§

Les Semaines

99.08.29

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout

 §

A Reminiscence to End the Summer By

Ah, gods it feels like winter today. Until yesterday the weather has been perfect--sunny days but breezy so they were never too hot. Yesterday when we were doing a bit of work in the garden (deadheading the hydrangea, weeding the strawberry patch) rain started to sprinkle. Today has been grey and rainy all day, the temperature, which has been in the 70s for such a nice long lovely time is in the 50s. My toes are cold, but I refuse to put away my thongs (which I've been wearing most of the summer because my foot still tends to swell up occasionally from whatever it was I did to it in Turkey) and put on socks.

I remember this cold-toed feeling from when I was a child and came upstairs from my basement bedroom to the family room on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons and I would resist putting socks on because getting dressed felt so non-Saturday (come to think of it, I still have Sundays when I delay getting dressed as long as humanly possible--last week I hate to race to throw something on when our friend stopped by), and I'd sit there watching trying not to give in but my toes kept complaining. And my nose. This is how it feels right now. I refuse to admit I'm cold.

I'm not cold, dammit.

I'd turn on the furnace, but I think Jim would kill me.

My mother was always reluctant to turn up the heat, too. We lived in a big house with lots of windows--most of them facing the view which was mostly trees (dogwoods, cedars, alders) but a distant view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and San Juan Island and Mount Baker on clear days. My parents designed that house themselves, and my mother did all the painting and all of us did miscellaneous work on it. I remember scratching and scratching from "helping" put up the pink cottonbatten insulation in the walls. I was 10 when my parents were building the house. We owned part of the forest below the house, all the way down to the road at the bottom of the ravine. Not much, really, but enough for me to feel like I was a part of the woods. Two houses we'd lived in before had woods for me to play in, too. I think that has a lot to do with how my first collection of poems was very much about the forest and living near it. And the beach--we were only about a ten-minute walk downhill to the beach. (More like twenty coming back--it was pretty steep).

When they designed the house, my sister and I were given the choice of small rooms upstairs or larger ones down, and we both chose to be downstairs, which was actually first floor on that side of the house. Big windows looking out onto the forest.

Nowadays I don't get to the forest nearly often enough--I hate having to drive to them, though there are two parks that aren't that far away. Carkeek Park and Discovery Park. I should just go and hang out there. Both of them are on the water, too. I could use a touch of beach.

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

Listening

Sarah Slean's new disc, blue parade arrived on Friday. Other than a couple of quibbles about the strings being just a little too sweet for my tastes, I think this is a lovely album. The songs are (generally) a little more soulful/slow/pretty than I usually like, but she pulls them off for me by her clarity, her lyrics, and by knowing how not to overdo it. In other words, she pulls me in.

I've been listening to some discs I haven't played for a while trying to decide whether to keep them or not as we're running out of space again in the cd rack (well, we always are, despite using vinyl sleeves instead of keeping all the jewel boxes). Anyway, we have a lot of music that I can admire intellectually but that doesn't really call me to play them. There are also a lot where I love one or two songs but can't be bothered with the rest so I never play them. I'd like to get a CD-R so I can put those songs together on a disc where I will actually listen to them.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Gave up on the second volume of David Farland's fantasy series--just not gripping, though I remember liking the first volume well enough. I think I'm just burned out on these medieval fantasy series. I'm not a fan of political strategies and battles.

Turned instead to Orson Scott Card's new one, Enchantment. Actually, he's a writer I haven't read in a long time since getting bored with the Alvin series. However, I enjoyed this take on the Sleeping Beauty story immensely. It's a fun time travel novel, too, with interesting takes on relationships and Baba Yaga. Entertaining, even when I was picky.

Also read James Long's Ferney, which I found interesting because he does some things related to themes that I'm working on my novel. It's a fantasy about two lovers who keep being reborn and having to find each other again. This time around the woman is married to someone else and is haunted by all kinds of phobias that she can't explain until she meets the old man Ferney, her lover in previous lives. It's interesting how it all works out, but I found myself more interested in it than engaged. I never did get caught up in the story. Perhaps I was reading it too analytically, trying to figure out how like/unlike it was to what I'm doing.

Another book, Mercedes Lackey's The Black Swan. I'm not a big Lackey fan, but I was intrigued enough that the novel was based on the Swan Lake ballet that I wanted to read it. It was fairly entertaining. Not by any stretch a wonderful book, but enjoyable enough.

Today I inhaled Kage Baker's Sky Coyote, which was quite amusing. The sardonic, trickstery voice of the main character was fun. Not deep, but fun. A little too silly in its portrayal of the native group that the main character is sent to convince to move into the future (doesn't that sound convoluted?). Anyway, another book I enjoyed reading well enough but it all feels like candy. I want a novel that does to my head what poetry does. Cracks it open and shows me some of the possibilities of the world. That's rare of course, even in poetry.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Crrrrrreeeeeeaaaaaakkkkkkk! That's the sound of me starting to work on my novel, to write fiction again. Not attempting to revise, not backtracking and staring at a story on the screen or on paper as though looking at it were going to magically turn it into the beautiful story in my mind, but actually moving forward on a piece. I don't want to talk about it too much because I don't want to jinx myself or spoil the mood or do anything to disturb. Please don't laugh too loudly at the sound of the rusty gears starting to turn again, okay?

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

March 1976

301. Deep Thoughts

Well, i'm sitting here all alone (at The Seed) and thinking Deep Thoughts. Like: Gee, i'm bored; and: i wish someone would come so we could open1; and: i wish i knew what i was in such a hurry for. I am thinking many Deep and Inspiring Thoughts. I'm poeming a little (very little) like:
     No one's here
     They've all gone home
     and left me here
     alone          (isn't that poetic?)

302. I wonder

I wonder what the point is. I mean, who gets it, and what exactly is it. In fact i wonder who i am when i'm not messed up and confused. I'm beginning to think i keep myself messed up and confused so i'll know who i am when i wake up in the morning.

303. Speaking of morning

Speaking of morning, i'm am not a morning person. Definitely not.2If i didn't force myself to wake up (or someone else did) i'd probably never get up. I'm a night person and would just love to stay up 'til morning. Actually, this is not too important (as if you hadn't already guessed). I'm just babbling hoping someone will come so something can happen. Paul won't be here for another hour, and i hope someone (Karen?) will come so i don't have to wait that long.

304. Phone just rang

The phone just ran and i jumped. Far out. That's my most exciting piece of news all night. If this is going to be the way it's going, i might as well sleep.

305. By Gipper

Nancy was a little lamb who had no place to go...
And every tear that Nancy wept...her hear an inch would grow.
Someday soon her heart will be a mountain would and strong...
And everywhere that nancy goes the world will hear her song.
"God bless Nancy...and her heart...and all the mountains she'll have to cross. God...?

He looked up but was not startled by the Figure that stood silently in front of him.
"You've come!" He said softly.
"Yes," the Figure answered.
"It is well. I'm weary and look to rest."
The Figure held out His Hand and the tired man too it.
It was morning when they found him and there was a smile on his face.
For the first time in a long time he did not look tired.
No one called his name.
He had departed...
He had gone home.
Freedom had been but a breath away.
(God bless and rescue the tired?)

306. What to say?

What can i say after Gipper's said something? Gipper... well, Gipper is Gipper. I think i'm really lost this time.

307. Strange night

...that is what is going to be. I can't figure out what's happening (as usual). Can't get it straight (as usual). I wonder...i wish i knew. Confusion is becoming a way of life for me; i'm more often confused that not. I wish i could see something clearly for once in my life.

308. HI!

It was Paul that said hi, but he wouldn't say anymore. It was four days ago. (Four years ago?) Changes are coming so fast, it think i'm gonna cry; if they don't slow down soon, i just might fall and die. I leave too much and too little unsaid.

309. About ready

Feel about ready for my species to die out--it's about time to bring in a new one--i wish i was lost, but i'm found. (Looking for the exit, but they've all been sealed.) I wanna be free. (I think.) (No, I don't.) Am i going under? So much is happening and i feel so confused and full of anger. Why?

310. Why anger?

Well, why anger? Why do i feel so frustrated i want to break out into anger? Oh pain. Anger is pain, and pain is anger. Why does everything learn to bug me at once, and i feel like i'm being attacked from all sides. Where is a side i can lean against, that won't give me hassles?


NOTES

1. Wisely, we weren't allowed to open The Seed unless there were two or more of us there.

2. Nice to know some things never change.

last week's Phonosnout § next week's Phonosnout

Last Week § Les Semaines index § Next Week

Email comments, questions, and complaints to neile@sff.net § Neile's main page

3123 people have wandered through this week with me