As You Mean To Go On

What I did today:

  1. Ate vegetables and rice at breakfast. VERY GOOD. More vegetables and fruits this year, eh? Less meat. More chickpeas. The NYT said so, but we’ve been leaning that way a while now.
  2. Read several chapters aloud between us (Hernandez and I) of Jasper Fforde’s EARLY RISER. IT KEEPS ON BEING GREAT. What impresses me is the deep, viral nature of his alternate-reality world building. His novum is a strong, beautifully ridiculous sci-fi idea, and everything in that world springs from it–technology, geography, pop culture references, physiology.

    And yet, it is still recognizably our world. He does all this and constantly makes us laugh out loud too.
  3. Did some writing. The Twice-Drowned Saint, which is in the 20,000 range now. Think (hope?) it’ll cap at 35,000.

    Really, not so much new stuff generated today as a thorough combing through last session’s writing. I know it all needs to be done, but . . . Hard-going today.

    I think I can move on to the next scene now. It’s not that I think what I’m writing is boring. It’s just . . . I want to get that scene right. I love those characters, and I want them to chillax and drink “benison wine” (read: angelic beer) together and have a tongue wag, but also move the plot along. And keep the voice consistent.

    Anyway. We’re springing into kind of an intense scene from here. Maybe I’m just afraid to write it? Regardless, I’m writing it. Tomorrow. Or at least starting it.
  4. Went to the GYM!!!

    Have to say, biking indoors is less boring when you’re watching Killing Eve. Did 30 minutes of Hills, went about 6 miles. Need to switch bikes–I don’t like the recumbent; it made my feet feel numb–and up my difficulty level. I was at level 5 of 20 and never really got my heartbeat where it needed to be.

    NEVERTHELESS, WE WENT TO THE GYM!

    We Put Our Membership To Use–and have been, for most of December, at least once or twice a week. So, TRIUMPH.
  5. Baked bread. Sourdough, this recipe, a mix of wheat and white. Mir’s birthday dinner is tomorrow. We’re having Coq au Vino Bianco–this wonderful recipe, from my favorite, falling-apart NEW BASICS COOKBOOK–and wanted some beautiful bread.

    It’s really nice to have this sourdough starter from my buddy Pat. We have named the starter “Patrick the Third” in his honor (he named his own “Junior,” so you see?). Hernandez calls it “Paddy O’Thirdy.” We’ve already “friendship-breaded” some of the discard away, and our friends have named their starter “P4.” So the tradition HATH BEGUN.
  6. Broke down a LOT OF BOXES from the holidays. Bagged up trash. Bagged up plastic bags to recycle at the store, which is the nearest place that will recycle plastic bags. That was our one big chore, in an otherwise easy-peasy day. After being so scheduled for so long, a few days of no big plans are really, really, really welcome.
  7. Made a grocery list for tomorrow!!! I LOVE GROCESSEYS!
  8. Did dishes, sang along to the soundtrack of The Secret Garden musical as I did so.
  9. And speaking of singing . . .

    Did Exercises 1-7 in SINGING FOR THE STARS, by Seth Riggs. I set up my office so that my music stand is in here, and I realized that the little DVD-TV we recently bought has a CD player function. Hernandez bought me the Singing for the Stars program (CD and book) off my wishlist, so today is the first day of re-training my voice.

    I’d love to build a strong “mixed” voice over this year, and sustain it. New habits, new bridges of sound. I’ve always wanted to have one, but my chest and head voice have always had this wild disconnect. Like the difference between a lioness belting on Broadway and a boy soprano. This was the book/CD program Terry Donohoo had in our house back in Illinois, and much of Riggs’s “speech level training” talk sounds right to me. I think the exercises will strengthen my singing, teach me better habits, and also keep me flexible for narration, so I’m excited about it. Rather wonder why it hasn’t been digitized yet, for this modern age.
  10. And now, I am blogging. The only other thing I wanted to do today, in oracular activation of the coming year, was write a few letters. And perhaps that is what I shall do after signing off. I did stay up late–through midnight and into the wee hours–reading a romance novel for pleasure. It was Delicious, by Sherry Thomas.

    Sherry Thomas is a writer whom I’ve never met, but whose career and trajectory I admire like no other. And I admire a LOT of writers. It’s kind of my job. Anyway, I got on a Sherry Thomas kick over the holidays, and I’ve been binging all her old stuff. Really, it’s to hold me over till her next Lady Sherlock book came out. The last one was a heist book. The structure was IMPECCABLE. How can she TOP IT? But one thing I know about Sherry Thomas is that she will. And in no way I will expect.

Enough of my love-letters in open form blogging now. I have pretty new paper purchased by my beloved as one of my birthday presents, and I mean to write on it.

I owe many letters, and I long to write them all. And poetry too. And, oh, everything. Everything. It’s not just the new year. It’s an urgency I often feel. I like this, writing at night.

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