Stephanie Burgis
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worries and comfort
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The last few days have been pretty crappy. I broke down crying yesterday in front of someone with whom I don’t feel safe enough to cry (luckily, five minutes later I also ended up crying on a really good friend's shoulder, who made me feel much better); to make matters worse, I didn’t get out of the house much this week except for work; and in the last couple of days, every time I’ve thought “OK, look, it could be worse”, things have promptly...gotten worse. If we weren’t so broke right now, I’d pack up the car right now and as soon as Patrick got home from work we’d all take off for an unscheduled 2-week vacation somewhere far, far away from here.

Since that isn’t an option, I bought the ingredients for macaroni 'n cheese (my lifelong comfort food) on the way home from work today and turned on my iTunes “Relax” playlist as soon as I got home. (It starts with Frou Frou’s “Let Go”, then moves through both Hayley Westenra albums.) And I’m going to try to write today, even though I’m not in the middle of any projects at the moment and I don’t feel any great ideas spinning around, just because writing always, always makes me feel better.

The good things in these past few days:

  • Reading Ellen Kushner’s The Privilege of the Sword, which was just exceptional. Jenn, have you read this one yet? It’s got swashbuckling swordfights, feminism, sweet romance, dark truths and a surprising but absolutely satisfying happy ending. Loved it.

  • Getting to read the first draft of Justina’s next novel (No. 2 in her fantasy series Quantum Gravity), Selling Out, which makes Daemonia seem like the most fun possible dimension ever. (And which actually kind of reminds me of Kushner’s Riverside - another society devoted to decadence and wit. Hugely fun to read about, although it might be terrifying to actually live in.)

  • Listening to Johnny Cash’s compilation album “Ring of Fire: Legend of Johnny Cash”, which stretches from his first release to his last and is just hugely fun to listen to, especially after watching the film Walk the Line last week.

  • Walking on my own through the valley nearby, listening to the ripple of the stream and the wind through the trees and getting an unexpected sloppy kiss from a bouncy border collie who snuck up on me, tail wagging madly with excitement. (Sadly, she’d been in the stream so she was sooooooo muddy! But it was well worth the muddy pawprints on my clothes. I was grinning for five minutes afterwards.)

  • Watching the first 2 episodes of Season 2 Doctor Who (with David Tennant perfectly cast as the Doctor). Totally, ridiculously silly and so, so much fun. A perfect antidote to stress.

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