I was surprised by how okay I was feeling for the first few days of my trip. I was tired af and it's hard and painful to move, but my headaches were not bad at all.
Yeah, that didn't last. The past two days I have had monster migraines. Yesterday, I actually passed out because of the pain. I am derailed and I'm scared it's going to continue and I won't be able to do anything or enjoy myself at all. Come on, health. I deserve nice things every once in a while.
You may remember that my flight home from San Francisco cost more than my mother's round trip, and that's before bags and other add ons. I found another flight for less than half what I paid, so I went to cancel the first flight. Because it was so expensive, I paid for flight insurance, so I figured canceling and getting a refund would be easy.
WRONG. I was unable to cancel through Delta, and when I went to the flight insurance website, I discovered you can only get a refund if you meet one of the pre-approved reasons for not being able to fly. It requires documentation. I had to submit my discharge papers from the hospital, which is wildly intrusive, and they can still reject my claim. Oh, and they will take 10 business days to render a verdict. Meanwhile, the flight I was counting on has doubled in price, so I am, to use a technical term, totally fucked.
Also, Frontier finally responded to my complaint about the assistance they failed to provide me, and they have offered me a $50 flight voucher. Nuh uh. I am going to call and demand that refund the $130 I had to pay in bag fees because they did not provide someone to help me carry them as promised. Fucks sake.
Things will turn out. I hope. How? It's a mystery.
Our main building, containing cafeteria, store, offices, classrooms, is under construction. An enormous scaffold surrounds the front doors. Today, exiting with a sustaining bannana in one hand, I heard the burr of welding and then felt a sudden hot-cold shower on the left side of my head, just about the region of the parietal lobe. I put up my hand and plucked a speck of grit from my hair.
As I crossed the quad and mounted the stairs to my building, I began to work out that I'd been sprayed with tiny bits of metal -- little curled chips of aluminum were in my hair and speckled my sweater-vest like glittering lint.
It was not a great cascade of sparks or anything -- just a smattering and a peculiar sensation -- but Jesus. That could have gone into my eye. I spent the whole of my lesson on proper quotation partially convinced that a speckling of tiny holes might newly pepper my skull, like a thought-colander.
After Ted Hughes
I imagine this midday moment's sensation-salad:
Something hot but lifeless
burrows into the occipital
makes a blank page of this field where
newly kindled hallucinations move
Sorry, Here's "The Thought-Fox" to Make Up for That
Actually by Ted Hughes
I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.
Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:
Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now
Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come
Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Coming about its own business
Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox,
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.
* * * * *
I feel like "midnight moment's forest" must have kinship with Hopkins' "morning's morning's minion" from "The Windhover." Discuss.
Fine, Here's "The Windhover" As Well
Gerard Manley Hopkins
I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.
* * * * *
Nobody alliterates like our Gerry.
Downdates (What an Update Isn't)
I skipped the monthly reading post for August because, well, there was so little to discuss. I have trouble directing sustained attention under conditions of anxiety (such as term prep). Combining with September will give the list a more respectable heft.
At least I'm transparent in my machinations.
Likewise I think if I'm writing a report on how the term is going -- which is an idea I like a lot as a way to chronicle the development of this course I love -- it'll have to be a biweekly report at best.
A propos of some (very positive) recent events -- I wish I didn't feel so terrible when happy things breathe themselves across the membrane.1
Something wonderful takes place and afterwards it feels like a crisis -- I can't be happy because I'm so convinced that it was secretly a disaster or I am about to make it one.
Too much jouissance. Not enough swimming laps and meditation.
1. Isn't transpire a great word? All those spire words are a gift basket from Latin: conspire (to breathe together); inspire (to breathe in); aspire (to breathe on); expire (to breathe out) -- my library card is about to breathe its last -- what else? What others? I love them.
2. Actually, if I weren't so tired I might write though the whole of "The Thought-Fox" just for the exercise.
After practice, I went to meet Adie for bat mitzvah tutoring. She had printed out my Torah portion, and I read it through several times. Then we talked about different ways of learning the singing part - I can either try to learn it from her singing it, or through learning the cantillation marks. I think I'll probably try to learn from her singing because I remember songs I haven't heard in decades. I don't remember things I learned to read, like Cyrillic. We're not meeting next week because it's between the High Holy Days, so I have two weeks to learn to read my portion. Next week golf is going to be in Stone Mountain with some famous football player who is going to help teach us, and then take us out to dinner.
Came home and the trash people still hadn't come. I filled another bag of trash, and brought it up to the curb. Fed the dogs, and now I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself.
Good: He'll do at least a few sessions with m'boy via Skype.
Bad: Mom apparently has had fraudulent activity on her credit cards, enough to max them out. That's likely due to Mom's giving out her personal information exactly as Good Sister told her repeatedly not to.
Worse: Mom tried to cancel the cards instead of just reporting the fraudulent activity, so of course the credit card issuer shunted her to someone who tried to talk her out of it. In other words, not only is Mom's addled pate getting her into more financial messes; it no longer helps her get out of them.
I missed the usual Sunday morning call time because I was brunching with the Tickler, for which I now feel a tiny bit guilty. I haven't talked to her since what, Friday? Mom, like much of Florida, still has no internet because of the hurricane, so she hasn't been emailing me every morning as usual. GS & I shared a dark laugh that Mom's coming unplugged isn't necessarily a bad thing.
I'm less cranky now about GS dragging me to Florida in January. Watching out for Mom from DC is no mean feat, and she's been doing it for a few years now. She's earned some slack from me, I think.
Where's Evil Sister in all this? Her name hasn't come up. I guess she's in San Antonio, TX, and that's all I know.
Here's some random thoughts on a Monday afternoon:
1) Omg we almost have a one year old. She is doing so much, and she's so much more aware of what's going on around her. She's more and more her own tiny person instead of just a baby.
2) After only getting on a plane once in the last 12+ months, we're going to break our dry spell hardcore and I'm a little afraid. I have a convention at the end of October which will be my first time away from Lady Jr. Then we're planning on going to Germany in November (!) and Minnesota for Christmas and then Tucson in March. I'm a little afraid, not gonna lie. Lady Jr did fine on the one plane ride we've been on so far, but she was 4 months old and a whole lot less wiggly. Oh well. We'll handle it.
3) It's been autumning for a few weeks now. August was really cool and the leaves started turning that last week. Now it's 80+, of course, but half the trees are vibrant and there's a syrupy quality to the light in the mornings and evenings that I just want to drink up.
4) I feel not exhausted for the first time in 2 weeks. Lady Jr got some kind of fever around my birthday and then gave it to me, but it wasn't just a fever - it was also severe fatigue. Now it seems like Lady is coming down with it and I don't envy her one bit.
5) My editor gave me my edits a few weeks ago for books one & two and they're not nearly as bad as I'd feared/expected. I just have to cut 20k from book two which is a little daunting, not gonna lie. Also fix some character stuff in book one. But that's pretty much it and I've been riding that high all week.
6) Current pub date for book one is March 2019. So far. So soon? I have to have book one 100% done and edited and copy-edited and proofed by this February, and then it's out of my hands. Kinda crazy that by the time book one comes out, I'll be done with the other two books. Publishing is slow, but also maybe the fact that I wrote book 2 first might have something to do with it.
7) I'm all legit & shit and have a page on my agency's website. You can even read the current "query" for book one if you're bored.
8) Despite all of that, I keep having crippling flashes of impostor syndrome. Yay!
9) No, we don't know where we're moving next. Probably not for another year +.
10) Punching class is now punching + kicking class and I love it except for last week when I was exhausted/fatigued all the time. Makes me miss Crossfit and it's more close-knit, cultish society tho.
11) Aaand the baby's starting to wiggle. Till next time!
Age: 55 (Good G-d, how did that happen?)
Location: Seattle, WA
Describe yourself in five sentences or less: I’m a New York transplant living in Seattle with two cats and way too many books. I am creative and opinionated and still express myself like a native New Yorker, which makes some Seattleites uncomfortable despite my best efforts. I am a theater geek, a movie buff, a lover of tabletop and board games, a reader, a writer and a jeweler.
Top 5 fandoms: I’m a second-wave slash writer (second-wave as in: the first wave was in the early 1970s, the second in the mid-’80s to early ’90’s; everyone else came after) who hasn’t written fanfic in a while, but when I was doing that it was Star Trek, Starsky & Hutch and, more recently, Doctor Who (see my fanfic journal at scarlett_key). I have loved watching and discussing Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, so many more. How do you pick just five?
I mostly post about: My personal life, which also tends to be sprinkled with bits about politics, the science fiction community, movies, theater, books, travel, cats, my family, writing and observations about life in general.
I rarely post about: sports, math, the giant hornbeam tree in front of my condo, jackalopes, and my collection of porcelain hands (yes, really).
My three last posts were about: I occasionally do the Friday Five so this morning’s post was answering last week’s questions, two particularly striking dreams, and discovering the pile of get-well cards I received when I was in the hospital last year.
How often do you post? I currently post about once a week, though I’m aiming for better.
How about commenting? I try to comment on at least half to two-thirds of the posts that I read.
But the original study isn't quite what this entry is about. A few of you breast owners told me then that breasts are changeable creatures, and which one of yours is larger can be influenced by lots of factors. In other words, boobs happen. I've finally experienced this in the last few months: my left one used to be bigger, and now my right one seems to be.
I haven't changed my hormone dose since around the time I posted the poll. I've been eating & exercising the same for years. Could this be a breast explosion like the ones some of my cisgender friends report undergoing in their teens? I don't think so, but if I find myself in need of 38D (!) bras a few months hence, that'll will be a) scientifically interesting, b) rare as hens' teeth because yo, trans, and c) not unwelcome because a 38" chest makes even reasonaboobs look small.
Anyhow in the last month the topic of mpreg has come up in two different professional m/m communities (though with a lot of cross over one would imagine). Both ended up either being locked or deleted and apologies offered by the moderators because members of the community felt unsafe and/or marginalized. To me this is appalling. I don't even understand why this is even necessary to discuss. Mpreg belongs in fanfic. Just leave it there (I suppose if you're writing SF and the males carry the baby that's different but that's not most of M/M romance in the professional setting.
I have never liked Mpreg, that's no secret, not even in fandom. To me, it's a way of fetishizing gay men and not really honoring their reality. And basically the giant arguments were to that end, many gay men saying PLEASE don't do this. They shouldn't have had to say it more than once but naturally they did. I see this as the women writing gay men confirming their worst fears, that we have no respect for them, have no idea what it's like to be a gay man and are just profiting from them. There are enough voices decrying women writing gay men without adding fuel to the fire.
Here's the thing: if people within the community you're trying to write about are telling you it's offensive and insulting, IT IS offensive and insulting, end of story. This is just widening the gap between groups. We're expected now to write diversely. (I just read an article and damn I should have bookmarked it that said if you don't have a gay and minority character your story is inherently homophobic and racist. Obviously that's moronic, swinging too far to one side). But we're hit on both sides, told we're prejudice if we aren't diverse and told we're doing it wrong and our writing it is unwanted because we're not in the community. Trying to force Mpreg into mainstream writing just reconfirms how wrong we are.
And oh, yeah, I stayed out of the arguments in both communities because I knew how it would end. Be respectful. If you want a baby in the story, adopt, find a surrogate, something a gay man could feasibly do.
As always have some writing links
From others besides Betty: Flying without a Net
Writing 3-D characters I used to do this ALL the time. I need to get back to it. I find it helpful because I'll be the one who forgets details (like seriously couldn't remember which arm Aaron lost when it came time to talk to my cover artist).
the importance of reviews and how to handle them
And thanks to Betty we have: 6 problems with long series I don't always agree with Mythcreants (often I feel their writers are very young and miss the point half the time) but this one is pretty good.
marketing cheat sheet
what’s a bisac code?
social media vs author website
creating an eclectic magic system This is very good
surviving a confidence crisis I feel that using friends too often thing.
Yearly Word Count - 25768 / 100000 words. 26% done!
Splinters of Silver - editing nothing
Blood Red - waiting for edits
editing 3 novellas - edited 2/3rds of Cassadaga
Behind Blue Eyes - nothing
Haunted Hocking - 10215 / 60000 words. 17% done!
Steampunk Deadwood - planning stages
I finally broke the wire for my computer, which had been threatening to break for months. I drove to the forum to replace it. It was expensive as shit to replace, but I mean if it's either replace this wire once a year or replace the whole computer once a year like I was doing when I had a PC (if I ever had one that lasted a year!) it's a no-brainer.
After that, we went to meet my parents at Lon U for my father's birthday. We had Thai food, which is really tasty but I think I'm allergic to (I think they add fish sauce to everything). We ate and Kevin told my parents about his new job.
Then I went to Temple for Selihot. First we went around the circle and introduced ourselves. Then we went around the circle and talked about a lesson we learned from our parents. I told the story I shared here recently about my friend in high school whose step-mother was arrested. There were a lot more people than expected there this year (about 30 compared to last year there were 2). I wound up talking to Lori and Rabbi Lebow for a while. We were talking about Star Trek and Lori told me that they're putting the show not on cable but on a pay network. So I guess I'm not going to watch it. I pay enough for cable and netflix. I don't need to be paying for anything else, especially just for one show.
I put on some music to get Avinu Malkeinu out of my head. I'm not sure it worked. I'll probably be humming that all night. :(
Rain had bought me a TNT tour bus ticket for my 50th. I know the story (the TNT explosive compound IS government) because this is where the first sighting of the mothman was. It was fun. They told the various legends as we drove out there then set us loose in one of the igloos that were used and took us home with more stories. It was neat but a tiny bit pricey for what it was. But they DID give us Mothman back packs as a souvenier. I had fun and I will say outside of the depressing downtown, there were some really nice residential areas.
I got to hear almost NONE of the talks. I had wanted to listen to Cornstalk's descendant but her talk was when we were on the tour. Rosemary Ellen Guilley was there and I heard the last half of her talk but it was SRO. Usually it's not that packed (and the State Theater is mildewy, ancient and hotter than balls) but one of the guys from TAPS (GHost Hunter) was there. I could have stayed but I was also meeting Kati and frankly I couldn't have stood being crushed into those hot assed seats that long.
So after Rain left, Kati and her friends arrived and we hung out for a little while but I'd been there going on five hours by then and I was tired.
At one point, I heard gothy music and was familiar. Rain said it's right over there and OMG it was someone selling Nox Arcana CDS. I had two have a couple! (Gothic and Blackthorn Asylum)
I got a birthday gift for a friend and a Christmas gift for another. I got one of Rosemary's books for me and two pieces of wall art even after saying NO WALL ART because I have so much of it. I couldn't resist Mothman as a shinigami and planned to put it in my office (until I noticed after the fact) that there was such a large suggestion off peen.... And I bought the one of a dullahan driving a carriage. I loved it.
I got some roasted candied pecans that had been soaked in blackberry moonshine. So now I must try this for myself because damn they're good (and expensive). I also splurged on a set of glass earrings that look like a full moon in a night sky (gorgeous stuff). I covet her wire tree over a glass bauble necklaces but they're very expensive.
Once Rain gets some pictures up (I forgot my camera and my money. I could fix one with an ATM but not the other) I'll share. I have some on my phone but my phone takes shit pictures in the dark.
I also did get to talk a little with Rosemary and with Sheri Brake (another ghost hunter). TOmorrow my university library is sponsoring a ghost hunter talk but I don't think I'll be going back for that.
WHen I'm not exhausted I'll link to some of the artists as well.
As for yesterday, let's just say the work drama continues
In the story a modern (or possibly post-some-gently-apocalyptic-moment) city, like this city, is full of flags. Each office building, condominium, medical centre, and so forth, flies a flag on a topmost pole by which the building signals messages about its status -- this could be open/closed, but you could also flag more complex concepts, like a still semaphore.
Just now this seems like an eminently useful thing. It is 4:30 am, though, so my judgement may not be at its best.
Why don't we do this? A sort of citywide intranet of flags.
I suppose you'd have to be well above the city to really get a picture of what's going on, so we'd probably fall back on looking up a photo of the flags on the Internet anyway.
This has been a test of the emergency dream broadcast system. (Also of my new data entry system. I may or may not have acquired a certain hipster typewriting device.)
This week I got email from a gentleman telling me he’s a community manager for a piece of software called Write!, which he talked up to me as a distraction-free text editor. He said he was looking for writers and/or bloggers to review the program or at least mention it on their websites, and offered a free license to try the program out.
Now, as y’all know I’m a big fan of Scrivener, which will continue to be my go-to tool for dealing with larger projects. On the other hand, if I want to write something short (say, the extremely rare short story), I sometimes feel that Scrivener’s actually a bit too complex a tool for that. Sometimes I just want to whip something out in a text editor and not have to worry about a lot of bells and whistles.
And hey, since the guy was offering a free license, I took him up on the offer. So here’s a post reviewing Write!, possibly the first of a few, just because I’m going to do this right and go over it in depth just to see what I’m dealing with here.( Read the rest of this entry » )
Mirrored from angelahighland.com.
Kind? uhm. the factual kind I guess. I like facts. I kind of collect them. IDK. This is a weird question, but I've figured out that if I keep going with this meme and don't delete any more questions, I'll finish it on Oct 31, and then I can do a question meme for november and my yearly meme for December. Soo... IDK!
( the rest )