Saturday, February 20, 2010

One Shirt, Two Pairs of Pants...

Current Reading: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

Inspirational Quote: "After enlightenment, the laundry." -- Zen proverb.

Well, I promised something more substantial than my Valentines day post last week, and failed to come through. For that, I apologize and plead teenagers. Aeneas is having love troubles, which is bleeding attitude into EVERYTHING, while even as I type, Telemachus has some friends over for his 16th birthday party and they're trying to decide whether to watch movies or run around outside with flashlights and toy guns (he gets his definition of maturity from me... and so far, it's not a bad thing).

Anyway. Interesting stuff in the news the last few weeks. Scientists believe they can ignite nuclear fusion using high powered lasers. So that'll be cool, although I can help thinking that the oil industry may well have some things to say about the eventual technology that will result. Also, other scientists have managed to achieve temperatures of 4 trillion degress Kelvin in an attempt to simulate conditions during the big bang. Those wacky scientists. Give 'em a budget of a couple million dollars and it's amazing what they'll do.

A friend of mine heard this news with a smile on his face. It's his belief that the big bang was the result of the previous evolution of intelligent life getting just a little too big for their britches. Eventually, he believes, we'll do something that'll cause another big bang... and the whole thing will start all over again.

I'm less concerned. I figure we'll get swatted by a meteor or extinguish ourselves in an environmental catastrophe long before we become advanced enough to cause that much damage.

In other news, Valentine's Day was followed here in Ontario Canada by Family Day... which makes sense, although it would make more sense if the two holidays were separated by 9 months. Family day was created two years ago because someone realized we needed a holiday in the middle of February much more than we needed ANYTHING ELSE. I agree. I hate February. The theory is that we spend the day doing stuff as a family. The reality is that Cassandra, Penelope and I spent the day at home while the boys spent the weekend at a friend's place. Ah, well. We've planned a little getaway for the 26th-28th, a chance to go off somewhere together and remind ourselves that winter doesn't last forever.

Work on my current novel proceeds a pace. I've learned a lot over the last few weeks. One thing I've learned is that I don't like middles. The Magnus Somnium is still out for review, and I'm a little concerned because I haven't heard back from many beta readers in over a month. No matter, my research into structure has given me some great insights into weaknesses in the story and how they can be improved.

Books. Sheesh.

So what does the title of this post have to do with anything? Only this, that sometimes the details of daily life require all my energy, regardless of how I'd rather spend that energy. It is sometimes a comfort to know that not even Zen masters can escape the business of living. Truly, even after enlightenment there is still laundry.


Susan Quinn said...

I need to party with the Zen folks, because that is seriously the proper order of things.

Also: I've been waiting a long time for that fusion breakthrough, so I'm believing it when I'm seeing it. But I continue to hope....

I'm also taking a break from one novel (to work on another). I agree that middles are hard, and it's best to get them over quickly.

Good luck with the writing!

Ulysses said...

I've often thought that "I'm waiting for enlightenment" was an excellent excuse for not doing the laundry. But it's not one that I'd accept.

The article quotes the chief scientist as saying he believes they'll have fusion within the year. Exciting stuff (pardon the pun).

I agree that middles are best gotten over with quickly. It's just the nature of middles that even "quickly" sometimes takes too darned long.

And good luck back to you, Susan.