Sunday, August 28, 2005

Gay Rights and Baba Yaga

So, I've been doing a lot of myth reading lately. Specifically I've been reading The Maiden King by Robert Bly and Marion Woodman.  Loving this book for so many reasons.  I can tell I'm going to have it spinning in my head for years, plus it's already nudged me into new directions in my writing and sent me into new research veins.  Good times.

But mostly I have fallen in love with Baba Yaga.  Weird, I know.  But actually, no, I think it makes a lot of sense, if you look deep down.  While I'm writing this blog entry my three year old is watching a disgustingly saccharine Disney princess video, some hastily slapped together montage of badly storyboarded kid candy.  I hate it, and I hate that my daughter is watching it.  What this world needs is not Disney saccharine.  We need to start looking at the Baba Yaga.  The underworld-dwelling witch who eats the naive and the either/or disciples of the world will get us whether we believe in her or not, unless we prepare for her.  So I want to turn this show off and show my daughter the shadows so she knows they're there -- except, well, she's three.  And she's not stupid either -- in a lot of ways she already sees the shadow.  The Huns in Mulan are shadow enough to scare her pants off.  Strangers in Target greeting her are shadow.  Adults on the playground who try to engage her scare the living shit out of her.  If ever there were a child who could inspire you to believe she had come to you from a past life of heinous abuse and terror, this is the child.  So, perhaps saccharine is due. Today's saccharine for her may be tomorrow's shadow, after all.

The rest of us, though, especially we adults, need to quit looking for the adult versions of the Disney princess seires.  Baba Yaga is out there, and you won't defeat her by sending American troops to Iraq and putting a magnetic ribbon on your car, just as my HRC sticker on my Mazda and $10 a month to the same (HRC, not my Mazda) aren't solving the inequeties of human rights in the United States.   Baba Yaga wants your blood and bones for dinner, and unless you convince her you're of better use alive, she'll make good use of you in her belly.  Towing a party line of any sort isn't going to defeat her either, something I wish either a Democrat or Republican or some independent group would figure out.  Baba Yaga is gorging on this country right now, this country which is locked in bitter battle over blue or red, black and white, liberal and conservative, hawk or dove. 

But you know what I think is going to yank us out of this?  Or at least the issue that will force us to look at the third, silenced option, whatever it may be?  Gay rights.

Yeah, go ahead and laugh or roll your eyes or whatever.  But it's true -- the homosexuals will lead us over the rainbow after all.  Because that's where you can't scream, "A or B!" no matter how hard you try.  Gay or straight?  Hardly.  Oh, sure, most of us sleep with either the same sex or the opposite, not both, so there you could make a distinction.  But down deep, unless you are an angry, fearful person determined to exorcise part of yourself, you will be experiencing your own masculine and feminine within, your own personal yin and yang, every day.

I like to tease my husband that he'd make a really great gay man, if he weren't straight.  And actually, I don't know as much about lesbian culture, but I'd probably be able to hold my own, except you know, I can think other women or pretty, but it's just not my gig.  But I do have a pretty strong sense of my yang.  It's okay culturally for me to do that.  The fact that my husband would flunk most of Focus on the Family's masculinity test is less okay culturally, and I think it's actually less okay now that it ever has been.  I feel for young boys growing up now, with their clothes and toys so starkly gender defined, with everyone raking them pre-puberty for "signs" they'll be gay.  You know, I think the sign your child is gay is when they say they look at the same sex and are attracted.  Period.

In attempts to "defend marriage" and "protect children" the anti-gay camp is pushing us to a cultural choice they will inevitably lose.  Unless the choice is made on a fundamentalist Biblical interpretation, we're going to have to face the fact that there are Americans who want to protect marriage and children and want to do it while having a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex, and as soon as we stop listening to the mad ravings of people doing a fantastic job of killing Christianty by associating it with hate and exclusion, we're going to have to give homosexual couples the same legal rights the rest of us have.  And on that road we're going to discover you really can't have gaydar, you can't look at your eight year old and make a checklist to see if they're gay and send them off to a reprogramming camp.  Someday that will be considered child abuse.

Until that day, Baba Yaga is feasting.  When you face Baba Yaga she asks, "Do you come of your own free will or are you compelled?"  The answer that gets you eaten is to chose one or the other.  The answer that sets you free is to admit that it's both, and not in a nice orderly percentage of blame.  If you face Baba Yaga and you demand a black and white, you die.  If you face her and admit there isn't just gray but that you desperately need it, she might just send you away uneaten but with great gifts.

So hold hands, kids, put on your ruby slippers and head for the rainbow.  If you hear someone filing their teeth, head fast for the middle and start looking for the gray.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Stuff, stuff, and stuff. And then a riff about pacing.

Right, so descriptive. But you know, when I've been as lax with the postings as I have been, there's just no catch-all topic quite as accurate as "stuff." So, here's what happened. 1. We sold our house. It was dicey, actually, because there was yet another money snafu, but it all worked out in the end and I only own one house now. That's good stuff. 2. We took this really great day trip to Iowa City, and honest to God, I meant to blog about how fun it was, but I got busy. And now it's just sort of a collage of niceness floating in my head. There was a great moment where Anna played in the ped mall fountain in her street clothes which I should blog about eventually. 3. Been writing. Lots. More later. 4. Dan has been uber childwatching husband. He gets gold stars. (Smooches, honey.) You know, that's all that's sticking in my head. Except to go to the back yard, I cannot remember when I last left the house. Saturday, I guess. Wow, that's impressive. Yeah, I think that may have been it, though I think I maybe went out for something Sunday night. Mostly it's me in my office and my laptop. So, about pacing. Because honestly, I'm so single minded for writing these days that not much else lingers in my brain. And tonight I"m thinking about pacing. Specifically, I'm thinking about how nicely the beginning of the WIP is shaping up. Allow me to babble about it. I haven't actually written the first two scenes yet, but they will be heroine, then hero, respectively, in their "special worlds," setting up their conflicts. There's a scene with the two of them together, and it may be a little chatty, but she does pull him out of a lake and drag him towards the abbey until he passes out, so there's some action. And now I'm taking a small risk and slowing it down. I really haven't done the inciting incident yet, but I've got two more POV characters to introduce, which is the next two scenes, plus I really think I have to get the antaonist and the hero head to head, and THEN, in scene seven, we get the inciting incident, or the start of it. Or that's just a turning point, and the inciting incident is in scene three. Really, at this point it just seems to be working, so I'm not going to dig too hard. I am, however, amazed at how I'm bopping all over the map in this revision. I started at the end this weekend, wrote/revised eight scenes in the climax, then jumped to scene three. It's interesting to work that way, because there's stuff in the end that I"m putting in the beginning now -- not always consciously, but I often write something and think, "Hey, that echoes the end!" Which is cool. And it occurs to me now that anybody not intimately interested in writing process may be asleep by now. Well, now you know why I'm not blogging much these days.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Positive Thinking: An Attempt

Okay, I said I wasn't going to blog this until it happened, but after yesterday I've decided to go for broke.  Because yesterday a bunch of hell happened on this same subject, and my husband said, "I KNEW this would happen!" which makes me wonder if he was secretly sending negative energy behind my back.  So today I'm going to be positive as Polyanna.

Today I'm going to sell a house!

We used to live in a small town that has many good attributes, but few which remained evident to us, and so in what really was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing moved two and a half hours away.  (Both towns are in Iowa, so I got to keep my moniker.) It was classic Us.  We sat down in January of 2004 with legal pads and spreadsheets and soberly decided that we could afford to move in five years.  Then in February we moved anyway. 

It all worked eerily well -- Dan applied for a job, thinking it was a long shot, then got an interview so we checked out the town and a few houses, then he got the job so we came back and bought one.  We settled right in, and we love our new town.  Everything worked great, except that house I'm selling?  That's the one we left 18 months ago.

It's not fun to pay two mortgages for eighteen months.  We've had exactly two offers on the house: one that had so much bad juju attatched to it that we let it go, and a second one that we accepted.  We're officially losing $12k on the house, which is so much better than owning two houses, let me tell you.  Yesterday's hell came in trying to get that $12k to the bank holding the mortgage on the house we're selling.  I think it worked out.  I'm really not sure yet, but people kept telling me not to worry, so I stopped.  Today I have a new motto: Everything is going to be great!

So, today the money I need to get there will get there.  Today I will sell my house.  Today I will dance in the street and sing kumbaya.  And, I guess, today I will start paying down that $12k we borrowed to sell the house.  Hey, better than double mortgage.

Positive thinking.  It's either going to work, or it will be a higher place to jump from and kill myself if this doesn't go through.  See?  Always thinking ahead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Not terribly impressed with Texas

At least with Crawford.

You know, I get that it's frustrating to have a media circus in your town, and I bet it's hard because it's your golden boy they're angry at.  I have no idea why he's your golden boy, but I understand that he is, and I respect your frustration.  I even respect your attempt to legally remove them from your neighborhood.  I don't agree, but I respect that you're doing it the sane, humane way.  Like real grown ups.

But firing shots in the air and vandalizing representaitons of the dead?  This is the sort of Texas that makes me say things like, "I'd die before I moved there."

And you could say that these are just two examples, and that's valid.  Except every time I turn around somebody from Texas is telling me, with a gleefully mad look in their eye, how wonderful Texas is because this manly sort of display is how Texas solves so many of its problems.  Even problems that aren't problems, just differences in taste.  Like this, when I said on a board that I wanted a character in my story to drive a truck, and I saw it as a Nissan -- could someone give me a specific model that would be good for an old, beatup Nissan that ran like a tank?  There was all sorts of helpful advice, nice and specific.  Then I got this from a Texan: the "good old boys" in the South would steal my hero's Nissan, drag it away like a lynching, push it in the swamp, and then go party.  And my hero should be happy for this and go buy a Chevy.

Right.  Um, no.  Not wildly impressed.  If this is Texas, this explains so much.  Including why I REALLY never need to go there.

Except I can't do this, because I know good people in Texas, too.  So, somebody brave enough to take on insane Bubbas please go straighten this out?  Thanks.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


I'm issuing a proclamation.  People are going to stop being stupid RIGHT NOW.

Very well, that's not only unrealistic, it's non-specific.  Let's try that again.  People will stop pretending their selfishness is actually concern for people they "love."  Because that isn't just stupid, it's mean, and it hurts.

Examples of what is selfish and stupid, not loving:

  1. When a bright, capable and happy young woman is graduating from dental school, you do not ignore her accomplishments and happiness and life full of promise and ask her if she is seeing anyone.  You know, I bet if she is, she'll tell you.  Probably while gloating, because she's been listening to you nag her for years.
  2. You do NOT ask people when they are having another child.  If you must, you ask politely, openly, and when they say, "I don't think I'm ready now, and I may never be," your answer is not, "But you're such a good parent.  I hate to see you waste yourself." 
  3. If a friend is unmarried or no longer married and is not actively soliciting you for advice in their love life, you do NOT see them stand next to a member of the opposite sex for five minutes and then assure them you're so glad they "finally found someone."

We could be here all day with examples, because there are a lot.  But the bottom line is that somehow it's still socially acceptable to nag people into fitting into a preconceived ideal.  When I wasn't married, I was asked who I was dating.  When I was dating, I was asked when we were getting married.  When I was married, we were asked when we were going to have kids.  I had one kid, and they wanted to know when I was having another.  I was doing fine, until I said, "Maybe I'll just have one."

Alert!  Alert!  She's breaking the mold!  Expectations are AWRY!  Alert!  Alert!

Why are we not allowed to have our own lives?  Why is it "loving" to nag family and friends into doing what we want them to do, instead of letting them do what they need to?  I've been told, "They mean well."  Thank you.  That helps so much.  So they're just stupid?  Or blind?  Because I thought I was being clear. 

I understand people are afraid people they love are missing out.  Taking the wrong road.  Heading for heartache.  But here's the catch: if I did everything people wanted me to do to avoid hurting, I wouldn't be me.  I'd also most assuredly be depressed.  In fact, I look back at the first thirty years of my life and see all kinds of times when I did things just to please others.  You know, it didn't pay well.  The best times were the risks.  Some of those risks I wish I would have taken further.  Because I might have gotten hurt, yes.  But I'd have a lot more of my own living under my belt.

So everybody, STOP.  Stop telling other people what they want.  If they ask, that's different.  But if they aren't asking, you've just got to button it, because you may see what they're doing as a mistake, but it's important to them. 

Friday, August 12, 2005

Laundry, dishes, phones, and socks

This is just a rant.

Okay, in the above list, laundry and dishes I have made some begrudging peace with.  I still don't like them, and I think they're unfair in that you are never finished with either chore-- just as soon as you've put the last pair of pants in the closet and underwear in the drawer, you walk past a hamper and there's a t-shirt and pair of jeans in it.  Or a dirty towel.  Worse, a diry towel you somehow missed on the intial laundry pass.  Same for dishes -- no sooner do you drape your flour sack dowel symbolically over the drying rack to bump into someone coming to put a glass in the sink. 

It's futile to get ranty over laundry and dishes, because like so many irritating things, they just are, and it's a waste of time to get ranty.  But I'm not giving up on phones and socks.

Phones.  I hate and love them.  I have a very short list of people I love talking to on the phone, and sometimes people not on the list surprise me and I enjoy talking to them, too.  I would say that I could be fine if my phone never rang, if I could only use it to call out, but that's not true either, because I'm grumpy about phone calls today that I have to make.   There's a LIST.  A phone LIST.  The worst list ever was when we moved here, the whole set-up-utilities-take-down-utilities list.  Ack.  Hated it.  Well, this list is shorter, but not better.

1.  Call the bank.  Say, "I need to give you a really big check, but I don't know for how much money and won't know until Monday.  Except I'll be coming there today.  I live two hours away.  How should we do this?"

I mean, I have no idea how I'd answer me.  I'm sensing either overpaying or an electronic transfer on Monday.  But we have to verifiy that just having the money in our checking account will be enough for them to draw on it.  Arg.

2.  Call the water softening joint and make sure they took out the water softner we rented.  And that they gave our realtor the key.  Okay, that one's not so tough.

3.  Call the lawn people and tell them to stop mowing the lawn because I won't own the house past Wednesday.  Except I fear jinxing the sale and want to call them, um, Wednesday.

4.  Call the insurance guy and figure out what he needs with this paper he sent us and what we do because our insurance expires the 16th but the closing is the 17th.  Pray for no fire?

5.  Call my friend the doctor who we'll visit while we're down for the day, and try to strike the balance between concerned and too-chipper, because her daughter, who is my daughter's age (3), has just been diagnosed with leukemia.  Because of course the leukemia depresses and scares me, but like she needs any more of that.

Is it any wonder I'm still in my pajamas at 10:30, blogging myself into insanity, hitting refresh on my email, and wishing someone I DO want to talk to would call?

Okay, so the list doesn't sound so bad to people who don't hate the phone.  I can respect that.  I still hate calling.  Especially since three of the five involve more than just, "Hey, you should know this/please do this.  Thanks.  Bye."  The rest are stuff.  And the latter is someone I enjoy calling, but I have to get my head straight first.  Don't want to bug.  But, don't want to not bug.  Arg.

And we haven't even covered the socks.  Let's get to them.

Socks.  You know, they suck.  First of all, they're expensive as hell.  REALLY expensive if you have big feet like me and don't want to wear guy socks.  And even the guy socks can be expensive, unless you get them at Wal-Mart, but then you have the whole supporting-the-retailer-of-Satan thing to feel bad about, not to mention wondering what two year old stitched her finger together so you could have cheap socks.  And you know, I could handle expensive socks if it weren't for all the reasons socks SUCK.

1.  They get lost.  All the damn time. 
2.  They wear out way too fast.
3.  They SHRINK, the little sneaky bastards.
4.  They get balled up in the laundry basket, then don't get clean in the washer, set the stains in the dryer, and -- wait for it -- are still balled up and DON'T DRY.
5.  They're boring.  Really fucking boring.  Unless you have cute petite feet and can shop at novelty sock stores and buy the socks for "shoe size 9-11."  Well, baby, I wear size 13.

So you know, soon here I'm going to just make my own.  If I'm going to pay ten dollars for a pair of socks, I'm going to have them be in beautiful pastel sock yarn, will have sweated over their creation, and will love them eternally because they not only fit and don't shrink because I will wash them tenderly -- I will also wash them together, unballed, in a sock washing ceremony, and all will be good.

Except this will only work for my socks.  I don't think I'm going to convince my husband to wear pastel striped socks to work, though personally I think it could be a good conversation starter.  I could make my daughter socks, but her feet grow fast.  Of course, they are a third the size of mine, so the sock making could go faster.  And SHE would appreciate socks worth fussing over.  Hmm.  This could be a plan.  Because her socks are really crazy expensive. 

Well.  I'm not cranky anymore.  I'm going to go finish laundry, take my shower, ignore my phone list and do the dishes in the sink and plan my Sock Revolution. 

power color

Found this rumaging around the net.
Your Power Color Is Teal
At Your Highest: You feel accomplished and optimistic about the future. At Your Lowest: You feel in a slump and lack creativity. In Love: You tend to be many people's ideal partner. How You're Attractive: You make people feel confident and accepted. Your Eternal Question: "What Impression Am I Giving?"
You know, I dunno. I'm not sure what I was hoping for, but I'm feeling kind of meh about teal. I mean, teal?

Small Blog Gush

You know, I absolutely love the Smart Bitches.  Really.  It doesn't' matter how tired I am, or what has happened in my day -- I'll flip over there and see something to turn my frown upside down.  All it takes, I've learned, is for them to say "man-titty," but other stuff is good to.  Like, the column down the side.  "If you're easily offended, now would be the time to run away screaming. Perhaps to some website that uses 'LOL!' a lot."

Though, I also adore the Yarn Harlot.  I think it's probably the sock that does it.  Also, she makes the statement, "Doesn't EVERYBODY love yarn?" seem rational.

Then there's dear Richard.  He's just my kind of irreverent.  I never know when I go there if I'm going to laugh, roll my eyes, raise my eyebrows (in appreciation, because he does know how to find eye candy) or be moved.  I mean, the "Straight or Gay?" section alone is worth a visit.

You know, actually, I don't read that many blogs.  Because beyond that trinity, there are my friend's blogs, one of which would be more of a gush but as she says, "my blog is practically prenatal, it's so new," and I wondered how much she'd blog at first, but she seems to be getting into it.  That would be Jenny.  And the thing is, reading her blog, like reading jonquil or corrinalaw, is like getting an extra dose of them. 

What is shameless, though, is that I can't give you a link to the blog I should read out of loyalty alone.  That would be my husband's blog.  And I seriously tried to google him, but I failed.  Shameless.  Sorry, honey.  Send me the link and I'll give you your own post, she said, slinking away in disgrace.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Got zen?

Not I, said the fly.

Last night I sat down ready for an indulgent night of surfing, writing, emailing, maybe even writing, though I'm not slated to pick that back up until next week.  I did some surfing and emailing for awhile, and then I twitched.  I thought, "I'll go to bed.  Dreaming -- that's it, I'll go dream.  It'll be great."

I twitched.  Lay awake until three -- really, there was a thunder and lightning storm, so I have some defense -- and didn't sleep, let alone dream.  I did have one of those bizarre stream-of-consciousness epiphanies that are the Answers to the Universe until you are lucid again, and then you simply think, WTF?  Last night's epiphany was that the state of zen, of ultimate clarity is not deep within me, but a thin layer around me, like an onion.  At 1:30AM this seemed profound.  This morning, WTF?

I did dream, though, eventually.  I dreamt about houses, which I do a lot lately.   I had a moment where I could have sat up and written it all down, but I didn't, I just lay back down and slept.  And dreamt more, this time about a friend of mine who in the dream was pregnant (is not in real life, and if it were suggested to her that I had dreamed she was, she would freak) and for a joke drank so much water that she blew up like what's her name on Willie Wonka.  Except she got bigger than the house, and I became really concerned.

Oh, wait!  There was this part where "we" (I have no idea who else was in the collective, but there was a collective) were working late at this huge, big theater, and I really wanted to curl up in this booth that could not possibly be a booth -- it was more of a lounge, but in the dream it was a booth.  All soft and pillowed and theater red.  I believe I made some comment about how when I was in high school I would have made good use of those pillows, and there was sexual innuendo there.  It's completely not something I would say in real life, because I would have done little more on those pillows but take a nap. 

And this morning I still don't have zen.  But I do have a dirty house, and company coming.  Nothing gets me to zen quite like making order from chaos.  Also, I have a mss to rip into.  Two, if I count mine.  Lots of zen harvesting opportunities.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Lessons from Chris Gaines and others like him

My husband went to the library today and came home with the CD album of Garth Brooks posing as Chris Gaines.  The fact that Dan picked this up doesn't surprise me at all -- this is  a very Danish thing to do.  But for me it took me back to whatever time in the 90s that was when he put that album out, and made me think all over again, "What a weird thing that was to do."

This spiraled into a mental noodle on, "Why, though, was it weird?"  And here's what I think.

From my perspective, there's this fine line when a popular artist of whatever medium crosses over from artist sharing his or her viewpoint into artist believing they are a prophet.  I think this is a pretty common and not incomprehensible move -- if people treat you like a prophet, it's easy to think you are one. I don't know that it's bad to feel like a prophet, or even to act like one, because really, an artist is putting out ideas and expecting at least four or five people will gather around the idea and nod sagely over coffee, or curl up happily and say, "Yes, these ideas make me feel good about myself."  Or simply that four or five people will respond to these ideas and use them in their lives.

But I think the downhill slope comes when the prophet starts using the platform of his or her art as something other than, "here's my idea, see what you think."  If the prophet is saying, "Everything I do is great, so I'm going to explore these weird things which will instantly become great because I'm doing them."  Sort of a Church of Me thing.  If the art is no longer art but ego. 

To me, art is magical because I take something really important and visceral to me and put it out to share with others, and it immediately changes.  I say, 'I'm writing this story, and it's about x," and some people see x, but others see x and y, or just y.  Still others see q or r or whole quadratic equations I hadn't even thought of.  To me, it's this interplay that is magic, that is the real communication.  The real art.  An idea in my head that can merge with different ideas in lots of different heads and become its own living thing -- that's creation.

And maybe this is what that Chris Gaines thing was supposed to be.  Just another way of seeing how far/in what directions he could take his ideas -- would these, take, too?  Hmm, not so much.  Or maybe he got just what he was looking for.  Only Garth Brooks knows.

But what I want to try and always carry with me is the idea that the only place my ideas are sacred cows are when they're still inside me.  Even this blog entry, read by God knows how few souls, is no longer mine.  It belongs to everyone who reads it.  Readers might think, "Dear God, how brilliant!" or "That bitch," and it's beyond my scope now.  It's out there in the ether, its own entity now.  And you know, I want my stories to be that way -- their own entities, free of my chains of neediness and personal hangups.  It does, though, want me to make sure they're as strong and complex as I can make them, so they can be pulled apart and moved around and shot at and still come out looking pretty good, still having substance. 

And that's what I learned today from looking at a CD on the dining room table.  Tomorrow: the cereal box.  (Kidding.  Mostly.)

Sunday, August 07, 2005


It just occurred to me, I started this journal when Mercury was in retrograde! Am I doomed to lose interest in this, too?

Well, damn. Apparently you should enjoy this while it lasts.  I'd better hustle and say everything I have to say.

Mercury in Retrograde

You know, I used to make light of these announcements.  I don't think I'm going to do that anymore. 

It's not really that anything SPECIFIC has happened.  Okay, yeah, some is specific.  But not like a rock came down in my front yard or something.  Just lots of little stuff.  At first I just thought it was amusing, then it got my attention, and now I'm rather sober about it.

So the plan is to revise the rest of the month because it's a good time to "re" something.  Not a good time to create becuase you'll just undo it, so says all the stuff I find.  Which I'd been planning on anyway, but still.

What I want to know, though, is does this mean all my tarot readings are backwards?  Because there's been some good shit there and I want to keep that!  And all the people I met at nationals, am I not going to be as interested?  Will I be sorry I volunteered for these committees?  Oh, that's an easy answer, that last one.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

RWA Statement

This is getting the rounds.  Thank God -- brilliant women, all of them.


Permission to forward granted:

The following members of the RWA Board of Directors wish to apologize for the
disappointing direction of the Awards Ceremony during the 2005 conference. What
should have been a celebration, not only of our finalists and award winners, but
also of the growth and success of RWA, was not. Members of the board were
repeatedly assured by the Awards Ceremony Board Liaison that the planning of the
program was progressing appropriately. It was not until it was too late that we
discovered that the focus of the ceremony had strayed from the theme we'd been

We thank those members who stepped in at the last moment to try to fix the
script. We also apologize sincerely to our award winners, our finalists, and
our members that the program was not appropriate to celebrate RWA's success, as
well as theirs. We apologize especially to Nora Roberts, who was not only put
in an untenable position, but whose statement as to her reasons for not
appearing was not read.

We pledge to move forward from this and to make the Awards Ceremony in Atlanta
exactly what it should always be--a night on which we embrace the joys of
romance writing and recognize the finalists and winners of our most cherished

Gayle Wilson President-Elect
Kathy Carmichael Secretary
Connie Newman Treasurer
Nicole Burnham Region 1 Director
Lisa Kamps Region 1 Director
Dorien Kelly Region 2 Director
Peggy Emard Region 2 Director
Linda Howard Region 3 Director
Linda Winstead Jones Region 3 Director
Karen Fox Region 4 Director
Sherry Lewis Region 4 Director
Geralyn Dawson Region 5 Director
Jill Limber Region 6 Director
Jennifer Crump PRO Liaison
Teresa Carpenter Chapter Liaison

Friday, August 05, 2005

RWA Scuttlebutt

Jenny Crusie of course says it best, so by all means go read her, but here's my take on the whole RWA debacle.

I confess I sort of spaced the graphics standards thing, I really didn't get who Charis was until she was long gone so I didn't get that outrage like I should have, and I confess that even this year I did not get to the AGM because I was too busy trying to figure out a bill for a really great party the night before.  But the survey got my attention, I think the new RWR is about as graphically palatable as a communion wafer, and I really needed more alcohol for that awards ceremony.  Now I'm all fired up to do something and really trying to figure out what.

People keep talking about the Republican leanings of the ceremony, and that has bled onto the rest of the issues above - you can really get a good conspiracy theory going here if you want to, and as most of us are storytellers, I bet someone has written Karl Rove into the wings of that theater in Reno.  And there's a sort of them/us comfort in that, saying, "SHE did this!" or "THEY made this happen!"  We can say the board is full of evil right wingers, or say the TTQ is an evil right winger -- you can go on all day, really, and I suppose if you dig you can find a few confirmaitons or contradictions.

But really, what happened with all this is that everyone trusted the system, thought things were fine, and a lot of us kept swimming even though there were a lot of warning signs for one hell of a waterfall.  It's just so easy to say it won't be that big of a deal, that there's no reason to get upset, to say, "Really, what can I do?"  I was too busy to go to the AGM.  Really, what would I do?  Except that argument's going really flat now, because all signs point to one or two people with a pretty pointed agenda and great skill at convincing themselves they act for the "greater good" and that "everyone agrees with me," and that one person or small group of people really got a lot of damage done in a short amount of time. 

I think the hard part is that sometimes all we can do is write letters, be PITAs and join committees, then watch as the shit happens anyway.  Since the political analogy has already been made, it reminds me a lot of first diving headfirst into the Dean campaign and killing myself for him only to have him scream himself out of the race in Des Moines, to swallow my objections of Kerry and kill myself all over again knocking on doors and making phone calls and writing letters, only to have him fall short, too.  It was really tempting to resent the effort, to say, caustically, that it didn't matter, that I should have just had a beer and watched the train wreck.  And sometimes I sort of wish I'd knocked on a few less doors and done just that. 

But now I'm watching the RWA fallout, reading SmartBitches and hearing all the arguments, following Cory's blog and watching Jonquil get her rage on, collecting truly frustrated emails from board members after I wrote them, and I'm thinking that it'd have been nice to have been fighting this whole time so I could not feel like I was desperately trying to catch up and figure out WTF but could instead be feeling finally vindicated, that at LAST someone was realizing that the damn waterfall is going to kill us if we don't portage soon.

The thing is, RWA is full of smart women.  I guess sometimes that makes us inefficient and I bet it's a bitch of a thing to be on a committee let alone on the board -- but really, this is what happens if we make it easy.  If it were easy, men would do this.  Okay, that's not entirely fair.  But really, that's the beauty of an organization full of women.  We're going to be messy, and it's going to take ten months just to agree what to order for lunch, but the alternative is playing nice and risk getting that awards ceremony. 

So everybody go join stuff, get invovled.  If nothing else write your rep occasionally and ask politely what's going on.  Probably you should write your member of Congress while you're at it, too.

Cleaning up my act

Today is cleaning day, partly because it's time, partly because I've been thinking about it, and partly because it's good physical orientation to get a mental echo of the same, sort of like redoing the collage. And partly because Dan has been doing a lot of dishes lately and is being patient, but I see that folding soon.

So my office is organized, except for the closet which I'm not doing today. That's the stack of TBR, the story notes, and anything else I don't want to look at. But other than that, the entire top floor of the house is clean. Even the upstairs toilet and tub are clean. I feel victorious. Next is to vac the stairs, where I'm sure I'll collect enough cat hair to make a sixth cat. And you know, already I feel my head centering back up. I could work in this office, as opposed to the office I had when I woke up this morning, which made me think mostly, 'This place is a pit.' Also, there's just something nice about NOT seeing hair on the back of the toilet. But this is the second "big organization" I've done this week, the first being to redo my collage.

I need to get some better pictures of it, and I can't figure out how the heck to link a picture here, so try this.  It's blurry, but you get the idea.  This collage is much smaller than my original,  alot more organized, and less ADHD.  I'm sure you can't see it well, but there are these Goya cut outs all over Jonathan's side, which I'm really excited to explore.

Of course, I have to stop cleaning so I can start revising.

Having a hard time with the reentry into Iowa life.  I can't stay off the net and want to stay up late writing and doing email, but -- hey, dishes.  Family.  Friends that don't know what a conflict lock is.  Always a struggle to maintain balance.  And so my family contribution today shall be cleaning.  Doing laundry.  Playing with Anna.  And then maybe tonight starting in on the revision, and then more tomorrow, because the house might need picking up, but underneath should be clean.  In theory.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Wading in

All right, I used to have a blog on Blogger, but it was mostly a political spleen-vent. As I'm trying to be all growth and expansion and Zen, I closed that sucker and came to LJ to start anew, pure as the driven snow. I'm sure that will last about ten minutes. Of course, now that I've entered all that introductory info and found the great amazon picture I'd lost from my hard drive (I grabbed it from here, and will use it until someone tells me not to), I find I have very little to say.  As I'm sure no one at all is reading this, I'm not terribly upset.

Things I've done recently, maybe that's a thread.  I just got back from RWA National, and yes, I saw that freakshow of an awards ceremony.  I already wrote my letter to the board and got a few comments, er, apologizes already.  And I think I just got drafted to a committee.

Right now I'm following the advice of my horoscope and revising an ms rather than working on the new WIP.  So far this morning I've cut half the scenes in the first act.  It was both terrifying and freeing.

Well, I'm sure I've put the room to sleep by now, so my work here is done.