Doing it with style… guides.

Sorry for the recent silence. This week I’m on vacation.

“Ooh!” you’re wondering. “I wonder if she will bring me a nice souvenir from… from… I wonder where she went? Tahiti? Prague? Bangladesh?”

Here is a hint: You can have a souvenir, but the only thing I can scrounge up around here is cat fur and wayward kitty litter.

I’ve been staying in my apartment. This is not what you’d call an exciting vacation destination, but the fact is, I can’t afford to travel anywhere. I am sure this will all change after I become stinking rich, which will certainly happen as soon I finish writing my book. It is unrealistic to think that a library reference book on an obscure genre will bring me anything less than loads of money.

Please do not disabuse me of that notion.

The book is the other reason for staying put. Writing an (anticipated) 800-page text takes a bit of time.

This is not to say that I’ve slaved away the whole time. I’m on vacation, after all. Probably no one will be surprised when I confess that I’ve spent some time reading for pleasure. This week it’s been a lot of fantasy. This year it’s been a lot of fantasy. What can I say? It’s my favorite genre. I knocked out two Terry Pratchetts and I one Tad Williams, though technically the reading of his Tailchaser’s Song counts as work, as Williams is the subject of my next piece for NoveList. Tailchaser’s Song was a surprisingly satisfying book. It reminded my fondly of two other fantasy faves, Watership Down and The Hobbit.

I went to yoga, too. Recall that I’m now embroiled in the Level II/Level III class. Last week’s session was my first attempt at this advanced level. Afterward, I wanted to die. When I got home and realized I had to walk up 14 stairs to get to my apartment, I seriously contemplated waiting around to see if the apartment complex would ever build an elevator.

In contrast, after this week’s class, I did not want to die. I wanted morphine and convalescence, but I did not want to die. I even managed to get up the stairs to my apartment in one attempt.

Tonight I did a headstand for the very first time. Or rather, I did a headstand for the very first time as an adult. When I was six I stood on my head like it was nothing. All healthy six-year-olds do.

I am not clear on the benefits of doing a headstand. Does it make me a better human being? Will it help me defend against attackers? Will it help me achieve nirvana? I’m really not sure, but it looks cool, so I’m not complaining.

Also this week I went bookstore hunting. There are four bookstores in Wilhelmsplatz. (I think. Maybe I missed one?) It was my first time visiting two of them.

This may come as a surprise, but I never go to bookstores. It’s a healthy precaution. Each time I go in a bookstore, I come out in my skivvies, because I’ll have sold the clothes off my back to get my paws on another book.

I love bookstores. Used books, new books—doesn’t matter, I love them. I love seeing books arranged in a non-Dewey way. And then I love buying them, and carrying them home to a small apartment that simply does not have room to hold another book.

But I had to go hunting for a specific book this week, the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. That’s the style guide used by Libraries Unlimited, the press that will be publishing the book that will make me a zillionaire. I only found it in two stores, and for the unreasonable price of $55.

I feel like such a louse. I’ve been an MLA girl my whole life. During a few social science classes I condescended to use APA, but otherwise it’s been MLA all the way. (I think a history professor wanted me to use Turabian once. I sweet-talked him into MLA.)

I am not paying $55 to go over to the dark side. I am a woman of principle.

Instead I am paying $34 to go over to the dark side. Amazon had a nice deep discount on the CMS.

Back now to writing. Today’s focus is on books about women in antiquity. It can be tedious, but I keep telling myself that, after I come into wealth with this book, I’ll be able to buy style guides without fretting about paying rent.

See you in Bangladesh this time next year.

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