This week was crammed chock-full of editing assignments, writing assignments, and good talk with friends.  I’m still tap dancing on the line between pleasantly busy and insanely hectic, but I can’t say that I mind too much.

I’m working on a costume for a Princess Bride-themed party coming up, so I went to Dorcas thrift store with a friend from work to find something to work with.  If you’re in the area, I recommend checking it out.  They have so many unusual odds and ends; you never know what you’re going to run across.  The real gem of this expedition was a 1994 book called How to Use the Internet, which was utterly hilarious and a little terrifying–in only 20 years, our lives have been changed so drastically by this funny little network.

The anthology in which my story will be published is on Goodreads!  And real, live (presumably) people want to read it!  Little bit giddy right now.

I finally finished decorating my new office!  Check it.

That's a floor lamp, not the Second Coming.

All spruced up with art and everything.

My lovely doorway view of more offices.  There's natural light somewhere around here.

It has four walls! And a door! That closes!

Lovely:

Intriguing:

Books: I’ve read tons of books by Ursula K. LeGuin, but somehow I had never read her most famous series, Earthsea.  I picked up the first book, A Wizard of Earthsea, for $1 somewhere and finally dove into it this week.  The experience was almost ruined for me by whichever Philistine soul owned the book before me. “Metaphor” scribbled next to things that aren’t metaphors. “Simile” scrawled next to things that aren’t similes. Heinous highlighting in multiple eye-straining colors.  TORTURE.  Once I forced myself to ignore the ignorant marginalia, though, I loved the book.  LeGuin writes with a reserved, matter-of-fact style that nonetheless punches you in the gut at just the right times in the story, and as always, her world-building is amazing.  I want to find the rest of the books in the series now.

I thought I’d casually read the first few chapters of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood last night, and I suddenly found myself finishing the entire thing at two in the morning.  I had no idea what the book was about when I bought it at the library book sale, nor did I have any idea before starting it yesterday; I just liked the Chaucerian title and heard it was worth reading.  The first person present and unconventional punctuation is guaranteed to make me cringe, but these quibbles were quickly forgotten as I got into the story.  It was certainly compelling (as evidenced by my night-owl read of it), but as to whether it’s worth reading, I think it depends on the individual–I know a few for whom this book would be more damaging than useful.  It made me look at things differently, which was the point, and it also made me uncomfortable as a Christian–which may also have been the point.  The book isn’t exactly anti-Christian–anti-fanaticism, definitely–but neither is its warning tone friendly to religion in general.  The book is ugly and deeply offensive in parts, occasionally unrealistic in terms of plot (societal change can happen fast, but THAT fast?), a little bit dated, sometimes reeks of the preachy, man-hating brand of feminism, and is overly simplistic in its evaluation of both genders. At the same time, Atwood is incredibly talented, the book is extremely well-written and thought-provoking, and her treatment of the subject even made me understand the pedestal oppression of women in the Middle Ages in a new, clearer way (whether or not that was her intent).  I’ll definitely be reading more of her work.  Just…not for a little while, maybe.

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