• I finished the dang draft.  Then I made some quick revisions that I’m sure disturbed continuity left and right.  Then I sent the draft away (yay!) and have spent the meantime cataloging all the things that I know are still wrong with it and all the ways I should have made it better before I sent it away.  Oh well.  I know I can’t make it better right now.  I need some space.
  • It’s been nine years since I lived in California.  There are only three things I miss about the locale: the ocean, the rainy winters, and sourdough bread.  In the Bay Area, grocery stores sell sourdough bread on the french bread racks.  It’s everywhere.  I used to live on the stuff.  And I didn’t realize it was a regional things until I moved away.  After nine years, I’m telling you it is impossible to find good sourdough bread in Utah.  This makes me very, very sad.  A friend gave me a starter for my wedding, and I’ve managed to keep it alive, but all my (many, many) attempts to make San Francisco style sourdough french bread have failed miserably.  I. could. not. get. the. stuff. to. rise.   No matter what I did.  And yes, the yeast was alive and no the water wasn’t hot enough to kill it and yes I kneaded it for long enough and yes I gave it sufficient rising time–sometimes 36 hours or more.  But!  This weekend!  I discovered a new sourdough recipe (different from the umpteen others I had tried) and got some (more) bread tips from a former-baker friend.  I modified the recipe to avoid previous pitfalls, and voila!  Out of my oven came real SF sourdough bread.  Not just good sourdough, but the best of all possible sourdoughs.  And it was easy!  And it came out the same way twice!  And it can be made all in one day!  I cannot contain my excitement.  There will very possibly be a recipe (with photos!) here very soon.
  • This weekend Drew and I discovered X-box Live Indie Games.  Pure awesome.  Of course, we didn’t download any because of the cost involved, but I love that independent video game distribution is becoming possible for consoles.  We also discovered that Braid was available through X-box Live.  That one we did buy, and it is fantastic.  If SuperMario were a literary novel, this is the game that would be.  Five stars.  Everyone should play it.
  • Leaves are turning colors in my backyard.  There’s snow on the mountains, which means the wind has suddenly turned very cold.  I may have to rake in the next week.  We turned on our furnace.  But my house is still full of sunlight, even when it rains.  South facing windows for the win.
  • Lately I feel like I’m failing at everything.  This feeling! of failure! is so over the top that I know it can’t be a reflection of reality.  For example, when I finished my draft I was unsure that it was even readable enough to be called a narrative.  That is stupid.  I think the feelings come out of the tight-rope walk we’re engaged in.  As long as all plans go smoothly over the next six months, we’re going to be fine.  But lean a little to the left or a little to the right…and we’ll be falling.  And since when do things ever go smooth?  There are too many "ifs" in this plan.  It makes me twitchy.  I comfort myself in the knowledge that we have some very nice safety nets, so it’s not really that far to fall.  So I cheerfully do everything that lies in my power, because that’s all there is to do.
  •   I’m drafting another book.  It’s nice to be writing something brand new again.