shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


secret weekend day

That's what it feels like when there's a three day weekend. The Saturday becomes an invisible, secret day that you don't have to pay for. You still get a whole two day weekend after it's over.

So, today we had a nice secret day. Following a very nice sushi dinner featuring pleasant company and pleasant conversation.

George had a vet appointment this morning and behaved with his usual sweetness, despite not liking the whole business. As always, it cost way more than expected. Nothing major (thanks be), but he has to go in for a dental procedure that will cost another chunk of change in a couple of weeks, assuming (as I am) that his blood work-up comes back just fine. Tomorrow he goes to get sparkly clean, which is a desperately needed thing because he has fleas from his weeks on the farm where the fleas live and a smell that does not match his pleasant disposition. The bath will be much appreciated by those who share George's humble home.

And then we did mountains of laundry and grocery shopped and came home and cleaned house and I took a nap while Christopher diligently caught up on his email. We had the Thai Jungle Yummilicious Curry Noodle Dish with Heat and Sweetness for dinner. Yummalumma-yum.

I finished "Fitcher's Brides by Greg Frost, which is a wonderful, engrossing read. So, read it already. It's spooky and brave and remarkable in many lovely ways. The prose is nicely turned and tuned and it's a very tightly structured and plotted book. The care of the writer really shines through in the final product. Plus, Bluebeard retellings that get it rock. (I will say that certain elements in the book will be richer if you read Terri's introduction, but you weren't going to skip that anyway: right?)

I think I'm going to try and read all the novel candidates for the World Fantasy Award this year. "Facts of Life" by Graham Joyce is next up.

In unrelated news, but wonderful nontheless, Small Beer Press has announced their fall chapbooks, one of which is by the inimitable and brilliant and damn fine culin-artist Christopher Rowe. It will be full of wonderful stories, of course, and will debut at World Fantasy (along with the new issue of Say... -- TOC to be announced right soon).

And that is that. Tomorrow is not a secret day, but I feel it'll be a good one. And I might actually begin to catch up on that email I owe you, and you and you. Night.


fit to be news

It seems all the news has gone bad again. I know, I know, you're thinking there was a war and the news was pretty freaking bad then but there were lots of little science-y brightspots and giant sea creatures uncovered and great feature stories. But, a quick peruse of google news convinces me that we've now reentered the great negative vortex, where the news turns swirlingly, progressively worse. The kind of stories that go on forever and don't get any better. Yes, I'm talking about politics.

Meanwhile, the other big story is about the guy who'd been blind since he was three and had his sight restored. This one is truly fascinating (and everywhere, so I won't bother with a link) -- more because of how ambivalent he seems about it than anything else. Of course, we all suspected that Val Kilmer movie where he squints and flails his hands around like a slapstick blind clown was bad science. But there wasn't really any way to know for sure, because there'd never been a lifelong blind person who suddently became sighted and was available for study. The brain has to figure out what it's seeing. This goes much quicker and easier when you're extremely young than it does when you're, um, not. This guy, he had trouble skiiing a month after the surgery because of his eyesight. It got in the way. And the way he talks about sight is dismissive a little and absolutely fascinating. It's so much more honest that the "miracle" talk that surrounds most of these kind of stories. Of course, he lives in Davis, as many enlightened folks do. Especially interesting though for writers and readers, terrified of blindness as we all (rightly?) are.

Anyway, I'm just killing time now. I have a bit of extra morning this morning, before I do other things and so I will use it to pay bills and start the new script. Read through my workshop's comments on the synopsis again last night and they are just a brilliant, brilliant crew and their thoughts do that warp speed thing -- you know the one. Where you might have gotten to the same place eventually, but hearing/seeing just the right thing about the story warp speeds you to the same place.

Go enjoy the colors. I still think it's a gift to be able to see them.


drank animals in the zoo, watched Tick episodes at the park

A nice day. The lovely people at One Story finally sent me the issue of Alan DeNiro's "Child Assassin." Which was the whole reason I subscribed in the first place, so that's nice, even if I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I've quite liked the two other stories I've gotten so far -- the last one was a very good, dark ghost story. I recommend it. It's a pleasurable thing getting a tiny zine with a very good story in it every three weeks or so. And, obviously, they have exceptional taste in writers.

Am also busy reworking my outline of the new script and getting started with the writing of it. More back-breaking than it sounds, actually. Since I'm still only _almost_ done with the YA book. And apparently, am more inclined to talk in fragments than usual. The YA book is going well, finally realized that the reason I wasn't writing the next bit was because I'd been wrong about what it should be. This realization and the resulting change should make the rest of the finishing far easier. Thus, script must begin. I like just starting something as I'm just finishing something else. It makes the reworking of the just-finished thing easier somehow, which isn't at all to say easy.

There is lots of good music, and now I will go put some on and grind my nose on the stone.



It really stinks when you let your netflix queue go for awhile and then you find out it's grown a beard and turned into someone you hardly recognize anymore and then, and then -- it sends you freaking Harry Potter The Movie Part Dieux even though you just watched it last Saturday when it was so rainy all day. Grrrrr. (Actually, the movie was better than I thought -- I'm beginning to think there is a certain C or B-minus level movie that benefits immensely from home viewing with a nice blanket and your couch and a pause button.)

(Far From Heaven is _not_ one of those movies, sadly.)

Anyway, I guess this means we'll have to wait to finally see Chicago. Sigh.

Have I mentioned I really like "The Believer"? I know I have, but I'm doing so again. Yes, it costs 8 bucks an issue on the newstand and is more expensive than Locus (I think) to subscribe to. But it's a really good magazine and I want it to live and I can't remember the last time I actually read all the articles in a magazine and was glad I had so you should buy it. I hope that it doesn't turn out that issue three was just the best issue of the magazine ever.

Also, if you haven't already, read Scott Westerfeld's riproaring "Risen Empire." I usually don't even like the science fiction, but this is a fine, fun read that sucks you right in like a vacuum cleaner.

George has settled in for his long daily nap, after having his long nightly sleep.

Have a good day, all.


avoid things that are good for you...

And by that, I mean things like "Far From Heaven," which want to be some sort of unneeded medicine or panacea. It's not that I hated it, it's just that the more I think about it the more I wish I could have that time back please. Julianne Moore as a teacup, cooing charming and lovely and not being all that sympathetic, frankly, just didn't do it. But I still love Julianne Moore.

George isn't so sure about melodrama himself. He suspects it's lying about something and that even if it's not the overt manipulation just doesn't work when applied with a hand in a suspicious spotless red glove labeled "overt manipulation." I guess I don't like stories where cowardice is an excuse most of the way through.

Anyway. Blech. Now I've seen it. Thank you, New York Critics' Circle.

I really have to finish the book and start something new. Or finish old things that need finishing. Imperative is that the book be finished.

Sometimes, when the printer prints really fast, I'm afraid it's going insane.


Enchanted by a magazine? Why yes, it happens quite often.

Issue No. 3 of The Believer has a piece on Steve Erickson, the great, but not crowned king yet writer. So, go read it already.

(Disclaimer: it's not actually up online, although some content from previous issues is available.)

I really, really like this magazine more and more all the time. The way I loved "The Baffler" in high school. Happy sigh.

humidity's bitch

Good mid-morning/almost-afternoon. Where does Saturday morning go? Every week, we plan and nod our heads and agree that we will go to the farmer's market early early early and then come home and be happy. And yet, we always end up going down there late and frowning through the crowds and desperately needing breakfast. But still, worth it for fresh tomatoes!

So, we'll do that presently.

Been reading stories in the new Year's Best. As always, an extremely strong volume. I have yet to start a story and not finish it, or not love it. I just started Robin McKinley's, which I expected to be lukewarm on, but am liking immensely so far.

Went to the comic book store and picked up our comics on Thursday. Lucifer was brilliant. I'm really liking The Creeper as well.

We have a dripping, in the little closet thing that contains the machines that make the cold air for the apartments above ours. The obnoxious thing is that our landlord is too busy thus far to be bothered with coming to Check It Out and Fix The Damn Thing. So we are made to swap out containers for catching the drip. And can I just say that the hippies upstairs are insane. It is in the 90s here. Their air conditioner went dead three days ago. Did they report this to anyone? No. Do they seem concerned about it? No. Are they concerned that the landlord might need to come in their apartment when they aren't home to fix it? Yes. Must be really good pot, or really low on brain cells. One of the two.

(And, if by some odd twist of fate--doubtful though I feel it is--someone from that contingent is reading this thing, I don't mean you. I mean the other hippies upstairs. What other hippies upstairs? That's a secret.)

Anyway. Today will be farmer's market and writing and going up to the Woodland Arts Fair and possibly doing some laundry and shopping for birthday presents. Tomorrow, we go pick up the George! Yay!

Have good days, one and all.


paste is passe

So, feeling those achey-bones and snifflies that belie a cold. Mr. Rowe also sniffling and belying, so start chicken souping now recent houseguests.

Recent houseguests of fun! (Jackie, we have your watch and umbrella! Send me an address!) (No one else forgot anything, that we've found yet anyway!)

You can be invisible by crossing your arms over your chest, but only if you're a vampire. You can also be a sad invisible vampire.

Some people meet significant others in elevators. Some people just like to ride up and down in them. There should never be jello shots at conventions.

And well, this could go on forever.

We met some nice people in Louisville (including Rob the Sequel, who we all wish we'd gotten to talk to more) and I did my first ever reading because they made me. We had a great deal of fun.

Christopher and Christopher's reading at Jo-Beth was fantabulous and many people were in the house, and everyone seemed to enjoy it -- even the relatives who probably were doing their relatively duty.

Did I mention the cold? That's as detailed as I can get. Off to watch Six Feet Under episodes and type words spelled wrong on the neverending YA of DOOM.


Gavin says

We went to Paris. Paris is pronounced Paris.


why dustbunnies and tumbleweeds shouldn't mate

As you can see from the title of this post, I love science and scientific inquiry. However, you'll find none of that here today.

I just figured I'd better update since I haven't in days and days and since updates look to be thin on the ground in the days to come and because anything, anything, anything even this is a nicer way to fill the next five minutes than beginning to finish the cleaning of this house, affectionately known as The Place Where George Hair Swirls in Corners.

Sadly, George is not here to look at accusingly while sweeping up said hair, though it's not easy to do so even when he is here -- he tends to run from the vacuum cleaner.

Amazing household trick of the day: when you go a long time after painting windows without scraping the paint off the grass where it bled over, you can use windex to get almost all of it off. Truly, this is a wonderful discovery.

Very soon, the Kelvin-Grink's will arrive and then the wonderful Mr. Zakbar and the vivacious and hilarious Jackie after that. And then there will be a reading with a strangely inclusive audience and much fun. And then --

And then --

There will be invisibility and actual contact with the world of the faux. Oh, yes, we're going up to Conglomeration in Louisville. Browsing the guest list, I happened upon the designation "Louisville Alliance." Which sounds quasi-official, I'm sure you'll agree, so I thought I'd investigate further. This turns out to be an abbreviation for the Louisville Alliance of Star Wars Fans.

Ah, yes, it should be the quite the weekend. We are armed with liquor and our trusty arm-crossing instant invisibility technique.

I will report back.