Tuesday, January 30, 2001
I like to pretend that this journal is about me and my writing, but I think we all know who the real star is. We all know who you come to see. Here she is waving to her adoring fans. Here she is pretending to be a troll baby. Here she is with her uncle Jonas and her aunt Rahel. Here we are writing together (well, okay, we're taking a break).
Today, we bring you the Aviva report.
Aviva is over six weeks old. I still need to get ahold of a tape recorder and catch one of the last fleeting goatlike "Mehh!" sounds. She has started smiling like crazy, too. Esther and I argue about when she started -- I think she had this cute little self-satisfied, winsome smile from day one -- but she is turning into a smiling machine.
Aviva is a pretty happy baby. She cries a lot less than some other babies her age that we know; we're pretty lucky. When she does cry, we have to figure out what is up. This is remarkably like debugging a computer program, actually. At least it uses the same combination of methodical investigation, careful observation, holding panic at bay, trial and error, and prayer. Here is an approximate heuristic:
The dragon is a little wooden dragon attached to the ceiling with a spring, and Aviva has an unbelievable romance with this thing. She can be in the midst of yelling, see the dragon, and all of a sudden she is all smiles and wide-eyed wonder. The dragon's name, apparently, is Bonbo. I swear to God, one day Aviva looked up at it and said "Bonbo". She may have been pointing as well, for emphasis.
The hairdryer was introduced at one point when she had bad diaper rash and, when set on the lowest setting, it was apparently the most gentle way to dry her. Now, she has no diaper rash anymore, but boy, does she like that hairdryer. We dry her feet, her hands, her head, whatever. Particularly when you blow the hair on the back of her head into little haystacks of sticking-straight-up-hair, Aviva gets very excited. It's her own personal electric sauna. It looks like so much fun, I'm wondering if they make giant-sized hairdryers for heat-bathing adults.
Tomorrow, I think, "The Duck" hits the electronic newsstands. Cool, huh?
The WebRats, as many readers surely know, are having a masochistic February
Novel Dare of 60,000 words. Some of them anyway. Some of them are
doing February Dare Lite -- Hilary is doing 10,000 words. I am highly tempted
by the idea -- it would be nice to make a real dent in Crimp (I
bet Ramin would be psyched!). But on the other hand, I've only gotten 2
crits for "A Siege of Cranes" so far -- it'll probably be another week
before I can really start revising it. I don't really want to start anything
new until "A Siege of Cranes" is out there -- I don't want the same thing
to happen as happened with "Corporate Anthropology", where I have to undertake
major revisions but the initial spark of the story has vanished entirely.
This means I'll probably really only have half of February to work with,
plus I do have a baby, a full-time day job, a Clarion West application
to get out, rugby season starting Thursday, and at least one visitor coming
from America in that shortest of months. Still... February Dare Lite does
sound pretty attractive... hmmm...