Posts Tagged ‘Mom’


I was lying on the floor assisting Thor during a big shot. I heard Jonathan shout, “Head, Mary, head!” I could not figure out how my head could possibly be in the frame, since I was lying on the floor, when a cart slammed into the top of my head. Ow. I’ve got a lovely goose egg right at my hairline, but am otherwise fine. Fortunately I seem to do my best work with a mild concussion. (I’m kidding, Mom. Don’t worry.)


We headed out today to Skaftafell, the glacier that I took Mom and Dad to when they came to visit last time. When we left town, it was overcast and rainy, and I was worried that a lot of the scenery would be obscured by clouds.

A turf house cut into the side of a massive rockThat turned out to be a needless concern. As we drove, we got out from under the clouds shrouding Reykjavík, and the sky became clear blue. The landscape changes dramatically several times throughout out the drive. We’ve stopped here to take a picture of this turf house. The barn that is attached to it is actually cut into the rock. We’ve got no idea how they got the galvanized tin in there like that. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the rock that the house is in is seperate from the mountains behind it. At our back is the ocean. For kilometers, we drove with mountains on our left and the ocean on our right.

Black sandsThen we got to the black sands land. The landscape became flat with mountains way, way off in the distance. At this point we could see the tip of the mountain that holds the glacier we are heading to, but the bottom of it is obscured by the curve of the earth. It will take us another two hours to get there. The silence here is impressive. We generated the only sounds and could hear each other at a normal speaking level even when separated by thirty yards.

Next we passed through green-throw pillow land, where the moss is so thick on the rocks that it looks as if someone came out and threw shag pillows all over the landscape. I didn’t take any pictures here because there wasn’t a good place to pull off the road. Though in truth, there was so little traffic and the road is so straight, that I could have stopped in the middle of the road quite safely.

glacier3.jpgWhen we got to the glacier it had changed substantially since I visited with my parents. We could hear and see it melting; markers along the path showed how much it has retreated over the years.

I took a picture just like this, but then had Rob take one with me standing in the frame because it’s impossible to get a real sense of scale without someone standing next to the thing.
Me standing by the glacier

Rob and Eve heading past the glacierHere we are heading back to the car. Looking past the glacier you can see the flat, moonscape that we passed through to get here. It’s a very strange sensation, to have towering mountains behind and moonscape in front. At first it feels like these two things are unrelated, but as we left we realized that all of this flat moonscape had been covered by glacier at some point.

And then, as we drove home we got lucky. I was focusing on the road when Eve said, “Are those the northern lights?” I looked up and, behold. They were. So we pulled over and the entire sky began swirling and pulsing with color. It was the most impressive display I’ve seen, touching the horizon all around us and fluttering with color. The display continued for our drive home, but in much tamer renditions. Eve and Rob have been utterly spoiled now.


So I was sitting on the studio floor today, waiting for a shot and it moved. My first thought was that someone was trundling something heavy past me, then I remembered that I was sitting on a concrete slab. Next I noticed the lights jiggling. I wondered if it might be an earthquake, but by this point the floor movement had stopped and since the wind was really strong, howling around the builiding I figured that was probably why the lights were quivering. Plus no one else seemed to notice it.

Until I came out of the studio. Then everyone was all “Did you feel the earthquake? 4.6.” So if you are curious, this map
shows the locations of earthquakes in Reykjanes Peninsula for the last 48 hours. The image is refreshed every 2 minutes but at the moment, you can see the lovely green star that our earthquake earned.

Oh, and the fact that I attributed the lights’ movement to wind is not as far-fetched as it sounds. The wind is strong enough to shake cars today and it’s sleeting horizontally.

Hot enough to cook veal

We were curious about the temperature of the hot water in our apartment. See, in Reykjavík, the water comes out of the ground hot. So, after receiving numerous warnings from our landlords about scalding hot water, we stuck a meat thermometer under the water coming out of the tap. The water is at least 170 degrees Faherenheit, which is hot enough to cook veal, turkey, pork or beef. Kind of frightening, eh?

Cake disaster

I’m driving up to Raleigh to visit my sister-in-law and my nieces and nephew and Mom suggested that I bake them one of her famous poundcakes. Unfortunately, folks were in the kitchen talking to me and I missed a step. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with the result. It looks like a cake, but the flavor is um…lacking.

Sale! Cerbo in Vitra ujo

I just sold Cerbo in Vitra ujo to Apex Digest. It will probably be in Issue 6, which comes out in June, but I’ll post for certain when I know the date. I’m thrilled, although it is an icky, icky story–my first foray into horror. This will be the first sale that I don’t give my parents a copy of.

Mom is disturbed just knowing that I wrote a horror story.

In his notes to me, Jason Sizemore said, “Whoever wrote this has no soul…” Which I think is a compliment, given the circumstances.

Cerbo en Vitra ujo

I decided to set the 1920’s ghost/mystery story aside for a bit because I found a fantastic book at Chattacon called Your Psychic Powers and How to Develop Them by Hereward Carrington. It was originally published in 1920 and is such the perfect research material that I want to read it before continuing.

Meanwhile, I started a new story today with the working title of Cerbo en Vitra ujo .

Here are the current first thirteen lines.

Cerbo en Vitra ujo

     Behind the steady drone of garden’s humidifiers, Grete caught the woosh-snick of the airlock door opening. She kept her attention on her Sunset-Glory rose to give Kaj a chance to sneak up on her. His footsteps pounded between the raised beds, without a hint of stealth. Grete put her pruning shears down as he barreled around the Milhollen’s prize Emperor artichoke.
     Something was wrong. Kaj’s chocolate skin seemed covered by a layer of ash. Gerta’s breath quickened to match his. “Kaj?”
     He stopped short of her, rocking on his toes. “I don’t know what to do.”
     She took his hand, cradling his long, delicate fingers. “What’s wrong?”
     “Mom and Dad got me an in at a down-planet school.” He covered his face with his other hand. “Some scholarship came through.”

Hanging out with writer’s

Steve and Alethea had spent the night at our house. We all spent a liesurely morning and opted not to return to Chattacon. I know that is shocking, especially since there was a puppet show on the schedule, but somehow the muffins that Mom made seemed more enticing.

After Chattacon ended, Jason and Justin, of Apex Digest, came over to the house. We had lunch and then went off to explore the world of used books. I picked up some cookbooks, including The Unplugged Kitchen, which Fab Girl had recommended ages ago.

All told, it was a delightful day.


In the world of small things that excite me, we just received a bunch of mail forwarded from our home in Portland. In the box of mail was my check from Strange Horizons for Portrait of Ari. There’s something about getting paid that makes me feel like I really did something. I’ll get all excited again, no doubt, when the story actually appears on the website, but for the moment I have this tangible proof that someone liked the story.


I can tell that Rob felt better because he started cleaning the house. Mind you, this is my mother’s house which looks as if it is ready for a Better Homes and Gardens camera crew to come through the door at any moment. So Rob had to work hard to find something that needed cleaning.

We pulled all of the furniture out of the living room so he could vacuum the rug thoroughly. Then we rolled the rug up. He vacuumed the carpet pad. I swept the floor under the carpet pad. Then we turned the rug and put everything back.

After that, we did the same thing in the dining room.

Dad told my mom, who reportedly laughed and laughed saying that she had always dreamed of a day when her children came home to clean her house. I’m not sure whether I should be pleased or mildly offended.

Yuletide woes

I had to go to the mall today.

Surely, that explains all of the horror without further detail, so I may go onto the pleasant things.

Steve and his family arrived during the night and somehow managed to get a teenager, a proto-teenager and a three year-old into the house without waking anyone. Now that, is fine parenting. This morning Rob and I went downstairs to the smell of pancakes cooking and Mom bustling around the kitchen. She is a non-stop cooking machine.

Well, almost. She did consent to go to Couch’s Barbecue for supper. I don’t think it had anything to do with being tired, I think it was a decision based entirely on having no where to put anymore leftovers. At dinner we gave Katherine her birthday presents. I think, and it’s hard to tell with fifteen year olds, that she liked the jacket that Rob and I gave her.

That was part of my mall activities today. I finally resorted to going into a store, Wet Seal, and saying, “Help. Fifteen-year old niece. I see her once a year and I’m clueless about what teens are wearing these days.” I felt like such a fogey and I’m nowhere near the right age for that.

After dinner Mom, Rob and I tackled prep work for dinner tomorrow. While we did that Dad, Steve and Rob did a mini-beer tasting. I’m very impressed that my husband managed to taste beer and help in the kitchen. Everyone else went to the basement to watch The Grinch. Had it been the original, I would have joined them.

Now, I just need to finish wrapping gifts, a feat which is complicated by the fact that our box o’presents has not arrived from Portland. I will be very put-out if my party favors arrive after the party.

Saint John’s Abbey

Exterior of St. Johns After the ice-fishing, Rob and I went to Saint John’s Abbey, a Benedictine monastery which has really interesting architecture. It was built in during the period when everyone was doing very modern, minimilist structures, which by and large look like concrete blocks. This doesn’t. It is clean and massive.

Rob’s mom says that he likes it because it is “masculine.”

Here’s a shot of the interior balcony supports. You have no sense of scale from this photo.
Interior of St. Johns

Once again, we came home to the smell of Shawna’s cooking. Laura came down from Duluth so the dinner table was quite full.

The Menu
Great Northern
Stuffed Peppers
Jalapeno cornbread
Green Salad

Copy-edits for Bound Man

There is something about having an editor go over one of my stories that makes me feel like a real writer. I’m not sure what it is. Susan Marie Groppi just sent the copy-edits for Bound Man. I agreed with almost all of them, and only waffled on two. With both, I could see why she wanted the change so in each case I offered her an alternate change.

At the moment, I believe that Twenty Epics is due out in May of 2006. I’ll keep you posted.

Physical Therapy and a reward!

Well, the two things aren’t related, but I feel like they are. I had my third PT session today. Some of the exercises I’m doing at home seemed to be making things worse, and I had tried backing off, but we decided to cut them for the moment. So I have some gentler ones to do. I spend an hour and a half there, being prodded and repositioned. Today I leaned on walls doing isometric exercises to try to build strength with out placing stress on the arm. I also got ultrasound therapy–yep. Last time they tried to heal me with electricity, this time they tried shooting sound into my arm.

What’s next, wind?

But, you haven’t heard the best of it yet. When I got home, the postman came with a box from Hawaii. Somehow my angel of mercy knew that I needed something sweet and sent a box of cookies. This is Rob’s mom, for those who are puzzled. And cleverly, she put the cookies in two equal bags. One for Rob and one for me to hide. I love my husband, but he has the most amazing sweet tooth and his mom’s cookies are really good.