partlyopenbook: (bird)
Come, my loved one, let us go up that shining mountain, and sit together on that shining mountain; there we will watch the beautiful sun go down from the shining mountain.
There we will sit, till the beautiful night traveler arises above the shining mountain;
we will watch him as he climbs to the beautiful skies.

We will also watch the little stars following their chief.
We will also watch the northern lights playing their game of ball in their cold, shiny country.

There we will sit, on the beautiful mountain, and listen to the thunder beating his drum.

We will see the lightning when she lights her pipe.
We will see the great whirlwind running a face with the squall.

There we will sit, till every living creature feels like sleeping.
There we will hear the great owl sing his usual song, teeg-lee-goo-wul-tique, and see all the animals obey his song.

There we will sit, on that beautiful mountain, and watch the little stars in their sleepless flight.
They do not mind the song, teeg-lee-gog-wul-tique; neither will we mind it, but sit more closely together and think of nothing but ourselves, on the beautiful mountain.

Again, the teeg-lee-goo-wul-tique will be heard, and the night traveler will come closer to warn us that all are dreaming, except ourselves and the little stars.
They and their chief are coursing along, and our minds go with them.
Then the owl sleeps; no more is heard teeg-lee-goo-wul-tique; the lightning ceases smoking; the thunder ceases beating his drum; and though we feel inclined to sleep, yet we will sit on the beautiful, shining mountain.


*teeg-lee-goo-wul-tique, "Go to sleep all," tr.
Source: Some Wabanaki Songs, John Reade, 1888

I-so-lation

Monday, 19 November 2018 09:03
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
I thought this was beautiful and wanted to share.

***

The composition of this Far & Off album began after on long period of detachment and isolation.

This modern life we lead tends to saturate many of us with information, constant stimuli of all kinds and shatter time, as if we lived in small sequences. Some of us content themselves with that, some manage to regulate or tighten the flow, others collapse or pretend not to.

I guess I'm not the only one to ever feel the need to fly away, remove myself from the ongoing swirl and purely vanish.

It wasn’t a matter of waking up with a sudden urge, it built up, slowly, between the lines, it wasn’t caused by any philosophical, spiritual or religious belief either. It simply became a natural answer to the surrounding frenzy.

To be on my own, far, in another context, without technology, an act of protection. Taste real solitude, a state in which no one else exists; cross the line, change rhythm and feel the passing of time.

This is what I am sharing with you now, with keys and sounds, pads and patterns, glitches and drums. My desire was to compose contrasted tales, to bring light on the paradox, from one extreme to the other, harshness to tranquility.

Mihalis, as he encountered a similar situation was keen on putting those emotions into music and the perfect partner as it turned out.

Vincent Villuis | February 2016

Source
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
This focus on emotional safety may be a particularly crucial defining element in sex for women. If you expose men and women lying in brain-scan machines to explicit or subliminal sexy pictures, everybody’s brain lights up. But only in women does the cortex—the judgement/control center of the brain—light up. Women’s brains naturally pair up desire and safety concerns. Makes sense! Sexual intercourse is literally much riskier for women. So women most often need to check out the relationship context—to talk as part of foreplay before allowing themselves to descend into conscious, active desire. Women, in particular, may be physically aroused (their body registers a cue as sexually relevant) but may not necessarily translate this into explicit desire—wanting to have sex.

--

Interesting!
Source

26 June 2015

Thursday, 5 July 2018 15:09
partlyopenbook: (stache)
 Not getting married, but doing story research and just remembering 26 June 2015... 
 
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

                       -- Justice Anthony Kennedy
 
 
 




partlyopenbook: (wolf)
How Witches Do Laundry

Act I, Sc 1
Gather together your darkest darks. Gothic clothes, clothes worn at your previous bloodletting, seriously stained and possibly smelling of herbs and, for some reason inexplainable, potatoes. Separate brown blacks from blue blacks. Hold them up to the light of a full moon if you cannot tell the difference. Toss either blue blacks or brown blacks into the washer.

Act I, Sc 2
Select COLD water and no extra rinses (water conservation purposes), and choose Light Soil and Low agitation. A witch's delicate wardrobe, lots of lace and polyester, must be protected since even our charms and spells cannot keep them fresh and new. Add a few drops of your favorite "cleansing" essential oil or homemade soap. For instance, I use a billion drops of lemon essential oil, because I have a whole bottle of it but don't use it for anything else. It smells like frosting and lemon cakes and it makes me hungry, so I deemed it best to use in the laundry where temptation is minimal. If you see me licking the lid of the washer, please take no notice and move on with your daily activities—nothing to see here. Don't add any detergent. 

Act I, Sc 3
Laundry is energetically cleansed. In fact, sometimes I feel that my laundry has a cleaner energy than I do. If I could work on that, I might experience better emotions! Sounds like more work, though. To wash laundry of debris, use your detergent and regular laundry settings. 

Now your laundry is not only "cleansed" but it is also clean. 

And that's how witches do laundry. 
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
 Smart Quotes are Incorrectly Replaced

How-to article about using Auto Format to replace Smart Quotes with Straight Quotes in a document. (Or the other way, too, I suppose.) It also explains why Find and Replace might not always be your best bet. 

I'm doing a rewrite now. Some text from the original document is copied and pasted into the new document. The old one has Smart Quotes (formatted for an e-reader, at the time), and the new one has Straight Quotes.

I think I'll leave them until the end of the chapter, then try the Auto Format to change them, rather than using Find and Replace. If waiting until the end of the document, Auto Format might take a while to run through x-hundreds of thousands of words (possibly), and the chances of the program crashing increase. (But that might be my old experience with unstable MS Word versions trying to make me unduly cautious.) 

When I was much, much younger, I liked using MS Word with the Smart Quotes. Used to looks so nifty. Now I find them more irksome than necessary! Which do you prefer: easy straight quotes, or sassy smart quotes? Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw? 
partlyopenbook: (stache)
I backup files to Google Docs. It's not that I don't trust my six-year-old iMac, but life is life and nature is nature: we're smart enough to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Ergo, I backup my files. 

Well, this makes me sound as though I've always been smart enough to backup files. Not true. And I did have a hard drive in my old iBook fail on me, losing a good deal of writing. Another computer had its video card collapse, not resulting in the end of the computer, but resulting in my joy of using it. After a few tough lessons given to you by the world of unpredictable electronics, you backup files that are precious to you.

Google Docs is easy to use, and it exists for us to switch from device to device (to device!) in order to better tap into those items that are precious to us, no matter where we are. I started saving various documents in it as far back as 2008. 

Google Docs is mentioned because it's part of this new document de-bloating process I've been using. When making e-pub files, you'll often come across the suggestion that you should remove the bloat from your Word or Pages document. To do this, the standard way is to copy and paste the text into a smaller file type, like an RTF (Real Text Format), then copy and past it into a new word processing document (Word, Pages). Just wondering about it this morning, after seeing how large my 90,000-word story is, a whopping 449KB on the hard drive, and 520KB when uploaded in Google Docs, I decided to see what else could be done. (I don't know why the file sizes are larger when uploaded to GD, but it probably has something to do with invisible text, stored info, syntax...?) I played around with 90,000 words of text formatted in the standard way of novels: some hashes, dashes, italics and bolds. (I bold items, usually names, to find them easier.) Nothing too intense. 

I managed to cut the file from 449K/520K to 268K when uploaded to Google Docs. Same document, all the words, all the formatting. 

In Word, or whatever word processing application you're using, select all the text and copy it. 
In Google Docs (or Google Drive, if you'd rather), open a new, blank document. CTRL-V to paste the clipboard contents. 
Add a title, or have it do one for you automatically but clicking where it says "Untitled Document." 
The file should now be smaller. You can download it and open it in Word. 

File debloated. 

Happy epub making!
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (read)
Happy Solstice!

I've been going through my stories (manuscripts) and editing them the last month or so.

(It's been keeping me sane, since I haven't been writing anything, and abandoned a project, slated for a rewrite, when it got too messy. Do I mean that the book got too messy, or am I talking about my sanity? H'mm! Interesting...)

Since I'm only exporting my stories for the purpose of editing them through my tablet (times have changed!), I'm not particularly concerned with formatting.

However, I consider all this time spent exporting files to be a good learning experience. I've figured out how to get the file to create a Reader Table of Contents, one that's generated during exporting, and for fiction you really don't need to make a Table of Contents yourself (what a crazy mess, don't do it, you don't need to! Save yourself!)

I do all of my writing in MS Word, when, for many years, I used iLife's Pages program because it was far more stable on certain Mac OS versions than MS Word ever dreamed of being. Now that MSW has gotten itself together, though it's still too vertical based while Pages has finally gone horizontal (as far as tables, and toolboxes go), I went back to using MSW rather than Pages. But Pages lets you export your files into an ePub. This is great if you're not looking for much, and you just want to breeze through your stories for the purpose of editing them (catching typos, continuity errors, and so forth).

The only thing I cannot get Pages to do right now is recognize Page Breaks/Section Breaks. I might go back into some documents and mess around with a Title Style, since, as per this person's suggestion, that might work. I'll also try Section Breaks in some areas to see if that helps.  

While I have a good time editing and formatting manuscripts (if I could do it and get paid, I would), I also have a good time messing around with cover mock ups. Just covers that I make in a hurry so I can give the story substance in the ePub reader. (Story lacking plot? Bah, all you need is a good cover!)

An option in Pages ePub exporting is to have your first page used as a cover image. You can do this if you insert the image on the first page of the document. But there are problems with this. When the file is opened in the eReader, then it skips the image entirely and goes to the second page. If you don't want it to do that, you can still use your first page as your cover image, and all you have to do is mimic the first page on your second page. Insert the image on page 1, then again on page 2. The eReader will open to that instead of the beginning text/title page. Also, when it says "Make First Page Your Book Cover" -- they mean the first page! It doesn't show just the image, but all the white are of the page that might be behind the image, if it isn't full-sized. 

The other program I've used in the past to make ePub files was Scrivener. It's a very nice program, but good for writers who do a lot of their note taking on the computer and not in notebooks (I still prefer notebooks, and also random Google Docs files which then get transferred, more often than not, to notebooks). This is helpful, too, if you're the sort to does outlines first, and writes your stories from an outline (again, not really me). And, as some arguments go, the learning curve of Scrivener can be overwhelming and discouraging. I knew enough about Scrivener to make a decent .mobi (Kindle) file for the purpose of editing, and that was about all. Its ability to handle formatting, I hear, is probably worth it, especially if you're working with a book that has a lot of graphics or a variety of layouts, such as a non-fiction title. While I still have some time left on my original trial version of Scrivener, I'm debating on whether or not I want to purchase it.

Kindle Publishing, I see, has been trying to make it easier for would-be authors to get their books formatted for those eReaders, and I'm not sure how necessary something like Scrivener would be for a person who, so far, has only been writing fiction, and nothing that involves large graphics or tables. I use ePub files now, chiefly because it's easier to type in notes on highlights on a tablet, with a full touch keyboard, than trying to use the "move and press" cursor keyboard available on my old (old!) Kindle. I just went through a manuscript to read all the highlights and notes for the purpose of editing the manuscript on the computer (the editing draft on the tablet and the main draft on the computer), and that worked very well. I've had a lot of my stories on the Kindle, editing them throughout the years, but I never got around to updating the main drafts. After more than five or six years, you've accumulated a lot of typos and "?" to fix! I suspect that, in the future, my Kindle won't be used quite as much. 

Anyway, here's some text cut-and-pasted from one of the forums I was looking at to solve the Page/Section Break issue. It has all you need to know, the gritty stuff, about using Pages as your ePub exporter. Happy converting!

Read more... )
partlyopenbook: (strong)
I came across a good article about gratitude journaling, in case you're scoping out something to change in your life for 2018! It's an in-depth look at varieties, with how-tos and ideas.  

Gratitude Journal: 67 Templates, Ideas, and Apps for Your Diary

Do you keep a journal? How long have you kept it? I've been using journals since 1997, with long breaks here and there. 
partlyopenbook: (hullo)
I do a lot of staring. I do a lot of staring at maps, not usually at people (people are a little threatened by staring). I've come across some good city names.  These are all in Ohio.

Mexico
Plankton
Kansas
Ballville
Broken Sword (I would love to start an artist's colony here)
Chuckery
Sinking Spring
Samantha
Idaho
Beaver
Antiquity
Alice
Pedro
Long Bottom
Tuppers Plains

Some good road names:
Tornado Rd.
Butter Bean Trail
Butcher Knife Rd. 
Horse Cave Rd. (Horse Cave Creek)
Rainbow Bridge Rd. (for anyone who ever had a pet pass away, maybe they're there!)
Wolfpen Run (creek? area? not sure)

Anyway, good times... 

Have any silly names in your state?
partlyopenbook: (strong)
A follow-up to the previous post, about how many books I'm reading at one time, and what sort of challenge it would be to read everything on the list.

I listed nine books that I am reading intermittently... and it was actually ten. I forgot Mrs Dalloway. My apologies, Clarissa, Virginia. 

DONE
The Reverberator, 7/28
Mrs Dalloway, 8/9

REMAINING
Muddle Earth
The Sea, the Sea
The Wings of the Dove
The Little Minister
Rogue One
The Templar Legacy
Down the Garden Path
Blonde

Blonde is over 700 pages, and I believe it comes close to Wings of the Dove as far as word count goes. Yikes! I haven't started reading anything else... a couple of smaller, non-fiction titles that serve a purpose as far as education goes, but nothing fiction. I'm trying to stick to the goal. 

In other news, I finished writing all of The Buried Cellar on Tuesday, 8/7, the day of the partial lunar eclipse... The book wound up being about 231,000 words long. Since I don't plan to send it out to a collection of agents or publishers, I won't have to drain myself by draining words out of the story during the arduous editing process. I started writing it in February. It is the first novel-length story (over 80,000 words) I've finished since 2012. 

 A lot of little things are getting finished, too. Some decisions, both giant and seemingly insignificant, have become clearer. 
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (read)
After a conversation with a buddy (which took place only online, don't get excited, I still don't have friends), in which he declared that he no longer reads multiple books at a time—only one!—I decided to take a personal inventory. But, seriously, one book at a time? One?

One book at a time! What is this madness?

He declared that it took him too long to read a bunch of books over time than it did for him to read one book.

Valid point. Check!

It led me to wonder this: HOW MANY BOOKS AM I READING AT ONCE AND OMG IS IT WAY TOO MANY?!?!

Am I stretching myself too thin, over books?

But back to the first question: How many books am I reading?

The answer? Nine. A staggering NINE books. Well, not simultaneously, but I'll pick one up whenever I feel like reading that particular style of prose, or swim in that particular story for a little while. The books are pretty varied. Really varied... 

Muddle earth ... Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell (illustrator)
The Sea, the Sea ... Iris Murdoch
The Wings of the Dove ... Henry James
The Reverberator ... Henry James
The Little Minister ... J.M. Barrie
Rogue One ... Alexander Freed
The Templar Legacy ... Steve Barry
Down the Garden Path ... Beverley Nichols
Blonde ... Joyce Carol Oates

There are two Henry James titles on here, you're not just seeing double. The Wings of the Dove is one of his "epics," and the Reverberator is a short novel that he wrote after two of his books, The Princess Casamassima and The Bostonians were critically, er, devalued. That's a tad weird, because The Bostonians has gone on to classic status (from which we've gathered our modern day phrase "Boston Marriage"). The Reverberator (incidentally, one of those "difficult" words to type on type-timing quizzes) is fairly light-hearted, and I am a titch more than halfway through it. And I don't know what those critics were talking about, The Princess Casamassima was fantastic. I read it in three days! 

I started reading BLONDE yesterday, after I knew that I wanted to get through this list and finish all the titles before I started something else. I simply couldn't help it. And I'm not sure if The Little Minister counts, it's more like A Study in Doric than entertainment, and Doric does make for an interesting read, when you're part Scottish and some of your favorite book creations are Scottish. The Templar Legacy could be good if I would just get into it a little more. I've started reading it twice. Down the Garden Path is delightful, but it's more a literary adventure best taken when the gardens are withered and brumal, and not when you're out frolicking about in your own flower patches. 

No doubt the first one to be struck from this list, marked as FINISHED, will be The Reverberator. As for the last, well, either The Wings of the Dove or The Little Minister. 

-x-

I'm still working on The Buried Cellar. I've become one of those people that I never thought I'd be, ever: someone who writes while in public, in notebooks, on the tablet, whatever... I hardly write at home now, only second drafts of initial public-typed writings. It's very strange. Since it took me so long to write again, I will take it however it wishes to come to me. 

I wrote the first part of the next book, with plots set out for two more books that are attached to the characters of The Buried Cellar (and also found in four previous books). One book is waiting to be finished, since I've worked out the plot kinks I'm sure I can finish it up in a few months. One book is waiting for an entire rewrite. Several more just want to be written. I don't know what I'll do with all of them when they're done. 

Donation time.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 07:53
partlyopenbook: a raccoon looks like it's clapping (yay)
A little while ago, I received payment from my books sold at Smashwords. It was $4.25, if you want to know. If you don't make enough money (I think it's $10) a quarter, they send you your earnings every couple of years, or something like that. 

But, as promised, I will make a donation to the local Animal Humane Society. Probably in the amount of $10, though the minimum is $5, I believe.

I got a new cat from them on December 27th, too, along with purchasing a few items (like kitty toys), so I've been a patron of theirs for a while. Even going back to when I got my other kitty in November of 2015.

The significant other and I also donated a stack of old bath towels, and they were happy to have those! 

Thank you to everyone who purchased my stories and made the donation possible!

***

I'm working on a new novel. It just passed 40,000 words yesterday! As of now, it's called The Buried Cellar, and it's a continuance of a previous manuscript originally finished in, I don't know, 2010 maybe. 

I'm still looking for submission calls that interest me, but mostly just want to work on The Buried Cellar... Someone asked me the other day how many books I'd written, and I honestly don't know at this point. Eleven? Twelve? Two of them I want to rewrite, at least one of them entirely, and the other one needs a new opening (at the very least). There's another one that I want to finish, that I put on hold when I encountered a plot-point issue that has been resolved. 

Over the course of the last two years, it's taken me a long time to feel like a writer again. While I wrote a bunch of short stories for submission calls in the summer of 2015, none was accepted (at least one came very close). Then I didn't write much of anything for over a year. I think I wrote two short stories for submission calls in the spring of 2016, but never sent them in. Both of them I would like to turn into short(!) novels that could probably be written pretty quickly. (Both are set in Canada: one in Ontario, one in Alberta. Again continuing the tradition that I can't write anything unless it's set in Canada or Ohio. The one that is set in Alberta I could easily move to another location.) Writing was always a part of my life, though (since I was seven), and eventually it'd squeeze it's way back into my everyday life. 

The importance of writing started its strong resurgence after I settled into my new place in November [2016]. I had my own office, and I thought that would be helpful, but it's actually really cold and uncomfortable down there so I started scouting for another location. It wound up being the back part of the kitchen, and an old aluminium camp table that belonged to my SO's grandparents. I'm next to a window, with a fine view of the side of the neighbor's house, and another window to the front of me that looks at the garage and the fence where the little sparrows conglomerate on cold Minnesota mornings... I'm also surrounded by plants. There's a jug plant, a giant peace lily, a variegated palm of some sort, donkey tails and other succulents, another peace lily, a spider plant, something that we're trying to root (it's doing very well actually), and, of course, the rhododendron that I brought from my former home. It's doing far better than I thought it would, with plenty of new growth after it sprouted three sets of flowers. I'm still typing on an old Dell (they're not even made anymore), because the keyboard is the best for pounding out thousands of words a day. I have a mug-warmer, a magazine rack that holds notebooks (full notes), my headphones, and a container with miscellaneous office-like items in it. I'm using a rectangular space roughly 4 ft by 3 ft, which includes the space for my chair. 

Ah, my chair. My chair goes with the old 1950's table, and while it is not the most comfortable of chairs (the back is low), it keeps me awake and keeps my legs comfortable. 

But with three cats and a dog, sometimes it's really hard to sit still for hours on end while writing: there's always something going on. 

At the moment, it's quiet. The dog is outside. The cats are sleeping. And, traditionally, plants don't make much noise. 

I've also taken up writing by hand, which I can do while I'm not at home. When I first started on the mission of "Okay, I can write by hand when it's slow at work," I really thought it'd be ridiculous and it wouldn't take at all. Quite the opposite. Writing by hand, with your favorite pen in a nice, old notebook already littered and wrinkly with notes, definitely has its appeals, and it's very calming. There's no stress when you write by hand. I can stop, do some work if necessary, and go back to it without feeling the jam of any creative flow, even without caring whether there is such a thing as "creative flow." I just pick up the pen and go. The only time I have trouble is when I'm tired, and, of course, when it's really busy. Even yesterday, on a day off from work, I thought about writing by hand rather than typing what I've written in the notebook. If you have trouble keeping on task when composing at a computer, writing by hand would be a really good option--at least give it a shot. 

Someday, I'd like to create a new dot-com, but not just yet. I'm still getting used to writing again, and I don't want to take on too much. I've thought of taking my stories off Smashwords entirely and just starting over. I don't receive very many downloads for my free books, about one a month, and no one's paid for my two .99-cent books in ages. Then again, it's hard to just discard all the work that went into creating those ebooks--and it is a lot of work. All you have to do is breeze through the Smashwords Style Guide to know it's a lot of work. So, for now, they're still available. I don't even know if anyone reads this journal. By this entry, you know that I was pretty sure, at that point, that I really wouldn't write commercially again, or have any kind of writing life on the internet. I'm not really interested in marketing myself at the moment, but I still have my goodreads account, and I've started looking at submission calls again. I've thought about throwing together another book of short stories (rejects or unsent stories through the years), but I think I'd like to release it through Amazon instead, probably under a different pseudonym. Using Amazon would be an interesting challenge for me. I've already done the Smashwords thing. Mostly, though, I'm all right with staying off the internet except for research, and just keep writing books even if no one ever reads them or they never get published. 

It's a tough world out there, which is exactly why I started writing again in the first place. I've borrowed my life from Nietzsche:

We have art so that we shall not die of reality. 

Thanks

Monday, 3 August 2015 07:53
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
Thanks to all my patrons through the years!

contact email: partlyopenbook@gmail.com 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015 11:39
partlyopenbook: CKR (act)
 LOL. OOMG. WUT?



This is true.
Consider my mind blown.
A real scorcher, innit?

Free (again)

Saturday, 20 June 2015 10:08
partlyopenbook: a raccoon looks like it's clapping (yay)
All my stories are free right now on Smashwords.
Please read, enjoy and review! 

@1020/27

Wednesday, 6 May 2015 10:19
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (read)
It's about time we had a cloudy day! The humidity is wicked high, and that's brought a nice change.

Blooming trees are blooming. Some look like giant sticks full of cotton candy tufts. Some look like they're riddled with fuchsia jewels, important from exotic, foreign lands perhaps not of this world.

Violets have been spotted, little puddles of them here and there at the edges of pathways, growing wild. They give the impression of being rather pugnacious, as if they've fought for their territory and won't have it taken from them. Their tenacity is as enjoyable as their wee purple faces.

It's too bad all of this is pretty fleeting. But I'm looking forward to the sound of leaves rattling in a breeze.

Back at the park I passed one of the ponds, and upon almost every surface was a turtle. Turtles everywhere! Big turtles, little baby turtles. I'll have to get a better look at them, but I think they might've been red-eared slider turtles. Turtles are cute, but they have a tendency to resemble grumpy octogenarians who've consumed a disagreeable food and are now suffering from a bout of dyspepsia. And they will STARE at you until you recognize how awesome they are for putting up with everything.

In the world of employment, I think the job-change will be better for me. It seems like the kind of work I can do while I'm there and proceed to leave behind me when I go home at the end of my shift. This is entirely like my current job, which is very hard on me mentally/emotionally, and I've had a problem letting go of it — as in, I don't let go of it and it continues to haunt me like a bad song (I shouldn't mention that Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" gets stuck in my head a lot). I don't know when/if I'll ever get a chance to actually make this position change, but the transition shouldn't be too awful. It really amuses me how often I run into employees who "used to" have my position. "She used to do what you do..." That should tell corporate that there's something wrong with what they're doing. Such as having only one of us work at weekends, and expect us to do a fantastic and flawless job. No, that's not going to happen. Ever. Because there is ONE of me. Yes, the sooner I get rid of this job, the better. I might even start to feel like me again!

Despite the few days of personal peace, I haven't been writing. I might, later, or I might just sit and read, or go watch the turtles...

Reading
Iris Murdoch - The Sea, the Sea
Virginia Woolf - Mrs Dalloway
Henry James - The Reverberator

Watching
Sherlock (rewatch)
The Road to El Dorado
Family Ties


A Puddle of Violets
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
I can hardly write in a notebook-shaped journal anymore. It isn't that I'm disinterested in journaling, just not interested in writing in a notebook. I mean to, even pick it up and fill out the date, the time, the cycle day, etc... Then, inevitably, the first sentence often sees me wondering why I am bothering to write in there at all. Why bother writing in there at all?

It's occurred to me that the abhorrence for notebook-journaling has been born from a repugnance to a time when writing in a journal was far more comforting... back at the days I spent at home... and I don't want to think about any of that, or think about it as little as possible, to keep the sting from my eyes and the distressful, tight pinches around my heart. It's very hard to suffer a continuous broken heart, knowing that, in a way, I won't ever recover since the world is the world, filled with things, sights and smells and actions, constantly triggering reminders of home.

I do a lot to block away these things. Even when driving home these days, from work, I have the windows rolled up on nice days, with the air conditioning on. I try to pass it off as fighting off pollen and other airborne allergens, but me and my conscience are not so sufficiently self-denying. We know it has more to do with the whimsies of a spring day, the smell of sun-warmed viridescence, and the sound of a healthy breeze through baby leaves, or when that breeze is warm enough to feel that it's fully southern, baptized by the Kentucky and southern Indiana hillsides, warmed there, tumbling over itself, until it flits, against its will, into the flattened Miami Valley... where it stalls, stutters, and roars on to float upon Lake Erie... I close my windows and forget these things.

My life is not wholly rotten, anyway... There's a certain juvenescence that's returned to me. And by me, I mean, of course, the thoughts I have, the inspirations I feel. These are not meant to imply that I take actions to fulfill the inspirations, turning them, naturally, into motivations. I continue to sit more than I move. I work enough, hard enough and long enough, to want to sit, sit, sit for as long as I'm able. It's incredible how awful one's feet can feel the morning after standing around for seven and a half hours, give or take ten minutes. And how it isn't the bottoms of my feet that are sore and achy, but the joints of my ankles, as if the tendons and ligaments there have been stretched and pulled against the weight of bones, muscle, water, or against the tension of the job which ebbs and flows and beats against me like a fierce, incoming tide against rocks waiting patiently next to the sea. And it isn't a day or two of eight hours, but four or five days in a row at a place where I wish I had a clone, an effigy to take what I can't do or when I feel that I should be ripped apart for being ignorant of every detail, angry at myself for my ignorance, and wishing I could do something else far more peaceful, more solitary... to live again in my own head, be my own self, not drawn and quartered by an obsession for a job that I don't know how to do well enough to suppress speculation... Just a quiet, meaningless job.

I'm starting a new very part-time job this afternoon, a private gig to do computer-related admin. The informality of it pleases me. It'd be nice to have work to do that doesn't come with a list of common and hefty demands, and trying to remember a hundred things at once. There is no protocol but the standards of ethics, the common-sense variety of kindness and self-confidence that I've been implementing for ages.

I'm visiting with an old friend today, too. The visit will be shortened by part-time work, but that is the way it has to be... I'm looking forward to running about town with Jason, like the good old days, like 1997 but with wisdom and less hope for the future, less spasmodic reasoning, less convincing philosophy now that I know I can change my mind, alter my opinions, yet the rudimentary beliefs are housed in my core and have been nesting for two decades. I'm built of layers of myself: one year over another over another, and so forth, to my outer shell that's shallow but timid and fragile. I can see each layer's pattern, the created and etched integuments of every year... from the moldy inner sheath to the shimmer of newness surrounding me but not entirely a part of me, not yet...

It will be a nice day off from one job, a nice new start for a new job. The rest of the week will fly by, and I feel reasonably optimistic that it will get better. I'll find new jobs to apply for and something else to do... I'll figure things out that have been pressing their ugliness rancorously against me. Words will be written, paragraphs constructed, stories remembered and hopes remembered, dreams rekindled...


Reading
Iris Murdoch - The Sea, the Sea
Virginia Woolf - Mrs Dalloway
Henry James - The Reverberator

Listening
Namnambulu - Trapped

Watching
Family Ties
CSI: Miami
Coffee Prince

Make no secret.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 13:47
partlyopenbook: Fairy-winged child and gray wolf. (friendship)
 I've been rewriting a short story first completed last year. It's called Kat's Tower. Originally a BDSM kind of tale, I quickly realized that this is a genre that I am not meant to encounter in the writing world — at least not right now! I transformed the story into something more adventurous, romantic, with elements of the gothic. And pirates. Because my writing soul has created some serious catenations with pirates the last fifteen years. 

It's unknown at this point how long Kat's Tower will wind up being. I'm hoping it won't be too long, since I'd decided to rewrite it with the hopes of including it in a new set of short stories.

Kat's Tower is divided into small chapters. Each chapter has possessive noun in it. The Fisherman's Inn... Winter's Garden... Crawley's Books... Kat's Tower... 

Here's the opening paragraph (subject to change):

Once upon a time, in the long past of the world, there lived a young woman, named Kat, who believed, with all her heart, that gratefulness held the key to fulfillment. She knew that if she were truly thankful for all that she had, it would not be taken from her, neither disappearing from her grasp nor falling from her sight. She brandished the winning thought every hour of the day. Nothing could deter her from it. 
 
The thought of being grateful enough for what you have that it won't be taken from you is lifted from my own life. It isn't true, of course, ergo the fairy-tale opening. We want to believe it's true. 

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