Stephanie Burgis
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Life and the Letter Meme
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I spent yesterday feeling absolutely wrecked with a 24-hour stomach bug, and this morning when I woke up (blessedly bug-free) I managed to wrench my neck at a horrendous angle (leading to my current very, very careful position which allows for NO head-turning!) all I can conclude is that my body is punishing me for having too much fun at Eastercon. Sigh.

But via Ling, who gave me the letter "S", here's something much more fun: the Letter Meme. These are my top ten favorite things that start with "S", in no particular order. If you want to play, leave a comment and I will give you a letter.

1. Sand: Love those warm, sandy beaches! Sadly, none of them are within reach at the moment, but every so often I look back at my Florida photos from January, and just seeing those sandy beaches makes me feel happy, relaxed, and stress-free all over again!

2. Sense and Sensibility: both the book and the Emma Thompson film, which I must have seen at least 10 times by now. I could watch it every week and be perfectly happy every time. When I was a kid, S&S was my favorite Austen novel; now Pride & Prejudice is my favorite, but I still love S&S very much.

3. Softness: I am a sucker for anything soft - mohair, cashmere, silk, velvet, etc...and so far, I've shared this love for soft things with both of our dogs. When I was living in Pittsburgh with Nika and finishing up my MA degree, I spent a huge amount of money I didn't have on a beautifully soft Irish mohair throw. (Bizarrely, I was influenced to do this by my Feminist Theory class. Sitting in the seminar, listening to Hannah Arendt's theory of how important it is for everyone to have a safe, warm private sphere to retreat to from the stress of public life, I thought: Oh my God. She's right. And I don't have anything like that! That night I blew all my money and more buying the throw, and I named it my Soft, Warm, Private Sphere. I still have it and wrap it around me every day.)

Because it was so expensive, I made it off-limits to Nika - I figured it would be the one possession I had that wasn't covered in dog fur. It drove her wild with desire, but for once, I was firm. Whenever I left the living room, I would go to the effort of piling the throw right onto the very top of the couch-back to keep it safely out of her reach. Then one day I came back into the room to find Nika hanging upside down, her nose touching the couch cushions, her butt propped high, high, high in the air, just to get the thrill of touching the very edge of the throw with her tail! I started laughing and gave up on my dog-free attempt. From then on, Nika shared the throw with me, and she luxuriated in it. Nowadays, Maya loves it and tries to make it into her personal bedding. (I insist that she at least shares it with me.)

4. Saag Paneer (aka Palak Paneer): my favorite Indian food in the world, which makes it very nearly my favorite food in existence.

5. Sorcery and Cecilia, by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia Wrede: I love this book, even though it led to some personal writing trauma. I was two and a half chapters into the first draft of Kat by Moonlight when I read S&C for the first time. I was so impressed and overwhelmed that I gave up on Kat for almost a year afterwards - I was convinced that I couldn't write anything that good, so what was the point even trying? Luckily, I finally got over it and realized that our stories and characters were so different (as well as the age range of the intended audiences) that the two books didn't have to be in competition. I re-read Sorcery and Cecilia just yesterday, as a distraction from the stomach bug, and loved it just as much as ever.

6. Smoothies: mmm, smoothies. Patrick and I make smoothies every single day when we can get hold of good fresh fruit. (And sometimes even when we can't - this winter we've been resorting to frozen berries, and the smoothies have still tasted fine.)

7. Silk scarves: I don't actually own any of these, because I don't really think I have the flair to carry them off, but I do have a secret love for them. If I had a more dramatic presence, I would become a Scarf Lady, with a silk scarf to match every outfit!

8. Slippers: going back to my love for soft, warm things...

9. Snuggling with Maya: one of the highlights of my day, every day. I am very, very lucky.

10. SarahP: one of my favorite writers, a wonderful friend and crit-partner, and I can't WAIT until her first book comes out in June. Kids are going to absolutely love it, and so will adults.

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