Sitting in the Borders,…

Sitting in the Borders, logged in on a T-Mobile day pass, which I'm trying for the first time. For $9.99 and 24 hrs access, not a bad deal, I think. It's let me check in, answer urgent mail and such in between reading indulgently. I did read the Duane, which was fun (though her latter books in this series somehow haven't had as much emotional charge as the earlier -- somehow none of them have struck me as strongly as either Deep Wizardry or High Wizardry, but I still enjoy them quite a bit.) I then fell headlong into McKillip's new novel, Alphabet of Thorn, which is, as always, magical and fabulous. I still love her Riddlemaster trilogy best, but some of these new novels of hers are very good. The Tower at Stony Wood is the strongest, I think, with Winter Rose and this new one coming close behind. And props to Kinuko Y. Craft, the cover illustrator on this series, whose images are just perfect for the books -- sort of pre-Raphaelite, if I'm getting my art terms right. In any case, lovely.

I'm finally starting to calm down, feel like I'm catching up again. After the computer crash, I've been in rather frantic recovery mode, while also trying to finish my dissertation draft. Now that's done, and the Silence manuscript has been reconstructed (and improved), and I've started sending out submissions again, and I think I may have actually collected all the Blowfish stories (that's the next project, reassembling those into a manuscript, editing them, getting final word counts and sending out contracts so that Christophe can issue the checks, all of which I'm hoping to get done by the middle of next week) -- I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once I deal with the Blowfish stuff, I'll review the TOR manuscripts again and get caught up on that, and then I'll be as caught up as I'm going to be on the pre-crash material, I think. Then I can get on with my life again. That'll be nice, to be purely moving forward, rather than just playing catch-up.

Hey, is it obnoxious to be really pleased with your own work? I read through the Silence manuscript yesterday, while reformatting, and I have to say, I think I love this book. I still like many of the pieces in Torn Shapes, but it's a thin little book, and even so, I had drafted a few of those pieces quickly, in order to have sufficient material to justify a book at all. Whereas with this collection, I'm pretty much only putting in pieces I think are special, for one reason or another, pieces I have an unreasonable fondness for. I've sorted through the last eight years of stories and poems and essays and just pulled out my favorites (some published, some not) -- and it's incredibly satisfying, having the freedom to put them together like this, in the order I want, under no editorial pressure from anyone else to leave things in or take things out. Remarkably satisfying.

I admit, I'm a little surprised to find that the result doesn't feel like a random assemblage, but actually a fairly coherent set of variations on a theme, or a group of themes. Whether I'm working in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, I'm obsessed with the same questions of sex and love and truth and trust, etc. and so on. And the result is a book that I like very much, that makes me feel maybe I really am doing something worthwhile with this whole writing thing. Worthwhile for me, at any rate, whether or not readers end up getting out of it what I think I'm putting in. :-)

6 thoughts on “Sitting in the Borders,…”

  1. I tried making the potato curry today; I left it fairly moist. I was expecting it to turn out like shake-and-bake kind of potatos, spicy, but this was different. Yummy. For some reason I haven’t mastered french-fries, but this is easier and exactly the right flavors, with the onion, the pepper, the sour in the ketchup. Even using half the oil, it was rich enough to compare to fries. Thanks.

  2. T-Mobile also offers a bunch of options for using “HotSpots” at Starbucks, Borders, etc even if you don’t use them for cell phone service. See their HotSpot page for more info.

    For example, for $30/month (if you sign up for a year’s worth in advance), you can get free unlimited access at all their locations. That may sound like a lot of money—but if you plan to use it often, it’s a much better deal than paying $10 for a day pass each time.

    There’s also a “metered plan” that gives you access for 10 cents a minute, with a 60 minute minimum each time; in most cases, that’s probably not such a great deal, but if you’re only going to use a few minutes of access, it would save you $4.

  3. I’m pleased about my own work all the time *smile*
    which probably means I’m obnoxious all the time! Nah, I don’t think it’s obnoxious at all. I think
    one of the best things in life is the pleasure of
    feeling like you’ve fulfilled your own criteria of
    a job well done.

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