When I came back, what I found was a square block of dark wood that was filled with tiny straight copper lines across it when I turned it in the light. I asked what it was, and he showed me the drawing: it was a blackboard, with the radio signal for that galaxy written across it, and a small legend in chalk down in the corner. It was a very clever interpretation of what I'd asked for, and I was touched and amused...and then asked him to redo it, because I'd really wanted a cream and gold spiral galaxy.
Everyone was horrified that I'd asked Werhner von Braun to redo something, but he smirked at me and did it in good spirits.
I took it to the cashier when he was done. Both pendants and the concept drawing with the blackboard came to ninety dollars.
- Emma Donoghue, interviewed for Lambda Literary
It's 5am here. I woke up because I heard something like a bottle toppling over and thought it might be from the kitchen, but both cats are accounted for and still asleep, so maybe it was from outside. Something (non-feline, probably a bug) just bit me on the shoulder.
It's 8am on the east coast. This is exactly the sort of can't-get-back-to-sleep morning where I'd call my mom. The instinct to do so is still really strong and it hits at odd hours like this. That "I haven't talked to her in ages, need to call" impulse. I wonder if it'll ever fade.
-Judith "Jack" Halberstam, interviewed about The Queer Art of Failure for Lambda Literary.
Julienne mushrooms, zucchini, and baby carrots. Reserve a few mushrooms to cut into quarters.
Reserve 1/3 of chopped vegetables. Toss with spinach leaves, crumbled red walnuts, and dried cranberries. Serve in salad bowl with strawberry vinaigrette to taste. (If non-vegan, I would have added goat cheese.)
Saute half an onion with crushed garlic and as little oil as necessary. When onion is browned, add rest of vegetables and about a handful of water. When well-cooked, take off heat and remove quartered mushrooms, then squish rest of vegetables with immersion hand-blender (or in food processor) until they form a chunky paste. Add quartered mushrooms, tomato sauce and tomato paste, and return to heat, stirring well. Add a few of the spinach leaves to wilt. Add herbs and seasoning to taste (basil, rosemary, pepper, salt, oregano, crushed red pepper) and allow to simmer on low for as long as you desire.
When ready to serve, cook pasta in boiling water.
The short story is coming along. Well, no...honestly, it's plodding along like a turtle glued to a snail, nailed to a board.
This can serve as inspiration for future writing -- the story did get finished and did sell, despite the turtle, the snail, and the board. :)
What follows is non-explicit, but is complete and absolute TMI. Comments are screened, just because comments are always screened. They'll be unscreened upon moderation at my discretion, unless you request that they stay private.
( Read more... )
I dropped off to sleep with no problem, probably because I've been up till 2 and 3 AM the last few nights and I needed the rest.
I dreamed, unsurprisingly, about my mom. We were going through clothes, maybe shopping somewhere. There were blouses she wanted me to try on, and blouses that she didn't like. She was very free and colorful in her opinions of the ones she didn't like. She was always very borderline-personality that way; things were either good or bad, and if she didn't like something, she couldn't entertain the possibility that anyone else could.
It was a year ago Thursday (so, a year and two days) that I spoke to her for the last time. I miss her like crazy. It helped, having some time with her in my dream, even though it was over too soon. I haven't forgotten her voice, or the way her skin felt, or even the shape of her fingernails, or her little mannerisms...but I think part of me quietly fears that someday I will.
It's worth it to dream once in a while, I think, if it helps me keep her accurately in my head. We didn't get to talk about anything important - we never do, when I dream about her - but we didn't need to. It had all been said for real, before a-year-ago-Thursday.
I fell back asleep and found myself going out to breakfast with her parents, my grandparents. They're both long gone, my relations with them were not good while they were alive, and I don't dream about them very often. But there they were. They used to go out for breakfast every morning because that was when Grandma felt the best and could be the most active. She would order a well-toasted bagel and it would never come out to her satisfaction, yet she always insisted on eating out instead of toasting her own bagel the way she liked it.
So, I was out at an eerily realistic breakfast with my grandparents. Grandma made her typical "something smells bad" displeased face at me because I asked for a menu.
(Though she went to the same places and always knew what she wanted, I'd never been there before and I wanted to see the options. This would happen regularly, and would frustrate her. She felt it slowed down her morning.)
She started telling me what to order, before I had a chance to look for myself. "You want a hamburger and a danish," she said.
(This part wasn't entirely realistic, but the tone and the power struggle were spot on. She liked very much to tell me what I liked, and what I wanted, instead of asking me. If she did by chance seize on something I actually liked, she would find ways to twist it against me. I got good, early on, at not expressing preferences about anything in front of my grandmother. Preferences were ammunition.)
"I don't want that," I answered, and looked at my watch. "I can't eat a hamburger at nine in the morning."
"It's noon where you are," she countered. They lived on the east coast, so this part made sense. However:
"That makes it *six* in the morning where I am," I answered, and she made her face at me again. Grandma didn't like to be wrong.
(Grandma liked to watch the way her cream poured into her coffee. If it swirled a certain way when she poured it, it meant the coffee was fresh, and she would nod sharply like it had passed her inspection. If the cream spread differently, the coffee was stale. She would make her scrunchy face, sigh longsufferingly, and drink it anyway. She hated, more than anything, when a waitress would mix old coffee with new coffee, either in the carafe or in her cup. She would yell at them if they tried to top off her coffee with more coffee -- the new coffee undoubtedly had been sitting too long, was the result of pouring together multiple brews into a single diner carafe, and wasn't fresh. She was convinced it would somehow ruin the freshness of the coffee that had gone cold in her cup. She wanted them to wait until her coffee was all gone, and then magically be there with a fresh, unmingled pot. And yet, she insisted on having her coffee out, when at home she could have made her coffee anyway she liked it, and would have known that it was untainted by the pot that had been made five minutes before.
I stopped speaking to grandma in 1998, when she told my mother that she knew grandpa had molested mom, and then me, but that she let him do it. Because? "At least," she said, "he was leaving me alone."
I announced that I was never speaking to her again. And, I didn't.)
Dream-grandma was as accurate as life.
In the dream, the power struggle over breakfast was interrupted. I felt pressure on my thigh, touching me, and then touching me higher. Dream-grandpa, on my other side, who'd been silent this whole time. I turned to him and said, "Get the hell off me, you bastard."
I woke up and opened my eyes, and the touch had been Toey climbing up my body to curl up on my chest.
Matt and I went out for breakfast. I poured new coffee on top of my old coffee. With glee.
-James Baldwin (1924-1987)
Having really good exciting news and not being sure if you're allowed to talk about it yet is slightly less than the best. Still, really good plus a little anxiety is still really good.
The hardest thing about working in publishing is the waiting. Either I've got to sit on my own good news and keep it secret, or I've got to sit on someone else's good news, or I've got to send something off to someone and sit on my hands for a few months in hopes that I'll get good news that I can sit on my hands and not tell anyone about.
I have finished my edits on something really cool, and I've sent it off so that the author can answer all my nitpicky queries about it. I've asked when I'll be able to talk about it and I haven't been answered. Since I still can't quite believe that it's real, I think I'll wait till I get the paycheck.
And I've just learned that something else I worked on is going to be reviewed somewhere cool. I'll be able to talk about that one at the end of March when the review goes live.
March is going to be interesting. I'm traveling 17 days out of the month, on three different trips, and none of that travel is for work. All of it is for connecting with people who are important to me. I spend so much of my time focused on building my career -- I'm looking forward to taking a bit of time to celebrate how far I've come and how much potential the future holds...and to putting that same energy into nurturing other parts of me, for a change. That's something I need to do more often.
A year ago, I gave up caffeine in significant measure, but I'm pretty sure there was caffeine in my decaf tonight. There was also adrenaline in my adrenaline. Now my brain is full and won't stop churning, and I can't get myself even remotely tired.