Les Semaines

September 30, 2007

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

 §

Cusp of October

Today we woke to rain. Pouring. It rained nearly all day. So much rain that I couldn't see through the screen in my study window--i was simply too full of water droplets. The kittens are perplexed at all this water hitting the windows. That never used to happen before! At least, they don't remember it, it has been too long. Oh, it's really autumn now. Day by day trees collection yellow and orange and red. It's even sometimes cold. How strange. How very odd.

Classes started again at the university on Wednesday so I had a very busy week. talked to a lot of students. Tried to sort out all kinds of things. Went crazy trying to keep up with work email answer questions, organize events.

More orientations. This time for the doctoral program I run. They went just fine, and when they were happening I didn't angst over them at all. That went all before. I really like the range of students we have in the program--they're fascinating people doing interesting things, which makes it all worthwhile.

Egad, I think that must mean I like my job. Don't tell anyone. I also found myself saying to Jim that I couldn't imagine working at home fulltime--that I'd need to get out.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I don't let the rain distract me into having a doing nothing day. I meant to do a zillion things today. So many I'm scared to list them, so I won't, and I didn't do any of them. I played with Atia. Cuddled Titus. Let Sophia lean against me while she slept. I read. I looked out the window and watched the rain. I read some email and didn't respond. I tried very, very hard not to nap. I mean, we'd already slept in until 10:00. How could I possibly want a nap? Because I was warm and cozy resting under the down and be-catted quilt? Yes, I blame them. Sleepy brats those cats are, they pass it on.

Yesterday though, yesterday we made three batches of spiced apricot-raspberry jam. Yum. Except one batch, annoyingly, didn't quite set properly, and I can't tell all the jars apart. Some people will be getting jam for the holidays. Others may be getting sauce. Still, tasty.

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

Listening

New Tunng! More weird wonderful off from left field msuic with a folky base. Also, Jesca Hoop finally has a real CD released--it's as wonderful, challenging and perplexing as the demos. She's still pretty strange and I can't quite figure why Sony/Columbia signed her. Hope she sells for them, hough--it's a delightful, odd disc.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Laini Taylor's children's novel Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer is an odd one. It is the story of a feisty faerie, Magpie and her horde of crows, who trap demons that the "mannies" foolishly release. When she runs across a demon darker than the others she has encountered she discovers more about herself than she could ever have guessed and her adventures get darker and more complex. This is probably the most realistic feeling novel I've ever read about faeries, djinn, elementals, black spirits, etc. It's hard to describe. It should have been silly, but it wasn't at all--it was actually quite touching. The characters were interesting and the situations felt realistic for the setting, and the magic felt magic. I think I liked this one.

Karleen Koen's historical novel, Now Face to Face is part of the series that includes Through a Glass Darkly and Dark Angels. Set in the early days of the Hanover kings and the rebel Jacobites who want to bring the Stuart line back to the throne, and right after the South Sea shares subble burst causing a huge scandal amongst British society. Here, daughter of the family, Barbara goes to Virginia to escape grief and scandal. A good read.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Why I'm so blocked about creating a five-page synopsis I don't want to know. I have a 2 page and a 10 page synopsis. Why is getting the 5-pager done so difficulty? Because then I will be out of excuses and will have to start sending queries out. Dammit.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

June 11, 1994
Edinburgh

Jim's Journal

Used by permission; Neile doesn't seem to have kept a journal this week.

Woke up at 8:30. Breakfast of fried ham, eggs, cereal, toast, tea, and O.J. Had shower. Neile fell asleep after breakfast. I read for a few, then we headed out to museums and meeting with Ecto clan after 11.

Walked to Scottish Museum, while Neile stopped in tourist center. Saw Raphael exhibit, which is mostly five or seven Madonna and child paintings and the preparatory sketches for them. The museum was wonderful with marbled column and staircases. Even the "gentlemen's" room had marbled floor and wallwork between urinals. Saw lots of so-so Renaissance and 18th-century European artwork. Plus a glorious Frederick Church painting of Niagara Falls as seen from the Canadian side in a cascading torrent of water. Upstairs I saw some 14th-century church altar triptychs and paintings. On other side of building on 2nd floor, their impressionist collection. Two good van Goghs--one the Olive Grove, a fantastically colored and layered painting with thick chunks of color/paint; the other an early picture of tight brushstrokes and skeletal trees.

Met Neile and we went to Waterston's bookstore. Found a new poet I really like, Michael Donoghy, who writes of/in the voice of historical figures. Very applicable to the kinds of poems that interest me now. Also found a new book-length sequence by Eavan Boland. Neile found a few fantasy books.

By 4 made our way to Mama's Pizza place on Grassmarket. Others were late. Met Jens, Ilka, Pete, Dave, Scott, Steve, and (after an hour) Dave's girlfriend. Had appetizers 'cause Ilka didn't want to eat yet. Talked of musical artists we liked and exchanged tapes and CDs. Left for bar at 7:30, the Black Bull, which played strange assortment of music, including Kristin Hersh.

Oh, yeah, before we hit galleries we went shopping at HMV and Vinyl Vipers.

Black Bull got too smoky and loud around 10 p.m. Went to bar in Steve's hotel. Quiet but smoky. Chatted, then walked back to B&B with Pete and Ilka who were staying almost across the street from us.

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