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Work on the first volume of The Cendrillon Cycle continues, though in a somewhat less hectic fashion now that the deadline for my rough draft has been extended to the end of the month.  Pshaw, Stephanie’s brain says, we have plenty of time!  We should procrastinate and clean out the closet.  Oh well, at least Goodwill is benefiting from this dawdling.  When I’m not writing, I’m usually doing work for editing clients, so productivity continues, albeit not in the avenues it probably should be ambling.

I’ve not been solely working, though.  There’ve been a good many meals with friends, including lunch at Neomonde‘s, and a gathering of the Literary League in which we read summer-themed poems and stories to our hearts’ delight.  I made my first foray into Hero Quest, which I think places me upon a new level of nerdery, and I attended a wedding and a baby shower, with another baby shower and another wedding on the horizon.  Everyone’s getting married or pregnant lately.  

Books: I finally finished up Absalom, Absalom after a short forever.  Despite my exceedingly leisurely reading pace, in the end I have to confess that I actually really enjoyed the book.  Faulkner did a masterful job of revealing information gradually, and each new revelation was an eye-widening, this-changes-everything realization, conveyed in a matter of fact tone that makes the reader question whether she interpreted the earth-shattering sentence correctly.  Every time I thought I understood what was happening, there turned out to be another layer of the story yet to discover.  Well done.  Word of warning, though: my edition had a timeline at the end of the book that gave away everything in the dullest and most prosaic way possible.  I glanced at the last page of the text to see how many pages I had left to go and accidentally saw a spoiler I wish I hadn’t encountered at that stage.  Don’t look at the end!

I wanted something light after Faulkner, so I read The Proving Trail by Louis L’Amour.  It’s the usual L’Amour fare, but I really do enjoy his yarns in moderation.  Nothing terribly innovative or original about them most of the time, but they’re good fun.  The main character in this tale has a rough time, and I’m afraid I didn’t help at all: I accidentally sent him through the washing machine.  I set the book on my bed, and then later I decided to do laundry.  I wadded up the comforter and threw it in the hamper, paperback and all.  I don’t know where my head was that day; when I opened the washer, not only was a soaked and bedraggled copy of The Proving Trail staring back at me reproachfully, I’d also forgotten to empty the pockets of my jeans.  Hey there, suddenly clean pocketknife.  

I picked up a copy of Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott for free somewhere along the line in the past year, and since it’s been ages since I read any Alcott, I thought I’d give it a whirl.  I remember now why I both like and am annoyed by Alcott.  Her stories are cute and whimsical and her characters get into fun adventures, which is all very enjoyable and reminds me somewhat of L.M. Montgomery.  But her girls are entirely too sweet and timid to be believable.  The heroine of this one is rotting my teeth, and I can almost guarantee no thirteen-year-old was ever this much of a shrinking violet, regardless of time period.  As long as I don’t think about the character stereotypes too hard, though, the novel is a pleasant experience.

You seem to have stumbled upon a storytelling of ravens. Watch for falling collective nouns; you may find a wing of dragons or a charm of hummingbirds caught in your hair. Hardhats are recommended.

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