I never read my own blog or journal…

I never read my own blog or journal or whatever, except right as I hit post. I never go look back. I think I should start, because these days my time is so structured that the days all run together. I need to read what I’ve done so I can internalize it, so I can form long-term memories.

Just had the coolest math conversation with Robin…

Just had the coolest math conversation with Robin. TMBG taught him the joy of a basic addition game with us: What’s tuba plus tuba? What’s fourba plus fourba? Today he took it further. He asked me what 8+8 was. Then 8+9. Then 9+9. Then he asked me what made 19. I said 10+9. He asked me what made 100? I said 80+20. He said, “Also, 90+10.” Then he said, “Does 90+1 make 100?” Wrong, but an interesting insight into how he’s thinking about numbers.

I don’t want to forget this Thanksgivin…

I don’t want to forget this Thanksgiving. It is the only Thanksgiving in which Robin is three. I don’t really think writing it down will help fix it in my memory but I know relying on my mind is no better. The video of my mind loses so much detail.

Robin helped set the table. He was adorable and well-behaved most of the day, and very interested in every part of preparing the meal: bread dough, turkey raw and roasted, peeling potatoes. And he was delighted at ferrying silverware from the drawer to the table. He ran.

I really, really like having a three year old, even with all the NOs and flagrant naughtiness. I love watching him blossom. He watches every new thing intently. He loves to share things with us–not as an act of generosity but one of communion. And he is my alarm clock, climbing into MommyDaddy bed every morning. Which, I guess means I should stop typing this on my iPod and go to sleep…

I am sad that the rest of the country se…

I am sad that the rest of the country seems to be blaming yesterday on the area’s inhabitants, not the geography. It’s a joke– hah hah, Seattlites can’t drive, they suck.  It wasn’t lack of skill that trapped me here, assholes. It was icy hills. Why does snow always seem to provoke a sneering machismo towards those who have less of it?

Despite not getting a single word that c…

Despite not getting a single word that counts the way I want it to count, I think I dedicated a good six hours to story design today. I’m happy with that. It’s one little step on a long journey but I can feel it already. It’s interesting to look at the lists of characters and remember that once Tiana and Marley were just unfamiliar, awkward names in a list, too. Somehow, if I keep working, all those names and phrases become a story, one anybody can follow and maybe even enjoy. Even though I’m the one doing the work, it still looks a little bit like magic. And it makes me think of bread dough.

Waiting for an advice nurse to call back…

Waiting for an advice nurse to call back. Why hasn’t one called back yet? Very sleepy. Reading more of Xiphotologos to kill time.

I think I know part of the difference. I think Xiphotologos predates, or is at least concurrent with my ‘Have To Learn To Write A Novel Properly’ breakdown. Unlike my later stuff, which is so closely third person that I have barely any narration outside of character thoughts, there seems to be a clear, functional narrator here. And also, it’s full of irrelevant details. I remember one reason I wrote it is because I wanted to explore the day-to-day life in a decaying grand royal court– it’s a parent to Citadel of the Sky in that way– and so it’s full of that kind of detail. I’m pretty sure in Citadel of the Sky and later, I tried to make sure all details served the purpose of developing plot, or demonstrated important character techniques. I don’t think I left much room for narrated details to develop setting. And yet that’s a huge part of what I’m enjoying in rereading Xiphotologos.

This doesn’t help me decide which to pursue. S13, my new Secret Project, has an intrinsic narrator with a distinct voice, so I think I would have naturally felt free to use those kind of details, and I think I will enjoy writing the same way. I don’t think I’ll enjoy the subject matter as much, but I’m pretty sure I got to the ‘oh god I’m stuck my plot and pacing are totally screwed up’ point in Xiphotologos that I seem to get to with almost every novel I write, which means picking it up again would mean a bit of digging around to figure out what the hell I was doing before diving straight into the hardest part of a novel.

I dreamt this morning that I was opening a huge present and I got woken up before I knew what was inside. So I guess I’ll go read more and see what Xiphotologos becomes.