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Dec. 16th, 2005

One of those weeks when...

...we are making story, not writing it. Wonderboy has pneumonia. Again. Beanie and Jane are hacking away as well, but it seems to be just run of the mill nasty-cold for them. But no one is sleeping.

This morning the office computer snarled at Scott and lay down as one dead. He's about to take it to the fix-it guy now, so here's hoping. Meanwhile we'll have to move the upstairs (whole-family) computer down to the office. Annoying. And, of course, this is EXACTLY the time of year when you want to shell out $$ for computer repairs. Sorry, kids, this year Santa wanted mommy & daddy to have a nice new iMac! Somehow I don't think they'd buy it.

And, for salt in my wounds, Typepad is down today so I can't get into my main site to do ANYTHING. Hardly a tragedy, but irritating.

Hey, but that's three things, right? So should be done now?

Back to my sick boy.

Dec. 12th, 2005

New Books I'd Like to Read

After my confession about all the books I've started and haven't finished, I have no business making new booklists for myself. But I'm doing it anyway. It's a compulsion, what can I say?

Teacher Man : A Memoir by Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes and Tis. Teacher Man is McCourt's account of his thirty years as a New York City schoolteacher. Bound to be some good stories there...

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed : And Other Things I've Learned by Alan Alda. "Instead of a sensationalist, name-dropping page-turner, Alda writes about his life as a memory play, an exercise in recollecting his childhood, his parents (dad Robert was a veteran on stage, film, and vaudeville), and his career." (Amazon review.) I really dig Alan Alda, and I'd like to see his take on life.

Eldest by Christopher Paolini. The sequel to Eragon, which I still have yet to read and am in fact quite eager to do so (and not just because the author was home educated).

Sophia House and A Cry of Stone by Michael D. O'Brien. Okay, Cry of Stone isn't exactly new, but it hasn't made its way onto my pile yet, and that's strange, because I am a huge fan of Michael D. O'Brien. Plague Journal and Father Elijah: An Apocalypse would make the list of my 100 Favorite Books of All Time if I ever got around to writing down said list.

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Dec. 11th, 2005

I love this feeling

When you're about to start a new manuscript, and there's nothing on paper yet but a lot in your head, and words and phrases and scenes keep bubbling up in the back of your mind. How perfectly the old "writing is cooking" metaphor applies, even if it is cliche; all the words like "simmering" and "back burner" and that image of slow bubbles rising in a pot—they just fit so exactly. Or, to be more original though rather inelegant, the feeling reminds me of the prairie dog town I used to ride my bike through as a kid. The dogs would pop up out of their holes and watch you, and flick away, poof!, if you looked at them. You could see them out of the corner of your eye, but direct scrutiny made them vanish. But they were there, all around you, filling the landscape of your perceptions, quivering, calling to one another, peeking out of the entrances of their burrows that you knew filled miles and miles of underground beneath you. That's what this part is like for me.

And I suppose the next part, the writing it down part, is like prairie dogs too: you can't remain the girl with the bike and have any hope of catching one; you never will. You have to get off the bike and get outside the girl and become part of the landscape. The wind, a snake, a burrowing owl, a beetle, perhaps even a prairie dog itself. That's the only way you can get inside those tunnels.

Dec. 10th, 2005

I start too many books

And don't finish them. I mean, I do finish lots of books. But not half as many as I start. When did this happen? I used to finish every book I cracked, whether I liked it or not. Now I've got a stack of books on the nightstand I'm enjoying very much, every last one of them, but I keep starting new ones instead of just picking one and finishing it. It's like when I was in junior high and I'd come home from the library with a dozen books and they'd all look so good I'd be unable to decide which one to begin with, and I'd wind up watching TV. I grew out of that phase, or so I thought. Maybe it was just tabled for twenty years. I'm doing it again.

I'm 40 pages into THE TIME-TRAVELER'S WIFE and loving it, LOVING it. 20 pages into Chesterton's WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WORLD and as always, his impeccable logic thrills me, his wry turns of phrase delight me. But it's too brainy for bedtime reading and that's all I've got these days. Scott laughs at me for drifting off with a book on my face every night. He says I go on turning pages after my eyes are closed, sometimes. Not my fault. It's the fifth-baby/bladder-is-shot thing; I'm awake for the day by five. But I don't read THEN, oh no. I get up and work, what a good girl. Blogwoggery and such.

Started rereading TALE OF TWO CITIES last month. Average about two pages a week, I think. Why that book, now, when clearly my brain needs short-and-light? Yet it calls to me from the shelf, along with so many others. I've hatched this unrealistic plan to read every book in our house before I buy any more—a plan so fresh out of the egg that it hasn't prevented me from deciding, six or seven times this week, to just go ahead and BUY a copy of Time-Traveler's Wife because we've checked it out from the library twice already and it keeps having to go back because someone else has it on hold. Someone else who'll finish reading it, probably. I think Scott's planning to start it soon, and he'll finish it. Because he does that, stays up late reading while snickering at me with my book-smushed face.

I never finished KRISTIN LAVRANSDATTER, either, and I want to. And SURVIVING THE APPLEWHITES, that one I keep meaning to get around to—pretty sure I'm going to love it, with the whole unschooling thing it's got going on, right up my alley. Oh but listing the books I *want* to read, there's a dangerous pastime...that stack on the bedside will just get bigger, and soon it'll topple and smush more than my face. I'll be buried under half-read books.

There are worse fates, I suppose.

Dec. 9th, 2005

Why I'm Here

So I already have a pretty active blog where I post book reviews, homeschooling & other educational links, and tidbits about our family. I don't post much there about my own writing. Occasionally, but not often.

I love reading the about-my-work blogs of other writers, and so many of them hang out here in LJ. It finally dawned on me that I could greatly simplify my browsing by opening my own LJ account and taking advantage of the Friends feature. So here I am, with yet another blog. I'm calling it "Life is a Mixed Metaphor" after a post I wrote for my other blog. My second choice for name was "Which Hat Am I Wearing Now?" because I sure wear a lot of them. Don't we all?

Dec. 8th, 2005

Until I get things rolling here...

Please visit my author blog, Here in the Bonny Glen!



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