Coming soon: a new web address for this blog!

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29 October 2013

synopsis written: check

I just rewrote the synopsis for my novel.

In other news, you can expect to see more fiction than non-fiction in my blog for the next 32 days. I writing a novel in November. Yep, I'm doing that crazy NaNoWriMo thing. You can help me get to the Night of Writing Dangerously (a six-hour write-a-thon charity event in San Francisco on Nov 17) by donating here.

Wanna see my new synopsis? Sure ya do!
Feel free to leave critiques in the comments!

History repeats itself:
An old soldier wants to know what it means to be a man.
A wounded woman wants to know what it means to be human.
A kid learns that anger is a healing toxin.
An old mining town finds its soul.

A thousand years from now, we won’t remember ourselves. This is the story of a different North America. Nobody alive remembers the United States, and only the historians and archeologists remember what the ruins mean. Of those, a few hope that this second dark age might be coming to an end, and that a new age of enlightenment might be beginning.

The town is Bisbee, Republic of Arizona, last stop on the rail line before Old Mexico and the first non-militarized town north of the border. Indulgences are few but plenty; grit is the texture of the day. 

21 October 2013

gearing up for NaNoWriMo

I'm all up in my story planning. Pretty much everything you say to me right now becomes fodder for my writing-imagination.

Government shutdown? Inspiration.
Torn map? Inspiration.
Riverbed drying up post-monsoon? Inspiration.
Rubenesque beauty in a mini-skirt walking across the road? Inspiration.
Music playing somewhere? Inspiration.

On Saturday, Jane's Addiction inspired a character - complete with story arc - and filled out the missing piece of another character's story. The real key was part of a conversation sparked by this song, in which Someone Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous described the song thusly: "it's a form of protest, but with nothing redeemable about it. It's totally selfish - just a big Fuck Your Order." 'Anonymous was smiling and energized; there was nothing derogatory in that statement - it was a compliment.

That's the kind of energy I've got going on these days.
And if I'm not writing here so much, it's only because my creative focus is my novel, and NaNoWriMo.

16 October 2013

Send me to NaNoWriMo!

I'm doing something. Something big.

Read on, my friends, read on:

I don't know how many of you know this, but I've been working on writing a novel. It's a dystopian science fiction inspired by my heroes: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and George R. R. Martin. I'm spending October doing world-building in preparation for the flurry of writing in November that is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). My goal is to complete 50,000 words of text in the month of November! 

This fundraiser to help me get to San Francisco for the 2013 Night of Writing Dangerously, a NaNoWriMo event that brings writers together for a six-hour write-a-thon! Why? Says NaNoWriMo: "Because proceeds from the evening make our programs possible, including the classroom-based Young Writers Program, which supports project-based learning and writing literacy." ...And because I really, really want to do this.

Here's the link to donate:

Earlier this month, I posted a fundraiser that raised money for the charities aided by the event; those donations got me in the door. This fundraiser will help defray the cost of travel. 

This is so necessary; I have to do something with myself. Don't we all?

10 October 2013

define "romantic relationship"

I don't know about you, but my generation of young girls was taught that you should grow up and marry your best-friend-in-male-form, who should happen to be sexually attractive by Disney standards. And, you should always be on the lookout for someone to spend your life with, because you don't want to be Alone.

I decided quite a while ago that I didn't want to get married. And I decided that again after each of my two divorces. This time, I was going to stick with it. I didn't want to be married, but I didn't want to be alone, either.

I wasn't wrong about not getting married again - I just hadn't realized how pervasive the idea of marriage was in my relationships.

A while back I wrote about my grievances with marriage as a contract. Archer left a comment on that post which concluded with this little gem: "You gotta get a man honey. But why? You ain't nothin without a huuuzzbind! But..why? Hmm, can't remember...but it's an essential truth dammit girl! Yeah. Well. What does a relationship really need to be its best self?"

He was, obviously, commenting on the social pressure on women to 'get a man' to spend her life with. Life isn't all it can be until you've found someone to be with. This idea goes deeper than a contract, though. Ultimately, we look for relationships that might culminate in harmonious cohabitation. It's relatively easy to throw off the idea of contracting your relationship; if you want a ceremony for that, there are plenty of non-contractual methods, and extramarital cohabitation isn't so inflammatory as it once was.

It's far more difficult to throw of the idea that a relationship must culminate.

Why must it 'go' anywhere?
"What does a relationship really need to be its best self?"

This train of thought rolled right over me when I was trying to explain to my son that Archer and I weren't going to be in a "romantic" relationship anymore, but that he was still my best friend. What the hell does "romantic" even mean?

I checked with the Oxford people for you:

If romance is the idealized version of love...

What is more romantic than a friendship of lovers?

What it comes down to, in my mind is this: take away the expectations of cohabitation/marriage/full-life-sharing, but keep the love, keep the friendship, keep the sex; what's left is a love that has no external forces shaping it. Marriage and all that aren't excluded, but they're no longer demanded because the expectation is gone. Without expectations, love is free to develop naturally into whatever works for the participants. At least in an ideal situation. Which is what we're talking about when we apply the 'romance' label.

This train of thought has changed my outlook on romance.

02 October 2013

a piano not forgotten

I wonder what song he is playing. Something taught to him in his childhood?

A few years ago I had a chance to play around on a piano. Without sheet music, all I could recall was the first song I ever memorized, for the first recital I ever did: Mary Had a Little Lamb. I remembered, even, the harmonic accompaniment to the melody, though I couldn't tell you know what that type of chord was called. My body recalls what my mind does not. It has been so long since I've really played - almost twenty years - could I even read sheet music any more? It'd be a struggle, I think.

There's an analogy for life in that.