Les Semaines

December 17, 2006

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

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Time is Scary

I could have sworn I completed and put up an entry Sunday before last, but when I went to look the next week I found a barely started entry, and when in astonishment I went to look it up on the web it wasn't there either. Boo. I remember uploading it and everything. I guess I dreamed it. It was probably my best entry ever, too. I mean, it must have been, right?

On December 1st, Devin, Tamar, Jim and I went out for sushi to celebrate having survived November. I don't know what made it such a crazy month. Maybe it was the weather the last week (snow, ice). Because of the snow, it took Tamar over five hours to drive home from work on the 27th.

December is turning out to be a bit of a bear, too, what with the torrential rains this past week (took Tamar two hours to drive home this time) and then the winds Thursday night. I love a good storm, but our friends Karen and Barry (and many others up and down the whole coast) have been without power since then. And it's damn cold.

Our power barely even flickered, but a tree went down just around the corner from us, only taking out the power to the (empty) house whose yard it was in and blocking the street. The landlord is lucky that the wind blew it that way, rather than onto the house or the neighbours. Pretty dramatic. And also sad that Ballard has lost another of its rare tall trees.

The season is advancing way too quickly. Mom and Dad arrive for their annual Christmas visit (plus dogs) on Thursday. Jim and I have been cleaning all weekend. Yesterday we moved around all the furniture in the basement and vacuumed, vacuumed, vacuumed, and dusted and all. Then today we tore apart the living room and put it back together.

We turned the carpet around as you're supposed to do every do often. And then Jim reminded me that we had been happy to turn it around the way we did because of an unremovable cat barf stain (every other stain has washed out of that carpet except this one--washing only made this one worse). So after much annoyed shouting, we turned it around again, so the stain wouldn't be so obvious. Dammit.

We're both stiff and tired from moving all the furniture, but big chunks of the house are cleaner than they've been since I can't remember. Maybe last year about this time.

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

Listening

We're a little disappointed with part of the new White Magic disc, though we love the whole previous ep. Sigh.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Justina Robson's Living Next Door to the God of Love is a complex SF/fantasy about, well, love. And Gods. And virtual worlds, and created worlds, and...fighting being absorbed into the collective thinking, and just read it, dammit. A strange and wonderful ride.

Rachel Cohn & David Levithan's young adult novel Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist is a speedy, fun read. Both characters have just ended bad relationships when Nick's ex approaches him at a club where his band has just played. Desperate, he asks Norah if she will pretend to be his girlfriend for five minutes. Tangled fun.

Christopher Moore's novel A Dirty Job tells the story of Charlie, A beta male, who suddenly discovers that he is an agent of death and has an ongoing task for the dying. A quick, fun read. I had a good time.

Murakami's Kafka on the Shore is a slow story about a fifteen-year-old boy who renames himself Kafka, who runs away to fight for his life. He runs away to a small town and finds a strange library. Interesting characters help him along the way. Paralleling that is the tale of a strange old man who can talk to cats and causes (does he?) fishes to rain down. He follows Kafka's path, assisted by various people, until their path cross, and cross again.

Cherie Priest's Wings to the Kingdom is a contemporary fantasy set in and around a Civil War battlefield. Suddenly people who visit it see ghosts, and they're trying to communicate something, but only Eden Moore can hear what they're saying and she doesn't want to get involved--but of course, she can't help it. Good things her friends are willing to help her. I liked her first novel better, but still enjoyed this one.

Andrea Seigel's novel To Feel Stuff features three perspectives: a college student, Elodie, who lives in the university infirmary because she is constantly sick with one disease after another (real diseases, not hypochondria), a golden boy who suddenly is thrust into Elodie's world when a crazed person smashes both his knees, and Elodie's doctor. Terrific, realistic, smart, scarred characters, and an interesting interaction and mystery.

Karleen Koen's Dark Angels is an historical novel set in the court of Charles II of England. Alice is one of the queen's maids of honor, though has being maid to the king's sister in France. Caught up in politics and romance, she's fighting for power and for those she's loyal to. A fun and fascinating read.

Andrea Seigel's YA novel like the red panda is her first novel. Stella is about to graduate from high school, smart, and very isolated and depressed. It's a story about her disengaging from her life--a tough, but interesting tale.

Rachel Cohn's YA novels Gingerbread and Shrimp are terrific reads. Cyd Charisse is a wonderful character to hang a novel on. She's a little wild in the way that teenagers often are--seeing the world only from her own perspective, though occasionally showing a slightly larger view. She has a strong voice, a strong personality, and is delightful to read about. I liked the first book slightly more than the second, but they're both so much fun--and so real.

I decided to read romance writer Lucilla Andrews' memoirs about being a nurse in WWII, No Time for Romance, after hearing that another novelist had used them as research about the period. I can see why. It's lively and smart and full of great details about her daily life. A fascinating, inside look at the time.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Revise, trim, revise, trim. Reaching my goals, though I worry that I inadvertently cut something from Part One as suddenly I am past my goal when I thought I was only close. Going to have to read it live and on paper to be sure. Part II is getting close and I'm snipping away at Part III.

New poem, this time a glosa for Robin.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Not yet.

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

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