Les Semaines

September 12, 2004

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal

 §

Very September

Today has been such a typical September day: part of it grey, cold, rainy; part of it hot and sunny. Right now it's cool but bright.

I was so tired this week. I just can't seem to get myself adjusted to going to bed early, and so getting up at 6:00 has hit me very hard. When I get to work I've been having to get a mocha just so I don't close my eyes at my desk. I hate that. Friday I tried to go it without coffee, and I managed but when I got whom my limbs were made of lead and I Had To Nap. I did, a little. I sat there thinking that I would never have any energy ever again. We went out to dinner with friends we haven't gone out with for a while, and I'm afraid I wasn't a sparkling light of conversation, though I did enjoy it.

Yesterday (Saturday) I did my usual writing session with Karen and got a got chunk of an awkward-to-write scene done. Then went to Leslie's so we could wrap up some loose ends for the Clarion West workshop. Then raced home so I could help Devin and Jim make apricot raspberry jam. It turned out really well (nicely tart) this year. Yum.

The sugar gliders were over and we discovered that they love jam. Love it. We discovered, however, that Alvin at least cannot be bothered to taste saffron rice. We didn't try her on curry.

Unexpectedly, Sophia has suddenly started asking for (and accepting) long sessions of attention, even asking for me to come to her. The other day I was working on my desktop computer, and she bounced up onto the daybed behind me, quietly meowing and kneading the comforter, so I went and lay down beside her, petting her, and she curled up against me to sleep. Clearly, that's what she was asking for. She had never done that before, but did it again today. Maybe she's turning into a loving cat.

I have to keep fighting off that panicked not-enough-hours-in-the-day feeling. It doesn't help that many things have been written on the calendar recently. I know it's mostly things I want to do and any pressure I feel is self-induced but you know that doesn't help. In recent years I can realized that I need a lot of down time to get any real work done.

One thing I have committed to doing is reading a lot of friends' work. This is both pleasure and work (and an honour), and guilt-inducing when you take an eternity to do it. Like I do. But since I don't have a regular fiction workshop anymore, this I must do. And good poet-friends send good poems. How can I not look? How then not comments?

If anyone ever figures out how to get more hours in a day, please let me know.

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

Listening

Listening to a wide range of stuff, but to Bjork's Medulla often.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Liz Hand's Mortal Love bowled me right over. It's a story with a lot of threads, all tied together by a mysterious woman. Each instance of her is the same and different. One thread follows an American artist in Britain in the late 19th century; one a writer who is taking a sabbatical from his magazine article writing career to write his first book; another a young man (grandson of the artist) orphaned and growing up in an isolated, rickety Victorian mansion on an island in Maine. Each of them is haunted by powerful, beautiful, mysteriously dangerous woman, who herself is haunted by her mystery. A powerful, magical book that made me alive to the wonder of chaos, mystery, and magic. Highly recommended.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Working on my new poem. It's coming into focus. I'm not sure I've found its right shape yet.

I still have one more long scene to write before I'm finished the first half of the second draft of the novel. Spent several hours this week making persnickety changes, and several more writing the second-to-last long scene.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Soon, soon, this will return. I have ordered a new machine with a scanner.

last week's old journal § next week's old journal

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