What I Have Been Doing

What I Have Been Doing The Last Two Days:


Followed up by squat.

A whole lotta nothing.

Not a darned thing.

Nuthin’. Nope. Not me. Why? Have you?

Actually, that’s not exactly true. But it is *gloriously* true in the sense of not working. Two days off has been bloody well *liberating*. I feel a whole lot more relaxed than I have in ages. This is the first time, um. Since, um. Drawing a big ol’ blank here, in fact. The first time since I apparently literally can’t remember when that I’ve taken time off when I wasn’t either 1. travelling, 2. sick, or 3. writing like mad.

So what I *have* done is seen several movies (Matrix Revolutions (not a second time, just the once); Love Actually (which I enjoyed quite a bit); The Recruit (which we rented on DVD and which was better than I expected), and The Replacement Killers (which we own and which is one of those comparatively rare movies that I apparently have a very high repeat factor on; it ends so *well*)). I have run about with Ted on a zillion little errands. I have, in general, enjoyed the *hell* out of getting out of the house for hours at a time with no reason to get back to work.

I have read three books and I had an epiphany this morning while reading a couple of the romance novels Sarah sent me: I have had several cold readers (ie, people I don’t know who have no reason to spare my feelings or to interpret my writing based on what they know of me) say that I need to work on my characterization. I think what they’re looking for is essentially emotional motiviation, which you get HUGE AMOUNTS OF in romance novels (Sarah calls this “emotional blort”), and very little of in science fiction/fantasy novels (and perhaps also not so much in mystery novels; guess which two of the three listed genres I read). In SF/F, when you have emotional motivation, it tends to be sort of high concept: The Bad Guy Has Kidnapped My Sister, And I Must Accomplish These Tasks To Rescue Her. SF/F and mysteries present a problem to be solved far, far more often than they present an emotional entanglement (or lack thereof) to overcome.

I believe what people are telling me I’m missing is the emotional blort. I read and write sf/f and mysteries; it doesn’t at all surprise me that I would tend towards writing that way. Particularly since the emotional blort makes me feel uncomfortable, both as a reader and a writer. As a reader, I go, “Come ON, people don’t REALLY express all those mucky feelings to themselves in so many words, *do* they? Ewwww,” and as a writer I suspect that I fear being too obtuse and so err on the side of Extreme Crypticness.

So I think I’ve learned something! It’s been a very worthy day!

We have also eaten out, decadently, *several times* in the last couple of days, including an extremely fine meal at Aladdin’s this evening, and lunch at the Crazy Croissant, a bakery/restaurant nearby where we not only had lunch but Ted also hit them up for a possible summer job, as he’s thinking of getting a summer job in a professional bakery and then doing his internship in spring 2005 at a high-end restaurant so that he has experience in the two different sides of being a professional cook, and he can decide if he likes one or the other better.

We harrassed the guys at the comic shop, and we dropped by Blaine’s (the art supply store, which, sadly, does not rent silk-screening equipment); we hung out with my parents for a few hours last night and talked about educational politics and ate pizza; we ran errands hither and yon, and we have generally had a couple of very, very excellent days.

And now I am taking my happy and excellent self to bed, because it’s sleepy out.


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