Monday, May 31, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I deeply admire Stephen King.
I have not read anywhere near enough of his books to consider myself a true fan. Let me correct myself. I do think of myself as a fan, an erstwhile, ill educated fan. Other people probably wouldn't consider me a fan because I haven't read enough of his stuff, but I'm getting there. Slowly and in a haphazard manner.
I just finished his book, Mist. This passage is one of the reasons I have a strong artist crush on the man.
“You know what talent is? The curse of expectation. As a kid you have to deal with that, beat it somehow. If you can write, you think God put you on earth to blow Shakespeare away. Or if you can paint, maybe you think - I did - that God put you on earth to blow your father away....since (realizing that he was a good commercial artist) that voice of disappointed expectation - that cheated child’s voice that can never be satisfied with such a mild superlative as good - has fallen pretty much silent. And except for a few rumbles - like the sounds of those unseen creatures somewhere out in the foggy night - it has been pretty much silent ever since. Maybe you can tell me - why should the silencing of that childish, demanding voice seem so much like dying?”
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I know he doesn't mean anything by it but my hackles rise a little anyway. But I don't know him that well so I say nothing.
I don't think he's ever had to face a reality of poverty. Where everything he owns comes from a thrift shop. A charity. Where if it wasn't for someone giving him something he'd have nothing.
If he has, he's sure as hell forgotten it already.
I can speak from experience - if I don't like the taste of burnt water, nobody else will either.
No matter how poor they are.
Friday, May 14, 2010
I'm also getting in a lot of reading. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Sparrow and Children of God, Good Omens, Of Mice and Men. And the odd book on writing or acting. Or both.
The book I'm reading right now, The Blunt Playwright, is proving both enjoyable and thought provoking.
In particular the comments on knowing what the protagonist wants. This shouldn't require that much thought, should it?
But when I often don't know what I want in real life I guess it's not that surprising that I have trouble writing characters who know what they want too.
I mean, it works. Sometimes very well, because I think a lot of people go through life not knowing what they want. The trouble is that when you're writing a story, it has to go somewhere.
The people in the story have to want something badly enough to change their lives for it.
Which is also something I don't think I do on a regular basis. I don't know if I want anything outside my current sphere badly enough right now to change my life.
The wonder and beauty of writing, though, is that I am provided with catharsis and voyeurism on a daily basis. I live a dozen lives a day, lives where I do want something, badly enough to kill; where I fight, am angry, am gentle and soft; where I make sense of a confusing world and where I succumb entirely to the chaos, to the moment. Lives that end and lives that keep going. Moments captured and moments lost.
It's a challenge. It's an incredible release.
Even with this post, I don't really know what it is I want to say.
Just that I'm writing, I guess. And it's wonderful strange and hard all at once. I am so lucky to be able to just sit at home and write.
I should put that as my status on Facebook. Be right back...
Thursday, May 06, 2010
There is a certain woman that keeps sending me chain emails full of hatred. I think I've mentioned her on here before. At first the emails made me shake my head. One made me weep. Several, including this latest one, have filled me with rage.
I don't understand how anyone who calls themselves a Christian can stand behind words of such hatred. The emails she sends out talk about how we should just kill all the Muslims by bombing the hell out of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan - kill their women and children because 'they've done it to us'. They celebrate a professor at Michigan State because he told all the Muslim students to go home. They justify bigotry and racism because 'we are in a war'. (A war that was made up for political gain in my opinion, a war that hasn't fixed anything, a war against an act of terrorism that happened almost ten years ago and hasn't been repeated...but that's all irrelevant to the email campaign of hatred and fear, dressed up in patriotism and the love of God).
Even if it was an active war and people were being killed in America every day by terrorist bombs (I realize it happens more often overseas, but since it kills 'them' the emails ignore it), even then I couldn't advocate racism as an appropriate response. How does painting every Muslim with the same fanatical brush help anything? How does judging someone on their skin colour or ethnic heritage keep us, or anyone, safe?
I notice that she never sends out emails condemning all of Christianity because of the fanatical actions of certain sects of the faith.
She never sends out harsh words towards those who bomb abortion clinics, or beat homosexuals to death. Oh, right. Those people deserve to die because they're sinners. Unlike us.
Why can she judge Islam by the actions of a fundamentalist few and keep such a blind eye to the sins of her own professed faith?
Next she'll be saying we should round up the Jews for killing Christ.
I could let this ruin my day.
Or I could let it inform the actions I make in my own life. I could take a look at myself and see where I am blind, where I am a bigot, where I judge harshly without reason.
Maybe after I calm down I will. As much as I would rather just keep pointing a finger of righteous anger at her because it's easier, that doesn't help the world become a better place either.
This is the truth that I want to live by: "The ultimate sense of security will be when we come to recognize that we are all part of one human race. Our primary allegiance is to the human race and not to one particular color or border." Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that. An Egyptian by birth, named for the Muslim prophet, he may be Jewish but I don't know if that matters or not when a person is filled with hatred towards everyone who isn't perfectly Aryan.
And one could argue that our primary allegiance is to God - but I think this quote falls under "Love thy neighbour as thyself".
I'll settle for the world learning the second half of the commandment. It's a bitch to do. I certainly wouldn't risk my life to save this particular woman from zombies. (You'll know who really loves you when the zombies attack. True friends don't trip you when they're running away.)
Shoot. All my anger is deflated now that I realize I'm not living the commandment myself. Well, fuck.
True to form, it took a zombie reference to point out the truth of my own life to me. So now I'm going to go away and swear a whole lot and finally accept the fact that this woman, despite herself, has given me an opportunity to grow further into the Light.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
S. is outside somewhere, rehearsing scenes for his job as a historical interpreter/actor this summer.
I'm inside, my feet cold and my lap full of warm computer, sipping tea and watching my sweet peas grow the best they can in the half-light that makes it through the clouds. My knee hurts like it always does when the weather's like this, damp and cold. Between that and my ankle full of twinges (and my sore wrists, and does anyone else notice that their hip joints kind of click when they do sit ups? No? Just me, then?) I could be an old lady.
Joints are apparently not my friends.
Which means that when I'm an old lady I may not be as independent as I would wish to be.
But that's in the future, the very distant future, and I'm very good at not thinking about possible unpleasant futures if I can be persuaded to think about things like how to kill the darkspawn in Soldier's Peak or what life would be like in a zombie apocalypse or how to build a tree house in medieval Europe.
Or what I should make for supper when my sure-to-be cold man gets home.
Which reminds me, I should be in the kitchen. ;)