December 22nd, 2009

criminal minds bad shirt brigade

the mystery flourishes best in times of acute anxiety and depression

Goals for today:

Clean off table
Do a little Christmas baking
Do laundry (ongoing)
Make dinner and dispensatory casseroles
Mail last round of DNDGGD* gifts

Work on The White City**
Pick up ornament hooks someplace

In the category and occasional series of Things That Actually Work As Advertised, at tanaise's urging, and due to a really good sale, I ordered myself a cotton henley from Lands' End. It came yesterday, I am wearing it, and it is awfully nice. Warm and thick and long enough even for my very long torso and broad shoulders. That is all and I thought you might like to know. (This is not a paid promotion. They also have turtlenecks.)


Tea today: gunpowder green
Teacup today: thatpotteryguy's medieval mug

Now, about those cookies... oh, right, I should eat something first.

The wonderful P. D. James on

*December Non-Denominational Gift-Giving Day. They were supposed to go out yesterday, but, well, baby!

**Oh, lord, what a mess. Well, soonest begun is first ended. And other pithy Yankee sayings.
criminal minds prentiss reid hold my gun

stick our fingers in the ground. heave and turn the world around.

National Geographic photo essay on the current state of prosthetic bionics.

I especially commend you to the photographs of kindergarten teacher Amanda Kitts. This is the technology that will someday lead to the kind of prosthetics I wrote about in Hammered.

Jenny Casey's birthday, by the way, is in 2012.
criminal minds reid eat

let's get high on art supplies and hibernate

The only problem with the baby ashacat made is that I have a great big winter CSA order burning a hole in my crisper drawers.

And some of it wants to be borscht, dammit. And I have no time.

I have celeriac and beets and tiny potatoes and tiny sweet potatoes and parsnips and carrots and red cabbage and delicata squash and butternut squash and winter greens and no time to eat any of it.

Also, my good knives are still at the Grinch's shop at the North Pole. It's like an itch.

Next Thursday, little vegetable drawer. Thursday. You and me. We're going to have some fun together.

And I'm probably going to make Chaz's tiny potato salad for the Xmas eve open house thingy, and maybe I will just make a damned pot of borscht, even with the bad knives. I've cooked with worse and it's seasonal, dammit. Though I'll have to get more garlic.
writing new amsterdam

if this were my last glimpse of winter

Got some work done on The White City tonight, Mostly, it amounted to comma fiddling in the opening scenes--I haven't touched it since September, and I will have to get back into its skin to work on it, of course. But the writing in the early bits is quite creditable, and it's easy to fall back in love with these characters.

Of course, the structure is still broken, and the mystery plot is flopping on the floor like a dying and unhappy fish, and then there are those scenes that are currently indicated by something more or less reminiscent of this: [Put a scene in which Abby Irene figures out that Sebastien is withholding information here].

It's funny. The more I learn about writing--the better I get at it--the worse my first drafts get. They're all big loops and lines now, incomplete arches and spans. Sweep and movement, and the structures don't hold.

But I enjoy the process of taking those pieces and building a narrative out of them, and the narratives themselves are growing more complex and self-supporting. I've been saying for years that writng is too complicated to do well consciously--that for me it takes iterative passes and a lot of it needs to take place down in the subconscious. And this... more relaxed startegy seems to be helping with that, now that I've successfully internalized my tools.

It took a lot of conscious application to develop those tools, mind you--study and intellectualization. But now I think I might be learning to jam.

Which is what we play all those fucking scales for, after all.