Les Semaines

November 2, 2008

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

 §

October is Over

So, I didn't go to the World Fantasy Convention after all. Yeah. I go nearly every year. I have friends in Calgary. And I still didn't go—things have just been so busy I know I would have collapsed had I gone.

Instead I went to hear Charles de Lint read and perform at Hugo House. It was delightful to see (and hear and briefly talk to) him again. He's someone I admire greatly, for this artistry and spirit.

Also got to see Caren and Maggie and Christopher, from last summer's Clarion West class. I would have seen more of them had I not spent last weekend feeling ill.

I fussed over a big public lecture at work on Tuesday night. We had invited someone from the University of Geneva to speak on urban design and public health, with a reception afterwards. Didn't get home until 10:30 that night but it was worth it--I think it went well. Now I only have one more big event to get through for work this quarter.

Had an annoying doctor's visit on Wednesday morning, with various tests and promise of tests. I'm at that age. Sigh. My arm still aches from the tetanus booster and I should probably go to a sleep clinic. Do Not Want.

So Thursday when I should have been on a plane for Calgary instead I was (finally!) assembling the poetry manuscript about travelling Scotland. This isn't the Canada Council one, but the one previous to that. The Walk She Takes: An Idosyncratic Tour of Scotland. I wrote the first poem for it in 1992, when I took my first trip there, and I wrote my last poems for it (I trust) on Thursday. Yes, that's how I work. I have trouble finishing things and when I do, I do. It's done. (I'm reserving the right to tinker with it later, of course, though.)

So now I am organizing its future travels across editors' desks, etc.

Long past time to get this one out there, but as usual I kept thinking I had a ton of work to do on it and I didn't want to miss anything.

But it fell together pretty naturally (many thanks to Jim).

It's out the door once and twice soon.

In other news, see this great Clarion West news.

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

Listening

Brooke Waggoner is pretty interesting piano-based artist. And she offers a downloadable ep to anyone who signs up for her mailing list. Thanks to ecto for this tip.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Andrew Davison's fantasy novel The Gargoyle definitely has mainstream cred points (the main character was brought up by meth addicts, is a former porn actor and producer and naturally a cynic) and has a strong voice. He's vivid. The research into burn medicine feels meticulous. I was interested in the intricacies of the tale. The only thing that didn't work for me was the central love affairs--I was told that they grew to love each other, but I didn't see or feel it. Despite believing in its consequences. An almost wonderful book.

Neil Gaiman's children's novel, The Graveyard Book is an homage to Kipling's The Jungle Book, about a young boy whose family is murdered and he escapes to be raised by a mysterious figure and the ghosts in a graveyard. Lots of fun.

Justine Larbalestier's young adult fantasy How To Ditch Your Fairy explains how trying to ditch her parking fairy--you see, she hates cars--Charlie manages to get herself into all kinds of trouble. Like all of Justine Larbalestier's books, this is smart and entirely delightful.

A friend loaned me Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs and Birds of a Feather, the first two in her series of mystery novels about a female investigator and psychologist in late 20s/early 30s England who has been deeply affected by her experiences in the Great War. I cannot say enough positive things about these (yes, me raving about how good a mystery series is!) The main character, Maisie Dobbs, is wonderful, and these novels aren't about shocking you (for a change) or putting the puzzle pieces together, though of course there is that. They are about this fascinating character, her intriguing family and friends, and fascinating psychological cases she works on. The world is well-rendered too. Books to get absorbed by. I'll be tracking down the rest of this series.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

New poems and revised poems and much manuscript shaping, as described above. And some frustrating attempts at fiction.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Still not retrospective. I will be, soon.

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

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