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Bibs and Bobs

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Had a social weekend. Ended up canceling one dinner invitation last week due to illness and two others (sort of) due to scheduling/logistics complications, but over the weekend there was much socializing.

(I was sad to miss World Fantasy Convention this weekend; a bunch of cool people, and it sounded like lots of fun. But it was also nice to not be traveling.)

(Speaking of traveling: several times in the past, I've visited Boston at the end of October, and found it lovely: crisp clear sunny weather, much nicer than I would have expected. A couple of months ago, I was vaguely thinking of arranging a Boston visit around this time. I'm now very glad I didn't, given the amazing snowstorm. I hope y'all EastCoasterners are doing all right.)

But before the socializing, there was writing. Saturday morning and early afternoon, I finally finally finished writing the last few scenes of the first draft of the portal-fantasy novella/novel I've been working on intermittently for the last four years or so. A big relief. Lots of work still to do, and the length is an even more unsellable length than I had previously thought (I'd been doing word-processor wordcounts, by which it's about 36,000 words, but I finally did a printer's-rule wordcount, by which it's about 45,000 words, which makes it a much-too-short novel); still, glad to reach that milestone.

Saturday afternoon, I showed friends around my workplace (an 8th-grader girl said she was going to work there when she grew up; I was pleased), then read through the first half of my draft, tweaking bits here and there.

Then I attended a birthday party in the East Bay. I started fading relatively early; drove home, got my second wind, read through the rest of the draft, emailed it off to Mary Anne for critiquing.

Sunday I attended a birthday brunch, then tried setting up various methods for playing Scrabble-like games online, then had a dinner that was sort of an extension of a birthday party from a few weeks ago, also in the East Bay. Lots of birthdayish stuff lately. Also lots of driving.

Oh, and two good new-to-me restaurants: Blue Mango (Thai + sushi; apparently has two locations; we went to the one on Coleman in San José), and Burma Superstar (Burmese; has three locations; we went to the one in Alameda). Both were quite tasty; both (I think) had a bunch of dishes I'd never heard of. Recommended.

Last night, I dreamed that I was some kind of shapeshifting alien AI-like thing that was trying to subtly influence the course of human development. I spent most of the dream being some sort of quadrupedal herd animal (possibly a cow) over some number of centuries; apparently the influence was meant to be extremely subtle. After that, the humans discovered me and I spent the rest of the dream trying to convince them that I wasn't what they thought I was. Or something. Anyway, throughout this dream I kept half-waking up, what seemed like every few minutes, and then dozing half-awake but half in the dream for a while, and then drifting off, and then coming partly awake again. This did not result in enough sleep.

This evening I headed up to the Evanses for Halloween, as seems to have become my tradition lately; they fed me dinner and we handed out candy to neighborhood kids. I read a kids' book about a heroic librarian to Robbie, and Ray played Mad Libs. I would say we all played Mad Libs, except that Ray was sort of playing solo, with us adults as a kind of advisory board. He would say the next blank was an adjective, and we would propose adjectives, and then he would come up with one of his own and fill it in. I was amused.

At some point during the evening, I took a few minutes out to turn off the SH submission form. We're doing our annual winter closure; we're closed to subs until January 1. We'll respond to all submissions currently under consideration before that date.

What else? Kam has been gone for two and a half weeks; I think she's about to leave Fiji for New Zealand. I finished watching season 4 of Lost; I think the end of season 4 would make a pretty good stopping place, but I've now started season 5. (Speaking of TV, I have given up on Person of Interest; it's largely formulaic and just not grabbing me, and certainly not living up to its potential. Still watching Nikita, though.) I got plane tickets to visit Mary Anne in Chicago for Thanksgiving week. The kitchen table I ordered is arriving in a couple of days, and the other tables (dining room table, coffee table, end tables) that I ordered should be arriving before the end of November.

Oh, and I apparently neglected to mention here (I guess I haven't posted much lately) that I flew down to LA for a whirlwind visit a week and a half ago for my niece Avery's third birthday party. The entertainment for the party was provided by Bubble Mania (not to be confused with BubbleMania, which is apparently an entirely different organization): a “bubbleologist” demonstrated cool bubble stuff, including long bubble tubes that he enclosed various kids in, and then there was a period of free play with assorted nifty bubble toys. Seemed like a really good approach to a kid party. They're in Southern California, with branches in Florida and Cincinnati, but I suspect there are other similar entertainers in other regions.

I'm sure there's more, but it's late and I should sleep.

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