lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
We moved the washer and dryer a friend gave up into the basement. The washer is just fine; the dryer is slow, but works, so hurrah. The main issue with this, though, is that a number of boxes and random junk have been moved around to make even more of a mess of our main floor. A lot of these boxes are Colin's memorabilia from the dining room cupboards, so I don't know what's special and what isn't, what goes together, etc. It's a mess, I'm not sure I can clean it alone, or even make a proper start. And what it really really does is make me REALLY disinclined to even consider trying to decorate.

Christmas overall is just too damn soon. I feel like there's NO TIME. it all scurried by.
____________

Either the CD burner, the software, or the blank CDs are completely screwed up. Because the individual files play just fine if I leave them on my computer. Or move them to the MP3 player. But that's ALL FOUR discs I attempted to burn today producing crackles, errors, and random pauses. Two of them were intended to replace prior CDs that used to work but stopped doing so - something that's happened to me more often even than that (and not all with the same CD player, which is why I;m not blaming that. Many of the older ones seemed to have picked up scratches from the folder they're kept in, and many others work fine, so I was inclined to blame the storage method.

_____________

My brother is struggling right now with his whole life plan. Which... I want to help. But there's a lot of aspects where nothing I can say is useful. And the last conversation rambled off anyhow.

_____________

I'm reading and rereading Diana Wynne Jones right now. Because that's what one does at certain times*, and I found a short fiction collection of hers at the library I've had no luck finding before (including at the library).

Still not looking forward at all to the idea that the reading part of that may be gone all too soon, and rereading the only part left.

_____________

It's been clear for a while that Colin and I were burning out a bit on the SCA. There are two ways you can go when you're doing that; focus only on going to those things that really interest you (Ie, archery and/or dance) and risk the end so often seen for this path: going to less and less until inertia pretty much stops any and all involvement in the hobby - or try and look consciously for the thing that made you start, rekindle the flame, or return to some subsets of the hobby that were tried before, or teaching new people, or volunteering again. I seem to be doing more of the latter than the former. Colin is the opposite. I think this could end up a source of tension.

In related news, though, my St. George scroll is turning out as good as it ought. Yay!

____________

I seem to have decided on a possible solution to the desire for Thursdays in which to do archery or other non-choir things. Which is to go to every second Thursday practice (since there's also a practice Sunday before service, and we do prep most songs ahead, and I know some of the repertoire by heart). And use the alternate Thursdays for arching and other such. We'll see how it works.

____________

Writing is Hard. In other news, Water is Wet.




________
*Except when one does it with Pratchett. To which... well, the same damn second paragraph applies.
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
(Note. At the bottom, I ask for suggestions. I'm not kidding.)

Once upon a time, in a job interview (Not this recent one - this was years ago), I was asked the dread question of where I wanted to be in five years. I gave what I thought was a reasonable answer; I'd like to still be working within that same business, at a higher eschelon from where I began - then I added the caveat. Not too high. Not a position like controller, or vice president. I wouldn't expect, or want, to have that much control over other employees that soon.

The woman taking the interview wrote, flatly, "No ambition."

I knew I didn't have the job in that moment; if she could that drastically misunderstand my intent, I didn't really regret it. And I've tried to find other accurate ways to answer that which circumvent the question of how much command I want to have over other people.

Should I have said I wanted to be in charge of all of accounting in a mere five years? Not in five years - I think that fast a rise to that high either implies full specialized training or high-level experience elsewhere, not starting as an AP/administrative assistant. I thought I was showing realism.

I was sincere, too, that if I liked the business, I *would* want to keep at the same place for years. After three years being driven crazy there, I would go back to RCC, in any department, in a shot.

I was also sincere that staying there only in the bottom rung for forever would have been a problem. Had I continued at RCC, I would have wanted to start pressing for full-time work, different work with more training, a permanent contract. Something like J was doing, where the low end of her job was similar to mine, but the high end included far more complex work. Or, someday, replacing the person who was my official manager -- a job which K, the former front-end receptionist, took over partway through my stay.

But it's also true that I wouldn't feel need to *ever* be on the BoD. It wasn't my ambition. It never will be.

I've been thinking about ambition lately.

Mostly when I realised I don't know what Ketan's ultimate ambition in life is, or would be, if he didn't have X, Y, and Z to cope with meantime.

It hardly matters, in one sense: by the time Ketan gets to catch his breath, look around and decide what he wants to *do* with his life, I'll be done with the plot of four whole books. And certain obligations left from all that plot will force certain things from him, enough to have some kind of denouement. For instance, he's married, a state which carries a lot of its own obligations. For another, he's trained in two main things; Kinging, and soldiery, with other talents and possibilities coming apparent around the edges.

But by the end of the Serpent Prince, what he doesn't want is to be King, the job he was raised to. And through Soldier of the Road, Poisoned Tongue, and onwards, his chequered experience convinces him he was right. Even if it's a job he can do, and might take up for sheer need.

Except that it highlighted something for me. My characters tend to have modest ambitions. Even the ones born or pushed kicking and screaming to greatness.

Carl would like to be the archipelago's equivalent of a tavern singer, well enough known to draw local crowds, and a lover at his side - all unattainable objectives, once he's on the path the goddess asked of him. Gaitann wanted to be a composer/historian -- although he was pleased to find he also had the skill to make a decent ambassador. Patar would like to settle down with a nice family and a farm.

Finno wants to have enough money not to be worrying week to week. And he wants his friends to be happy. Jen wants to be an actress, but she's okay with modest roles; she just likes playing out stories. And she wants Finno to be okay.

Francesca, one of the few who actually wants glory, wants her family's approval, and to be known as someone who saves small children and fights blackguard villains (Saving a few scantily-clad young men would do nicely as an occasional change. There weren't enough scantily-clad men in peril in the adventure, dammit.) I think her ultimate goal is to have her grandchildren stare at her in open-mouthed awe.

But nobody wants to be President, or King. Nobody wants to be a General, or a rock star, or a CEO, or Bishop, or any other variants of rich and famous and powerful.

Heck, most of my D&D characters even only care for treasure as a means to get the equipment needed to defeat the enemy.

Some of this is that I don't write epic save-the-world fantasy. The most people seem to need or want to save is a country - and usually, they do so in the process of a smaller goal - save this person or these people, uphold this ideal against all pressure to yield. And those cases seem to be based around the littlest countries, in the corners of the world I invented. (Except in the Apocalyptic novels. But there, they're too late to save the world).

But another part is that somewhere along the way, I learned that done right, the jobs that most obviously bring wealth and glory and power really involve crushing responsibility and tedious effort and thanklessness. That done right, they should be the place where the buck stops; that in good times, the thanks should go to everyone working for them, but in bad times, they should take the burden of the blame. But also that, of necessity, they distance one from normalcy. That rock stardom dazzles, but exhausts, surrounds one with fakery, distances one from everyday pleasures, and from the ability to tell real friends from flatterers and entourage. That the rewards aren't actually so appealing as the cost, and so anyone who wants to be there for the rewards is at best mad.

Done wrong, of course, they each lead to vice, to indifference to others who have none. To excess reward for minimal real endeavour. To excess of profit or fame at the outright expense of others. Seeing ordinary people only as a mob to be manipulated, tools to be used and discarded. The separation from normalcy becomes permission to do all the things, violent of psychopathic, self-indulgent or self-destructive, that regular laws aim to prevent. Seeing one's own short term gain over long term annihilation.

I also learned that even in cases which are the exception, to people who hang onto their roots, who "keep it real" (A term I have issues with in its own way, but which seems most apt here), who took that level of fame and power but didn't forget their ideals, who do the job right for the right reason, the million-to-one chance really is million-to-one. Narrativium aside.

That in, say, the writing business, the majority of reasonably successful writers don't make enough to quit their day job. That the thousands of aspiring writers are blinded by the story of J. K. Rowling making enough to shame the Queen, and miss the stories of, say, Jim C. Hines' likely-permanent inability to quit his day job and its attendant health insurance. Of writers trying to make it without a day job working themselves to exhaustion and ceasing to have fun with writing. That this leaves them unable to take to correct pragmatic steps. Leads to cursing out editors for daring to stop their precious vision from reaching eyes. Leads them to believe the flattery of scamsters. Honing the craft takes time. Worse, publishing itself is a glacial business - most first novelists are in their 30s, and some in their 40s. And of course, there's all the things the writer has no control over; editorial or publishing trends and tastes, manuscripts lost to mail or e-mail vagaries. Changes in the business model that really are shaking the whole scene right now. The fading midlist and the rise of modest-selling e-books.

To learn how to navigate the business, a matter I have studied in some detail, I needed to have realistic aspirations.

But I feel like somewhere in the last while, being aware that the business is slow and that I should be modest has meant that I have slipped form even modest aspiration to no actual plan or expectation. To no actual ambition. That I want to be more published but lost grasp on the actual motions that need to be made to get there.

To that end.

My ambitions as of this moment:

- Within six months, I should be either working at least 30 hours/week steady, or have a damn good reason why not (such as pregnancy). At a place that I anticipate staying for a while.

- Within the next two years, I should acquire an agent, or else obtain a minimum of 50 rejections from agencies on various works, proving I tried. (Since I can try to sell Bird of Dusk and Serpent Prince, and possibly others as I go.)

- Within five years, I should have an offer on a novel, whether through an agency or otherwise, from a legitimate press.

- Within those same five years, I should have sold at least three more short stories (considering the number I don't write, this is a tougher goal than it sounds).

- Within three years, if physically possible*, I should have at least one child. While this and work goals might have trouble working together, I genuinely think this and writing goals should not.

Should I be considering other goals? Throw me suggestions.

*After two miscarriages, the caveat is very real.
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
(Note. At the bottom, I ask for suggestions. I'm not kidding.)

Once upon a time, in a job interview (Not this recent one - this was years ago), I was asked the dread question of where I wanted to be in five years. I gave what I thought was a reasonable answer; I'd like to still be working within that same business, at a higher eschelon from where I began - then I added the caveat. Not too high. Not a position like controller, or vice president. I wouldn't expect, or want, to have that much control over other employees that soon.

The woman taking the interview wrote, flatly, "No ambition."

I knew I didn't have the job in that moment; if she could that drastically misunderstand my intent, I didn't really regret it. And I've tried to find other accurate ways to answer that which circumvent the question of how much command I want to have over other people.

Should I have said I wanted to be in charge of all of accounting in a mere five years? Not in five years - I think that fast a rise to that high either implies full specialized training or high-level experience elsewhere, not starting as an AP/administrative assistant. I thought I was showing realism.

I was sincere, too, that if I liked the business, I *would* want to keep at the same place for years. After three years being driven crazy there, I would go back to RCC, in any department, in a shot.

I was also sincere that staying there only in the bottom rung for forever would have been a problem. Had I continued at RCC, I would have wanted to start pressing for full-time work, different work with more training, a permanent contract. Something like J was doing, where the low end of her job was similar to mine, but the high end included far more complex work. Or, someday, replacing the person who was my official manager -- a job which K, the former front-end receptionist, took over partway through my stay.

But it's also true that I wouldn't feel need to *ever* be on the BoD. It wasn't my ambition. It never will be.

I've been thinking about ambition lately.

Mostly when I realised I don't know what Ketan's ultimate ambition in life is, or would be, if he didn't have X, Y, and Z to cope with meantime.

It hardly matters, in one sense: by the time Ketan gets to catch his breath, look around and decide what he wants to *do* with his life, I'll be done with the plot of four whole books. And certain obligations left from all that plot will force certain things from him, enough to have some kind of denouement. For instance, he's married, a state which carries a lot of its own obligations. For another, he's trained in two main things; Kinging, and soldiery, with other talents and possibilities coming apparent around the edges.

But by the end of the Serpent Prince, what he doesn't want is to be King, the job he was raised to. And through Soldier of the Road, Poisoned Tongue, and onwards, his chequered experience convinces him he was right. Even if it's a job he can do, and might take up for sheer need.

Except that it highlighted something for me. My characters tend to have modest ambitions. Even the ones born or pushed kicking and screaming to greatness.

Carl would like to be the archipelago's equivalent of a tavern singer, well enough known to draw local crowds, and a lover at his side - all unattainable objectives, once he's on the path the goddess asked of him. Gaitann wanted to be a composer/historian -- although he was pleased to find he also had the skill to make a decent ambassador. Patar would like to settle down with a nice family and a farm.

Finno wants to have enough money not to be worrying week to week. And he wants his friends to be happy. Jen wants to be an actress, but she's okay with modest roles; she just likes playing out stories. And she wants Finno to be okay.

Francesca, one of the few who actually wants glory, wants her family's approval, and to be known as someone who saves small children and fights blackguard villains (Saving a few scantily-clad young men would do nicely as an occasional change. There weren't enough scantily-clad men in peril in the adventure, dammit.) I think her ultimate goal is to have her grandchildren stare at her in open-mouthed awe.

But nobody wants to be President, or King. Nobody wants to be a General, or a rock star, or a CEO, or Bishop, or any other variants of rich and famous and powerful.

Heck, most of my D&D characters even only care for treasure as a means to get the equipment needed to defeat the enemy.

Some of this is that I don't write epic save-the-world fantasy. The most people seem to need or want to save is a country - and usually, they do so in the process of a smaller goal - save this person or these people, uphold this ideal against all pressure to yield. And those cases seem to be based around the littlest countries, in the corners of the world I invented. (Except in the Apocalyptic novels. But there, they're too late to save the world).

But another part is that somewhere along the way, I learned that done right, the jobs that most obviously bring wealth and glory and power really involve crushing responsibility and tedious effort and thanklessness. That done right, they should be the place where the buck stops; that in good times, the thanks should go to everyone working for them, but in bad times, they should take the burden of the blame. But also that, of necessity, they distance one from normalcy. That rock stardom dazzles, but exhausts, surrounds one with fakery, distances one from everyday pleasures, and from the ability to tell real friends from flatterers and entourage. That the rewards aren't actually so appealing as the cost, and so anyone who wants to be there for the rewards is at best mad.

Done wrong, of course, they each lead to vice, to indifference to others who have none. To excess reward for minimal real endeavour. To excess of profit or fame at the outright expense of others. Seeing ordinary people only as a mob to be manipulated, tools to be used and discarded. The separation from normalcy becomes permission to do all the things, violent of psychopathic, self-indulgent or self-destructive, that regular laws aim to prevent. Seeing one's own short term gain over long term annihilation.

I also learned that even in cases which are the exception, to people who hang onto their roots, who "keep it real" (A term I have issues with in its own way, but which seems most apt here), who took that level of fame and power but didn't forget their ideals, who do the job right for the right reason, the million-to-one chance really is million-to-one. Narrativium aside.

That in, say, the writing business, the majority of reasonably successful writers don't make enough to quit their day job. That the thousands of aspiring writers are blinded by the story of J. K. Rowling making enough to shame the Queen, and miss the stories of, say, Jim C. Hines' likely-permanent inability to quit his day job and its attendant health insurance. Of writers trying to make it without a day job working themselves to exhaustion and ceasing to have fun with writing. That this leaves them unable to take to correct pragmatic steps. Leads to cursing out editors for daring to stop their precious vision from reaching eyes. Leads them to believe the flattery of scamsters. Honing the craft takes time. Worse, publishing itself is a glacial business - most first novelists are in their 30s, and some in their 40s. And of course, there's all the things the writer has no control over; editorial or publishing trends and tastes, manuscripts lost to mail or e-mail vagaries. Changes in the business model that really are shaking the whole scene right now. The fading midlist and the rise of modest-selling e-books.

To learn how to navigate the business, a matter I have studied in some detail, I needed to have realistic aspirations.

But I feel like somewhere in the last while, being aware that the business is slow and that I should be modest has meant that I have slipped form even modest aspiration to no actual plan or expectation. To no actual ambition. That I want to be more published but lost grasp on the actual motions that need to be made to get there.

To that end.

My ambitions as of this moment:

- Within six months, I should be either working at least 30 hours/week steady, or have a damn good reason why not (such as pregnancy). At a place that I anticipate staying for a while.

- Within the next two years, I should acquire an agent, or else obtain a minimum of 50 rejections from agencies on various works, proving I tried. (Since I can try to sell Bird of Dusk and Serpent Prince, and possibly others as I go.)

- Within five years, I should have an offer on a novel, whether through an agency or otherwise, from a legitimate press.

- Within those same five years, I should have sold at least three more short stories (considering the number I don't write, this is a tougher goal than it sounds).

- Within three years, if physically possible*, I should have at least one child. While this and work goals might have trouble working together, I genuinely think this and writing goals should not.

Should I be considering other goals? Throw me suggestions.

*After two miscarriages, the caveat is very real.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
Good things happening recently:

- watched Ponyo tonight. I don't think Miyazaki has written such a purely cheerful childlike movie since My Neighbour Totoro. (And having listened to the Disney dub of the latter recently, I am SO missing the old Fox version). Lovely, happy, just what I needed.

- Colin took me to Gasthaus Gutenburgetrr for lunch today, then to the zoo. Neither of us has been in ages. I got to pet a young albino constrictor (Beautiful shades of rust reds with red eyes, white only on the belly, but missing the dark pigments that would normally colour it. It seemed to like me, or at least my body heat. (We'd been walking through the tropical house already and I hadn't taken off my coat at all, so i was plenty warm). Got to watch the macaques play like cats with an unfortunate mouse; felt sorry for the mouse, but it was hard not to cheer on the monkeys in full play. And trust me, five feet away? You really KNOW the tiger's a predator. Even the other big cats, even that close don't give nearly that impression of "this could eat me".

- Finished Sherwood Smith's A Stranger to Command (Which led promptly to me rereading Crown Duel.) Fabulous. It does end on a bit of a prequel note, meaning you can tell there's another story to come, but the relations between Vidanric/Shevraeth and his classmates and his friend from home are riveting.

- Finished and re-sent that rewrite request from last year. And I think I did improve the story hugely by listening to the feedback. (Of course, since I was asked to cut it by a third, I felt that it was a good follow-on to full edit mode on Bird of Dusk.

- I have the most amazing husband. And I only hope I'm being as good for him as he needs me to be, too, because he's being all too good.

- Listening to Lennie Gallant's newest English CD, and it's loverly.

- A couple of months before I finished Bird of Dusk, i found one more song that was just too utterly perfectly the song for Finno and Jen and their relationship, in a most expected place from a most unlikely artist.

- Work has continued to go well (Although i realise when i talk about it that i usually end up griping, I've also realized the frustrations of this particular job are usually ones I can work with.

- I convinced Colin to try Criminal Minds with me. he got hooked even faster than i did. Nice to know the multiple recommendations I had were worth heeding. (Although for various reasons, we haven't watched it the last few days.)

bad thing:

- I can't talk about this here.

- Part of me would like to. To record it fully. Another part is afraid even to explain to my friends and kin.

- There is at least one image that will probably be fodder for nightmares for a long time. And an echo of my own voice in my head, chanting "No no no no -"

- Worst fucking timing in the WORLD.

- Yeah, it kind of seems to overwhelm the good things. For a while. Then they win. Then it swamps them again. Then they fight back. The good things are small enough that clearly this isn't the end of the world.

- I hurt.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
Good things happening recently:

- watched Ponyo tonight. I don't think Miyazaki has written such a purely cheerful childlike movie since My Neighbour Totoro. (And having listened to the Disney dub of the latter recently, I am SO missing the old Fox version). Lovely, happy, just what I needed.

- Colin took me to Gasthaus Gutenburgetrr for lunch today, then to the zoo. Neither of us has been in ages. I got to pet a young albino constrictor (Beautiful shades of rust reds with red eyes, white only on the belly, but missing the dark pigments that would normally colour it. It seemed to like me, or at least my body heat. (We'd been walking through the tropical house already and I hadn't taken off my coat at all, so i was plenty warm). Got to watch the macaques play like cats with an unfortunate mouse; felt sorry for the mouse, but it was hard not to cheer on the monkeys in full play. And trust me, five feet away? You really KNOW the tiger's a predator. Even the other big cats, even that close don't give nearly that impression of "this could eat me".

- Finished Sherwood Smith's A Stranger to Command (Which led promptly to me rereading Crown Duel.) Fabulous. It does end on a bit of a prequel note, meaning you can tell there's another story to come, but the relations between Vidanric/Shevraeth and his classmates and his friend from home are riveting.

- Finished and re-sent that rewrite request from last year. And I think I did improve the story hugely by listening to the feedback. (Of course, since I was asked to cut it by a third, I felt that it was a good follow-on to full edit mode on Bird of Dusk.

- I have the most amazing husband. And I only hope I'm being as good for him as he needs me to be, too, because he's being all too good.

- Listening to Lennie Gallant's newest English CD, and it's loverly.

- A couple of months before I finished Bird of Dusk, i found one more song that was just too utterly perfectly the song for Finno and Jen and their relationship, in a most expected place from a most unlikely artist.

- Work has continued to go well (Although i realise when i talk about it that i usually end up griping, I've also realized the frustrations of this particular job are usually ones I can work with.

- I convinced Colin to try Criminal Minds with me. he got hooked even faster than i did. Nice to know the multiple recommendations I had were worth heeding. (Although for various reasons, we haven't watched it the last few days.)

bad thing:

- I can't talk about this here.

- Part of me would like to. To record it fully. Another part is afraid even to explain to my friends and kin.

- There is at least one image that will probably be fodder for nightmares for a long time. And an echo of my own voice in my head, chanting "No no no no -"

- Worst fucking timing in the WORLD.

- Yeah, it kind of seems to overwhelm the good things. For a while. Then they win. Then it swamps them again. Then they fight back. The good things are small enough that clearly this isn't the end of the world.

- I hurt.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Periodically, I get these navel-gazing bits. This was actually word for word my comment on a recent Jim Hines post.

Before you read a word of mine, go read his post:

Rapists and Abusers (If I have to warn people it might be triggery, you didn't read the title.)

Shorter him: People prefer to talk about rapists as if they were a whole other species of human, not potentially normal. And this can be very bad when the rapist doesn't fit the profile of evil, when he looks like any other guy. And he talks about the bell curve, the possible slope connecting people who commit abuse with other people.

And the very first comment he got was from someone who pretty much tried to argue that ebcause she can't imagine committing that behaviour, and because of statistics about how many people are mentally ill, rapists, or at least horrible gang-rapists of fifteen-year-old girls, *are* a different species.

Her justifications rang false to me. Partly because of the Milgram Experiment and its ilk already suggesting some aspects of that slope. But also.... because I am normal. (I've discussed being normal before. It's a state to treasure, but not a compliment to myself, because I didn't earn it. It's one of those things earned for me.)

And by her logic, if I'm normal... I'm not capable of violence.

And thus, though I didn't answer her directly, I wrote this:

_________________
Seriously. Read Jim first, then click. )
lenora_rose: (Default)
Periodically, I get these navel-gazing bits. This was actually word for word my comment on a recent Jim Hines post.

Before you read a word of mine, go read his post:

Rapists and Abusers (If I have to warn people it might be triggery, you didn't read the title.)

Shorter him: People prefer to talk about rapists as if they were a whole other species of human, not potentially normal. And this can be very bad when the rapist doesn't fit the profile of evil, when he looks like any other guy. And he talks about the bell curve, the possible slope connecting people who commit abuse with other people.

And the very first comment he got was from someone who pretty much tried to argue that ebcause she can't imagine committing that behaviour, and because of statistics about how many people are mentally ill, rapists, or at least horrible gang-rapists of fifteen-year-old girls, *are* a different species.

Her justifications rang false to me. Partly because of the Milgram Experiment and its ilk already suggesting some aspects of that slope. But also.... because I am normal. (I've discussed being normal before. It's a state to treasure, but not a compliment to myself, because I didn't earn it. It's one of those things earned for me.)

And by her logic, if I'm normal... I'm not capable of violence.

And thus, though I didn't answer her directly, I wrote this:

_________________
Seriously. Read Jim first, then click. )
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
This is going to deal with some sensitive personal areas. But I have a reason for making it a public post.

At least one of the people mentioned besides my brother reads this journal, and... read to the end before you say a word.

__________________________

Once I had a friend. Call him PT. (The only legitimate initials in this whole thing will be my brother's. Most people who matter will know why I picked the ones I picked for the others.)

This friend was dating another friend of mine (Call her BB.)

They broke up, as people do. partly because after a few months, he felt ready to commit and clingy and mentioned the M word. Please note we are talking about people around 20 at the time.

She was not ready to commit to anything.

A month later, and much to their sincere surprise (Especially as, less than a week before, he'd been telling me something that strongly implied that he didn't expect it to happen), my brother, JH, started Dating BB.

I was asked by BB to break it to PT. Cowardice on BB's part? Maybe. But we both knew he was still hoping to get back together.

That was a painful conversation, and yes, it involved weeping on my shoulder. Or near enough as makes no difference.

But after a few days/weeks, PT got it into his head that my brother (Who had been crushing on BB, yes, but said nothing, as he knows not to do these things) had been the reason he and BB broke up; had somehow "Stolen" her by making himself a more attractive option. (Trust me. BB has agency and knows what to do with it.)

So at that year's Fringe Festival, PT spent a day following BB around the various parks and squares (BB could not listen to the Police's "Every Breath You Take" for a long time after without a shiver or five.), and culminated it in stomping up to my brother and threatening to beat his face in. (I should mention here that PT is about 6"1' and broad even when unfit. JH is about 5'9", and built like a long-distance runner. Or was then...)

PT told me later that he'd actually intended to just walk up and swing... and discovered that he hasn't got the violence in him to do it.

Here's the thing: LATER.

I was on the phone with PT for about two hours that night telling him what a Fuck-up he'd been.

And again when I got together with him later that week to figure out how he'd got himself into a mental state where stalking seemed like a remotely good idea. I thought at the time that it was better for him than losing all his friends at once. And maybe it was, in some ways, and decidedly it wasn't, in others.

PT was not cured; he never to my knowledge stalked anyone again, and I don't think he threatened anyone either. But he didn't fix the underlying possessive streak (NAme a thing what it is.) I broke up with him twice AS A FRIEND, because he was growing romantically attached and clingy, convinced we should be a couple regardless of what I said about the matter, jealous if I talked about liking anyone else. (This was not helped by the fact that I flirt with my friends without thinking about it; and I didn't *want* to have to be on my guard with someone who was legitimately a close friend, and with whom I could hash problems or life - as long as it wasn't romantic. So I would absentmindedly flirt. I confess my culpability that far.) In both cases we got together again, at first warily, because he showed sincere effort to mend his ways. Heeven pursued another couple of vague romantic lines (Some of which required the same clue stick dropped on his head of him making bad choices, longing for commitment too early, getting attached any time a female friend showed friendship... turning possessive about any woman about). For a while, he even tried to encourage me in a (vain) romantic pursuit I was following - except he *showed* me the effort, which meant he was acting the same jealous role with a veneer overtop.

And years later, when I thought he was over the worst tendencies to see (almost) any female friend as a romance, I did date him. (Weirdly, I think this was the time his behaviour was the *least* manipulative and borderline.) We both decided it didn't work, then. The most painless and mutual break-up of the four.

Yup. Four. The last one was when I started dating Colin, and KNOWING we had tried it as a couple and failed, he STILL threw a jealous fit. (Well, jealous sulk.)

And talking to someone else a little later, at least one more relationship with one more female friend went sour the same way.

But this isn't a story about the lie that a good woman or a good friend can change a person. This is a story about forgiveness of fuck-ups.

I talked to him again last year. Nothing too personal or intimate, but you know something? It felt nice to not have to fear running into him in those places our social circles overlap. It felt nice to know we might actually sit down and blather sometime at a con. Not in private, and I'm not sure I trust to get remotely close to him again. Forgiveness doesn't mean failing to recognize signs, or letting yourself get into a position which could become that of a victim. But it does mean forgiving.

I should also say, because it matters here, too. JH put pressure on me to break off the friendship. Quite justified on his part, I'd say. So did mom, for that matter (And BB, though I didn't live in the same house as her.) But both of them let me make the choice, and while they let their opinion stand, they eased off the pressure.

Had JH ever declared, "Us or him. really." I would have dropped PT. I would ahve told him why, but I would have done it. And tried to make it stick.

And it would have hurt worse than the years of breaking apart, trying to patch it, up, breaking apart again. Worse. I still don't doubt that, actually, any more than I doubt that I would have caved. Forgiving PT enough to keep talking to him wasn't easy, either internally in the doing, or externally, in the pressure.

____________________________

I have another friend. Call him RAF.

RAF is stubborn. RAF is by his own comment, "The most stubborn person you will ever meet."

I have dealt with RAF through *more* nasty social altercations than anyone else, some small, some bigger, some very very big indeed. I've watched him rewrite the facts of an event (Once within the same evening) to suit his side of the story. (He does it to books, too, but books don't get hurt by it. However, reading Left Hand of Darkness after hearing his version was... telling.) I've watched him fail to notice clues and warnings given with everything but a club, then profess surprise when everything came together and hit at once. Hurt him, yes, but he hit back at least as hard, and hurt a lot more people, including me, in the process.

That could be a description of two different events. Ouch. Both times, I stopped talking to him for a while; once for weeks (Less, maybe, if you count some wary exchanges. Well, wary on my part.), once for months.

He approaches almost any situation with "My way or the highway" and then gets smacked with the highway... and always, always, declares it someone else's fault. (The time's he's right make it worse on all the other times, because they give him fuel to feel righteous.)

He admits culpability for minor things, and uses it as an excuse for refusing to move on major ones, even when facts are against him.

He still doesn't know how upset he made some people.

Important: In few altercations was he the only one at fault* (in one case, the "other people" don't know how upset they made some of his friends, either.)

Equally important: In at least one such altercation, my attempt to point out that both sides were at fault was taken as "If you aren't 100% with me, you're against me." And I was smacked down and hurt badly.

But you know something? I see him almost weekly. We talk a lot. We bicker cheerfully. I get exasperated by his bad habits (no doubt he does of mine), but I poke fun at him for them, more often than I actually berate him for them.

One of the advantages of stubbornness to that degree is... he's got your back, and he won't stop for anything short of you yourself telling him he's done enough.

And I'm sure there were other times I did something at least as egregious as any of his acts, and that he's had to find it in himself to cope.

We're not as close as we were before some of the problems went down. But that's not the same thing as saying I don't have his back if he's in real trouble.

_______________________


Once my mother wrote a letter to BB that I thought a mite excessive, but important and useful and even the right thing.

I was WRONG. In that letter, my mother detailed everything she felt was wrong with BB's relationship (Not with PT; this was years later.) Including some, as it turned out, entirely unfounded concerns.

BB still talks to my mother, although immediately afterward, she was spitting nails. She still talks to me. The other party in that relationship still does, too, actually. Even though they knew that while I had no part in writing it, I had seen the contents and okayed sending it.

________________________

When I mention in passing that I'm glad I was in my mom's custody, and JH ended up that way, I'm not talking about which house had the better accoutrements. (In fact, most years, that would be dad's.) I'm talking about not having to live in the same house as my stepmother.

The person I had panic-attack level breathing problems for having to deal with for two weeks when I was about twelve. That's as much as I can say without violating someone else's privacy in public. Somewhere, I still have my fifteen/sixteen year old histrionics during one of our other visits, and among the melodrama therein, I - I have a hard time reading that, and not for the "OMG was I ever a drama queen!" of the others.

She and children? Not a good combination. (At least, children not her own. And even then... But again, not violating privacy.)

Colin likes my stepmother. More to the point, dealing with her as an adult, *I* like my stepmother.

___________________________

One of my friends had me on hand to help him through the realization he was turning into an alcoholic. Though he'd hurt me and others, I was there, because that was a fragile point.

I didn't get to see the end of that route. I hope to God it kept on an upswing, or got back onto one. Based on some of the people he seems to have kept in touch with all along, I suspect he had more help.

I wish I were friends enough at this stage to at least be able to ask, even if I don't want to get close for other reasons.

___________________________

I mentioned before learning that NL, a friend I'd drifted apart from, and of whom I retain fond memories, had talked some truly nasty smack behind my back, something I learned while considering getting back together with her.

We haven't seen each other often since, but when we have, it's seemed like a good thing. I miss NL, sometimes a lot. I made some bad mistakes myself in our friendship. But it would be nice to have the chance to talk enough to really find out if she can accept an apology, and the things I've been wishing I could share with her.

__________________________


I once broke JH's nose. It wasn't a childhood accident. It was a willful swing of the hand (After a charge up the hall).

My brother is, and remains, one of my best friends in the world. I still don't know how he forgave me doing something so dreadful.

__________________________

Forgiveness isn't easy. It's not pretty.


PT read at least one draft of a book I wasn't then ready to show to anyone else short of family. Which meant opening up parts of me I was a little scared to show in public, trusting him to accept those dark bits of me. I wrote a story only for him, one of my better short stories (Still unpublished. I should consider sending it back out). The story turned out not to be true in this world, but that's okay.

RAF - There have been a number of times he was the person who managed to welcome new people into our social circle, and to reach out and make connections. He used to accuse me of being the best person for finding things that didn't look like they'd suit him, but did after all (Like the movie Ever After, and a pile of books. I guess he forgot the near-misses.)

NL and I got each other through high school. WE collaborated on writing, shared art marathons, played together in RPGs, introduced each other to music. Created dragons and worlds.

The alcoholic - I can't say, not without cracking open a privacy. But I don't wish him ill. I hope in in a better place than he was then. With good people he can count on to tell him if he's fucking up again.

Do I have to say what my mom and brother and dad mean to me?

Heck, mom: "The song of my live will still be sung, by the light of the moon you hung."

JH is ALWAYS going to be one of my best friends. I don't like him being so far away we can't blather about whatever, whenever (At least since neither of us ever remembers to call the other.)

Dad: Dad is far away, a long narrow cord that has never broken. The classic family: "If you have to go there, they have to take you in."

My stepmother has grown calmer and wiser as well as older. She has never gone so far as to admit or talk about her mistakes. But she's given me advice on my own future family that was so obviously grounded in painful experience and awareness of how much she went wrong that I could admit some of my own worst fears in that area.

Forgiveness is hard.

But we're all humans. We're more than a flawed species. We're all broken and messed up.

And sometimes the best and least painful of the painful choices (though because it hurts in itself, we're leery of it, and can hide in the thing whose pain is more familiar) is to reach out again. Sometimes it has to wait until you're in a position of strength, or at least a position where you cannot be convinced that forgiveness means allowing yourself to become a victim. Sometimes it takes distance enough to look at your own failures, and know that their forgiveness is even more precious.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
This is going to deal with some sensitive personal areas. But I have a reason for making it a public post.

At least one of the people mentioned besides my brother reads this journal, and... read to the end before you say a word.

__________________________

Once I had a friend. Call him PT. (The only legitimate initials in this whole thing will be my brother's. Most people who matter will know why I picked the ones I picked for the others.)

This friend was dating another friend of mine (Call her BB.)

They broke up, as people do. partly because after a few months, he felt ready to commit and clingy and mentioned the M word. Please note we are talking about people around 20 at the time.

She was not ready to commit to anything.

A month later, and much to their sincere surprise (Especially as, less than a week before, he'd been telling me something that strongly implied that he didn't expect it to happen), my brother, JH, started Dating BB.

I was asked by BB to break it to PT. Cowardice on BB's part? Maybe. But we both knew he was still hoping to get back together.

That was a painful conversation, and yes, it involved weeping on my shoulder. Or near enough as makes no difference.

But after a few days/weeks, PT got it into his head that my brother (Who had been crushing on BB, yes, but said nothing, as he knows not to do these things) had been the reason he and BB broke up; had somehow "Stolen" her by making himself a more attractive option. (Trust me. BB has agency and knows what to do with it.)

So at that year's Fringe Festival, PT spent a day following BB around the various parks and squares (BB could not listen to the Police's "Every Breath You Take" for a long time after without a shiver or five.), and culminated it in stomping up to my brother and threatening to beat his face in. (I should mention here that PT is about 6"1' and broad even when unfit. JH is about 5'9", and built like a long-distance runner. Or was then...)

PT told me later that he'd actually intended to just walk up and swing... and discovered that he hasn't got the violence in him to do it.

Here's the thing: LATER.

I was on the phone with PT for about two hours that night telling him what a Fuck-up he'd been.

And again when I got together with him later that week to figure out how he'd got himself into a mental state where stalking seemed like a remotely good idea. I thought at the time that it was better for him than losing all his friends at once. And maybe it was, in some ways, and decidedly it wasn't, in others.

PT was not cured; he never to my knowledge stalked anyone again, and I don't think he threatened anyone either. But he didn't fix the underlying possessive streak (NAme a thing what it is.) I broke up with him twice AS A FRIEND, because he was growing romantically attached and clingy, convinced we should be a couple regardless of what I said about the matter, jealous if I talked about liking anyone else. (This was not helped by the fact that I flirt with my friends without thinking about it; and I didn't *want* to have to be on my guard with someone who was legitimately a close friend, and with whom I could hash problems or life - as long as it wasn't romantic. So I would absentmindedly flirt. I confess my culpability that far.) In both cases we got together again, at first warily, because he showed sincere effort to mend his ways. Heeven pursued another couple of vague romantic lines (Some of which required the same clue stick dropped on his head of him making bad choices, longing for commitment too early, getting attached any time a female friend showed friendship... turning possessive about any woman about). For a while, he even tried to encourage me in a (vain) romantic pursuit I was following - except he *showed* me the effort, which meant he was acting the same jealous role with a veneer overtop.

And years later, when I thought he was over the worst tendencies to see (almost) any female friend as a romance, I did date him. (Weirdly, I think this was the time his behaviour was the *least* manipulative and borderline.) We both decided it didn't work, then. The most painless and mutual break-up of the four.

Yup. Four. The last one was when I started dating Colin, and KNOWING we had tried it as a couple and failed, he STILL threw a jealous fit. (Well, jealous sulk.)

And talking to someone else a little later, at least one more relationship with one more female friend went sour the same way.

But this isn't a story about the lie that a good woman or a good friend can change a person. This is a story about forgiveness of fuck-ups.

I talked to him again last year. Nothing too personal or intimate, but you know something? It felt nice to not have to fear running into him in those places our social circles overlap. It felt nice to know we might actually sit down and blather sometime at a con. Not in private, and I'm not sure I trust to get remotely close to him again. Forgiveness doesn't mean failing to recognize signs, or letting yourself get into a position which could become that of a victim. But it does mean forgiving.

I should also say, because it matters here, too. JH put pressure on me to break off the friendship. Quite justified on his part, I'd say. So did mom, for that matter (And BB, though I didn't live in the same house as her.) But both of them let me make the choice, and while they let their opinion stand, they eased off the pressure.

Had JH ever declared, "Us or him. really." I would have dropped PT. I would ahve told him why, but I would have done it. And tried to make it stick.

And it would have hurt worse than the years of breaking apart, trying to patch it, up, breaking apart again. Worse. I still don't doubt that, actually, any more than I doubt that I would have caved. Forgiving PT enough to keep talking to him wasn't easy, either internally in the doing, or externally, in the pressure.

____________________________

I have another friend. Call him RAF.

RAF is stubborn. RAF is by his own comment, "The most stubborn person you will ever meet."

I have dealt with RAF through *more* nasty social altercations than anyone else, some small, some bigger, some very very big indeed. I've watched him rewrite the facts of an event (Once within the same evening) to suit his side of the story. (He does it to books, too, but books don't get hurt by it. However, reading Left Hand of Darkness after hearing his version was... telling.) I've watched him fail to notice clues and warnings given with everything but a club, then profess surprise when everything came together and hit at once. Hurt him, yes, but he hit back at least as hard, and hurt a lot more people, including me, in the process.

That could be a description of two different events. Ouch. Both times, I stopped talking to him for a while; once for weeks (Less, maybe, if you count some wary exchanges. Well, wary on my part.), once for months.

He approaches almost any situation with "My way or the highway" and then gets smacked with the highway... and always, always, declares it someone else's fault. (The time's he's right make it worse on all the other times, because they give him fuel to feel righteous.)

He admits culpability for minor things, and uses it as an excuse for refusing to move on major ones, even when facts are against him.

He still doesn't know how upset he made some people.

Important: In few altercations was he the only one at fault* (in one case, the "other people" don't know how upset they made some of his friends, either.)

Equally important: In at least one such altercation, my attempt to point out that both sides were at fault was taken as "If you aren't 100% with me, you're against me." And I was smacked down and hurt badly.

But you know something? I see him almost weekly. We talk a lot. We bicker cheerfully. I get exasperated by his bad habits (no doubt he does of mine), but I poke fun at him for them, more often than I actually berate him for them.

One of the advantages of stubbornness to that degree is... he's got your back, and he won't stop for anything short of you yourself telling him he's done enough.

And I'm sure there were other times I did something at least as egregious as any of his acts, and that he's had to find it in himself to cope.

We're not as close as we were before some of the problems went down. But that's not the same thing as saying I don't have his back if he's in real trouble.

_______________________


Once my mother wrote a letter to BB that I thought a mite excessive, but important and useful and even the right thing.

I was WRONG. In that letter, my mother detailed everything she felt was wrong with BB's relationship (Not with PT; this was years later.) Including some, as it turned out, entirely unfounded concerns.

BB still talks to my mother, although immediately afterward, she was spitting nails. She still talks to me. The other party in that relationship still does, too, actually. Even though they knew that while I had no part in writing it, I had seen the contents and okayed sending it.

________________________

When I mention in passing that I'm glad I was in my mom's custody, and JH ended up that way, I'm not talking about which house had the better accoutrements. (In fact, most years, that would be dad's.) I'm talking about not having to live in the same house as my stepmother.

The person I had panic-attack level breathing problems for having to deal with for two weeks when I was about twelve. That's as much as I can say without violating someone else's privacy in public. Somewhere, I still have my fifteen/sixteen year old histrionics during one of our other visits, and among the melodrama therein, I - I have a hard time reading that, and not for the "OMG was I ever a drama queen!" of the others.

She and children? Not a good combination. (At least, children not her own. And even then... But again, not violating privacy.)

Colin likes my stepmother. More to the point, dealing with her as an adult, *I* like my stepmother.

___________________________

One of my friends had me on hand to help him through the realization he was turning into an alcoholic. Though he'd hurt me and others, I was there, because that was a fragile point.

I didn't get to see the end of that route. I hope to God it kept on an upswing, or got back onto one. Based on some of the people he seems to have kept in touch with all along, I suspect he had more help.

I wish I were friends enough at this stage to at least be able to ask, even if I don't want to get close for other reasons.

___________________________

I mentioned before learning that NL, a friend I'd drifted apart from, and of whom I retain fond memories, had talked some truly nasty smack behind my back, something I learned while considering getting back together with her.

We haven't seen each other often since, but when we have, it's seemed like a good thing. I miss NL, sometimes a lot. I made some bad mistakes myself in our friendship. But it would be nice to have the chance to talk enough to really find out if she can accept an apology, and the things I've been wishing I could share with her.

__________________________


I once broke JH's nose. It wasn't a childhood accident. It was a willful swing of the hand (After a charge up the hall).

My brother is, and remains, one of my best friends in the world. I still don't know how he forgave me doing something so dreadful.

__________________________

Forgiveness isn't easy. It's not pretty.


PT read at least one draft of a book I wasn't then ready to show to anyone else short of family. Which meant opening up parts of me I was a little scared to show in public, trusting him to accept those dark bits of me. I wrote a story only for him, one of my better short stories (Still unpublished. I should consider sending it back out). The story turned out not to be true in this world, but that's okay.

RAF - There have been a number of times he was the person who managed to welcome new people into our social circle, and to reach out and make connections. He used to accuse me of being the best person for finding things that didn't look like they'd suit him, but did after all (Like the movie Ever After, and a pile of books. I guess he forgot the near-misses.)

NL and I got each other through high school. WE collaborated on writing, shared art marathons, played together in RPGs, introduced each other to music. Created dragons and worlds.

The alcoholic - I can't say, not without cracking open a privacy. But I don't wish him ill. I hope in in a better place than he was then. With good people he can count on to tell him if he's fucking up again.

Do I have to say what my mom and brother and dad mean to me?

Heck, mom: "The song of my live will still be sung, by the light of the moon you hung."

JH is ALWAYS going to be one of my best friends. I don't like him being so far away we can't blather about whatever, whenever (At least since neither of us ever remembers to call the other.)

Dad: Dad is far away, a long narrow cord that has never broken. The classic family: "If you have to go there, they have to take you in."

My stepmother has grown calmer and wiser as well as older. She has never gone so far as to admit or talk about her mistakes. But she's given me advice on my own future family that was so obviously grounded in painful experience and awareness of how much she went wrong that I could admit some of my own worst fears in that area.

Forgiveness is hard.

But we're all humans. We're more than a flawed species. We're all broken and messed up.

And sometimes the best and least painful of the painful choices (though because it hurts in itself, we're leery of it, and can hide in the thing whose pain is more familiar) is to reach out again. Sometimes it has to wait until you're in a position of strength, or at least a position where you cannot be convinced that forgiveness means allowing yourself to become a victim. Sometimes it takes distance enough to look at your own failures, and know that their forgiveness is even more precious.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
I know why this is hard.

On the one hand, Bird of Dusk is filling up the writing part of my brain. In spite of some minor thoughts on the Serpent Prince popping up (Minor answers to minor problems), this is the story I want to continue with. These are the characters in my head. The plot driving me forward (And there was a little more forward progress than last reported.)

However.

Part of me has become utterly convinced, through various mediums, that this story is NOT going to interest anyone else. It's long. It's unwieldy. It's complex. It's depressing. (Let's see. Rape. Abandonment. Prostitution. Deals with what may as well be a devil, even if it calls itself a dragon. Faerie. A rather nasty love spell. Unusually early onset Schizophrenia - and a number of people could tell me that alone is a place in which to tread carefully. Sacrifices. A cast of characters of which only one major one isn't obviously and patently broken (*anymore* Don't ask about his backstory). And a central theme best described as alienation.) Why would anybody else read this?

Nobody's read it, at least not a draft resembling this one (The ones mom and Corey read lo, many years ago give an idea, but...). Nobody has intentionally come up to me and said. "Give this story up. It's not worth it."

But I've kept reading things mentioned in passing or otherwise on peoples' blogs, about writing theory, their own writing projects, etc. And they either don't apply, or apply entirely wrong.

When I read what I have, there are pieces I love, big and small. But the nagging voice won't go away.

This is different from the usual suck-monkey that hits in the middle of every project, because it's not saying I suck as a writer, or that the writing itself is bad. It's saying, "You write well. Why are you wasting your talent on a book nobody else will want?"

It's saying this is a story without a reader. Which would, if true, make it a story stillborn. A half doesn't survive without the whole.

On the up side, I WANT to get the the university tomorrow and start in on the next pottery pieces I need to make up for plaster casting. Pottery is looking fun and interesting again. (assuming the first plaster cast worked. Assuming I can do with it what I intended.)

So I should go to bed.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
I know why this is hard.

On the one hand, Bird of Dusk is filling up the writing part of my brain. In spite of some minor thoughts on the Serpent Prince popping up (Minor answers to minor problems), this is the story I want to continue with. These are the characters in my head. The plot driving me forward (And there was a little more forward progress than last reported.)

However.

Part of me has become utterly convinced, through various mediums, that this story is NOT going to interest anyone else. It's long. It's unwieldy. It's complex. It's depressing. (Let's see. Rape. Abandonment. Prostitution. Deals with what may as well be a devil, even if it calls itself a dragon. Faerie. A rather nasty love spell. Unusually early onset Schizophrenia - and a number of people could tell me that alone is a place in which to tread carefully. Sacrifices. A cast of characters of which only one major one isn't obviously and patently broken (*anymore* Don't ask about his backstory). And a central theme best described as alienation.) Why would anybody else read this?

Nobody's read it, at least not a draft resembling this one (The ones mom and Corey read lo, many years ago give an idea, but...). Nobody has intentionally come up to me and said. "Give this story up. It's not worth it."

But I've kept reading things mentioned in passing or otherwise on peoples' blogs, about writing theory, their own writing projects, etc. And they either don't apply, or apply entirely wrong.

When I read what I have, there are pieces I love, big and small. But the nagging voice won't go away.

This is different from the usual suck-monkey that hits in the middle of every project, because it's not saying I suck as a writer, or that the writing itself is bad. It's saying, "You write well. Why are you wasting your talent on a book nobody else will want?"

It's saying this is a story without a reader. Which would, if true, make it a story stillborn. A half doesn't survive without the whole.

On the up side, I WANT to get the the university tomorrow and start in on the next pottery pieces I need to make up for plaster casting. Pottery is looking fun and interesting again. (assuming the first plaster cast worked. Assuming I can do with it what I intended.)

So I should go to bed.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
So, since my post January 8th about Murdering a Big Darling, it took until *yesterday* to get That ONE scene right. I started it three times. Twice dreadfully. Then, after having screwed it up the second time, i got the opening dialogue down in my brain, but had no chance to do more than scribble the bare bones of the first exchange in my notebook on Saturday.

Great progress. A whopping 1100 words.

(Small consolation: the scene it replaced was only 1200. I thought it was longer.)

I wish I knew how the next big confrontation was going to play out, but aside from knowing someone loses an ear (Well, a big piece of cartilage), and it won't be fun and games for anyone, I have no clue.

___________________

I have three teapots. They just got mostly-good response in Critique. They are at leather hard stage, however, and one is unfinished (I have decoration to do). One has the handle in slightly the wrong place, but not so wrong it can't be used.

I should be finishing it now. I seem to prefer sitting at the computer today. Finno wants me to try and get going on the *next* scene. (Even though, see above.)

I also rolled out mammoth tusks on Sunday. In both cases, I think they're a little long even for a mammoth. But they needed to be done.

I love it when the professor says things like "You can tell soemthing's been scratched with a pin tool" then praises my convoluted carving. Hee, and what do you think my main tool is? Okay, besides a wheel. (Most of the detail work even on Fetch, Sher, and Nessie was done with the classic needle-on-a-stick pin tool. There's a reason i have one darned weird callus on my middle finger.)

Still, not wanting to work is not terribly helpful.
___________________

I've now had two different people tell me my mandolin teacher thinks I'm making really good progress. Say WHAT?

I don't think I have *once* made it through a song without some kind of a flub, many more obvious than others. I have made it through whole verses and choruses, often enough to know, intellectually, that I can, and even will.

But. There's the song where I can't keep a singular strumming pattern to save my life. There's the chord I've transitioned to smoothly about five times ever, and never twice in a row. There's the new song where the tricky chords seem to also mean I stop being able to play the easy ones (I screw up Gs in that song, the first chord I learned. Even when they follow other familiar chords.) Oh, and whose hardest chord I can barely sound at all, and never without some pain (This is muscle training, at least, and temporary. That used to be true of chords I can hit better now; I still miss them too often, but not with pain.)

I've made a few attempts to learn songs he isn't actively teaching me, to extrapolate skills, since that's the *point*. And, well... the results aren't even mixed. They're mostly clumsy. I might have the strumming pattern to one. Half of one. (I don't have the finger-picking pattern, quite, at the point where the song consciously changes over.)

If this is knowing something, or making progress... it feels slow. It feels like it will be another year before I'd want to play anything in front of people, and two or three before I'd be willing to try and play along with someone else.

The good news is, this is making me want to keep practicing.

___________________

On the other hand, archery is only frustrating me. I'm in one of the downturns where I'm doing badly, and doing badly is frustrating me, and the frustration makes it harder to do well.

Also a case of need to practice more, but with what time?

___________________

One positive result of the (Apparently still ongoing!) Internet craziness* that has been running through LJ is that i have found and friended a bunch of other journals. Some are people I've been observing for a while, some were people who seemed to come out of the woodwork, linked to journals I knew via journals I didn't.

A sad result is two people on my friends list deleting their Ljs entirely. I am hoping both will change their mind (They have a month), or, as someone suggested, undelete long enough to save the data elsewhere.

___________________

Weird thing about my new MP3 player. When it's set to random, it starts up with a brand new song each time it comes on - not the song that was playing or cued to play. Okay, not so odd; except that if it's turned off at the 2:10 mark in a song... it will start up again at the 2:10 mark of a *completely different song*. I think that's strange, anyhow.

The Police's Wrapped Around Your Finger seems to come up disproportionately often when this particular playlist (Rock/pop) is set to random. Every time the thing gets switched of and back on, so far. Yup. Every. There are 280 songs and it doesn't run more than 10-20 at a stretch most of the time.
___________________

* At this point, I feel like there are TWO conversations going on, because there are several that seem to be buried in personal attacks and invective, and places a very intelligent, if oft frustrated (Because some points have been oft-repeated) discourse on Cultural appropriation and othering are happening. Sometimes in the same lj entry, if different comment threads. Sometimes with the same participants. Please not, then, that when I talk about craziness, I am not talking about the latter. And if i just friended you, or have not unfriended you, chances are I think you're trying to make light, not heat.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
So, since my post January 8th about Murdering a Big Darling, it took until *yesterday* to get That ONE scene right. I started it three times. Twice dreadfully. Then, after having screwed it up the second time, i got the opening dialogue down in my brain, but had no chance to do more than scribble the bare bones of the first exchange in my notebook on Saturday.

Great progress. A whopping 1100 words.

(Small consolation: the scene it replaced was only 1200. I thought it was longer.)

I wish I knew how the next big confrontation was going to play out, but aside from knowing someone loses an ear (Well, a big piece of cartilage), and it won't be fun and games for anyone, I have no clue.

___________________

I have three teapots. They just got mostly-good response in Critique. They are at leather hard stage, however, and one is unfinished (I have decoration to do). One has the handle in slightly the wrong place, but not so wrong it can't be used.

I should be finishing it now. I seem to prefer sitting at the computer today. Finno wants me to try and get going on the *next* scene. (Even though, see above.)

I also rolled out mammoth tusks on Sunday. In both cases, I think they're a little long even for a mammoth. But they needed to be done.

I love it when the professor says things like "You can tell soemthing's been scratched with a pin tool" then praises my convoluted carving. Hee, and what do you think my main tool is? Okay, besides a wheel. (Most of the detail work even on Fetch, Sher, and Nessie was done with the classic needle-on-a-stick pin tool. There's a reason i have one darned weird callus on my middle finger.)

Still, not wanting to work is not terribly helpful.
___________________

I've now had two different people tell me my mandolin teacher thinks I'm making really good progress. Say WHAT?

I don't think I have *once* made it through a song without some kind of a flub, many more obvious than others. I have made it through whole verses and choruses, often enough to know, intellectually, that I can, and even will.

But. There's the song where I can't keep a singular strumming pattern to save my life. There's the chord I've transitioned to smoothly about five times ever, and never twice in a row. There's the new song where the tricky chords seem to also mean I stop being able to play the easy ones (I screw up Gs in that song, the first chord I learned. Even when they follow other familiar chords.) Oh, and whose hardest chord I can barely sound at all, and never without some pain (This is muscle training, at least, and temporary. That used to be true of chords I can hit better now; I still miss them too often, but not with pain.)

I've made a few attempts to learn songs he isn't actively teaching me, to extrapolate skills, since that's the *point*. And, well... the results aren't even mixed. They're mostly clumsy. I might have the strumming pattern to one. Half of one. (I don't have the finger-picking pattern, quite, at the point where the song consciously changes over.)

If this is knowing something, or making progress... it feels slow. It feels like it will be another year before I'd want to play anything in front of people, and two or three before I'd be willing to try and play along with someone else.

The good news is, this is making me want to keep practicing.

___________________

On the other hand, archery is only frustrating me. I'm in one of the downturns where I'm doing badly, and doing badly is frustrating me, and the frustration makes it harder to do well.

Also a case of need to practice more, but with what time?

___________________

One positive result of the (Apparently still ongoing!) Internet craziness* that has been running through LJ is that i have found and friended a bunch of other journals. Some are people I've been observing for a while, some were people who seemed to come out of the woodwork, linked to journals I knew via journals I didn't.

A sad result is two people on my friends list deleting their Ljs entirely. I am hoping both will change their mind (They have a month), or, as someone suggested, undelete long enough to save the data elsewhere.

___________________

Weird thing about my new MP3 player. When it's set to random, it starts up with a brand new song each time it comes on - not the song that was playing or cued to play. Okay, not so odd; except that if it's turned off at the 2:10 mark in a song... it will start up again at the 2:10 mark of a *completely different song*. I think that's strange, anyhow.

The Police's Wrapped Around Your Finger seems to come up disproportionately often when this particular playlist (Rock/pop) is set to random. Every time the thing gets switched of and back on, so far. Yup. Every. There are 280 songs and it doesn't run more than 10-20 at a stretch most of the time.
___________________

* At this point, I feel like there are TWO conversations going on, because there are several that seem to be buried in personal attacks and invective, and places a very intelligent, if oft frustrated (Because some points have been oft-repeated) discourse on Cultural appropriation and othering are happening. Sometimes in the same lj entry, if different comment threads. Sometimes with the same participants. Please not, then, that when I talk about craziness, I am not talking about the latter. And if i just friended you, or have not unfriended you, chances are I think you're trying to make light, not heat.

Stuff

Aug. 22nd, 2008 01:11 pm
lenora_rose: (Default)
So Brannie gifted me Heather Dale's the Gabriel Hounds for late birthday, and [livejournal.com profile] taleisin did the same for Sherwood Smith's King's Shield (Which, with the arrival of Bear's books changed my to-read lsit to include both that and my current read, New Amsterdam)....

.... and I still ended up spedning frivolous money better saved for other times. Well before October.

But not on DVDs, or CDs or books, or comics, or etc.

I bought something, shall we say, pretty to wear for my husband. To make up for the incredible business of the pre-wedding weeks, and the lack of time spent together, in general and in, ah, specific. Which types of things are also more expensive than books.

Let's just say it was effective (And pretty).

But his comment, regarding the expense, wasn't the expected semi-mock 'you shouldn't have done that', was "It's just money."

This is the same husband who admits he's sometimes very unreasonable about our debt, even when it's less debt than many. About how much things cost, etc. There are times he really does wish we both could be more frugal. And sometimes steps he tries to take to that end (brown-bagging rather than buying lunch, trying to get us to eat in more.)

On the one hand, it's commendable for him to be able to let it go sometimes. (except when shrugging off money matters also means, say, not submitting his income taxes or insurance paperwork because it's paperwork, though the money would help with the debt. Which is due to a loathing for paperwork that is beyond all reason.) On the other hand, my yielding to temptation is not helping my intention to save and focus on school, or the big expense of going to World Fantasy Con, or to cut down on purchasing in general.

Mostly the last. SO many books! So little time! SO easy to forget to return things to the library and therefore end up spending on them anyway. (Of course, that as due to the wedding, too... for the most part.) So easy to make excuses.

Stuff

Aug. 22nd, 2008 01:11 pm
lenora_rose: (Default)
So Brannie gifted me Heather Dale's the Gabriel Hounds for late birthday, and [livejournal.com profile] taleisin did the same for Sherwood Smith's King's Shield (Which, with the arrival of Bear's books changed my to-read lsit to include both that and my current read, New Amsterdam)....

.... and I still ended up spedning frivolous money better saved for other times. Well before October.

But not on DVDs, or CDs or books, or comics, or etc.

I bought something, shall we say, pretty to wear for my husband. To make up for the incredible business of the pre-wedding weeks, and the lack of time spent together, in general and in, ah, specific. Which types of things are also more expensive than books.

Let's just say it was effective (And pretty).

But his comment, regarding the expense, wasn't the expected semi-mock 'you shouldn't have done that', was "It's just money."

This is the same husband who admits he's sometimes very unreasonable about our debt, even when it's less debt than many. About how much things cost, etc. There are times he really does wish we both could be more frugal. And sometimes steps he tries to take to that end (brown-bagging rather than buying lunch, trying to get us to eat in more.)

On the one hand, it's commendable for him to be able to let it go sometimes. (except when shrugging off money matters also means, say, not submitting his income taxes or insurance paperwork because it's paperwork, though the money would help with the debt. Which is due to a loathing for paperwork that is beyond all reason.) On the other hand, my yielding to temptation is not helping my intention to save and focus on school, or the big expense of going to World Fantasy Con, or to cut down on purchasing in general.

Mostly the last. SO many books! So little time! SO easy to forget to return things to the library and therefore end up spending on them anyway. (Of course, that as due to the wedding, too... for the most part.) So easy to make excuses.
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
It would almost be a good thing if there really were an Anomaly that got into people's heads from outside and turned them from obsessives to monsters, because then there might be something that can remotely explain this.

I've been trying to decide if it's a terrible comment on the world that something like that could happen, or a positive comment on the world that such a thing is so rare as to be genuinely shocking and sick-making.

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lenora_rose: (Default)
lenora_rose

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