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Summer Gets Underway

June 4, 2009

So I’ve done with the lion’s share of official work (that is, university related work), and have begun settling into the summer. I’ve been rehearsing with Blind Mice (and have already played the first of several gigs–see Blind Mice’s website), and have been trying to establish a writing routine. this has been aided by converting the guest room into a writing room/study, where I am now happily ensconced. It is now a cozy, booklined retreat at the bottom of the house, with my Victorian phrenology head and old Dickens books overlooking the proceedings with their collective years of wisdom. Here’s how my webcam sees it:

My desk

My desk


I picked up the rather oddly-shaped desk at a thrift shop for thirty dollars, and it sits comfortably amidst the rest of my stuff. It’s warm and happy in here. I hope to do some good work here this summer and in the years to come.

Most immediate under the pen are the poetry collection, revisions to the London book before resubmitting to the most recent publisher (the one that so far has shown the most interest), and the Dickens project I talked about a couple of posts ago. That one is turning from a lecture/presentation on Dickens into a full-on theatre piece, with a plot and a fully developed character. That’s what I hope to make some good headway on through the weekend.

We’ve also been doing some work in the yard. Gwyn’s herb garden is looking quite fine, and there are plans to trick out the playhouse. We hung a hammock in the space underneath the playhouse (it’s on stilts) and tonight Eva swung in that before bed while I read her the nightly installment of The Hobbit. We’re up to Thorin’s capture by the Wood-Elves.

I’ll go write now. Talk to you soon.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. June 6, 2009 8:49 pm

    The yard sounds great–herbs and playhouses and hammocks, oh my!

    Hope you have a wonderful, creative, productive summer!

  2. Jamieson Ridenhour permalink*
    June 7, 2009 5:02 pm

    The yard is great, though at times a little overwhelming. It’s 2 1/4 acres, and flat and treeless. We’re slowly adding trees, and garden beds, and playhouses, etc. But it feels like trying to cultivate Mordor sometimes.

    Luckily Gwyn is a formidable gardener-person. So there are now patches of the Shire (or at least Rohan) amongst the blasted heath.

  3. Melissa Johnson permalink
    June 7, 2009 5:15 pm

    You seem to be settling in nicely. But I thought you had mentioned moving into town? Down-sizing? Lazy me thinks that sounds like a lot of labor if you’re moving soon.

  4. Jamieson Ridenhour permalink*
    June 7, 2009 8:05 pm

    We’ve taken the house off the market. We’re going to be homeschooling next year and have reimagined the large downstairs living area (which wasn’t used much before) as a homeschool classroom. So downsizing isn’t as pressing. and nobody’s buying houses so there’s that.

    We were always of two minds about it, anyway. We love our view and the countryside, etc. So we’ve been saying that we bought our house. It feels like a good decision.

    And the thought of packing made me want to heave.

  5. Melissa Johnson permalink
    June 8, 2009 1:12 pm

    Well, congratulations on the great new house then! I never want to move again–not because our house is perfect, but because I hate so much to move.
    I watched “Let the Right One In” last night. Was that the vampire movie you had recommended or did I mis-remember that?

  6. Jamieson Ridenhour permalink*
    June 8, 2009 1:19 pm

    That was it. What did you think? I’ve been hesitant to watch it on DVD because they re-did the subtitles and lost a lot of the subtleties. At least the blogosphere says so, and you can’t argue with the blogoshpere. I mean, you can but it’s a waste of time.

    What did you think?

  7. Melissa Johnson permalink
    June 10, 2009 11:06 am

    I watched it on Netflix on my laptop and I don’t know if I got the subtle or unsubtle subtitles, but there were a lot of places where I didn’t get the original dialogue–the sound was really bad. This was a little distracting because I’d have to try to see whose lips were moving and read the subtitles at the same time. I suspect I may have gotten the original subtitles because some reviews I was reading quoted one line as “Will you be my girlfriend?” which my subtitles had as “Do you want to go steady?”

    Anyway, subtitles and sound aside, I enjoyed it. I really, really don’t like horror movies, and I wouldn’t say this is exactly a horror film, but it still creeped me out sufficiently to make me uncomfortable watching it alone downstairs. Despite that, I thought the cinematography was stunning and the “children’s” loneliness beautifully conveyed. I really liked the ambiguity of it–the lack of backstory.

    • Jamieson Ridenhour permalink*
      June 24, 2009 10:24 pm

      Yeah–the Netflix online is the good one. I liked it as well; I’ve been raving to everyone I know about it. I agree that the lack of backstory helps, and I’d agree that it isn’t exactly a horror film (though there are certainly horrifying and uncomfortable parts). The two main actors were amazing, especially considering that the girl was only 11 when she was cast. I think it’s among my top four or five favorite films. That silent snowscape just grows in effect the more you’re immersed in it.

  8. June 12, 2009 4:18 pm

    I’m sorry, but did you say 2 1/4 acres?! Good lord, man! We have just under 1 acre, and it’s killing us. Mordor! Ha! Go, Gwyn, go–you’re a better Ring Bearer than I will ever be:)

    So, I just finished Carmilla the other day. I mostly read it as a lesbian vampire story–had never heard of the Vampire As Ireland angle. Very interesting discussion, Dr. R!

  9. June 12, 2009 4:20 pm

    PS I don’t know if you ever watch Idolatry on over at Entertainment Weekly’s website, but they’ve used some footage from Let the Right One In to Excellent Comedic Effect in some of their webisodes. You should go check it out if you haven’t seen. I thought of you immediately!

  10. Jamieson Ridenhour permalink*
    June 13, 2009 10:30 am

    Why thanks, Chef Jenni. I’m glad you enjoyed it. It *is* a lesbian vampire story of course, but there’s always something else going on in a lesbian vampire story, I find.

    Not that lesbian vampires can’t be compelling in their own right, mind you. I’m just saying.

  11. June 13, 2009 12:25 pm

    Understood. 😉

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