I got my hair cut a couple of days ago. Not that you’d notice. Just an inch or so. Now it’s a shapely mass of hair, instead of just being a mass of hair.
HRH has put his foot down, and it’s squarely on the brake pedal of our car. He’s not driving anywhere this evening. Apparently, the lunatics are already out on the roads, so it’s ye olde Metro for us, which is just fine. We’re heading out to Ceri’s tonight to be with a few friends. Not that New Year’s means much to us; it’s Happy New Calendar Day in our household. It’s always nice to spend an evening with intellgent friends, however, and heaven knows we don’t want to be anywhere near the downtown core tonight of all nights…
I now have a bulletin board by my desk. It’s pinned with story mission postcards dating back from last summer, and index cards with what I’m certain seem like random words to my husband (such as “Ben?” and “Good Book”). Projects with deadlines are written on pink index cards (for example, the three book reviews I’ve agreed to write that are due next Monday - argh).
Have I mentioned that I love my new printer? Apart from actually printing (a definite improvement over the last one), it’s quiet, and it doesn’t consume mass quantities of ink for no reason. It does indeed print on both sides of the page, by printing every second page then instructing you to flip the stack over and re-insert it in the paper feed in order to print the alternate pages on the reverse side. Smart little thing.
Balsamic Moon was, of course, the first thing that was printed. And By Many Other Names was the next project. The colour title pages I designed for both novels was next (the balance of the colour inks seem a bit odd, but I can deal with that), as were the winner’s certificates. Then they were both taken downtown and bound in hardcover. I was warned not to open them for at least 24 hours to allow the binding to cure, and the suspense is killing me. They’re currently shelved between my thesis and the three-volume anthology of short stories on a common theme written by me, t!, and Tal.
And… Ceri’s Yule gift is now complete. Muah-hah-hah-hah. Hey, better late than never. (And no, Ceri, it has nothing to do with my printer, or hardcover binding. You’ll see.)
I am proud to announce that I am now the owner of a fully-functional Xerox XJ35c laserjet printer/scanner workcentre. Hugs and kisses and tears of relief to old family friends Dorothy and Greg for allowing me to take it off their hands.
And now? Well, I’ve been obsessing about a printer because my need to write has been building up inside me once again. In fact, at my parents’ house over the holidays I found my completed fantasy novel tucked away on my laptop and began to edit it - from the last chapter in order to avoid the problematic first chapters which have been edited several times without satisfactory results. This novel has been finished for about a decade, and going back to it with fresh eyes I can now see that it isn’t as bad as I expected it to be. Sure, it’s very definitely a first novel, and requires help; but overall, there’s great dialogue, good pacing, and interesting flawed characters. I wanted to keep on writing Crossroads, but apparently I haven’t transcribed the pages and pages of hand-written work I did in the Second Cup this summer. And, of course, the legal-sized notebook with those pages in it was at home. Sigh.
A printer isn’t necessary for writing or editing, but it certainly makes my life so much easier. Balsamic Moon will be the first thing printed out, once I take an hour this afternoon to fix a certain passage in chapter five. In fact, I’m about to sit down with a cup of tea and make a list of all the writing-connected things I want to do. Then I’m going to acquire a small bulletin board and pin them up individually, as t! has done for years, in order to have the satisfaction of taking each one down as they’re completed.
I love my new printer. Apparently there’s a double-sided page option, which I discovered as I poked about in Properties (there is, alas, no manual as of yet). I’m definitely going to play with it later this afternoon and poke various buttons to discover the miracles hidden within.
I have a printer, thank all the gods. It shouldn’t feel this good.
We finally saw Matrix Revolutions, and all the Pagans in the back row of the theatre sort of nodded and understood why masses of people Just Don’t Get It: it’s about cycles, not about a linear storyline. In every ending, there is a beginning. The story was told in order to show us how a cycle can function without being a carbon copy of the previous (or successive) cycle. Of course, because the protagonist died, folks are confused - the Wachowski Brothers didn’t provide a nicely gift-wrapped Happy Ending (TM) to the Hollywood pap-fed masses. Granted, the film can’t stand on its own; then again, it wasn’t originally designed to be a film unto itself, so I don’t count that against it. I’ll be very interested in seeing all three installments in a row when Revolutions comes out on DVD, in order to get the proper overarching storytelling flow. The film felt very different from the previous two in the trilogy, most likely due to the emphasis on story as opposed to action. It was, if you’ll forgive me, a more human story. The men in our party were suitably impressed by the King Arthur/barge send-off for Neo as he Returned to the Source (which I missed, somehow - odd for me. But then, a burning ship sort of burial isn’t my personal cup of tea. I think it’s a guy thing.) Had there been four queens in attendance, I’m sure I would have seen it. No, really.
Teaching didn’t really pause for the holidays due to the mid-week placement of the civic holiday. Yesterday’s class on animal energies included a beautifully behaved Great Dane, a flamepoint Siamese, a corn snake and a fat-tail gecko. Nox, the corn snake, got extra cuddles from me after his turn at show and tell, and after wrapping himself around my waist for a while slipped into the hood of my cardigan for an hour of serious napping. There’s something remarkably smugness-inducing about walking around a store knowing that there’s a four-foot snake curled up between your shoulderblades and no one else is aware of it.
The weekend ended with a nice relaxed dinner with Scarlet and Skippy, and giving holiday love to the many cats who were boarding at the vet over the vacation period. An excellent weekend, all around.
Okay, everyone else has done it: highlights of the holiday swag!
The very best were the digital cello tuner I asked for, and the Pride & Prejudice DVD set (possibly the only things I did directly ask for). Classic sweater sets; much chocolate; a new set of winter accessories (hat, scarf, mitts); a sweet little fox picture; and many gift certificates (as Roo says, “the gift of getting what I want”!). Oddly enough, no books. Well, okay, one; every year my mother finds me some sort of antique volume, and this year was a red leather-bound edition of RLS’ A Child’s Garden of Verses. (Last year it was Tennyson!) Although Indigo has a Boxing Week sale on that gives 30% off all hardcover books, and the new Ronald Hutton Witches, Druids, and King Arthur is out; at $45 it’s a bit steep, but with 30% off it becomes very affordable. Especially with a gift certificate. And with a gift certificate, it sort of becomes a holiday gift, right?
And from the “completely unconnected to holiday swag” pile of nifty stuff: for skaldic fans who are also LOTR geeks, take a look at Eowulf, an epic retelling of Dernhelm’s heroic actions in the battle of Pelennor Fields. Not bad.