Sunday, November 27, 2005

Writing And A Hair Shirt Of Sorts

I have failed. Oh, how I have failed.

For an entire year I have planned on using the month of November to really crunch out another NaNoWriMo novel. Of course, life had different plans for me. A move, an out-of-commission vehicle, bad nighttime shifts... all of these and other things came together to form a nice, high wall between my wanting to write and the time to do so and the ability to actually concentrate on it.

I'm not waiting another year, though. That's ridiculous. I don't need a clock running to be able to write, and heaven knows I write better when I can concentrate more on how I'm writing instead of how much I'm writing.

But it definitely works when I've got the pressure on, too.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Down By The River Where It's Warm And Green

I've only seen photos of what Katrina has done to New Orleans, and these photos are just what people have been able to take so far. They say eighty percent of the city is under water. (Of course, I doubt that means completely submerged, but still.) I haven't really been able to see anything on television, thanks to lousy reception in the apartment in the Greater Los Angeles Area where I live.

But I hear of bodies floating in the city's floodwaters.

I hear residents will be allowed back in to get clothing and some essentials, but then the area will be shut off for at least a month.

I must be some kind of crazy that I would still live there if I have a chance. Because I would. I don't know why, and I don't bother to really ask. It's just a feeling... a pull back there. I've never even been in Louisiana that I know of, and yet it feels as though it knows me better than if I'd lived there my whole life.

Sounds like silly romantic musings, brought on by too many hours spent reading Anne Rice, doesn't it? But in truth, I felt this way long before I'd even heard of Anne Rice or Poppy Z. Brite. Before I'd seen the first Bond film I watched in its entirety: Live And Let Die, which took place partly in New Orleans. (A very fictitious and cheesy NOLA, to be sure...)

Honestly, had I not been hired for the job I have now, I would more than likely be one of those Superdome Refugees at this moment. And it may happen in the future... who knows?

Ah, such a random bit of posting...

Sunday, February 06, 2005

When The Word "Terror" Actually Meant Something

(Reposted from my LiveJournal)

These past few weeks, I've seemed to cry at the drop of a hat. Not just because something struck me as sad, but because of good and happy things as well. I am not usually this... emotional? Well, I don't just cry continuously. Not like this.

Whatever the case may be, it happened again today. I'd found the Charlie Daniels CD, and was playing it. It always reminds me of being a kid in Oklahoma City, before we moved to Elgin, because that's when most of those songs were being played on the radio. It was the heyday of Smokey and the Bandit, of BJ and the Bear, and of Convoy. Still waving our flags from the Bicentennial, we welcomed the Iranian hostages home, and finally retired our yellow ribbons. (Yes, I do still have the one Mom tied in my hair the day they came home.) There was something about America back then... we'd beat the USSR in hockey at the Olympics; disco, country, and good old rock-and-roll were just really beginning to take notice of punk and the new romantics and all; and hell, I was just about to become a teenager within the next few years and life was damn good. (If I ignored personal realities, that is.)

With this in my head, I realized I don't seem to have a "country-type" icon for my LiveJournal. Damn. I need to go hunt one down, don't I? But first, let me put this Garth Brooks CD on. Track six, that's right. The Change.

I should have known better. I also should have known better than to allow sentiment to guide my browser window to the Oklahoma City Memorial website. Has it been ten years? How the hell can it be ten years, and I still find my eyes filling up when I see it, or when I hear that song? For pete's sake, my cheeks are wet as I type this, and the keyboard blurs in front of me.

Now, why that title for this entry? Because back when I was scaring my sister and myself with my own version of The Legend Of Wooley Swamp, and we were busy playing "Convoy", and pretending to be pretty ladies that BJ comes to rescue (along with the Bear, of course; can't leave out the Bear!), and imagining we were helping the Dukes foil Boss Hogg and Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane..... Back then, the word "terror" meant something almost incomprehensible to us. I'm old enough to remember news footage of Viet-Nam on television, but Mom and Dad had taught me already that what you see on television "isn't real". (I don't think it occured to them I was associating this with the news, too. Probably a good thing I did.) I'd seen scary movies and read plenty of ghost stories. (Yes, my ghost fascination was born at a young age.)

But as for "terror"? Even the letters themselves strung together brought an uneasy feeling, as though something more dangerous and ultimately much scarier than anything I'd read in books or seen in movies was lurking just out of my peripheral vision. I knew it was there, but didn't dare move to see what it was.

Then one lovely April morning I got to watch it unfold in my hometown while I was half a continent away. And the headlines of the paper the next day showed me I was correct in identifying the name of my around-the-corner monster:

Nearly six and a half years later, the monster came around again, even bigger this time. But in the aftermath, something happened. The name of the monster was made into a rallying cry for some. It was made into the name of a war, and became a political buzzword. Terror was no longer a terrifying word, because it was flashed across countless television screens, and every paper in the country, and broadcast on radio stations repeatedly. It became watered down in its overuse. Where it once was worse than all the boogeymen of my childhood, the word is now nothing more than an irritant to my mind.

The concept is still there; but the word is lying slovenly in the raingutter of American English.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

On Lying

I would like to think most people I have dealings with are honest... at least for the most part. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, and especially not when the person being dishonest seems to fear I might somehow get the upper hand in something, anything, in which we might be involved.

I've had to deal with liars before, and liars of all sorts... from the really bad ones a blind man could spot from fifty feet away, to the ones who tend to fool just about everybody. I'm not happy about it, but at least I can consider them learning experiences.

And for heaven's sake, if you lie to me constantly, do not think I will believe the little puppy-dog remorse with which you try and placate me, hoping I will cool off and not rat you out.

I am more evil in that manner than you might suspect.

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