Oct 28 2013

Cedar waxwing, party of 20 — your table is ready.


What, no takers?


This cedar tree is the one in our backyard that shelters my woody nook where I hide out from the rest of the condo complex.   Every year it loads itself up with berries, and birds just have a feast.    My favorites are the cedar waxwings, which tend to descend in a mob and clear out every available berry — but they haven’t shown up yet this year.  I hope they’re not skipping us.

Still hunkered down, still digging in on writing.   Still much to do, but certain progress is being made.

In other news:  My Leuchtturm 1917 notebook has arrived.  I ordered it on Regina’s recommendation — but I’m still in the middle of a second LIFE Noble Note.   Once that’s filled (and I fill ’em fast lately) I’ll switch to the Leuchtturm.  I’ve already tested the paper, and it’s excellent — it seems a bit lighter than the paper in the LIFE notebook.

But!  The surface of the LIFE is really amazing.  They’ve done something to give it a velvety smoothness.  Quite lovely –  while the Leuchtturm paper has just a bit more bite to it.

However!  The Leuchtturm already has a hard cover (I had to make my own for the LIFE), with elastic closure, and page numbering (a great convenience!), and a back pocket (like the old Moleskine), and amazingly, a table of contents in the front that you can fill in, which, since you have numbered pages, actually makes sense!  And instead of a grid, the Leuchtturm has “dotted” pages, another great idea.

Oh, and labels for the spine and cover.   So, we’ll see.

Also, hey, new pen!  I’ve been wanting to try an italic nib…

Steerswoman calligraphy style really requires an italic nib.

This is a Rosetta North Star with the “Sedona” colored resin body.   It feels good so far…

Much of this obsessing on paper and pens is inspired by my desire to be free to write anywhere, anytime.   To that end, I’m trying to become as easy with pen and paper as I am with a keyboard.  This takes practice, of course.  And to tempt myself to keep at it, I look for pen and paper that I can love, and will want to use.

Meanwhile, Jo Walton is on a book tour of Europe, about which I am insanely jealous.   Fortunately, she’s blogging it, so I can live vicariously through her.   And she’s not going to the cliche places, no sir. Warsaw, Stockholm, Oslo.   I would love to go to Warsaw.

So, you can read about it at her blog.   Also, she has a new website, which looks great.  She can’t use JoWalton.com  as an url because one of the many other Jo Waltons in the universe has beat her to it, so she’s JoWaltonBooks.com.

I’m also following Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman’s adventures in England, but it looks like they’re only updating on Facebook while traveling, and not their actual blogs.  I hope they’ll add some of those iconic photos of the English countryside to their blogs, so everyone can be as jealous of their travels as I am.

Well.   Back to the dayjob tomorrow, where my co-worker (who was once my boss before the last boss — the one who was fired abruptly –  and was not repromoted to boss again, we all think merely because he is in his seventies) has been cut back to three days a week, which is not his choice, by any means.   We suspect he’s being phased out.  Which would not be smart of Management.  But hey.

Here’s a rather nice video I found out about through my friend Metanous — yeah, I’m sure the sound was “sweetened” in some way.   You just don’t get acoustics like that in an open square.

Listen with earphones or a good speaker — it’s worth it!

Ack!  Must go finish my laundry and put in my wordage for the evening…


Oct 21 2013

As you may have noticed… (Plus: out-take)


I’m still digging in on the writing, and will continue for the rest of October. Hence, blog posts remain far between. I had been spending a lot of time wrapped up in peripheral writing-related and writing-supportive activities, when it occurred to me that the best writing-related and writing-supportive activity of all was — hello!– WRITING! So I’ve let pretty much everything else sit on the sidelines and cool its heels for a while.

The 4-day dayjob work week is still very helpful — although the reduction in take-home pay does require some careful attention to my weekly spending!

With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, I managed to score some days off in November, and I once again have the whole sweep from the weekend before until the weekend after completely free. I’m planning on doing my usual thing of skipping the holiday entirely, leaving my sister to her own devices, and decamping to an undisclosed location for a whole bunch of talking to no one and doing nothing but writing, thinking deep thoughts, and contemplating the universe.

Presently searching for a location to do that — but airfare anywhere (not to mention a rental car when I get there) is pretty much out of my reach right now. I’m thinking smaller, local, drivable or public transportable. Research and consideration is in progress.

In other news: Oh, look! Another out-take!

This is a scene from The Outskirter’s Secret that got left on the cutting-room floor for very good reasons.    Not that it’s bad — just that it was not needed, and the book was running rather long.  It was located in a place where it did not help the pacing, and it’s message is largely “The Outskirts are strange,” which fact is covered in many ways, throughout the book.

But I find it fun, so I thought I’d share it…

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Oct 6 2013

Not actually science fiction — and that’s a good thing.


On Friday, after a week of DayJob crap, I found I suddenly could not bear to wait until Tuesday (discount movie day at the local cinema) to see Gravity. I wanted outer space and I wanted it now.   And I was right there, passing by the theater!  So Sabine and I caught the 7PM showing.

Because there will be so many spoilers, I’m going to put the rest of this post behind the “read more” fold.

But I’ll say right up front, for those who won’t go on to the next page:

You must see this film.  It was brilliant, astonishing, heart-stopping, heart-rending, mind-bending.   Breathlessly real.

Also — and this is important — it was not science fiction.

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