Maps and Books and Cloud-Programs, Oh My

After a night of raucous dreams, my hair is a riotous mess. I’m looking out my huge window into a rainy, leaf-wet yard, and a gray day.

And listening to Aimee Mann, which reminds me viscerally of the first few awful weeks in Japan when I had no furniture or television or stereo or husband anything but Sam’s laptop and a limited mp3 collection, much of which was Ms. Mann. Asylums are more cozy and welcoming.

Ah, well, enough of that. It is gray. It stands between the author and the book.

I installed Word 2007 (beta) last night (I also read


their first Angela Carter story–In the Company of Wolves, naturally, and thus I feel I have done my literary and technological good deeds for the week) and am using it today. When did light blue become the default color for everything? Light blue is default, arctic white is the only alternative. We live in a world suspended between Apple and Microsoft. When shall there be Microapple? Nay, nay, speak not of it. I simply notice that my media player, my word processor, my blogging site and my startup screen all fetchingly match, and I for one welcome our design overlords.

I like the program, though they seem to feel it is “clever” to “hide” things which were in plain sight before, like the margin controls. I deeply dig the two-page view thingy though, where I get to type like it’s already an open book. But mostly it seems extremely cosmetic, like a redesign on the Heart of Gold. Everything is basically the same, but now whimsically concealed with ferns and pottery. Light blue pottery.

However, I find the layout calming and peaceful, which is important. This part of Vol. II is pretty much nothing but disturbing badness and scary, and today I’m writing about war, so peaceful and calming is a nice counterpoint.

As for Vol. I…I haven’t seen any reviews yet, (though there are some lovely Amazon reviews up) which seems odd considering how many arcs went out. (And hey, I was on SciFiWire at WFC last week–brackets ahoy!) Let me know if you spy anything, will you? I haven’t been this typical a new author-mommy since The Labyrinth–Amazon rankomancy is a strange and arcane art. Sigh.

I’m off to New York the day after tomorrow, hoping to meet up with

there, and many others. Don’t forget the KGB reading at 7 if you’re in town–though I’m way more excited to see Lucius Shepard than to read myself. Too bad I couldn’t find any of the books I really wanted at WFC, or there could be signage.

New York is starting to be a part of my internal map of the world. (Which looks something like the fantastic map Medea: The Sorceress, or the one in Twenty Epics, if you’ve seen that, and if you haven’t, you should, if only for

‘s story, which is, as the kids say these days, made of win.)

The last year is made of this vast tract of Secret Ohio–the Ohio that is wholly other than plain and boring and flat, as all midwestern states are assumed to be–snaked around with a wide green Mississippi, dots of Virginian swamp, Pennsylvania forests, Colorado highlands, and a great blue spread of Lake Erie. I-80 and 95 and 76 and 64. Bordering these are a rusted, holy, wretched and and bejungled Japan, a silvery Scotland, green-gold Italy and granite-spackled Greece. Somewhere there is California. Somewhere the Pacific. Somewhere Seattle like an iron welt. These maps get built along the way, jumbled up like tectonic plates drifting awry. And now there is a New York there, often night-lit, often too loud, full of underground things and sky-shattering things and occasional beauties, which are mostly the people and not the place, but which are inseparable from the place.

I need more time there to parse it. But I am starting to accept it onto the map.

Melancholy makes for loquaciousness. But it can’t be all bad–I have sushi and plum tea for lunch, and a hot shower waiting for me, with gray clouds and wet orange leaves bundled into the day. I may write curled up in bed, it is so wintry and cold.

So back to the page mines. And fairy tales of chemical warfare.

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