Friday, September 30, 2005

and a book fell from the sky and it said... 

moth is busy.

She is planning a wedding, working, and finally finished an essay for a Vanity Fair contest and a bunch of responses to queries, one of whom wants her to write but doesn't want to pay. She tends to shy away from those.

But she is still writing, have no fear.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Still Writing 

I work full time. I'm taking a semester off from classes, but I still have a wedding to plan and stress over.

Still, I write. I'm working on a piece for Vanity Fair (it's a long shot, I know, but I've got great material for smaller publications if it falls though), an essay on the role of the military in the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, and crossing my fingers about a well-received but not-yet-accepted query on dueling in the Navy.

A freelance writing life would be full of hurry up and write, hurry up and wait, hurry up and get inspired. But so far I'm loving it all, even when I don't sleep. Maybe if I were full time I'd feel differently. But now I just love it.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Writing hurts 

Suffice it to say - writing hurts. I'm working on an article that at times hits a bit close to home. But I believe in the importance of what I'm doing, both to the world, to the people I'm trying to reach, and to my ongoign efforts to kill demons I thought were gone.

Every so often I need to stare into he abyss to remind myself I didn't fall.

A friend gave me this song. It's by the Goo Goo Dolls.

Baby's black balloon makes her fly
I almost fell into that hole in your life
And you're not thinking about tomorrow
'Cause you were the same as me
But on your knees

A thousand other boys could never reach you
How could I have been the one
I saw the world spin beneath you
And scatter like ice from the spoon
That was your womb

Comin' down the world turned over
And angels fall without you there
And I go on as you get colder
Or are you someone's prayer

You know the lies they always told you
And the love you never knew
What's the things they never showed you
That swallowed the light from the sun
Inside your room

Comin' down the years turned over
And angels fall without you there
And I'll go on to lead you home
All because I'm
All because I'm
And I'll become
What you became to me

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What is a human? 

Borrowed from Anarchangel:
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -- Lazarus Long, Robert Heinlein, "Time Enough For Love"
So am I human?

* Change a diaper - yes
* Plan an invasion - only in role-playing
* Butcher a hog - no
* Conn a ship - just a canoe
* Design a building - no
* Write a sonnet - yes
* Balance accounts - yes
* Build a wall - no but I've mended them
* Set a bone - no
* Comfort the dying - yes
* Take orders - yes
* Give orders - yes
* Cooperate - yes
* Act alone - yes
* Solve equations - yes
* Analyze a new problem - yes
* Pitch manure - haven't, but I can't see why I couldn't
* Program a computer - yes
* Cook a tasty meal - yes
* Fight efficiently - yes
* Die gallantly - not yet

He notes that this list is remeniscent of Kim du Toit's list of things a man should do before he dies. I'm not a man, but I say any human should aspire to this list:

1. Shoot a gun larger than a .22 - yes
2. Teach a kid to shoot - only if I can define a kid like the Brady Campaign as anyone under 24
3. Cook a meal out in the open (and I don’t mean a backyard BBQ). - I've helped
4. Kill an animal which can kill you - no
5. Taste a good brandy (no French cognacs need apply) and a fine single malt Scotch - no, and no interest in doing so
6. Visit at least eight countries outside your own continent, none of which speak your home language - yes
7. Read any six Shakespeare plays - yes
8. Win a solo sporting competition—anything that involves physical exercise - yes
9. Be part of a winning sports team - yes, if you count pickup games
10. Make love with a woman in a forbidden place - ...define forbidden
11. Have a strange woman invite you home with her; and refuse her, because you’re married - not yet
12. Build something tangible—out of wood, steel, brick, whatever - yes
13. Sit up all night comforting a sick child - no
14. Tell the truth, where a lie would both be undiscoverable, and keep you out of trouble - yes
15. Watch at least one real virtuoso play a musical instrument—in any kind of music - yes
16. Perform on stage (music, theater, whatever), to a large (500+) audience - yes
17. Play at least one musical instrument competently - yes
18. Make love to a woman at least ten years older than you are - yes (a man, though)
19. Tell a government bureaucrat to fuck off - not in so many words
20. And finally: tell a true story to your grandchildren - not yet

Hurricane Frivolity 

I've been following the news obsessively (it's how I deal with tragedy). I know that the friends and relatives of my loved ones are okay. I know that some people who work for my father are still unaccounted for. I'm still hoping.

There are lots of websites devoted to news of evacuation and criticism of the politicians and the people involved. I'll leave them to that. I want to report something different and completely irrelevent to anyone remotely connected to the disaster.
The French Quarter is dry and never got more than about a foot of water in it. Trees are down everywhere, but some police are about and it wasn't looted like the stores along nearby Canal Street. The Faulkner House Bookstore, a local treasure where Willie Faulkner lived as young writer, is intact. Molly's Bar is open and serving warm beer. It even has a working phone.
From the Wall Street Journal.

I was wondering about Faulkner's house. I went there last time I was in New Orleans. I like seeing writers' homes. Seeing Hemingway's home in Key West was a highlight of my last trip to Florida.

Yes, it's frivolous. Yes, people are more important than houses. But I was wondering and thought I'd share.

Required Reading 

Everyone in the US has to track down the latest issue of Journal of Asian Martial Arts. I have a short story in it. :)

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