H’lo everyone! It’s a…

H'lo everyone! It's a bright and early Tuesday morning -- too early, 'cause Chicago's system is still down (they shut it down regularly from 5-9 a.m. every few days for system maintenance). So I can't check my e-mail -- it's funny how addicted I am to my e-mail fix...when I was in Sri Lanka for three weeks last July I was definitely aching for it...:-)

Yesterday was a good day -- did a bunch of stuff that I'd been putting off (like buying plane tickets for upcoming trip to Chicago and move to CA; stopped in at office to pick up last pay check (and incidentally set up boss's web page for her (I promised I would) -- it's here, if you're at all interested in endocrine stuff), etc.) Also finally heard from Ellison (prospective roommate) -- I got a space in their house! Hooray -- I had other options lined up, but this was the one I really liked. It has a garden, and a piano, and lots of bookshelves, and two roommates who seem pretty cool, and it's pretty close to Mills (biking distance). :-) Also did my newsbytes yesterday (late!) and a bunch of admin stuff for the erotica writers' list. So all's going pretty well.

Today should be exciting. I'm up this early (it's 7:30 now) 'cause at 9 a.m. someone's coming by to discuss the possibility of my writing for erotica films (Red Shoe Diaries-type-stuff). I'm not sure exactly what his connection is with the field, but there's at least a chance that this could be profitable. :-) (And it would be a fun project to work on). Also today, I really must get the guidelines together for Turning Bodies. That's my goal. If I don't tell you I did it tomorrow, feel free to yell at me.

Y'know, I get all sorts of neat mail from people who read these pages -- postcards from soldiers in Desert Storm or Bosnia, letters from 16-yr-olds (who cheerfully ignored my warnings :-), notes from grandmothers -- a really wide range. I'm going to excerpt a bit from a neat letter I got this morning -- attributions stripped, to protect the sender. Hope he doesn't mind...I may do this more in the future, 'cause I think it's interesting, so if you really don't want me to, let me know in the mail you send.

"'...what am I doing, he thought as he pressed the keys on his keyboard, I can't be doing this on my work computer. I can't be using this to respond to the erotica I find on the net. I could lose my job for this. I can't help myself. I sit here reading this woman's words, feeling my pants grow tighter, my breathing faster, my head pounding, and I begin to sweat with the fear that I will get caught by a co-worker....' So it goes for the fifty-five year old, plumping, aged, graying engineer. He has spent his life performing the responsibilities of employee, father of two, and husband to a wife who no longer is an attraction for him. A victim of the system in which he lives. Now he is a victim of a technology that provides at the touch of his fingers, thrills equal to those of the teenage boy with his first dirty book."

He goes on to say that he isn't a writer, but rather a reader, and that the character described above isn't him, though he has similar feelings. Fascinating, as Spock would say. Btw, if you're reading this (person who wrote the above), you're already a better writer than many who do claim that title. Don't sell yourself short. And thanks for the mail...

Morning! (Very early…

Morning! (Very early morning -- it's currently 4:58 a.m. This isn't such a bad thing -- I've been wanting to get up earlier to write, but it's a bit frustrating being woken by mosquito bites after 5 hours of broken sleep. (Something was going on outside last night -- it was really noisy from about midnight to 2 a.m. It's occasionally a real pain living in the city (though generally I like it (how's that for nested parentheses? :-)))).

Talked to one of you recently and was informed that "The Queen and the Soldier" was Suzanne Vega. Of course. Also forgot to list Steeleye Span among the Celtic bands I really like -- their "Black Jack Davy" is great, ditto "Alison Gross".

Little else to report. Today is going to be a full day -- the Cezanne exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art at 9 (Abby is selling me her discount ticket 'cause she doesn't want to get up that early :-) with Mary and Laurie; Tai Chi at 3:30; dinner with Abby around 5; over to the Bards pub afterwards to attempt (pathetically) to play with the musicians there (Sunday nights musicians get free drinks. :-) I'm not a bad musician, but I need my sheet music, and they don't seem to believe in the stuff. I try to just jam along, but it's damn hard. They've all been playing this way for 20 years and have hundreds of tunes memorized (I'm pretty good at learning songs, but memorizing just notes is much harder for me). Going to go hang out on a muck for a while now until I wake up. :-) Have a good day, everyone.

Hey, everyone. Haven’t…

Hey, everyone. Haven't been very productive lately. I keep almost wanting to write -- I get the urge (especially after reading another of the LeGuin essays on writing; I'm in the midst of her wonderful Language of the Night) but then it turns to nothing, dust when I sit at the computer. I managed to crank out one poem this morning, but only be resorting to a very strict form. Here it is -- I'm not sure yet if I like it.

It's pouring rain outside. Rather nice if you like the stuff, as I do -- I biked through it for a while this morning -- got thoroughly drenched, but it so cheered my mood for a while -- rather like a child splashing through puddles -- don't most kids enjoy that? I wonder when/why it is that most adults develop an aversion to rain...

One of you asked what other music I liked -- I thought I'd answer that in some detail here, in case anyone else was interested. (I'm occasionally still amazed that people are interested in the petty details of my life...guess we're all voyeurs at heart. :-) So, I'll listen to almost anything (except heavy metal), but I prefer music with interesting lyrics. So I like musicals (which tend to tell a story), especially Camelot, Les Mis, Chess and Jesus Christ Superstar. (I also have a sneaking fondness for Joseph, 'cause I was in a college production (I played Potiphar's wife -- typecasting, no? :-)).

I also like folk music -- both traditional and modern. Stan Rogers, Maddy Prior, Christine Lavin, Loreena McKennitt, Sally Fingerett....if you haven't listened to anything in the field, Christine Lavin is a great introduction -- her songs are all either really funny or really sad. I particularly like "The Kind of Love You Never Recover From" and "Don't Ever Call Your Sweetheart By His Name". Stan Rogers is one of the classic folk musicians, with great sea chanteys like "The Mary Ellen Carter".

I like occasional pop/rock singers -- Indigo Girls, Tori Amos, John Cougar Meloncamp (sp?), Sophie B. Hawkins, Annie Lennox, Tracy Chapman...oh, and the woman who does "The Queen and the Soldier". I forget her name, but that's an amazing song.

Finally, I also like world music and classical music. I don't know as much about world music, but I've got a bunch of favorite Celtic bands -- Boiled in Lead, Black 47, Dubliners, Chieftains, Clannad, etc. and so on. As for classical, I played classical piano for 10 years and flute for 7, so I got a pretty good exposure to the masters. I tend to like the more dramatic ones -- Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky. :-)

Whew -- that was probably more than you wanted to know...:-) Oh, let me stick in a plug for The Flash Girls -- a new group, one of whose members, Emma Bull, is also an excellent fantasy writer. That pretty much covers it.

Hey, I’m back from…

Hey, I'm back from visiting the family. Things went about as well as could be expected. You may see some poems or stories about it in a bit, but I'm still assimillating it all now. It's good to be home again.

Not much else to say right now -- I'm churning through the appalling amount of mail that piled up while I was gone (one of the fairly quiet lists I'm on exploded into a flame war), and after that there's lots and lots of work to be done. Bought a new CD today by Ani Difranco (on the recommendation of a soul- sib I recently met on-line). Haven't decided yet whether I like it, but I think probably yes. Finished the collected Time Patrol stories by Poul Anderson while I was gone -- excellent stories. If you like history and/or time travel, you should definitely hunt these up. It took me a while to get through them, because after each one I had to stop and think about it for a while (usually I just devour short stories -- a bad habit).

Playing Magic again today. The game is addictive. :-)

Well, sorry for the…

Well, sorry for the brief delay, but things have been busy here. Saturday I drove down to Virginia for a Furrymuck gathering at an amusement park, King's Dominion. Fun, but exhausting (woke up at 3:00, left Philly by 4:30 a.m., stayed up till 1:30 a.m. Saturday night) and have been very tired since. Only really recovering now. Tai Chi Sunday at 3 was very interesting, and then had a potluck dinner Sunday night (made sushi again). Someone asked for my sushi recipe -- I got it from the Complete Asian Cookbook, which I recommend highly. In brief:

Sheets of toasted nori (seaweed) (2 per person)
Chinese rice (the very sticky kind) (1/2 cup/sheet)
Seasoned rice vinegar (rice vinegar with sugar, available in Japanese stores)
Fillings (such as sliced cucumber, sliced avocado, chinese mushrooms marinated and simmered in soy sauce and rice vinegar, sliced egg (fried thinly), cooked shrimp, crab meat -- I don't have a reliable source for fresh raw fish, so I stick to these)
Wasabe (Japanese horseradish, extremely pungent; better if you buy it powdered and reconstitute it)
Soy sauce

1. Cook the rice (in double the amount of water as c. rice) and mix with 1-2 T. rice vinegar for every c. of rice.
2. Spread cooked rice over 2/3 of a sheet of nori.
3. Add fillings in a thin row over first filled third of sheet. Do not overfill. You may choose to add wasabe here as well.
4. Roll tightly from filled to empty end, sealing with a bit of water to moisten nori if necessary.
. 5. Slice in rounds, so it looks like sushi :-). Serve with wasabe mixed with soy sauce.

If you have a dinner party, let your guests do steps 2-5 themselves -- it's lots of fun. :-)

Other than that, mostly working. Catching up on mail, revising the erotica market list and the alternative sexualities list. Next step is revisions to two stories, "The Rewards of Virtue" and "A Holo Affair". When I finish those (recent stories), I plan to move backwards to "Married, 2026" and others. Also have a novella to write for Puritan and there's always the novel. Work is progressing on the magazine, and we're hoping for a first issue in early September.

So far I'm having some trouble settling down to work, but having Star Trek running in the background seems to help (of course, when I hit an episode I haven't seen (about 1 in 4), I have to actually stop and watch, so it's not entirely efficient.)

Morning, everyone….

Morning, everyone. Beautiful morning biking in -- clear and cool. I've gotten several nice responses to my poems, which is always a pleasure. There was a while in 1995 when I despaired of ever writing a decent poem again (you'll note if you go back to the '95 page that there's very little there), and it's really wonderful to have that coming back.

Last day at the office -- Kevin asked me this morning what I'd be doing for the next month, and I didn't know what to tell him. I'm not very good at just resting, y'know...but I don't know how well I'll be able to work full-time at writing and marketing, even if it's just for a month. I'm afraid I'll end up watching much too much Star Trek (David's taping all of the Next Generation episodes (my fault, I made him watch one, and he got hooked) -- it's 8 episodes to a tape, and I've been watching them in series -- I'm halfway through tape #5 now) or worse. I'm tempted to put a big black sheet over the tv set. Unfortunately, Kevin watches a fair bit of tv these days (he's not teaching again till August), and it just seems to suck you in if it's on.

I asked Helen (my replacement sitting next to me) if she wanted to say anything to the world...she sends peace, joy, etc. to you all. :-)

Kevin’s back! Pleasant…

Kevin's back! Pleasant homecoming yesterday evening...

Aside from that, not much exciting to report. Currently rereading David Brin's The Practice Effect, a very neat little sf novel. Ate leftovers for dinner last night, so no interesting cooking to mention. Just finished up a little going away present for my boss (a collection of all the poems I wrote on her time. :-), and am now considering the daunting task of coping with all the personal files on the office computer (it's an IBM, and I put a lot of stories on it, and I have a MAC at home. I know there should be a way to simply convert the files over, but I don't think I have the appropriate program). Big mess.

Life is good; I'm very sleepy; hope you all are well.

--2:40 - Two new poems - Pity the Children and Sri Lanka, Summer of '95. Don't read 'em if you're looking for a quick pickup. :-)

Gosh, sorry ’bout that,…

Gosh, sorry 'bout that, y'all. I'm training my replacement at work, and so I rarely have a free moment at the computer. Quick rehash of the last five days:

Saturday -- quiet. Did a bunch of cleaning and watching Star Trek. Finished Leaving Las Vegas, a very good novel about a prostitute and a drunk. Among other thing.

Sunday -- David got back from the Bahamas around lunchtime. He almost drowned there (he insists it wasn't that serious, but having both your main oxygen and your backup fail at 70 feet below sounds serious to me), but otherwise had a great time. Very nice to have him back. Dinner with him and Larry at my place.

Monday -- Busy busy at the office and a big foofaraw on my mailing list (on whether we should have a web page -- privacy/publication concerns versus advertising, etc.) Resolved by Tuesday, but some stress all around. Brian was a trooper, as always, in helping to damp the flames. Made the yummy Philipino chicken dish one of you sent me. From memory, my modified verson: Marinate 1 breast of chicken, sliced, 1 medium onion sliced, and two plum tomatoes, sliced in 5 T soy sauce and 1 T vinegar with 10 whole black peppercorns, 10 minutes.
Bring to boil with 1 chopped potato and 3 chopped carrots. Cover and cook on low 20-25 minutes. Serve over white rice. Simple and delicious.

Tuesday - Crepes at David's, SCA dancing at 7:30. Great fun. Came home and was sick most of the night. Slept 2-3 hours. Not fun. All better now, though.

Which brings us to Wednesday. Today has been busy, but productive, and am swiftly wrapping things up here at the office. My boss keeps looking mournful about my leaving (though my replacement is both nice and competent) -- it's nice to be appreciated. :-)

Will try to be a bit more regular, but this week may be somewhat erratic -- I may not be working in July, and if not, should have lots of time to chat with y'all when I should be working.

Well, nobody stalked me…

Well, nobody stalked me last night (though I did get several more phone calls (and hang-ups on the voice mail -- I wonder if it was because of Kevin's name on the machine?)) and I'm feeling somewhat calmer. Fluffing through some e-mail I found a note from the journalist saying the article will also be appearing in the August issue of NetGuide -- I wonder if I'll get another surge of mail then. We'll see. Kevin thinks I'm over-reacting. :-)

Otherwise, things are good. Went to see The Cable Guy last night with a friend (I adore Matt Broderick. Don't ask me why. Just go dig up a copy of Ladyhawke) and enjoyed it, but stayed up too late and am now very very tired. I keep yawning.

Puritan wants another novella (not for another 4 months -- lots of lead time). My editor would like it to be erotic horror this time -- I don't have a lot of experienc with that, but with the help of my brainstorming writer's workshop, I do have an idea....still percolating, but something with nuns, Catholic college students, and incubi... I'd use high school students, but the mag is pretty strict about nothing under 18. I'll have to check with the editor.