The tea is Stash Exotica Assam Breakfast; I gave David some (for Christmas?) and this is the first I'm trying it. It's good; different. Not sure it's actually any better than your standard breakfast teas, but a nice change. The sunlight is coming in thorugh a window he usually leaves the shade down for, but he has graciously allowed me to tilt the shades open today. And the daffodils are from Susan, who met us yesterday for lunch at Panini (yes, I'm still addicted to their sandwiches. It's sad). Sweet Susan. Sweet sunny Susan. The daffodils are so bright and yellow that you can't help but be at least a little happier when you look at them. We chatted at Panini over lunch, then it threatened rain, so we trooped over to the Starbucks, where I worked on my story in fits and starts, in between distracting her from her history of Russian science reading. Starbucks is good because it has outlets everywhere. Starbucks is bad because they play music so loudly that it interfered with my music, even with my huge headphones that normally do just fine at blocking out the world. Starbucks is good because they have chai. Starbucks is bad....well, for all the reasons you already know that Starbucks is bad. We only went there because of the outlets. It was really nice having a chance to talk to Susan a bit more; if I still lived in the Bay Area, I would be calling her up and dragging her to things all the time. Hey, Susan -- come have dinner with us. Hey, Susan -- come to a smut reading! (She used to work at Circlet Press for Cecilia before coming to Strange Horizons). Hey, Susan -- let's go sit in the library and study! Doesn't that sound like fun? (She's a first-year grad student too; she understands...)
I find it frustrating writing this story about a thousand words at a time -- usually I write them in fell swoops. But I think it's okay; I talked it over with S., and with Karen later, and I think I'm actually figuring out more stuff as I go along, with these pauses in the story, than if I'd tried to do it all at once. So that's okay, though it does mean that I think the style shifts a fair bit from beginning to (current) end. Hopefully I'll be able to clean that up before sending it out. But before that, I need to finish the darn thing (this morning's task, with luck), and send it out to be workshopped Tuesday. It's the story of the girl who still just a fetus in the story about the woman in the car accident with her alcoholic husband ("Lakshmi's Diary"), for those who are somehow managing to follow along; she's also Chaya's sister ("Bodies in Motion"). There's not a whole lot of plot in this story -- but I think maybe that's okay. We'll see.
Around 4-ish, I headed off to Karen's, with many stops along the way. Picked up a little sushi for a snack (and for old times' sake). Eel roll and spiced tuna, mmm.... Stopped at a sari shop and got some remnants, for possible use in collages and other silly craft-y things. Stopped at a bead shop and got some jingly beads. Took photos of various flowers and such, to record for my memory. It's funny how you forget things; when I was describing a Berkeley street in a story the other day, I remembered most of the typical flowers -- but I forgot the cacti, the succulents, the palm trees. I think my brain just edited them out, 'cause they weren't brightly colored. Eventually I did make it to Karen's, where we had a lovely evening socializing. Very relaxing. I think I was pretty tired by the end of the day -- I came home, checked e-mail, talked to Jed briefly, and crashed hard.
The plan for today: work! Dinner this evening with Debbie Notkin, Nalo, et. al.
The plan for tomorrow: brunch at Heather's with SH staff and Nalo, followed by Nalo reading at Other Change, followed at some point possibly by dinner with Jed and Ellie in S.F. If I'm feeling up to it, and if there's any battery power in the camera, I might go over early and wander about a bit and take some photos of places I've hung out in S.F., just to record them. But maybe I'll leave that for another trip. I'll undoubtedly be in the Bay Area again.