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Showing posts from February, 2010

Killing Frogs

No, I don't mean "kissing frogs." That popular symbol within modern fairy-lore is a recent invention, one of the Disney-age sanitations of the gruesome German oral tradition.
I had an epiphany the other day while reading up for my next Voluntary Simplicity class... which starts in one hour, so I'd better make this brief. Our last reading assignment was a collection of articles on the post-Industrial Revolution, post-Depression American obsession with working long hours and defining ourselves by our employment. I was frustrated with the readings in that they talked about Americans being enslaved to our jobs because of social pressures and greed for material consumption, but nowhere in the literature was DEBT mentioned. Mr. G and I work four jobs just so we can pay hundreds of dollars a month in minimum student loan debt payments, so as not to have our wages garnished and our home taken away. BOGUS.
But I do get that if most people didn't feel the social pressures t…

Guerrilla Novel Writing and Voices in my Head

Fellow writers who are not yet published (and therefore respected as professional authors), I wonder if you experience the same mental fragmentation in life and writing voice that I do on my novel-writing journey.

Always plotting...

First of all, writing is not my paid (or primary) job. I have two others. My writing time must be fitted in around both work schedules, housework, appointments and obligations, family get-togethers, and the fun times that must be had in our 20s, if we are not to regret wasting our youth for the rest of our lives, so they say. I find myself scribbling notes on my story whenever I think of brilliant ideas--usually in the shower, but sometimes in the drive-through while my husband orders a Fresca burrito, or in the movie theater where I can only blindly scribble on the back of my movie ticket, or at work while I wait for a document to print. My mind is always halfway inside the fantasy world I'm creating, and even when it's not, any little thing can tra…

Unshopping for Health and Wealth

I'm taking a class at my church called "Voluntary Simplicity." Admittedly, it's not a catchy title. You could definitely take it the wrong way. Choosing to be stupid? Rejecting technological advances in favor of a rural life? Well, that's not what the class is about at all. It's actually about refining our life goals and values, making the most of whatever situation we're in--urban or rural, at any income level--and taking control of our lives, free from pressures to consume things we don't need and don't really want, things that might actually decrease our quality of life if we purchase and own them. It's about living SMARTER, not bigger, and increasing mental and physical efficiency to get the most out of what you really want in life.

Today, I read through an environmental e-newsletter and saw this list of ten things to avoid purchasing. It's very reasonable. I don't buy most of the things on the list, myself, and I've found that…

Raw Material: falling victim to the sexy angel trend

I've been laughing every time I read about the new "post-vampire," "post-zombie" pop literary fad of sexy angels. Seriously? Aren't angels supposed to be spirits without bodies? How can they be sexy?

But then, I remember the story of Lot, and how a pair of angels disguised as sexy dudes almost got date-raped in Sodom. Or Gomorrah. Wherever that was.

And, while researching ancient things for my fairy tale novel set in an imaginary place but a real time period (post-Jesus, pre-Crusades), I came across this Biblical description of an angel sighting:

Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:

His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with m…

February Festivities

I don't mean to poop on anyone's party, but doesn't it seem like our traditional February holidays are a bit lame? Groundhog's Day? Valentine's? And then, for Catholics, there's Lent. Yee-haw. At least President's Day gives some of us a day off work.
February deserves better. Here in the Midwest, the major holidays are over... Even the most Christmas-obsessed neighbors have taken down their inflatable Santas and strings of lights... But it is still fully, whole-heartedly winter. The sun shines brighter and stays up longer than in January, and it reflects brightly off the blanket of snow and the ice on trees and telephone wires. Even though it's still cold, the high temperatures flirt with the possibility of thaw, and the mornings are full of birdsong. Early birds, worms, and whatnot. Roaring fires still feel cozy, but it's not so dreary outside for wood chopping. The ground is still frozen, but it's time to start planning gardens and ordering see…

There is no wrong way to love.

Valentine's Day is a convoluted Hallmark holiday drawing from Christian (as in Saint Valentine), pagan (as in the creepy baby with love-magic weaponry), and capitalist sources. Traditionally, it is a celebration of romantic love... and also candy-enriched platonic love in elementary school classrooms nationwide.

I don't celebrate this holiday with cards and candy and blah blah blah. February 14 means nothing to me personally. But it has got me thinking about romantic love, which I think is a sadly complicated issue for us Americans. Life has enough challenges, and love is free. Why not embrace it fully, and on every day of the year?

Keep Out! Unsafe Area!

Romantic love is a tricky subject in a culture with many sexual hangups. In my opinion, there is much unnecessary anguish over sexuality, which harms individuals, romantic relationships, and even platonic friendships. I wish everybody could agree that there is no wrong way to love. It's only important that we DO love, fully …

Feels just like our giardia honeymoon...

Is anyone else in the world participating in the high-fiber, one-week "Healthy Detox Diet" published in February's Glamour magazine and online at Way back in May 2007, I followed Glamour's plan for a month-long "high energy" diet. It was wonderful. I'd been having digestive and mestrual issues that totally cleared up when I forced myself to follow a strictly healthy-food regimen. And the plan pushed me to eat MORE food than I had been used to eating, probably because I'd been so nauseous and crampy all the time.
But that was for "high energy," not "cleansing." I saw nothing wrong with a one-week, high-fiber diet at first. I'm not doing it to lose weight, because I don't need weight loss. But I figure anyone could stand to scrub out some accumulated toxins and kick the caffeine/sugar/alcohol/processed food habits we 'Mericans all indulge to some degree. Just for one little week.

Mr. G is such a sport…

The Colors of Inspiration

How much does the color scheme of your writing environment affect you? Many writers feel that it is important to have a calm, organized space in which to write. At minimum, we need a spot to plunk down our computer and maybe a notebook. My writing desk has a hutch with shelves where I can place books for reference and objects related to my subject (heh heh) that keep me focused and inspired.

Some writers prefer silence, others nature sounds, and many of us enjoy listening to music while we write. I choose my writing playlists carefully, because I am trying to create a very specific mood or "flavor" in my WIP that I haven't exactly found in any work that I've read. I'm trying to write the fantasy book I've always wanted to read but have never discovered. My current writing playlist includes Rammstein, Gogol Bordello, Dead Can Dance, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, The Tea Party, and Led Zeppelin.

It's a complex flavor I'm mixing here, with some contrasting eleme…