Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Spring 2010 Equinox

Happy Equinox, a little early.

This afternoon, to my pleasure, I checked the Portable Stonehenge with the angle between the Sun and the Moon and it was spot on. Lately, especially during the Winter Months when it's cloudy, the moon peg gets a little off. But today, when I held Portable Stonehenge up so that the sun peg's shadow crossed through the center of the board and then sited over the center and the moon's peg, the thin crescent moon was right on the moon peg's top.

It sounds more complicated than it is.

Anyway, out to look at the crescent moon before it goes behind a hill.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Cynical Neo-Pagan

This morning during a writing break, I was speaking with a fellow writer, Loreen H., about how it was the New Moon, and my plans to write a "prosperity check" to myself for $1000 with "from selling short stories" on the memo line. And blog about it.

"Wow," she said. "I think you're the most cynical Pagan I know. Not spiritually but on the surface, you're almost like an atheist. ...Sort of like some pony-tailed professor atheist."

"Well," I said, "It's a side effect of wanting to be a Neo-Pagan Thomas Aquinas. I suppose if I were being honest, I'd really write, 'Being Able To Say a Variation on "Ha! Where is Your Goddess Now?!"'"

Our mutual friend, Jai, added, "And the universe will oblige you."

So. I've written my check, and now I'm going to forget about it until next new moon. We'll see if my acceptance level goes up (which, all things being equal, I'm not expecting).

I feel myself becoming more spiritual already....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Random News

On the dream front:

Nothing much to report other than they've been too sexual for me to comfortably write about on my blog. Okay, and on occasion I've woken up wondering, not exactly "What was I dreaming?" so much as "Why did I dream that?" I prefer the dreams of sexual tension to be about rising water and overflowing swimming pools. Although now that I think about it, I suppose being in a production of MacBeth on a floating slab of rock in the middle of an indoor moat might count.

On the writing front:

I've been using Scrivener to trim down the short story I've been working on. I've got a plot, and ... I have a feeling the story as it is plotted will receive critiques like "too slow," "not enough action," and "I get the feeling that characters were working toward something, but I couldn't figure out what it was."

On the house front:

It's that time of year when I want to do things to the house. Like rip off the roof and add a second story, or install a greenhouse along the (long) south side of the house. The latest house longing is to replace our outside patio cover with one that will actually be rainproof and extend the concrete patio about three feet south and west. Oh, right, and install that labyrinth I designed eighteen months ago.

Ah well, at least I have propagated some rose canes from the pruning I did earlier.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Left Turn Rant

I don't know what it is about Eugene motorists and left turns. It seems every time I'm crossing the street (at a crosswalk with a light), there is someone turning left on an apparent trajectory to run me over.

There's nothing quite so stimulating to the fight-or-flight response as the headlights of an oncoming car.

Afterward, the driver gives me a friendly wave and mouths a "Hi." This does nothing to temper my autonomic desire to vaporize his car with photon torpedoes. A lot of photon torpedoes. I can only imagine what's going through these peoples' heads: "Oh, I know you thought I was about to plow into you with five tons of metal, but, see, it was joke; I didn't really mean it. So, um, Hi!"

It's enough to make me want to walk around with photocopies of pages from the Oregon Driver's Manual covering the laws yielding to pedestrians. I think I'd slap it onto the side of their car as they coast by.

Sigh. I suppose there's other laws about using an electromagnetic pulse gun to fry the chips in their car's engine. ("Oh, I made your car stop advancing on me while I was in a crosswalk. Nothing personal. Hi.")

Thursday, March 11, 2010

We Are the Stuff of Dreams...

I dreamed I was MacBeth. I think it started out as being in the play. The play was set in a dark stone castle, and there was a moat on the inside of the building, making a square around the perimeter of the main hall. I and another actor (dressed in medieval clothing) were on a square slab of rock floating in the inside moat, delivering our lines. I had a split sense of saying my lines as an actor, and also being MacBeth with an awareness of the play's script.

But then I became "Young MacBeth." The dream was slightly confused, because as a Young MacBeth, I was on a beach with a bunch of Vikings, and we were all standing there in the middle of the night with torches. I was wearing white homespun breaches and a jerkin (as were most of the other Vikings) and we were having a spiritual moment around some standing stones. I think there was chanting.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Applied Writing

Reminding myself that a strong protagonist, when faced with a situation that threatens something they cherish, reacts with action, not moping.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Early March Nightmare

Mostly nightmares last night. Starting around 2AM I kept waking up and drifting back into the dream-plot....

Part One:

The dream was in Gotham City, sort of colorful and bright.
I was Batman (Adam West, not any of the more modern ones). The Joker (or possibly The Riddler) had just been elected mayor of Gotham City. One of the first things Mayor Joker did was declare me a vigilante and persona non grata at city hall. The setting became more dark and Tim Burton-esque. Commissioner Gordon had to work for the Joker, but was also helping me out on the sly. In the dream he was less statuesque and shorter than the actor who played him in the campy TV show. He put on a black trench coat and set out to warn me that The Joker was going to trace the Bat Phone line (obviously, some of this dream plot has been borrowed from the show).

There was a sudden shift in the dream's point of view... and I heard a voice saying, "The government always targets the poor. They put turtle urine into the drinking water and deny them healthcare. I have a vague image of the Joker in a water treatment plant.

Part Two:

I think Commissioner Gordon walked onto a beach were a commercial was being filmed. Or else it was a beach wedding. My recall is a little muddled here, and I have an disconnected image of sea foam or else whipped cream (or bridal veils?) in my head. At some point some guy is swimming in the ocean, and sea-monster-shark-stegosauruses come out of the water and eat him. I think there was more than one kind of monster. They were fast, stealthy, had scales or rough skin, and loped about on four legs eating people. I guess they could swim, because they came from the sea. Some had short triangular heads (with shark mouths), some had bony club heads. Somehow, the Joker (or his government) had sent them.

Monsters appeared all over the world and began eating everyone. Commissioner Gordon left the beach. By now he had a white trimmed mustache and spoke with a light British accent. Monsters rushed off of the beach and into the surrounding brush to stalk everyone. Around here, the dream got its own soundtrack: staccato violin and string-section "danger lurking in the bushes; you know it's right in front of you, HA! it's really behind you and now your head has been chomped off" music.

Somewhere around here, the lighting got very dark and noir. English Commissioner Gordon was attempting to lead his children through the dark and rain-slicked alleyways of Gotham City while monsters were popping out from behind corners and up from sewers.

Society adapted to the rampaging monsters by building thick, stone walled houses -- which the monsters crashed through in order to eat the occupants. So people built buildings honeycombed with empty rooms. The dream became video-game-like in the imagery -- I watched from above as though looking at a kind of architectural drawing of a house -- as monsters with battering ram heads galloped down long narrow hallways, crashing through walls into little room after little room. Somehow they sensed the cowering occupant holed up in the the last room; quaking as the sounds of thudding stones grew closer.

Part Three:

By this time I had woken up and returned to nightmares several times.

And then I was Arcosanti.

I think I might have had a sense that I was dreaming. I remember looking at The Vaults and thinking that for once I was visiting an Arcosanti not wildly at odds with its real location and state of construction.

I was speaking with Mary Hoadley, who was a site manager when I lived there. I don't remember all of our conversation, but I think I had just moved back to Arcosanti for something like the third time. I said, "I'm sorry; I keep coming here by mistake. If you need a computer consultant, maybe I could visit for a few days once a year."

I don't recall her response (if any).

... and then I must have woken up for the seventh time that morning....

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Writer Bug

Just write.

That's what I tell myself.

The other half of that is that I have to have something to say, something that interests me, some destination I can aim my words to.

I think that is what makes January and February (and March) so difficult for my speculative fiction -- my interest is directed inward toward mundane, banal things. So I blog; in the days before blogging I probably wrote bad poetry. Am I a post-pupating caterpillar dreaming it's a writer? In winter, as a writer I feel like a butterfly in a chrysalis, waiting for the seasons to turn so I can break out and expand my wings. I can feel the first stirrings.

Sort of. So for now, it's back to the drafts and the words written last night.