Friday miscellany: Persuasion, Phish, printer ink…

These are some of the things on my mind right now… I finished Jane Austen’s novel, Northanger Abbey, earlier this week. It was reasonable. She did some fun things with spoofing Gothic novels (and noting that even if someone isn’t in fact a murderer he might not be a great person…) I am not sure it is many people’s favorite Austen novel, but it’s probably good to have read it and hey, if I made it through Mansfield Park, I can make it through a lot. Now I’ve moved on to Persuasion, which I know is some people’s favorite, so we shall see how this one goes. It’s only 236 pages so I’ll likely be done by the end of summer, even given my deliberate pace of reading (5-10 pages per day).

Speaking of short novels…but reading quickly…I read through my own novel manuscript again yesterday with an eye toward making edits. I made some, though not too many, and so I think it’s time to get some more eyes on it. That said, the more times I go through it, the more I see things that I couldn’t have seen the first few times. As I get to know the characters (even though I created them!) I understand more about how they would react in certain situations. On this pass, I finally solved two small problems (making sure to put in original references to things that were mentioned as semi-significant somewhere else). I omitted more needless words, though there are only 52,500 words in the manuscript, and a lot happens so there aren’t too many needless ones. It’s been fun to write.

(Also read this week: Virginia Sole-Smith’s Fat Talk, about parenting amid diet culture, which was an interesting read. I do try to be cognizant of talking about bodies as functional objects, and eating as being about fueling our bodies, particularly with the kids.)

Earlier this week my husband and I went to the Phish concert. It’s fun to think that these guys have been playing with each other since they were students in the 1980s. I think many members of the audience were also students then or shortly after and have stuck with the band since. I didn’t know the demographics of Phish fans, so I was surprised to see a very long line for the men’s room and none for the ladies. Who knew? It was the exact opposite of Taylor Swift.

My printer stopped working this week, which is frustrating as I agreed to apply to be a scout leader and need to get in that application. I think it may be low on ink but it’s an old printer so sometimes hard to diagnose. I suppose if I get it working I can print up the novel manuscript and no doubt see a million typos that I didn’t see on the screen.

This week saw the completion of a few random house projects. We now have a new mailbox! The door of the old box was bent, so our mail got wet when it rained. We also now have a towel hanger in the powder room (this turned out to be more complicated than planned given the composition of the walls). The masons returned to finish the job on some stairs outdoors. It’s this nice, ornate stone staircase…but big chunks were just missing. Such are the joys and tribulations of a historic house.

I am hoping this weekend will involve a bike ride, a brewery, and a trip to a farmers market. Much else is still up in the air but I’m tired of planning…

Photo: Rustic, garden-y summer scene

6 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: Persuasion, Phish, printer ink…

  1. Fun to hear YOU say you are tired of planning! I’m a project manager and definitely get tired of planning. Hmmm – this is probably why when someone asks what I have planned on random single day work holidays, I’m delighted to say – absolutely nothing!

  2. I know this isn’t practical for some people (maybe most?) but printing is something I’ve decided to outsource. I don’t print things out often enough for it to be worth the space and the inevitable technically difficulties of the printer. I just email anything I need to print to the UPS store and have them print it for me. And I often fill out forms on the iPad with an apple pencil.

    I haven’t finished reading Fat Talk, but it’s been quite eye-opening for me.

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