Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn
Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson
Lyra’s Oxford by Philip Pullman
The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
Deep Magic by Diane Duane
High Magic by Diane Duane
Aria, vol. 3 by Kozue Amano
Aria, vol. 2 by Kozue Amano
The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall Smith
An Equal Music by Vikram Seth (reread)
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers
Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers
Deep Magic: Finally, finally I picked this up again and read the last half in one sitting. I don’t know why I ground to a halt last spring and couldn’t get back into it; I like the setting and the magical system and the why of it all. Jumped right into the third one and polished it off in an hour. I should look in to getting the SFBC omnibus editions. (Aha — finally something to make up our order to open a new account, Blade!)
Kitty and the Midnight Hour: Yawn. I wanted to like this book much more than I actually did. Kelley Armstrong does the girl werewolf thing better. I was more interested in the radio programme bits.
The Sweet Far Thing: A solid ending to the vaguely Gothic fantasy set in the Victorian era. Libba, you are my current hero for pulling this off.
Strong Poison and The Nine Tailors: What will I do when I have read all the Lord Peter Whimsey mysteries? Woe, woe, woe! Nice to see Lord Peter and Harriet meeting, after having read stories like Gaudy Night and Busman’s Honeymoon. And while Gaudy Night may end up being my favourite Sayers novel, The Nine Tailors is perhaps the best-crafted detective novels I’ve ever encountered.
This is one of the best parts about publishing books: seeing the confirmed cover for the first time.
One more step towards it being real! Yes, I’ve gone through this three times. No, this step never gets any less exciting.
Seven months to go before it hits bookstore shelves!
The phone rang as I was slicing steak for tonight’s stroganoff and it was a jolly phone tech, telling me that as the phone had rung and I’d picked it up, our phone must again be operational. He even told me to make sure the DSL light on the modem was doing what it was supposed to be doing before he rang off.
The culprit? A broken wire, which has now been replaced.
As grumpy as we were for losing the service, I am thankful to live in a place where things can be restored within twenty-four hours. HRH is probably already joyfully crusading on WoW downstairs.
The domestic drama has resolved. Life proceeds apace.
ETA: Our landlord just called, greeting me with “So, you’ve had some phone trouble!” Turns out he knew this not because our line was dead, but because our phone number went to someone else for a while — then someone different. The complexity of the comedy of errors perpetuated by the original newbie tech just keeps increasing in surreality.
The phone tech came. He fixed the upstairs phone and left.
HRH went upstairs to use their newly-fixed phone to call Bell and yell at them for being idiots.
(I know, I know — the tech just looks at the address and phone number on his clipboard, and in retrospect we should have opened up our own ticket just to be sure even though it was outlined in the original call that both civic numbers were affected. But gods, I wish people would think.)
ETA: Aha. The same thing happened to the people behind-kitty-corner to us — both upper and main floors of their duplex went out, a tech came, and only fixed one of them. (We are flabbergasted: the tech who fixed the upstairs line *knew* this, and he didn’t think to check ours? Gah!) The original problem seems to have been with a new tech who went and somehow messed up the main box around here and affected half a dozen lines. Anyway, our Personal Visit From This or Another Unthinking Tech will happen this afternoon between 12 and 6. The poor woman who took HRH’s call was speechless as to this morning’s debacle.
And now we have no phone!
We had a phone around four o’clock, as HRH was logging off WoW at that time. It was his attempt to log on to play again around eight o’clock that initiated our discovery that the phone was dead. We checked with the upstairs neighbours and sure enough they don’t have phone service either (Does the woman downstairs have phone service? None of us particularly care!), but for some inexplicable reason their internet access is still up and running (ours is not, and I am using theirs via wireless, for which I am ongoing-ly grateful). Bless them, they called Bell via cellphone to report the issue. People will be around to Fix Things tomorrow morning between 8 and 9. Until then, if you really need us, you’ll have to call one of our cellphones which we’re now recharging.
Lovely party last night. Missed those who couldn’t make it, and those who I didn’t get to talk to for more than a fleeting moment. I think it went well. I am very bad at evaluating these things because I use my own experience as a yardstick, and I spend most of my time rushing around taking care of people, then suddenly it’s over and I don’t remember most of it beyond pouring drinks and passing hors d’oeuvres.
That vaguely ill feeling I’ve been having for a week finally handed me its calling card last night. I am now the not-so-proud owner of the flu. Or rather, I seem to be waving goodbye to it; perhaps this morning’s horrors were its last gasp. I’m currently in the throes of the oh-ye-gods-I’m-starving-but-don’t-dare-eat-anything-other-than-a-few-soda-crackers stage of the excitement. It’s nice to feel positive about food again after a week of caring nothing for it (a particularly horrible experience around the holidays in our house, all the more poignant if you know anything about my mother’s holiday baking).
Apart from the sick bit, this holiday week has been a good one. It’s been nice not working, although I’m just as exhausted in a different way. There have been a couple of work queries, one a very interesting invitation from a large self-publishing corp looking for editors, that I will address in January. Well, except for the downstairs neighbour verbally abusing the boy this morning; that was not so much fun. It will be dealt with. But we used book gift cards a few days ago and came home with things for everyone to read, saw The Golden Compass and had a lovely lunch out on Friday (sans boy, of course — Not A Kids’ Movie), and checked out some sales. The tailored red wool winter coat I have been privately coveting was a hundred dollars off, but no longer available in my size, so that was the end of that. A good week in general, yes.
Two more weeks and we’ll know if HRH has the permanent position at the college. My advance payment for the hearthcraft book should arrive around that time tool. And I’m actually chipper about getting back to the writing of the hearthcraft book after the hiatus while I finished the edits on the YA submission. I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to an early January this much.
I’m taking a quick moment to wish everyone a peaceful, prosperous, successful, and rewarding 2008.
I hurt all over, but there was a damn fine turkey yesterday, and joy and laughter had by all. The gifting was a blur thanks to the enthusiastic two and a half year old who opened everyone’s presents with them and then joyfully pushed the next ones on them. “Oh! What inside?” he kept saying, running with gift bags and wrapped boxes to their designated giftees. Last night after the boy was in bed, both sets of grandparents had left, and the kitchen was clean, I realized that I couldn’t remember more than one or two things I’d opened. Sitting down and sorting through it all again was like opening new presents. I discovered that it was mostly clothes and chocolate; this year was unusually short on books and music, which left me kind of drifting aimlessly today, when I usually settle down with one of a stack of new books to read and the new CDs playing. I got gift cards for both, though, so the enjoyment is only delayed. (I’ve already read Nigella Express, the only book I got yesterday, from cover to cover, and the copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe score that Blade gave me has been in the player since I opened it.)
Santa came through and brought Liam his wished-for trains and train-related equipment. Way to go, Santa.
For me, Christmas is a time dedicated to family, food, and friends, and we are blessed by having all those things in abundance. Yesterday was an excellent example of all of these, including a surprise visit from Karine and family. We’re thankful for the innumerable blessings we are fortunate to experience within our lives. I wish the same for all of you: lives that are touched by peace and love. Be well, be safe, and cherish one another.