Maybe there’s method behind the madness

Now I don’t feel so bad about my manuscript not having made it through the committee for the Luna line. When the line first opened up several years ago, I sent in a book and got a nice e-mail note from Matrice telling me that it didn’t make it through committee because it didn’t fit with the plan. That was a “straight” fantasy (pun intended, but you won’t get it yet), whereas Luna is going increasingly more “sensual.” I had heard that from a couple of people, but now there’s a discussion on it at E. D. Trix‘s blog. Wow!

I know it ISN’T just me now. Everything is going more hardcore. Honestly, I’m no prude, and I don’t want to turn back progress, but still . . . nowadays I can’t seem to get away from it. Music videos have suggestive lyrics and dancing, even when the dancers look ten years old. Every film has to have the sweaty rolling around that lasts for several minutes on the screen. Next thing you know, it’ll be de rigueur to, um, pleasure oneself (as they’re saying nowadays) in public as you wait in line. They’ll have to apologize to Pee-Wee Herman for arresting him for doing the same thing in the X-rated theater some years back. It’ll be happening in the grocery aisles. Please, people . . . get a room. We KNOW you are a sexual being. Could we talk about something else for a change? I’m getting bored.

(Maybe that’s the secret plan. The neoconservatives plan to let the culture get so saturated with sex that everyone gets bored with it! Nah, that won’t work. The Roman Empire got saturated, and what happened was that soon, nothing was enough. And that led to problems.)

Yes, there have always been bawdy songs. Tavern songs. Stuff sung on Navy ships and so forth. But were they always in my face? No. Now in the supermarket or at a fashionable “bar/club” restaurant, they’re playing rap/hippity-hoppity stuff that is not only sexually explicit (not just suggestive), but also violent and contains some degree of anger. (I am not talking about Afroman’s “Because I Got High” here. I mean that gangster stuff.) There have always been books that were hidden under the counter. But at least Henry Miller, Anais Nin, D. H. Lawrence, and various other writers of “dirty books” (which seem terribly tame these days) were actually poetic about it and made it seem attractive. They didn’t give these clinical descriptions. They didn’t, in fact, turn me OFF.

I’m not saying that society should return to some semblance of Victorian “propriety.” But must I constantly hear the people behind me discussing last night’s sexual adventures (devoid of romance or limerence) while I’m standing in line at Borders Books? Must I always expect to have to skip several pages in every book I read because I am over twelve and don’t actually need to have the body parts enumerated in order to recognize that the characters are involved in the sex act? Several years ago, one of my stories contained the line (spoken by a character), “I’ve got to know whether she and that fool are making the Beast With Two Backs,” and it was changed by the editor before going into the anthology (Heaven and Hell). I never found out whether she thought I was being coy (actually, the character Fred *was* trying to keep someone else in the room from realizing what he was reading–his sister’s diary, or so he thought) or just felt that most people today wouldn’t know what the heck that meant. (If you don’t, let me know. Only kidding! Search the ‘net! I want you to learn this stuff on the streets, not from me! *GRIN*) I can’t see how that could have offended anyone. Now some of the pages-long “erotica/romantica” stuff that finds its way into the novels I pick up is just nauseatingly too detailed. I get sick to my stomach. I really don’t have any NEED to visualize all this. I am a married woman. I have been married twenty years. I used to date. Mama got me one of those books about “Your Body” and “The Birds Do It With The Bees” when I was eight and a half. So I really already KNOW this stuff. (Unlike the time in my teenhood when my best friend Ann Richardson and I hung up an Elton John poster and a Freddie Mercury poster in her room and were admiring them–our pathetic misguidedness should be obvious to anyone who knows the sexual orientation of these rock stars, but back then it wasn’t being talked about, and besides we were sixteen or so and oblivious–and her mother smiled indulgently and said, “You poor, sex-starved young girls.” We may have been interested in finding out “how it feels” back then, but hey, c’mon, now we know . . . how many times must we hear it?) Clearly this writing is serving a purpose for others, but it really seems to have become a fad. If you don’t want to read and write sex constantly, then (it’s implied) there’s something wrong with you. Don’t get me wrong–it’s fine for you consenting adults to do it hanging from a flagpole in the front yard, if city ordinances permit. Y’know, all I’m saying is that I just don’t wanna see it. Especially not ALL THE TIME.

Okay, I give up. I’ve been waiting for the pendulum to swing in the other direction. But it doesn’t seem to have any plans at all to do that. There’s no such thing as a “tease” any more, and that’s kind of sad. It’s always more alluring and interesting to have something that’s hidden and not all hanging out. Mystery is a large part of anticipation and excitement, so I think people are ripping themselves off by starting out as “sexual beings” at around age eight or nine and having sex so early with “friends” (instead of having romantic interludes or old-fashioned dates or what-have-you) and considering it such a routine part of life, something they are entitled to “get” regularly. There’s something being lost that I think shouldn’t be lost. What ever happened to moderation?

(Oh, that’s right–Congress voted it out last session!)

Meditation–“all life is suffering”

Nobody really feels secure any more. Once you’re the grown-up, things seem ever so much more dire. Worries there be roosting among us “like bats in the dead trees.” Yet there’s always hope. It was the last thing that escaped from Pandora’s Box, remember?

The TV news is still all depressing. I wish I could just make a way for all those people in Indochina living in the tsunami-ravaged area where the new earthquake just happened (and where they’re saying that another tsunami isn’t out of the question) to come over here, or go to some other land mass where they could live in safety, but they probably wouldn’t want to leave. How could they make their ways? How could they stay together as families? There’s no way they can visualize being uprooted and taken into the Nordstrom’s Sale Days lifestyle.

And o’course we’re still hearing about that poor woman who is but one of the many people who are dying right now by starvation or dehydration or other failure. She is by no means the ONLY one who suffers. These things happen all the time, as any emergency room nurse or hospital worker can tell you . . . it happens in non-high-profile cases, too. I think there’s a lot of neglect and willful neglect in some nursing homes. There are people in third world countries suffering similarly. We wish it wouldn’t happen. Still, it does.

Music can communicate soul-to-soul. But I don’t have the bandwidth to send out music files. I don’t have any way to record music on this end, anyhow. So you’ll just have to hear this in your mind’s ear.

Imagine I’m playing for you (on my baby grand) these three pieces.

“Ivan Sings,” Aram Khachaturian. A happy/sad, mournful, chromatic piece, like the last lyrical song of a swan or bird who is flying away.
“First Loss,” Robert Schumann. About the first loss or sorrow known by a child.
“Choral,” Robert Schumann. The choral exultation of a soul being accepted into Heaven.

Or that’s the way I hear it.

Easter Parade, part II

writes (in part):

[M]other continues her tradition of giving Easter baskets to her adult children. “I’m not giving you any chocolate this year,” she says, “because it’s not good for you and you don’t need it.” To which I want to say, look, I need to get through this book, and you should consider yourself fortunate that I’m not upstairs with booze in one hand, a cig in the other, and typing with my feet.”

Snrrrk!! That is priceless. That’s how I expect I’ll end up (and fairly soon, too.) Typing, typing ever on. I can’t seem to stop typing up these stupid novels of mine. I keep thinking they’ll someday get their day in the sun. If only I had some kind of legitimate “deadline” to aim for. Then I wouldn’t feel so bad about spending so much time writing.

I would have loved an Easter basket. I made one of sorts for our kitchen table as a centerpiece, but I didn’t make up individual baskets for each of us this year. (I used to set one out for each of us at the breakfast table on Easter Sunday morning.) We’ve each spent three weeks or more being sick off and on with the creeping crud that’s going around, and I’ve been crawling around doing some spring cleaning that doesn’t even SHOW because things are so out of hand, and no one really seems to care whether I do these little things or not, so I just didn’t. I was the only one who missed them, I suspect.

I didn’t cook a huge spread this year, either. We had intended to run up to Sherman to join my aunt/uncle and their son and daughter, as well as my other aunt, for lunch and a bit of visiting, but Mother didn’t feel up to it, and it was raining, and my elder aunt’s knee went out so that she had to stay in her chair with it propped up, so we just flaked out. We had egg salad sandwiches and soup and then later I ran to the taco house and got burritos and nachos. I am now sick at my stomach. That stuff’s pretty heavy when you’re not used to eating it any more. We’ll try to make that trip later in the week, as soon as Texas goes back to being like Texas again and warms up.

You know what’s unfair? (Note: Rhetorical question!!) I’ve noticed that when people become druggies, or alcoholics, or sex addicts, or contestants on a reality game show, there’s all this sympathy for them–especially when they enter recovery. “Oh, how WONDERFUL! She’s so GREAT,” people enthuse, oozing disgusting amounts of admiration. Hmph.

Hello? Reality check, please. Here *I* am, and there *YOU* are, and we never even went to a pot party, let alone inhaled (I am not counting the times we were at a Jethro Tull concert and still had to breathe). WE never got into trouble or dated wild boys or rode on motorcycles or “went to the lake” with groups of the “cool” people. We always got straight As and were told by all our teachers that we’d Go Far and Be Somebody someday. We didn’t skip school and we didn’t call in sick to work except when we really HAD to (OK, perhaps a Mental Health Day here and there) and we didn’t make excuses to avoid participation in various neighborhood events that didn’t really appeal to us, such as Park Clean-Up Saturday (because somebody had to do it, and everyone benefited from the results.) Here we are, taking care of our aging parent(s) and cranky spouse (no S here, I hope) and rambunctious children/pets and tattered old Casa el Dumpo and both those dang cars and the yard and the pond and the fishtank . . . not snorting farklesnoogen or dipping snuff or yanking our pants down for everyone who passes by, and does anyone ever say, “Ooo! Cool! She’s so wonderful!” *gronk*

There ought to be some kind of law. Sure, those nincompoops had all this inner strength and sh*t so they could get help to get over the habit, but what about those of us who never felt that temptation in the first place? Or maybe we WERE born with a tendency toward that excess/sin, and we DIDN’T EVER ACT ON IT. Hey, what a concept! I would have liked to do X or might have enjoyed it, but I had responsibilities or I felt a higher calling or I just didn’t want to mess up my life, so I DID THE “right” THING (by my lights, to the best of my ability) INSTEAD.

I think we deserve Princess Points for that. Nay, DOUBLE Princess Points.

3 snaps in a circle and woo-hoo for us!!! Good girls rule!!!

(Also girls who INTEND to be good.)

Happy Easter!!

Here’s hoping the Bunny is good to you this year. And remember why this is the most important day in the Christian calendar as you’re chowing down on those caramel Cadbury eggs. (I can’t eat that stuff any more. In fact, it makes me kind of sick to get a taste of sugary stuff. Unfair! *sob*)

It’s cold and rainy today. Really unusual for Dallas. I hope the Easter egg hunt in the park goes off OK. The parents will be out there hiding eggs by six AM if it’s not called on account of rain.

Change course, or just take a short break for spring cleaning?

Earlier this week, I was going through some self-questioning. (Surprised? Me, neither.) 🙂 I’ve been waiting to hear back from an agent about my ChickLit novel. I only sent her the stuff in February. She said she’d be able to get right back to me. I don’t want to contact her, because I’m afraid she’d just pack it up and send it back without reading it. On the other hand, I wonder whether she’s considering it at all? She is the agent of one of my online acquaintances who is VERY successful. I told her my book was like Madame’s, although I don’t know how close it really is. I’m not very objective about this stuff.

I just hate to get the stuff back from one agent or publishing house because it means I have to start all over sending the crap out. And although when *I* read my stuff, it reads *better* than most of the stuff I pluck off the shelves, that still doesn’t mean it isn’t crap. One thing I’ve noticed in a lot of books I’ve picked up lately to glance through is that they have sex scenes, erotic thought passages, banter about sex, etc., and that’s something my work typically doesn’t have. This may well have a bearing on whether or not it’s going to sell.

I was stewing about this when I read a message on a writers’ mailing list. Lydia Joyce wrote:

If you love to write for the heck of it and don’t care that you’ll never be publishable and KNOW it, that’s fine, just like I could run again if I ever get my new exercise-induced asthma under control. […] Deceiving yourself about the future is the path to heartbreak […] I emphasized talent AND hard work. The lie of “you can do ANYTHING if you just put you mind to it!” is just that–a lie. It sets some people up to make terrible career decisions and fail miserably, and it allows others to be smug and act superior because they credit themselves completely rather than crediting a combination of their work AND a lot of sheer luck.

I asked her whether I could quote her in my LiveJournal, because I think she is absolutely spot-on. Everyone today concentrates so on self-esteem and the magic of believing in yourself and “if you really believe, it will happen.” And “isn’t it pretty to think so,” as Hemingway wrote at the end of The Sun Also Rises. But sometimes we have to be realistic. I’ve spent more than forty years Believing. A True Believer have I been since childhood. But perhaps it’s time to release this pipe dream and move on to something else–some pursuit where I have a realistic chance of making a contribution.

I’ve arrived at this crossroads before. The terrible pain comes when you have to admit to yourself that you’ll never be able to make a go of it at what you love. I had to give up the dream of being an actress when I was sixteen and just didn’t have the physical beauty required (and back then, plastic surgery Extreme Makeovers were just not around); I’d had to let go of the idea of being a concert artist before that, because it’s simply not possible to play the virtuoso piano literature if you start playing seriously when you’re ten years old instead of younger (and you have to have money–you have to practice for hours each day, and you need money to enter the competitions and travel, etc.) But I had STILL always imagined myself publishing a novel or two, even if I’d had the other careers.

So now there’s another fork in the road looming ahead for me. Must I give up the dream that I’ve had forever–that I would publish at least one novel with a large New York house (preferably hardcover)? Possibly. Maybe it’s not going to happen, ever. It’s really tough, because I have remained SO convinced all my life that I had this special talent and special calling, that I would eventually be published . . . that’s what all my teachers said, what all my college professors said, what many workshop participants said. It’s difficult to let go of the dream after so many years. But perhaps it’s the right thing to do.

It’s not a problem with the mechanics of prose. It’s not even a problem with the way fiction is constructed. I don’t feel that it is an issue with “talent,” whatever that may be, either. It’s a problem at the core of “me.” Agents/editors tell you they want you to display a unique voice, but I seem to have too LOUD a voice. And I don’t write about what people want to read about. It’s a combination of things that add up to “not like what people are reading now.” Or at least what the industry says people don’t want to read. There’s also a helluva lotta luck involved. And, if my Tarot readings are accurate (grin), there’s also an aspect of politics involved: I keep getting cards that indicate there’s activity behind the scenes that sabotages me, activity I don’t know about and can’t really control. That may well be a load of foolishness, but I can’t argue with it, because it *does* often seem that just as I was reaching for that brass ring, a pole came out of nowhere and knocked me off the carousel.

It could just be that the books are/were too important to me. I couldn’t have children and we couldn’t afford to adopt (and now I’m too old). I don’t have a “day job” that provides a creative outlet or that is really suited to my talents. So I always thought that my books were the real answer, that eventually I’d “get that big break,” that all I had to do was wait. Well, I am now over forty, and it’s time to recalibrate. If there’s some other destiny or calling I am supposed to have, I wish that the Universe would send me an e-mail or at least drop a few hints. I can’t continue to waste time with my head in the clouds. I’ve got to do *whatever* it is that I’m really supposed to do.

And maybe publishing books is not going to turn out to be that purpose.

(I only hope my true purpose doesn’t involve wearing pantyhose or having a certain kind of designer wardrobe.)

Incidentally, Lydia Joyce came back to me with an encouraging message offering to read my first chapter and giving this advice.

Well, you write THIS coherently, which is a lot more than 9 of 10 people can manage. 😛 I can’t say without reading your fiction, but this looks like you’d be plenty able to write a publishable book. It might be market and it might be that luck thing again–not the luck of genetics but the luck of the draw, in this case.

After getting a bunch of personal almost-but-not-quite rejections and deciding that I wanted to make a career of this no matter what, I sat down and thought about everything that was selling well and all the traits that my very favorite authors had, and I made them meet with my own work and what it was. That for me was an epiphany. I invested a lot more in my story to make it speak to the reader through the aspects I love about other people’s fiction–lushness, psychological honesty, depth, truth, sophistication, atmosphere. And I chose my favorites out of things that make book sell like hotcakes–sensuality, mainly, and choosing a popular time period and an acceptable location. […] It was a problem with “me” and the lack of marketability of my voice. And I found a way to change that that made me HAPPIER with my writing.

Here she’s hitting the nail on the head once again. I already know that my books don’t have those things that many best-sellers are bathed in (or mired in, as you like). I already know that there’s a lack of marketability going on. I don’t know whether I would be able to put in the “Sex and the City” horniness, even if I could psychically transport myself back to the time of junior high school and everyone having a crush on Mr. Corzine (Ghodz, if Mr. Corzine were teaching sixth grade today, he would be put into jail . . . I mean, that is, IF he were still having to fight off all of us girls day and night. “Suzanne, please don’t hang on my arm like that . . . Diana, I’ve told you not to touch my hair . . .” In hindsight, we must have made life VERY difficult for him. He was the first Man Teacher most of us had ever had. We were simply wild about the poor man. We all wore braces and swoopy-temple glasses and those horrid 1970s clothes and had NO idea we were sexual harassers.) I *have* done the offstage sex scenes, like in old Joan Crawford movies. The Queen Bee knew that some things were meant to be shrouded in a bit of mystery, and that it makes them ever so much more tantalizing. But I di-frelling-gress, as always.

ANYhow, I know I’ve read some current novels that are funny, fresh, appealing, and don’t have a lot of heavy petting. Haven’t I?? Seems like it, anyway. Or was that the Dorothy Sayers stuff I was re-reading? Could be.

Hey, “Sex in the Sixth Grade”! THAT one I could do. It would be PLENTY hot, believe you me. Teresa was determined to sit on his lap (it never happened, not that she didn’t constantly maneuver and try.) Michelle used to bake him cookies. Suzanne and I competed for Mr. Corzine’s help in math (we were deliberately thick-headed about fractions, and it took me YEARS to overcome that mental state and be able to cross-multiply), fluttering our eyelashes. Girls would just hang around his desk. He always wore a dark suit, white shirt with monogram on cuffs, and an interesting tie. He is probably retired by now. I hope he never got into any hot water because of the crazy girls he had to teach.) With MY luck, though, since my protags would be sixth-graders, eleven going on thirty-three, it’d be classed as YA and it’d be too hot for YA. What rotten luck.

But if I did write that one, I could use the incident about the atom blowing up in the science lab. This guy Saul from Lithuania who was an advanced science nerd built a model of the atom, y’see, the Bohr model where it looks like planets orbiting around the nucleus. It was an electric model. One day it was cranking away in the lab, waiting for the science fair to start, and suddenly there was a POW and the durn power supply burst into flames. The headline in the classroom newspaper that week was “Atomic Explosion in Sixth Grade!” Fortunately, the Styrofoam balls didn’t melt and no one was seriously injured. . . .

We’ll see. I may need to take some time off from marketing my work to do spring cleaning. Some kind of winged insect just flew into the light fixture. Eeeeuuwww!!! And today we saw a mouse sharing the birdfeeder with three little birds. Aaacckkk!!! (The mice live in the pool filter next door. The man next door tries everything, but they live there because it’s always warm and there’s water. He also has ivy all over the landscape. I pretend that the mice stay on his side of the fence most of the time.)

They made a Federal Case out of it . . . and it’s all the news talks about

I am SO lucky . . . my elderly mother (who had to come to live with us a few years ago after she broke her arm and had a couple of other setbacks *at the same time* that I lost my job and therefore could no longer stretch our income to pay for the house she was living in–long story, mouse hanging from the “tale”) watches MSNBC and CNN whenever she isn’t watching OldLadyPornChannel (the “Lifetime” network of very, very lame “C” movies that appeal to Little Old Ladies but make me roll my eyes until it makes me dizzy). So she’s been REALLY depressed about the whole Federal case that’s been going on . . . the lady whose “husband” (ha) wants her to starve/dehydrate to death versus her parents who are so pathetic but very earnest in wanting to just keep taking care of her. I won’t even get INTO the legal side of the case (and I know the names involved, yet don’t want a bunch of referral searches leading to this post and resulting in a political comments thread, and so am leaving the names out) and what a God-awful mess it has become. Political football, anyone? Sigh. I mean . . . at first *I* was having a fit and was all for keeping the lady going. But after all of this rot back and forth, I had a selfish little epiphany.

What WAS that selfish, evil little epiphany? Well . . . I thought about how my mother kept my grandmother alive with extreme measures until the night that she just walked away and said, “I’m going outside for a few minutes,” and that was when my grandmother gave up trying to stay alive (in extremis) to please my mother. I thought about the times that several acquaintances of ours have had similar things happen to members of their family, and the outcome was sad–not what they had wanted to see happen.

I did the same thing for my first little dog, our Pomeranian, Wolfie, who had diabetes and then complications (when he was 12) and we just kept him going when he couldn’t see and then became too weak to walk. I could not let him go to the Other Side and couldn’t give him up, so he suffered way more than he should have. Finally one evening I left his side (when he was on Lasix to try to get the water out of his body, and it was working, but was obviously only a temporary fix) and went to the bathroom and prayed, telling the Lord that if He would not end W’s seizures, then He could take him. That very moment, my mother started yelling from the other room and ran down the hall to tell me that the death angel had swooped down and taken W. Of course I was quite distraught, but in Heaven, Wolfie can see and play again and is waiting for us. I was being unreasonable when I said that I would just carry him in my arms. That was all about ME. It wasn’t about his happiness or comfort. (I realize some of you may not believe that there is any dimension beyond our current situation. Still, I’m just giving you my viewpoint here.)

So . . . it’s KIND OF like that for these people. They can’t let her go, but hey, eventually everyone has to. And if you believe in Heaven, the Summerlands, the Other Side, or even the progression on to the next level for the soul, then you have to know that it’s okay–that they’re not really gone at all.

A few years ago, my mother-in-law starved to death. They couldn’t insert a feeding tube because her immune system had destroyed itself (she had been on steroids for a lung disease and . . . really long story) and they were afraid of infection. As her problems progressed, she ended up basically starving to death in a similar way. She was a very good person and the family wanted to keep her, but God took her anyhow. So . . . hey, this is the cycle of life.

That’s why tonight I can sit here and say, cavalierly, “Well, it’s too bad, but if Beethoven has to be gone from us, then why not this lady?” My mom really read me out when I said that (partly just to irritate her as she watched “Hardball” and “Scarborough Country” for the millionth time on this topic–she was sniffling, which isn’t good for her upper respiratory infection). But y’know, it’s kind of true. At some point, we have to say, not goodbye, but “see you on the other side.” When it happened to ALL those other people–my mother-in-law, people in the tsunami (who were taken suddenly), soldiers and civilians in wars, my Wolfie (a fur person)–there was no national attention. It was just us dealing with it alone with God. All of these other people were JUST as much a tragedy to lose, if not MORE of a loss to the world (because they were still making contributions beyond just being here), yet nobody even noticed outside our little circle. All perspective has been lost in this particular case. Hey, if I could have saved any one of the people I know about by an act of Congress or any means at all, I would have. We have to get our heads on straight here.

(Of course, the news agencies will abandon the story as soon as something big happens somewhere else. The 12 people who died in yesterday’s refinery explosion in Texas City didn’t get this kind of attention. How about the school shooting? That got minimal attention in comparison. Good grief. Let’s regain our perspective.)

And I’m torn as far as the legal implications. I don’t think that it’s “safe” to let a spouse who may not have one’s best interests at heart make this decision–especially when we only have this guy’s word that “she wouldn’t want this.” On the other hand, we don’t need government stepping in and taking away the privilege of the person or family to refuse further feeding or what-have-you. I was half expecting the Prez to sign an executive order at the last minute, but the advisors must’ve said that was impossible, so he isn’t doing anything further. And at this point, I’m OK with that. My heart breaks for the family, as I re-live what happened to several of our family members over the years (including my dog) anytime they show all of this. But I’m not sure that we want to say that the rule of law should not hold. It’s a real dilemma.

Y’know, also, if this lady does pass to the Other Side this weekend, it’ll be kind of symbolic, in a way. There was another innocent who was killed about 2000 years ago . . . they offered Him vinegar on the cross. He had a greater mission, of course, but there’s somewhat of a parallel in that *His* case was also a “political football” sort of thing, with two factions at work, one shouting that He must be destroyed, and one trying frantically to stop it. It’s an imperfect analogy at best, but perhaps it is a reminder that sometimes these things happen. Sometimes the worst thing we can imagine does happen, and it turns out that there’s something beyond the situation that we see on the surface.

As I said, there’s a very weak parallel. She’s just a victim of circumstances, not someone with a major life mission (not in the same sense). But so *many* people have been working this situation for political gain (including her spouse–what in the world could he possibly be trying to get out of this, other than his 15 minutes of fame?) that it is mind-blowing. Let’s get over this.

If nothing else, it’s really depressing to keep hearing about it. . . .

Another depressing thing is that if my husband had taken all the hours he has spent on “World of Warcraft” building his character and doing quests and so forth and *instead* used those hours to play piano or write, he could have written a novel or learned the Emperor concerto. Wouldn’t that have been more constructive? I don’t know how he can sit there and DO that. It would bore me to tears!

Then again, my creative outlets would bore HIM to tears. . . (much as my journal entries bore YOU to tears, so I’ll shut up now). 🙂

A big THANK YOU to Mummm . . . and I’m back from hibernation!

Wow !!! I typed on that story (turned out to be 9K words!) from midnight on Friday until late Saturday, and then crashed to sleep until 2 PM Sunday, and didn’t do much except laundry and some chores . . . fell asleep again early and got up groggy this morning. And it’s not even the kind of story that would sell. Still, I got it into the contest. We’ll see what happens!

But the IMPORTANT news is that a very thoughtful reader, another LJ participant, surprised me with a birthday gift. She paid for me to have six months of paid LJ! I haven’t yet figured out what that entails, but it sounds like fun!! My faith in humanity is restored. I cried when I realized that someone (an online acquaintance) did this for a stranger. The world may be worth saving after all.

And it means I got a birthday surprise! Thank you SO much (and I won’t reveal who did it, just in case I’m not supposed to. Although you can figure it out easily if you’re paying attention. ;)) This is going to be fun. Maybe it’ll allow me to post pictures?

I’ve got to get to work doing the critique someone asked for . . . it’s my way of Paying It Forward. But watch for another update soon.