Archive for October, 2008

You say something logically enough, I will disregard my opinion and my feelings… which wane with age. 

Until next time. 

We’ll see.  Remember Princess Jasmine pretending to be a foolish imbecile and talking to camels?  Remember the Alamo! 

I went into this as General Custer… and I think I lost, just the same.  We’ll see how bad the slaughter is, maybe by morning.  The sun comes up, the fog lifts, and there’s my frozen cold body, with nothing left of me.  It rises, it shines, and I sit there yelling, Hey, come back, you fool!  And it goes on without me, sweet, no petulence, the perfect citizen.  No brain, no life, no purpose.




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Do not, without reading my work, tell me that I’m not good enough to pull off a piece. 

Do not, under any circumstances, tell me that the reader does not care about artistic vision, and thus I must forego any and all artistic vision at the very beginning of a piece, and write it “your way”.  Especially when you don’t know where the story is going.

Do not tell me to comply with childish tantrums.  I don’t give in to blackmail or conceit. 

Do not tell me to respect someone who disrespected first, second, and third.  They don’t deserve it. 

Do not tell me something is impossible.  Haven’t you learned yet?  Impossibilities change the world.

Do not tell me to dumb it down.

You are not my intended audience.



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Don’t mind me; I’m actually listening to every word you say.  I’m taking notes. 

So I can post them here later:

In writing: In order to make an action scene more engaging, all you need to do is slip out of past tense, for one or two lines, and go into present tense. 

You taught us how to paragraph, because none of us should be in the MA.

You told us that the story we “practiced” on, it was okay for them to do that, because it’s a rough draft… but it’s not okay to turn in a rough draft to you now.

On narrative voice: You said that an omniscient narrator must always be objective, must never enter the head of a character, let alone allow the thoughts of a character to shine through, besides which, it was irritating and you didn’t want to read it. 

You said, if it’s not fashionable, it’s not publishable.

You said never to give any credit to the reader, because they won’t like it, they won’t read it, and besides, they want to embody the character.  KISS!  (Keep it simple, stupid.)

You said, “Readers don’t care about artistic vision; what are you going to sacrifice?”

You said, This is a workshop, and obviously this is a problem to be solved–don’t just do it more and expect we’ll like it better.  (You said, Don’t even try to do it better, just don’t do it at all.)

You said, We don’t want an omniscient narrator, and then proceeded to describe an objective one.  Not as the ideal, but as the wrong definition.

You said, Modern novels aren’t written like that.  We either love them or hate them, but we have to embody them.

You were condescending and belittling, and you smirked and asked me to critique the workshop.  “What  are you going to fix now based on everything we said?  What do you think about what we said?”  I didn’t fight back, so you apologized… and said, Don’t forget to fix what we told you to.

You know best.  You know my character oh so well, you know my intent, you know where the story is going.  Let me bow and kiss your @ss.



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Well, hmph!

My mother refuses to mail me mashed potatoes. 



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I should write a letter to my congressman!  I should write to the president!  I should fall off a pony and drown in the mud!

They kept asking us, when we applied for a student visa, how could we prove that if they let us in the UK that we would leave again?  They’re obsessed with getting rid of people.  They don’t want you here, no matter who you are.  They’d be happiest with a mass exodus. 

I can now prove that I will indeed leave the country at the end of my schooling.  (glances furtively from side to side, leans forward, and types more quietly) You see, they have Kentucky Fried Chicken over here.  They have KFC.  I luuuurrrve KFC.  It’s one of my comfort foods.  Their mashed potatoes with gravy are one of the delectables of this earth.  Give me a vat of mashed potates and stand back.  It’s probably the only food I would allow to come in a vat, without putting up protest.  That way there’s always MORE.  There’s enough to share. 

My family makes fun of me.  On occasion, when we’re getting together and don’t want to cook, we’ll get KFC, and they know I’m the potato freak.  Most families do pizza.  Most kids fight over the chicken legs, if there is no pizza.  (But then, most kids weren’t chased by chicken legs as children, so I have an excuse to not drool when I see them.  They’re objects of fear…)  “They’re gone, you can stop scraping the bottom of the container.”  “You want dessert?”  “Nope, I’ll just finish off the potatoes.”  “Look at her.”  “We ate all the mashed potatoes, haha haha!” 

Now for the horror of horrors.  After scouring the entirety of Bath for the KFC, I found out… they don’t have potatoes!!!!!  Waaaahhhhhh!!!  Ack!  Egads!  Scream! 

Get this: they have gravy.  They sell the freaking gravy.  But they don’t have the mashed potatoes.  What is wrong with these people???? 

One year from now, when my course of study is over and the UK government says, Hey, girl, get out of our country! then the next time anyone sees me, do not be surprised if I am swimming inside a vat of mashed potatoes. 



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Me is so proud of myself.  I don’t know why.  I’m not that much of a bitch… usually.  But.  Mwuhaha. 

They have door-to-door salesmen here.  What’s up with that?  We’ve pretty much erradicated them in the US.  Girl Scouts aren’t even allowed to go door-to-door anymore.  Ooh, spooky, evil.  Halloween is quickly going the way of the May Day Parade.  If you’re going to take your kids trick-or-treating now, you don’t just turn them loose in the neighborhood.  You either drive them to a rich neighborhood where they give out full-sized candy bars, and then rob your children of their spoils, or you take them to a shopping mall.  A safe, self-contained container, giving out pre-inspected, carefully sealed goodies (which you also steal from your children later).

We got our wireless by a door-to-door dude.  That turned out well and good.  I guess.  I mean, it was like trying to get your student visa… you pretty much had to give them a blood sample and a first born child. 

Apparently the power companies, since there are many different billing groups, like 27 of them, go door to door and try to strongarm loyal customers to leave their favored company.  Some of them are like used car salesmen, and the big scheme nowadays seems to be, “Please, just sign this for my boss, so he’ll know I’m doing my job, ‘kay?”  And then after you sign a seemingly harmless thing, they might forge your signature to a contract, and bam!  You’ve just changed power companies. 

Not that I totally suspect this dude of having such foul motives.  He was well-dressed, but in a strange manner.  He looked like a used car salesman.  Hair nearly to his shoulders, wavy, pushed back, a sleazy manner, a pocket watch on a chain, and 1940s gangster suit, tailored to be smaller than Al Capone’s, not to make his shoulders appear large.  Despite the fact that I should totally give everyone the benefit of the doubt, this guy wouldn’t give me a business card, nor show me any hard copy of paperwork proving that his “flat rate” was legit.  All I wanted was a written estimate.  A guarantee of his verbal statement.  Proof that he existed and worked for the company he said he did.  Is that too much to ask?  Yeah, he had an ID card strung around his neck, but everyone gets an ID card to wear around their neck nowadays.  His name could have easily been Chuck U. Farley. 

My apologies, Kari!  But really, I wasn’t the one to open the door, so I didn’t break my promise!  The door was already opened.  It just so happened that I was still in my pajamas… everyone’s seen me in my pajamas by now, even that annoying little boy from down at the pub; it just happens.  (And I will probably soon break down… being a pajama addict… and not being able to bring even half of my lovely jammies… I just know I won’t be able to resist the call of Marks and Spencer’s PJ dept much longer.  I drool just walking past the building.)  So Skeavy Dude, yes, he saw me in my pjs and he gave me that condescending, Ah, here’s an easy sale, look.  So I stopped eavesdropping because his roving eyes had found me peeking out from the hall next to the kitchen, and I marched right up to the door, and he gave me his, Ah, this is such a good deal, you’ll never ever be able to get a better deal, one day only, can I come in? 

I sent him packing.  Of course, he promised to come back later.

Which he did.  And this time I was fully clothed, and even more of a hardass.  I want your business card and a written estimate.  But, but, it’s a flat rate!  You’ll never get better!  I want it in writing, and then we’ll talk, but if you can’t do that, then I’m not talking, and no, you can’t come in. 

He actually ran.  Hardy-har!  He turned around and ran down the path from the door, waving, saying something about Yeah, ‘kay, we’ll do that. 

I never expect to see him again.

Simple salesmanship shouldn’t be so shoddy a notion, eh?  Be polite, don’t strong-arm the customer, don’t dress like a used car salesman, don’t smirk, and always carry credentials, a business card, and a hard copy of your contract.  Not so hard. 



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A day in the day

I just got a prospective invitation to a hypothetical future wedding.

Have too many random notes of funny terms from postmodernism class.  No one else took notes, but how could we not?  Perhaps because I’m not British, so the turns of phrase become brill.  For them, commonplace?

The house becomes loud.  Will one day I think “lively” instead?

If I do not work on my novel tomorrow, I will be forced to jump off the roof into the large pile of mutated slugs known affectionately in the UK as our “back garden.”  The landlord has informed us that they will put down weedkiller so that we can string up a clothes line.  Weedkiller does nothing to slugs.  A vat of beer, yes.  Ammonia, yes.  Salt, wowsers. 

I am the spider wrangler for the house, and so the girls have protected me from the inordinately large slugs.  They didn’t want them clinging to the door, and then open the door, and whoops–got a visitor in the kitchen.  So they spread a line of salt along each of the doors.  One came for me, a slug could sense I was in the house, and it said, Ouch, ouch, I must get to Dawn and frighten her, ouch, ouch, why is my body burning like the fires of damnation?  (Perhaps because the dawn damned him?  ((Hannah used to write her W’s upside down, so then I became Aunt Damn, so it works.))) 

People are like that a bit, aren’t they?  Even if something might be killing them, if it hurts, we’re in the No Pain No Gain society, and have no foresight.  And thus… like a slug to the salt, we keep going, with faith, and hope, stupidly. 

Will I recognize when I’m an idiot? 

Apparently my writing is easier read aloud, listened to, than read on the page.  Hmph.  I’ve been almost wondering about that, especially sometimes when people read bits aloud during workshops at home, and it just doesn’t sound right.  Is my voice so distinct when I write, that it actually can’t be read and understood?  Well, crap.  I really do need to work more on the writing.  My piece today was no all-inclusive, self-contained… and I guess it should have been.  Whoops.  It was more of an excerpt that needed previous knowledge to be understood.  More work, less socialization.  Much less.  I may not be an efficient worker.

And I need a lamp.



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