Les Semaines

September 24, 2006

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

 §

Where Has Neile Been?

  1. Under a rock
  2. Somewhere over the rainbow
  3. Nowhere
While
  1. creating the world
  2. watching cats sleep
  3. meditating upon the meaning of life
Basically, I've just been feeling pretty lazy and boring, so I've been AWOL.

I'm back at work. Busy with the new academic year, new students, multiple orientation sessions.

We've been making:

  • spiced apricot/raspberry jam
  • blackcurrant jelly (took three years of blackcurrants from our bushes and was hella messy but worth it)
  • applesauce
  • apple/raspberry sauce
  • pear sauce
  • pear/raspberry sauce
  • apple crisp
  • pesto
Eating grapes and plums and nectarines and apples and pears.

In other words, we've been doing the whole harvest/fall thing.

Apologies to anyone who has sent me email that I haven't responded to. My ISP has been unreliable for quite a while. We think about changing but haven't managed to bring ourselves to deal with the complications and keep hoping it will get better. It does. And then it doesn't.

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

Listening

Things with lala.com have been slowing down lately, though I did find a disc to send out today, and earlier this week we reached 250 trades. The reason it's slowing down is that we're getting to the obscure stuff which people rarely know about to want from me or have to give to me.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

I've kind of lost track of what all I've read. This isn't good. I just don't remember some of the books, and sent them back to the library, certain I would. Here's what I know I read.

Neil Gaiman's graphic novel, 1602 presents Marvel comicbook heroes at the transition between the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I of England. There are a lot of them to track, especially for someone who doesn't know them, as I don't. I made for a slightly chaotic reading experience, and I certainly didn't get as much out of this as someone else would. Still, it was beautifully illustrated and I had fun reading it.

Hilary Mantel's Beyond Black is the rather bleak contemporary story story of two women, one proper and rather repressed though longing not to be, who gets employed by a medium who has a horrible past. How they rub along together is the focus of the novel, so it feels a little plotless but I found their interdependent friendship interesting and certainly the spirit world as depicted here was intriguing. I was left feeling this could have been a bit more, somehow.

Catherine Fisher's children's novel, The Oracle is set in a desert world dominated by a religious system that our main character discovers is corrupt. Unfortunately, she has been chosen as the one who carries the plate of scorpions during religious ceremonies, and thus she discovers the depths of the corruption around here and finds herself in a position where she has to deal with it.

Francesca Lia Block and Carmen Staton's young adult novel, Ruby is the tale of a deeply damaged young woman who goes out in search of love--and when she finds it, cannot face it. A sweet story of how she gets her wishes.

Geoff Ryman's The King's Last Song is a fascinating story of Cambodia of two eras: the contemporary, their recent past, and the events of the 1100s. Hre an archelogist near Angor Wat finds a book made of golden leaves in a field—it is the words of a king from the past, who writes of his life. Of course, such a valuable find causes problems, and the archeologist is kidnapped. Two men who work for him go to search for him, and this is their story, their past, the archeologist's present, and the tale of the king. A wonderful, humane, interweaving of lives. One of the most wonderful books I ahve read in a while. Probably since Geoff Ryman's last book, Air.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

I am still working on novel-shrinking. It's slow work, but I know I'm improving it. Still, the slowness is somewhat deadening.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

I'll try to get back on the old horse. Sorry.

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

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Email comments, questions, and complaints to neile@sff.net § Neile's main page

1965 people have wandered through this week with me