May 7th, 2006

bear by san

also, why am I up at six on Sunday? oh, right. I blame netcurmudgeon.

wooo, blackholly! Winner of the inaugural Norton Award, and wearer of a really spiffy chartreuse leather jacket, which you can see in this month's Locus.

(per Justine Larbalestier)

Other Nebula Award winners include: Kelly Link, Kelly Link (I think we should just proactively offer her a lock on the short fiction awards for the next ten years; she's the ten-ton gorilla of literary short SFF... which is, you know, funny if you've met her), Joe Haldeman, Carol Emshwiler, aaand... Joss Whedon.


And now I'm off to go fork manure mulch off a truck (no jokes, please) in the service of the beautification of the town of Glastonboring, Quinnehtukqut. Thank God there's still some beer in the fridge and I don't pay for hot water....
bear by san

there is light in my lady's house

This morning at about 7:30 I rolled out to go assist some old family friends who are involved in the Glastonbury Partners In Planting project for median beautification on Routh 17. So were were out there in our orange reflective vests with our shovels and rakes and implements of destruction, planting rosebushes (cultivar: Home Run) and phlox, and laying down a one-inch bed of pine bark mulch.

Through vigorous volunteering, I managed to be one of the people who forked the pine bark mulch out of the dump truck. It was absolutely beautiful stuff, fragrant and sweet-smelling, steam tattering from the warm, moist surface when I broke the pile open with the pitchfork. It tumbled around my feet as I forked it, gently warm and scratchy-soft. I was wearing shorts, so I could feel its heat when it drifted around my boots.

The morning was cool and bright, and standing ankle-deep in a pile of composting, gorgeously resinous-smelling plant matter was about the nicest thing I could imagine doing.

Shoveling seven cubic yards of it was still hard work, mind you. But I was still home by noon.

I told netcurmudgeon that it reminded me of a Richard Brautigan poem:


Loading mercury with a pitchfork your truck is almost full. The neighbors take a certain pride in you. They stand around watching.
netcurmudgeon's response? "For your next trick, are you going to nail Jello to a tree?"

I love that man.

And after a little consideration, it struck me that cling wrap was the solution to both problems.

That poem has always seemed to me to be a pretty good description of my writing process.

--Tell her to find me an acre of land
Between the sea and the salty strand--

Anyway, according to Fitday, 90 minutes of pitchfork work is worth 814 calories for a me-sized person.

So, uh, I'm gonna go have a beer and a bean burrito and see if my blood sugar normalizes. And read misia's renaissance chapter. And then maybe try to get some words.
bear by san

and don't tell me what they did to you as if you had no choice

Progress notes for 7 May 2006:


New Words: 2070
Total Words: (actual wordcount / manuscript) 27,609 / 31,250
Pages: 125
Deadline: August 1
Words per day to meet deadline: 842
Reason for stopping: sleepy. And okay, it's the middle of the scene, but it's a big deal scene and I might as well be awake to write it. Also, I did good today.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
27,609 / 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
125 / 400
(31.3%) something tells me I was right about having started in the wrong spot.

Every so often, I stare naked into the cold face of my own hackdom.

Usually as I'm wrestling with some really recalcitrant sentence, and the devil on my right shoulder says, "You know, Bear. The number of genre readers who will care if all your sentences are pretty, who are equipped to notice second-order cliches even by the bucketload, is probably one percent of the readership. And the number of readers who care if your sentences are pretty and who are willing to lower themselves to read genre is probably another one percent. Just slap something on the page."

And then I think about it for a minute, and go back to wrestling with the damned sentence. Because I do it for the glamor. Ain't that right.

Stimulants: Darjeeling and popcorn and Laphroaig
Exercise:  Four hours of digging holes, forking mulch, and occasionally sitting in upended wheelbarrows moaning about how much my back hurt.
Mail: SH contracts
Today's words Word don't know:  balconied, escolar, pricker
Words I'm surprised Word do know: chordate
Mean Things: Andre just found out part of how screwed he is.
Tyop du jour: bandy snifter, wasting the aroma from the glass. (That's supposed to be "wafting"), pupped it into his mouth
Darling du jour: they weren't the sort to hang out in pool halls, Italian restaurants, or drinking establishments, adding a little stereotypical color to the place.
Books in progress: Wendy Moore, The Knife Man;
Interesting tidbit of the day: Methane dunes on Titan. Dude. Living in the future rocks so hard.
Other writing-related work: a big fat goose egg

But I'll push myself up through the dirt and shake my petals free
I'm resolved to being born and so resigned to bravery

--Dar Williams