Word of the day: ratiocination. It means “the process of logical reasoning,” and it’s my new favorite arrangement of letters.

There is a great mystery in my daily life (well, more than one, but that’s an aside). Every day when I go to work, there are hundreds of dead worms on the sidewalk outside of my office building. There aren’t particularly more of them after a rain; it was dry for a week and their little worm carcasses were still there. Nematode massacre! Yesterday I rescued one little guy who was still faintly twitching, but he was already starting to go crispy around the edges, so I have fears for his continued survival. What causes such wormy carnage? Does anyone know? It is somewhat disconcerting to crunch worm carcasses under my feet every morning before heading to work.

It is time for a book update! Brace yourselves and put on your reading glasses.

I read The Game and Locked Rooms, the seventh and eight books in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice series by Laurie King. Sadly, after much denial, I have reached the conclusion that The Beekeeper’s Apprentice really was the best one of the series, and they’re getting less delightful as they go. Ah well. They are not without merit, though, as the previously mentioned “ratiocination” was encountered within their pages.

I also read Now and Forever: Somewhere a Band Is Playing and Leviathan ’99 by Ray Bradbury. I know. Every other entry is all fluttering eyelashes and happy sighs over Ray Bradbury. But he’s worth it! These were the two best novellas I have ever read, I think. “Leviathan ’99” is Moby Dick in outer space (with a white comet for a white whale), for crying out loud. GENIUS. I shall illustrate:

“Take this, Ishmael Jones,” said the first man, who was tall and thin. “You’ll need it if you’re going upstairs to meet that monster,” he said. “Drink up.”
“But first,” said the second man, holding out his hand to stay my arm, “how do you fly, shallow or deep?”
“Why, deep, I think,” I said. “Deep space.”
“By the timid mile or the great light-year?”
“Light-year, yes,” I thought, then said.
“You may drink with us, then.”

Just go read it, you won’t be sorry!

Right now I’m working on The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay. I have also done a fair bit of happy sighing over Kay in this journal, I know, but just stop and consider for a moment. He helped Chris Tolkien to edit The Silmarillion. He wrote The Fionavar Tapestry series. And he has a name that trips off the tongue like magic. Put these things together, and you can’t fail to be amazing. This particular book is a historical fantasy (new favorite genre!), and he somehow has managed to bring together three of my favorite cultures (the Norse, the Anglo Saxon, and the Welsh) in a way that is both historically accurate in the cultural details and yet completely imaginative and unheard-of. He is a master of the unsaid, which I appreciate more and more in my books. What you don’t say is more powerful than what you do, sometimes. Anyway, I’ve barely started Last Light of the Sun, but I’m already madly in love.

Off to scrounge for food!

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