Monday, September 12, 2005

Monday, September 12, 2005
Waxing Moon
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I am heart sore due to all that has happened in the past few weeks. Between Hurricane Katrina and the anniversary of 9/11, it has not been an easy time.

I am also disheartened by the willingness of the population to allow the feds to pat them on the head and tell them everything’s okay, when it’s not. Bush has already handed the rebuilding contracts over to his buddies, including Halliburton. Dick Cheney, our VP, used to head Halliburton, and, according to CNN, received over $194,000 from them last year. They called it “deferred payment”. Yeah, right.

In other words, those closest to Bush are already making a profit from the tragedy, while thousands are standing in line for hours for promised aid that is still not being given.

To all of you who are too stupid and too apathetic to demand more from your government – next time it will be you, and don’t think you’ll be treated any better.

The Bush women have finally shown their true colours. Everyone thinks Barbara and Laura are so wonderful. Yet for Barbara to state that “it’s working” for the evacuees to live in the Astrodome because they’re “underprivileged anyway”, and Laura not to even know the name of the hurricane (she calls it “Corinna”) – it’s appalling.

On the writing front, I’ve been working steadily on Three Artifacts and have first act almost done. It will be in three scenes, and I think the second act will be two. I have some “placeholders” in the first act – I have to tear apart the third scene and raise the stakes for a couple of the characters a bit. But I want to get through the whole thing first and see what I have. I alternate between worrying that it’s too convoluted or that I’ve revealed too much without subtlety. Until I hear it read, I won’t know, so a few drafts down the line, I’ll have to bring in some actors and have a table read, just for my own uses. I expect it won’t be ready for that until spring.

A couple of other ideas flitted through my brain, but I didn’t jot them down fast enough and they’re gone. If your net isn’t ready to capture the creative butterflies, they fly elsewhere.

Trying to rebuild the shattered self-confidence, but it could take awhile. I at least have to seem like I know what I’m doing today – I have a client lunch. The truth is that I do know what I’m doing, and this is just a bump in the road. More like a crater, but it’s still possible to either fix it or move around it.

My safety valve, when all has gotten to be too much these past few weeks has been to dive into Harry Potter, of all things. That’s the beauty of well-written books – they provide refuge. I’ve re-read The Order of the Phoenix and am re-reading The Half-Blood Prince, and enjoying it much more the second time around. Re-reading them back-to-back helps. Order of the Phoenix is still my favorite of the books, followed by The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Goblet of Fire, The Chamber of Secrets, The Half-Blood Prince, and The Prisoner of Azkaban. Book #3 worked the least for me, because I kept getting ahead of it. Yet, of the movies, it’s my favorite.

The detail in all the movies is wonderful. And it wasn’t until the third time I watched POA that I picked up on one of the details – when Lupin springs in front of Harry to prevent him from facing the first Boggart, the Boggart turns into a full moon before turning into a balloon with the “Ridikulus” incantation. Of course, Lupin’s very name tells us what he is, but still . . .it was a nice touch.

Of course the central trio are my favorites, but, of the other characters, I’m fondest of Neville, Lupin, and, yes, Snape. Neville’s growth through the series, particularly in Book #5, is a joy to watch. Lupin is the type of teacher I’d always longed for and never found – and the poor guy would never know what hit him if I had! And Snape – I still believe that Snape will redeem himself in the end, though probably will die anyway. I expect Lupin to die in Book 7, too, and that will hurt. I hope he won’t, but it makes sense.

JK Rowling breaks one of the “rules” that most “how-to-write-for-children” experts insist on. Most of the “expert” articles and “how to” books claim the necessity for the kids to be on their own and to have bad relationships with the adults in their lives. I think that was true earlier, but now, with kids forced to grow up so quickly in the modern world, it’s important for them, in books and life, to have adults they can trust. While there are plenty of foolish adults in the HP books, there are also well-drawn, highly individual characters such as the Weasley parents, Lupin, McGonagall, Dumbledore, Hagrid – adults that the kids can trust and talk to. Lupin’s intelligence, understanding, compassion, humour, courage, and his own sorrow are so beautifully drawn, and that’s rare to find in a “children’s book.”

But then, all the best books, no matter how they’re shelved in the bookshop, cross genre and age lines.

So, in addition to entering the HP world for sanctuary, I’m also learning a lot.

Today, I’m going to work on a couple of articles that are due on Thursday. After I get home from my meeting, I’ll go back to the play. It’s resting now, sort of like bread dough rising.

Before I forget, my third-place tie entry with Toasted Cheese is up, “Dog Driving”.

It’s a piece of which I am quite fond.



At 8:46 AM, Blogger Colin said...


You are one of the most motivated, strong and determined women I know. If you don't know what you're doing then I, and a lot of others, are in trouble because I for one, have learnt a great deal from you.

You have given me advice and turned me in the direction I needed to go when times got rough. You always seem to be able to take a situation and turn it to your advantage, involving people and empowering them with your energy.

Let it be said that without you, the writing world would be missing something, and I would miss having you as an "unofficial mentor".

You DO know what you are doing and there a lot of us out here who are proud of what you do, how you go about it and of the strength you carry it out with.

Although you can't see us, we're all behind you!! Don't under-estimate the strength of the friendships that will carry you through it.

We're right behind you.


At 8:49 AM, Blogger Colin said...

Great story by the way!! :-D

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Michelle Miles said...

For the first time in my writing life, I woke up yesterday with characters talking in my head. Two friends chatting in a coffee house and I was just eavesdropping on them.

For the first time, I realized what you meant when you said "characters were talking" in your head. I could "hear" them as clearly as I can hear the people in the office talking.

You are a true inspiration. You know where you want to go, how you want to get there and that you WILL get there. You are confident and strong.

You're a talented writer and, like Colin said, the writing world would be sadly empty without your words, you wisdom, and YOU. Don't give up. You'll get your self-confidence back.

If you need us, we're here. :)

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Angela said...

I agree with Colin and Mik. The world is a better place because you're in it. If anybody can find a way around or through a crater in the path, it's you.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Ann said...

I'll add my vote. You are an incredible writer, what I've read of your fiction is rich and lively, and your nonfiction is so astute and on point.
Hang in!

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Eileen said...

To all of you who are too stupid and too apathetic to demand more from your government – next time it will be you, and don’t think you’ll be treated any better.

"In Germany they first came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me-and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Martin Niemoller

I've been especially frustrated by a woman I know who is a Bush supporter and refuses to even speak about Katrina. She's become silent on the issue. This friendship is becoming too strained to pursue.

So, in addition to entering the HP world for sanctuary, I’m also learning a lot.

I'm overjoyed to hear that you've found a sanctuary in the world of Harry Potter! You deserve to have a safe place.

Having sanctuary important to our souls, especially when there continue to be forces of darkness that need to be dealt with, internally and externally and it's seems to be overwhelming sometimes.

I've worn *the ring* around my neck for several years now. I'm reminded when I become angry at what is happening in the world, that it's important not to let the anger consume me, as the power of the ring could do, but to continue to stand up for what is right in the face of so much wrong without becoming bitter.

I've found Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin to be a strong source of comfort for me these past weeks most especially. Did Frodo want to go to Mordor? No, he didn't, but in so many ways Mordor has come to us, but there are many good people and as Sam said, the good is worth fighting for.

Frodo was told to keep his nose out of trouble and no trouble would come to him. Did the trouble come to him? Yes, it certainly did.

I believe that in fairy tales and fantasy there is not only often a safe haven, but lessons about life that can be applied in the real world.

But then, all the best books, no matter how they’re shelved in the bookshop, cross genre and age lines.


Try not to worry about catching the butterflies. They'll light on you. :)


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