27 March 2010

Crunch time

There are many things I want to blog about, but I don't have the time. It's frustrating.

I've only got a few more chapters to read in Whipping Girl, then I can write a review (spoiler alert: I love it!). I'm only a few chapters in to The Persian Night, about life in Khomeinist Iran, but I like it so far. It's easy to read. And I have a stack of Turkish fiction to read, in addition to the stack on my shelf, plus a friend gave me David Drake's The Complete Hammer's Slammers (volume 1) for my birthday.

So I'm kinda drowning in backlog of books, but I keep not finding time to read them. Which makes me a little sad.

You may recall my post on Yoshinaga Fumi's manga Ooku, which reimagines Tokugawa-era Japan with women filling the men's roles because the men died of smallpox. (Many of them, not all; they're more susceptible.) It recently won the Tiptree award for gender in fiction, which is awesome. I'm glad this manga is getting recognition on this side of the Pacific. (It's won prizes in Japan already.)

Why I haven't been able to read (or spare brain-cycles to blog) is because I'm trying to get the first draft of my novel (current working title Iron and Rust) finished before I leave for Berlin. On May 1. It's beginning to look grim, though not yet dire. The contract that was eating my life ended, so I have time again, but I'm at the point in the story where everything is crap and I hate it (because, honestly, that section kind of is poorly-thought-out crap, and I need to fix it a lot). So it's frustrating and I want to skip it and get to the part that doesn't suck. But I have to make this part no longer suck before I can move on.

If I get an hour or so of editing in today, that'll help.

Also, my Yoshino cherry is blossoming, my herb garden isn't dead, my rosemary bush is massive, and my chrysanthemum didn't die in the overly cold winter (for North Carolina.) The Japanese maple we transplanted last spring didn't die, either. (It was a concern...)

And a friend of mine is working on a website for me. I'll let y'all know when it's ready.

10 March 2010

Long time, etc etc.

So, I've been working 3 days a week, and with travel time and an hour lunch, I've been putting in 33 hours or so (to work 24.) That pretty much left me with just two days (plus weekends) to work on everything else. That contract is up, so I'm getting my life back.

I've edited 2 chapters in the novel so far (only 20 to go?), but some I'll need to finish the background reading to fix properly. Which means I need to spend some time reading the nonfiction in my giant to-read stack (mainly The Persian Night).

I only have 2 chapters left in the feminist manifesto a friend loaned me, and when I finish, I'll post about it. It's pretty amazing. Oppositional sexism, traditional sexism, the scapegoating of femininity... *swoon*

Today I need to edit some more, and make blondies for my birthday party Saturday. Friday a friend is coming over to help make a linzertorte, and at some point I need to make a spice cake. This may happen Saturday. (Yes, I'm making three cake-like things for my own party. I also have a bag of chips and a jar of salsa, several varieties of beer and sodas, and plan to make rosemary sweet tea, as is mandatory for parties at my house in spring or summer. My rosemary bush is threatening to take over the world. I must stop it by cutting it.)

And? A gal I met via livejournal who lives in Istanbul sent me a box of Turkish books (in English) and films (with subtitles). I was expecting a couple books, but I got like 6. My to-read stack is getting close to as tall as I am.