Pet Peeve - People who misspell "lose" and/or "loose" or use them interchangeably.

Read a very good book yesterday - Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield. Besides being an achingly beautiful love story, it is also contains great observations about growing up Gen X. In particular it captures the feeling our entire generation had that the 90's were going to be the decade that changed everything - we were tearing down the Reagan years and remaking the world in our own image. Through the mirror of the music we made and listened to, he has captured what it meant to be 20-something in the age of Nirvana and Biggie Smalls. Good read. Funny as well.

Another old love of mine was the Pre-Raphaelite poetry and art movement of the 19th century. I fell in love with the imagination of little, crazed A.C. Swinburne as a young girl muddling through puberty and confusion. I only had an ancient, beat up anthology that my mom had probably bought for 25 cents at some garage sale to read, but man, did it fire up my imagination. I did my senior honors undergrad thesis on their views of women (it's a rather funny read now). As with most everything else that had given my life richness and meaning however, I packed it away when I finished college, sure that it was pointless because it wasn't worth any money. Now, as with lots of other things I once loved, I am dusting off those memories and interests and finding their true worth all over again. Just today I had a vision of myself in grad school, perhaps, set on a course in Academia to pore over Rossetti and Swinburne and their father, John Keats, for all eternity. If that sounds like Hell to you, it sounds like Heaven to me.

31 January 2007

Nice rendering I found of amulet that could be used to protect children from Lilith. The names of the angels are Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semengelof. They were charged by God with finding Lilith in the desert and returning her to her Father. She refused, and was cursed to hunt and kill human babies before their 8th day of life, only sparing those who were protected by the names of these three angels. Her own children were cursed to be born as demons, and 100 would die nightly.

26 January 2007

Dialogue is by far the hardest thing to write for me. I have a tendency towards a more formal version of language when I write, and my dialogue feels stilted and unnatural to me. I have to consciously work each line out in my mind, break it down from what I would write people saying, to what they actually might say.
My Lilith novel has evolved in such a fragmented way. Over the years I have written lots of bits and pieces- impressions of her, I guess. Some of her memories. Some of her emotions. Now the task is to create a frame in which to hold all my pictures and to add the context that will give them a coherent order. It will be tough, and I am trying not to stress over the fact that I only have until the end of the summer. After that I'll have to find some gainful employment. Starving artist and all. Mouths to feed. It'll be back to grad school for me, a teaching career. Don't get me wrong, I love kids. I enjoy teaching. But it's not my passion. I want to write, more than anything I have ever wanted. I have been given this one chance. I have to make it work.
Interesting link I came across last night. One of my (many many many) projects lately is to learn about photography. Here is an online course. I haven't gone through it yet, so we'll see. I love the internet. One gigantic library, connecting the whole world together. What an age to live in.

25 January 2007

Very productive day. Finally accomplished something after being sick basically for two weeks straight. Worked on the ever-insistent Lilith novel. I am truly starting to feel the pieces come together, into a coherent story and not just a collections of portraits and short stories. Over the years my vision of the form the plot would take has changed dramatically, as have the themes I wanted to put forward. Strange, how this novel has evolved alongside me, as much a living thing in my mind as it could possibly be. It is true that the art we create, however good or bad, however it may be judged by those who see it, is in a real sense our child, born of us in every sense that matters. How painful it must be for artists to watch their first effort stillborn without a publisher, or torn to shreds by critics after its birth. A pain we are all willing to experience for the chance it will have life outside us at all, however.

22 January 2007

Saw two great movies this weekend - Pan's Labrynth & Children of Men. Wow. Wow. At the risk of getting repetitive, Wow again. Labrynth is an unbelievably beautiful, violent, moving tale of the power of a little girl's imagination to carry her through the horror of her reality. My heart ached and I cried for her innocence and her suffering. Five stars, without a doubt. The dream-like quality of the film left me wanting to go out and buy some chalk. :)
Children of Men was powerful in a similar way in that it was another story of the triumph of the human spirit when faced with the worst possible circumstances. Interesting to me how both films drew as their most basic theme the dichotomy between what mankind is capable of at both ends of the spectrum of good and evil. We write symphonies and drop nuclear bombs. We produce Picasso and Hitler, Mozart and Stalin, Muhammed and Jesus and Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush. What creatures of cross-purposes we are.
Something that interests me about the movie business. They churn out mounds of mindless drivel, remakes of remakes and awful, horrible wastes of money that end up on every screen in America while truly good movies, independent films and art films that have something to say end up struggling for bookings. Luckily I live near enough to large cities which usually get at least one print of the more popular of these, but I wonder how many more just languish and never get the audience they deserve.

20 January 2007

Bleh. Feel awful today. My daughter is sick as well, and I spent most of the night trying to bring down her fever. I managed to get about 10 minutes of work done on "Living Forever" last night before she wandered into my office, crying & shivering uncontrollably with chills. Today she seems a little better, so even though my own body is screaming at me to just go to bed, I am going to try to write a bit more.
In any case, weather here is cold, rainy and nasty outside, which tends to be very conducive to writing, so I have that on my side. However, there is also paying work to be done (self-employed in advertising/marketing), so I'm not expecting a good bit of progress. Hope springs eternal, though. We'll see.

18 January 2007

Have totally revamped this site. It started out as a place for me to vent my left-leaning political rantings that otherwise had no outlet, but I've decided to change it to a journal of sorts that chronicles my year of "taking the big chance". Everyone has that dream of writing the Great American Novel, and this is the year when I either make that happen or relegate fiction-writing to the box of dusty hobbies that I take out from time to time. It's now or never, as they say.

Today my children are home with me, due to school closure for the Ice Storm That Never Happened, so I've not gotten much done basically except for creating this blog. Probably won't until everyone is sleeping tonight.

In any case, here is where I am so far: My latest story, tentatively titled "Living Forever" is currently under construction with a myriad of broken promises pertaining to its completion. Hopefully this week. It is a sci-fi piece, and I am hoping to shop it out to a couple of genre magazines. In addition, I have been making notes for the big project, the as-yet-untitled Lilith book, which has occupied my mind off and on for the last 15 years and which I am determined to finish before I die, published or not. It will be my magnum opus, so I have to get it done, right? What kind of life boasts an unfinished magnum opus?

17 January 2007

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