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When the Devil Dances
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Congratulations to the World Fantasy Award nominees! What a great ballot! Good to see the names of so many friends, and publications I admire, and books I think are great -- well-deserved all around.

We saw Stardust Saturday night, and liked it very much. Beautiful, fun, sweet, and put together wonderfully -- a fantasy about growing up, and about love conquering all, but not without difficulty. I've read some reviews complaining that it's not an epic, calling it lightweight or small-scale and meaning those descriptions to be derogatory, and I wonder if Lord of the Rings has deformed the moviegoing (or at least movie-reviewing) public's idea of what a fantasy story should be; they don't have to be epics. They can be small-scale, about changes that affect only a handful of people, but affect them profoundly. And I don't think Stardust ever claimed to be an epic.

I'm still plugging away at Dead Reign revisions. I'm also juggling stress and anxiety. It's mostly background anxiety, and not things I can just fix, which makes it worse. There's worry about the baby -- not specific worries, everything's fine, just generalized worries; are we ready? (Of course not.) Will we be able to handle it? (Well, yes; there's not another option.) Typical stuff. My day job is also stressing me out a bit, not for any intrinsic reason, but just because I work all day, then come home and work some more on freelancing or my novel or whatever, and I'm beginning to feel the strain. Now, normally I do well with being busy, and am very good at time management, and under typical circumstances, I'd be able to handle this stuff with minimal kvetching... but my teeth are still bothering me. That's really what's putting me over the edge. I bored you all with the saga of my pericoronitis not long ago, and that pretty much cleared up after a few days of unpleasantness, but after a week of relative peace in my mouth, I have all new pains. I think one of my impacted wisdom teeth has finally awakened from its slumber and decided to emerge. Alas, it's basically sideways, so that's not proceeding well. Something's going on in there, anyway -- intermittent pain, tenderness, etc. It's not severe, and it doesn't hurt to eat (it does hurt when I sneeze, though; go figure). But chronic pain, even low-level pain? Is a bitch, and makes coping with everything else a lot harder, especially since it's making it hard for me to sleep, and being tired only makes things worse.

I have a dentist's appointment on Wednesday. (Which is not the ideal way to spend my day off, but needs must.) I imagine I'll wind up scheduling oral surgery. (Which is not the ideal way to spend a chunk of a novel advance, but see that bit about needs must again.) As my mom says, at least they'll give me some good drugs for the recovery.

Once I get Dead Reign revisions done -- which will be relatively soon, if all goes well -- I'll be able to relax a bit. And even though I know going to the dentist won't, poof, make my teeth all better, at least I'll feel like I'm doing something, which should provide some psychological relief. If I can get a couple of other things off my desk (literally and figuratively), I can feel a little less out of control. And it really is all just feeling at this point. I haven't missed any deadlines, nothing is slipping, nothing is going undone. I'm just a little... frazzled.

We went up to Holly's today to water her plants. We didn't see the goat. But it was pleasant anyway. The horses were sleeping. And last night we had lunch out on the back patio with Mary Anne and Kevin, who are soon to be our neighbors, and that was lovely. I'm reading Elizabeth Bear's Whiskey and Water and enjoying it enough that I'm trying to read it slowly so it doesn't end, but I'll still probably finish it tomorrow. I have a beautiful wife, and we are finding time to hang out together. There are good things. Lots of 'em. And the bad stuff is almost all transitory. It's important to remember that.

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