The Day After Valentine’s Day

I’ve just seen the first review of Electric Velocipde 21/22, courtesy of Lois Tilton at Locus online, and it says very nice things about Memories of Chalice and recommends it to readers. I’m going to steal a bit from the end, since the beginning mostly sets up what the story’s about:

While the narrator speaks of dollars, rock stars and penthouses, the setting seems more to be some timeless European castle in a valley isolated from the mundane world, where wealthy gnomes guard vast fortunes in their vaults beneath the mountains. This author is one I always look forward to; his offerings are fine and well-crafted.

And really, there are worse ways to begin the day than reading that, aren’t there? You can read the entire review for EV 21/22 and a few other fine magazines over at the Locus website.

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Yesterday I stopped off to buy some groceries on the way home from work and the guy manning the register asked I’d taken off early for Valentine’s Day. Probably not an unreasonable question given that I was there at 1:40 in the afternoon, but it perplexed me none-the-less.

“Er, no,” I said, “I’m always done with work around this time.”

“Oh,” the check-out guy said. “Do you at least have to start early? Otherwise I’ll have to hate you.”

“Sure,” I said, lying through my teeth ’cause it’s easier than explaining why I only work part-time, “early starts. That’s the trade-off, of course.”

Then I paid for my groceries and went home to make a delicious ham-and-salad sandwich for lunch. And then I wrote things. Poorly, initially, and a little better as the day wore on, because that’s how writing things tends to go.

After dinner I read Death: The Time of Your Life, because it’s a book about love that doesn’t make me feel bad about not being in love, and I watched Stranger than Fiction, mostly ’cause I love the line “I brought you flours,” and then I thought about writing a post about Valentine’s Day that seemed like an increasingly bad idea as I went along.

If I had written the post, it probably would have gone something like this:

I’m down with the idea of Valentine’s Day, but like Christmas it’s one of those things I’d like more if it were divorced from social convention and inherited rituals. Thus it becomes a day where I read certain things and watch certain things and engage in my own rituals, largely because I’m an inherently single person who likes the idea of building a relationship with a whole bunch of people (lets call them readers) rather than a singular entity. Relationships, by and large, required compromises on the writing front that I largely chose not to make.

Valentines doesn’t really make me feel bad about being single, but very few things do. These days I usually reserve my more maudlin “oh god, I’m single” moments for the weeks where I mainline episodes of How I Met Your Mother and fail to write anything at all, but that show also makes me feel bad for how little time I spend in bars and the fact that I don’t live in New York, so I largely write it off as a testament to the creator’s ability to sell me a lifestyle rather than any deficiency on my part. Given time, the feeling passes. And I go write another story, and hope it finds a new reader, and that reminds me why I like my life the way it is.

One day this may change, and then again, it might not.

In any case, I came across the following video by poet Tanya Davis and filmmaker Andrea Dorfman on the Coilhouse blog yesterday. It was attached to a piece about those I’m-okay-with-being-single movements, which always leave me as uncomfortable as things built around become-a-couple narrative, ’cause the answer always seems to be somewhere in between.

In any case, I liked it, and I thought it better shared on a day not quite so laden with meaning as February 14th.

Happy day that is not Valentine’s Day, and thanks for being a reader.

  7 comments for “The Day After Valentine’s Day

  1. 16/02/2011 at 3:06 AM

    …but that show also makes me feel bad for how little time I spend in bars and the fact that I don’t live in New York…

    And bad for not wearing suits more often. (Actually HIMYM is a complete happy-space for me, but I can see how it makes those lifestyle elements desire-able)

    And now, something a little bit Valentinesy, but mostly adorable inspiration for Claw: .

  2. 16/02/2011 at 3:13 AM

    I'm actually perfectly okay with how often I wear suits.

  3. 16/02/2011 at 4:18 AM

    Me too, but sometimes Robin and Lily are in pantsuits and I yearn a little. 🙂

  4. 16/02/2011 at 8:23 AM

    Honestly, I think it's the bar that does me in more than anything else. I miss going to bars.

  5. 16/02/2011 at 9:09 PM

    I don't really have anything to say except for….I'm so glad you're blogging again. After cycling through the usual lolcats, author/editor/publisherfails, I'm always rewarded here with something meaningful, insightful, interesting, quirky…so I hope your day job doesn't suck up so much of your energy that you stop again.

    That is all 🙂

  6. 17/02/2011 at 1:30 AM

    My blogging's always been a bit stop-start, so we'll inevitably have a hiatus in the near future. I'll just try and keep them shorter this time around 🙂

  7. Helen
    17/02/2011 at 6:39 AM

    Love that poem. Beautifully written and performed. Thanks.

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