What Up?

I used to have a blog here, but lately I've been busy with this paying job thing and haven't been blogging much. I have about eighteen million books to blog about, and everything else. This is going to be the everything else post.

Delphine

Delphine is nearly seven and she's become all happy and patient and agreeable. Well, not all, but more than before. She sometimes doesn't respond when Cordelia tries to fight with her; she sometimes goes along with me when I ask her to do stuff she doesn't want to; she is usually happy after school and she seldom complains about her day. She's no Pollyanna, but she's not quite as emo and gloomy as she has been through most of the last year.

Delphine had her first piano lesson last Saturday. Piano lessons now are so much cooler than when I started playing: instead of starting with "this is a staff and this is a quarter note" it starts with "these are your fingers and this is the keyboard" and you plunk away, and notation is introduced as needed and no sooner.

So Delphine loves piano. She couldn't wait to get home to practice, and she has practiced every day this week.

Cordelia

Cordelia is still happy, sweet Cordelia. She tells me she loves me eighteen million times a day and she does little dances. She loves her friends, too—she and Anna won't go into the kindergarten playground without the other.

I wonder, sometimes, if Cordelia's always going to be the sweet, frivolous contrast to Delphine's darker personality. No, that's not quite right. What I wonder is how Cordelia's bubbliness will make the transition to adulthood. Where is she going to get that gravity that surely adulthood demands?

For now it seems like along with gloominess, Delphine also has a lock on scepticism, bookishness, and intellectualism (inasmuch as a six-year-old can be intellectual). Cordelia's only "things" are that she runs really fast (and a lot) and sings well. I guess I worry that Delphine's going to be "the clever one", leaving some other identity for Cordelia. I suppose even if she isn't "the clever one" she'll still be clever and she can always leverage that in whatever she ends up doing with herself.

Anyway, there's nothing so sure as that they'll be what they'll be and I have much less control over what they'll be than I'd like to think.

Me

As for me, I have got myself a paying job. I'm copyediting and laying out a non-fiction book for self-publishing. A while ago I said that I didn't think copyediting would be a great job for me because it's so picky-picky; as it turns out it's a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I do love to proofread things, and even the totally anal stuff is kind of cool. I like knowing what kind of dash to use (even if I don't always bother to use the right one) and whether "BCE" has periods or not. And the meticulousness you need to employ to keep track of the style decisions you've made is right up my list-making alley.

I do need to reread Strunk and White, and some other writing books, just to clarify what makes good writing good, and I feel like I should put my hands on some style guides. (I wonder if people buy those on paper or just, I dunno, subscribe to them online or something.)

This working gig is going to have to get a lot more real in September. I signed Cordelia up for daycare when she was just over a year old, and as it turns out she got in. She starts in September at the daycare at the school. I won't have Delphine in daycare ("It's not FAIR!") but I will send her to school with a lunch, so my work day will be from 9:00 until 3:00. My plan, such that it is, is to work a twenty-hour week, leaving me ten hours a week for such frivolity as housework, exercise, reading and getting my nails done. Maybe I'll skip the nails and read more.

I'm reading a rather intense (but very useful) book about starting a home-based writing business. The author is quite intent on my making a business plan, planning further education, budgeting, marketing, and all that sensible, grown-up stuff. I almost feel like I can't waste my time doing that stuff when I could be doing billable work—kind of like the kid who runs his bike all the way to school because he doesn't have time to get on. I'm also resisting doing all that business stuff because somehow I can't take myself that seriously as a professional freelance writer and copyeditor. Clearly I'm going to have to get over that, but fortunately I have a few months to do it.

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