Les Semaines

August 7, 2005

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

 §

Interlude

So, I let myself drift for two days, though I don't know if it counts as doing nothing when I had a dental appointment on each day. But in any case, I didn't do anything strenuous at all, not thinking or doing much at all.

Then on Wednesday, I bought paint and started cleaning out the north side of the kitchen. Jim TSPed the joint while I packed everything up and out and took the cabinets off and started painting only to find that one of the colours I'd chosen wasn't right. The grey was great but I wanted dark red to go with it and wound up with pink. Terribly yuck.

So then I had to go out to a different store to get a real red. Classic Burgundy to be exact. It's working now. That side of the kitchen is done except for needing a lot of serious touch-up work (I hate working with two such contrasting colours! It means all the lines have to be straight, when our house is old and hard no straight lines and even if it did I couldn't paint in them anyway.

Saturday was our monthly writing retreat day, which we spent here despite the chaos from painting. Luckily it wasn't too hot, and was productive for all of us despite several slow starts.

Spent all Sunday preparing the east side of the kitchen. It's the worst since it's all cabinets and a door. Lots of stuff to move and clean. But it's ready to go. Too bad I'm not, as moving something I managed to twist my back and I'm in pain. I hope this eases up!

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

Listening

Listening to lots and lots of old favourites while painting. It has been terrific to hear so many things we haven't listened to in a while.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Lois McMaster Bujold's The Hallowed Hunt is another fantasy novel set in the world of Chalion, where the main religion is the Five Gods. Here, however, a young-ish courtier has been linked to a wolf spirit via remaining sorcerous thread of an older religion and culture that was supposedly wiped out centuries before. He has wrestled his demon into quietude, been granted a dispensation by the priests, found himself a place in a lord's retinue -- except when the lord sends him to bring the lady who killed a prince back to the capital city for justice he discovers that all -- not even himself -- is as it seems. The woman has been bound to a leopard's spirit in a botched ritual that the prince instigated. There are layers and layers of intrigue both in the political and the spiritual world that he must unravel, and protect the lady he is falling in love with both from these forces and from himself. A delightful read. I've loved all of the Chalion books.

M.T. Anderson's young adult novel Thirsty came highly praised, and I think I can understand why. In it a highschool boy realizes that he is slowly becoming one of the deplored vampires. His town is about to do its yearly ritual to suppress a leader of the vampires it holds captive. When a "heavenly messenger" tells him he has to help him or else the vampire leader will escape, the boy is both reluctant and disbelieving. He's trying to do the right thing, but when the messenger promises that he will be cured of his vampirism if he follows through, he decides to help. I guess I'm just not the target audience for vampire novels--they're never done much for me and this one is no different.

Patricia McKillip's Od Magic is the tale of a country who was saved from invasion by Od, a strange wizard who then started a school in the main city, which since then has become a rather calcified institution with its main aim not to make the king nervous about unexpected magic. When Od sends a gardener to the school the wizards start getting nervous themselves. And when an illusionist brings his show to town the king and guards start getting nervous. And the young princess is nervous when she is betrothed to the king's closest wizard, who is rather a frozen character, whom she knows won't approve of the small stitching magic she knows. And then there's an odd new student, a city guard, a magic historian researching Od's history. A delightful stew.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Had a great day on our monthly writing retreat on Saturday. I was not looking forward to dropping the new novel in favour of the old but my deadline is September to start sending it out to agents and maybe publishers, so I started on some revisions suggested by my readers. Got a lot done and started on the synopsis -- another thing I'm not looking forward to doing. Was very happy overall with the work I got done. Sadly, the painting and recovering from painting is taking up most of my time right now.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Still on hiatus, sorry. Because I'm painting. At least, that's this week's excuse.

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

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