Stephanie Burgis
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Well, following life's usual balancing act, I got sick the day after the sale, and Patrick followed soon after--it's the same damn flu bug that's been haunting us for a while. Luckily, it held off until Friday morning, so all of Thursday was just great. We celebrated the Strange Horizons sale by going out to the Bella Italia restaurant in Leeds. It's the same restaurant we've gone to for all but one of Patrick's pro sales (the first one came while we were living in Vienna, so we went to an Italian restaurant there), and it was nice to be able to go there for one of mine, for the first time. I'd started to read through Masks and Shadows just a few days before, and was already well into revision mode, but of course ever since the sale I've been psyched about short stories. Ah well. More short ideas will come...whenever they choose to, basically. In the meantime, I'm playing catch-up with lots of specific research on Eszterhaza (which floor would my characters have really stayed on? what did the musicians' uniforms look like? etc.) and praying to somehow make it to the palace itself so that I won't have to keep relying on nearly illegible, badly-reproduced eighteenth-century maps! But it's all fun.

And of course, being sick means that I've gotten to do a ton of reading. (It's one of the few consolations of having the flu--every time I stand up I get dizzy, so I spend lots of time reading on the couch.) This has worked out particularly well since Patrick and I had one of our Yearly Book Binges just this week. I finally bought Robin McKinley's Sunshine, which I've wanted for nearly a year--and it turned out to be WAY better than I'd expected, even, one of my favorite novels I've read in the past few months. (That and Sean Stewart's Perfect Circle, which I got as a belated birthday present from my wonderful brothers, are my two favorite novels that I've read in the past long long time.) Fun, smart, totally engaging, and it even has a really original and interesting take on vampires. Who'd have thought it? (About a month ago, I'd gotten so burned out on the whole vampire idea that I made a resolution not to read ANY more vampire novels EVER--or at least, unless one of my favorite writers used them...and even then I'd only approach them with trepidation.) I loved it. Stayed up until waaaaaaaaaaay too late Friday night trying to finish it....not smart when I'm sick, but what the heck. It was that good. And it really made me want to go find some good cinnamon buns.

Now I'm reading Iain Banks's nonfiction whiskey/travel book Raw Spirit, about his travels across Scotland tasting whiskey, and even though I don't drink whiskey, I'm feeling the urge for alcohol. (Patrick read the book before me, and said he'd gotten a hangover just from reading the descriptions!) Maybe it's time to crack open those wedding-gift bottles of Baileys...maybe when I've stopped having to take Paracetemol, at least.

Back to work tomorrow. Sigh.

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