favorite authors

January 31, 2019

Confession time. Every now and then, someone says I’m their favorite author or one of their favorite authors. First off, this is hugely flattering. I know how I feel about my own favorite authors, and to be able to do that for someone else? That’s amazing. It’s a gift.

But… I also think, “Oh no, you must not have read [my own favorite author] yet! Because they should really be your favorite author, not me!” I want to give them Robin McKinley, Ray Bradbury, Lois McMaster Bujold, and a dozen others. The real favorite authors, you know?

I’ve learned not to say that out loud. But I’m almost always thinking it.




January 29, 2019

Yesterday was my birthday!

I had a pretty mello day, mostly staying in and keeping warm and drinking wine.

And watching the first episode of season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery. I thought I could stay away but it keeps dragging me back in! Mostly because I wanted to see what Captain Pike is all about.

I realized, though, that Tilly perfectly embodies all of my feelings about the show. Like, she’s adorable and great and I love her! But what’s her actual job on the ship? Like, she’s an ensign, in a training program, but she’s on the bridge and doesn’t seem to have an actual post, and now she’s in engineering, and now she’s in charge of mission-critical projects and giving orders and things, and I don’t really understand any of this and none of it makes a lick of sense…



January 25, 2019

I’ve spent all month reading The Books of Earthsea, the wonderful compilation of everything Le Guin wrote about Earthsea all in one volume with illustrations by Charles Vess. It’s great, because reading everything back-to-back means making connections and seeing how it all fits together and how Le Guin’s approach to the world changed over the decades she wrote the stories.

My conundrum is this:  In my reading log, do I count this as one book or six?  I mean, it would sure look spiffy to already have that many books recorded, and they were all originally published separately, and…and….


15 minutes

January 23, 2019

I have to share this thing I’ve been doing. I’ve been cleaning and decluttering my house.  Not Marie Kondo-ing like the internet would have you believe everyone is doing. I figured out my own process.

One of the other things that I struggled with last year (and it’s only when I line them all up do I realize that I was struggling with a lot of just really low-grade anxiety that didn’t seem like much at the time, but boy it piles up, doesn’t it?) was being unable to clean/declutter my house. I had a whole list of things I wanted to do, including routine cleaning, that didn’t get done at all. I just couldn’t bring myself to do any of it. It all seemed too big. That stuff hung over me all year.

During the holidays, and even more at the start of the year, I accidentally stumbled on a thing. I just got so frustrated that I had a talk with myself:  I don’t have to do all the things. I just have to clean for 15 minutes. That’s it. Dust for 15 minutes. That’s a room or two, and then I can stop. Scrub a bathroom for 15 minutes. Then stop. Just try to do 15 minutes, every day.  Declutter a shelf.  Mop the kitchen. And so on.

Here’s what I’ve accomplished since I started doing this, less than a month ago:  I hauled to the recycling center a couple of broken electronics that had been sitting on my office floor for a year. Along with that I recycled the giant garbage sack full of plastic bags that had accumulated. I decluttered the utility closet where I had stashed everything I didn’t want to deal with since I moved into the house. I cleaned and dewaxed a half dozen candle holders that I’d stuck on a shelf intending to dewax…whenever. I rearranged my Brag Shelf so there are no longer six piles of books on my office floor. I dusted, cleaned the bathrooms, and the kitchen.

Turns out 15 minutes a day goes a long way. It’s great.  I can look at a decluttered shelf or a space of carpet that I haven’t seen in two years and it feels so good.

Let’s see if I can keep this up. I still have the craft area and fabric stash, and all the books in the basement, and the garage, and, and…



Monday update

January 21, 2019

Three weeks into January, and I finally admit that I will probably not be getting those holiday cards out, even late, like I thought I might. And I think maybe that’s okay.

I caught the first half of the lunar eclipse last night, and it was great. I love when these cosmic processes come along in a way that is small enough and fast enough — down to Earth enough, if you will — for us to see them with our own eyes.

COSine was lovely. I signed a bunch of books, talked on some good panels, got to have dinner with Connie Willis who is one of my heroes, and picked up some art from the art show which I always love.

And this weekend, the Colorado Symphony is showing Amadeus, with live symphony accompaniment. I have tickets and I cannot wait.


elderly Lily

January 16, 2019

One of the things that made last year a struggle was realizing, and adjusting to that realization, that Lily is showing her age. She’s fifteen going on sixteen, and for many years now she’s fooled me into thinking she’s just fine, nothing to worry about. Then she was diagnosed with kidney disease, then arthritis. She’s on special food and has four medications lined up that she takes every day. She can’t climb into the car by herself anymore, and she avoids stairs when she can. We’ve grappled with UTI’s, and often it’s clear she isn’t comfortable but can’t quite express what’s wrong.

This is hard, especially because until this last year she’s been such an active, hyper, boisterous pup. And now she just isn’t. She sleeps a lot.

But she still plays with her toys and love treats and loves her morning walk and runs around the house when she gets excited.  She’s still a fluffy neurotic adorable mess. We just have to work a little harder to keep her that way is all.

The Favourite

January 14, 2019

This is about the court of Queen Anne in the early 1700’s which is a period of English history I know relatively little about because so much of the literature is so very pedantic I skipped over it as much as I could in school. Anyway, the movie is about two women vying for royal favor, particularly Abigail and how much of her principles she’s willing to undermine to secure her own well-being.

It’s really good, and not just because of the absolutely luscious costumes and settings that these historical dramas always have. Well-drawn, in depth characters. At some point everyone is horrible, and everyone is also sympathetic — they have good reasons for doing what they’re doing. The film’s edgy and got some quirks, but it’s all well thought out. An amazing cast. Yes, that is Nicholas Hoult under that GIGANTIC wig.

We did that thing driving home where we immediately looked up Queen Anne to see how much of this actually happened, and I believe this may be one of those cases where the truth might have been even stranger. In some ways, court politics of a couple of hundred years ago might as well be an alien planet.

Queen Anne is a tragic figure, and Olivia Colman is already winning awards for her performance here. Good. She deserves them all.