Stephanie Burgis
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happy days
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Thanks for all the nice comments on the last entry! It's been a really happy couple of days. I'm such a geek, I must've looked at Strange Horizons at least six times yesterday and last night, just to make sure my story really was still up there. And it always was! Too cool. :)

Now all I want to do is write more short stories! I'm having to be very firm with myself about it. Must Finish New Novel First! Really. (Unless, of course, some new story idea really grabs me...)

I wrote about three more pages of Chapter Seven of Music of the Stars this morning, and so far, I'm feeling really happy about it. Last night I bought Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, and it's so good that it's making me really excited about writing kids' fantasy. (I liked her last book, Thief Lord, but this book is even much, much better.) I'm enjoying it hugely, but I also keep thinking--I ought to be taking notes on how she does it! Now I want to order all her back catalogue of novels from German starts to disintegrate every time I spend too long away from Vienna, but kids' novels are usually manageable for me auf Deutsch.

In my academic, full-time-job life, I'm reading and taking notes on a really fascinating book by Ruth Bernard Yeazell, Harems of the Mind: Passages of Western Art and Literature. It's extremely helpful for my PhD thesis--I'm grabbing quotes and references like crazy for my "Escaping the Harem" chapter and article--but it would be a really interesting, fun read even if I weren't working on a related topic. One of the most bizarre quotes, about James Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1773):

"records how Samuel Johnson broke into a conversation about the comparative advantages of various fabrics (they had begun by remarking the lack of sheets in the Highlands) by casually observing, 'I have often thought that if I kept a seraglio, the ladies should all wear linen gowns, or cotton; I mean stuffs made of vegetable substances. I would have no silk; you cannot tell when it is clean.' As the startled Boswell commented in his journal, 'To hear Mr. Johnson, while sitting solemn in arm-chair, talk of his keeping a seraglio and saying too, "I have often thought," was truly curious.'"
(Yeazell, 6.)

Curious indeed...

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