Stephanie Burgis
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Remedies for guilt, and the movie I most want to see
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This weekend we discovered something wonderful: PetStay, a dog-boarding service which lets you leave your dog with another family when you go on vacation rather than leaving them in a kennel. We drove out Saturday morning to meet the family we'd been matched with, and they were wonderful - they've got 3 kids who desperately want a dog, and Maya loved them. I feel so much better about leaving her for two weeks in May (for our Michigan & Wiscon trip) now that we're leaving her to be cuddled and walked and played with every day instead of sitting in a kennel. Better yet, it's actually cheaper than the "luxury" kennel we'd found (the only one in the area that was willing to take dogs out to the grass more than 2 times a day). The funny thing is, I'd never known about this kind of thing, but it turns out there were three reputable dog-boarding companies in the Yorkshire area alone, and they were nearly all booked up by the time I started phoning on Friday - apparently they don't need to pay for advertisements, since every dog owner is so desperate for this kind of service! If it works out, we'll be very happy never to leave Maya in a kennel. She spent about a month sitting in various pounds and shelters before we found her in December, and we'd rather not have her think she's been sent back to another one...

Maya in the daisies
(Maya zonked out amidst the daisies after a big play session in the garden over Easter weekend)

After meeting Maya's future foster family, Patrick & I celebrated with lunch out at our favorite Pakistani restaurant, Mumtaz. Mmmmm.... The palak paneer (with garlic naan) was so luscious, and better yet, it lasted through to be dinner yesterday, too. The taste of it was almost enough to console for the horrible surprise, yesterday afternoon, of finding out that immigration costs in England have gone up yet again, and my permanent residency application will cost nearly twice as much as we'd expected - £950 instead of £500. Gaaaah. We will not be going out for any more meals this month...

Today started with some wonderful, free internet links, though. Ellen Kushner's blog entry on the Done is Good writing mantra was enormously helpful to read since I've been really blocked on writing for the last day or two. Jenny Crusie's entry on forming a community in your novel was really thought-provoking - Kat by Moonlight is my first novel with a single POV in a long, long time, but it's also probably the novel where community is most important, and reading Jenny Crusie's theories helped to clarify some of the issues I'd been thinking about.

But best of all...I absolutely loved Christopher Rowe's pitch for the ultimate movie version of Jane Eyre:

Our take is that when Rochester calls Jane a changeling, he's literally correct. Bronte's novel, then, is the story of the fairy Jane in England.Our movie is the story of the human Jane in Faerie.

She goes to the Lowood School for Wizards and Witches where she endures the stern tutelage of Alan Rickman, meets the Fairy Lord Rochester as he's transforming from horse to centaur to man, escapes Thornfield to the human community of Marsh End where a fellow changeling, the fanatic St. John (Paul Bettany) wants her to accompany him back to the mundane world, and then makes her way back to Ferndean to magically heal a Rochester caught in media transformare between horse and man after barely surviving the witchfire that kills Bertha (the secret source of his power)...

You really have to check out the original post for the fabulous movie poster with Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman...

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