Les Semaines

June 3, 2007

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


Summer's Early

Summer's early or I am late. Somehow the months have slipped by and it's June. June! We have two weeks until the Clarion West workshop starts. Two! I simply cannot believe it. The list of things I have to do is a mile long. Several miles long. Where was I? What have I been doing? Ignoring the passage of time, for one thing.

Deep breath.

In kitten news, we have discovered that the spraying culprit is (alas! alack!) not Titus. No. It's Sophia. While I didn't exactly catch her in the act, I was writing on the loveseat in the living room. Titus was asleep in the little furry cat bed. Sophia and Atia were roaming around. The charge on my battery has hit the red warning, so just as I'm thinking about getting up to plug it in, I hear someone scratching as if to cover some cat effusion behind me. There is Sophia, pretending to kick sand over my computer bag, which is dripping. Atia went in there after for a couple of scrapes, but it has to be Sophia. And within inches of one of the Feliway diffusers (we've invested in four, and they're pricey, on the advice of the vet). So what are we going to do? Besides very carefully wash and use enzyme cleaner on my handmade by Devin computer bag. How are we going to stop this from happening again if Feliway doesn't work?

Poor, always unhappy Sophia is unhappier than ever. We could separate them, but the only way is making some cats upstairs cats and the other downstairs, and downstairs would be beyond boring for a cat. Or keep one or two cats in one of our studies. Boo.

We've been trying to pay Sophia a lot of attention. Maybe it has been too much, since she really doesn't like much. Obviously, though, she wants some. More? I just don't know. We're going to have to work on making her feel better. She's always been so scared of everything and so untrusting of people and the world.

More in the Saga of the Unhappy Cat will be forthcoming, I'm sure. Sigh.

In other news, with Clarion West starts the new Write-a-thon. I participated in it the first two years, but took last year off. This year, I've signed up again. The cool thing is that now each participant gets a web. Here's mine, and here's the main info about the write-a-thon. The cool thing is that now it's easier to sponsor someone (hint, hint) as there are PayPal buttons for each participant.

Since I've got the Canada Council grant starting July 1st, my write-a-thon goal is to keep working on the fiction—adding at least an additional two hours a week to my usual six with Karen—in addition to doing a first draft of at least one poem a week. It will be a challenge while running the workshop, but I'm hopeful.

You can sponsor someone for as much as you want. The write-a-thon runs six weeks. I'd be happy with $1 a week. If I get that from ten people, that's $60. Of course, if you can afford work, Clarion West and I would both welcome it. $6 a week is a total of $36.

The Write-a-thon starts with the workshop on June 17th.

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


Lots of new music this week, mostly the folky psychedelic-y pop of Tunng and Espers, but also lots of Efterklang (a postrock/experimental and just odd Danish group). Actually, all three of them are odd. Oh, and some traditional folk by Meg Baird of Espers to counter all that untraditional stuff.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Kay Kenyon's science fiction novel Bright of the Sky is the first of a series, and is one of the most inventive novels I've read in a long time. It reminds me just a little of Dan Simmon's Hyperion in scope, but I found this a much more satisfying read in the end, as while Hyperion was promising, it ran out of steam. This didn't. This was full of interesting human as well as alien creatures, and an intriguing plot that left me ready to read the next volume now. I found this really hard to put down. It begins with a man, Titus Quinn, who has returned from space alone, without the ship he was piloting and without his wife and daughter. To the outside world it appears he was shipwrecked and crazy. To him, he and his wife and daughter had somehow entered another universe, where he lived about a decade, and lost his wife and daughter there. He is desperate to get back to rescue his daughter, but doesn't know how. Suddenly, there is some proof that such a universe might exist, so the corporation he used to work for woos him back because he's the only one who knows what's out there.

last week's reading § next week's reading


My poems, "The Tattoos I Don't Have" and "Westness Walk" just appeared in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet (but I don't have my copy yet!).

Close close close to being done with the novel trim. I'm on the last chapter. It feels very anti-climactic.

I am working on a new poem because I have a writing workshop tomorrow night and I'd like to finish a draft by then. Right now it feels impossible. I managed to complete a draft of the poem I was working on last month, but I really wonder about this.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Friday, August 7th, 1992

Today we did serious damage in the bookshops. Started at Richard Booth's, stayed there a long time. Christina bought half of a treatise on poetry for me. We kept going back. Then we moved up the hill to Geoffrey Aspin, where I bought a little book on flowers, then to The Bookshop, where I bought a couple of folklore books, then to Hay-on-Wye Booksellers, where I bought a book on witch trials.

Wandered through the castle bookshop, but didn't find anything there or at the Honesty Bookshops.

Late afternoon we headed out—first to Eardisly, a church with a beautifully carved Norman font—the Harrowing of Hell, fighting men and a lion. Some other fun carvings—most of men's and women's heads, but also one upside down and a lion facing a man. A woman was inside readying flowers for a blessing, so the church smelled heavenly.

Eardisly's fontView of the Norman font at Eardisly.


View of the Norman font at Eardisly.


Then we went to Brinsop, a church with windows dedicated to Wordsworth and his family. Very small church with lots in it: remains of 13th-century wall paintings, 14th- to 15th- century chancel screen, 14th-century pieces in the window above the altar—St. George and a female saint, 13th-century decorative coffin, 12th century carvings above the door and of St. George, and a 14th-century Christ in stained glass. Beautiful yard and setting, too.




Drove on to Suwash Sutton where we took a couple of wrong turns on the way to the church then found it locked. Had a timber-framed tower, charming yard, but home we went to count up our treasures and to pack.

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