Wednesday, December 26, 2007


-> Christmas was good. The cats seem to enjoty the tree and tree water, the spuse likes the blinking lights and the smell of candles, I like working from home. Also, Amazon gift certificates make excellent gifts despite the tautology.

-> Technically, I'm on break; however, this is the time when I have extra hours to commit science. So, I usually enter data until late. I'm on AIM a lot, since I'd rather not enter data.

-> Rewriting one novel while writing another is hard.

-> Facebook is awesome.

-> LSS bought a story of mine. This is a market I've been trying to sell to since forever, so me and the lap cat are pleased.

-> Aja cat (aka the lap cat) is in good health.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stupid snow

I just got word that Albany NY is likely to be buried under many feet of snow, since there's a storm coming -- and a first serious storm of the season at that. And because people are not insane, they are unlikely to attend book signings in the middle of storms. So the signing is canceled this Saturday, and will be moved to a more favorable date -- I hope, the one without any snow. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, since the book #3 (The House of Discarded Dreams aka THODD) has been so sloooow, I've been reading a lot. Finally got around to Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union, and this is pretty damn close to a perfect book. It is all sorts of clever, touching, and very very funny. I really can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book so much, or laughed so much while reading. And the language in it! Chabon can turn a phrase to some jaw-dropping degree of awesome.

Then there was Crowley's The Translator -- and it is an excellent book too, although in a completely different way. When I first started reading it, I described it to a friend as 'tormenty', and I still stand by it -- a very painful book for me, for whatever accumulation of personal experiences and neuroses, and an excellent one. One of the things that impressed me about it was Crowley's ability to write about people from a different culture (Russians, in this case, and I am very picky about those). There's this oscillation from iconic to vulnerable that is just wonderfully done, and a great authenticity not just details but thoughts.

Oh, and to chase away the ennui, I've been reading Scalzi's On Writing -- a good book on how to live as a writer rather than on how to write. Also, very funny and insightful and full of amusing tales of writerly cattiness.

And now that the grades are done, I should probably try writing THODD.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Upstate NY

Next Saturday, December 15th, I'll be reading and signing at Flights of Fantasy bookstore ( in Albany, NY. Please come if you're in the area.

Other than that, staying low, and grading the finals and papers and lab reports, occasionally venturing out for beers with a couple of coworkers.

Working on book #3 for Prime, and that's a difficult one for me -- parts of it are very familiar, while the rest is alien and requires a lot of research and talking to people and just noodling. So yeah, slow.

After some positive feedback on the audiofile posted at Amazon, I'm considering supplementing the website with some audio content -- I was thinking about reading some of my favorite Russian poetry. Thoughts? Suggestions? (Of course, it is possible that people who said kind things were just being nice, so please let me know if I should never ever do any audio in the future.