Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Me: An Update

Novel #1 is being shopped around to agents. Meanwhile, I have commenced work on Novel #2 in earnest.

The cats like to help, but so far they have proven only that a) they’re knowledge of World War II history leaves something to be desired; b) they don’t know how to type; c) they’re unable to stay awake for more than 15 minutes at a time between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. If, however, the success of this novel was in direct proportion to how many grasshoppers the cats killed and then ate, I’d have a freaking bestseller on my hands.

At the moment, for research, I am reading a Short History of World War II by James L. Stokesbury, The Great Starvation Experiment by Todd Tucker, and Another Part of the War: The Camp Simon Story by Gordon C. Zahn. Not for research I am reading Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz, but I’m having trouble getting into it. I just finished last summer’s Atlantic Monthly fiction issue and the New Yorker’s most recent Winter Fiction issue (yes, I realize I’m way behind the times over here) and, though I enjoyed one or two stories in both issues, for the most part I was disappointed. In November I was reading The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories collection, so I suppose I could just be sick of the contemporary American short story right now. Or sick with jealousy to be a part of the conversation. It’s difficult to tell the difference sometimes.

During my downtime I am planning my parent’s visit here in late February/early March. So far we are going gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest on February 28, staying at the Gorilla Resort, stopping for a night at Mihingo Lodge on the way back to Kampala, then heading to Tanzania for a 6-day safari visiting the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara National Park, staying at Serena Hotels.

Notice above the cribbage board in the background. This reminds me that I have recently learned that Terry Francona and Dustin Pedroia play cribbage every single day during the baseball season. How did I learn this? I’ve been watching the 2007 Red Sox World Series Collector’s Edition DVD box set, of course! Not quite as exciting watching games that happened months ago and already knowing the outcome, you say? Not so, I say. Not so at all.

Speaking of fun with electronics, my new iPod nano and, more specifically, the armband that came with it—J gave me both for Christmas—have changed my life. I’ve been running for the past 15 years of my life and only now have I learned of the miracle of the armband. Hands-free! Nearly weightless! Who knew it could be so easy? Needless to say, I am back on the treadmill after a short break over the holidays.

Lastly, I have a new computer. Or rather, J has a new computer and I have inherited his old one. This may not seem like such a big deal in a person’s life, but I found it to be a rather rough transition. I had grown rather attached to my old computer. Every time my fingers rested on that keyboard it was like coming home again. J’s computer is better: it’s faster, has more and better functionality in many of the programs, more memory, more music loaded onto it…and yet it’s not quite mine yet.

For now the old computer is out because there’s an ebook on there I’m using for research that I couldn’t transfer, but soon it will go in a drawer and gather dust until we can sell it or decide to use it as a rather expensive picture frame and set it up for constant photo rotation.

(I had stupid pictures of the computer, too, but after three days and fifteen tries of trying to load all of these, I'm finally admitting defeat.)

And now you’re all caught up.

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