Les Semaines

August 30, 2009

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

 §

Last Moments of Freedom

So Tuesday I go back to work. I really like my job, don't get me wrong. I know how fortunate I am to have it, to like the people I work with and admire the work they do so much. They're all people who are trying to understand, create, preserve, and improve buildings, neighbourhoods, parks, and cities--basically to make the world around us better and sustainable. It can be really exciting and inspiring.

But damn, every year it hurts to have to return to the day-to-day discipline and give up having my life revolve around my writing and my whims. Giving up those magic moments when my time is my own.

All week I felt the time ticking away.

I spent a lot of time writing. Far too much time wasting time. I worked on The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music. I scrubbed the bathtub, the stove grills and top, got almost all the old stains of our kitchen counter, sent out another batch of poetry CDs, worked on so many things in my study that now it's an utter pigsty.

We've been picking blueberries and tomatoes and apples and pears from our yard. Oh, and I finally harvested two bags of lavender, which are drying in the kitchen and living room and at first smelled too strong, but it's calming down now.

We also finally bought a new mattress. Which meant we had to go shopping. Which is why it took us about a year to finally talk about having to do it enough to get ourselves into a store. And now we can hardly wait for it to be delivered. We kept our old set way beyond its useful lifetime--we bought it back in 1988 when we moved to Ontario. It has moved with us five times. I'm hoping the new mattress will help us sleep better. Make us younger. All that.

Everyone should read this great feminist essay: This terrible bargain we have reluctantly struck. Reading it I kept thinking how true it is, and how just slightly reconfigured it could also be talking about race. Or ablism. Or GLBT issues. Or classism. But I read this and kept thinking yes. Oh, yes.

And now, to celebrate my last night, I am about to Stay Up Late And Party (meaning, go eat some chocolate and read a novel). And tomorrow I will Sleep In! in other words, eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow night it's get to bed in time to get up for work time again.

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

Listening

New Imogen Heap which isn't as immediately catchy as her first solo album, but still seems good. I look forward to getting to know it better. We also bought the Lightning Dust CD that Jim has been obsessively listening to samples of. It's mostly pretty good.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Maggie Stiefvater's young adult fantasy, Shiver deserves the good press it's getting. It's the story of a young woman who when she was a child was attacked by strange wolves, but one of them saved her, and she survived to grow up obsessed with him, always aware of him and half in love with him. The she meets a boy who has the same eyes as the wolf... I was impressed with this one.

I was also really impressed with Sarah Rees Brennan's young adult fantasy, The Demon's Lexicon. The story is about two brothers being hunted by wizards because their mother has taken something the wizards want. Nick is gorgeous, and emotionally pretty cold, though he's clearly very attached to his brother. Alan is warm and can't help but help people--when he tries to help a woman and her brother who is doomed to be possessed by the wizards' demons, um all hell breaks loose in the brothers' world. Entertaining, emotional, and some terrific banter. Highly enjoyable.

Though I briefly wasn't sure I was going to be able to go with it, Freda Warrington's new fantasy novel (the start of a series, apparently, though this one does have a satisfying ending) Elfland. Rosie and her family are aetherials, kind of like slightly magically enhanced humans--they would be less so, but their neighbour is the Gatekeeper between the real work and the elf world and he has locked the gates and there's no communication between the worlds anymore. Rosie has fallen in love with his younger son, but his older one torments her. As she grows up, her family becomes more complicated than she ever thought, and the neighbours even more so. A fascinating read.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Got a poetry submission out (which entailed revisions as it frequently does). Continued the novel trim, working pretty much every day for at least two hours. Though the day I did most of the poetry revisions I didn't pick up the novel.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Next week, I hope. Sorry.

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

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