion. But that's definitely what part of me wants to do.

Another part wants to do small simple piddly things that are easy to grasp. If I programmed, this would be perfect. Since I don't, I'm very tempted to futz with my web pages. I've been lusting after other people's designs. Do you know, I haven't redesigned my pages since I first put them up in 1995! That's five years! Five years of white on dark teal, no images, and y'know, I believe in the any browser campaign, yes I designed my pages to be legible in lynx, but it's probably no longer true that most of the people on the web can't handle a few little pictures here and there. I mean, when I'm dialing in on my 56K modem, Heather C's journal is a bit frustratingly slow, but there's got to be a middle ground between here and there, eh? And I'm not a graphic artist like her -- I don't need anything fancy -- I'm just a little bored with what I've got.

Of course, the problem is that I have no idea what I want. If I'd put in images five years ago, they'd probably all be Celtic knotwork. Now, I like Celtic knotwork a lot, but what relevance does it actually have to my work or my life or my image? (Okay, it's got a little bit to do with my self-image; me as King Arthur, with a big old sword in my hands with Celtic knotwork on the hilt, but aside from that....) But I don't want to go all South Asian either. I mean, I like henna designs, don't get me wrong. I think they're kind of sexy. But they're only sorta me. And I definitely don't want all my pages to have naked people all over them. Again, that's only me some of the time. :-)

Celtic knotwork. Henna patterns. Naked people. Dragons. Rocket ships. The vastness of empty space. Forests. (Hmm...forests sound kinda good, actually. Teal forests. That load quickly. Pen and ink trees?)

What I really need is a really good artist to sit next to me and do a whole bunch of sketches, at my command, until I find one I love, and then do it up properly. For free. Plus a link to hir pages, of course.

Any volunteers? :-)

In the absence of volunteers, I guess I'll go fiddle with my HTML.

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