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It has been a series of very strange days around Chez Morbid. I woke up Friday morning to the news that we are a no-income household again. That happened with some frequency in past years, but now of course it's not just charnelmason and me flying without a net. Things will work out -- they always do -- but I guess it's time to get serious about ebaying some books. The list will follow shortly.

Lenore isn't sleeping well these days. She's been getting up anywhere between 5:15 and 6, so I'm not getting any time to write in the morning. In fact, I hear creeping around now and it's 6:10.

All that was balanced out by Saturday's reading, of course. It was such a joy to see so many friends there, despite the weather-casters' moaning about the storm that would end the world. (Never materialized, of course, although there were reports of rain flying sideways.) Anyway, to all of you who braved the monsoon, thank you, thank you.

I read most of "Still Life with Broken Glass," the morbid lesbian story, including some slight editing on the fly. I found there were some paragraphs I just couldn't spit out with a lady pushing a walker in the audience. I'm not sure whom she belonged to and I wondered if she knew what she was in for, but all the publicity said "dark and sexy," so I did my best to live up to the hype.

I applied some of Colleen's teaching on reading in public and felt like it helped. Wish I'd remembered the rest, but that's what practice is for. I need to get out and read more often.

ladyeuthanasia went second, rocking "The Last Word." She was so wonderfully theatrical in her reading that I was entirely envious. I was sorry she didn't have time to read the whole story.

Afterward, we babbled about how the book came about, our favorite stories in it, and mostly I gazed in awe at Maria. Such a fangirl at heart.

Then there were books to be signed. (Bless you for buying them!)

ladyeuthanasia and some of my other favorite people headed off to a grown-up evening. I went home to nurse my brand-new dental work and remaining bank account, to watch the Chinese New Year Parade on TV with Lenore. Sometimes you wish you'd made the other choice, or maybe you wish you were in a position to make a different choice, but sometimes the most grown-up thing to do is to not make anything worse. Soon I will be able to eat solid food again. Soon we will be able to afford it. Life is funny that way.