What’s Up Wednesday

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WUW

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly hop/meme with four simple headings. Anyone can write a post and add the link to Jaime’s blog.

What I’m Writing

I wrote my paper on the changing role of research and academic libraries, switching from Didot to Baskerville to keep to the five pages asked for while still fitting in everything I wanted to say. The footnotes were left in 10-point Didot. It’s a lovely typeface, and I’d like to use it for some future paper. I’ve also got two other small papers to do for Records Management.

I’m up to 531,100 words in my WIP, and decided to reign in Chapter 67 while it was still mid-length (by my standards, 7000s), and use the rest of the planned material in a new chapter. Chapter 68 covers April-June 1942, and is called “Homefront Services and Sacrifices.” Time to research the details and timeline of rationing, victory gardens, women’s factory work, and women’s auxiliary military services.

What I’m Reading

Once again, I’ve only really had time to read journal articles for my classes.

What Inspires Me

25 November was my 22nd anniversary of starting my first Atlantic City book, the beyond-embarrassing Proud to Be a Smart. Even if the writing was bad, the characters weren’t quite there yet, and the storylines were ridiculous, there was something special there. The original members of that first generation and I literally grew up together. I’ve known them since we were eleven years old.

I’m glad I never “moved on” from these characters and stories I hatched when I was just a preteen. Staying with them so long has done wonders for their growth and development. The way I write them now is the way you can only write someone you’ve known for 0ver 20 years. And when I edit, revise, and rewrite the older drafts that were worth salvaging, I know how to correct inconsistent or out of character actions.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

My professor for Organization of Information came to me after class last week to say how impressed she was by my portfolio, which ran to over 70 pages. She said it was “almost too good,” and praised my attention to detail and all the personal examples, opinions, and critical analyses. And to think I put off the majority of that portfolio, two months of work, till about a week before the due date!

I also got an 8 out of 8 on the paper about information-seeking behaviour. I wrote about how I researched American tourism to Iran and how to go about visiting both Israel and Iran without getting into trouble. (You need two passports if you want to visit both within the same period.) She said I can use her for a recommendation when I formally apply to the program. And to think this started off as my most boring class!

Apparently my new roommate’s parents, whom I’ve never met, really approve of me. She said she was Skyping with them one night, and they saw my records behind her. The one that’s propped up at the moment is Seven and the Ragged Tiger (whose 30th birthday was 20 November), and it turns out they’re fellow Duranies. They told her I obviously have awesome taste in music. Sometimes it pays to not have current tastes!

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Scrambled eggs with tomatoes and coconut curry tempeh slices. Tempeh is one of the best foods I’ve ever discovered. It’s so much easier (at least outside of some small towns) to be a vegan or stricter vegetarian than it was even ten years ago. At the moment, I’m primarily eating an ovo vegetarian diet, with very limited dairy products.

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Hadn’t taken a family picture in awhile. Keith is the dog, and the two Pound Purries on top of Simon are John and Paul. John is the grey cat with a few missing whiskers and a missing mouth, and Paul is the little caramel-coloured guy. I know I got John second-hand in 1993, but I can’t remember the circumstances of getting Paul. I want to say he was secondhand too.

Stuffed animal meme

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Davy with his twin sister Davina. Hard to believe they’re the same age, twenty-five. It’s obvious which one I love more!

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I found this mug when I was at the Christmas Tree Shops with my crazy ex-roommate back in September. I generously offered to buy her the Libra mug (since she felt $2.99 was out of budget), but she declined. When I told my mother this woman is a Libra, she said she resented that and didn’t feel my roommate were a calm, balanced fellow Libra at all!

Tea is my hot beverage of choice. Never got a taste for coffee, and only drank it five times in my life—on my 13th birthday in 1992, twice when I accidentally hit the wrong button on a hot water machine and didn’t want to waste it, when I was hosted by Bedouins in the Negev, and when I was hosted by Druze in Haifa. The last two times, I didn’t want to offend my lovely hosts by refusing. I recently found out the Brummie branch of my family tree wasn’t British British, but recent immigrants from Germany, though I still choose to attribute my love of tea in part to having a little British blood.

Must head over to Teavana soon for some of their awesome loose or blooming tea!

Finally, Chanukah begins Wednesday night. My Hebrew birthday is the 5th night, regarded as the holiest, most special night.

Daphne and Rózsika (Didot)

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Warning: Contains some mature language.

(Quick note: I’ve bolded this post because Didot is a little light on the eyes.)

Font: Didot

Developed: 1784-1811

Chapter: “Daphne and Rózsika”

Book: Cinnimin

Written: 10 June-18 August 2009

Handwritten

This is Part LII (52) of my magnum opus, at least per the current table of contents. (I now strongly suspect I’ll need to add a lot more to Saga I, the Forties, when I finally transcribe and begin editing and rewriting. Now that I’ve permanently shelved the WTCOAC series and will be significantly restructuring some of the earlier Max’s House books, I have much more free reign to show Cinni’s life in the late Forties, and the full development of her romance with Levon in 1942-43. Those things are just WAY too rushed in the original.)

I wrote this in a 100-page college-ruled notebook, and it’s one of the longer Parts of Cinnimin. Some Parts are more like short stories, long episodes, or novelettes, but this is one of the ones I feel could stand on its own as an actual book. It’s from Saga VI, the Nineties, one of my favorite Sagas to write. Though the older characters continue to prominently feature, I’m primarily writing about peers who grew up at the same time I did. I’m not doing historical research, I’m writing about events I actually lived through and remember.

It’s set from 8 March-6 August 1998, and so much happens over those months. It presents two cautionary tales about two teen couples who think they know so much better than everyone else about their respective situations. One story has a happy ending, the other a not so happy ending that only gets worse later on.

Cinni’s 16-year-old granddaughter Rózsika recently began having sex with her longtime boyfriend Walter. They’ve been caught by a number of their cousins and friends, and keep insisting that going unprotected won’t hurt.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Daphne is blazing ahead with her unpopular plans to marry her longtime boyfriend Berus. Even people who used to be on her side turn against her as her behavior gets worse and worse. 

Some of the many highlights (avoiding any spoilers):

Ernestine walked into her brothers’ room to retrieve a book she had lent John. What she didn’t expect to find was Rózsika bouncing up and down on top of Walter, both of them completely naked. Her shriek made both of them abruptly stop and dash under the covers, grabbing for their clothes.

“Are you really into the whole marriage thing, or are you just gung-ho for the fairy princess wedding and the chance to have sex without feeling guilty?” Phoebe asked.

“This isn’t funny,” Walter insisted. “And you two made me lose my erection.”

Daphne could hear their conversation from the airvent upstairs and was boiling. “Who the hell do they think they are? In two months, I’m going to be Mrs. Berus Amichai Roblensky, and they won’t be able to do anything about it then.”

[Spoken by Kit, of course] “The rig ain’t a homing pigeon. You have to guide it in.”

“Ew, Daphne must think all teen girls have the same lousy taste in music as she does.” Phoebe held up a Backstreet Boys CD. “I hope you kept the receipt so I can exchange it for something more to my liking.”

“This is Samuel Roblensky. I’m sorry to disturb your evening, but your granddaughter Daphne and my nephew Berus thought it would be neat to let themselves into my house while Filipa and I were away, help themselves to my food, and throw their dirty towels on my couch after they came back from the beach.”

“I can’t be expected to love him the same way you love Grandpa. I love him the way any girl my age loves her boyfriend, even when he humiliated me in public with that tiny cheap-ass cubic zirconia.”

“I’d recommend the Hitachi,” Juliet smiled. “It’s like ten thousand men at once.”

“Why are we being serenaded by CDs of MTV pop acts?” Kit asked. “If they wanted mixed CDs instead of a band or deejay, at least they could’ve chosen upscale adult wedding music!”

“There are five positions?” Karyn asked. “I thought there were only like two or three.”

[Spoken by Violet about her lifelong rival Kit] “I called her an old slut, not old in general. Anyone who’s this age and still bragging about her sexual exploits, giving X-rated advice, and sharing her entire sexual history is a slut. Damn, I hope I never share blood with that woman.”

Daphne reached for a bottle of alcoholic lemonade in the fridge. “The marriage formula of yore worked perfectly. Do you even care the doctor they gave me was my great-uncle Sammy? I’ll never be able to look him in the face again.”

“It was so humiliating, Grandma! He said I had no hymen or cysts or anything, but he couldn’t even examine me with the smallest instrument! He told me I just needed to drink wine and relax.”

[Describing Daphne’s efficiency apartment] Kit had been right. It was twice the size of that tiny stateroom in A Night at the Opera.