lenora_rose: (Default)
I wrote most of this the 18th and had no chance to post. So, with edits for updated stuff here goes now.

Joseph is now a month old. I'm getting used to some of the changes and chaos in life, and sometimes he sleeps over three or four hours at a stretch, which means sometimes so do I.

A friend commented recently on how calm I am about the breastfeeding chaos (compared to someone else she knows who posts continuously about it on facebook). Trust me, that's all illusion. I have some decided struggles still; it's just this isn't the medium. I just sent my doula a long e-mail about it, and I've talked to others, and I intend to call the public health nurse tomorrow and see if she has any chance of talking to me before Christmas, or at least answering a few questions.

Christmas still feels pretty abstract to me, especially as the 17th was the first day I even tried to play Christmas music. And that partly as a change of pace from some overused playlists.

This is less so since I first wrote that, as we've at least gotten in a couple of trips out of the house to peoples' places where trees are up and Christmas is more immediate. I've done some of my most urgent shopping online but I don't know yet if I'll be braving the malls at all. If so, it will be Joseph-free, as I have no stroller yet (It's on the way). This little-Christmas feeling was making me gloomy in some of my baby-blues moments, but right now, with the focus mostly on visits and music, and a lot less on the purchases, it feels almost more a boon; less of the crass side of things and more of the celebration as it ought to be. Though is till assert that commercial and all as the shopping side of things is, at least it's mostly focused on shopping for people other than oneself, a change from the rest of the year.

I feel like I have a lot more to say, but I've been composing posts in my head and not on paper. What little writing time I've felt myself to have has mostly gone instead to editing bits of Soldier of the Road -- rather than rewriting the last scene, I'm fighting with the puzzle of where a particular character leaves, and someone else's motivation. not exciting writer-stuff, but another kind of frustration. Ah, well, at least one thread has resolved itself in my head, and it;s good to have those little successes to cling to. In any field.

More pics:

I actually got outdoors!


Unwrapped Bundle of Joy

lenora_rose: (Wheeeeee!)
One of the things abut posting more sporadically is that it tends to leave out the strangest tings happening in one’s life.

Frex. I finished my query package for The Serpent Prince, and it’s been sent out, so far, to four agents (and I’m compiling a list, slowly, of fresh information on other good agents/agencies).

One already requested a partial, or, for those not in the business, the first 50 manuscript pages, off the summary and first 5 pages. (Squeeee – in case the analysis below leaves any doubt.)

This doesn’t put me as far ahead of the game as it sounds, since one agency asks people to send a partial right off the hop, as the query. SO she's not seeing a lot others wouldn't also see. Yet.

But. The agent in question puts her statistics up for all to see. She requests manuscripts or partials a bit less than once a week (exactly 8 in the 12 week span I checked, or 2/3). She gets an average of 167 queries a week. That is to say, 0.4% of the time, she asks for more. The odds at that point are STILL cruddy (I don’t recall how many new clients she picks up in a year, but I’d be surprised if the number was significantly higher than 1, and not surprised if it was lower than 0.5) but – they’re higher than 0.4% .

There are other ways this is a good sign, though, less obvious. If you’re good enough to get the attention of one agent, you’re good enough to get attention from more. It isn’t a random distribution; once you can write a coherent story and follow submission guidelines, you’re competing with at most the top 5%, and more likely with the top 2% or less. After that, it’s mostly a combination of personal taste, commercial viability, and timing. (I’ve heard even more grim statistics about the awfulness of the slush pile.) So it’s already an affirmation that I’m good enough for someone, even if the someone ends up being not-her.


I should know better than to get too hopeful. matociquala was just the other day talking about how poisonous is magical thinking. But there's a difference between thinking that wishing will make it so and trust that my abilities are really there.

(I also sent a short story to Tor.com. Because while I'm being optimistic and tryign to do something about this writing gig, why not?)

Home Safe

Jun. 6th, 2010 03:30 pm
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
So at 11:00 last night, when we got home, i wandered once more round the block - still no sign.

At 1:30-1:45 or so, I was going to bed, and decided to make one last look outside the doors.

Irina was crouched on the front step.

However, when I flung the bolts back and threw the door open, calling her name, she bolted. I cursed myself for enthusiasm, laid out food, wandered around the yard & the next door neighbour's yard a bit to see if I could find her hiding spot, then went back in to keep watch out the front door at the bowl of food I'd left out. When I realised the neighbours on the other side had guests who were now outside smoking, and the human presence would scare her back from that door, I started watching out the windows. After a time, I spotted her in the side yard, and managed to get out the back door without terrifying her, and crept closer and closer by bits until i could pick her up.

From the way she was meowing, she wanted badly to go in, but was still freaked. She wasn't altogether happy with being picked up and lugged (She always hates being picked up) but once inside, she tore upstairs (Her 'comfortable' area) before venturing down again, and checking out Élise and the renovations, and - finally! - going for the food dish.

All in all, it took until almost 2:30 to get her home & inside.

She slept on my legs all night and all morning, except for feeding time.

She seems to be none the worse for wear - a bit skinnier, but then, she was a bit plump. Her fur is fine, no mats or burrs or ticks, no sign of fleas, no scratches or signs of fighting other cats, and now she's been in a while, she doesn't seem to be feeling stressed or high-strung anymore.

Home Safe

Jun. 6th, 2010 03:30 pm
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
So at 11:00 last night, when we got home, i wandered once more round the block - still no sign.

At 1:30-1:45 or so, I was going to bed, and decided to make one last look outside the doors.

Irina was crouched on the front step.

However, when I flung the bolts back and threw the door open, calling her name, she bolted. I cursed myself for enthusiasm, laid out food, wandered around the yard & the next door neighbour's yard a bit to see if I could find her hiding spot, then went back in to keep watch out the front door at the bowl of food I'd left out. When I realised the neighbours on the other side had guests who were now outside smoking, and the human presence would scare her back from that door, I started watching out the windows. After a time, I spotted her in the side yard, and managed to get out the back door without terrifying her, and crept closer and closer by bits until i could pick her up.

From the way she was meowing, she wanted badly to go in, but was still freaked. She wasn't altogether happy with being picked up and lugged (She always hates being picked up) but once inside, she tore upstairs (Her 'comfortable' area) before venturing down again, and checking out Élise and the renovations, and - finally! - going for the food dish.

All in all, it took until almost 2:30 to get her home & inside.

She slept on my legs all night and all morning, except for feeding time.

She seems to be none the worse for wear - a bit skinnier, but then, she was a bit plump. Her fur is fine, no mats or burrs or ticks, no sign of fleas, no scratches or signs of fighting other cats, and now she's been in a while, she doesn't seem to be feeling stressed or high-strung anymore.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
Stuff:

housecleaning and such randomness )

Between that and a rather nice girl's night (which resulted in me getting very pretty, if somewhat pale, henna on my leg), I've been mostly in a pretty good mood.

Mostly.

Work woes )

Somewhat more positively again,

Writing progress )
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
Stuff:

housecleaning and such randomness )

Between that and a rather nice girl's night (which resulted in me getting very pretty, if somewhat pale, henna on my leg), I've been mostly in a pretty good mood.

Mostly.

Work woes )

Somewhat more positively again,

Writing progress )
lenora_rose: (Default)
Too much is happening in my personal life, and though I am of necessity involved in one case most of it is really the choice of others' to discuss or not, so I won't. Take the last line of my last, rather short post as read.

So: Good news for me, then bad news for any of us who cross the US/Canada Border.
_____________

The good news, which had me yelping for delight on a day where I had been previously feeling pretty much weighed down, is *I SOLD A STORY!* First time in years. (Clearly I need to write short fiction more. And especially send it out more.)

It's an exceedingly short story (Not a micro, but close), and it's the one I was talking about here but didn't do a final edit and start sending out until 2009. It's the one where I got a rewrite request last year September.

(I did the rewrite itself just before things hit the fan for me, but I quite literally e-mailed the rewrite out in the middle of my personal trauma last week on the basis that it was something positive I could try for and have some control over.)

________________


The bad news is best expressed here. In short, Peter Watts was found guilty of a felony for being beaten up by the US Border Patrol on his way back into Canada. The article is his own words, which might well contain a bias, but he seems to go out of his way to be fair to everyone involved, and to outline clearly both what was disputed, what wasn't (punched multiple times in the face; not disputed. maced: not disputed) and why the guilty verdict came in.

This is not the world I want to live in. I like being able to visit my friends in the US without wondering if this should be my unlucky day. I like being able to ask what's going on and why I'm being stopped without being punched in the face.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Too much is happening in my personal life, and though I am of necessity involved in one case most of it is really the choice of others' to discuss or not, so I won't. Take the last line of my last, rather short post as read.

So: Good news for me, then bad news for any of us who cross the US/Canada Border.
_____________

The good news, which had me yelping for delight on a day where I had been previously feeling pretty much weighed down, is *I SOLD A STORY!* First time in years. (Clearly I need to write short fiction more. And especially send it out more.)

It's an exceedingly short story (Not a micro, but close), and it's the one I was talking about here but didn't do a final edit and start sending out until 2009. It's the one where I got a rewrite request last year September.

(I did the rewrite itself just before things hit the fan for me, but I quite literally e-mailed the rewrite out in the middle of my personal trauma last week on the basis that it was something positive I could try for and have some control over.)

________________


The bad news is best expressed here. In short, Peter Watts was found guilty of a felony for being beaten up by the US Border Patrol on his way back into Canada. The article is his own words, which might well contain a bias, but he seems to go out of his way to be fair to everyone involved, and to outline clearly both what was disputed, what wasn't (punched multiple times in the face; not disputed. maced: not disputed) and why the guilty verdict came in.

This is not the world I want to live in. I like being able to visit my friends in the US without wondering if this should be my unlucky day. I like being able to ask what's going on and why I'm being stopped without being punched in the face.
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
let Love give what it gives, let's let Love give what it gives.

And 870 words last night (Plus 223 others promptly cut AGAIN today) later and over 2.5k today, I think I have all but the very absolutely final paragraph.

Said last paragraph will be a pain, because it needs to be even more "just right" than the rest of the denouement, but... I'm not going to write it now. At all.

I'm calling this draft finished. I'm going to drill myself into one of Serpent Prince, Soldier of the Road, or Merlin's Dive until I have a draft, and catch that final paragraph on the post-other-project rewrite. Because by then, I'll see what else I messed up.

140,671 words.

Which means on edit I need to lose 16-20k. But as I said before, I can likely do that in editing the second half alone, merely by stripping scaffolding and unnecessary dialogue.

Oh. Wait, I forgot to say the most necessary thing at this point:


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SQUEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
let Love give what it gives, let's let Love give what it gives.

And 870 words last night (Plus 223 others promptly cut AGAIN today) later and over 2.5k today, I think I have all but the very absolutely final paragraph.

Said last paragraph will be a pain, because it needs to be even more "just right" than the rest of the denouement, but... I'm not going to write it now. At all.

I'm calling this draft finished. I'm going to drill myself into one of Serpent Prince, Soldier of the Road, or Merlin's Dive until I have a draft, and catch that final paragraph on the post-other-project rewrite. Because by then, I'll see what else I messed up.

140,671 words.

Which means on edit I need to lose 16-20k. But as I said before, I can likely do that in editing the second half alone, merely by stripping scaffolding and unnecessary dialogue.

Oh. Wait, I forgot to say the most necessary thing at this point:


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SQUEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lenora_rose: (Default)
Well, I think nobody will be mixing me up with Brannie_bird again for a while...

Cut because photos )
____________

edited to add: I should have put a bloody link to Flickr for the other plates. Here it is.

Also, I've downloaded the rest of the raw pictures of the plates from the end of term - or rather, the raw views. No, I don't have any raw pictures of plate 8. Maybe I should take pictures of it in its current state; it's one of the ones that turned out better.

I have the last of the china paints I need to do what i want to do to them, also as of today. (Today was busy. Today was also my wedding anniversary, but the timing of the hair thing was a coincidence. Though Colin rather likes it. In the "Big goofy grin" way.)

I also downloaded a picture of this tiny cutie:

Read more... )
lenora_rose: (Default)
Well, I think nobody will be mixing me up with Brannie_bird again for a while...

Cut because photos )
____________

edited to add: I should have put a bloody link to Flickr for the other plates. Here it is.

Also, I've downloaded the rest of the raw pictures of the plates from the end of term - or rather, the raw views. No, I don't have any raw pictures of plate 8. Maybe I should take pictures of it in its current state; it's one of the ones that turned out better.

I have the last of the china paints I need to do what i want to do to them, also as of today. (Today was busy. Today was also my wedding anniversary, but the timing of the hair thing was a coincidence. Though Colin rather likes it. In the "Big goofy grin" way.)

I also downloaded a picture of this tiny cutie:

Read more... )
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)
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.

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