Mary Anne Mohanraj


November 21 -- 4:39 PM

Kat and I stepped into a consignment store briefly, to look for a piece of furniture she needed, and I walked out with china. It's a curse, I tell you.

But in my defense, the pieces were utterly delightful, and are valued at something like four times what I paid for them, and they will get plenty of use at my tea parties. I found a tray, creamer, sugar bowl, and coffeepot, all for about $30 together, and it looks like the individual pieces sell for more like $30 each. (I am not normally an antique-hunter, but I can see how people get the bug.) The coffeepot is missing a lid, but I will use it for my tea parties anyway. The tea doesn't really sit around long enough to get cold.

Mostly, I'm just delighted with the pieces -- fantastical hot air balloons and flowers, in whimsical colors -- particularly funny since I'm planning to paint something similar in the children's playroom (with stencils, fewer colors, and decidedly less skill). I wouldn't call it steampunk, but there ought to be a name for this style. Steamgarden? Hmm...

The line is Villeroy & Boch, Le Ballon, and apparently was discontinued years ago. I don't love all the pieces in the line, but I may try to hunt up the pickle dish, which is also delightful.

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November 21 -- 1:45 PM

"Wife. What a strange word, with its dark history. There were so many variations on the old words now, to accommodate varied genders and groupings, but Maya was still fond of wife, and husband. For her best friend’s wedding, they’d sat together, going over traditional language for the vows, deciding what to leave out, what to keep. Maya hadn’t been able to do much for Cassie, not in the midst of her last year of med school, with her father rapidly failing. But at least she could help her find the right words. 'You cannot possess me for I belong to myself. But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give. You cannot command me, for I am a free person. But I shall serve you in those ways you require, and the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand.' That was lovely. Maybe, in this family, Maya would actually taste honey some day."

Going back to writing the novel now. That's a paragraph from last night's chapter.

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November 21 -- 10:10 AM

Jurors needed: The Speculative Literature Foundation is looking for additional volunteer jurors willing to read roughly 75-100 applications (a few pages each, including application writing sample), over the space of about a month for our Working Class/Impoverished Writers Grant. Jurors should be writers / editors / teachers /etc. who are capable of judging literary quality in a work.

If interested, please send a brief note to, with the subject line: JUROR. Include a paragraph or so on what your qualifying background would be for serving as a juror. If you have a preference for which jury you serve on, please note it, as we also offer three other grants which will need jurors next year—the Older Writers Grant, the Travel Grant and the Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants.

The SLF is currently entirely volunteer-staffed, so jurors won't be paid; all of our funds go directly to program support. But you would be doing a service to the field, and can, of course, list it on resumes and C.V.'s.

Thank you!

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November 21 -- 9:31 AM

Still recuperating. I realized that I spent most of yesterday quietly angry, because I was no longer so sick as to be entirely focused on my misery, but was still too sick to accomplish anything (without making myself sicker). I am a terrible sick person, and not much better as a recuperating person. My bed is very cozy, but after three days confined to it, I kind of hate it.

When did I become so accomplishment / to-do-list - oriented? When did I become so bad at just lying in bed and watching tv? I was really good at lounging around watching tv in college, and for several years thereafter...

I *want* to run a ton of errands today, paint the playroom, and rake the yard. Instead, I am going to turn off Facebook for a few hours, sit in a chair, and quietly either write or respond to e-mail. Because that is all the work I am allowed to do. If I am very good about that, I may allow myself to run one small errand at lunchtime. And then back to my chair.

At least I get to sit upright in a chair today, instead of being flat on my back in bed. Small blessings.

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November 21 -- 7:00 AM

Introverts must save a lot of money. No hosting parties or getting food to take to parties. Save on gas and other transit costs. And, as the last week of being sick has shown me, I am apparently perfectly willing to wear the same grey sweats, t-shirt, and blue sweatshirt for five solid days in a row. (Okay, I took them off and washed them once in the middle. So maybe you'd want two sets.) All the pretty clothes in my closet look at me reproachfully when I go in there, but I don't care. Comfy and warm wins.

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