- January was once again Budget Killer Month. Last month’s extraordinary expenses included septic tank pumping ($300), plumbing ($200), a new set of rear brakes and rotors on the Munchkin Mover ($300), a new rear strut on Robin’s Neon ($400), vehicle registration renewals and inspection stickers for two cars ($200), and a bunch of little odds and ends. The smoking hole torn into our checking account threw up a black plume that was visible a hundred miles away in Boston.
- The clipped updates continue due to the fact that the novel is almost, not quite, but surely any day now, finished. I have 8000-ish words to go, and then I need to spend a bit of time making another editing pass and chopping 10% or so off the finished product before I send it off.
- You should check out Spiral Hunt, the debut novel of fellow VP alum Margaret Ronald. I met Maggie at VP XII, where she was a staff member, and she’s a lovely person. (Also, she knew that Marley was dead, to begin with.) From the excerpts you can read at Amazon.com, you can probably tell that she’s also a kick-ass writer.
- In nine days, Quinn will be four years old. I just realized that he’s old enough to be going to kindergarten next year, which seems incredibly soon. Where has the time gone? Before I know it, he’ll be asking me for the keys to the car.
- I’d really like to go to Boskone this year, but I don’t think I’ll be able to squeeze it in, which is a shame. Stay-at-home parenting and SF conventions are two largely incompatible pursuits, it seems.
- Fountain pen addiction is dangerous. I’ve written almost exclusively with my Waterman or the Hero pen I got off eBay (which writes much better than it has a right to, considering it set me back $5 including shipping). Now I’m jonesing for a Lamy 2000, or a Pelikan M200 with a 14k fine nib, or a Parker 51, or a Waterman Carene…that way lies fiscal madness. Who knew that you can spend as much on a fountain pen as on a laptop? (Thankfully, there are also many excellent ones available in the $20-50 price bracket, which is much more compatible with my limited gadget budget.)
- If you like Moleskine notebooks, but don’t want to pay the hefty “Notebook Of Chatwin and Hemingway!” premium, check out Piccadilly notebooks, available at Borders. I recently picked up a few of their large plain ones, and they have all the features of the Moleskines at a third of the price. They have the same black covers, the same elastic to hold the book closed, and the little pocket in the back for scraps and receipts. Best of all, they come in a large version, which is the size of a standard composition book. I paid $5.99 for the large one, which is a bargain considering the largest Moleskine (which is smaller than the large Piccadilly) costs over $15. The Piccadilly plays well with fountain pen ink, which is not always true of the Moleskines.
That’s it for now. I have lots of work to do before I can enjoy my sanity break tomorrow morning, so I guess I should get to it. I may do a type- or inkcast later, just because it’s fun…and right now, I need all the fun I can squeeze into the day.