the usual topics

In the past few days I’ve been friended by quite a few new people on LiveJournal (I write entries to my own site, whence they are reflected to both LJ and Dreamwidth.) I warn you, the following long post is pretty typical of both the topics I write about and the level of verbosity; I promise no hard feelings if you realize you’d rather not stick around. 🙂 Otherwise, welcome.

I. Knitting: I was frustrated to realize on Sunday that I had finished the main body of my sleeveless sweater and had only enough yarn to do the ribbing at one shoulder. This was further exacerbated because I’d already ordered more yarn (though not, alas, when I bought the original supply) but I mistakenly had the yarn sent to my in-laws’ (where my credit card is billed – I pay it online but needed a US address) instead of here.

They kindly forwarded it on and it got here last night, but unfortunately I won’t get to finish the sweater because we’re going out to dinner with a couple guys ted works with, who are just in town for a few weeks. I can tell I’m tired because I’m actually feeling a bit resentful that I *have* to go have a fun evening socializing instead of doing laundry and knitting. I really had to slap myself down (metaphorically) this morning when I found myself humming “Bread and Roses” in the shower; I think if the women who participated in that strike had time and money to go out for the evening on a weeknight, they’d have considered their battle amply won.

II. Rowing: On the blessings-counting front, I’ve also been whining a bit because my training has been very tiring lately, even though the advantage to training on a rowing machine rather than in a boat is that I can sleep until 6 (instead of 4) and do it in the next room instead of driving out to the lake. (The disadvantage is that the scenery is much worse and you don’t get to work on some of the balance and feathering skills – plus I just miss being on the water.) However, I’ve recently been reminded forcibly that instea dof whining, I ought to be glorying in the capabilities of my mind and body, glad that I can do a strenuous workout with no worse effects than being sweaty, sore and tired afterward.

This weekend we chacked too late and the hotel was booked, but next weekend we’ll head out to Ilan and get some actual water time. Speaking of getting hot and sweaty!

III. Work: part of the reason for tiredness is that, with commute factored in, we leave the house around 7:30 in the morning and normally get home about 11 and a half or 12 hours later. Yesterday Ted had late meetings, so we were in the office from about 8:10 AM – 7:30 PM, with 30-40 minutes of commute time on either end of that.

It’s a little hard not to be bitter when I socialize with women who also came out here with their husband’s jobs and who don’t have jobs of their own, who have control over their time either all day or at least during the school day. Ted is convinced I’d be miserable if I weren’t working. I’m not at all sure he’s right on that, but the fact remains that I would feel funny about it. An adult who is able should contribute in one way or another to her household or her world; aside from some food-shopping, there’s not much useful for me to do at home. What would probably happen is that work of some sort, either volunteer or paid, would multiply to fill the vacuum (like Mechaieh, who “retired” a few years ago and who, every time she pulls back from one area or another, seems to end up busier than ever). There’s no way of knowing if I’d end up doing anything as congenial or as suited to my skills, and it almost certainly would not be as good for my resume as my current job.

Plus I’d probably hate not having my own paycheck.

IV. Writing: I posted yesterday’s poem at least partly because there don’t seem to be many suitable venues open for submission right now. This is pure laziness and busy-ness again; there are tons of venues I haven’t even tried submitting to. I especially need to find places to send my non-speculative poems.

(The other part is that I write mostly to be read, and sharing poems on blogs does work well for that. And I just like having some of it on my own blogs.)

I’ve spent a lot of the last few days immersed in a controversy about where the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA) should focus and whether its name shoujld be changed. (For the record, my views are “as widely as the fields of science and speculative-fiction stretch” and “yes, probably to Association for Speculative Poetry” to reflect that breadth.) Aside from general argumentive tendencies, I’m not actually sure why I care so much; I only joined a few months ago, from a vague desire to somehow support the genre to which I’ve begun submitting my work. It certainly never occurred to me to join when I mostly identified as a reader, though I’ve been enjoying spec poetry for a long time – all my life really, because aren’t “Night Before Christmas” and Dr. Seuss fantasy? I’ve come to realize that the organization does have a lot of value in collecting and publicizing all kinds of speculative poetry, though, and I care about that goal; furthermore, it can be of best service to me personally and to the widest number of people if it has the broadest focus, and a name making that clear.

I sort of wish people would talk about science fiction (or fantasy, mythic, horror, slipstream, interstitial, etc) poems instead of poets, though. Lots of people do stick to one genre but to me it feels artificial and constraining. I write what I write, and it includes mundane, fantasy, free verse, science fiction, strictly formal, mythic, and probably more different things. I want the SFPA to be broad because I don’t want to have to subdivide myself to fit into it.

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1 Response to the usual topics

  1. LA says:

    I’m smiling a bit, last night at dinner I said something to Mick about how you seemed out of sorts recently and he asked how I could know that if you hadn’t come out and said you’re in a weird place and I shrugged. He truly does know better than to ask how I ‘know’ stuff, but I told him in this case there’s been an ‘off’ note in your latest blog posts, a vibe you’ve been putting out. Nothing overtly grumpy, just not quite your usual self. And sure enough, in this post you verbalized it. He came in to say good-bye as I was reading this post and I showed him your mild grumbles. He snorted, shook his head and said only I would know when a friend was having a bad day on the other side of the world. I snorted back and said it didn’t matter where you were, your words have been right here for me to read every day.

    Upshot being that I hope the adventure and sparkle comes back for you soon, but be easy on yourself too, sweetie, it’s totally allowed to be less than thrilled with life sometimes and to want to walk another path for a while when the current one is kind of soggy and meh. Besides, you’ve been living abroad for soooo long now and the constant reminders of your being a stranger in a strange land must be wearying, no matter how interesting and amazing the place is. ~LA

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