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Parental visit update

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My mom and my step-dad flew in yesterday from San Diego. They've been jet-setting around the world, partly business, partly holiday. My step-dad is an engineering professor and keeps getting asked to do guest lectures and stuff. They just got back from Poland, Paris, and San Diego. And they're going to Niagra Falls when they leave Atlanta.

Those crazy kids.

So far, the visit has been nice. They gave us a box of Chinese green tea. I gave them a copy of my Ascendancy of Blood chapbook. We chatted and had dinner at the local Roasted Garlic. I also asked them for pronunciation hints and tips on some of the pinyin I used in my middle-grade book. They seemed interested in reading it (since it's set in China, with Chinese mythology in it), so I printed out a copy of it to give them today. Also printed out a copy of "Li T'ien and the Demon Nian" to give them. Interestingly, because of the communist influence in mainland China, cultural mythology/religion isn't that widespread. The basic tenets of the mythology in my book--the Chinese afterlife, the dual souls, etc.--elicited some blank looks, and then some rapid-fire Chinese between them as they tried to identify it.

We're taking them to the Botanical Gardens today. And then they want to eat at a nice Chinese restaurant for dinner. A nice, relaxing Sunday with the folks.

They want us to visit them in Beijing. My step-dad is an awfully good influence on my mother. I'm actually tempted to go. It would be nice to be able to do some story research. There's nothing as good for a muse (my muse, at least) as travel.

Of some distress: our Accord seems to have freaked out. Suddenly, while we were driving to the Roasted Garlic, several of the red indicator lights lit on the dashboard: the "doors are open" light, the "supplemental restraint system" warning light (that goes on when the side airbag sensors are blocked), and the "battery is not charging properly" warning light. WTF? Matthew turned the radio off, and they all went off. WTF? As near was we can figure it, we think the stereo might have short-circuited the dashboard electronics. We wouldn't worry about it, except the car is making a sort of whining, whirring noise now.

We made an appointment to bring it in on Wednesday, and we're swiching primary cars until then. Unfortunately, our other car is a Honda Prelude, one of the sporty coupe models. The backseat is an afterthought, installed purely for insurance purposes so that it's not classified as a two-seater. I don't know how we're going to fit four people in it. And the air conditioner is broken. Ugh.

Timing is not our friend.
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On October 3rd, 2004 07:38 am (UTC), thisisyour_life commented:
I love Eastern philosophy and mythology. Do you use this a lot in your writing? Which books/stories that you've written would you recommend? :-)

I also didn't realize we shared the TOC in Tales of Paranormal. Kudos.
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On October 4th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
"I love Eastern philosophy and mythology. Do you use this a lot in your writing?"

World mythologies are a big inspiration for me, but I tend to draw on the Eastern ones a bit more because they haven't been explored as much in English-language lit.

"Which books/stories that you've written would you recommend? "

Um, if you like vampires and/or retold fairy tales, my chapbook Ascendancy of Blood is available as both a chapbook and eBook. It's a dark fantasy re-telling of Sleeping Beauty.

Otherwise, I think my best stories are yet to be published. "Running on Two Legs" is coming out in the next issue of The Third Alternative, and "The Storyteller's Wife" and "Returning My Sister's Face" are both forthcoming in Realms of Fantasy. One (if not both) of them is coming out in the Feb. 2005 issue of Realms. I think those last three are among my best works to date. "Returning My Sister's Face" has a feudal Japanese setting and it's a retelling of a classic Japanese ghost story.

"we shared the TOC in Tales of Paranormal."

So we did! Way cool!
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On October 4th, 2004 05:04 pm (UTC), thisisyour_life replied:
Thanks!!! I'll definitely check them out!! :-)
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On October 3rd, 2004 08:18 am (UTC), britzkrieg commented:
Glad you're having a good visit!

Timing is not our friend.

Your car troubles could have been worse. During one of my mom's visits, my alternator and battery did a dance of death on the Connector right after I picked her up from the airport. We were stranded for hours in front of the Equifax building as cars whizzed close by us at lethal speeds. Jaime eventually had to pick us up at the (now-relocated) Saturn dealership in Doraville. What a nightmare!

the car is making a sort of whining, whirring noise now.

My brand new hybrid does that, too. I keep forgetting to call the dealership about it. I almost hope that it's a symptom of some fixable problem, 'cause it annoys the hell out of me.
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On October 4th, 2004 03:04 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Ugh. Car troubles. When Matthew called the dealership, the person he talked said that from the symptoms, they're thinking it might be the alternator with us too. We're definitely going to drive there caravan-style in case we need to jump the Accord en route. Sigh.
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On October 3rd, 2004 09:57 pm (UTC), everyonesakitty commented:
confession time. I pleasure read a little of your stuff over on Critters this weekend. *contented sigh* ahhh. Eugie, you are a magnificent writer. Luxurious from beginning to end! (sorry to be cheat-y and read them for free... eeek!) You handle beginnings so well. you totally inspired me! :D
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On October 4th, 2004 03:07 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Really? I'm totally flattered!

Except the stories I have up at Critters are all first drafts. I always do a rewrite after I get feedback, and in some instances it's a fairly major one. So, um, hope you didn't notice the various typos and other snafus present in pre-submission manuscripts! The completed stories tend to be much more polished.
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On October 4th, 2004 06:46 am (UTC), whirl_twirl commented:
At least the daytime temps are supposed to be pleasant this week...
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On October 4th, 2004 03:08 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
No kidding! It got a little toastie this afternoon, but it was bearable.
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