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Personal LIfe Update

This past week has, sadly, not been a writing week.

I last worked on the novel last Thursday. Part of the problem is that I'm at the end of the story, and I know what has to happen, but I still haven't worked out how it's all supposed to happen. So although I haven't been putting words to paper (words to screen? words to file?) I've been going over the plot resolution in my head over and over, which is a necessary part of the process. But part of me still has that nagging feeling that if pages aren't getting written, I'm not making any progress -- even though in another way of measuring it, perhaps I am.

However, the other reason I haven't gotten much writing done is because of personal life stuff.

Last weekend my new niece Abigail had her baby-naming ceremony. Nomi and I weren't able to attend, sadly, because it was held on shabbat and we couldn't travel. But I did get to attend Abby's dipping at Mayyim Hayyim last Friday in the middle of the day. Which took precedence over writing, being a family event.

Monday I had to go over the galleys for "Sanctuary," because the deadline for getting corrections into Analog was on Tuesday. Again, a necessary part of being a writer, and it was a good thing I had the chance to go over the galleys, because I found a few vital corrections. But Monday being Patriot's Day meant it was also occupied with seeing the Marathon, which I've done every year since 1996. I watched for a few hours with magid and fynixsoul, and I also ran into other people I knew, including ffoeg. But it meant no writing.

Tuesday morning was occupied entirely with Library Trustee stuff; I'm the Secretary of the Nominations Committee, and we had a few issues to deal with in order to understand exactly how to run our officer elections next month. Actually, I enjoy being a Library Trustee a great deal, and my recent role meant that I got to dive into our bylaws, Robert's Rules, and state statutes, to come up with our elections procedure. But it did mean no writing.

And of course, who can even think of writing while watching a new Pope be announced? :-)

Tuesday also went down the drain because of my back pain. I have a chronic back pain condition, and some days it feels worse than others. Yesterday the pain was concentrated in the lower left hip region, and kept me lying in bed reading most of the afternoon. (Do people really want to know this stuff?) Today the pain is much less, thanks to Aleve and perhaps my body's natural cycles, but I'm still not 100%.

And then for some weird reason, last night I couldn't get to sleep until well after 3 AM. I'm having insomnia again tonight, which is why this is being posted around 1 AM. It's a good thing I'm not working a regular schedule this year (thanks again to gnomi).

The other reason I'm not getting any writing done -- Passover cleaning. As gnomi points out in this post, we've done some cleaning but there is stil some to do. On my own list, I need to finish clearing the clutter off the dining room table, and I need to run two loads of laundry. Nomi's done much of the kitchen and the oven and stove already, and tomorrow we have to do the counters and the sink. So once again, I doubt I'll have time to work on the novel tomorrow.

As for Friday -- ha ha! The day before the shabbat before Passover? Anyone actually expects me to get work done? It is to laugh.

At least we got to hear Sarah Vowell tonight, and it was nice of ckd to join us. I'll try to post a fuller report later, if I have the time.


Hope your back is feeling better!
Thank you!
Sending you wishes for a less cranky back and for a quick return to writing...though I believe part of the writing process happens in the mind (rumination phase) before it ends up on the screen/paper.

Anyway...yes, some of us do find what you're putting down here interesting.

Take care!
I'm glad you're finding it interesting. The problem is that I have personal friends reading, LJ-friends reading, and people reading because I'm an SF writer...and I sometimes have no idea what that should mean for my posts.
It's your journal, so I'd say you write what comes out naturally. You can't please all the people all the time, but I'm betting you're pleasing most of the people most of the time. ;) To me, it's all interesting.
Back pain: ever considered pilates? Saved my back. I used to be in pain all the time.

House cleaning for Passover: is this traditional or "dangit, people are coming over?" If traditional, v. jealous. Love.

Final random addition: I have all these random happy memories of Passover as a child, even though I was raised Presbyterian, because of my father's love of church history. He taught old testament history classes at church a lot, and for years we had these big traditional dinners around Passover (without, I'm sure, all the appropriate words or timing or quite possibly anything right) for all the kids in his class as kind of a "look! you made it through the class!" celebration. I remember being seven or eight years old and finding out regular Christians didn't normally have Passover. I was terribly disappointed, and argued the point for a long time. I still get excited. (Hope this is not dumb-[ex]christiany. I know I know virtually nothing of the Jewish faith.)
What caused your back pain? I have an arthritic condition that flares up.

Before Passover, one cleans the house to get rid of as much "chametz" as possible. Judaism 101 at http://www.jewfaq.org has a whole page devoted to Passover (or Pesach) here. I will quote from it in my next post so you can get the gist. But yeah, this is a traditional cleaning. Although we are taking advantage of the need to clean to also get rid of some of the clutter.

I am fascinated by your father's custom, and no, this doesn't sound dumb at all. If you don't know anything about Judaism, but keep reading here (and gnomi too, you'll soon pick up a lot.
back pain: band. I'm not kidding. I loved orchestra - I played the bassoon off and on for 10+ years (can't afford one now. Wah. WAHHHH.) - but that meant to play I had to be in, I kid you not, marching band.

I did percussion, and a 30 pound+ bass drum does nothing for a 16-year-old's 100 pound frame. My director should've been shot.

Thanks for the Judaism link! I've been learning a wee bit on lunch breaks. :D
Some weeks just aren't meant for writing. But I have no fear that you'll jump back into it once your schedule clears again.
I enjoyed seeing you and gnomi, and the Sarah Vowell talk was as great as I expected it to be. I would have been more tempted to stick around afterward had I not been fairly desperate for a real dinner at that point (having had no time to get anything on the way over).
We managed to get near the front of the autograph line, which was nice for us, as it gave us more time to do Passover stuff at home. I hope I gave you ample warning of our desire to skedaddle after the talk.
You did, and it wasn't a problem. I wish I could have arrived when I'd originally planned to, though.
I am very sorry to hear about the back trouble. I'm assuming you've already at least contemplated talking to a chiropractor?

I know you'll be writing again very soon, though probably not in the middle of seder :-)
I haven't contemplated a chiropractor, having known a lot of people who had bad experiences with them. (YMMV.) But I am starting to think about acupuncture.
But I did get to attend Abby's dipping...


You've aroused this goyim's curiosity, to say the least. I think I see a visit to jewfaq.org in my very near future.
Abby was adopted by my older brother and his wife, and they went through a conversion ceremony for her under the auspices of the Reform movement. In all three movements, the final stage in a conversion is immersion three times (at least, I think it's three times) in a mikvah, which is a ritual bath, along with the recitation of the appropriate blessings.
Ah, so it is what I thought it was. That's where Christian baptism was originally derived from! Neato.

Just that with the word "dipping" I briefly saw this horrid mental image of a live (but surprisingly calm) baby suspended over a soup toureen full of au jus, with the whole family standing closely around the table watching. (relax: my brain "knew" it was only being placed in as far as it's ankles) Which I know wasn't real, it's just where my disturbed imagination goes sometimes.
Now I'm thinking of chocolate dipping the baby...
That's where Christian baptism was originally derived from!

It's entirely possible that's the case, but I honestly don't know. Any scholars of Christian history reading here are welcome to weigh in.

And, knowing you and your "disturbed imagination," I can see how you got to the "au jus" image... but of course it bears no connection to reality.
Any scholars of Christian history reading here are welcome to weigh in.
Not being a scholar, just a sunday school graduate, I can at least relate the following: John The Baptist got his title because Jesus walked up to him as he was baptising folks in the river and said "baptise me, please." And them all being practicing Jews, I'm guessing it had to be this same ritual bath of which you speak (unless there's another ritual bath that happens as adults?)...but it's definitely because Jesus did this, that all Christians now do this upon entering the faith, whether as babies being brought up that way or as adult converts.

... but of course it bears no connection to reality.
I admitted knowing as much! But does this ritual bath ceremony take place in the person's home, or at the temple? If it takes place at home, then there's the sole connection as I was picturing it. The dining room table lends itself to respectful standing of more witnesses with less harm to the participants' back muscles than, say, a pan set on a coffee table...or even the bathtub.

But of course it would be blessed/holy water, and not au jus. I mean, really. ;)
It doesn't take place at either home or the temple/synagogue (note that temple is a term used by Reform and some Conservative for their places of worship, but not by the Orthodox). The mikvah, or ritual bath, is usually a structure all by its own.

For more information, I refer you to jewfaq.org yet again: http://www.jewfaq.org/sex.htm#Niddah and http://www.jewfaq.org/gentiles.htm#Conversion.

(& thanks!)

December 2016

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