29 January 2005

Big Book Score

Well, I'm back from the book sale, have had some food and tea, hauled broken branches out of the garden, looked at stuff on eBay and am now ready to bask in the cool books I brought home. I didn't get to Staples (opting, instead, to buy groceries), but I'll go tomorrow when Sue and Selena go to take back their videos. Which is better, because now I can balance my chequebook and see how much (or rather, how little) I can actually spend on a scanner.

But anyway, the books. Here's what I got for donating to help fund diabetes research. First, the fiction:
  • A Scientific Romance by Ronald Wright. I've no idea if this author is any good, but the cover blurb mentioned H.G. Wells' time machine, Egyptology, Victorian machinery, time travel, and jazz, and made it sound really cool. I'll probably read this one very soon. I might even start it this evening.
  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King. A retired Sherlock Holmes meets his match in a modern young woman? Or something. I think I saw a mention of this somewhere recently, and thought it sounded interesting.
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson. Here's something for the League of Extraordinary Reading. It's a Reader's Digest book (shudder) but the copyright page says it has the complete text of all the stories. Also, it's actually rather a handsome book, with pictures, and looks nothing like the usual RD edition. It just better have all the words.
  • The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. I've been meaning to read more Wilde for ages. I've been meaning to read this particular book for ages. Now I can. I think it qualifies for the League of Extraordinary Reading (at least via the horrible LXG movie, if nothing else).
  • The Lady in the Loch by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. Kinda funny I found this, considering the poetry I got (below). I've never read this author, but she uses Sir Walter Scott as a character, so it should be interesting, at least.
  • He Shall Thunder in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters. This is one of her "Amelia Peabody" mysteries. They're set in Victorian times and have lots of archeaology (Peters, aka Barbara Michaels, is an Egyptologist, or at least has a PhD in the field). I've only read one or two of them, and I really want to start at the beginning and read them in order. Now I have to find the earlier ones (back to the library, I suppose).
  • Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within by Jane Jensen. This is maybe kind of a silly one. It's based on a series of acclaimed adventure games (computer games, that is), created by Jensen. I wasn't going to get it, but I've had adventure games on the brain lately (trying to play all the ones I have before I get my new Mac). I thought it would be silly fun, and might even surprise me by being good. Plus, it has werewolves in. You may have realized by now that shapechangers are one of my minor obsessions. They keep showing up in my fiction.

Next, the poetry:
  • The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott. I should probably read more poetry. Actually, I should read more contemporary poetry, but old stuff is good, too. Plus, it's got fairies. Or a fairy. Maybe.

And finally, the non-fiction:
  • Eight Modern Essayists edited by William Smart. Short pieces by the likes of George Orwell, E.B. White, Virginia Woolf, and others. It includes Orwell's "Politics and the English Language," which I've been wanting to read again lately.
  • The Periodic Kingdom by P.W. Atkins. It's good to understand the periodic table of the elements, right? Actually, I was thinking of picking up one of those nice laminated tables they make for highschool and college kids, to put on my wall. (I really was, that's not a joke. I'm a geek, remember? A nerd.)
  • Armor by Sean Morrison. If you know me at all, you probably know that another of my minor obsessions is swords (and if you somehow managed to visit my house and not realize this, I seriously question your powers of observation). Swords and armour (or "armor" if you're American) go together.
  • In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall. Here's another of those "been meaning to read for ages books," along with Dian Fossey's Gorillas in the Mist and Birute Galdikas' orangutan book(s).
  • Science Under Siege by Michael Fumento. I'm a little dubious about this one--it's one of those "environmentalists are hugely overracting (or else part of a conspiracy)" books (or it sounds like it, anyway), plus the guy's other book is called The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS. But, I'll give it a fair read (carefully balanced by checking reviews and such in the science press). It should be thought-provoking at least (or maybe just provoking).

And, just so you don't wonder that I'm being buried in my wealth of books, but not actually reading them, I'll have a "recent reading" post soon. Just not yet. I need to bask some more.

28 January 2005

The Obscure Cities

Connections and coincidences. I was reading some stuff on the Just Adventure+ website (a good place for adventure game geeks), and discovered that François Schuiten, who co-created The Great Walls of Samaris is going to be working with Benoit Sokal, of White Bird Productions. This is one of those odd, but cool, coincidences that pop up now and then: I read and blogged The Great Walls of Samaris some while ago, and vaguely remember commenting that I'd like to read more French comics, if that was a good sample. It turns out that Samaris is only one volume in a series called Les Cités Obscures (aka The Obscure Cities). Alas, only three of them have been translated into English (though the website provides text translations for some of the others). Guess I'll have to look for the other two. The other part of the coincidental connection is Sokal, who created two of my favourite adventure games: Amerzone and Syberia (and also Syberia 2 which I haven't played. Whatever those two come up with, I'll have to get my hands on, whether it's a game or a comic, or something else entirely.

Fey Page 29, and Other Things

Today, my computer behaved relatively well running PhotoShop (only restarted four times, I think). So here's page 29, featuring Maeve (deceptively pretty winged pond faery) and Pier (dark, broody, kind of weird elf in a long black coat).

And in computer-related news, I got a nice email from the Apple Store with a coupon for $40 off $399 or more, if I use it in the next two weeks. So I hope Mac Minis start shipping in a reasonable time within the next two weeks--that way I can get $40 off my order (which amounts to a free keyboard and a little extra) AND get the $100 rebate for buying a printer at the same time. I've already splurged on a couple of adventure games for Macs on eBay (well, "splurged" is relative--they were really cheap).

In only-somewhat-computer-related news, tomorrow there's a used book sale at the mall, to which I and Sue and Mum will be going. How many books I come home with will depend partly on the selection (naturally) and partly on how much they're charging. Funds benefit the Diabetes Association (or Society, or whatever they're called), so that's good. Always nice to have an excuse to spend more on books. The computer-related part is that afterwards, I'm going to go to Staples to see if I can find a decent USB Mac-compatible scanner on which to use my $20 off $100 or more coupon before it expires at the end of the month (I am rich in coupons today). There was a perfect one on the website, but who knows what they'll actually have in stock. So if anyone needs/wants a rather aged but still functional Mustek 600 III EP Plus scanner that plugs into a printer port (you can then plug your printer into the scanner and run it through) and only works with Windows, let me know.

26 January 2005

Mail From the ESA (or, I Am Such a Geek)

So I got a big envelope from the European Space Agency today (I got mail from the European Space Agency!). Inside was my copy of Tales of Innovation and Imagination: Selected Stories from the 2003 Clarke-Bradbury International Science Fiction Competition (which, if you want to read it, is available here in pdf format, or you can go here to try to find the appropriate link for ordering it [it's SP-546, September 2004]). Of course, I found a typo. And the formatting is the same as the pdf version, which I hoped it wouldn't be. There are no indents at the beginnings of paragraphs, so the only way to tell it's a new paragraph is if there's a lot of space at the end of the previous paragraph. I dunno what style format they were following . . . Anyway.

I'm published in a thingy put out by the European Space Agency (have I squeezed "European Space Agency" in there often enough? No? Here it is again: European Space Agency). I read my story through again (it's not very long) and it definitely has flaws, but I still kind of like it. Not in a "this is a masterpiece" kind of way, but in a fond sort of "here's a fun little trifle I wrote" way. But I realized, with slight embarassment, that I sent a story about winning an arts contest to an arts contest. But I wrote the story way before I knew about the contest. I wrote it for an Arts and Technology class I did when finishing my writing degree. I originally did it as an illustrated book (kind of a Griffin and Sabine sort of thing, in the form of the narrator's journal), then rewrote it for the contest (the orignal didn't have much middle).

I think this is my first print publication of fiction. Weird. It's not a professional publication, since I didn't get paid for it and it was for a contest, but still. It's from the European Space Agency.

25 January 2005

Funny Webcomic

Go read this: girls with slingshots. (Link via The Johnny Bacardi Show.)

I See Snowdrops . . . and Red

Yesterday on my way back from the mailbox I spotted a cheerful-looking bunch of the year's first flowers--snowdrops! I haven't seen any anywhere but there, yet, but it suddenly got warm after the snow, so I expect there will be flowers popping up everywhere soon. Or else it'll suddenly get cold again and all the snowdrops will die.

And in other news . . . my desktop computer just froze twice in a row while I was trying to PhotoShop this week's page of Fey. Usually, it waits until I have all the pieces together and am trying to flatten the image (or sometimes while I'm copying and pasting the pieces). This time, it happened when I was trying to rotate the first piece. That's the very first thing I do after creating the new document. Argh! Right after it crashed I went to the Apple Store to see when the Mac Minis are shipping. Still 3-4 weeks. Damn! As soon as the ship time is around a week, I'm ordering one. (Waiting because of "buy a printer at the same time get a fat rebate" dealies that require postmarks and invoice dates to be within 30 days of one another.) Argh! again. I'm going to leave it for a while. If I get desperate, I'll try to PhotoShop on my laptop, but it'll mean having to re-scan (I think the tiff files are too big to email, but I might try anyway).

Right. End of rant. Think of pretty white flowers nodding on their fresh green stems in the warm breeze (well, warm-ish).

22 January 2005

50 Books Begins

Oops! I haven't made a single "latest reading" post since the year began, have I? At least, not one for this year's books. Fortunately, I've been reading a lot of magazines lately, so I haven't gone through as many books as I might have. Here's what I've read so far:

  1. One Writer's Beginnings by Eudora Welty. I read this one to review for work. It's quite short, but really beautifully written. (You can read more of me blathering about how wonderful it is in my review.)
  2. No Place for a Lady by Barbara Hodgson. Sue checked this one out from the library, and I thought it looked interesting--it's about women travellers in . . . the 18th century, I think? I can't remember. Anyway, it was interesting, but rather shallow. By which I mean that Hodgson would introduce an interesting character, breeze quickly through her travels in a particular place (each chapter was on a different part of the world), and then move on to the next character. I get that she was trying to cover as many different women as possible, but I'd rather have had fewer women and more details. As it was, the stories felt very superficial, and it's a topic that, I think, would have benefitted from more in-depth coverage. But maybe it's just me. The writing was good, at least, I just still felt hungry after.

I also finished one book I'd started in 2004--Womansword: What Japanese Words Say About Women, which was just as interesting for showing how Japanese words are formed out of other words, as for its depiction of how women are viewed. Now I'm reading three non-fiction books at the same time, which isn't really conducive to me actually finishing any of them soon.

  1. Medicine Road by Charles deLint. I always like deLint's books. I'm not nearly the fanatic I once was, though. I'm enjoying this "series" (not really a series, but a bunch of related books--the first one was Seven Wild Sisters) more than I have his Newford cycle. I think they have more of what made me love his work in the first place. Which isn't to say I don't like the Newford books. I do, very much. Geh. I don't know what I'm trying to say. Maybe I should go back to bed.

And that's all the fiction I've read. Kind of sad. I started a big anthology of short stories, but I don't seem to be getting through it very quickly.

Sequential Art:
  1. Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle by CLAMP. It's CLAMP, do I need to say more? This is an odd story of alternate-world characters from the Cardcaptor Sakura storyline, but so far I'm really enjoying it.
  2. Viz Sneak Peek by various. This was a freebie when I bought the Inu-Yasha movie DVDs. It's the usual mix of story excerpts from Viz books. There are a couple I'll at least browse through in the store, one I'll probably buy, and several I have absolutely no interest in (just in case you were beginning to think I'd read anything manga).
  3. Seraphic Feather: Crimson Angel (volume one) by Hiroyuki Utatane and Yo Morimoto. Hmmm. This wasn't a bad book, it just didn't really grab me. Plus there were way too many gratuitous panty shots. I can handle a few. Heck, I can even enjoy the odd one. But this book just overdid it for me. If the story was more gripping or the art more gorgeous, I could ignore it. It definitely has appealing elements, just not enough of them for me to keep reading.
  4. Usagi Yojimbo volume 5 by Stan Sakai. So I had to skip to volume 5 from volume 2, owing to the fact that our library system doesn't have volumes 3 or 4. Sigh. Still, Sakai's stories are self-contained, so it didn't matter too much (unless there turns out to be a subtle overall storyline, which there could well be). There was a lovely story about kites, plus the usual samurai rabbit action. Oh, and a very amusing Lone Wolf and Cub tribute called "Lone Goat and Kid."
  5. The Return of Lum * Urusei Yatsura: For Better or Curse by Rumiko Takahashi. I go this in a lot of Takahashi books off eBay. It's got the usual cute art and slapstick comedy (largely centred around botched romance--also a Takahashi staple). I'd have enjoyed it much more, I suspect, if I had read the earlier books. As it was, I sometimes felt a little lost about what was going on and who everyone was. Still, there was enough fun stuff that I didn't feel like I was wasting my time, and I'll probably get around to those earlier books eventually.
  6. Artbabe: Mirror Window by Jessica Abel. Short stories about art and realtionships and life in general. Nice art. Good writing. This was a nice change from weird manga, and I'll definitely be looking for more Artbabe.
  7. Rave Master volume 1 by Hiro Mashima. I got this from Selena's school Scholastic book order. I like to support the school library and encourage Scholastic to offer more comics. That said, Rave Master didn't blow me away. It was okay, and I think it might develop into a more involving story, but I really don't feel like I must eagerly await the next book.
  8. Queen and Country: Operation Stormfront by Greg Rucka and Carla Speed McNeil. You could file this under "comics for people who think they won't like comics." Then again, I'm sure lots of people who do like comics love this series. What I'm trying to say is that it's great spy fiction in graphic form, and anyone who likes spy fiction (or mysteries or suspense; or any of those things in movies or tv or whatever medium) would be missing out if they skipped this because it's comics. Anyway, I liked it.
  9. Chobits volume 5 by CLAMP. Finally, I got back to this series. I broke down and just bought volume 5 at the comic shop, instead of looking for it cheap on eBay. I really wanted to know what happened. So now I need volume 6.
  10. Inu-Yasha volume 20 by Rumiko Takahashi.

It feels weird sometimes, to go into a comic shop and buy nothing but manga. I have this peculiar notion that I shouldn't let everyone think I'm one of those women who just discovered comics during the big manga explosion (which, incidentally, is still going on and shows no signs of slowing down) and has never read, and probably never will read, any other kinds of comics. I fell like I should buy something not manga. My local comic shop never seems to have the titles I want, though. And anyway, most of them I'd rather have in trade format rather than pamphlets (ie. individual comics, also called "floppies"). And western tpbs cost more than manga. It's stupid to feel that way, I know. But I've been reading comics since before variant covers killed the industry. I was reading comics when manga in English was nearly impossible to find. Since . . . Oh, never mind. It just makes me feel old. (No, I'm not saying it's bad to be one of those women who just discovered comics during the big manga explosion, just that I'm not one.)

So. Like I said, I've been reading a lot of magazines instead of books lately. It seems to go in cycles. I've read various issues of Newtype USA, Anime Insider (the writing is pretty awful, but it's much less juvenile than sister publications Wizard and Toy Fare, and the stories are sometimes actually informative, plus Selena likes to cut out the pictures when I'm done), Skeptic, Skeptical Inquirer, and a few computer and gaming-related things. Oh yeah, and I'm trying to catch up on a year's worth of Geist (only 4 issues, fortunately).

I'm really starting to want to read science books again, too. Or maybe science magazines . . .

Hee hee

Neil Gaiman's blog makes me laugh again, especially this bit:
. . . as you go to bed, having found yet another cat-murdered roll of toilet paper in the middle of the office floor, you realise that you don't actually know where the cats are getting the nightly fresh toilet paper rolls from.
My cat murders t.p., too, though usually while it's still on the wall.

21 January 2005

Fey Today

Here's page 28. Today I decided to work on the long-delayed cover for Part 2 instead of a new page (I'll probably try to do two next week). It's almost all coloured now, I just have some background colour to do. Then I have to try to get PhotoShop and my decrepit old machine to let me add the text. It'll be the same as the Part 1 cover, only with a different picture (duh). Eh. I need to eat.

17 January 2005

I'm a What?

What weird misc. thing are you?


You're a little backwards and a little annoying, but deep down, we all love you.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.


Wow. So we've ("we" = humans) put landers on Mars and sent an orbiter to Saturn. I watched the Discovery Channel special on Titan last night. It was very, very cool. And I was happy that they showed a bunch of Cassini photos of other moons, as well as the Huygens probe photos of Titan. Did I mention it was very cool? I was going to write something intelligent about all this, but it's one of those times when I need to let it seep in for a while before trying to put things into words.

And here's something truly bizarre. Sometime in 2003 I entered my story "Seeing Stars" in The Clarke-Bradbury Science Fiction Competition. I didn't win (I hadn't really expected to, but entered just for fun). This morning I got an email from someone at the European Space Agency (who sponored the contest) asking for my new address because they'd sent me a copy of the anthology and it had been returned. It seems that, although I didn't win, my story was selected as one of those "selected for their interest, content, novelty and structure" to appear in the anthology. You can read it in pdf format here.

14 January 2005

Fey page 27

I got so busy working on today's page-to-draw, I almost forgot about today's page-to-post.


Jeff Vandermeer's guest blogger Iain Rowan (what a great name) blogs about automata:
If you were rich, and inclined to be somewhat unhinged in a rather scary way, you would surely have a house full of automata.
What does it say about me that I think it would be cool to live in a big old house full of books and automata?

12 January 2005


There's some great stuff on writing and getting published--from Neil Gaiman and Teresa Nielsen Hayden--over on Neil Gaiman's blog, including this:
writing about writing, or writing about publishing, is what wanna-be authors do when they've given up on writing, but don't yet want to admit it.
Ouch. But for the record, I haven't given up and don't intend to.

I See a Light

Okay, it's nowhere near a G5, but this may be--at least for now--an answer to my problems. And it's so cute! Mac Mini. Hee hee.

11 January 2005


I'm not certain yet, but I think I may have finally found the perfect book cataloguing software. I've tried a lot of these over the years, and they range from truly crappy to almost, but not quite, what I want. Usually, I find two or three that would be perfect if their features were combined, but no single one that has everything I want. Readerware looks like it might--and I can add up to 9 fields if it doesn't. The trial version comes with CD and movie versions, too. It costs more to buy, but the package deal for all three seems reasonable. Even better, if you buy the software, then switch to a different platform (like I plan to switch back to a Mac asap), you don't have to buy the program again. If you get the disc, all the versions are on there, and if you get the download, you can use your same key for any version. So now I just have to take one of each kind of book I own, and see how it does. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, because I've wanted a good book cataloguing program for ages.

08 January 2005

50 Books Challenge

The 50 Books reading challenge has rules. I think I'll do it this year pretty much the same as I did last, keeping separate lists for fiction, non-fiction, and sequential art. I already have a bunch of comics TPBs to blog, thanks to many of them having large enough text to see in candlelight.

A Day Late, and a Lot of Snow

Courtesy of BC Hydro and Mother Nature, this week's Fey (page 26) is somewhat late. We had a mountain of snow fall on us all at once, and large parts of the Cowichan valley (actually much of the south island, I think) were without power for over 24 hours. Not such a big deal, really, except it's hard to keep a greyhound warm without power when he decides he doesn't like all the blankets piled on top of him. Plus, I was ready to kill for a cup of tea. Anyway, the power is back on (for now, anyway), and the latest page is up. Phew. Plus, I'm almost caught up on the pages-in-progress, despite running out of daylight last night, and it being too dim in the only warmish room for drawing today. If I don't finish those pages tomorrow, they'll be done by Tuesday for sure (even without electricity). Yay!

05 January 2005

Another Hero Gone

I've sort of been avoiding blogging about this, because I really don't know what to say. Will Eisner died January 3. Now I'll never get to meet one of the biggest, most influential people ever in comics. And how selfish a thought is that?
It's hard to believe that a man could die at age 87 and still seem to have been cut down in full stride, and yet that's who and what Will Eisner was.
(That's from THE BEAT, where there's a nice survey of many of the tributes to Eisner popping up on the web.)

Red Sonja Is What?

Here's something cool that I didn't know, from postmodernbarney:
. . . Red Sonja is coming back to comics. Again. And it's going to be a barbarian fantasy series. Again. So, basically, Roy Thomas and Frank Thorne killed any chance of me ever seeing a faithful adaptation of Howard's one Sonya story, in which she is a 16th century Russian gunfighter fighting the Ottoman Turks . . .
I think I had better move Robert E. Howard farther up the list of things to read (I've read some of the early Conan stories, but that's it). I wonder which book had the Sonja story. A 16th century gunfighter. How cool.

03 January 2005

Ringing in the New Year

So, how did I spend my first day of 2005? Why, watching the extended editions of all three Lord of the Rings movies in the company of dear friends, of course. What better way could there possibly be to kill a day than twelve straight hours of LotR? Rowena brought delicious chicken and rice dishes, the names of which I can't remember, but boy were they good. Sue made some kind of veggie and chicken soup (to die for, as usual), and I provided cheese and crackers and chips and dip and pop and tea and coffee and chocolate. Oh, and I also provided the venue (include warm blankies), though Sue lugged her much larger tv upstairs so we could actually see Aragorn. And all those other pretty men, approximately half of whom I have had crushes on (their fictional, novelistic counterparts, that is) since I was about 9 years old (or whenever it was I first read tLotR).

I thought it was going to be a feat of endurace along the lines of the old Red Dwarf marathons, which I think were actually shorter in duration, but I was--again--too entranced by the movies to really notice their length. Most of the new and extended scenes added a lot to the whole, I think. The flood of skulls was a little cheesy, but also amusing, so I didn't mind. And I didn't exactly object to having to look at Viggo Mortensen for longer. That man has some nice cheekbones.

I did forget, though, that although wine makes me sleepy, it also makes me wakeful, so I didn't sleep nearly as much as I'd have liked last night. And when I did sleep I had weird dreams in which--I think--I and some friends were attempting to make a movie.

It was back to work today, alas, though a large part of today's work consisted of reading the book I'm going to write the review of tomorrow. Sometimes, I like my job. (And sometimes I use the phrase "I think" too often.)

01 January 2005

Well, Maybe a Few Little Ones

Okay, I won't be so ambitious this time. For 2005, I resolve to:

  • continue a page a week of Fey, unless I have a damn good reason not to
  • revise all the Friesland Stories to date, and keep submitting them
  • pick up writing White Foxes, Full Moon where I left off, and try to finish the damn thing
  • continue writing more Friesland Stories
  • write at least a little more of Three Sisters
  • get back in touch with friends I lost track of, and stay in touch with them
  • keep exercising and lose a few more pounds

I think that'll do. Notice all the qualifiers. I can't fail this time! Heh.

No Resolution

So last year I made a few New Year's resolutions, and cheekily said to check back at the end of the year to see how I did. Well, last night I was eating roast goose, so I didn't get to writing about that. So I'll go though 2004's resolutions one by one and make up excuses for why I didn't meet them. Good excuses, really.

Last year, I resolved to:

  • revise The Secret Common-Wealth
    I didn't finish it. I started second-guessing myself. I was going to collapse some characters together, but then decided maybe I shouldn't. Plus, I really need to either go to Scotland, or find some super-detailed reference material to get the location details right. Or at least close.
  • finish writing White Foxes, Full Moon
    I didn't. I decided that White Foxes was really meant to be a series of short stories and form the second part of Friesland Stories (formerly Vinland Stories). Then, I when I went to separate it into its component stories, I discovered they were more closely intertwined that I'd thought. So I left it alone a while. Then I decided it probably should be a novel after all. Now I'm getting antsy about working on it again, which is good, even though I failed to keep both resolutions so far.
  • finish writing Vinland Stories (now called Friesland Stories)
    This one isn't a total failure, though the goal of finishing became much less likely when I decided that White Foxes wasn't going to be part of it after all. I did get a few more stories written, just not all of them. They tend to only come out good when I let them come out one their own. The one I wrote just to get another one done isn't very good. Geh.
  • complete at least three more issues of Fey
    I didn't realize how unrealistic this was until I started working on it. I can finish a page in a day, but it takes the entire day. And I can only really spare one whole day--occasionally two-- out of a week, which means I can only effectively do a page a week. And since I decided to re-do the first part to make the gutters the right size and correct the worst of my anatomical blunders, there was no way I'd get three more parts done. I finished the re-do of part 1 and am almost halfway through part 2. I didn't meet the letter of this resolution, but I'm satisfied that I did it in spirit.
  • send out more stories
    I did this, though I didn't really send out as many as I probably intended.
  • revise Fox Point Dragon and send it to publishers
    I didn't touch this at all. It's never felt like a very high priority, partly because I'm not sure it's any good. Perhaps now that I'm more distanced from it, I can work on it.
  • revise Jenny's Troll and send it to publishers
    I didn't do this, either. The revisions needed are really only the rewriting of one scene, but it's going to be difficult to do. Plus, I can't decide if I should illustrate it myself, of just submit the text.
  • work very hard on Three Sisters
    Didn't do this. I worked on it a bit. I thought about it very hard. But that's all I managed.
  • look for an agent
    I know the agent I want, I'm just too chicken to send her an email to see if she's even taking new writers. I really need to do this soon, though.
  • occasionally go outside to remind myself that there is a world
    I think I did okay on this one, though I didn't get out hiking and such as much I wanted to.

Looks prety disnal, hey? But I did also write the first draft of an entirely new novel (well, one that's not on the list--I had the basic idea for it ages ago). You can even read the draft online. I also got back into exercising fairly regularly, and lost ten pounds (then gained 5 back, but still . . .). I wrote a lot of stuff for About, I got my first professional non-fiction print publication, I read a whole lot of books, and . . . I can't think of anything else, but I did a few other good things. So all-in-all, I'm a bit embarassed that I made so many resolutions I didn't quite keep, but not unhappy with the progress I made this year.

Last Reading of Last Year

A few more last minute manga readings:

  1. Maison Ikkoku: Game, Set, Match (volume 13) by Rumiko Takahashi. I was hoping this was the final volume of the series, as it's the last one the library has. Alas, there is one more. Argh! Guess I'll have to look for it on eBay.
  2. Lone Wolf and Cub: Chains of Death (volume 8) by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima.
  3. Ranma 1/2 volume 4 by Rumiko Takahashi.
  4. Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle volume 1 by CLAMP. The first volume of this book and the first volume of xxxHolic cross over, so I've been wanting to read it for a while (plus, it's CLAMP!). It's kind of a weird alternate universe(s) of many different CLAMP characters, but lots of fun and beautifully drawn. Selena's hooked on it, too.

So that's the last of the things I read in 2004. My totals?
  • fiction: 51
  • non-fiction: 55
  • sequential art: 175

That's a total of 181 books! 106 of the take-a-long-time-to-read variety, and 175 quicker reads (graphic novels usually take me an hour and up, depending on how long and/or dense they are). Phew!

Edit: Sue noted in the comments that I can't add (the ability to do sums seems to be following my ability to spell--out of my brain and into nothingness). That should be 281 books, not 181. Sigh.

That's a lot of books, even not counting the ones with pictures.