Stephanie Burgis
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"the wild side of me"
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Nika and I are cuddled on the couch right now, and life is good.

I went to the doctor yesterday and found out what I'd hopefully suspected: the infections are gone at last! Hurray!!! However, I'm still really weak from 7 weeks of bad illness, so she recommended at least 1 more week off work to rest and build my strength back up. I'm so pleased to be feeling so much better than I was that I'm feeling unusually patient about taking seven more days of doing a little more every day before being Right Back to Normal, the ultimate goal.

Also, either today or tomorrow we should get our exciting new Amazon order: the DVD of the new Bleak House miniseries (we got addicted when we were in Bristol, watching the video recordings, but we left before we could finish--so frustrating!), Steven Erikson's new Malazan novel for Patrick, and Tim Pratt's Rangergirl for both of us. Woohoo! I keep staring hopefully at the door, hoping to inspire good mail vibes. (And the tune to "The Wells Fargo Wagon" from The Music Man is definitely running through my head...)

Thanks to ReverendMother for pointing out the wonderful Erica Jong interview about writing on the Diane Rehm show, which I just listened to and loved. Erica Jong is one of my all-time favorite writers, and I can't wait to read her new book, Seducing the Muse: Writing for my Life. Sadly, it's not on sale (even through Amazon) in the UK--but luckily, I will be in America soon...

Listening to the show also inspired me to hunt down Erica Jong's website and read lots of fun essays/articles/book reviews she's written. Although this wasn't (somewhat surprisingly) my favorite of the articles, I loved this bit from her essay about dogs, where she describes going on a writing retreat with her new dog:

She has an I-thou relationship with every tree on my property so she constantly reminds me of how precious and singular each one is. The birches bend for her. The hemlocks drop their weighty armfuls of snow on her small head. Circling each one, she kicks up her heels like a creature that knows that God is good. She delights in the morning, greets noon by scratching at the door to go out, and becomes especially wary when the sun goes down. She is the wild side of me, expressing it without words. Somehow, she makes my playing with words more possible and more fulfilling. She and I have a perfect understanding about life. Language is good but language is not all there is. By sharing her domain of smells and sounds, I become more aware of the secret life that leads us.

This pretty much perfectly describes how I feel about Nika. Like so many other difficult experiences over the past six years, I could never have gotten through this long illness without her. (I couldn't have gotten through it without Patrick either, I should add; but during weekday mornings when Patrick was at work, always the most difficult times during illness, it meant an awful lot to have Nika snuggled up against me.)

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