Mandy went for a job interview yesterday which could turn out to be a good thing. She's been unemployed for the past couple of years after some extremely bad panic attacks and general depression brought about by problems in her family. She was also severely agoraphobic for a while; but now she's out and about so much more than she used to, and I don't get panicked calls from her saying she's somewhere outside and could I come meet her and walk her home.

For some reason, I always seem to go out with girls with an interest in the occult or fortune-telling or somesuch. I'm not sure why this is, since as a person with a strong interest in writing science fiction (as opposed to, say, fantasy) I have little regard indeed for superstition. The world's plenty interesting without having to imagine up spectres and spells. If you disagree, time you packed a bag, chucked your job and went out and did something with your life.

She looks like she'll be working part-time for a fortune-reading hotline, of all things. Apparently it seems very relaxed; you sit there, and occasionally someone calls up your premium-rate number (some appalling amount of money per minute) and you get your tarot read. Yes, I agree, it's a scam, but I could say the same thing about the Vatican, about Mecca, about anything church-like, etc etc etc. But it's good to know she'll at least be making money, keeping busy, and doing something she enjoys.

On book matters; trundling ahead. Perhaps ten chapters outlined. It's coming together - no lack of plot ideas, it just takes time to get everything nailed down in terms of consistency, etc. I've just been reading Altered Carbon, by a local writer; his first novel, and already optioned for Hollywood. Dammit.

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