Links and Thinks

Here I am, my first day of self-imposed school exile. I’m hoping for wellness and zip as I near the end of it. Today has been as low key as I could make it. There’s not much to do on Elba, except walk from one side of the island or the other.

In the interest of putting as little thinking into this entry as possible , I bring you…LINKS!

This is a discussion from The Merry Sisters of Fate on writing angst, otherwise known to them as slime. (BTW, the Fates are individually Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff, and Maggie Stiefvater.)

Tiffany Trent discusses writing support.

Writer Jon Gibbs has been actively working to help writers find a writing group through his laudable effort FAWG, which also has the side effect of having a kewl acronym.

I’d be interested in hearing about how you get the support you need for your writing, how you handle those times when you’re slimed, and how you feed your creative self.

Catherine

Filling My Week

Here we are at work for the last day for a week. I must admit I’m not having too much success, you know, working.

The cycle of respiratory illness in Iowa, evidence gathered empirically from many students and associates who have their own flavor of this bug, is as follows:

1. Be super sick for three days.
2. Begin to come out of it the next day.
3. Feel like you’re making progress the following day.
4. Crash.
5. Return to 1.

My immune system has decided I only get one day this time. I want a refund. Seriously, as much as I regret having to stay home for a week, I believe I’ve made the right decision.

Next week is planned as a sick week, and rest is number one. Rest and relaxation and treatment. But there will have to be more, as I progress toward wellness. So, as I feel able, of course there will be:

1. Writing. I have a fantasy of putting Hartford, Alone (formerly Mark Twain’s Daughter) back together. I have a fantasy of riding the inspiration of the new The Winter the Troll Danced with Old Nick.

2. Reading. I have no particular goals, but a large row of books (I measure my booty horizontally–um I mean like pirate booty) waiting to happen. I’m currently reading Ilona Andrews On the Edge, and I might get to Boneshaker and Lynch’s sequel Red Sea Under Red Skies. A friend has also lent me the annotated Wizard of Oz to look through. Oh yes. And Chris Kastensmidt’s serial in Realms of Fantasy for sure.

3. Watching. I could re-watch some favorites. Maybe Lord of the Rings. Deep Space Nine. Battlestar Galactica.

What suggestions do you have for a woman of leisure who has a relaxing week ahead? I’m stocking up this weekend, and if you think there’s something I shouldn’t miss, clue me in.

Catherine

My Favorites: R.E.M

Recently, The Man (TM) recalibrated his iPod light. I threw out three R.E.M albums to go on it from my favorite times: Fables of the Reconstruction (perhaps my favorite of all), Out of Time, and Monster. I’m remembering how much I really enjoy what these guys did, and do.

Let me take you back to a different time. A time called the early 80s, when college students blared the Violent Femmes out of dormitory windows to shock their parents. (Yes, no one really considered in a mere 20 years, the band would be top 40 fodder). During this time, a college band from Athens, Georgia began producing music with a social message and a kind of country twang.

I couldn’t get enough of that sound. I raced out and bought Murmur, Reckoning and Fables of the Reconstruction and wore out the cassette tapes. My favorite songs were Don’t Go Back to Rockville and Can’t Get There from Here, although the plaintive strains of Seven Chinese Brothers was a close third.

There was a time when I didn’t understand what the band was doing, and why it was wandering in the wilderness. From about Life’s Rich Pageant to around Document, they embraced a samey sound that made me wonder where my band had gone.

However, Green renewed my religion, and I’ve been happy with the band’s ability to experiment, but maintain their identity since. Most people are fond of Out of Time and Automatic for the People, both albums which exemplify the versatility of the band, but I have a soft spot for Monster, their “rock” album.

Of course, at the pinnacle of their popularity, I went to one of their concerts. As the marijuana-scented air wafted toward me, I had one of those “you kids get off my lawn” moments. You know, I was here when the band formed. This is my hip college band. Who the hell are you?

I’m okay that the band is on the oldies station. This band feels significant.

Which bands do you like particularly, and why?

Catherine

Sniff, Chop

You know you’ve got a good gig going on when you walk into your boss’s office, and you say that you’re going to take next week off to get enough rest to get over the various -itises (-itii?) you have, and she says that you can, and that the college will pay for your substitutes.

And then you send an SOS out to the department, and you have subs in 20 minutes, and continued emails of offers and support.

I am truly blessed in my colleagues and my work place.

***

As you have gleaned from above, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I have decided to try and beat this thing by staying home. All next week. Sleeping and eating bonbons taking it easy.

***

Last night while my night class was watching the first part of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, I hatcheted huge chunks of Mark Twain’s Daughter. I’m dismembering and re-assembling in hopes of making that 3rd person POV work. I have to watch out for the prose being too purple. I’d rather have a reasonable shade of maroon.

That’s pretty much the news at the moment. I’m going to get some lesson plans together, and then stumble off to the two classes I have to “teach” today.

Catherine

We Will Sell No Wine Before Its Time

I’m trying this crazy new approach to being sick. I’m staying home today. I can’t miss my night class for a variety of accelerated and snow day reasons, but I’ve decided to keep rinsing and repeating during the day. I feel better, except for the ears, which are coming along, and I plan to hit the road around 2 pm in order to get organized.

I’m communing with a lot of elder gods, which could explain the problems from before. No one is going to feel good with Cthullu in their head. After I finish with the internetting, I’ve got more communing ahead.

***

I finished Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver. There are some beautiful bits in it, very descriptive and wonderful. I can see why it’s selling so very well. Teenage girls will swoon. There’s gratifying role reversal in the relationship. All that said, it’s not my book and I know it. I find myself more interested in Beck and his back story, because that’s the way my brain is wired. However, Maggie knows her audience, and I believe she delivers for them quite nicely. I had a good time as well, although I’ll be much more likely to re-read Ballad, which speaks to my writerly soul. Loudly.

***

I want to link to a post I really liked yesterday about living: Chia Evers on Midlife Crisis.

***

My current mindset is back to getting my writer shoulder to the grindstone. I have to admit, so much disease and bad weather makes it hard to be there. I need to focus on the work. I’ve had a lot of shiny bubbles, and they’re either floating out of my reach or they’ve popped, so I’m just back to writing the best work I can, and sending it out when it’s ready.

This brings me to something that’s been coming to mind during many commutes in the snow. It’s about writing, and I think it’s a mistake beginning writers make. I don’t know how we can avoid it, but we do it.

Don’t send out a book to an agent unless it’s had time to age. This idea is almost an entire reversal on my philosophies about writing in 2007.

Continue reading “We Will Sell No Wine Before Its Time”

The Doctor. Take 3.

Clarithromycin. Check.
Saline solution. Check
Neti pot. Check.

(translation: acute sinusitis remains. No one’s getting rid of any tracheitis until the sinusitis is gone. Today I’ve been sent home to do things man was not meant to know to my nose. I expect the elder gods will come through the portal before we’re all done.)

Herman Wouk is right. If you don’t have your health, the rest is mud.

Catherine

Your Sniffly Yet Romantic Weekend Update

Hey cats and kitties!

The date was good. I was a little subdued, but we had a fine time. After a lovely dinner, we tottered off to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which could have been a more faithful adaption of the book, but which was watchable. And yes, there were a few pictures taken. I’ll post when I get a chance.

***

In depressing news, I’m going back to the doctor tomorrow morning. You may remember me threatening to do that Wednesday. Then I felt a lot better, and that trend continued through Friday. Saturday saw me crashed again. I think the three hours napping saved the date (that and my consummate Valentine’s stubbornness!), but this morning I couldn’t talk.

My father-in-law has been fighting something that is similarly resurgent, and maybe that’s just this year’s flavor, but I don’t want the doctors to miss something just because I’m making an assumption. I am resting when I can. Who knew I’d get to have a long term illness this winter? I mean, 4 weeks! I ask you!

For all of you horn players out there, I think a respiratory equivalent of a spit valve would have been a good evolutionary trail. Right now, I’d be grateful. Okay, sure, TMI, but still.

The plan for the evening, provided I don’t fall asleep doing either of these activities, is to check some papers and continue work on Mark Twain’s Daughter. The papers I must have checked by tomorrow should take all of twenty minutes, and then revisions gets first priority. I always have tomorrow night for Tuesday’s papers, and I’ll be home before Bryon, so it’ll be easy to get them done.

If you have any good vibes to send to help with germ subjugation, I’ll take them. I’m excited to get back to trolls and frost elves on the one hand, and binders on the other (let’s write the Seanan McGuire way!) This is difficult to make happen when administrating and teaching are chores.

Take care. Remember to wash your hands, and stay away from…people like me.

Your friendly, neighborhood health pariah,

Catherine