raven: subway sign in black and white, text: "Times Square / 42 Street station" (stock - times square)
So my life is full of extraordinary things I'm not allowed to talk about. But they are extraordinary things; and though I haven't been dealing with human fallibility well by which I mean my own, I'm glad to be doing the work I do; I'm glad that because of the work I do I have been invited to three work team Christmas lunches on three consecutive days; I'm glad the civil service choir are practising in the stairwell and that if the winter comes as a long spear the tip is diamond-bright.

I am glad to be nearly thirty years old and to look it, suddenly; I found a snarl of grey in my hair and saw just for an instant someone I'm going to be. Perhaps it's strange to find that an extraordinary thing but it's coming at a time where I keep seeing those glimpses; I'm still being piecemeal appraised but my supervisor has been saying, make a note of this thing and that thing, it may be years from now but you will go before a board again. The last time I did was the last time I felt like this - like I was shedding a past self despite myself - and that was another winter. It's the time of year.

Also, my teacher watched me slowly, painfully pick what I could out of a bit of Gaelic poetry, and said, "You have a mind like a steel trap" - which made me so wonderfully and instantly happy that I'm writing it down here. I have been thinking about the language a lot just recently, and why I love it so much, so deeply, without being able to articulate a single thing about why. But I am glad to have it, to have found it, to be held by it. Tha mo cuid-Ghàidhlig ro mhòr, ach làtha na làithean, msaa.
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
I am weepy and tired and verklempt. I spent yesterday afternoon "reading" The Arrival, by Shaun Tan; [livejournal.com profile] troyswann recommended it to me when we were up in Scotland and I saw it in Housman's bookshop at King's Cross and bought it on impulse. (And had a weird encounter at the counter, where the clearly-very-new person behind the counter asked me if I were a student or a trade union member, for reasons of discount, because it's that sort of bookshop. "You don't look like you're in a trade union," she said, which made me huff a bit, because what does a trade union member look like? I am in two, for the record, depending on how you count: both on the roll and as a civil servant. Hmph.)

Anyway, The Arrival - it's a fantasy graphic novel told without words, depicting the story of an immigrant family's journey to a strange new place. And I find I don't want to use words to describe how powerful and beautiful it is as a piece of art. I just cried wordlessly at it. This is an unqualified recommendation but it's not something where a brief snippet will give any sense of the enormity of the whole.

So there's that. Here are some other things:

-I've had the flu all week, and am still feeling insubstantial; I went to work on Friday and realised in the middle of the afternoon that September 23rd represents the halfway mark of this posting that is killing me. (I will be glad to have done it I've learned a lot everyone pays their dues etc, you've heard it.) I look back on the last eighteen months and I'm not proud, exactly, because that's not a word that means much in these circumstances, but I have made it this far and I'm glad of it.

-Gaelic restarted this week, and I trundled down to the class on Wednesday and enjoyed it moderately. It's the beginners' class, and the teacher kindly suggested afterwards that gratifying as it may be for one's ego to be the best in the class, it's much better for me to be remedial. So I've been bumped across to the second-year class, which is scary because I really will be the worst in it. Tha mi ag ionnsachadh an-dràsda, etc. After a couple of months away, I still love the language inarticulably outwith its own terms.

-A. and I are going out tonight to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We have been married for three years, together for nine. I ran out of things to say about this years ago. We are what we are; we go on.

-I have several batches of beta comments on the novel, and keep crying at these also; not because they're sad - they're helpful and heartening - but because I've been working on this thing alone for a long time and the externalisation has been a process. (And also because I've now got to pick it up again, in a while, and go on with the work. The first six months I was writing it I never backed it up, because of a secret hope that I'd knock my laptop off a table and bam, I wouldn't have to write it any more.)

But: in a while. The next book on my to-be-read pile is Lavie Tidhar's The Violent Century. Right now I'm going to sit on the couch and watch Star Trek on Netflix.
raven: black and white street sign: "Hobbs Lane" (quatermass - hobbs end)
I wrote a long post here about my job and then deleted it because - well, horrible indiscretion. Here, have some gallows humour )

I am not sure right now if I am feeling a little depressed or just sick at heart.

Er, things and stuff, in no particular order. I went to Nine Worlds! I helped run a track and I moderated a panel on worldbuilding in Star Trek ("All These Worlds Are Ours" - it was beautiful.) The convention was not as enjoyable as previous years for various reasons, but what was good about it was very good about it and I should make a proper post about that. Sometime.

Writing is a plague on me. I can't not. And when I try, I am completely overtaken by the feeling that my ability has long ago been outstripped by my ambition. I am trying to write 300 words a day of my novel and worrying that it's being infected by my state of mind. (It has a body count it didn't have six months ago.)

I have read a lot of good books recently. Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho (which I lliked); The Ghost Network by Catie Disabo (which I also liked, and which was so ridiculously relevant to my interests that it's possible it was written just for me); Space Hostages by Sophia McDougall (more delightful YA in space); nearly the entire series of Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters (love, love, love, though I have stopped after reading nine of them in a row because my prose is taking on a mediaeval quality); the four Hilary Tamar books, by Sarah Caudwell, which are convoluted murder mysteries related by a gender non-specific narrator and investigated by a group of queer, beautiful and hapless members of the Chancery Bar. They are probably among the most perfect things I have ever read. Here is a bit from the second book, The Shortest Way To Hades:

“You will be interested to hear, Hilary, that it [the drug] had a most remarkable effect — even on Selena after a very modest quantity. She cast off all conventional restraints and devoted herself without shame to the pleasure of the moment.“

I asked for particulars of this uncharacteristic conduct.

"She took from her handbag a paperback edition of Pride and Prejudice and sat on the sofa reading it, declining all offers of conversation.”


Now I am reading The Sparrow, on [personal profile] happydork's recommendation, and feeling rather comforted by it so far. Such elegance in despair.

There is a love meme, friends. Here is my thread. I can't blush in asking for love at this time.

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