Saturday, September 11, 2010

Daughter of Botu

Lately I've been thinking about Eugie Foster a lot. In part because I want to steal her brain. I want that brain and those ideas, but I can't have them so I'll settle for reading what she writes instead. (And I'm very very sure that brain stealing is a crime).

In particular, I've been thinking about her story "Daughter of Botu" that is in her collection named Returning My Sister's Face and Other Far Eastern Tails of Whimsy and Malice. I read the story while sitting and waiting for my molasses, oil and conditioner treatment to get a good soak into my hair. (I'm not crazy, it works. My hair is softer now.)

But any way, back to the story. The ending, in particular, haunted me. I think it was because it is so antithetical to human nature (though apparently not to devout bunny nature). We're not good at giving up what we love or letting go of what we desire. In fact, Western thinking pretty much encourages you to run as hard and as fast as you can to get a hold on what you want and then never let go. I mean, isn't that at least part of this thing we call the "American Dream."

And that's not to say that goals or desires are bad (I'm not lecturing here). It's just that the idea of denial of self is so alien to most of us. In my own Christian theology there is the concept of "deny yourself and follow me" that Jesus puts forth. And a lot of Christians find it very fulfilling to follow that path. I've found it fulfilling in a lot of ways, but that doesn't mean that giving up what you feel you want is easy. It's watching a little part of you die--a dream, a goal, a desire, sometimes even a relationship.

So seeing another creature go through that process can be heart rending. And Eugie Foster does it in such a beautiful way.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sleep Deprevation and My Funny Bone

I haven't been the most productive writer lately. That's not a secret. In fact, it seems to come up a lot. However, that changed a bit last week in a day of severe sleep deprivation. I had hardly slept at all because I was turning over a big flower clip project in my head for the. entire. night. I finished the clip and it was beautiful if I do say so myself. See.
But the curious thing was that I found myself in front of my computer pounding out the beginnings of a short story that was in a similar vein to my book. I thought it was pretty funny. If you've ever read Terry Pratchett, you know what I think is funny. So, now I just need to finish it, polish it, and huck it out there for the world to see. Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fall is in the Air

Today, as I was making my way to the post office while trying to avoid collisions with parked cars (it's a real problem with me, I like to gawk at trees, houses, churches, etc, and it's what ended my very first attempt to ride without training wheels), I noticed that it was actually a...nice temperature outside.

This was great for me because it meant that I probably wasn't going to turn into a nasty little sweaty greaseball like I usually do when I'm on my package delivery trips. I deliver all packages for my little business on bike (unless it's the weekend, then I nab the car), so it's nice to think I'll get to look forward to cooler rides and fall colors.

Now here's hoping the weather doesn't pull a stunt like it did last year when it snowed early in the season and killed all chances of any nice fall colors down in the low lands. At least I got up to the aspens before everything went kaput.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Story

I've got a new story in the works, which is a good thing. The problem is that I don't know quite how to feel about it. I'm not as in love with it as I usually am when I start a story. Now, this doesn't mean I might not come to like it, but it does make it harder to make progress because there are always fabric flowers to be folded. None the less, I'll be taking a stab at it again tomorrow and hopefully something will click.

And hey, sometimes stories go into a folder to die quietly and eventually perish when there is no longer a program on my computer that can read them. I'm beginning to be ok with stories sometimes dying. It's a natural process of life. And who knows, sometimes I end up going back to a story and it comes out even better than I thought it would. And that always makes me happy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

15 Mildly Interesting Things About Myself

I figured I should make another post, and since I don't have the most to talk about writing wise (finished drafting another short story *cough*) I figured I would talk about myself a little. Since I like to flatter myself and tell myself other people want to know about me. Hah.

1. I was born in Deadwood, South Dakota. (And will subsequently never be able to paint my door purple because my mother has opinions on purple doors. Apparently it was a whore house thing there.)

2. My first memory is of the tree outside the home we were renting exploding. It sent glass and bark through the window due to a lightning strike. My crib was near that window and I have an image of a scared woman leaning over my crib in a white nightgown haloed in flickering light burned into my subconscious.

3. I have a stuffed bear called Blue Bear. Blue Bear has been with me since I was four. It is an obviously hand made creation with a face drawn on with permanent marker, but I love it.

4. I used to be pretty good with a throwing axe. I should find that axe. It was fun.

5. I've only ever dated one man. I married him. Love you honey!

6. I've got a birthmark looking thing that is supposedly a ingrown muscle. I don't quite know what this means or why it's important (other than apparently the thing I thought was a birthmark isn't). As long as it doesn't start squeaking or achieve sentience, it's all good.

7. I like to bake. I make cheesecakes for fun. I also eat them for fun, and this has a definite downside.

8. I learned to sew when I was 4. My parents still have some little beanbags hanging around the house with "I love you Mom" and "I love you Dad" written on them poorly. They are literally bags filled with beans. My sewing has improved since then. They still opt to keep the beanbags.

9. I hate rats. Really hate rats. I've had bad dreams about rats and other rodents as long as I can remember. Oddly enough, I can hold pet rats when they are foisted upon me, and do so without freaking out. But deep down, I still have this sensation that I am scratching the fuzzy ears of the enemy.

10. I used to surprise my parents regularly with breakfast in bed at 3 am. How I am still alive is still a mystery. I wonder if this is why my mom seemed so eager to teach me how to cook something other than cheerios and tea made with hot water (not boiling, just hot).

11. I had a cat named Frito. It's probably unadvisable to let a 4 year old name a pet. I also had a toad named Toady and a hamster that had as many names as there were days. I think Jupiter stuck for a while.

12. I played soccer for something like 8 years. I am somehow still not very good at soccer.

13. I'm not fond of ham or meatloaf. They are both edible when freshly baked, but their uses are very suspect after this point.

14. My eyes are greenish. Sometimes they pick brownish or bluish. They're fickle like that.

15. My hair is something like 42 inches long now. It's crazy.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

One Busy Week

It's Thursday isn't it? It seems both highly unlikely and beyond plausible that it is. I feel like the week has been both too long and too short. Too long in that I've been standing, working and doing for more hours than seems just, and too short because there is still things to be done and none of them really relate to my small business or my writing. I figure if I'm lucky I might be able to squeeze in a few hours of kanzashi making, but that remains to be seen. I don't think I'm going to get enough coherent free time to really make anything of my writing. Though I did succeed on sending out a story for consideration.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Roll For It

Today I thought I'd share a custom set of hair sticks I made for a lovely lady. I liked them so much I have plans for a stick of my own in different colors. Now, one might ask why I feel like sharing this, and it's simple, because pictures are fun to look at and more interesting than a wall of text and dice relates to gaming which segues into my life and my writing.

I've played in table top games since I was 14. I'm 25 now so that's 11 years of weaving stories with other people. And I have to say that the old adage is true. It's really unadvisable to turn your campaign into a short story, novel, etc. Now, that's not to say you can't do it for yourself or because you want to, but I've found there is little to no interest in the publishing world for that sort of thing.

This is in part because you're borrowing someone else's world and that has a whole rats nest of copyright issues cropping up right there. No publisher wants to be sued by Whitewolf, Shadowrun or D&D. And in truth, stuff that may be super awesome while talked about over a table while the dice are rattling and the imaginary world is coming to get you may not be as awesome when committed to paper.

I know I've talked about this before, but it was what was on my mind since I have played in so many games. Now, even though I'm not one who is crazy about fanfic or borrowed worlds, I think that role playing can be a very good exercise for a writer. It helps you get out of your own head and into someone elses.

Your character may not want the same things you do, or have the same moral code. I would never even consider breaking into an office building to steal a document, but some of my thief characters would. I don't know if I could follow through with shooting someone who tried to kill me or the ones I love, but characters of mine have and most likely will again.

Role playing gives you the freedom to explore the "not you" or even sometimes what you could be if you believed differently, experienced differently, thought differently. And it's the opportunity to do so in a controlled environment where everyone else around you knows that it is all a game. So you don't have to freak out the mailman by coming to pick up the mail in your sweet new Gothic Lolita dress (I do that any way, but that's just because I'm strange).
Here's a couple more pictures for you longsuffering readers.