Monday, June 30, 2008

Emily Dickinson Ambivalence

I'm borrowing (long-term) The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (Thomas H Johnson, ed).  At the risk of sounding like a philistine, I'm not sure what the fuss is about and Ms. Dickinson's use of dashes is confusing to me.  I haven't yet had a chance to compare them to "The Ink Dark Moon; Love Poems by Ono No Komachi & Izumi Shikibu" (Hirshfield and Aratani),  or to "Japanese Death Poems" (compiled by Yoel Hoffmann), which are more accessible to me (possibly because there are little footnotes explaining that a full moon in a mansion is a metaphor for Buddhism or that such-and-such a poem was composed after the cremation of the poet's daughter). 

So far Ms. Dickinson's poems have struck me as either opaque or else clever in a fifth-grader kind of way.  Maybe I've read the wrong poems (there's 1775), and possibly I don't have a good connection to nineteenth century American sensibilities.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Another Rejection

Man, I'm on a roll -- three rejections in less than a week (two within hours of each other, and two from the same market).   Oh well... to compensate, I wrote a PHP script to supplement my story tracking PHP script.   

Back to writing (and the mail room).

Monday, June 23, 2008


This solstice I did not lead a Neo-Pagan ritual at the UU church, as I have done the last two years.  It was refreshing to attend someone else's ritual, and, as usual with UU events, challenged me.  Solstice (as are the other solar station holidays) is a good time for me to re-calibrate my portable Stonehenge -- I've gotten lax about moving the day and moon markers -- and I had gotten a little out of sync.  

Another Solstice.  At least the weather has been great -- I don't care if folks have been complaining about "June-uary" here.  I love the fact that it's not 80 F by 11 AM.   The snow pack is good, the rivers are still up with plenty of water; as far as I'm concerned it's ten times better than last year and a hundred times better than the withering summer we had two years ago.  

I've probably jinxed it -- as soon as I publish this I'm sure that we'll have some horrific drought.  And looking ahead, it looks like the end of this week will be pushing the upper limit of my heat comfort zone (82 F).  Mark accuses me of being too intolerant, and predicts that when I'm in my seventies I'll be cranking up the heat.  (Can I help it if my comfort zone is somewhat overcast between 60F and 78F?)

Solstice.  Typically this means that June is winding down and we can get back to some quiet weekends start to think about painting the house.

In the dream department... the last couple of days I've had Thesis Anxiety Nightmares.  Fairly typical; my printed thesis was due by the end of the day, I had all the edits written on my rough draft but not entered into my final draft, my computer was in several pieces in my office and I didn't have the right keys to unlock the door to my office...  

Since I handed in my undergraduate thesis on time in 1987, I'm assuming that my subconscious thinks either I should be turning more short stories into various markets or else I need to tackle that pile of not-quite-ready-to-abandon manuscripts.  Or both.

In the Muriel department; we need to clip her claws.  There's one that is especially long that's going to injure her pads if we don't see to it soon.  At least she has a reason to be a needy irritant.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Writing Progress

Ouch.  Two rejections in about four hours.  At least one was a 48 hour turn-around.  Oh well, back to the word processor.  

The Back

My back is much improved this week.  I'm pretty sure that sitting at the computer too much without getting up (and slouching) is a big part of the problem.  I'm continuing to do "yoga crunches" and these help, but I really feel things sort of realigning when I do extension exercises (or "table swimming").

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Late Night Musings

Coming out of a odd mood; I'm feeling a little bit like a one-hit-wonder writer-wise ... no, make that an old one-hit-wonder.  I guess chocolate, Pepsi and writing helps, because I don't feel quite so much like a jaded Stephen Sondheim character as I did earlier this evening.   Time to polish off the back-load of not-quite-final-but-critiqued drafts and get them in the mail.

I've decided that although I really like Scrivener as an editing tool,  it would be a better editing tool if I had it on my laptop, which doesn't have the Mac OS on it and therefore can't run Scrivener.  Scrivener helps me to focus in on where a manuscript is broken and work on just that part (mostly).    The other thing Scrivener is good for is reformatting a manuscript quickly -- it seems more and more on-line markets are coming up with their own formatting hoops to jump through.  

But tonight when I went back to using plain old Word on the laptop, I discovered that I do some of my best writing in a discovery mode.  And it may help that I do my writing out of the house, where I'm less easily distracted.  And, to be truthful, the laptop doesn't have an internet connection, so I can't get sucked into e-mail or research.  

Friday, June 13, 2008

Writing News


One of the rejection letters came in.  If the other comes in tomorrow (not so likely, given the market's usual turn-around time), then I guess I've developed a Writer's Superpower (I would have taken, "able to write 4000 words in a single hour").

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Back Diagnosis

Saw the doctor.  The long and short of it was, do these exercises (instruction sheet included), swimming would help, sit up straight, try standing at the computer, take ibuprofen for the pain, and ice it if you want.  Since nothing is numb, tingling, or losing strength, it's probably not a pinched nerve.

In the dream department...  the other day I had a dream that involved brightly colored batik sun and moon puppets.  This morning I dreamt that I received two rejection letters in the same day's mail.  I prefer the puppet dream.

No rejections in the mail today.  

Off to critique.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More Back

Well... at least this morning I could get dressed without having to sit in a chair.   There were a couple of times when my back was pain free, but I can't figure out what (if anything) I did to "fix" my back (other than yoga-sit-up-stretches). 

Oddly enough, my sister is having identical back pain this week.  I hope this isn't some kind of strange psychic link.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Today I got out of bed.  

That sounded easy, and normally it would be.  But today my back seized up, so I had to roll out of bed and walk carefully -- not bending my legs too much to keep my back from seizing up more.  

Do you know how hard it is to dress when you can't bend your legs?

Luckily, I figured out some exercises involving coffee tables, sit-ups, and some very basic yoga postures I remembered from a belly-dance class.

I'm really hating the aging process.   Oh; did I forget to mention that I'm getting to the point where my own handwriting is too small to read?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Losing Savoure Again

Alas and alack -- Savoure is closing its doors again; this time the retail part of the business is going away.  Not only will the shop close, but the retail web site is going away, too.  

Was September 2005 really only a little under three years ago?  I still miss the salon.  I don't know what I'm going to do without my Ceylon.  

Monday, June 02, 2008

Polar Bear

I spent a good deal of last night's dream trying hard not to be eaten by a polar bear.   

I'm not sure what I was doing in a kind of very large, empty concrete swimming pool.  It had a kind of mountain/island that was difficult for the polar bear to climb.  At one point I helped someone into a hovering helicopter while the polar bear chomped at my feet.  Then I spent a lot of time sort of holding the bear's muzzle open (so it wouldn't bite down on me). 

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Slow Day

I think it's the allergy meds.  All I've wanted to do today is take naps.