Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Sunday, 27 April 2003

I was a little embarrassed, but not surprised, to see that Thomas's description of our get-together was much more interesting than mine.

We're home! We got in yesterday in the middle of the afternoon, then spent the rest of the day with errands--laundry, returning the rented car, restocking some groceries.

Today we had brunch at SilverCreek, then went for a walk around the sculpture garden at Meadowbrook Park. I'd thought to walk around the entire park (some of my favorite sculptures are not in the sculpture garden itself, but rather on the main walk around the park), but we hadn't all worn proper shoes for a long walk and none of us had hats or sunblock. So, we just did the short walk around the sculpture garden.

After we got home, though, Jackie and I put hats on and went out for another short walk, this time to the liquor store. On the trip, Jackie had a martini for the first time ever, and decided that she liked it. So, we went and got gin, two kinds of vermouth, and bitters (which is what was in the fancy, $9 martini she'd had). We also got some amber ale.

We ate too much, almost every day on the trip. Restaurant meals at great restaurants, restaurant meals at fast-food places on the highway, one home-cooked meal, and one surprisingly good meal at the hospital cafeteria next door to the nursing home where Jackie's great-aunt lives. Altogether too much food.

In partial compensation, dinner today was soup. We had talked about making soup, and Jackie's mom asked what kinds of soup we made. I said that various kinds of leek and potato soup were what we made most often, but that I had a mock turtle soup that I made once a year out of the Thanksgiving leftovers. It turns out that she loves mock turtle soup. So, that's what I made. We didn't roast a turkey, though. We picked up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and had that for dinner yesterday, after which Jackie boiled the carcass down for stock.

Jackie and I are planning to go to WorldCon this year. Even before I told her that she'd be able to vote for the Hugo awards, Jackie asked for a reading list, so that she'd be able to talk to people about the recent good stuff. So, I dug out the February issue of Locus, with its various recommended reading lists.

I haven't been keeping up with my own reading. Really, not since Clarion. For about a year through May 2001, I was trying to read Analog, Asimov's, F&SF, Realms of Fantasy, and Interzone, as well as an anthology and collection here and there. But after Clarion, I found that I just didn't want to read all that stuff. In the last year I've been gradually reading more. Still, I have a lot of catching up to do. There's probably more to read than I've got time for, so I think I'll work with the reading list myself.

Planning a trip to Toronto, I'm a bit concerned SARS, but only a bit. There's a chance that it will be contained, in which case the travel advisory will be lifted. My expectation, though, is that it will not be contained--it's too contagious and too widespread already--in which case there won't be much point in staying out of Toronto.

I read "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" a story by Sherman Alexie in the current issue of The New Yorker. The story structure is that of the classic fairy tale of a hero so kind and generous that every time he finds something that will help him on his quest, he gives it away to someone who needs it more than he does and gives it away. In both the classic fairy tail and this story, the hero's quest ultimately succeeds, but in this story the hero is a homeless, alcoholic Indian. The message seems to be that such is the fate of any kind-hearted hero of myth in today's world. It's a delightful story.


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