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Day off! Oh, yes. I do live for these days off, when I can briefly glimpse, as through a gauzy curtain, the contours of a life as a full-time writer, with my only responsibilities being the liberal application of words to page. I woke up inexplicably at 4:30 a.m. today, after only five hours of sleep, which is pretty much my minimum if I hope to be continuously conscious and lucid the following day. I can't even make coffee until, oh, 7 a.m., because Heather would quite rightly bludgeon me with a peppermill if I woke her up with the coffee grinder this long before dawn. I hope I'm not developing early-awakening insomnia. Sleep has always worked for me! Sleep is my citadel! I suppose I could've gone back to bed, but I felt well-rested and wanted to get some work done, so I stayed up.

Got e-mail from that dazzling human dynamo Jay Lake last night, accepting my story "Gulls" for his TEL: Stories project. I’m quite fond of "Gulls"; it's a short, partly stream-of-consciousness piece, which I think nicely depicts some of the uglier parts of the overly-touristy beach towns in North and South Carolina. I'll give you details when I get some.

Still mulling over the grad school thing, and will probably continue mulling for the next several months. As a devotee of whim and constructive chaos, I really love the idea of sending out a bunch of applications and, some months later, finding out where I'm going to be living next (or finding out that I ain't going anywhere). Not quite as good as throwing some darts at a map to decide where to move, but still pretty fundamentally wacky, in an appealing way. But a lot can happen in a year, so we'll see where I am near the end of 2005, and if grad school still seems like a good option then I'll pursue it. See, personally, I don't mind living on a knife-edge of financial collapse (I'm used to it!), but Heather and I are talking about having a kid in a few years, maybe, and thinking about that makes me start to consider long-term strategies that might grant a measure of financial stability. Who was it who said "It's fine to suffer for your art, but it's chickenshit to make your wife and kids suffer"? So I expect there to be some months of deep-level mental processing on this subject, and lots of discussions with Heather, since me moving somewhere means uprooting her, too. Still, contemplating a big change in my life always excites me.

Jenn linked to a good, funny essay, "Inside the Monkeysphere", which has everything I want in an essay (ie, cynicism and monkeys).

So, what do I want to accomplish today? I need to write three reviews, and type my mini-epic, and it wouldn't kill me to go to the grocery store and pick up a few things. Anything else I do (like, say, writing journal entries) is gravy.



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