Tuesday, June 5, 2007

To Do:

1. Wolfe of Felixstowe, now back from a teaching gig at University of Canberra, unaccountably returning to colder portions of Canada, all fired up and wanting to know if I have anything to show on our joint venture, The Dramatic Genome: DNA of Story.

2. Fagan of Lyme Regis, now of Santa Barbara and a yard filled with rescue rabbits, returned from New York and delivery of The Big Warm: a History of Drought in the World, suffused with energy and ready to go, his mustache atwitter, warning me to get out my editorial hat for Cro-Magnon: A Portrait of an Ice-Age People.

3. Eve Darian-Smith of Adelaide, then Santa Barbara, and now Boston, threatening readiness with her manuscript detailing how the law has treated women.

4. Buckley at the Montecito Journal, reminding me book review copy is due.

5. Marcia Meier, new director of the Santa Barbara Writers' Conference, arriving for coffee at Peet's, delivering a sheaf of manuscripts to be read and commented upon before the conference begins (on the 22nd).

6. Barnaby Conrad, originally of San Francisco where he owned a famous bistro, but now of Carpinteria, where there should be a street named for him, thinking it would be nice for me to check out the opening chapters of number thirty-eight, which seems to want to be a memoir.

7. Sally, of (as nearly as can be deduced) the Santa Barbara animal shelter, and now the world, indicating an interest in a walk.

8. Finish reading The Rabbi's Cat, in re: # 4 supra.

9. Prepare a lecture for Thursday's class in genre fiction. Opening velocity. Sounds good.

10. Finish annotated bibliography, 100 genre novels, for Thursday(which Thursday)'s class.

11. Take Sally for brisk walk in Manning Park, which has the advantage of some ambient light from neighboring houses and the Y as opposed to Hale Park, which has only the light of a waning gibbous moon.

12. Read student stories for Thursday's class.

13. Think about supper.

14. While you're at it, think about Sally's supper. Think about her walk.

15. Read The New York Times Sunday book review section.

16. Read the newly arrived London Review of Books.

17. Read the London Times Literary Supplement.

18. Attend to Sally's walk.

19. Finish The Fiction Writers' Tool Kit, which you have been finishing for the better part of a year.

20. Reschedule the MRI to help satisfy Dr. Koper's belief that you are now able to shift to a once-a-year visit instead of the quarterly check-ups.

21. Stop grousing about not having time to do things.

22. Spend more of the time you do not have, consulting photo blogs, which are reminders that there are miracles of random chance all about you and that persons you admire have a splendid eye for capturing them.

23. Buy a camera, with which you will take a picture a day, which is to say you will devote some of the time you do not have at looking for small, miraculous events you feel worthy preserving.

24. Don't forget Sally.

25. Don't forget that humor begins with attempting to do something, uncoupling a hose, for example, and in the process dousing yourself. If you douse someone else, it is meanspirited and not funny. If you douse yourself deliberately, it is showing off. If you douse yourself angrily or unintentionally, it is funny.

26. Think funny (and have a towel close to hand).

27. Take Sally for a walk.

28. Words with k's and p's in them are funny. An egg salad sandwich is funny; a ham sandwich
is not. Kippers are funny, tuna is not. Vegemite is funny. Bovril is not funny, particularly on your necktie. Catsup is not funny, ketchup is. George W. Bush is funny, particularly when he tries not to be.

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