orange cat appreciating sunshine

My van is parked in S’s driveway, which means my view is basically of her street and sidewalk. Most of the days that I’ve been here, I’ve had a very good view of a great deal of rain. Today, however, it is gloriously sunny. Still chilly — there was frost on the ground this morning — but blue skies and sunshine. Everyone is appreciative, including the cat and all the many passersby. While I’m writing in the van, I’m an invisible audience to their interactions. It’s pretty entertaining, because wow, people are chatty with animals. A third of the population wandering by admires the cats and another third says hello to the dogs. It’s really quite charming.

Yesterday, I went to a meditation class, where the phrase that struck me, in the midst of the usual “follow your breath” and so on, was “open-hearted curiosity.” I don’t remember the context, but when I got home, I wrote it on my white board. I want to be approaching Fen with open-hearted curiosity. I want to see where the story takes me/her. So far that has not transformed into words flowing, however. I also downloaded an app to keep me off the internet, so that I would be forced to stare at my document instead of running away to read news stories and Facebook posts. My hour of internet-blocking netted me 73 words today; not a success, but I’m going to keep trying.

Also, I finally went to yoga! I am lamentably out of shape. That’s not a surprise, actually — it’s been a long time since I managed any more exercise than a short walk with the dog. But there’s not going to be any side planks in my near future. Still, yoga’s like writing — the more I do, the easier it becomes. And I know that if I go regularly (at least for the couple of months that I’m going to be in Arcata), I’ll get better. Plus, it felt great, even though I was dropping into child’s pose every other minute. I still got to have the lovely ending meditative rest. And I would look up the actual spelling of the lovely ending meditative rest, but I’ve blocked the whole rest of the internet to force myself to work. So maybe later. And meanwhile, I should get back to the working part of the day.

But, per request, a snippet of Fen:

First things first. Fen needed to call a glider. She scanned the sky, searching for a moving shadow. She didn’t see one, but she waved anyway, arm moving wide across her body, a gesture as big as she could make it. 

Then she stopped herself, feeling stupid. She’d just made herself invisible. How the hell was the glider going to spot her? 

“Elfie, can you summon a glider?” she subvocalized. 

There was a pause. Then Elfie responded, “A data access pattern should not summon a glider. It is not within the parameters of my function.” 

“Uh-huh,” Fen said, voice dry. “We’re past that now. Answering my questions is your function, right? So I’m asking a question. Can you summon a glider?” 

“I am capable of such a thing, yes.” 

“Will you?” 

There was a longer pause. Fen waited, beginning to muster her mental arguments. Gaelith had created Elfie to help Fen, Elfie was a non-traditional data access pattern for a reason, if Gaelith had intended Elfie to limit herself to merely providing information, surely she would have used a traditional design… but she didn’t need them.

“Yes,” Elfie said. 

Fen let go of the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. 

No guarantees that will make it in the final book, of course. And it’s quite random, it’s just what I was working on today, so also unedited, etc. But I will stop with the excuses, it’s a snippet!