Les Semaines

March 11, 2007

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

 §

Whoop!

Sorry this is late. It has been an incredibly busy time. I collapsed on Monday--simply had no energy to get to work. I slept nearly all day, which made me feel much better. Jim's nephew (and Devin's cousin) Mark came into town for work on Wednesday night, so we went out to our favourite Mexican restaurant, Oaxaca. Thursday we had fresh salmon here, Friday take out, and Saturday I baked chicken (comfort food). Very social and busy, though most of it was hanging around talking.

Work was nuts. Here is what my Friday morning was like, based on an email sent to a group of friends:

So far at work today I have survived:

  • going into work an extra hour early to prepare for a meeting (6:30 rather than 7:30)
  • discovering that while the IT guys HAD brought up my "new"
  • computer I now had no power supply for my monitor
  • stealing a power cord from someone I know wouldn't be in today
  • compiling info from a stack of forms for the meeting
  • discovering that I couldn't connect to any printers
  • collating 6 packets of 26 pages because the documents didn't collate right when emailed to a coworker for printing
  • thus being late for the meeting (but it went well, and the people at the meeting were understanding)
  • deciding on 27 student's lives by telling them whether or not they got into our PhD program
Whew!

So, you might be wondering why the whoop! The cats certainly did when they heard it. In fact, all three of them were startled enough to fluff out their tails.

You see, this year when I got my annual letter from the Canada Council, it didn't say "unfortunately". It said "we are pleased to inform you." Yes, I got a grant. Their maximum. I'm sure it's the most money I'll ever make from my writing. Wow.

Now I need to figure out just exactly what I can do with it, and start planning the new collection if poetry it commits me to write. Oh, and I'd better finish the ones I'm working on now to clear the decks.

And I thought I was busy before.... I'm really excited and just a liitle intimidated.

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

Listening

Jim and Mark have been trading music frantically, and Devin brought back some music from her trip to Copenhagen for us to hear. The most interesting of all of this is probably Efterklang, an electronic/jazzy/spacy rock group.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Patricia A. McKillip's short story collection, Harrowing the Dragon, is full of charms and delights. She does mysterious magic like no one else, with her careful, evocative emotional and worldly descriptions.

Margaret Mahy's young adult novel, Catalogue of the Universe pits science-minded, not particularly attractive Tycho with his odd family against his beautiful, red-haired friend Angela, who lives in a jumble of room atop a mountain with her mother. She's curious about her father. Tycho is curious about her. Clever dialogue and utterly believable characters.

James A. Hetley's Dragon's Eye and Dragon's Teeth are two parts of the same story featuring two magical, related families who have lived secret lives in a quiet town on the shores of Maine since before the English came to North America. Now they are threatened by the latest scion of a family just as ancient from Peru. This is a story of multiple characters and experiences of the story. Dragon's Eye is the more straight-forwardly action adventure of the two, while Dragon's Teeth, while still dealing with the Peruvian threat, concentrates more on the emotional entanglements of the multiple characters. This made the action seem just a little more incidental to the tale. I found these fun to read, but overall I found the mix of extreme action adventure (lots of guns and explosions) with such extremes of deep myth (shape-changing, long lives, hundreds of years of unbroken native and Celtic and Aztec myth) and, oh, nearly everyone is extreme in some way--beautiful, smart, large, small--just too rich, way beyond the limits of the amount of disbelief I can suspend, so they were unsatisfying for my tastes. I'm sure others will love these.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

The usual timed sessions with Karen this week, but none of them in person, as she got sick. I was sorry not to see her, but it meant more time with Mark.

Then I got my good news.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Sorry, have to skip this week. Next week, I promise.

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

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