Les Semaines

January 09, 2011

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

 §

Carefully, Carefully

I've been starting off the year somewhat warily. Protecting my energies as much as I can, while at the same time getting things done. Last year started off not so well and ended up not being the best year ever, and so I'm a little nervous. The number 2010 looks so pretty I was sure it would be good and its looks deceived me. I hope 2011 will do better, despite my slight distrust of uneven numbers.

So I'm watching my step, here.

I'd like to post here a little more often, especially as a number of people have been saying they missed Les Semaines this year. Since I've been running Les Semaines for 11 years now I sometimes think I've run out of things to say, but that never stopped me talking, so we'll see what happens.

One thing I've been really bad about again is email, which is annoying after I was nearly caught up with it all a couple of months ago. Well, at least I've proven to myself that I can get my inbox back to a reasonable size, so I surely can do it again.

Jim got a strong and kind friend to help us take our heavy old non-functioning TV to a local electronics recycling event, and we took advantage of the event to raid the storage areas around the house and pull out the dead: a carousel CD player, the boom box that I used as computer speakers for many years despite its size and that the radio was the only part of it that still worked, my old Handspring Visor, Jim's second iPod (I think he's on this third at least), a SCSI zip drive (!) and various assorted cords, a CD-RW drive, and probably more that I can't recall. It's amazing how things accumulate.

Over his holiday break Jim had also cleared out the garage and made a trip to the dump with old non-recyclable stuff.

These two accomplishments inspired us to go through our furnace room and a storage space under the stairs and pull out ancient family suitcases, the cheapo cross-country skis we haven't used since we left Montana nearly 25 years ago, and the usual variety of clothes and odds and sods, and make a Goodwill donation run.

I ws delighted with all this for a while, and still am that our dining room has grown larger again with the removal of the TV, but it's amazing how much still crowds us. I'm such a paper and book and CD and DVD packrat. Jim's not *quite* as bad as I am, though he does collect these things, too, just not in the numbers that I do. I would estimate that for every one item that's his there's at least one that's ours and maybe two that are mine. Anyway, there's only two of us in this house who are responsible for bringing each and every little thing into this house. It's a bit terrifying after 17 years in a place. I've been working for a while on getting some of it back out.

We don't rival serious hoarders--just most cupboards and shelves are full up, especially bookshelves.

I am a little more organized now than I was on the past and am working on being more so. I'm also working on having more self-discipline, but I've been working on that all my life and the results haven't been impressive so far...

I find talking about current events pretty useless, especially here as by the time I post something issues have been talked out a zillion times all over the netiverse, but I have to say that Keith Olbermann's comments are important and I wish everyone would pay attention to them. Especially the people who wouldn't want to listen to him in the first place. How we work that miracle I don't know, but I sure would like to see that in this new year.

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

Listening

Surprisingly, I'm not really listening to anything in a focused way. On my walk (partially) to and from work I listen to my teeny adorable iPod shuffle. I love how it always plays something I like. That might be because I'm the person who loaded it. Anyway, no current obsessions, though I have been working on some Ectophiles' Guide entries.

I'm also about ready to start working on the tops list for the Ectophiles' Guide. Starting with people who only released one wonderful album then disappeared. We'll see how that goes.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Patricia A. McKillip, The Bards of Bone Plain (fantasy): magical, gorgeously written, and delightful as all McKillip is. Highly recommended

Andrea Seigel, the kid table (young adult): realist YA about a complicated family, with a fascinating protagonist. Recommended.

Freda Warrington, Midsummer Night (fantasy, second in her Aetherial Tales): Enjoyable, realistic-feeling creative mix of aetherial and human worlds and characters with complex interrelationships. Recommended.

Anthony John, Five Flavors of Dumb (young adult): realist YA about a deaf girl who finds herself managing a fledgling rock band on her last year of high school. Receommended

Leonie Swann, Three Bags Full: a sheep detective story (fantasy/mystery): a flock of a special, traditional breed of Irish sheep try to determine who killed their shepherd. Charming, but also a little more than that. And not cutesy. Recommended.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Got several poetry submissions out, which as always seems to mean some poetry revisions. so most of what I think of as my best not-yet-homed poems are out now.

Believe it or don't, I had undertaken yet again revising the first novel. This time for pacing, which means some reconstruction especially of the beginning, which is astonishing (or perhaps not) considering how many times I have revised that section. And awaaaaay we go. Yet again. sometimes I wish I could bring myself to just abandon this one.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Yikes! I'm not even sure where I put the journal I was working on. I thought I'd left it somewhere handy but where that might be isn't apparent right now.

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

Last Week § Les Semaines index § Next Week

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