Mapmaking and the Unkown

The funk holds on, terrible insomnia, but I try to make the best of the day. O had three sporting events. Z in a whirlwind of seeing non-school friends before school begins. David and trying to forge order out of chaos. Me trying to maintain momentum on the ToT.

Where be dragons? For an interesting discussion of the myth of Hic sunt dracones, you can check out this cool blog about "block prints and juvenile fantasy" or this discussion on the MapHist forum.

The "Writer's Block" chapter from Bird by Bird, and the essay on "learn from the masters" in this great set of cards and book I have.

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It's called The Observation Deck by Naomi Epel. There's a small book, kind of the size and feel of hand-sized moleskine, and deck of oversized cards that have a pleasing matte surface and feature phrases like "open a drawer," "write a letter," or "ribe tuchus (sit still)." You can use the cards on their own as a random prompt for writing or meditation, or you can go to the associated essay in a book, which will elaborate on the idea with quotes from writers, lessons in craft, prompts for writing or editing, on so forth. I've had this set for years, and every so often, when I feel stuck or blank or otherwise in need of fortification, I will pick it up and draw a card. I don't think I've even drawn all of the cards yet, and even when I draw the same card it feels new each time.

Also, some of Madeleine's Ghost - wary of the time transition Girardi just made.

So hard to get to. I am now, finally, writing pieces of the book that I have held in my head for so long but never gotten down on paper - even when I said I had a "complete draft," I had not written these parts, and I knew I needed to. So, I have only ever had incomplete drafts (which I guess all drafts are in one way or another). Scary stuff. Exciting. Here be dragons ... or lions? (See image and associated links above for a lively digression into mapmaking and the unknown ... which, come to think of it is the theme for all of my writing this week. Neat.)

Z's friend A is here for an overnight, so I consulted her on dinner. We had penne with bottled pesto and buttered lima beans.

Jimmy Cliff Rebirth - which features interesting versions of "Guns of Brixton" and "Ruby Soho."
My uncle, a recording engineer, tells a great story about working on a Cliff R&B session that was never released.

Random thing: 
Our cat Tiger is really some sort of household deity. There is nothing that makes him happier than to have all four of us at home and engaged in domestic work. Today, David was putting away Christmas decorations, I was puttering and tidying upstairs, and the kids were in and out, variously helping and playing, and Tiger strutted around the house with his head and tail held high, squinting at us with benificent approval. It really makes a person want to do more housework, to please the genius Tiger.