Month: March 2003 Page 1 of 2

Neil Gaiman.

Via his website:

And our bizarre but oracular word for today is gyromancy – 1557, from M.L. gyromantia, from Gk. gyyros “circle” + manteia “divination, oracle.” “A method of divination by walking in a circle till the person fell down from dizziness, the inference being drawn from the place in the circle at which he fell.”

Lee notes that Rachel practices gyromancy all the time.

Cute stuff of the day.

I decided to take a bath. For me to take a bath, rather than us, I must close the bathroom door. Ray stood outside the door and hollered for a couple of minutes. About half an hour later, I heard water running. Hm de hm. More water running–more than you’d need to flush the toilet. Hm de hm. Better go check. I peel myself out of the tub (the bubbles hadn’t popped yet), walked into the other bathroom.

Our daughter sat in the sink with the cold water running. I think she meant to take her own damn bath, but the water was too cold and she was too scared to climb back out. As soon as I stopped laughing….

Book. A possible title: The Gods of Grey Hill. Currently on page 92. For some reason, the plot seems to be going the direction I had originally planned for it…it’s like it’s come around full circle. Hah! Like it’s going to stay that way.

The secret of good pastry dough.

Cold. Everything must be cold. Keep your butter in the freezer and shred it with a serrated knife. A high proportion of butter is important: a stick of butter, a cup of flour. I hate shortening pie crust. Mmm. Butter. And let the dough rest in the fridge for an hour before you try to roll it, or else it’ll keep shrinking on you.

I made tarte tartin. Did I spell that right? And shepherd’s pie. Hah. Chicken pot pie, here I come.

Laugh and you don’t get to eat at my house.

Reviews. Being thusly a slow De-newsweek, I present to you some reviews:

The Riddle-Master of Hed series, by Patricia McKillip.

Door Number Three, by Patrick O’Brien

Golden Witchbreed, by Mary Gentle

Wizard’s First Rule, by Terry Goodkind

The Riddle-Master of Hed Series.

I’m trying to catch up on some classic fantasy. Maybe I’m just in a mood to be snarky, because I certainly gobbled this series up in two days, but if this is classic fantasy, I’m done with classic fantasy. It wasn’t bad. It makes Robert Jordan seem just as pointlessly overdescriptive as he is. It’s fast. Plot twists galore. –But to what point? The best fantasy in the epic mode, like Tolkein’s Middle-Earth or (don’t care, Doyce) Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, has a point. The world has changed, but it could have been much, much worse. The things you place your hopes in sometimes cause you to become something you hate. Don’t litter. Things like that. So what’s the point of this book? For those who don’t need a point–or those who don’t need a point this time–these are pretty decent jellybeans.

Door Number Three

If psychoanalysis bothers you, don’t read this book. If reading a first novel bothers you, don’t read this book. If you like to read the way a writer arranges words on a page, ah, then. Read this book. The main premise–the narrator becomes unstuck in time, flashing through his memories, possibly able to change them–only comes into play for a few chapters. Other plot elements are similarly underused–the aliens, the end of the world, the fractal biology leading to square nipples. But.

Golden Witchbreed

Is this fantasy or sci fi? If you use a spaceship to get to a fantasy world, what does that make it? And if the fantasy world is a post-holocaust culture? You want to say sci fi, you really do, but you can’t. It feels like a fantasy…where have I had this feeling before? Oh, yeah! Marion Zimmer Bradley! –People gave all sorts of blurbs comparing this to Ursula K. LeGuin, but I can’t stand her stuff, so screw that. This a novel (and, I guess, a series?) that Darkover fans may like–not as melodramatic, emotionally, but just as satisfying.

Wizard’s First Rule

The first rule goes like this: People are stupid. Weird book. For the first four hundred pages or so, it fit pretty much all of my preconceptions of a cheesy fantasy novel. Then everything changes. It’s like the writer hit a point where he had nothing else planned, or for some reason couldn’t continue in the direction he thought he was going. The writing is on an average to slightly better than average level, but I’d recommend this book to a lot of people who don’t read fantasies like they were crack based on that last hundred and fifty pages or so: something out of his subconscious took over, and the book takes life in a way that most of the crap out there never will. Suddenly, cheesy fantasy turns into a good Stephen King fantasy, deep, archetypal, and leaving nobody whole. Well, I liked it. I don’t know if I’ll race out and get the rest of the series (I’m afraid he’ll go back to planning mode), but I’ll be hoping for those moments of spontaneous inspiration, so I’ll probably read the rest of them eventually.

Hm. Lots of flyovers in Colorado Springs today.

Yello. There’s just something about them that makes Ray laugh out loud. Oh, yeah….

More plain old just news. Reminds me of a Terry Pratchett line: “What they want is olds.

It snowed here. We have about a foot of snow all around the house. –Apparently, the further north you go, the worse it gets. As it is, most of the bitching around here (as opposed to Denver) appears to be mere freaking out by people that a) like to freak out or b) don’t do much driving in the snow. It’s cruel of me, I know, but now is hardly the time to get melodramatic in Colorado Springs. Maybe Manitou is a better place to get melodramatic. Or Monument. I’m glad the schools are closed, don’t get me wrong–the last thing you want is a bunch of kids driving around or a bunch of kids being driven around in this stuff. And snow days are a good thing.

I’m glad I didn’t sow the wildflowers, though.

We only had seven people out of twenty-two show up this morning, and we were the most staffed department in the building, according to a couple of the directors. The site shut down yesterday at four, so All Hell Has Broken Loose on the second mortgage front. So I went in to work, and I’m still looking at a mandatory Saturday. But there you go.

This morning, Lee and Ray got up as usual. Ray tried to turn on the TV, which wasn’t working for some reason, walked over to Lee and babbled at him for a moment, went back to the TV, tried to turn it on again and couldn’t. Then she marched right up to Mr. Lee, Her FATHER, the man in charge of morning cartoons, and said, “EHMO!”

Quick Notes. There’s a monster cold going around our house; Ray sounds terrible and Lee doesn’t sound much better. As for me, well, I’m fine. The yard is about 75% ready for flowers, but it’s supposed to snow sometime this week, so I’ll wait and fiddle with the fiddly things. The story is moving, albeit slowly; I’m trying to figure out how to cover a lot of information that doesn’t turn me on to write. Turn it into scenes? Do a flashback? Let the main character run over it in his mind while trying to figure something else out? All these things sound practical but personally uninteresting. So I’m thinking…how do I get from here to the cool parts? Or else, how do I turn this into a cool part? Hm. My workplace newsletter-writing capacity has expanded, and I have permission to do some work on it at home again. This is good, because I don’t have time for anything at work this week or next; the person that works with me full-time is out training a new crew in Phoenix, so we have 40% of the mogul-hours that we normally have. Bitch, bitch, bitch. Well, after she’s done, life will be better, since a good number of files are going to shunt off the workload, which is getting overheavy already, and it’s not even summer. Jesus! Didn’t you know it’s a bad economy? Why the hell are y’all buying houses?

Oh, yeah. The fed may drop the rate again.

The plans are somehow to get back to SD for Easter–don’t ask me how at this point. Ray is more cute than ever, making the transition into two-ness a little early (but we knew she was bright), and learning how to walk with mamma and dad holding hands. We went to Garden of the Gods yesterday and putzed around on the trails…we followed horses around. I could just see the look on her face: “Mamma, those are the biggest @#$@#$ dogs I’ve ever seeeeeeeeeeen.” I could tell she thought they were dogs by the way she barked at them.

Blog vs. Yard. Sorry. The yard’s been calling. 1) Nothing is wrong. 2) Although I can’t think of any stupid jokes off the top of my head. 3) But one’s bound to hit me eventually.

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