Les Semaines

May 8, 2005

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

 §

Ms. Old-Fashioned Crankypants

Okay, so I'm a little behind. I had a Clarion West board meeting to attend on Sunday afternoon and it took the energy out of me. Before the meeting I sat comatose on the loveseat. After the meeting I sat comatose on the loveseat. As I hadn't done what I try to do each week, that is start the entry early in the week and add bits as I go along, I didn't have an entry to post yesterday. I could have posted an empty entry, but I didn't think you'd like that oh no I didn't.

Would you have? I mean, it's possible anytime.

Or you could ask me questions and I'll answer them. Yeah, that would be good. Some other journals have done that recently. That might give me something to write about that you haven't heard a zillion times before. I'm busy blah blah blah. I'm tired blah blah blah. At least I'm healthy, enjoying the spring and its jaunts between downpours and hot sun, keeping up the writing (mostly), not bored. So, does anyone have anything they want to ask me? Will I answer? Time will tell.

So the other day I got all cranky over the way people spell "yay" and how mostly everyone uses "lay" wrong. This is really wasted energy, but here goes:

  • "yeah" is yes, as in "she loves you, yeah yeah yeah."
  • "yay" is hooray, as in "You got the job you wanted! Yay!"
  • "You got the job you wanted! Yeah!" is beatnick talk. The next words I expect to see are "hip cat" or the like.
  • While you're at it, go lie down. If you're going to lay down at least do it to someone and have a good time.
That's all.

Signed,

Ms. Old-fashioned Crankypants

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

Listening

Veda Veda Veda! Veda all the time. If she's not on the CD player, she's playing in my head. I want to hear her live again, badly, and soon. I crave it.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

On last week's reading list I forgot to mentioned that I read an anthology of six novellas last week, called The Faery Folk, edited by Marvin Kaye. It was published by the Science Fiction Book Club and is only available through them. I'm still a member though I rarely buy anything through them (they don't have much I want, and when they do I usually already have the book in question by the time it reaches their catalogue). When I saw the authors included, I couldn't resist it. I enjoyed all of them, except for the humorous one, which I actually disliked so much I allowed myself to stop reading it. Anyway, I'm hard pressed to say which of the rest of them I enjoyed the most. All of them.

Slowly read Suzette Haden Elgin's Native Tongue because it's the kind of book that you don't get enough time with any character to really engage with them and because it's set in a Handmaid's Tale type dystopia, where the women as subjugated in such an extreme way as to be just (1) a little unbelievable (maybe not so much nowadays) and (2) painful to think about. I ended up liking the book and finding it really interesting and being disappointed that there are two more books in the series, neither of which are owned by local libraries.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

My poem "In Blood On Stone In Bone" was this past week's poem on Strange Horizons. You can read it at that link and post comments about it. Whoo!

Working hard at keeping the writing momentum up. Managed to write at least four days plus my Saturday session with Karen. Wrapped up the seek & destroy weasel words & phrases stage of the revision of this final section just at the end of my session with Karen and went home to print it out and start the final red pen pass on the hard copy. It's a long chunk of novel, 260 pages of print out. By far the longest section.

In other news, I had a revelation about the setting for the first scene of the next novel, the one about the best friend of my main character, and wrote a couple of preliminary paragraphs. I know they won't be the final words, but they're starting to paint the picture.

Also, I had thought about skipping the Clarion West Shadow Workshop Write-a-thon this year, but two of last year's sponsors have already asked me if I'm doing it this year and volunteered to support me again, so I guess I'm going to do it. Need to decide what is a reasonable number of new words I can churn out weekly given the craziness of my schedule during the workshop.

I have also been tempted by the idea of looking at all the short stories that live neglected on my hard drive, waiting for me to give them a kick in the past so they can be ready to send out. I realized that I really neglect my short fiction, given that poetry is a more familiar genre and I'm more driven to write the novels. I've let short fiction keep me from working on what I really felt I ought to, but does that mean I should forget about these ones? Dunno. Have to think about it more.

But later, after I've gotten through to the end of the novel revisions and sent it out to my volunteer readers.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Sunday, August 11, 1991

Stromness, West Orkney

At 10:15 went on David Lea's Go-Orkney tour. I'd never taken a bus tour before and had a pretty negative view of them, but Christina said she'd enjoyed taking it the previous time she'd visited Orkney and so I went, and did enjoy it. Probably because of the combination of David Lea's low-key but informative personality and the damn gorgeous, exciting nature of Orkney. Sat up front with someone sitting on the cold beverage box beside me. Started the tour at the Yesnaby cliffs, where we tumbled out onto the rocks and a wave washed over us, spraying us pretty well. David Lea pointed out some fossils of Stomatolites (algae). Wandered around looking at those and the spectacular waves and cliffs. Then stepped onto the heath behind to look for Scottish primroses. I found one and everyone crowded to look then many others were found. Lovely little violet flower, tiny. Apparently very rare.

 

 

Yesnaby cliffsThe waves at Yesnaby.

Scottish PrimroseA Scottish primrose.

From there to Skara Brae, a 5,000-year-old village occupied from 3100 to 2500 BCE. Really impressive site, haunting, from the narrow passageways and cells to the larger houses themselves, which still have the dividers and furniture present -- dressers and beds. Wonderful beads of bone and teeth found there, and stone tools and balls. The later houses were built right into the midden. Something very moving about the place.

From there to Click Mill, an early 19th-century mill -- very efficient for places without a river. Many earlier examples of similar mills in Europe. Water wheel horizontal and wheel on top, so needs no gears. Had a clover system for dropping the grain in. Heavy rain on way back.

Then to Broch of Gurness. Interesting shamrock-shaped Pictish houses moving away from main structure. The main tower was interesting, surround by remains of houses. Could clamber through part of the outside passage (my sweater caught so I backed out and clambered elsewhere). Grass green, green. Again, lovely by the sea.

 

 

Scara BraeStone Age furniture at Skara Brae.

The Broch of GurnessThe Broch of Gurness.

[Part two of the tour next week].

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