what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout
Her books also have uncompromising titles: Cruelty, Killing Floor, Sin, Fate, Greed, and now Vice. So driving home from meeting friends for a birthday celebration last night we got silly/thoughtful and started talking about naming a series of books after the Seven Deadly Sins.
I got stuck on the idea of The Book of Sloth. If everyone had to claim one of the sins as their own, sloth would be mine. I'd rather park on my butt with a book in my hand than nearly anything, and I'm definitely a person who needs a lot of sleep to function well--there have been times in my life when my non-working waking hours were few. Mostly these were due to various stresses in life that seemed best to sleep through (the boss from hell), but the year we lived in Ontario when Jim was going to school and I was working at a job I liked quite a bit (doing publicity for music school at the university there) I slept a lot, or if I wasn't sleeping I was reading. I didn't write at all that year--something which now strikes me as odd. Was I depressed? I don't think I thought so at the time, I just felt very unsettled.
Anyway, learning how not to be slothful hasn't been easy for me. It took me years to find an exercise program I could stick with (it had to entail not leaving home or I'd stop going, and I had to do it first thing in the morning before I was awake enough to think up excuses, and I couldn't get up earlier than I normally would to do it or I'd gradually start letting myself sleep through it). I'm glad I've finally got that working--a flexible work schedule as certainly helped.
It may not sound like it from my reading sections, but I don't spend nearly as much time as I used to reading. I do spend too much time online, but I spend more than that working on The Ectophiles' Guide and other computer and email tasks. I'm not a big one for computer games, luckily, though I do like to play solitaire.
Getting a more regular writing schedule to get the fiction done is the current battle I'm holding against sloth. (I'm not unhappy, though, with the writing progress I've made so far this year--finishing the poetry collection was a surprise and a delight and a great feeling of accomplishment. I just haven't finished any fiction, dammit, even if I have some new first and even second drafts. And it wouldn't hurt if I got on a more regular schedule for housecleaning. Between two cats and two long-haired people the dust mice start herding up pretty quickly.
Other than this, a mostly miscellaneous listening week--from Fiona Apple to An April March (Jim has a new single and they're one of his favourites) to Underwater's I Could Lose, which has to be one of my favourite of the plethora of vocal/electronica bands out there now. Speaking of that, my utter favourite, Lamb has a new disc coming out soon. I can hardly wait. I have two import singles on their way to me soon.
Right now I'm listening to one of my favourite albums of all time--one I've been listening to for years: Sandy Denny.
Sean Stewart is rapidly rising in my pantheon of writers.
I also read David Guterson's new novel East of the Mountains, just finishing it this morning. Like his Snow Falling on Cedars it's clearly well-thought-out and well-written, though almost a little too tidy and carefully phrased--as though you can see the author being just a little too conscious of his cleverness. Still, a pleasant read with enough depth to make it worthwhile.
But while I haven't been accomplishing much on paper my mind has been buzzing with all kinds of background and new things--this seems a particularly fertile idea time, and I've learned enough about my own writing process just to let this be and not push till I'm ready. I've also learned enough about myself that I wish I'd taken more notes this week as well. Sigh. I hope I haven't lost too many of these ideas. I know some of the details may be gone--only temporarily I trust.
2. You can see how innocent those days were. Now as I type this I can't stop thinking of a high school lunchroom in Colorado and a boy jumping out of the window of the library. Then such a thing would never have occurred to me.
3. Interesting conjunction, that, with my previous note.
4. Wow! Don't you remember that feeling? It pretty much describes how I felt most of my youth. Something was going to happen. Soon..
5. From all the snow that has been mentioned here you'd think it snowed in Victoria a lot--I must have just written a lot during snowfalls or been so delighted with the novelty of it all that I was more prone to write then, because Victoria is lucky most winters to get a week of snow. How odd.
6. That means hanging out at The Mustard Seed, the teenage drop-in centre, waiting for the kids to come in out of the cold.
7. And my parent's house was on top of a ridge. Snow in Victoria is very wet, which makes the hills slippery, and rather a challenge for a teenager in a small car without much weight--I would have been driving my father's bright green Datsun hatchback (pronounced "Tired of dat rain? Try DatSun!" in Canajan), Melody. That car survived my lessons in learning to drive a stickshift. Come to think of it, my father survived teaching me to learn to drive a stickshift. No commercial lessons for me, no way (no money).
8. I think these are lines from a poem I wrote that was far, far too heavily influenced by listening too long to Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick. I hope so--I don't want to break any copyright laws.
last week's Phonosnout § next week's Phonosnout
Last Week § Les Semaines index § Next Week
Email comments, questions, and complaints to email@example.com § Neile's main page
3635 people have wandered through this week with me