Saturday, August 22, 2009

Vacation!

It is August, and while I am not on vacation, this blog is. We'll be back in a couple of weeks, slightly tanned and wearing a pair of Latin men. Ciao!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fire! Or, Where Do I Cash In Near Death Experience Points?

Gas leaks are bad.


I've been helping my (newlywed) friends Lynzie and Mike move into their new apartment. This involves putting together lots of IKEA furniture, and playing with their tiny dog, Romeo and slightly less tiny cat, Orion. A bit more fun than moving has any right to be- which was dramatically corrected this past Tuesday.

There are two plot lines here- the fire, and the domestic disturbance next door.

Lynzie and I are waiting for the brownies to come finish baking (you must eat to build, you see) when we hear somebody BANGING on their front door and yelling "Get out here, you asshole!" Lynzie raises an eyebrow and opens the door to see a woman banging on the next door over.

"Oh, sorry sweetie, it's not you," Crazy Yelling Lady said at a normal volume. We closed the door and heard, "Be a man! I know that bitch is in there!"

We went back to the kitchen, where the brownie timer was summoning us. I took the pan out of the oven and put it the stove top to cool; Lynzie turned off the oven. We both noticed a funny hissing noise, but the dishwasher was running so we chalked it up to that. Until Lynzie saw the smoke.

Lynzie grabbed the dog and started looking for a fire extinguisher (probably still packed- we never did find one). I yelled for her to cut the electricity- I got gas fires and electrical fires confused. Once the lights were out we could see the fire crawling up the wall behind the stove and I called 911.

We used a couple of minutes grabbing essentials, including the cat, who was scared and decided to take it out of my hide. Lynzie passed me the dog and put the cat in his carrier and grabbed her purse and we hear somebody banging on her door and a cop voice saying, "Open up, please!"

We were 0 for 2- the cop was banging on the door next to us, but as soon as we said fire, he completely shifted gears. He had us prop the door open so the smoke could ventilate and called a unit with a fire extinguisher up.

I went to check if the fire escapes had extinguishers, which they didn't. Luckily the cops who did have one showed up, so I turned around to go back to Lynzie and saw Crazy Yelling Lady grab her by the arm and try to get her to tell the person she was yelling at that there was a fire.

At this point, I snapped a little. Lynzie was already upset- her freaking apartment was on fire- and this lady was physically pushing her around. I was going to punch her fucking lights out.

As I'm power-walking down the hallway towards my imminent arrest, the cops come flying out of Lynzie's apartment yelling, "RUN!"

They push me and Lynzie and Crazy Lady- and when a guy poked his head out of his apartment they grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and pulled him along too.

I don't know if they said it or I just finally made the connection- gas + fire = explosions. Either way, I could see that fucking explosion in my head and I sure as hell wanted to outrun it.

We came busting out of the building right as the fire department showed up; everything after that was just calming down and sorting out what the hell happened.

The apartment never exploded; the gas caught fire quickly enough that it didn't pool, so no big explosion. There was a crack in the line leading to the stove. The guy who had poked his head out of his apartment was the guy who'd reported the domestic disturbance; he remembered saying, "Fight?" to the cop, who said, "No, FIRE!" before getting dragging out with us. The Crazy Yelling Lady was the fiancee of Lynzie's neighbor, who apparently was cheating on CYL. The building manager had been onsite for unrelated reasons, but made it clear that they were going to pay for the damage and put them up in another apartment in the building while their old one was getting fixed.

Best of all? Very little was damaged. Some of their kitchen stuff isn't usable, but they do have, renters insurance, so it should all be covered.

Well, no- Best of all, nobody was hurt. But second to that, stuff being safe is good too.

Fire, and Lightning. Which death is next?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm Hungry.

Today, I joined the Critters Writer's Workshop.


Okay, I signed up a couple days ago; but today, I sent in my first critique, which means I'm eligable to submit my own work now. It's the first purely positive step I've taken for my writing in a while. Besides, you know, writing.

I'm trying to get out of Archaeology. It's a cool job to have, when I have it- which isn't very often. I'm looking at a nice little gray-box job in a nice little lab full of people with piercings and big open laughs, so while I may have to dress and play nice for clients, its reassuring that it's such a cheerful place.

This transition has me nervous. If I get the job, I will have a decent wage and benefits. Benefits out the wazoo, to be precise; healthcare and dental and paid vacation days galore. And that kind of scares me.

I'm afraid that I won't work as hard on my writing if I have it that easy at work. I'm afraid that having all of that will make the cost of leaving that much more expensive. Because my goal in life is not to have a nice job with benefits and a decent writing career.

It's a stupid fear; I was well provided for in high school and college and I sure as hell got a lot of writing done then. Being hungry, that hurts your writing. Having constant headaches because your wisdom teeth are impacted, that hurts your writing. Living in hotel rooms and the tiny hothouse world of Archaeology with nobody to talk to because they're all stoned out of their minds, that hurts your writing.

This starving artist stuff is crap.

I always thought that hunger was a last resort kind of problem. But the only person who's upset when you skip a meal is you, and compared to the accusing small print on bills, it doesn't seem like a big deal. I have money, it's just not mine. I could eat more. I should, really; I fucking do physical labor for a living. But I never realized just how stressful it is to judge every meal in light of how many calories you're getting per dollar, how much fiber, and have I actually eaten fresh meat today, no, so I better have a pb&j, but I'm so goddamn tired of ramen pasta and peanut butter sandwiches and god I would kill for a steak or hell, one fresh fucking salad.

I don't make enough money to really feed myself.

That's a hell of a thing to swallow.

Suddenly, I'm not so nervous about this job. Huh. Imagine that.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dead Lines

The worst part of this gig is the waiting.


Let me be clear; I am talking about the wannabe writer gig. The worst part about archaeology is the sketchy income and the poison ivy. But in writing, my personal demon is time.

I have no deadlines, except the ones I give myself. Some might consider this a luxury, and that's just dandy for them. I hate it. It means that instead of some nice, reasonable editor person setting my expectations, I get the voices in my head.

"You'll spend your whole life like this, you know. Tapping and tapping and tapping away, with nothing to show for it. Nobody cares about the never-weres."

"You could die tomorrow. Do you really want to die without this story finished?"

"How long has it been since you've done something that impressed anyone? Honestly. We really should find another gig."

"You could die tomorrow."

"You could die tomorrow."

"You could die tomorrow."

I am afraid that I will die without having added a single breath to the universe.

I'll take your deadlines over mine any day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Top Five Fairies You've Never Heard Of

The Ganconer - A fairy that makes love to maidens, and then abandons them; the maidens then die of longing within a week. Ganconers haunt lonely valleys, and tend to smoke a small grey pipe called a dundeen.


Other names: Gean-cannah, The Love-Talker

References: An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs; "The Love-Talker" by Ethna Carbery

Gyl Burnt-tayl - A slutty kind of Will-o'-the-Wisp. Leads travellers astray, in more ways than one!

Other names: Jenny Burnt-tayl

References: An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs

Fetch - A death omen. A Fetch is identical to the person fated to die; sometimes it appears to that person, sometimes to their friends.

Other names: Co-walker

References: An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs;

Buttery Spirit - A fairy that can only eat ill-gotten or cheaply made food designed to fool the public- think Mrs. Lovitt's Meat Pies. Will eat a tavern out of business unless the tavern-keeper mends their ways.

Other names: None, though it is a close relative to the Abbey Lubber

References: An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs

Tarans - The souls of babies who die unchristened. They cry a lot, rather like alive babies.

Other names: Spunkies

References: An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs; A Tour in Scotland By Thomas Pennant

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wheeeeeee Butch!

For immediate release – June 22, 2009

Sinclair Sexsmith, the “kinky queer butch top” behind Sugarbutch Chronicles and the editor of Queer Eye Candy, has launched TopHotButches.com, a top 100 list in the spirit of AfterEllen.com’s Hot 100 and GO Magazine’s Women We Love, focusing on transmasculine queer people of all kinds – butch, tomboy, androgynous, masculine, AG, stud, dykes, queers, and transmen.

“There is a serious lack of transmasculine representation in mainstream lesbian culture,” Sexsmith said. “Even in queer-focused top 100 lists, masculine women and transguys are rarely included. This does damage in two ways: 1. it implies that the attractiveness and desirability of lesbians is based on the heteronormative gender role assumptions of femininity, and 2. it excludes two large groups – dykes who are attracted to transmasculine women and trans men, and the transmasculine women and transmen ourselves. Where are our desires on these lists? Once again we are rendered other, strange, deviant, not attractive. This list attempts to fill in that hole.”

The project features photographs and links for all the 100 people on the list, and profiles for the top 10. There is even an “honorable mention” category, with more than a dozen more names.

“I thought it would be hard to get 100,” Sexsmith said, “I thought, maybe we can get 50. But I had so many suggestions, and I had more names than I could fit on the list. There are more of us out there in culture than one might think.”

The list includes predominantly musicians, comics, actors, and writers, but there is a wide variety of professions represented, from athletes and tattoo artists to political activists, radio show hosts, and porn stars.

“Diversity was important in picking the final list, and in the order of the list. Not just profession, but also ethnicity, age, geography, and body size. I wanted a wide range of masculinities in this project, to show how many various ways female masculinity and trans masculinity manifest,” said Sexsmith. “It was also important to me to include trans men, as much as it might seem to be in conflict with the title of the project, because trans men are a significant part of this community, and have been a serious force behind the re-visioning the gender and masculinity in gender activism in recent years.”

The Top Hot Butches project may continue annually. Visit TopHotButches.com to see the full list, photographs, profiles, links, and further information about the project. Sinclair Sexsmith can be reached at aspiringstud[at]gmail.com for interviews and further comment.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Adventures in Query Land

I'm working up the gumption to send out another query letter, and it occured to me that phenomenon like #queryfail have somewhat mislead me.


The query process is not entirely made of up of uncouth baboons whose only goal is to annoy agents. In fact, it's probably full of lots of folks like me: folks who follow instructions, query politely and well. So my actual competition is made up of nice, smart people.

Daggonnit.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Manuscript

Hm. I've got my first round of rejections on the manuscript.


I've heard that you should never ever mention rejections, even very nice ones, in industry communications but... but... Gosh darn it, this is a personal blog. I don't put in my letter heads. It's good to have a website, but I don't wanna. I don't wanna update content all the time and I don't wanna build a following and I don't wanna do anything but hide this manuscript under a bed and go to work on the musical. But I've promised myself I would give this one a good go.

So I'm gonna do what I always do when I'm nervous and upset and worried... which is write more. Ciao!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Long Silence

Haven't posted much lately, for a rather exciting reason- I'm agent shopping for my manuscript! So of course I'm polishing and writing synopses and query letters and the like.  And I've just started a musical project with a composer friend of mine. All quite exciting, all quite time-stealing.


That being said, I shall return to the land of fantasy and let the internet survive without me once more. Ciao!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On Graveyards and Kittens and Whiskey and Store Brand Allergy Medications

My computer insists that whisky is spelled with an "e." I am not convinced. I am convinced that allergy meds before bed is better than in the morning, but I am also convinced that the combination of miss-spelled liquor and medication is ill-advised, as well as the over-use of hyphens. Or en dashes, or whatever.

I am convinced that an evening of drawing in the style of Junko Mizuno while listening to the grave works of Neil Gaiman is going to lead to rather strange dreams. Though the whisky and medication may help. I'm also convinced, now, that my kittens are chasing the ghosts of former hotel occupants around this room.

When I was six or seven, I would read a book about monsters before bed every night, because if I read it, I would dream. I liked dreaming, and I really liked that I had hit on a way to make sure it happened. I can't remember what book it was, but I remember the dreams.

I dreamed about flying, and tornadoes, but not as often as I do now. I dreamed about having adventures with other kids my age, in a world where the parents were gone and it was just us against the adults. These were scary dreams, but not too scary. I don't think I ever had a proper nightmare, growing up. I'm not entirely sure I've had one now. Even the ones about tornadoes- those are the nicest, actually, when I wake up. Like I'm a reset button that's been freshly pressed.

Graveyards are like that, too. I feel as if I should be spooked, but usually I just feel warm. I met a graveyard the otherday that was rather straight-laced, and I was disappointed, but hardly spooked. I haven't met enough dead to say, but so far, I like them.

I've left the novel be, for a bit. I think I'll give it until the end of the week. I can't push it any further; it's too big now, too much inside of me. I want it out, out into the world. I want the monster sated for a little while. Drawing doesn't feed it; no, the art is simply fattening up an entirely new monster to muse for me.

My boss asked me why I do archaeology. I do it because I hated law school, because it pays (though not enough), because I get to be outside and daydream, but I also do it because it puts me in hotel rooms with nothing to do but write and write and write and draw and think. I think when I am rich and famous I will still do it, when I can, on vacations and such- but it does not call to me, and I am ok with that. I like to have my grand passions, and my casual affairs.

I think I have so many words in me each day; if I do write them in a novel, then they will come pouring out here. Bless you, any and all who listen anyway.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sleepless in Ghent: Part Deux

Update: Done!

The last chapter has finally, finally ended. Sure, I got two hours of sleep last night, but they were the most restful two hours of all time. My bloody ending is finished.

One last pass for grammar and continuity. You can read the current draft here.

La la lalala laaaaah :) Have a lovely day, everyone. I will endeavor to not smack myself in the face with a shovel.

Sleepless in Ghent

I cannot sleep tonight. It might have been the 20 oz. Baja Blast Mountain Dew, but I wouldn't want to proceed without more data.

I'm working on the ending of my novel. I've been working on the ending since... oh... late December? Early January? Over three months now. I wrote the whole bloody first half in three months.

Huh. I didn't realize that until I typed it.

I'd heard somewhere that endings tend to be rough because they get the least work; you edit every other part of a story on your way to the ending, so the ending gets the short end. If this ending blows, I can at least shoot down that reason. Over-editing, for the win!

I need to sleep. I seriously need to sleep. I was sick this morning from bad Chinese, and I was almost late one other day this week (from wonderful, obsessive drawing). Archaeology is my day job. I need to show up for it!

I wanna I wanna I wanna make a webcomic. That's keeping me up too- the ideas, the images, buzzing between my ears. I wanna be done with this book. I want pretty little bug-eyed freak comic characters to be my babies for a while, not this white whale of a text. (There. Multiple alarms set for the morning. Maybe now I'll get there on time.) I haven't drawn this much in years. I come home from work, I eat, and then I draw and write until I pass out.

Except today. Today I played Guild Wars and then I discovered I'm to the point that if I don't write and draw then I can't pass out.

Being unemployed made me not trust Archaeology. I mean, it's a nice job, except that I can't write when I'm out there. Being unemployed made me trust writing. Everything else was worse; writing was better. It hurt a little to leave my story, even though I was editing, even though I was tossing out endings, deleting pages and pages of work with out a second thought because, after all, it just meant another day to write.

Hrm. Separation anxiety? It's possible. I've been writing it in fits and starts- three months here, three months there- since 2005. I just want it to be right, before I let it go. I keep telling myself, if I bang out the text of the ending, I can let it go for a month before I edit. But a part of me wails at that. I am editing. I've been editing for months, really. I WANT IT DONE.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Lovely Weekend

It is great to be working again, but I will admit, I've been living for the weekends. Jenn and I had a laundry party at my mom's place on Saturday, and I got to show her the local sights. Namely, Skyline Chili and the Miamitown Cemetery. We found a gravestone for a Revolutionary War veteran! In the graveyard, of course, not the Skyline.

Sunday was a date :) I wore pretty clothes and he wore pretty clothes and we hung out and it was awesome.

I know, I know, it's a generic summary, but the juicy bits aren't fit for public consumption. You'll have to let your imagination run away with you.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Baby!

You can read my baby, my darling, my novel here! It's at HarperCollins's authonomy.com; it's a bit like American Idol for unpublished manuscripts.

Here's a quick summary:

The prophecies are being fulfilled; the Kingdom of Erne is about to enter a new heroic age. At least, that's what the temples think, until Kalli of Aeson and her baine, the dragon Kalong, come to the Academy. She thinks she's there to study. They think she's there to die tragically and unite the Avatars. Neither comes to pass. Instead, Kalli finds herself caught up in epic events and cursed with a peculiar immunity to divine intervention.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sex Sells Bi Girls

It took me a while to catch on that I was attracted to girls, not because I didn't notice the feelings, but because I thought they were normal. I mean, pretty girls are everywhere, being used to sell pretty much everything. I spent a good portion of Final Fantasy X staring at Lulu's tits or trying to peek at her panties through that belt-skirt. So what? So did most of my friends, and everyone on the internet. Everybody likes girls. Girls are hot, no matter who you are. Right?

I finally did start to get a clue in college. The drumline used do go and play for the student section during 3rd quarter at games; the dance team would come and dance in front of us. (Not that dance specifically, but they did wear those outfits). We would do a couple of cadences, and then end with Shaka Zulu. It's a cadence we repeat three times, slow, medium and fast. By the time we were playing fast, they were racing through that dance, booty-shaking and bend-snapping all over the place. By the time we were playing fast, I was so horny I couldn't see straight.

Oh. Ooh.

This came to mind because I overheard a conversation about sex and power- ok, read on the internet, but I can't find the link. It was about some of the annoying ways women are treated in comics- specifically, that they're killed off at like twice the rate of their male counterparts, and that they wear no clothes and are often portrayed in flagrantly fanservice (rather than, say, plot or character) oriented ways.

I understand... but on the other hand, god, do I love those trashy sexy pictures. It's like when a boyfriend checks out another girl- I'm too busy checking her out myself to be offended. It does make me wonder, though. How much of my lady-lust is simply really good marketing? The images are so all-encompassing, it's hard for me to believe other women don't react.

In other news, I started the dig :) Sadly, I was unemployed long enough that I lost all my callouses. My poor palms are practically pink!

I'm dirty!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I GOT A JOB and Other Updates

I have a dig coming up in Kentucky. Yay fun!

I feel like I should be more excited than I am. Let's just say it's been made perfectly clear to me in the last few months that one dig does not financial security make. Also, my lappy died. Also, my brother is giving me a small loan so I can get a netbook. Yay brother! I love you :)

Also, another fun running story. My route has one of those signs that tells you how fast you're going when you drive past. I use this to keep score. Not of my speed- I'm running on the sidewalk, plus I am not a car, so it doesn't register me at all. No, I use it to keep score of how far under the speed limit local traffic travels while I am jogging. Usually people going the speed limit at all is a bit of a trick; today I got 'em down to 5 mph under. In a 25 mph zone.

A charter member of FWAPS - Frequently Wobbles Ass for Public Safety. I think it'll catch on, don't you?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What Jelly Bean Flavor is Your Optimism?

Running is a drug. They explained it to me on cnn, or in health class, or something. Run long enough and you get high. It's hard to feel bad when your body feels so good. I've been running or walking everyday. I haven't had a dig since late December. I've needed it.

A couple days ago, after a half hour run, I still felt like shit. My drug was failing me. I decided I needed to run faster, next time, but I was so let down that I decided to indulge in some hard core daydreaming. Wham! I got a million bucks. From a book deal, no less. After taxes. Go.

I would buy or build my tiny house. Pimp it out a little, with some kinda solar-panel-energy-bike electricity hook-up. Pay off my student loans. Buy a truck to haul my tiny house wherever I wanted, and a moped for little errands (because where I want is warm. Like Miami). Write.

If you know me, you might be confused; that's because this is already what I want. I'd just get it faster.

(I don't know if I would still do archaeology or not. It's pretty fun; fun enough that I am rather do it than some of the better paying, benefits-including jobs out there. That is... pretty pursuasive.)

It's a really good feeling, knowing that if you got a million bucks, you would do what you're already doing, just faster. That was not the feeling I had in law school. If I randomly had financial security, I would have dropped out in a hot minute. I realized that the longer I stayed, the less financial security I would have, so I dropped out anyway.

I'm not on the wrong track. I'm not. It's just that my track seems to be headed through a giant freaking poison-ivy patch. It's ok. It still leads where I want to go. I just need to run a little faster, that's all.

Friday, February 27, 2009

This Was Going To Be A Comment and Then It Was Too Long

Go read this post.

This quote more or less sums up the part I object to:

"Speaking of blogs, in the past fifty-two days (since my blog relaunched on January 5th), I have had 1,822 unique visitors. That means more than three times as many people have read my blog in less than two months than read the average novel in its entire run. I don't make a dollar off this blog, but in almost four years of blogging, thousands of people have read my writings. People I have never met email me; I run into strangers who mention they saw my latest post. What more could I ask for?"

Money. You can ask for money. I understand that the industry is changing, but the starving artist thing is bull. The idea that you should labor over anything that other people then consume, eagerly, and simply be grateful for their attention is lame.

Take a long hard look at webcomics; they have already made the shift that the writing industry might. And there are people right this minute that live off of their work. Saying technology is changing the game so we should all just quit playing is stupid.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Don't Want to Inspire You

My friend Thom can be quite poetic when he talks about his music. He talks about touching lives, changing the world, inspiration. I don't get it. I mean, I kind of do- you write a love song and a boy plays it for a girl and they fall in love and it's their song. I understand the mechanics. It's just that inspiring people never occurs to me when I write.

I don't think about life lessons or self-improvement. I think about the puzzle. Who is going to do what, and why, and what will happen? What if someone else does this other thing? I make characters, wind them up and send them out to wander through an arena of my own design. I think about the people who will read it- but the people I picture want to escape the real world, not read a manual about it.

I don't want you to feel inspired when you read my stories. I want you to feel obsessed. I want to give you this other world with it's other people, this pretend world where there is such a thing a closure (sometimes) and the good guys win (sort of). This world where things happen for a reason, and with a little work on your part you can find out what it is (maybe). I want you lost and free. I want you banging down my door, demanding to know what happens next. I do not want you to have a warm glow in your heart-cockles; I want you fearing for the lives of your imaginary friends.

Monday, February 23, 2009

video

I Want Everything

After I dropped out of law school, I promised myself I would not make a life or career-altering decision in the next year. I wanted to be able to really think something through, because it scared me that I could float along on maybe's and I-guess's all the way into something as expensive and consuming as law school. Here's what I'm not deciding about today:

As undergraduate degree holders are wont to do in times trouble, I am considering going back to school. I've considered many paths, but this post is focusing on my latest obsession: art school.

It bothers me that I want this. It isn't practical. It most certainly will make it hard to write, and it's not as if I've made any professional headway with that. Art school is for rich kids and poor kids who are too idealistic to realize how fucked they're going to be. It's expensive and I can't draw and anyway all I really want is to be able to illustrate my thoughts. /fears

I like to make things. Two thirds of the furniture I own, I've made myself. I loved doing set construction in high school. I do cross-stitch, I'm learning to knit, and I've lazy-altered many an outfit. I like doing maps of sites and features. I worked DAAP's machine and wood shop for a year and half, and it was awesome. It was also surreal, seeing as I was advising DAAP students on how to complete their projects... as an Anthropology major. I was good at it. I enjoy doodling and also more focused drawing- doing 'studies' I guess. I won a coloring contest when I was five. I lashed out with a cartoon when I was twenty. The very first thing I ever wanted to be was an artist, until I saw grown-up paintings on TV and thought that I would never be able to do that. My next ambition was ballerina, I think. I still asked for sketchbooks and markers at the store, though.

After my parents divorced, I caught on about reading. If you read hard enough, the words disappear. I started taking out fifteen, twenty books at a time from the library. Every week, in the summer.

I discovered writing in junior high. (In junior high they told me I was "too bright" to be taking art classes.) I started a novel; my friends passed around each chapter with flattering eagerness. For some reason, I put that one aside and started another; I finished it halfway through my first year of high school. Two hundred and seventy-five pages of identity. I was a writer with writer's notebooks full of stories but also full of maps and sketches. Just little doodles which weren't supposed to be good, I was just doing them to help me picture things. Personal illustrations which nobody had to see.

How did I get here? When did I get to be such a coward? (I was a child, and then I was a preteen. It happens.)

I want to go to art school to get the technical skill and background knowledge to be able to make pretty things. Which, by definition, means that I think I don't have them yet. I want to go to art school because I need something outside myself to make me learn, to force me to discipline. I'm afraid to apply because, well, they want me to demonstrate already having what I want to go there to learn.

I write, but I don't want to be a writer and nothing else. There are too many other ways to tell stories.

"It reflects no great honor on a painter to be able to execute only one thing well -- such as a head, an academy figure, or draperies, animals, landscapes, or the like -- in other words, confining himself to some particular object of study. This is so because there is scarcely a person so devoid of genius as to fail of success if he applies himself earnestly to one branch of study and practices it continually."

-Leonardo da Vinci

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bad Things Happen To Good People

Nobody has promised me a happy ending.

I can cross all my T's and dot all my I's. I can endlessly research every investment strategy. I can only buy a house if I follow the approved formula. I can work hard, be smart, play it safe (except of course when I should take risks), and tomorrow I might get struck by lightning and instead of dying be caught in some sort of lucid coma where I know my life span is directly limited by how far my family can be driven into poverty by medical bills.

I am at a point in my life where this is being made very clear to me. Again.

I'm beginning to accept that if things do not change soon, I will be in trouble. Not starving trouble, though. I have a place to sleep, and people who will feed me. But I'm in the kind of place where I need to remind myself that even if I lose my job and my car and my credit and my 10 gigs of music, not to mention a few friends, I can still live and probably write via the local library.

The internet is a wondeful place. Out there, somewhere- though not here, yet- out there are hundreds of people who could tell me exactly what I did wrong, exactly how I could have optimised for this future that is now the present. Except, if I had done so, there is no guarentee that I would have gotten this future. Bad things happen to good people, bad people, all people who have a biological desire to not die and then die.

"You make your own luck" is a sentiment akin to "If I do this dance it will rain," or, "If you tithe, God will bless your earnings." It's a great feeling- I have been rewarded because I have done well, not because I got lucky; and if I keep believing this, I don't have to confront the fact that another stroke of luck- or a plain old stroke- could take it all away. America likes to believe that it's a meritocracy- that the best and brightest are always rewarded, and thus, the average and dumb are rightfully punished. Which is sort of fucked up, if you think about it. It's the law of the jungle baby. Screw the old folks, the retarded ladies, and those pencil pushers who do what society told them to do so they can eat- it's a meritocracy! Prove you have a right to live!

Take your older-and-wiser and shove it, baby.

Ok, so perhaps I'm not as serene about the whole at-least-I-can-eat thing as I'd like to be.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Retardedly Personal Post

So, if you're not in the mood to listen to what will be a very mopey and probably too-revealing post, come back another day.

I am an asshole.

Last night I went to get an oil change during a snow storm. My dealership is in the area where one of my ex's lives. I miss this man every day, and I fought every day to keep from calling him. He is one of those People You Just Don't Date. Way older than me, and did one of those Things You Just Don't Do. Which is why I dumped his ass. We were together for about six months; four months post break up, and I still wake up tempted to call him.

Then there's my ex-fiance. The one who I tried to dump in college, twice. The one who I did one of those Things You Just Don't Do to (though not the same Thing as Ex). The one who always fought and fought to get me back, who wore me down with sheer dedication. It was sort of why I did my Thing; I was just tired of telling him no. And it didn't matter; he still came back around. And the last few months have been great- we're not dating, he's been my best friend, he sheltered me when I was going through a rough patch. He did everything but the one thing he couldn't do, which was make me stop missing the Ex.

These two men are mutually exclusive. I can't have the Ex and the Ex-Fiance in my life at the same time. Last night, sitting on the shitty roads in a goddamn snowstorm because I need my car to run so I can get to the jobs I don't have, I broke down and called the Ex. Well, also because I saw somebody who looked just like him on the highway. We had dinner and made a date for Friday.

And now the person I've been leaning on is gone, and I miss him. And I feel like an ass. Ex-F had one thing he wanted from me- do not see this guy again- and I couldn't do it. I can't.

But I woke up today and realized that I am going to be stuck again in the opposite direction- I am going to miss the Ex-F every goddamn day, even though he makes me crazy sometimes. No matter what happens, I lose.

And I'm so goddamn angry and it sucks because the only person I'm angry with is me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Super Stress!

I am unemployed.

Except, not really- if I were really unemployed, I would be able to collect unemployment. I am on the payroll, but I am most certainly not getting paid.

This is the suck.

I have a car loan and student loans and a bill from law school to repay. I am sleeping on my mother's couch. A draft of my novel is finished and I have the suspicion that it is complete crap. The suspicion stems from this: the plot is flimsy and the characters suck and the fantasy world that I built is utter bullshit and both unconvincing and uninteresting. (The hook still looks good, oddly enough.) Also the ending is weak. Also none of the side-plots are resolved.

I am not on a dig THIS VERY SECOND because some people at another company dropped the ball. I need that goddamn ball! GIVE ME THE BALL.

I thought I should take a break from the writing, to give myself more perspective, but I'm thinking that was a bad idea. Because the magic still works- while I'm working on a project, the world fades. I need that. I need escapism. In the Land of Escapism I am the Pretty Pretty Princess. But I also need a job and so I am taking today to apply for some summer positions for the government. Tomorrow I go back to slaying dragons.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Limbo

It's snowing. Normally I like the snow, but this snow means the dig I was supposed to have at the start of February is postponed. I haven't had a job since before Christmas. Christ.

On the other hand, I've almost finished the reverse-outlining part of editing my book. I'm trying to decide where to go next- more editing, or agent/publisher shopping. Probably both. That whole lack-of-a-job thing makes me really eager to try things that will bring money sooner rather than later.

I'm sure I'll look back at this over-a-month-now involuntary-hiatus from archeology as a blessing for editing my book. Or not. Maybe I'll just see it as the reason I have too much goddamn credit card debt from bills.

Bah. To work.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Warm Ups

If I had known I wouldn't have a dig for the whole month of January, I probably wouldn't have gone to Miami. I love UC, and now I love Miami, but... yeesh. It took some financial back flips to pay the bills this month.

But, a good friend offered to pay my way to Boston, so now I'm on his couch and blogging as a warm-up to editing/outlining my novel. I'm experimenting with the outline thing, in that I'm outlining after writing instead of before. When it comes to writing, I don't like a lot of plans, but I feel like I need a more explicit concept of the book if I want to edit it. Basically I'm going through each chapter and scene and asking myself, "What does this scene do for the plot or characters?" and then noting that. Hopefully it will help the process go quickly, because I want to send my baby out right this second but I feel like that would be rather unprofessional. Though with the amount of time it takes the publishing industry to do anything, it might be six one way, half dozen the other.

Friday, January 16, 2009

video

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Anybody wanna buy a couch? ( technically it's a love seat) black leather, $75

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sandman

This one time, I thought I might die. Nothing interesting- just a deer in front of our van, and nobody hurt, but I remember being startled and losing a few moments and then realizing that I very nearly missed a death. It sort of felt like when you think you've seen someone you used to know, and then it turned out to be a stranger instead. As if I had very nearly missed reuniting with a friend. I thought about that a lot when Dream talked to Death.

Destruction's attempts at creation made me smile, and a little afraid.

Despair reminded me of someone in my family, who I won't name.

Destiny bored me. And despite the name, Desire is not for this space.

I liked Delirium. I liked how the rainbow fish could sparkle out the light on a blade of grass and how she looked for what she lost and the colors in her hair and the dance-y fascination with words and word-shapes and frog-shapes and the raspberry chocolate lovers the way reality was this incredibly hard, hard thing that cut with the rules of it until it became something else like bugs or anger or bubbles in the shapes of kings even though that meant that there was no Delight, she was gone and the glass beauty and stains in the way reality takes your breath away in places because it is so unbearable became just unbearable and avoided and skeltered. Delirium was nice.

I finished my novel.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Snow Shadows

The concept of a snow shadow makes me smile.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Greetings from Dolphin Stadium! Hope you all enjoyed your holidays- I'm about to enjoy watching the Bearcats spank V Tech. I promise a better post later- in the meantime, GO CATS!

videoWelcome to Miami!

 
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