I’m not going to lie, February has really sucked for me. (Not as bad as it has for Ukraine, I’m fully aware, but this is me we’re talking about.). The thing is, a lot of the suckage has turned out to have benefits. My sixteen-year-old car died, and I loved that car, but it snowed here and I took the new, heavier, all-wheel-drive Nita out onto the roads and had no troubles at all. My computer and iPad went down with Wifi and exploding power cords and I was without my usual electronics for two days, but that forced me to finally get to know my iPhone; there’s a lot of stuff on that iPhone. And my septic tank . . . actually, there’s no silver lining yet for the septic tank, we’re still in crisis mode on that one, but I’ve been putting off replacing it for years, so that’ll be a worry gone, replaced with a new enormous-debt worry, but still not a plumbing worry. Plus I’ve watched the Tom Holland “Umbrella” lip sync about twenty times, so February hasn’t been aa complete loss. That and “Shut Up and Dance” is what’s going to get me through the end of this month.
Fingers crossed Ukraine gets a silver lining, too.
What was your silver lining (or non-lining) this week?
Yesterday, I freaked when my charger blew up and my wifi died and both MacBook and iPad went blank. Not my week, so I started Alice in Wonderland on my iPhone and then gave up because I was too tense to deal with anxious rabbits.
What did you read this week?
I have had a taxing winter and it’s not over yet (for one thing, I still have to do my taxes). These are the some of the thoughts I had this weekend. They’re not deep. Feel free to skip.
Driving a new car is weird. I dashed into Home Goods to pick up a rabbit–there are going to be rabbits in Haunting Alice and I really liked this one, he has a stony-eyed look that fits the story–and then went back out to the parking lot and realized I had no idea what the car looked like. Well, it was black, but beyond that? A small SUV? Maybe. Thank god for dealer plates. It was the only way I found it. Continue reading
So I’m back to working on Nita, but the whole Alice in Wonderland thing is getting to me. It doesn’t really fit with Haunting Alice because that’s ghosts and butterflies and magicians (slight of hand, not supernatural) and questions about what is real, and oh, wait, it does kind of fit. But not easily, not the way fairy tales slotted into Bet Me, so now I’m having to think, which means pictures and collage and music and how it all works together and I LOVE DOING THIS. So I have a bunch of collage stuff that won’t arrive until the end of the week, and I’m back to Nita now, but every now and then I get an Alice nudge from the Girls and make another note. Happiness is having a new project that challenges and excites me.’
How did happiness excite you this week?
After a bad week followed by a worse week, I needed something non-stressful to read and BookBub had Agatha Christie’s They Came to Baghdad for $1.99, and I hadn’t read it, so I bit. There’s no sex, very little violence, a rapid plot, and her usual anemic romance, but this one has a protagonist, a heroine, who was really fascinating. One of the characters in the book describes her as aa nitwit with common sense, but I don’t think that’s right. She rushes into things, and she’s about as deep as a puddle, but she has an excellent sense of self-preservation and an openness and enthusiasm about life and people that means she has zero angst. She thinks, “I want that,” and then goes about getting it: following her crush to Baghdad, pretending to be somebody she’s not, escaping from a locked room, if Victoria wants it, she’ll get it. She’s also an expert liar because she enjoys lying, improving on reality to make it more interesting or to bend it to her needs. I loathe liars but by the end of the book, I admired her. She’s not stupid, she’s just not good at thinking, but she’s great at noticing and remembering and acting in the moment. She was a great escape for me after a run of bad time.
What did you read to escape this week?
I’ve been putting off getting back to work on the book, but I now I have to since I have a new car sitting in my driveway, and a new crushing debt at my bank. Why do I have a new car? Because my old one died. Horribly. Monday morning I was awakened by the godawful blare of a car alarm, which never happens in my neighborhood. We barely have cars. I looked out the window but there was no one around Agnes (my car, named after the book that purchased her). After about five minutes, she stopped and I thought, “Maybe it was just a burp in the system. Three burps later, I was driving to my service people (who are very good), where I had one of those conversations with somebody who was trying to downplay the problem and promising to fix whatever it was. While I tried to make him understand how awful it was, Agnes went off again. He understood. An hour later he came in and said, “I have very bad news,” and told me Agnes was dead, not just because of the burps from hell but because her brake line was almost rusted through along with everything else under the car. (Did I mention I bought Agnes new in 2006. Bob and I toured in that car. I loved that car. I wanted to be buried in that car. And now she’s at the junkyard, but I don’t think she cares because she’s dead.). Continue reading
We got a break in the cold for a couple of days, and I feel like I just woke up. It’s snowing again now, but next week is supposed to be wonderful again. At first I felt a little dumb for being so responsive to the weather, but then I realized that bad weather is like bad decorating, it just wears you down with the wrongness of the backdrop, so it’s not weird that I need my outdoor wallpaper to be sunny and warm. C’mon spring. I have books to write.
How did happiness warm you this week?
I just finished a book I enjoyed but really don’t want to recommend because I won’t be reading it again. It was good, I read it straight through, but there’s nothing in it that I’d want to revisit. That makes me think that the reason we reread is less about the quality of the writing or the plot and more about the emotional moments in the story, the parts that make us think (subconsciously), “I want to feel that way again.” An entertaining book isn’t enough, there have to be those moments . . .
Or maybe not. What did you read this week?
I’m still crocheting, mostly hats and scarves and shawls because they go quickly. I’m all about the quick reward, although as Carrie Fisher once said, “Instant gratification takes too long.” so I still keep wandering off in the middle. I mean, who wanders off in the middle of a hat for cripe’s sake?
Enough about me. What didn’t you wander off in the middle of this week?
My fingers are ice as I type this, but it’s going to be in the forties here all next week starting tomorrow. I am so looking forward to that. Okay, what I really want is spring, and it will be here in about six to eight weeks but in the meantime, I’m happy just knowing my fingers will thaw out next week.
What made you happy this week?