Hoppers and Squirrels

Slow start, but I’ve finally made it out to the shed for the morning. It’s cool and blustery out, but I’ve figured out how to drape the blanket in my shed safely over my legs resting on the ottoman, with the little shed heater underneath (carefully not touching anything), and make a toasty little cave. (Inspired by Japanese table heaters, kotatsu.)
It actually gets too warm pretty quickly, and the heater gets moved back out from under the blanket, but is v. nice for settling into autumn shed work. Instant warmth! For winter work, I may need to seal the windows with plastic wrap and maybe even hang some thick curtains, but for now, I’m enjoying all the light flooding in. I’ve brought some tea lights and incense out here too, and all of that helps settle me into writing mode.
Plan for today: spend an hour working on the Le Guin essay, then get dressed and head into the city to Open Books for a panel on SF diversity with Michi Trota and Alec Nevala-Lee, also celebrating the release of Alec’s new book, _Astounding_! I’m enjoying it, and plan to read more of it on the train. Fascinating getting a glimpse into the secret lives of Asimov and the rest of that crew.
After that, just come home and more writing, I think, with possibly a stop at an event sponsored by our local 19th century club, Jackets and Jewelry; they’re selling gently-used blazers and the like, and while I have enough jewelry, I think I need to up my professional dress game a bit, for both speaking engagements and politics. You know, before last year, I don’t think I owned a blazer at all? And now, I find I want one. Maybe a few. I’m building up my collection of solid color sheath dresses too. I’d like to get some nice desi-style jewelry to wear with it — Seena was wearing a great piece yesterday, and I was jealous.
If there’s time today, I’d like to do a bit more gardening — I dug up the last of the dahlias yesterday, and prepped some for trading with a neighbor — the rest need to be packaged up for winter storage in the basement. But before that, there are some divided irises that need to get into the ground, and more tulips to plant.
I made the mistake of leaving some on the porch, and the squirrels dug into two of the bags, so I’m short a few tulips. Oh well.
Yesterday, I taught a little hopper-making class. Slightly frustrating because the batter hadn’t fermented quite enough and wasn’t giving that characteristic lacy pattern, oh well — more practice needed, clearly.
It was a lot of fun, though also funny because two of the guests were radio journalists (Niala Boodhoo and Monica Eng), and Monica has actually written a children’s book with magician) and another was a foodie and furniture building artisan (Randall Kramer) interested in teaching at our makerspace, and another runs Bookwallah, a non-profit that sends picture books to orphanages in India, (Seena Jacob). Whew!
Between all that, there were gazillion things to talk about and also gazillion questions, so I couldn’t really run it like I would normally run a class. At one point, someone jokingly suggested that maybe they should raise their hands so I could get a word in edgewise, “Oh teacher? Teacher??” and they were joking but it actually might have helped! (I’m teasing — they were lovely.)
Afterwards, showed the guests my little writing shed. One of them saw a squirrel sitting on the gate and she stopped short and said, “It’s like walking into an English children’s book.” Yes, pretty much. 🙂

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