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Almost healthy

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Free from the cold...?

Today I finally got around to organizing my notes for the latter half of my baseball novel, which up until this point was in total disarray. I had the team take a road trip and flight (in a crop duster, one at a time) from Miami to Havana, and once they were in Cuba I had no idea what the hell they were gonna do there.

So I figure THAT out, and also mapped out (in broad strokes) what happens after that. I was trying not to outline too much with this novel, but man, I can't help it. I've got to have SOME structure. Even if I totally ignore my notes once the words start rolling.

Problem is, for the past 2 weeks, the words haven't been rolling. They've been wedged up in my brain somewhere. Most of the problem has been this cold that I'm JUST ABOUT done with. My chaotic project at work wasn't helping things, as I had some crazy long days there after my vacation. But I did my best to take it easy this weekend and recover.

One thing I did was watch some movies with Elizabeth. Last night was "The Emperor's Club" with Kevin Kline, based on a good Ethan Canin novella that turned into a pretty dull, lifeless flick (Lizzie slept through the last hour, and I was jealous of her). I mean, how interesting can life at a private school be? Unless it's Hogwarts, maybe. I don't need to see a bunch of rich kids studying Western Civ.

But Friday night we watched "In America," a fine movie with some quite touching characters, especially the two young girls in it. Sure, there are some hard-to-believe scenes here and there, but the subplot about the lost son was quite well-done, and by the end of it, once the father reaches his cathartic moment, Elizabeth and I were both boo-hooing. It's been an emotional week, y'know, and anything with babies in it is gonna tug those heartstrings. A fine movie, with a pretty effective voice-over, a rarity these days.

And finally, I finished up the book I was reading, The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler, which I really liked by the end of it (in spite of never having read Austen) due to her great, great characters. In preparation for Baby Drew's coming in Deember, I had to prioritize my To-Be-Read pile of books. I'm down to about 8 or 10 novels that I really, really want to read before he arrives, and my reading and writing time is put on hold for a few months.

I'm starting off with some Tim Powers -- skimming over his excellent Last Call, then reading the next two books in that series, Expiration Date and Earthquake Weather. After that (and that will surely take me a couple months, as I like to read his stuff slowly, and his writing always improves my own writing), I've got Jeffrey Ford's Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque and a re-read of Gaiman's American Gods, which I didn't quite get the full impact of on first read. Then, if I have time(!), I have the new Gene Wolfe, de Lint's Onion Girl, two Graham Joyce novels, two Sean Stewarts, and a some story collections by Nick Kaufmann and Paul Tremblay. That ought to keep me busy.

And maybe, at some point, I'll hit the half-way point on my current novel... Later!

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