Les Semaines

December 18, 2005

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

 §

Holiday Prep

I've been asking myself why I feel that there are so many things that I have to do for the holidays. Wouldn't it be nice one year to skip the poem/letter that we do annually? Then as I'm doing them, though it's a chore, when I look at the name of the person I'm addressing it to, I think over my relationship with that person and remember why I do it. It's to remind me of the people I know and love, and since I'm such a lousy correspondent, to let them know I'm thinking of them. Because I do, especially when I'm doing these cards. It's my own thanksgiving to my friends.

However, I am asking myself why I feel the need to do a lot of baking. None of us really need it. I do like baking, though. Except I really asked myself why when my first batch of Christmas baking turned out terrible. I was making poppyseed cookies and my poppyseeds were ancient, but I didn't worry about that. I had no idea poppyseeds could go bad. So if you have poppyseeds in your cupboard, go and put them in your freezer or fridge. You'll be glad you haven't spoiled your first batch of Christmas baking. As if I wasn't behind already.

At least tonight I made cashew shortbread, and it turned out just fine. Phew. Well, actually, it's more than fine, it's incredibly delicious.

Welsh cakes and ginger cookies to go, and if I have enough time and energy, I'll try the poppyseed ones again. Still have much wrapping and all to do. Haven't done a speck of decorating. Well, except for Wednesday night, when we went over to our friend Zac's and decorated his lovely tree.

I've done all the out-of-state cards and nearly all my shopping, though clearly some things won't arrive in time for Christmas. That's okay, I believe in Hogmanay.

Chronicles of Sloth: Episode 8

  • My email inbox has ballooned again, back up to 280. Damn.
  • Still working on novel revisions (about 90% done), and synopsis (99% done)
  • Three poetry submissions to send out
  • Three medical appointments for me to arrange (got another reminder in the mail yesterday--oops)
  • I'm skipping all the rest for now, because it's time to think about Xmas
    • Cards: make, print envelopes, send international, send Canadian, send US outside state, send WA state
    • Presents to mail: Get box ready and mail it to my sister and her family (done expect the final one to her husband); to Christina (waiting for stuff to arrive)
    • Stuff herb bags, make tags
    • Finish making jam
    • Baking: welsh cakes X 2, cashew short bread, poppy-seed cookies (Argh! Don't remind me of them!)
    • Cleaning: wash bathroom walls, drains, polish silver (besides the usual vacuuming, dusting, room cleaning)
    • Presents: 2 more to buy and all to wrap
last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing

Listening

I have been obsessing with three samples of Final Fantasy's music, including the one was last week's listening. And thinking about what terrific music came out this year.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Diane Duane's Wizards at War, the latest in her Young Wizards series, started off a little tangled and not so interesting, and I almost bailed on it, but didn't, and I'm glad I didn't as in the end I quite enjoyed it. Here the young wizards have their biggest challenge ever, as it seems the entire universe is at risk. A fun adventure story.

Lolly Winston's Good Grief is the story of a woman whose husband dies of cancer and how she suffers from grief and begins to get her life going again. Not as much fun as all the comments lead me to believe.

Susan Palwick's The Necessary Beggar may be the best book I've read this year. It was one of those books I could tell I was in good hands with from the start. It begins in a wonderfully imagined world with elements of our own, but strong social differences. When a man is convicted of killing a mendicant, his whole extended family (father and his brothers and their wives and children) choses to go into exile with him, and they are exiled to a near future earth. They land in an immigration detention centre near Reno, and have to deal with having no papers, no common language, evangelical priests, the convicted man's feelings of guilt, their own feelings of powerlessness, and culture shock. It a powerful, human story of immigration, guilt, pain, and generosity. I loved this.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

I'm on the final chapter of the novel. Working hard to get everything right.

I only have had one story out for a while -- it was sitting in the slush pile for an anthology that just got cancelled. Sigh.

I hope in the next few weeks to send out at least one story and a couple of batches of poems.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Sorry, not this week.

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

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