Stephanie Burgis
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So, the Neil Gaiman reading was wonderful. He's a fantastic reader, and Wolves in the Walls is great. Whenever it comes out in paperback, I'd love to get a copy...but for now, we're the happy new owners of a signed copy of Coraline, with a fantastic little rat doodle after Neil Gaiman's signature! Too cool. :)

I always feel such a lift after a good author reading. Energy shooting through me, ideas swirling around for my writing.... All through the Q&A session, I kept trying to make mental notes of things he said, to report here or just to remember. Naturally, after staying up late writing, I've forgotten nearly all of them.... But what the heck. I haven't gotten further on the novel, but I've gone back through the MS, doing all the revision in places I already knew about, and I've heavily rewritten the first few pages of Chapter Twenty-One. Now if I can just finish the darned chapter--!

As usual (for me), Anne Lamott is really helpful. I'm currently re-reading Bird by Bird, which I do at least once a year, and I've come across this great quote about writing first drafts:

"Take the attitude that what you are thinking and feeling is valuable stuff, and then be naive enough to get it all down on paper."

I'm trying to take deep breaths and keep that in mind as I write.


I spent about half of the day today going out with one of my friends. After a quick stop at Nika's vets (worming pills...such joy....), we cruised through IKEA and ASDA. I was very restrained--but totally enthralled. I've never been to an IKEA before. Actually, not being a homeowner, I've never been to any big "home" store before.

As we walked past all the different show "rooms"--sixteen different possible designs for a study, ten different master bedrooms, ten different kids' bedrooms, dozens of possible kitchens, I was overwhelmed with--what? Longing? Greed? That was certainly a part of it. "I want that room!" But it was for more than the decor. It was for the different lifestyles on show. Every room was making a different grand statement about the personality of the owner. It was kind of like reading an ad in the "personals" section, but made concrete: "A sophisticated person lives here, with discreetly excellent taste", or "We are young and hip and probably out on the town!" I drooled over the studies with bookshelves everywhere, comfy couches, and warm colors. You got the impression that the person whose house looked like this would never get things wrong, procrastinate, or let the house get messy. Just by buying this furniture, you could Improve Your Personality. How seductive is that?

Luckily, we're on a budget. I bought two 1 blue bowls, 1 larger pot (2) for our new plant, and I felt very wild and spendthrift indeed.

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