Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The shape of my day.

Before I begin, to update my NaNoWriMo progress: I'm up to page 43, and of words I have 9,100 and some small change. Not bad for someone who only got a start on Friday. Today I typed until my laptop crapped out. It's on the charge. I'm actually quite frustrated, I was in mid-scene when I had to stop today.

I'll have to boot up later to back up my file.

Beyond that, this is the shape of my day:
Wine-glassed shape, with a 4 oz serving inside. It's been that sort of week. We've had rain. For those unfamiliar with what rain means when you live on top (basically) of an underground river, let me just say the rinse-n-vac got a workout yesterday as water poured through the frames of our window well and soaked up  through the foundation into our basement. I was sucking water out of 40 year old carpet for nearly four hours yesterday.

My joy knows no bounds. Thank whatever god is listening that the rain has stopped for the nonce and I can get my wine on. I need it.

Before I get too wined up (maybe too late, I've already drunk that glass and moved on to milk), here's what I did today -- aside from nearly 4,000 words for NaNoWriMo -- I made dinner!

As an extremely poor person, I made arrangements with Mater Gloriosa to cook for the family if they'd help me out with my car insurance. Seems a fair trade, as mother retired from cooking duty about 20-odd years ago and everyone has been left to fend for themselves, and that means that mom usually doesn't eat. As a diabetic, that's not wise. At least this way, she gets to eat a dinner she didn't have to prepare -- which means it's more substantive than she usually tosses together -- and her blood sugar stays on a more stable footing than usual. Win-win.

Tonight was my first night "on the job." I heated up a pre-marinated turkey breast and sweet potatoes and microwaved some cauliflower. Mom had to show me how she made her white sauce for the cauliflower, so I know how it's done when I make it next time, and she kept interfering once the food was in the oven. Otherwise it was my show, and it was lovely. I even had some:

A small serving, yes, but I'm planning on having some more later.

How did I end up short-order cook to the family? Well, I tried my 'nuclear option' in order to settle my bills this month and it failed, miserably. I have one, you know. A nuclear option. Well, I thought I had one, I see now it wasn't all that nuclear to begin with...

What is my nuclear option, you ask?
1965, second U.S. edition, in original papers and slipcase. Pristine. Pristine, I tell you. Two owners, and neither of us have actually read these copies. You can only tell they've been around 50 years because the bottom corners of the slipcase have worn slightly from sitting on a lacquer cabinet.

Apparently, the market for Tolkien is quite depressed at the moment, as no one is paying anything like what they're worth. I had them up on eBay, but when they didn't sell I let the listing expire.

I'm kind of glad, if you want the truth. The real value to be had is in my 1969 leather-bound, slipcased edition of The Hobbit, but that one's not even an option, much less a nuclear one. I've always been more of a Hobbit girl than LotR; the indexes at the end of The Return of the King depress me. Not to mention the death of Boromir -- the only real human in the Fellowship itself. Sad, sad. But The Hobbit is a happy journey tale, with treasure and dragons and derring-do. I love it. I'm not as attached to LotR, it's longer and full of more angst and death and blood.

Plus I read all three of the LotR books in one day -- tip to tail -- when I was 13 or so, which is enough to make anyone suicidal. It's hard on a girl to make friends and tragically lose them all in the span of 12 hours. Even when they take 900 years to die (although I was never a big Aragorn fan; he's a bit poncy.)

But as I say, I'm not all that upset they didn't sell. Just like I'm loathe to sell my piano or my car for scrap. In the past two or three years I've pared my life down to the bare minimum. I have so few possessions anymore (and am very rarely interested in acquiring new ones) I almost don't recognize myself. But since I have so few things, the little I do have is items I'm emotionally attached to for one reason or another -- and while I no longer enjoy reading the longer Tolkien, it is a personal touchstone for me. Reading those books when I was 13...let's just say, that was a defining moment in my life. These are the only three copies of these books I own anymore (sold my own, ages ago, to the second hand bookstore). And these are vastly superior to the ratty paperbacks I bought for $5 a piece (tells you how long ago that was) when I was an eighth grader.

So, anyway. I'm limping onward, ever onward. I've been tele-stalking the temp agency I interviewed with, hoping to get a temp job (not likely) and I keep looking for jobs I might be competent at while still focusing on my true work -- my writing. Also, at present, not likely. But I have nothing else to do, so I just keep going.

Look, I don't know if I'm really a good writer. People have said it, but I think I'm crap. Still and all, if Rincewind is a wizard, then I'm a writer, and I just have to keep at it. I know I'm a storyteller, that much I do know, so anything else I do will always be in the way of a second job. This is my career, for good or ill, and I just have to hope I'm doing the right thing.

Oooh. Apparently the wine has gone to my head. I'm getting a bit belligerent, and possibly the teensiest bit maudlin. I'll go have a rest now. And maybe watch some of the CSI episodes I tape off Spike TV every day. The do have a way of piling up on the TiVo!

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