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Wednesday; "Gone With The Wind"...

I just want to mention something here, in case you're not already aware of it. I want to mention the extraordinary craftsmanship that's demonstrated by Margaret Mitchell in Gone With The Wind</>. The density of it, and the way everything in it is woven together; the immediacy of it. It's truly remarkable, and I wish I could write that way. It's exactly what I want for Alien Tongues. Mitchell puts you right in the middle of her fictional universe, and is able to keep you there. I know the book is considered a pot-boiler, but I most sincerely wish I could write a post-boiler like that.
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Monday; the new novel...

I'm pleased to report that the writer's block has come to an end. Apparently, all it took was a blogpost to the Magic Live Journal, and I was unstuck. I'm not satisfied with what I wrote yesterday -- I'm never satisfied with it, as you know -- but it's a real improvement over a case of writer's block. I'm grateful.
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Wednesday; the new novel...

Everything has been going very well with the new novel [Alien Tongues] -- until now. But now I've hit an absolutely implacable Writer's Block. What's happened is that Briar, my linguist protagonist, has fallen in love with one of the Brethandis, and for some reason that's made me totally stuck. I can't figure out why, frankly. I'm used to writing about linguists and linguistics; I'm used to writing about nonhumanoid ETs. I can't figure out what the problem is. But I'm really stuck. I can't even manage to write the first sentence.
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Monday; the new novel...

The new novel is going well. I'm writing it all in longhand right now, hoping that will mean the results are better because it slows me down so much.

I think that the series of catastrophes that fell on me in 2009 have left a lasting trauma that means it may be a long time before I'm able to work as quickly as I used to. I'm just not as strong as I used to be, and I suspect that it may take me a long time to recover from the damage. I don't mean to whine, but I do want to be clear about this. And having severe diverticulitis isn't helping any; it's made me housebound.
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Monday; weather troubles...

The weather here has been awful, and last week -- to escape the predicted power outages -- we [George and I and Sheba] drove south to Fort Smith and spent several days in a very nice Mariott Courtyard hotel, with excellent food and a staff that spoiled us rotten. We had of course not packed many things we needed, including George's laptop, but that was predictable. After we got back we learned that the Holiday Inn, only a few blocks from us, has backup power and takes pets, which will be a lot easier than driving all the way to Fort Smith, but we were very glad to be there while we were there.

They're predicting another round of the same -- another ice storm -- in the next few days, and we'll be pleased to have the Holiday Inn to go to.

I'm dreading the thunderstorm season that's just ahead of us, since this will be the first time I've ever had to go through thunderstorms above ground. I'll miss our underground house. It would be nice to think that the storms won't be bad, but I'm afraid they will be; our weather now, in this time of Climate Change, is pretty uniformly wicked. It's going to be hard for me, I'm afraid. But George assures me that the way our apartment is structured means it would be a good place to be if we have tornadoes, which is reassuring.
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Thursday; computer troubles...

One of the things that happened when we moved was the discovery that there was no way my antique Macintosh could be made to work in our new apartment. Which means that I now have an iMac with many bells and whistles. That's good -- except when it gets in the way of getting my work done.

I've always written everything in MacWrite Pro and then used a utility program to translate the end result into a format my publishers would be satisfied with. I loved MacWrite Pro; I had it on automatic. Now, to my dismay, I'm stuck with writing in Word, and in spite of a stack of books alleged to explain how that's done, I am constantly at a loss. I don't know how to do headers or footers, I don't know how to make the cursed program paginate, I don't know how to italicize or underline ... I'm pretty helpless. And when I turn to the books that are supposed to be so encyclopedic, they don't tell me one useful thing.

This is seriously interfering with getting my new novel written, which makes it nontrivial. I can't afford the time I'm losing.

Any suggestions?
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Wednesday; eldering...

Twenty years ago, my husband George was your prototypical angry adult male homo sapiens. On a hair trigger at all times, ready to fight at the drop of a syllable. I dreaded his eldering, because I was sure he was only going to get angrier as the years went by.

Instead, he Mellowed. And today he is the kindest and most patient and gracious person I know. Which just goes to show that sometimes things don't turn out the way you think they're going to; sometimes they turn out far better than you think they're going to.

I never would have believed it, if somebody had come to me and predicted that particular change.
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Thursday; elderly skin...

You may remember that back in 2010 [For me, The Year From Hell] I was doing a lot of whining in this journal about the way the endless series of catastrophes I had to deal with that year was destroying my face. I was really upset about it, because when I looked in the mirror what I saw struck me as total devastation.

I just wanted to let you know that all that devastation has now gone away, and when I look in the mirror I see my normal [former] self again. I'm passing this information along because I didn't think it was possible for that kind of damage to undo itself, and I'm very glad to be wrong about that. It's such good news: that deep wrinkles and lines will reverse themselves over time.

The only substances I put on the skin of my face are Dial Bath Soap (the only soap I've ever used that doesn't cause a rash of tiny blisters) and witch hazel.