Les Semaines


what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout


More Rewards

Jim took this week off as a vacation week, but spent the whole week working. First he re-caulked the bathtub (I was cleverly out at a meeting for most of this), then I scrubbed and re-sealed the tile grout around it, and we painted Jim's study. It doesn't sound like so much listed like this, but it felt like it kept us pretty darn busy, especially as halfway through the painting we figured out that what we had planned to do just wasn't going to work. We were trying to stipple a darker colour over a lighter paint and the stipple brush just didn't give us the effect we were looking for and we didn't like any of the other things we could come up with, so we ended up painting two adjacent walls silver gray with Philipsburg blue (a nice medium-dark grayish blue) trim and the opposite walls Philipsburg blue with silver gray trim. The ceiling is silver gray. It looks pretty cool, I think.

Anyway, with all this I have a touch of tendonitis in my arms (actually set off by the scrubbing). Annoying.

But with all this I've been thinking how rewarding painting is. I love doing something that has such a dramatic effect on my own environment. It's rewarding in and of itself. It's real, and tangible.

I like sewing for the same reason, even though I've done little of it in recent years. I like cooking much of the time, but it disappears so quickly.

It's good in a world like mine, where my paid work is mostly not tangible and neither is my avocation/work-of-the-heart/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, to also make time for work with more tangible effects, and work that more obviously affects other people. Maybe that's another reason why I've decided to try teaching again and why I've recently taken on the job of co-administrator for Clarion West. I've done similar things in the past but had stopped for the last few years to have fewer diversions from my writing, but I guess overall I miss it.

When people talk about quitting their day jobs to write full-time I sometimes abstractly envy them, but mostly I wouldn't want to have to write anything I didn't want to (especially anything lengthy) and I also would miss the rewards and stimulation of getting out of the house to do something that has nothing to do with writing.

It also might be that I'm not a single-minded person. Not that I can't be obsessive, Jim would certainly argue that I can be extremely obsessive, but I do like to do a variety of things.

All work and no play--no, all play and no work--no, that's not it either. Here: Variety is the spice of life, and life we all know is the raw material for the Real Work.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing


Listened to lots of things while painting, but not really anything in particular. We haven't even bought many new cds recently, and I think we're done with our cd purge. At last.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Eva Ibbotson's Which Witch? is a romp about what happens when The Great Wizard of the North gets tired of waiting for his replacement to show up and decides that he needs to take a wife. His partner has to be someone with dark powers, and so all the local witches enter a competition to be his bride, even the beautiful witch Belladonna, who can't help but cast good spells when she longs to do evil.

As I mentioned last week, I've been reading Jeanine Basinger's Silent Stars, which is a series of brief biographies and commentary on the careers of specific stars of silent movies whom the author thinks have been neglected or don't have the reputations their talents deserve. I'd never particularly been interested in silent film, but a rave review from a friend sent us searching for this book, and I enjoyed it quite a lot, especially reading about such figures as Mary Pickford, Clara Bow, Pola Negri. It also started us on a kick of watching silent movies, which happily our local library has a good collection of and loans for free.

last week's reading § next week's reading


Painting kind of slowed the writing, but at least it didn't stop it. I missed about two days when I just was too tired to sit and type, but I did get at least a little done on the other five days, so it's still moving ahead.

Need to get off my derrière and make a list of people I need to send Blood Memory to, both the people I owe copies to and a list of places to ask my publisher to send promo/review copies to. And I still haven't done anything about setting up any readings, though someone who runs a local series asked me to read in November. I still haven't figured out where and how I'd like to do a local book launch so it can turn into a celebration. Hrm.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

March-April 1977

792. "So much depends upon..." [1]

I've still got pieces left over from January. Got to get them over with. Maybe. Maybe i never will, i'll have them hanging over my head forever. Maybe is a long time. Forever is uncertain. Boredom, which all my classes give me (except maybe creative writing) is becoming terminal. Having it be terminal is making me sleepy. And because i am sleepy, i've still got pieces left over from January.

793. What i would do

I wonder what i would do if i had nothing to complain about. What would there be left to say to people? Could i think of enough positive things to hold a conversation? Probably not.

794. Tuesday

I blew it. I came to English and i didn't need to bother. Prof's repeating everything he said last week. Crazy morning, were a skirt for the first time all year. Was late and had to park my car in a parking lot i don't like. And Rob and i are trading identities. He vegged out and i took fanatical notes. In Philosophy. It was terrible. We are packed in a closet for philosophy now. Yawn. But wide awake. What's happening???

795. Assimilation

I have become almost assimilated into University. Great. It only took seven months. I'm finally settled. Settled? Me? This is all very much of a yawn. Level of tolerance has grown today. It's all beginning to fit around me.

796. Parlezing français

Aidez-moi! Je suis perdu. Pauvre moi!! (My French is disgusting. So is Philosophy.)
[Rob:]Je me demande pourquoi Nancy, a-t-elle fait ses devoirs de philosophie, aujourd'hui? Ses amis, Chris et Rob, et Bill (mais pas Harold) sont ici. Ils ecoutent, et ils faisent des notes "fanatical" pour elle.
     Rankin nous a dit que Anastasia est vraiment la fille du Czar. Elle va accompagner la Reine Victoria et les montagnes dans mes notes.
     Rob a besoin de leçons de fançais.
     Salut, Nancy et Chris (les deux filles capitalistes.)
right on!
     Où est Harold? Dan son lit, probablement. Harold est très intelligent d'être-là. La philosophie n'est past "Worthwhile". La philosophie joue le <football> dans ma tête. Formidable!! La professeur a dit <<nous somme subjecter [to be subject to] le delusions.>> Pour quoi je pense ... je suis? Pourquoi la Philosophie? Pour quoi? Pour? Quoi? Ah, Zut, alors!
[Rob:] Nancy a grand besoin de leçons de français. Applez Mme. Weiland, tout de suite! [2]

797. [By Christina] Addition #1 to Phonosnout Book 5 Part 7, by CAB

I really don't care about Russian geniuses and their epileptic fits, beetles, spit, or falling children.
     I supposed i could, take away this old biddy who is wearing what looks like a renovated horse-blanket and spouting such bunk, rot, tripe, and taking some very common ideas and WRECKING them. It might also help if she took some lessons in dramatic presentation. Silly goof, since when does free association constitute a poem? This scathing comment is my first contribution to this book, and hopefully, on this subject, the last. Bloody fool.

798. Words of wisdom

A poet who reads his verse in public may have other bad habits--Lazarus Long.
     Hear Hear! [4]
     Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of--but do it in private and wash your hands afterward--Lazarus Long. [5]

799. Warm-up

It's that strange time in the morning when everyone is trying to settle down to work and no one is quite succeeding. I am using Phono as a warm-up to lead up to my other work. Kind of warming up the engine so it can chug across the rest of my day.

800. Chapter 800

Another hundred chapters. I don't know how long it took me to write them but probably a month or two, or three. Today is April 1. Fool's day. An appropriate day to take a look at the past. A lot of changes (again? still?). I'm a new me, i always am. I feel different and the same an' it's all captured in a hundred more chapters.

801. Really in 800s

Now i'm really in the 800s. Nice to be here. Nice weather here, hitting spring again. Think a year ago. Oh my, where i was. Everett. That seems so long ago. I saw him last week. He's changed as have i. Have i? I hope so, i couldn't stand it again.


1. William Carlos Williams lurks.

2. Translations. [Rob:] I ask Nancy why she's working at philosophy today. Her friends, Chris and Rob and Bill (but not Harold) are here. They listen and they take fanatical notes for her.
     Rankin tells us that Anastasia is truly the Czar's daughter. She goes with Queen Victoria and the mountains in my notes.
     Rob needs French lessons.
     Hi, Nancy and Chris (the two Capitalist girls).

     Where is Harold? Probably in his bed. Harold is very smart to be there. Philosophy isn't worthwhile. Philosophy plays football in my head. Hooray!! The professor said, "we are subject to delusions." Why do I think, because I am? Why philosophy? Why? For? Why? Oh darn!
     [Rob:] Nancy has a huge need for French lessons. Call Mrs. Weiland right away! [Mrs. Weiland was the French teacher at my high school, whom Rob knew.]

3. I think Christina had come to class with me, and obviously also to a poetry reading, for the day. She would have been suffering her last year of high school at the time.

4. By Christina again.

5. These are quotes from Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, which I claim as fair use since they are part of a critical discussion. I loved late Heinlein as a late teen. Now they seem unbearably adolescent, but then they were WISDOM.

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