Today has been beautiful. While I was washing my breakfast dishes it started raining. I was running ahead of schedule so I turned on the heater, switched on the small lamp behind the couch, and sat down with Shere Khan to read The Return of Count Electric and Other Stories for a while.

By the time I got to the bus stop it had stopped raining, though the air was cold. Black clouds were piled up overhead. Then the sun, brilliant and white, shone through and dazzled me; it was like the whole world went black and white, not in a depressing way but like a wonderful Citizen Kane kind of black and white.

At lunch I went out walking in the big patch of desert behind work. I turned back because it started raining again, but first I stood and watched the rings made by raindrops in a big puddle for a while.

Geez, this sounds like a bad creative writing assignment or something. But it's so unbelievable that all these beautiful moments keep happening one after another.

People here have started putting lists of their E2 friends up on their home nodes. I haven't seen my name on one yet. This made me sad, but honestly, I haven't been a very vocal presence here lately -- not since I became employed. All of a sudden there are all these great noders out there who are rising in levels, and half of them I am completely unfamiliar with. The people I know best here seem to be doing just what I'm doing, quietly noding and editing in the background.

I finally figured out one of my problems on the way to becoming a novelist, one of the things that has blocked me and that paralyzed me when I made an effort to write for the market. I realized that my ambition is to be a mid-list fantasy writer at a time when the midlist is disappearing. I have been told by agents and editors, in so many words, that if you don't look like you're going to give them a bestseller it will be very hard to get published these days. Since my ideas are conspicuous in their lack of dragons and elves, I'm not seeing "Bestselling Author" written all over me. But that's okay. I decided a while ago that when I'm writing fiction I'll write it mostly for my own enjoyment. If someone else likes it, so much the better. I'd rather be happy than rich, though rich and happy would be ideal.