Lily 5

I had a moment of panic–one of many this week on a variety of topics–when I looked at this non-book and thought, “There’s no there there!” Some of you may remember I had a similar moment with Nita. Several in fact. One of the hardest parts of doing a discovery draft is that you’re dancing on air. Remember Wile E. Coyote running off the cliff, doing just fine until he looked down, and then he fell like a rock and usually got run over by a truck when he hit the ground? That’s why you never look down during a discovery draft. If the fall doesn’t kill you, the truck will.

However, five weeks into this I do have to do some cautious looking down. Continue reading

Happiness is Surprise, Eternally. Also Reading is Good.

This is turning into Thief of Time week on Argh, but it’s also Sticky Time for Lily, which means, as I have mentioned before, the explanation of why Wen the Eternally Surprised is eternally surprised slotted itself into Surprise Lily:

“Wen considered the nature of time and understood that the universe is, instant by instant, re-created anew. Therefore, he understood, there is, in truth, no Past, only a memory of the Past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, he said, the only appropriate state of mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.”

Okay, I know that sounds like a much deeper approach to my fave “Right now, in this moment, I am happy,” but I love the added idea of surprise, the universe reinventing itself around me all the time. Which is what happened to all of us these past weeks: We closed our eyes and when we opened them, reality said, “Surprise!” and made us stay home and wear masks.

Which is giving us more time to read and giving nature time to reclaim its turf, goats in the streets, cleaner air, less light pollution, baby turtles surviving their trips to the sea, people being kind to each other . . . There’s a Great Plan here, I’m sure of it. And I am glad of it.

Also, Thief of Time ends in a Perfect Moment, and that makes me happy, too.

How were you surprised by happiness this week?

Cherry Saturday, April 18, 2020

Today is Piñata Day. That seems appropriate since at this point most of us are feeling beaten like one.

I went to Amazon to see if they had anything interesting in the way of piñata pictures and they did: a bright green corona virus piñata. Because nothing says “party” like widespread sickness and death. They also had a princess piñata so small children could take sticks and beat a woman to death. Even the llama piñata I eventually decided to feature was problematical: Don’t hit animals, you jerks.

I’m going to pass on the pinatas. Well, not all of them. If they ever bring out a line of national government figures, I’m in.

Lily Notes 4

I was re-reading Thief of Time and found this:

“And if you want the story, remember that the story does not unwind. It weaves. Events that start in different places and different times all bear down on that one tiny point in space time, which is the perfect moment.”

That whole page is a great musing on story in general (it’s page 5 in iBooks edition), but that idea that everything rests on that one point, the perfect moment, the obligatory scene (in my interpretation) when the whole story universe completes itself, that, I think, is the key to fiction. (And Thief of Time does ends on the perfect moment.) The problem is that I don’t know what that moment is until I get there. Well, I know it for Nita, but not for Lily. I’ll never have to know it for Lily (not a book), but I kinda want to anyway.

And that means I really need an antagonist in here. Because the obligatory scene/climax needs an antagonist. And then maybe a resolution for an even more perfect moment, but still, an antagonist is key. Continue reading

This is a Good Book Thursday, April 16, 2020

Alisa Kwitney and I were texting and trading book recs the other day and I found out she’d never read Terry Pratchett, a particularly egregious dereliction considering she’s friends with Neil Gaiman. So I told her to read Thief of Time. Then I realized it had probably been a year since I’d read Thief of Time, so I’m going back to it, too, and now, I’m eyeing the Watch series again, possibly the greatest detective series ever written, especially if you like rough justice and hard laughter. I also told her about Ben Aaronovitch because the Rivers of London series is just damn good. She recommended Lucy Parker, and I said, “Definitely Mhairi McFarlane.” About ten minutes into our fast-and-furious texting exchange, the phone rang and she said, “Why are we TYPING?” and we settled in for a this-is-a-good-book swap chat session with frequent asides about dogs and mothers. So this is also This-Is-A-Good-Friend Thursday, featuring Alisa Kwitney, who is also a Good Author and you should read her. Which I am going to do again after I read about Susan Sto-Helit defeating those damn Auditors and finding True Love.

Because Terry Pratchett was a genius, and Thief of Time is proof.

What did you read this week?

Working Wednesday, April 15, 2020

It’s April 15 but taxes aren’t due. So much for the whole death-and-taxes rule. I have been throwing things out with a vengeance (not yarn or dogs of course) and scrubbing with less enthusiasm, and my yard is starting to not look so much like a blasted heath, so, hey, progress. Also more work on Nita (see proof below) and Lily, this time on the collage (more about that after the jump).

First, what did you do this week?

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Lily 4

I know I have to figure out what Sebastian is doing in the plot, but I still have no idea what the plot is here. The characters are shaping up nicely in my brain, but they’re just milling around, serving and eating pie and burgers that I haven’t described yet, vaguely waving their hands in the air. So this week, I decided, Lily had to get a goal. (I did write scenes with Seb, but they’re awful because I don’t know what his problem is. So he just whines a lot. Not good.). Lily’s in some kind of conflict, and she needs to talk to somebody about that so the Girls have a chance to send up some story fodder. She doesn’t know Fin well enough yet, and anyway we already have a Lily/Fin infodump scene. Van and Cheryl know her life. It’s gonna have to be Nadia.

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Happiness is Connecting

You know those friends you have that you’ve lost touch with but have never forgotten? The kind that when you speak again, it feels as if you’ve never been apart? Krissie and I have always stayed in touch, but in the past weeks Julia and Alisa and Gretchen have parachuted back into my life to my intense pleasure and gratitude. I’ve talked with my brother and sister-in-law, the kind of family you cherish, even if you never see each other. Mollie and I check in more often. And then, of course, there’s Argh and all of you. I am so blessed with good people that it makes me happy just to think about you all and fills me with joy to connect.

What filled you with joy this week?

Cherry Saturday, April 11, 2020

Today is Pet Day, which happens during Active Dog Month. I’m going to go with Pet Day because my dogs are all seniors, and while they have short bursts of activity, those bursts end in naps. Sort of like me. Lots of people are adopting or fostering pets these days, which is great as long as they don’t turn them back to the shelters when the apocalypse finally ends. These are living creatures, people, they attach.

This reminds me of a piece of story that sort of floated by a brain cell the other day. I have no idea who these people are, they don’t even have names, but by god the chicken got a name. Animals (and birds) are people, too. Hug a pet today. Continue reading