I got my wish. We are snowed in and frozen solid in a winter
(That's Jim giving Leroy a lift.)
I feel very, very badly for the local merchants and crafters. This is usually the big weekend at the Saturday Market, the outdoor craft fair where Laini's Ladies were born. Artisans really rely on their holiday sales to see them through the next few months. As if the economy isn't bad enough, to have the weather crimp off these last important shopping days! Plus: cabin fever! I missed the Portland kidlit holiday party on Friday out of fear of driving (though I did get out earlier that day for some last-minute shopping during a temporary thaw between storms), and we missed a fun craft-sale/party last night chez Robot Candy; just found out the only people who made it were those in walking distance. And there were mini chocolate-gingerbread houses for everyone! Wah!
Check out their etsy stores, HERE and HERE, for abundant cuteness.
Also. . . this really threatens my birthday tomorrow. The annual Laini's birthday dungeness crab feast is supposed to take place at my parents' house, but they are up icy undrivable hills in the forest, so I don't think that is going to happen. Sigh. It'll be just me and Jim and a whole coconut cream pie. . . Hey, actually, that doesn't sound so bad!
My sister just made it here from California before the snow got so bad flights started being cancelled, but we haven't been able to see her, as we are trapped in different houses. See, you people in snowy lands, we don't exactly have snow ploughs here, and almost nobody has tire chains or studded tires. We can go several years at a time with no snow, at least none that sticks. So we're helpless. Usually I like getting snowed in, but not during the holidays!!! Boo hoo hoo hoo.
Well, all this being trapped in the house was good for finishing going over Lips Touch copyedits, but I can't exactly mail them back to New York. I finished a couple more Cybils books yesterday, as we close in on the shortlists that we will pass along to the next committee who will select the winners. I have a couple that I'm really rooting for, but nothing is decided yet. Interestingly, two panelists are in absolute love with a book I extremely disliked; not just idly disliked, but actively disliked. This process has been really interesting -- sure, I probably should have been writing instead of reading dozens and dozens of books, but it's good to experience the awards committee process from the inside, see the complete arbitrariness of the process. How it's possible for some people to adore books that others quite loathe. We may have to arm wrestle over the matter. You know, arm wrestle over email. That sounds tricky. Email rochambeau? Roshambo? Hm.
Oh, while rereading Lips Touch, I had a last-minute notion to double-check an obscure term that I had come across in some long-forgotten research scavenge; it was a phrase I thought was an ancient Avestan or Persian derogatory term for "the accursed Alexander" (the Great) (most unbeloved by Zoroastrians, as he burned Persepolis and the ancient scriptures of Zarathustra). Well, it wasn't, not at all. I wonder now where I got it, how it came to be written down. It was something entirely else. Whew, I had time to remove it. Though there aren't a lot of readers who would have known, those who did would have scoffed at me as a complete eejit. As it is, I have pirated words from the dead language of Avestan to cobble together an invented language (that was fun), and I hope no hoity reviewers get a stick up their butts and decide to deride my misuse of Avestan grammar or something. Because grammar there is none.
Do you know anything about Zoroastrianism? I don't know much, but ever since 9th grade history, I've thought it a most exceedingly interesting religion. It's the oldest of the "revealed world religions," meaning the oldest "revealed" by a prophet (Zoroaster/Zarathustra); it may be the oldest monotheistic religion, and there is strong suggestion that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam "cribbed" from it. God and Satan, the soul, heaven and hell, the virgin birth, the Resurrection, and more: Zoroastrianism said it first. In 9th grade, perhaps the most interesting things about it to me were: 1) the way they dispose of dead bodies, putting them on "towers of silence" for vultures to clean; and 2) the notion that Hell is like a prison term, but that eventually even the wicked in Hell will serve out their terms and achieve expiation. Isn't that nice? Much nicer than Christian Hell.
Why am I talking about this? I don't know. The novella "Hatchling" in Lips Touch is loosely inspired by some aspects of Zoroastrianism. Loosely. Like, I do my research on Wikipedia. My "research" generally consists of writing down the things that really interest me and doing with them as I please. Which might also include getting stuff totally wrong. I'd be horrible at historical fiction, because I just like to glean tidbits and remake them to my own purposes. Another Lips Touch story, "Spicy Little Curses Such As These," would not stand up to the scrutiny of a scholar of the British Raj. Accuracy just isn't as important to me as story. But I do love true, rigorous historical fiction, and have great, great respect for the writers who "get it right."
Blah blah blah. I should think about doing some actual writing today. On my "newt." Instead of dithering about. I've done my baking and gift wrapping, the house is clean and twinkly with lights and holiday goodness, I can't go anywhere. It sounds like a recipe for writing, noh?
Ah, and lastly, I shall reveal to you the extraordinary glamour of my "snowed-in" apparel. This is what they're wearing in Milan right now, folks. It hasn't even made it to Paris yet, it's that new of a fashion.