NOTE: If this is your first visit to one of my pages, you might want to check out my home page first, so you have an idea where I'm coming from. The entries within each month are in reverse chronological order -- the newest is first. Enjoy! -- Mary Anne
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Happy May Day, everyone!
White truck rattles down
dawn streets. Slips beneath a tree,
trailing pink blossoms.
Saw that this morning, as I was biking to work (in a clear, crisp beauty of a morning). And was hit with joy, sudden and unexpected. It wasn't a clean truck, but something about the flowers surrounding it and slowly falling away -- aw, it was just beautiful. Great way to start the month.
It's going to be a busy month too. Tonight I have off, but tomorrow is dance class, Friday is folksing night, Saturday is my friend Cappy's revert-to- childhood party (she has the Schoolhouse Rock videos! and finger paints! :-), and Sunday I get to see Aiko, a friend I somehow missed all winter. Social life kicking in with a vengeance. :-) Just better not start slacking on my work...
Good morning, my dears! It's beautiful today, and Martha brought in a bunch of lilacs to the office, so it smells a little like spring even inside. Life is good with me -- two people have expressed interest in possibly publishing and/or distributing the collection of my work, so I have to get the manuscript together in a hurry. Could be very good. :-)
Lilac Dawn (remember them? They gave me a literary excellence award?) finally has their second issue up, with a poem by me -- you may want to go take a look, though it's not a new poem...(10/24/96 note: Lilac Dawn appears to have disappeared.)
The only distressing news is that my chief co-conspirator in the erotica workshop may have to give up his duties for a while, which would be very very sad. I'd have to draft a new co-conspirator. We'll see what happens.
Dance class tonight! :-) I hope all's well with you guys...
Okay, I messed up! Good thing you guys are keeping an eye on me. :-) But now the last two entries are firmly in May where they belong, so if you missed them hiding in April, just take a look below. Sorry about that, but as you know, things have been crazy.
Spent a couple hours working on the manuscript. Tentative contents: Poetry: Confession, Hymn, Mango, Renewal, Sleeping with His Best Friend, Turning Bodies, Memory's a Traitor, Dreams of a Lover, Letter, Summer, and Orange After Midnight. Stories: Attraction, Blind, Chantal, Diana, Feather, Gorgeous Gracie, Hope of the Lord, Lady, Fleeing Gods, Letter Found Near a Suicide, Meditation on Human Relations, A More Congenial Spot, Morningsong, Paint, The Queen of Fairies, Radhika and Matthew, Reunion, Season of Marriage, Would You Live For Me. If anyone's got any favorites that I missed and that they simply MUST have in there, drop me a line, and I'll think about it. It's hardly fixed in stone, and I hope to write one or two new stories and poems as well, in addition to the ones in there.
Looks definite the John is stepping down for a while from the erotica list. Luckily Brian and another are stepping in to pick up the slack. Three cheers for helpful souls! :-)
All sore from dance class last night, but was a good class. Easier than usual, 'cause the best people weren't there, and we had some new people, so we went slow, and nothing was new to me. Nice to relax for a change. Usually I feel as if I'm just barely keeping up in that class -- and I still get hopelessly dizzy on turns. But I can touch my head to my knee in stretches now. :-)
Morning, everyone. Tired today. Generally the weekend is restful, but somehow it didn't work out that way. Kind of a blah weekend -- I was in a funny mood. Oh well, mostly feeling okay now -- back to work. So I was all set to try to self-publish the collection, right? But now a couple of people have expressed interest in maybe publishing it, maybe distributing it, and I'm not quite sure how one goes about handling this. Talked to Kirsten last night, and she thinks I should really put the manuscript together and shop it around some first. Which I guess makes me nervous for a bunch of reasons -- partly that I'd be venturing into this new world, and have no idea how much I should be expecting to charge, etc....and partly because I'm nervous about trusting my work to some stranger -- the last guy who seemed interested in working with me on this totally flaked...and partly, I guess, because I feel that the work has to be really good if I'm going to get it published by a real publisher. Which is silly, I know, since if it's good enough for me to publish, it should be good enough for them, but...
..argh. I'm just in a bit of a bleak mood, I guess. I'm going to go and try to drown myself in work for a bit, and hope that cheers me up. Hope you all had better weekends than I did.
Heya. Feeling better, though still a bit overwhelmed. I've been asking my writer groups for advice and they've been giving me publishers, so I guess the next step is to put the names in a list and draft a proposal. It just feels so arrogant -- saying, "I think you should publish my stories and poems 'cause I think they're good and I think they'd sell." I guess it's no more than what I've done sending stories to magazines, but it just feels so much bigger...
I was feeling so down yesterday that I not only skipped dance class but had dinner at MacDonald's. Paying for it now, as I don't feel nearly as healthy as I should. I should know better. Oh well -- everyone slides sometimes.
Found some inspirational reading at Border's yesterday, from a book by Bonnie Friedman called Writing Past Dark. (Also sat there and read the new Tanya Huff book, No Quarter -- much fun. :-) Here's a sample:
"'Why do we seek fame?' a student asks the spiritual teacher Krishnamurti, according to a book entitled Think on These Things.
'Have you ever thought about it?' he responds. "We want to be famous as a writer, as a poet, as a painter, as a politician, as a singer, or what you will. Why? Because we really don't love what we are doing. If you loved to sing, or to paint, or to write poems -- if you really loved it -- you would not be concerned with whether you are famous or not...Our present education is rotten because it teaches us to love success and not what we are doing. The result has become more important than the action.
'You know,' he continues, 'It is good to hide your brilliance under a bushel, to be anonymous, to love what you are doing and not to show off. It is good to be kind without a name. That does not make you famous, it does not cause your photograph to appear in the newspapers. Politicians do not come to your door. You are just a creative human being living anonymously, and in that there is richness and great beauty.'
"Just one thing saves me from envy: returning to my work. My desk is a quiet place. My hours there are like panes of clear glass. I sit down and try to hear my characters....Theirs is a separate world that waits while I rush about, fixing meals, making beds, getting jealous and unjealous and maybe jealous again....
"Envy is a con man, a tugger at your sleeve, a knocker at your door. Let me in for just a moment, it says, for just one moment of your time. It claims to tell the truth; it craves attention. The more you listen to it, the more you believe, the more you think you must listen. You must get the info on who is out there, how young the competition is, where they've been reviewed, what they've won, and what that means about you. The antidote to envy is one's own work. Always one's own work. Not the thinking about it. Not the assessing of it. But the doing of it. The answers you want can come only from the work itself. It drives the spooks away."
Long, I know, but worth reading. Reminding me of uncomfortable truths. I am too fond of the spotlight, I think, and excuse myself by saying it's my nature. The lights are fine, as long as they don't get in the way of your work.
Morning, everyone. Quiet, productive day yesterday -- went over to David's after work and relaxed. Generally feel better and less fretful, though still busy busy busy. :-) Spent a while on the phone yesterday with someone interested in publishing the book! Guess the self-publishing idea is going on hold while I shop the manuscript around to see if anyone else is interested. Now I have to figure out how to write a query letter.
Kirsten's coming tomorrow! She has a conference in Washington, and so is coming early so she can come up and visit with us. I'm looking forward to her company, and the chance to go shopping with someone who really understands... :-)
Ate terrible leftovers yesterday. Ick. Should have taken David up on his offer of dinner. Got to go to the store today and stock up on some better food Hmmm...wish I had something more exciting to say, but it's just a quiet day. Neat quote someone sent me:
Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be chaos.
- I Ching
I find that extremely comforting. :-)
2:00 pm - Found a fabulous recipe section online - The African Cookbook. I'm going to attempt the fake injera and the doro wat and the vegetable stew for dinner tonight -- I'll let you know how they come out (mmmmm...injera....). (If you haven't had Ethiopian food, you must go out and try it -- no sick jokes, please. It's delicious).
Guys, I'm sorry, today was just too busy to do an entry. Still is. The injera was delicious (if not at all sourdoughy) and the curry and veggie stew came out fine. More tomorrow -- sorry! Thought of the day: "Anything worth doing is worth doing for money."-Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #13
Saw a funny quote in John's .sig today:
"I believe that nothing completely satisfies an imaginative writer but copious and continuous draughts of unmitigated praise, always provided it is accompanied by a large and increasing sale of his works."
- Frederick Locker-Lampson, _My_Confidences_
Cute, huh? I hope y'all are having a good day. I'm very happy, 'cause Kirsten got in last night. Going to bike home at lunch today and have lunch with her, I think. Then back to work, dinner with her and David tonight, and then shopping tomorow! We may even drag Kev along for part of it. :-)
Life is generally good. It looks like they may have found a replacement for me at my day job (they started looking when I got into Mills), so in a couple of weeks I may be done here. I'll start temping then, I think. It looks like I'll be out of town in SF apartment-hunting the first week in June, so no diaries for about 10 days around then. Brace yourselves now, my little addicts. :-)
Still eating that leftover curry and stew with fresh batches of injera -- the recipe makes a lot! It'll be lasting me a while, I think. Anyone, got stacks of mail to get through (I've been so busy lately that I've only been answering the quick or urgent stuff, and flagging the rest), so I'd best get going. If I don't write again, have a lovely weekend!
Hey, everyone. Managing to squish this in at the end of a busy (but productive day). Had a great weekend hanging with Kirsten and relaxing and doing girl stuff...didn't get quite enough sleep but I'm going to try to make that up tonight.
Today I managed to finish revisions on a couple of stories, organize the manuscript (I had a really hard time deciding what order things should go in, and I'm afraid the final result is somewhat random, but it's done), sent the remaining unrevised stories to my writers group for final critique, and booked my plane tickets for the CA apartment-hunting trip. I'll be staying with friends, May 30 - June 9, but if any of you want to get together for lunch sometime, and will be in either SF, Oakland or Berkeley, drop me a line.
Got to get back to work -- have a great day, people!
Hey, everyone! Brilliant morning so far -- it's clear and cool and beautiful outside again, a perfect day for biking. My only complaint is that I had to come inside to the office instead of staying out in the sun. I forgot my glasses today (I wear contacts off and on, but my eyes have been bothering me a bit lately), so I have to sit about 1/2 a foot from the screen and squint. Very silly-looking. I tried to call Kev to see if he could swing by with my glasses, but he's either still asleep or gone already. Oh well.
I'm feeling slightly less panicked after getting so much work done yesterday, (though I still have piles of mail to go through). I've been ignoring newsgroups almost entirely, which is weird. I'd gotten so used to my daily fix of news...
Goal for today is to either a) get through a lot of mail, or b) revise and write a chunk more of "Metari Nights", the novella I'm doing for Puritan. It's not due till June, but I wouldn't object to getting the check earlier. :-). Also, I still owe that web site I'm writing letters for a letter, and I really should write it. I'm having a little trouble with it, 'cause he wants something fairly specific -- an inviting, teasing letter that's still R-rated, 'cause it'll be the intro to the section. We'll see what I can do. He thought my first attempt at it was too literary...
Good morning! Another beautiful day, though it's clearly going to be warmer than yesterday. No complaints from me -- I got to wear the cute little summer dress I bought when I went shopping with Kirsten. :-)
Made more Ethiopian food last night -- I could easily get addicted to this stuff. Anyone know a good recipe for one of their spicy lentil dishes? (I admit, I can't stand lentils, but Kev likes 'em, and I'm trying to learn, since they're so good for you.) I made the vegetable stew again, but added the cabbage this time (skipped it the first time through). Don't know that it really adds anything. I think in the future, more green peppers, carrots and tomatoes, no cabbage. We'll see, though. I made a Sri Lankan chicken curry with it, which worked fine -- it's not so dissimilar from their Doro Wat. Somewhat different spices. And I used coconut milk -- so bad for you with its high fat content, but a real pleasure in curry. Why are the good things so often bad for you?? (Of course, there are plenty that aren't -- sunsets, butterflies, fresh fruit, safe sex...:-)
I did manage to get through about 40 mail messages yesterday that I'd had saved for days, so achieved one of my goals. Stared at Metari Nights a bit but didn't manage to revise anything, nor did I write the letter. I'm going to try to do one of those today. If I don't tell you I did tomorrow, yell at me.
Dinner at David's tonight. :-) I brought in leftover injera and curry for lunch, so I think I'll be glad of a change for dinner.
Sorry guys, but this is going to be quick. Busy day, and I spent way too much time on Holomuck (had a great time building a Book Museum, though). On the plus side, I did get that letter written yesterday. On the minus side, talked to Jeff (editor at Puritan) and he wants a rough of Metari Nights by Monday if I can manage it, and a final by mid-June. Considering I'm going to be out of town for ten of the days between now and then, that'll involve some scrambling. Life is otherwise good -- got a delicious ice cream sundae for 50 cents today (promotion at the hospital where I work), and plan to be lazy and relaxed tonight (skipping dance class 'cause the weather is grody). I started reading Prozac Nation last night, and I'll probably finish it tonight.
Yet another rushed note -- sorry sorry! Busy day at work, and I wrote a new story today, which will hopefully be in Floating Worlds, and anthology by Masquerade. I'm not sure if I like it, honestly speaking -- it's technically competent -- but I don't know if it really has heart...
I'm planning to come in and work on the weekend, so I hope to give you a better entry then. Happy Friday, everyone!
Good morning, dears. Sorry no entry yesterday -- I spent most the day cleaning and cooking (had friends for dinner last night) and so didn't log on much. The day went pleasantly, though I was fairly tired at the end of it. Made more injera and some Sri Lankan curries to go with it. The lemon/ chicken/coconut milk dish came out especially well -- the recipe is in the Complete Asian Cookbook, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in Asian food. (covers Sri Lanka to Japan to Singapore to...)
It's a beautiful day today, though it'll soon be too hot -- up into the 90's, from what I hear. The birds are chirping furiously outside. Karina gave Kev a bird feeder for Christmas, and I finally got it up a couple of days ago. Daily battles are being fought by the birds -- there are several trees outside, and at least fifty birds seem to live there -- cardinals, definitely, but I don't know what any of the others are. Lots of little brown ones -- Kevin says two we saw yesterday were doves, some birds with white necks and chests, but with black bits and mostly brown wings...I should get a book.
Am currently reading Prozac Nation. I'm not overly impressed with the writing style, but it's fascinating hearing about what it's like being severely depressed. I don't really get depressed like that -- stressed or worried or upset or sad, but usually for some specific reason -- not just depressed. I used to have a roommate who was manic-depressive, and some of the things she did to herself were really scary. I hate thinking about how many people are going around feeling like that all the time -- it must be terrible. I think I'd rather be really sad than really depressed -- at least I know I'm feeling something.
But that's a dreary topic for what's really a rather lovely day. I'm doing laundry now, (I actually kind of like doing laundry, 'cause I can feel productive while the machines do most of the work. :-) (Yes, I'm reading a book, but I'm also doing laundry!)) and when I finish, the plan is to go into my nice air-conditioned office and work on Metari Nights. If I'm really lucky, I'll finish the darn thing (though more likely, I'll just get the structural revisions done, and lucky to do that). Still, most of my other projects are going well, so I can't complain. My only concern is that I still seem to be tired all the time, despite the Synthroid. Got to do some more blood tests and see if they need to up my dose.
Oh, put some new stuff on the home page. Instructions for creating a web page. Lots of people ask me about it -- maybe this will help. It's all really pretty easy once you find a site.
Well, I'm going to go check my mail again (compulsive, I know. I alphabetized all Kevin's CD's the other day), and then go check the laundry. Have a great day, everyone! I'll talk to you tomorrow.
Sorry for the little mess yesterday -- hardware problems, but should be all fixed now. I'll chat with y'all more later -- busy right now reworking and prettying up my home page.
2:00 - Okay, just finished an appalling amount of silliness -- moved all my pictures to a separate directory and went back and changed all the links appropriately. (If anyone feels like going through and seeing if I missed anything, would be appreciated). Don't ask me why. Compulsiveness.
2:45 - Finish A Library of My Graphics.
Good morning, my dears. I know the entries have been brief lately, but I've been working really hard, and things have been a little crazy. On the plus side, I've written a few more stories (still haven't finished Metari Nights), one of which, "Goddess Blessing", has been accepted for publication in an anthology, Floating Worlds, which is a collection of Asian fantasy (fantasy in the sf/f sense). I'm not sure when publication is, but once it's out, I'll stick a copy up here somewhere. I'm more than usually excited about this one, 'cause the editor solicited me, needing a specific story ASAP, and I managed to write it over the weekend, and he liked it and bought it, which all made me feel quite the professional. :-)
Other than that, hmmm...what else is going on in my life? Well, the erotica list is still going fairly smoothly, with perhaps a little more chatting than is strictly necessary, but some good material making the rounds nonetheless. On my workshop list, it looks like various exercises in character are going to come together into a story. Hey, would you guys be interested in seeing them? I could post them here, and you could watch the story evolve with me. Might be interesting. On the general writing list, I'm afraid I've gotten into an argument about whether it's necessary/polite to respond to crits with little thank-you's. I find them basically content-free and a waste of time that would better spent critting. Almost everyone else disagrees with me.
In my other electronic life, I've been having way too much fun building a Book Museum on Holomuck. What, you may ask, is a book museum? Well, in my version, each room is dedicated to an author, and is set as a scene of one of their books/worlds. Various objects in the rooms can be touched, which will take you to other rooms in the museum. (For example, if you decide to go watch Reepicheep 'fence' in the Narnia room, you become entranced by the flickering blades, and the next thing you know, you've fallen into the middle of a swordfight with the Three Musketeers in the Dumas room.) Great fun and silliness, and I'm encouraging other people to come and build rooms, so it doesn't become a Museum of Books Mary Anne Reads. :-)
I've also been working on a web page for my boss. This link won't exist for very long, as we're working on finding her a permanent home, but you're welcome to take a look and offer comments.
In my life outside the net (what, there's life outside the net??), I made chicken and potato curry yesterday (what, again? yes, again), got into a fight with my realtor (I even lost my temper, and I never never lose my temper with strangers), the slumlord, took out the trash (it was Wednesday, after all), watched intermitten 90210 while cooking (there was a time, about 5 years ago, when Paul (an ex) and I were addicted to that show. Once a week after work in that awful summer (I had an 1 1/2 hour commute each way -- yick -- really shortened the days) we'd settle down and watch 90210 together. Silly, huh? Oh well. It still reminds me of him.
I also read Amy Tan's The Hundred Secret Senses, which is a delightful and wonderful and inspiring book, and I encourage you all to read it. I loved her first book, enjoyed her second and am very happy with this third one. Took a break from depressing Prozac Nation, also read a little Niven book I enjoyed (forget the name, sorry), despite the fact that you end up disliking the protagonist for most of the book, and am currently rereading The Dispossessed, by Le Guin, which is brilliant. David's reading her The Left Hand of Darkness now, and when he finishes, I think I'll ask to trade. I need to reread that too.
Oof, I should get back to work. (Quiet this morning 'cause two patients cancelled). Have a good day, everyone!
Hmmm. A little worried -- the erotica server appears to be down, and I'm not sure what (if anything) is to be done about it. Be patient for a bit, I guess.
Otherwise, life is good -- a lazy Friday before a long weekend (Monday's Memorial Day, for those of you not in the States, and a national holiday). Not too much work here at the office, and I've spent the last half hour trying to decide what to have for dinner. Chicken sandwiches with honey mustard, I think. Too lazy to really cook. Thought about doing lasagne, but David doesn't want the oven going that long, and I can't really blame him.
Finished The Dispossessed and am currently about halfway through the latest issue of Analog. Was not overly impressed by the novella segment, but there was a pretty good rocket ship story.
A couple of you expressed interest, so here are the Jenni segments, from my workshop. Some of them contain details that are mutually exclusive -- that's 'cause they're written for different exercises. If they finally become a story, all of those will be smoothed out. Keep in mind that these all had word limits on them -- under 300 or 500 words. That makes a big difference in how you tell the story.
Finished Metari Nights AND a new short story. Finally. Going to go veg out in front of the tv now for a well-earned rest! :-)
Hey, everyone! I hope all of you in the U.S. had a good holiday (and the rest of you had a good weekend)! After being such a good, productive girl on Sunday I proceeded to veg out for the rest of the holiday. :-) Watched some good Star Trek, some figure skating (I love watching figure skaters, though the judging in this competition was appallingly bad), did some reading (Kevin loaned me his Poul Anderson Time Patrol anthology, which I just started, also reread Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness (brilliant, of course) and finished Girls Just Want To: Representations of Women's Sexuality which had some excellent material -- art and comics and stories).
Am now busy writing new letters and a sex news column for a web site, and trying to get ready for the trip to CA. Can't quite believe I'm going in two days -- it snuck up on me! :-)
Added a new link to my stories page -- some funny Star Trek erotica, and a new award -- my "Letter to a Suicide" got a 'most bizarre' award -- don't ask me why. :-)
Morning! Well, plans are proceeding apace for the CA trip. I'm kind of nervous, actually. Not sure how easy/difficult it will be to find an apartment. Anyone know what the weather's like in CA? I have to pack tonight...
In other news, still reading The Time Patrol (the second story, "Brave to Be a King" is excellent, though the title doesn't quite work for me). I've got a bunch of small errands and little jobs to take care of before I go. I had hoped to send out the manuscript to all the appropriate publishers/agents -- not sure I'll manage it, but will try. Going to be a long day, and I'd best get back to work.
Can't remember if I said before, but I'll definitely have access while I'm away.
11:45 - I wrote a song a day or two ago. Don't write songs very much -- the melody's appended at the end. I think my songs tend to be a bit too mushy. :-) Thought y'all might enjoy it, though.
Leaf and Tide
There was a time, when I thought those words could shatter sorrow.
Bold hearts could fly, and their bodies share the sky...
There was a time, we were younger than the leaves in springtime.
Those leaves must die, and lie scattered on the grass.
Remember well, the day I swore that I would love forever.
We were so sure that our love could turn the tides...
Remember well, the day I left you standing at the landing.
The tide has turned and the waves are bearing down.
You wrap yourself in a cloak of
shadows, lost in sorrow
I reach to you, but the shadows leave me blind
You drown your tears in a bitter glass of seasalt water
Then hurl the glass to shatter 'neath the stars
Oh can't you see we are younger than the leaves in
We are so small, far smaller than the sea...
But leaves do fly, in a gold and crimson, sunlit autumn;
And we can swim, in the cradle of the waves.
So dry your tears; you have lived
too long inside the winter
Spring will return, and the leaves will come again
And in her smile, if you see a shadow of my sorrow
Just close your eyes, and the tide shall turn again.
(It's in the key of D, so all the c's and f's are sharp).
aaba gfgfed fedc