On my way back to work after lunch, a City of Brandon truck passed by on the street, carrying a load of freshly-cut evergreen boughs. Just for a second I smelled sawn pine, faintly, and I felt a momentary touch of nostalgia, because pine was the wood of choice for Dad, whether he was in the shed at home or teaching shop class. It was common wood: soft, inexpensive, and ubiquitous.
I grew up smelling cut pine.
Then it passed and all I could smell was winter in the city again.
I just got notice that the book I requested via Inter-Library Loan—The Island of Dr. Death and Other Stories and Other Stories—has arrived at the desk. By coffee time I’ll have it in my hands, and by evening I’ll be reading some Gene Wolfe short stories.
I’m probably more excited about this than I should be, but then I’m a late-in-life Wolfe convert, and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
Wolfe is the one that once tore to shreds a pretty common writing trope—calling something indescribable when it isn’t really—and then, I like to think, poked fun at his own advice a few years later in a different novel. I’ve seen him described more than once as the writer’s writer, and I look forward to reading some of his short works.
“…the idea that young adults can not be exposed to unpopular opinion in the classroom—that’s an idea that’s about as dangerous as an idea can get.”
Full transcript available on Rick Mercer’s site
My short story “The Overnight Shift” is now available on The Arcanist. Go check it out!
(This is the one that amassed 13 rejections before finding a home. Persevere!)
Mostly, I just want to get close to NaNoWriMo wordcount numbers in my novel-in-progress.
It’d also be nice to make some time to work on the WordPress Multisite project I’ve got going.
Here’s the tally for this year’s Hallowe’eners:
- Mad scientist
- 2-year-old (approx.) in a bee costume who was apparently scared of me because I’m a stranger, and had to be convinced by her mother to accept a chocolate bar from me
- Zombie banana (however that works)
- Vampire cat
- Cowboy in a snowsuit
- Cat in a snowsuit
- 3 more cowboys
- Ghoul with flashing red LED eyes that made him look like a dire Jawa
- Jason Voorhees in a parka
- Princess in a parka
First doorbell: 6:15 PM.
Last doorbell: 8:45 PM.
Leftover candy: sufficient but probably not fatal.
Happy Hollow Bean, y’all.
…“And what is the purpose of this celebration?”
“To collect the all-important food.”
Read the rest
Our last couple days in Ottawa, Kathleen had a cold and I felt the start of one.
We got moving about 12:30, and headed out — for the first time since Monday — with no clear idea what we were going to do. I’d posted a photo to Facebook hinting that we were in Ottawa, and predictably many friends had many suggestions. Some of them we’d already done, some we had yet to accomplish. Continue reading “The Weekend”
We headed out around noon, and walked down to the Canadian National Gallery. We spent almost four hours touring the galleries, where I discovered that I prefer paintings of landscapes to portraits, generally, though I did find a few portraits interesting as well.
Continue reading “National Gallery”
Thursday we got moving by 11 AM or so. We went to the Canadian Museum of Nature first off, and purchased a museum passport (3 museums, 3 days, 1 price!) which would also allow us access to the War Museum, the Museum of History, and the National Gallery. (Also the Aviation Museum, but that train had sailed.)
Continue reading “Museum-a-palooza”