Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Few More Thoughts

A few more random and scattered thoughts about the past week:

I had a nice view of the mountains from my hotel room window, and there was snow on the top of some of the mountains. I could sit on my bed and see snow, and it was lovely. It was warm during the daytime where I was, but that was low 90s and dry, so compared to home, it was delightfully cool. There was whimpering when I stepped off the plane in Dallas and got hit with the sauna.

The other thing I could see from my room was fire. One evening, I was sitting on my bed, either surfing the Net or reading, when out of the corner of my eye I saw flames shooting into the sky. I rushed to the window to see what building was burning down. It turned out to be something to do with the hotel/casino. One of the bars was in a skybridge crossing the street, and since the hotel was the Atlantis, they had these quasi-Grecian pillars on either end of the bridge. On top of these pillars were cauldrons, like the Olympic torch, and at night every so often these cauldrons would light up, sending flames shooting into the sky. I guess it's a lower-key version of some of the casino shows you get in Vegas, like the Mirage volcano or the pirate battle at Treasure Island. Once I knew what it was and realized the city wasn't burning to the ground in a fiery holocaust, it was kind of cool to look out the window at the flames.

I learned that a slim-fitting pencil skirt may look nice when I'm standing in front of a mirror, but it's not ideal attire when I have to walk long distances (the hotel may have been "adjacent" to the convention center via a skybridge, but someone said they measured it as nearly half a mile from the elevators to the meeting rooms). My usual marching band instilled 60-inch stride at 120 beats a minute didn't work in a skirt that only allowed me to move my legs below my knees, and I now understand where Marilyn Monroe got that walk. To make matters more interesting, the waistband actually hit around my hips. If it had really hit at the indentation of the waist, it could have stayed anchored, but instead it kept trying to climb to my waist, twisting as it went. That meant walking while holding my skirt in place. I thought this was going to be my basic khaki skirt, but I think it will have to be held for more static occasions, and I'll get a utilitarian school uniform skirt to be my basic khaki skirt. I bet this one will look awesome with stiletto heels, though.

My basil plant appears to have been a casualty of the trip. I worried it would dry out, but the soil was still damp when I got home, and yet all the leaves had fallen. I suppose I drowned it while trying to give it enough water to last the week. I left it outside all day yesterday, and the soil is still damp. I may just give up on it and get a new plant. Considering the price of fresh basil, I more than got my money's worth from this plant, and not having basil handy to snip cramps my cooking style. I felt strangely compelled to cook last night, and basil would have helped the dish I made.

One of the intangibles I got from the convention was a sense of what's missing from the current book that I think it needs. The magic isn't quite magical enough. In this book I'm not spoofing the software industry, the way I am with the Enchanted, Inc. books, so the magic needs to instill a sense of awe and wonder, and the way the characters respond to magic needs to say something about them. The main character's arc has to get her from being too rational about it to accepting that it works and that there aren't explanations for it. For some other characters, it's like an initiation into a reality they previously didn't know, and this will forever change the way they see the world. Pulling this off will require getting into a particular head space. I think this is why I haven't been able to find the ending for this book. I can resolve the main conflict, but I can't get a good conclusion. Oh, and I think I just figured something out so I'd better go write it down before I lose my tenuous grasp on it.

And then I need to go grocery shopping because my emergency post-trip supplies have run out. And then I have to do the medical school work I put off the last couple of days because I was really tired.

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