Stephanie Burgis
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plants, cricket and fun reads
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This afternoon we bought two new house plants--a lovely trailing ivy to sit up in a high corner above my desk in the living room and a big wide-leafed green Thing (no name given at the garden center) to sit on the chest of drawers in our bedroom. This triples our plant population (until now, we just had the small ivy-like plant on my desk), and the house is feeling a lot more green and leafy. Maybe the next step will be to actually buy some nice art prints of our own to hang on the walls and replace all the dreary cows-in-fields paintings that came with the cottage. Or maybe that would be just too radical...

Cricket commentary has been playing pretty much nonstop through our radio. I'd never heard any before moving to England, but surprisingly, it's something I really enjoy. I still have no clue about the rules of cricket or any rationale behind what happens when, but the commentary itself is hilarious. The thing is, very often there's nothing happening, so the commentators just burble. And burble. And burble!--all in a really jovial, slightly tipsy way. ("Did you know, by the way, what a group of monks is officially called?" "No, what?" "An abomination. An abomination of monks!" "Now that just doesn't sound right"... and so on. This morning we heard reminiscences about beards in cricket history. It's all slightly surreal and very relaxing, especially if, like me, you have no investment in the game itself...)

And in more good new-blog news, Jennifer Crusie, author of some of my very favorite comfort novels, has started a hilariously snarky blog, as well as redesigning her website with a great page of essays about writing. (My favorites so far are the column on jealousy, column on priorities and the column on using collaging for writing inspiration, which sounded so cool and like so much fun that I'm definitely planning to try it with The Novel Which May Not Be Named.)

Meanwhile, I'm trying to work my way back into (gasp) actually writing the new novel instead of just agonizing over its title...although I have to say, it's a lot easier to just sit around agonizing and also coming up with a list of all the Excellent Reasons Why I Should Just Stop Now and Start Something New... So far, I've come up with: I miss the 18th century as a setting,, this novel is harder than I'd expected! Patrick says these reasons are not good enough, and moreover, I will have a reading strike on my hands if I do this again. Plus, as much as I hate the point when a novel turns into shockingly hard work (which is always, with horrifying predictability, just when I've finished Chapter Four), I actually really love this novel, and if I don't write it, nobody else will... so what the heck. I'm going to put on my tiara and Magic Writing Necklace and dive back into it.

Wish me luck!

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