February 26th, 2009

Hearth

Thor's Day

Medical
Only slightly better last night, and constricted breathing this morning, so it's a good thing I didn't jaunt off to New York!

Free Will Astrology
Uncle Rob sez: "I've been asked by the leaders of the Piscean Support Group to pat you on the back -- and add a tender, friendly kick in the butt while I'm at it -- in celebration of your recent promise to leave your safety zone. They're a bit worried that you'll be so enamored of the new reserve of courage you've discovered lurking in your depths that you won't muster the incentive to actually use that courage to its hilt. Please prove them wrong. Show us all what it's like for a sensitive soul with a lyrical heart to seek raw adventure in virgin territory. "

And about Aries, which often applies to me as well: "Beware of people who act like polite jerks or tone-deaf music critics or emotionally numb lovers. While they may be able to teach you a lot about what you don't need, they're not worthy candidates for enduring relationships. Now let's turn our attention to the question of who exactly does belong on your future team. What encouraging voices should you draw into your inner sphere? What smart adventurers should be solicited as staunch allies? Which respectful helpers should be rewarded for the good influences they've had on you? It's an excellent time to make those determinations. "

Interesting Quote
Via Jonathan Carroll's blog: "Where a man's wound is, that is where his genius will be. Wherever the wound appears in our psyches, whether from an alcoholic father, shaming mother, shaming father, abusing mother, whether it stems from isolation, disability or disease, that is precisely the place for which we will give our major gift to the community."
Robert Bly

A Bit of Beauty
Beautiful delicate eggshell art.

Link Soup: Daily Science Edition
* Scientists Model Words as Entangled Quantum States in our Minds
* Fish with a transparent head!
* Marvell Plans $100 Computer Inside a Wall Plug
* WETA turns a woman into a mermaid. No, for real.

Plans
Lunch and grantwriting with swashbucklr. Possibly some other applications and suchlike as well. Get all the grubby nonfic out of the way.
Brain worms

The things we don't talk about.

The italicized bit was written by a friend of mine in a friendslocked post; reposted with their permission:

For those of you who don't already know this: fibro fucks up your brain. I was smart before I got sick. We're talking learn-anything-by-seeing-it-once smart. At one point I could play half a dozen instruments on a professional level, and if you handed me something I'd never played before, i could usually figure it out in about half an hour. I could sightread, score parts in my head if I didn't have an instrument handy, and sight-transpose music I'd never seen before. I spoke two languages fluently, could muddle by in a third, and could read two or three others well enough to get the general idea. I was reading on a college level when I was 12 and was a published writer by the time I was 14. I carried a 3.5 GPA my first year in college, while working a full-time job and playing in two bands.

And then I got sick, and it all went away.

If you've ever wondered why you've never heard me play music? I lost it. For a while I was able to cling to my existing skills, but over time, they eroded. I couldn't understand how music worked anymore, I couldn't arrange parts or learn new songs, and after a while it was too painful to keep trying. I lost all the vocabulary in all my languages except English, and even that was a struggle some days. I flunked out of college, partly because I was too sick to get to class and partly because none of it made any sense anymore. At one point, I even stopped reading new books, and stuck to re-reading fantasy novels I'd already read a dozen times, because I couldn't concentrate long enough to keep the story in my head. And the worst part? I knew what I'd lost. I knew my brain was broken.


When I jokingly say "Yeah, it's very Flowers for Algernon over here," this is the dark and awful thing I'm skating over. Because nobody really wants to talk about this. Nobody wants to acknowledge it. Nobody wants to imagine it happening to them - and that's what conversation is, mirror neurons, mapping each other.

So I say "Yeah, I used to be smarter."

And then seizures that swisscheesed my temporal lobe, and the medications that loosened my tenuous grip on my mind - not just the severe nausea and weight loss and balance issues, but the inability to read, to finish a sentence, to hold anything in my head.

I'm doing much better now. But I'm still not what I used to be. And the hell is that I am very, very aware of that.

The person above is speaking about fibro. I have epilepsy and fibro. So yeah.

The other things we never talk about: the chances that I'll just drop dead. Every day is Russian roulette. I get up, I take my meds. I try to live well; I try to live like every day's my last. That's why I do so much. Because one day, I will die. I might be 35. I might be 85. It might be old age. It might be SUDEP. Or status epilepticus. Or an accident incurred during a seizure - drowning, or walking out into traffic.

This could happen any day. Any ordinary day.

I... had a lot of panic over this, initially. But I have sort of made my peace with it. Obviously, I want to live a good long time; I am having a good life. I want to hang out with my grandkids.

But I need to feel that, if I go tomorrow, I have made a difference here - that this world is better because I was here.

And dammit, I'm not done writing yet! But Adam knows the rest of Shayara, and can finish it if need be.

So this does not prey on my mind anymore, most days, except when I'm all tearful about not getting enough done. I have accepted it.

But it's there. That and the knowledge that my mind is less than it was.

Just so you know. And now we can go back to talking about Queendoms and ponies.
Hearth

In interest of tab-clearing...

So there's this meme: Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given.

And I have things from two people.

First, azhure:

1. Mother
Geez. Well, I've been a mom for my entire adult life. Elayna was actually due on my 21st birthday! Motherhood... shapes everything I am and do. Every action, everything is framed first in my mind as "how does this affect Elayna?"

And... I never thought I could love someone so much. Heart-exploding love for my beautiful brilliant girl. Even given the times we argue about vegetables. I listen to her singing upstairs, ad I just smile.


2. Tinkerbell (hee, couldn't help myself there!)
:P You suck. *laugh*

No, really, this came about because I love so many Pirate Queens - Spooky and Gwyn and S00j and all - and I am just... not a pirate. I am a girl who hangs out with pirates. And I thought "Oh crap. I'm Tinkerbell."

I don't fit the classic Tinkerbell mold. But there's something appealing about strapping on my fairy wings and combat boots.

3. Nexus
In the early days of my LJ, I got a lot of people friending me. Really fast. Really weird. I have no iea why. And I have been told that I am a Nexus, and I... am not entirely comfortable with that. It implies a lot that I didn't really sign up for. So there's occasionally a low-grade turmoil about the fact that I have an audience, and a passionate one. Great power. Great responsibility. I try to use my powers for good.

4. Shayara
Shayara is the story I have been telling myself for half my life, and if you know me, you can see echoes of me and of who I have been all over it.

On the surface, it's about a race that existed before humans and has now interbred with them, a race with psychic-type abilities. And it's about their city, which is sort of in our world and sort of not. It's about deposing corrupt governments, and righting ancient wrongs.

But it's mostly about being homesick for a place you've never been. Finding your way home. Or making a home. And deciding who you're going to be.

5. Liminal spaces
Oh, man, my *life* is a liminal space. I am always in the threshold and always becoming. And I have a brain that shifts states such that if I see lightning or hear an aria, I always have to ask if it really happened or if my brain cascaded... the story that'll be in Interfictions 2 is quantum physics and/or seizure state and/or magical realism, and the way my brain works, it can be all of those things at once.

I need to write something about interstitiality for the book. Will post it here when I do.


And then also bodhifox:

1. Pulling an incarnation as a living Muse
...damn, Bodhi, I don't know what to do with this one!

If I'm a Muse, we all are, because we all inspire each other. You know?

2. Poetry
Heh. My "I am not a poet" comes from me not liking most poetry. Most poetry I'd seen is just a writing exercise layering pretty phrase upon pretty phrase without any real thrust or meaning.

Imagine my surprise when I started writing the stuff!

I think for me... I primarily write short stories, not poetry. When something comes out in poem form rather than as short fiction, it is bare and stark and forceful, an idea or story that rejects clothing, preferring to show itself as a burst of naked emotion.

3. Kicking the Dark in the teeth and Living Large
Hell, it's either that or curl up in a ball and wither and die. I like my way better. My way has chocolate cake.

4. Shayara
See above!

5. Shiny and remarkable parenting skills
I trat her like I'd want to be treated. And I listen.
Hearth

Dudes and dudettes!

You like webcomics, right? Sure you do.

See, my friend murnkay is crazy. Crazy Monkey. He has two webcomics. Posting every weekday. (While hes writing novels, too, mind you.)

And Monkey is... a weird kid.

I give you his decriptions:

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The first is Legend of the Burrito Blade which updates Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Legend of the Burrito Blade is an epic fantasy story set in modern-day New York. It is also the story of how mythology affects us and how we effect mythology. It is also the story of how we choose sides and what those sides mean. And, you know, it has food based weaponry and silliness and action and humor and everything else you might expect. We are nearing the end of Chapter One this week (only a few weeks to go) and things are building. This story is oddly dear to my heart, because how often to you get to do a grand action comic featuring swords with burritos on the end?

Not often, my friend.

The other webcomic is Things Wrong With Me and it updates every Tuesday and Thursday. It’s a strange beast. Well not for readers here, I suppose. For folks here it is Talking Heads, done somewhere else with original characters. Of course, they also have expressions. Fancy! Things Wrong With Me is all about six friends who sit around, like we all do, and talk about life, and the strangeness that falls out of our heads.
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There are icons and banners and all manner of nifty things right here. Support indie crazy Monkeys!
Hearth

The Telenias's apartment

I am still lamenting the fact that I can't quite find his music, because music helps inform the character for me - like seeing what Kieran sees of himself in Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man" snapped a lot about him into focus. I don't know the Telenias's music yet, other than generic classical. Maybe his song doesn't exist yet. If you hear it, let me know.

So I thought I'd describe where he lives. Because that helps, too. The things we choose to surround ourselves with.

House Tallart is one of the two houses technically under the sway of House Lhri'nahr. Each of the seven Great Houses technically oversees two of the smaller ones, though that's relaxed over time. So while Jana of house Tallart doesn't really answer to Edward to House Lhri'nahr, her ancestral lands are in his territory. And so that is where Alexander Tallart lives, several twisty streets down from the Aerie and the artsy downtown intersection of Sheridan and Sinclair. Alexander lives in a one-bedroom apartment over a clock shop, one that's been there for a few centuries. His door is a narrow one next to the more ornate entrance to the clock shop. Plain wood. No number. You'd have to know it's there.

The staircase is steep, and narrow, and bare. At the top, there is a heavy red velvet curtain, corded in gold.

You sweep aside the curtain, and you are in Victorian England.

Oh, there are things here than antedate the Victorian era, but everything fits it. That battered copper kettle is nowhere near that old. But Alexander would never use an electric kettle.

The rooms - well, one can only charitably call them individual rooms. When one enters, one is i the living are - Persian rugs scattered underfoot. A wine-red couch against the far wall, with a chipped wooden rolltop desk next to it, the kind with all the pigeonhole compartments. The near wall is all bookcases, filled mostly with literary classics. A bit of poetry hidden away in it. A phonograph atop it, and a stack of records.

To your right, the narrow kitchen (yes, narrow, everything is narrow; Alexander likes having some restraint in his life, and would not know what to do with himself, given more space); refrigerator, counter, stove, and a window. Through the window, you can just barely see Tyka's cafe; you have a better view of the back of Kelly's Ephemera.

To the left, the twin of the curtain at the top of the stairs, pulled half-back to create a partition for Alexander's sleeping area. A queen-sized four-poster bed of dark wood, and a nightstand that almost matches. A brass alarm clock. A half-open wardrobe, a chest of drawers. Just enough room to walk around without being claustrophobic. The window behind the bed shows the wall that encircles the city, off in the distance. There is a bench at the foot of the bed, the same padded red as the couch. Behind the curtain is a brass umbrella stand. In it, nestled among umbrellas and other various tall things, are a riding crop and a bamboo cane. (Alexander does not ride horses.)

There are books on the nightstand and on the bench; there is an open leatherbound journal on the desk, and a row of inkwells in black, cognac-brown, blue, and a glass dip pen. And most everything shows glints of brass or copper or gold, all shades of the gold of house Tallart, for Alexander is a dutiful son.

Here in his home, he can set aside the chaos of the current day and return to a life he loved, an incarnation where everything was clearer. Safer.

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(When Katrina arrives, she is an intrusion - dynamic in his static environment, and that green splashed into his red and gold.)