Stephanie Burgis
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The smell of glue and chemicals in the morning...
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In the latest episode of the ongoing saga of our squishy floor, all the tiles were pulled up from it yesterday morning, leaving bare concrete smeared with strange, orange-colored, chemical-smelling stickiness (glue?). One of the waste pipes under the sink had popped a hole, creating flooding underneath the floor tiles. Now, the hole's been fixed, and the tiles are gone to let the concrete floor dry out. According to the workmen, it'll take at least two weeks to dry. No fun, but certainly important to have done. The kitchen isn't even quite un-usable...we've moved all the furniture into the living room, which has become an all-in-one room (and it's oddly cheery to have the kitchen table in the living room, actually, with its bright yellow-checked tablecloth adding a note of color), and we can move around in the kitchen for cooking/washing-up/etc. as long as we wear shoes or slippers.

But oh my lord, the smell! We are ventilating the house like crazy, leaving all the windows and doors open as much as possible. But still...

I really like Lisa Mantchev's suggestion - that we do like the Renaissance aristocrats and invest in some clove-studded oranges. Maybe next time we go shopping...

In more link goodness, I read a really wonderful short story online yesterday - Will Shetterly's "Taken He Cannot Be", a fantasy set in the Wild West, with Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp as characters. (It was apparently inspired by the same viewing of Tombstone that motivated Emma Bull to write her new novel, Territory.) "Taken He Cannot Be" is short, smart, and bittersweet, and I loved it. That and Sarah Monette's "The Bone Key" (in the latest issue of Say... magazine) are definitely my favorite short stories I've read in the past month. And I was so excited when I saw that Sarah Monette has a whole collection (also called The Bone Key) of Kyle Murchison Booth necromantic mystery stories. "The Bone Key" (his first appearance) read like my favorite Edith Wharton ghost stories, but with a distinctively 21st-century edge. I can't wait till next month, when I can afford to order the full collection!

And in the category of "Thank God", I finally, finally managed to finish my 1,000 words on Kat for the day, after a writing session that felt like pulling teeth. One of the best things about participating in the Write-a-thon is that the public nature of my goals gives me fabulous motivation - especially now that I've heard from some of the people who've decided to sponsor me financially. Now, every time I'm feeling stuck in the story and think "Oh, lord, maybe I'll just give up for the day,", my immediate next thought is: "Wait - people have paid money for me to get this done!". And I start writing again. So: thank you guys!

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