Monday, October 22, 2007

Late night

I stayed up too late last night, trying to finish the book I'm reading (Still Summer, by Jacquelyn Mitchard) I wasn't able to finish it; I knew I needed to get to bed, so I reluctantly put it down at 12:30 and went up to bed. Bob had gone to bed hours before--he needed to get up before dawn this morning to get to work early and get some things done before the store opened.

When his alarm went off at 4:30 or something--some ungodly hour like that--I didn't even wake up. I had a hard time waking up when my alarm went off at 6:30, both because I'd been up too late, and because it was still full dark. And raining.

Standing in the shower (I did eventually get up), I was thinking that I could tolerate the rain and snow and cold temperatures better if it wasn't for having to get up in the dark. And then I realized that we never "fell back" this year -- this is the year that Daylight Saving Time lasts an extra month, right? Okay, I checked -- DST ends on the first Sunday in November. So in a couple of weeks we'll gain an hour (or get back the hour we lost, I guess), and it will be a little lighter in the mornings, thank goodness. Although that means it will be darker earlier in the evening, I guess. It's all tradeoffs.

In spite of the rocky start, I was pretty productive this morning. I dried (and hung up and/or folded) a load of laundry, ate breakfast (a bagel with veggie cream cheese and a glass of orange juice), and made lunch for today and tomorrow--Spanish rice with tomatoes and white beans, peaches for dessert, and cottage cheese for an afternoon snack. I haven't been eating very well lately, and by that I don't mean I haven't been eating, I mean I've been eating crap, so I'm making an effort to do a little better. I actually don't usually do too badly at lunch, but it could always use improvement.

I figure rice, vegetables and fruit for awhile would be good.

I went to the library over the weekend and ended up checking out a TON of books. I always check the "New Books" shelves, and found several things there that I wanted to read. Whether I'll actually read them or not is anyone's guess, but it's nice to have options.

Almost everything I got were books of short stories--"Year's Best Science Fiction," "Asimov's Science Fiction: 30th Anniversary Anthology," "Best American Fantasy," "Best New Paranormal Romance," "Year's Best Fantasy," "The Best American Mystery Stories," and "The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year." Whew. I actually had no idea that I got that many short story collections.

I actually have kind of a problem with short stories. I got all of those books because they all contained stories by some of my favorite authors--Connie Willis, Kage Baker, Elizabeth Hand are the ones that I remember. Short stories are hard for me because they're, well, short. In general, I prefer long books, and when I'm reading short stories I tend to read them too quickly, I think, because . . . well, I don't really know why.

Anyway, just another of my weird quirks. I pick up short story books because I both love them and hate them. Love them because there are often a bunch of things by several of my favorite writers in one volume, hate them because the stories are just too short to be satisfying. Novellas are good -- shorter than a novel, but longer than a short story. Some of those are just right.

I was thrilled to see that Connie Willis has a new Christmas story in the December issue of Azimov's. All of her work is wonderful, but I especially love the Christmas stories.

I was also thrilled to see that there's a new collection of her short stories coming out -- The Winds of Marble Arch. I've read most of them, of course, but it's always nice to have them collected in one place. Normally I would get a book like that at the library, but I decided I had to have this one. It's published by Subterranean Press, so it's a limited edition, and I had a moment of panic that I actually wouldn't be able to buy it. But Amazon had it available, so I snatched it up. It should be here today, to add to the pile of short story collections that I built on Saturday. I might read it first, though.

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