Monthly Archives: February 2007

What I Read This February

Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan
Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomlin
An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan
These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan
Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
Still Life, by Louise Penny
Blade of Fortriu, Juliet Marillier
Vivaldi, Michael Talbot
The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt, Patricia MacLachlan (reread)


What a beautiful, beautiful early spring day. This is the second day in a row that I have been able to wear my cherry-red polar fleece spring jacket, ignoring my black wool winter coat with great satisfaction.

Appropriately, today we have been spring cleaning. HRH even scrubbed out the closets. I cleaned out the jumble that had collected under the kitchen sink, did some mending, and some general tidying and reorganization in my office.

Which led me, thrillingly, to uncover the location of the 8 x 10″ envelope containing all the postcards and pins and pictures and story cards that decorated my inspirational bulletin board in the last apartment. This is the envelope of precious things that I thought I’d lost in the move, believed gone forever.

In it was — are you ready? — the postcard from Neil Gaiman, the story assignment that I finally wrote last fall. I knew what the line was because I’d journaled it, but I’d thought the card itself never to be seen again. No longer!

Now, off to pick up the boy. And again, I must remember that it is Wednesday, and that I have orchestra. (We’re all off in this house because we came home on a Monday instead of a Sunday, you see, and we are firmly convinced that it is in fact Tuesday.)

Weekend Recap

We just bought a dozen fish at the pet store. Well, we paid for a dozen, but the saleswoman liked Liam so much that she slipped an extra one into the bag, to make a baker’s dozen. (What a baker would do with goldfish is something about which I do not want to think for too long.) We are having a Bad Day, which is hardly surprising as the boy needs a day to recover from a long car ride, and he only had one day in between recovering from the drive down and starting the next one. In fact, it feel somewhat like a sick day in our house, as we are all being very good to ourselves (long car rides are no fun for Mama and Dada, either). So new fish are a treat. Also? A dozen are cheaper than four. Feeder goldfish are our friends, yes indeedy. And the death rate won’t be as noticeable with a whole school like this.

Liam travelled both ways very well in the car, but wow, when he’s had enough, that’s it, he wants out RIGHT NOW. He became very distressed on the way down when we were on a long stretch of highway and he needed to use the bathroom, which triggered a meltdown even though he was wearing a diaper instead of training pants against this very kind of eventuality. When not in the car Liam was very charming to everyone with lots of “hello” and “bye-bye”, and pointing out “people!”. While we were there he discovered the Canada geese who fly back and forth all the time, and thus spent a lot of his walks with his head craned back, waving at them and saying “Bye-bye birds, bye-bye. Go go go!” He also finally saw the moon in the daytime sky, and gave us that “You SEE, I KNEW you were holding out on me with the whole ‘moon at night, sun in the day’ crock you had going!” look when he pointed it out.

Finally following through on an idea I had a while ago, I went out to a craft store in Oakville and found two small needlepoint kits. I’ve almost finished one already. It’s really remarkable how much technique one retains from doing a single small needlepoint project twenty years ago. I got small kits because I didn’t want to overextend myself and ruin my fledgling desire to start needleworking again. It was hard to find a needlepoint kit at all; counted cross stitch appears to be all the rage right now, and while I love the look of finished cross-stitch there is nothing less fun than keeping track of numbers by referring to a chart and counting squares on blank cloth, thank you very much. I wanted these needleworking projects to be fun and relatively mindless, so I made sure the kits I got had pre-printed canvasses instead. I started the first one, a 5 x 5 ” crescent moon for Liam’s room, on Sunday at noon when I brought it home; I now have all of the main design completed (modified, naturally, because the moon had a face and I hate moons with faces) and a third of the background filled in. Go me! It helped that I have discovered that I can do needlepoint in the car without triggering motion sickness, which made the trip home much more enjoyable. (And there is only one person out there who will understand this: ADZO, needlepoint is my bowling.)

My mother can still wield a mean set of shears, as she demonstrated by cutting my hair as she used to do when I was six. She cut three and a half inches off my hair, and I feel so very much better. I’ve been trying to find time/freedom from the small one for about a month now in order to go get it trimmed, because I have been hating how very dead the ends were and how much they tangled. Amazing how much better the loss of four inches of hair makes one feel.

So there you have it: we are home, and relatively sound of mind and body.


Home from our trip to Toronto; all is well.

Every day I’ve been checking LJ to see if Samuel has been born, and every day I’ve been reporting to family that Karine is still pregnant. No longer! He arrived in town yesterday an hour before we did. Welcome, Samuel! It was wonderful to hear that everyone involved is happy and doing well.

New word from Liam yesterday: French fries.

And now we are off to run errands. More thorough updates later.

Hanging Out The Shingle


I just wrote and submitted a writing sample on an assigned topic to an anonymous corp whose name is being screened by the hiring company. The sample consisted of three to five hundred words on a specific topic, to provide essential info and context to potential buyers. It was a topic I knew nothing about, and was given no guidelines other than “include general information about where X takes place, the popularity of X, and people involved”. I hate being clueless and not knowing who my audience is, or what an employer is looking for in style or tone.

I did it in an hour. Fear my mad research skillz! Whether it’s any good is up in the air, since I have zero background on the topic personally and the intraweebs were pretty useless, so I can’t judge if it’s what they’re looking for or not. The proposed pay is by the piece, and if I can complete each piece in an hour to seventy-five minutes then it’s worth the pay; any longer and it isn’t profitable. Assuming they hire me, that is, which they very well may not do.

Better Than I Think I Am

I just watched an hour-long interview on Wicca and living as a Wiccan that I did with two students from Dawson college, about four years ago. I’d never seen it before; simply never got around to it. I think there was a move around that time, then the career thing really took off, and then another move, and a baby, and a few books happened in there too. HRH finally (!) connected the VCR this afternoon so that we could tape a TV show on Wicca tonight, and I found this videotape and wondered if it had room to record the show after the interview. We popped it in to cue it up, and we ended up watching most of it. Apart from wanting to create a drinking game in which the audience takes a shot every time I say “Precisely”, I am remarkably impressed. I look good, I sound good, and it’s a terrific piece in general. They did it for a film editing class, if I remember correctly.

I wish I could remember their names; one was called Carolyn, I do know that, and one was of Irish origin and the other of Greek background. There are no credits at the end of the interview, nor are there names on the thank you Post-It note they affixed to the case. If I had their names and contact info I could get in touch with them to congratulate them on planning and conducting an enjoyable interview, and doing a great editing job.


A good way to bolster the ego: read one’s CV.

Damn, I have done some impressive stuff. And when it’s all down in black and white, it looks more real than it feels in my memory.

ETA: This wasn’t done just for thrills, mind you; I’m revamping it and focusing it and doing all the required tweaking to make it what it needs to be for various markets. You know; more of that Stuff that one forgets can and should be classified as Work.