Stephanie Burgis
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When I woke up this morning, I felt stuffy-headed, sniffly, and sore-throated. I sighed, sneezed, took a hayfever pill, and waited calmly for the symptoms to go away. Instead, they got worse. (Ha! You think that puny pill can defeat us??? We'll show you, human scum!) So far today I've blown my nose approximately 1 zillion times, sucked down cup after cup of tea with honey, and have spent a great deal of time feeling deeply sorry for myself. That's the mystery of colds - they're so minor, so laughably insignificant as illnesses, and yet there is nothing in the world worse than a cold for making a person feel truly pathetic, especially when it's also cold and damp outside. Sigh. And sneeze.

Luckily, there are a lot of consolations. First of all, of course: 80s music videos! I've been working my way through all the recommendations I got on my last entry and am enjoying myself an awful lot. I think it was worth it to miss all this music when it first came out, because I'm having so much fun discovering it now. Thanks so much to everybody who's posted suggestions for me!

Second, I wrote about 1200 more words on the party short story this morning, listening to my "party" playlist as I wrote. Woot! The funny thing is, on days when I don't write, I always tell myself: well, there's no reason I should have to write every single day... but invariably, on days I don't write I feel prickly, restless, and irritable, whereas writing always makes me feel happy and at peace with the world. So actually, there are some fairly compelling reasons for me to write every day, and they have nothing to do with external productivity but everything to do with my good mental health!

And third, a wonderful combination arrived yesterday: Patrick brought me home a huge, gorgeous bar of Divine dark chocolate - mmmm, so luscious! - and Tiffany Trent's In the Serpent's Coils finally, finally arrived in the mail! I was lucky enough to read this novel before it was published, and I absolutely adore it - it's my favorite YA gothic novel in the world, hands down, and one of my favorite gothic novels for any age range. The post-Civil War historical setting is wonderfully evocative, the story just throbs with gothic atmosphere, and the magic is so creepy and cool. Anyone who loves historical fiction, dark fantasy, or gothic novels with strong heroines, whether for YA or adults, should definitely read this one. I can't wait to start re-reading it in the lovely paperback version, with my dark chocolate in hand (or mouth!). Yum...

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