Stephanie Burgis
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Sunlight and Snakes!
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It's a beautiful, sunshiney day, and for the first time in months, I've opened all the windows in our house to let the fresh air sweep through it. Unfortunately, this also carries the voices of passersby in as well, which makes Nika nervous and edgy, letting out sharp barks at everyone who sounds too close, and generally alerting the populace to the fact that This House Is Guarded By A Dog, Yessir! I've been trying to drown out external noise with a CD of Vivaldi recorder concertos, but with little effect. (Well, except that the music makes me happy. I love Vivaldi!)

I meant to have a really productive day at the university, but when Patrick and I got into town this morning, after the bus ride in and a few blocks of walking, I ended up wimping out--it turns out I'm still not completely better after all. I could have forced myself through, but since I have appointments and classes to teach almost every other day this week, I decided to call discretion the better part of valor and retreat to take it easy at home today. (Well, after a half an hour at a coffeeshop to recoup strength, read a good novel-in-progress and drink a latte, of course.) Since getting home, it's turned out to be a productive day of a different kind than I'd expected--I spent about 2 hours in a mad cleaning frenzy (whipped on by the fresh air sweeping through our stale house), scrubbing counters, vacuuming, washing loads and loads of dishes, etc... I'm not sure I got as much rest as originally planned, but the house does look nice, and I feel a lot better.

And I got up with Patrick at 6:30 for writing this morning, for the first time in over 3 weeks! Woohoo! I even got about 3 pages written (the first three pages of Chapter Twenty-Two). What a good feeling. I like starting my days with my main writing already accomplished.

And as a reward, I read two fantastic pieces today:

The online parody-picturebook-slash-SF story The Cuddly Menace is one of the most hilarious stories I have read in a long time (take the time to click through all the pictures--the ending is great!);


there's an interview with Tim Powers up at Strange Horizons this week, which is interesting and thought-provoking and perceptive, as usual (I really like Tim Powers!), and really made me want to read his most recent book, Declare. Must hunt it down when I go to America this spring...

Aack! And I almost forgot to mention the snake of the title:

Nika has gotten a snake. A six-foot-long, fuzzy, tie-dye-colored stuffed snake named Ferdy, to be exact. I found him at IKEA on Friday, and she loves him. She tosses her snake across the room, dives on him, and plays fierce tug-of-war over him, sometimes with both me and Patrick at once, and when she's finally finished, she sprawls down on top of him, her whole body spread along his fuzzy length, and gnaws happily at his tail. Sometimes, when she's feeling sad or tired, she pushes him around to form a big fuzzy circle and she snuggles herself inside. It is one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

I've spent most of my life afraid of real snakes, but Ferdy is an excellent addition to our household.

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