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July Threeth

Still trying to figure out how to rise when I wake without rousing The Viking. It’s problematic, and I’m going to need to talk with him today about ways to solve it. I’m up at five; he’s up at six. But he NEEDS that hour. This desk and computer are at the bottom of the stairs, and the bedroom is at the top. This is a loud keyboard. Are there quiet ones??? And my c-key sticks and there’s a lot of c’s I need to type, so that gets louder. I’ve tried shutting the door, but the combination of getting up, getting dressed, shutting the door and then typing has him fully awake. All this wide open world and I still don’t have a room of my own. I believe if I had a hidey-hole to quietly inhabit for an hour or two, he would fall back to sleep.

I have so much editing work this morning, and I will get started on it as soon as I have this entry done and one cup of coffee on board. I also have to visit the retiring sexton and pick up some paperwork for the cemetery. And then I think I’ll invite my mom up to see how the Outside Room is coming along. Kidling1 is coming home this evening for tomorrow’s 4th/Family Reunion. I have to bake 48 cupcakes for tomorrow, but I think I will make Kidling1 frost them with her mad skillz. Busy day.

Got my hair trimmed yesterday. My hair looks exactly as it did throughout my 30’s and that makes me happy/sad. It’s an interesting mirror experience to see one’s face change throughout time. It’s very very long now but I want it LONGER.

We are tv-dry and giving up on that for a while. What are folks watching??? I am still determined to make Kidling2 teach us how to xBox…but he’s resisting. Guess it’s board games, reading and knitting. Tonight it will be hours of recent life story story-telling which is what we tend to do when we’re all together.

I’ve decided I need a hipster fedora. 


July Twoth

* Working on my A Star is Born fic in bursts of stanzas and choruses. I don’t have it in me anymore (leastaways I haven’t for years) to write fic in a linear long form. I can’t sustain it. For me, fanfic has always relied entirely upon audience, and when that dried up six years back or so, my ability to entertain with it did, too. I know, I know. No one wants to hear more blahblahblahtheendofdays bellyaching, so I’ll button that up right now.

I suppose original writing needs an audience, too. Of course, it does, and that’s what makes [community profile] therealljidol so much damned fun, so crazy inspirational. But here’s the difference – for me – I can write original all day and all night long to entertain myself, to hone my own chops, to polish to a satisfying shine. But not so with fanfic. I’m not clear on why that is. Fanfic is community-based, written to please others. And original is very inwardly self-based, created to express something unique inside of me. To represent ideas and feelings through characters that are essentially grown in my own marrow.

I had similar experiences when I was photographing professionally. The client’s requests came first, and it was easy to produce good work within set guidelines and examples. But I was always on the lookout for that one image that would belong to me alone. A kind of self-expression through these unwitting models. Only once did a client respond positively to “that” image. Too arty, too odd an angle, too revealing an expression and those never sold but the one time. Yet, I had the image I had subconsciously hoped to acquire, and the job felt complete to me.

I’m not saying that photography or fanficcing is a drudgery. Not at all. More that there are aspects of expressive mediums that are personal and don’t need outside approval in order to be worthwhile.

* In the spirit of the [community profile] sunshine_challenge, I think I will upload thirteen more icons. 

* If I’m going to stick with this getting up early and writing routine, I’m going to have to invest in some headphones. I must have the MUZAK.


July Oneth

[community profile] sunshine_challenge is inspiring me already, on this first day kick off! I updated my interests, before that bored me. I uploaded a photo and I glanced at my messy, untitled, unlocked journal entries and then poured another cup of coffee because yeah no. And now I'm writing an intro entry!

To my regulars, there might be something unknown here, to new potential-flisters, please friend me if so inclined and I will friend you back. I read the flist a few times every day and try to comment consistently! I have slacked off on posting but am giving myself a personal challenge of daily posting for the month of July. Just to exercise the finger bones if nothing else. I’m here and on LJ, where this is crossposted, and would enjoy more flisters on either platform.

Mid-centurion woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, reader, writer, thinker, feeler. I live in a house crafted from the trees felled where it stands, in the mountainous foothills of the Cascades and enjoy California’s version of four seasons. I have a husband and children and dogs. I have sisters, one who lives locally with her family. My mother also lives locally in a house my father bought her exactly one year before he died in 2017, to make sure she was close to family. I will never ever be recovered from his death.

I’ve done some fantastically fun things in my life: Tower Records import buyer, Lactation Educator, maternity and birth photographer, local politics, magazine editor. I still listen to more alternative music than most, believe that mother’s milk is best, take photos for friends and family, hold political opinions, and edit and write for magazines. BUT, what I’m focused on most at the moment is fiction writing.

I've written an original novella. For the past five years I've been writing in [community profile] therealljidol competition and have hundreds of original short pieces. I've had some good luck getting work published professionally.  

From time to time, I’m hit by a fandom NEED and seek out fic and write fic, but with the days of LJ fandom gone, it’s hard to sustain all that longing. Tumblr won’t load for me out here in the sticks, so that’s that. I’ve also been debating the resilience of my own fics at AO3 - https://archiveofourown.org/users/Zagzagael.

Lately, I’ve been fannish about True Detective, the Terror, Chernobyl and now A Star Is Born (which has become obsessive!). I’m always fannish about Persephone/Hades, Greek and Norse myth, Death & the Maiden, and any and all Pan-related subjects.

I work full-time running my husband’s office. I pull late hours editing for a local magazine. I take care of my mother two days a week. I’m the assistant-sexton for our village cemetery. And my son has returned home after a four-year relationship went south and the house is quite full with him and his crew about the place. He also works in our family-owned business.

Who are YOU?

Think I'll share a favourite song every day this month:

* Welp, I guess no one thought my attempt at channeling Cormac worthwhile. That's okay. I'm going to continue with it. That style is really all about grabbing a visual and translating it through a kind of stream-of-consciousness verbosity. I have the story in my mind because Dante.

* And I'm beginning to storyboard the Persephone/Hades retelling. I do want to start/middle/finish their story and I have so many words already!

* So, letting my mind wander loosely into A Star Is Born fanfic, I realized why the Cooper/Gaga drama is making the movie more romantic. I mean, it's pretty obvious, really. Spoilers for those who haven't seen the film yet.

MAJOR spoilerCollapse )

One Book to Rule Them All

Dedicated this past week to Cormac's Blood Meridian. I hadn't read it before. I'm parceling Cormac out (to last for the Rest of My Life although, admittedly, this book could be read over and over until the last) because he is the absolute beloved for me. I'm not sure there are words adequate to discuss McCarthy's art. The poetry of his mind, the lyricism of his particular interpretations of life and death, between before and after. I know some have tried. Not as many as should have, of course, seeing as how he is the greatest writer of generations dead and unborn. Some say that Blood Meridian is the Masterpiece. Some argue it is the greatest American novel that will ever be penned. I'm not sure I agree with that. Mainly because of the darkness, the hopelessness. If Blood Meridian is both Inferno and Purgatorio, then it needs its Paradisio and in that lack is its failing. Sadly. It makes me tear my hair out to think that we will never have Cormac's glorious ascension....but that's how it is. I would love to write it and so I have begun to do so - 

There was three of them which in translation both catholic and pagan is a holy number, a sacred tolling, an incantation. The supplicant and the heretic with their rituals and exposed breasts calling forth the mysteries. With this blood, with this blood, take this blood.

A trinity of souls linked to one another. Father mother child.

Together existing a hardscrap life. The singularity of the solitary life lived inside the body, supping from the bonebowl of galimaufty brains undeniable and yet denied through the sum or parts, the cellular concoction of the child. Together, man and woman eking out the means for thin sustenance in the pumiced dirt, the callouses on their hands and feet and knees and elbows part of the thickening of the human hide, the sunbaked napes and the peeling nose bridges, lips that crack and bleed even beneath the covers at night pressed against each other, breathing through the agonizing reward of physical love. Respite, crouched beneath the digger pines, but swiveling the head to look up higher higher into the copses dotting the hills climbing skyward, the straight grains of the cedars.

That unbroken sky dazzling above their heads, unreachable until its reached, the solar plexus the arching spine and that last long held breath let go the sigh that rises the incorporeal from out of the body, from off the earth to join the Persoid sprinkles of dust that were once fiery matter before they rushed toward oblivion and burnt out welcoming the bits and parts that were once entirely a different matter transmutated.

Innocent yet, as though they had just been shown the gate, the fiery sword pointing their way out of the garden and into the desert and the child they had created together out of nothing more than the smear of their two bodies fleshy pigments on a palette. Did god glower or did god weep knowing that the demon had already found them, knowing as only god knows that the body gives up what the soul wants to hold onto, the blood and the tears wetting the way for life to drain itself into the dirt.

The domestic animals they kept in rough hewn corrals were as though dragged from out the first week of creation, named and made to serve. Back and udder, brisket and chops.

Keepers of the beasts, predator and prey alike.

Wanting to feel the teeth of their own keeper sunk into their necks, using that desire to quell the fear pocketed into the recesses of their bodies, but wanting that fear to be laid open, exposed and quivering.

So, yeah, that's what I'm doing. Writing like a faith-filled Cormac.
I must be in such a tiny minority of folks, the way I use this platform. Because this motherfucker just ate a thousand word post and I'm hating DW so much right now. Does this not happen to you guys???? It's total ineptitude on the part of the software. And useless and completely infuriating.

I was writing about my obsession with A Star is Born. Full-blown obsession now. Yes, I watched it Friday night and I enjoyed it. Thought it was flawed here and there but thoroughly loved Gaga in it and thought Coop was uncharacteristically attractive in it. And then somehow it got magically into my mind. It began with not being able to get Shallow out of my head. I don't mean an earworm, it was an all out romance playing in my skull theater and the curtains would not close on it. So, I youtubed that scene and then plunged headlong into the youtube rabbit hole. The film, the behind the scenes, the lost scenes, the fanvids and yes, that Oscar performance which led to the endless interviews. These two folks have chemistry because they are utterly lost in love with one another. It's the same kinda vibe as Civil Wars was giving off, but in spades. Heady and delicious stuff.

I want to write fic. Most of the fic on AO3 is fix-it, which makes sense. But I'm longing for something different. We shall see.

I'm also wanting, desperately, to see it in a movie theater and that's not likely. *sad face*

Thinking of other movies that have this type of effect. Help me out here, flist! 

* The Bodyguard (Kevin and Whitney)
* Pride & Prejudice (2005)
* Wuthering Heights (Tom & Charlotte)
* Valley Girl
* The Piano (Harvey and Holly)
* Brokeback Mountain (my heart)
* Only Lovers Left Alive (Tom & TIlda)

What else??

I won't post ASIB vids cuz I want, no need, you guys to watch it! But plenty of gorgeous Gaga - 

* It's very windy and cool. Which is good. We've been on Red Flag Warning all this past week and a zillion spot fires have been knocked down very quickly by CalFire...but everyone is just strung tight with worry. I would love to leave this state but I know that's not ever going to happen. Anyway, hopefully the cool air will subtract out the high winds. 

* Work on The Lounge, as the men are calling it, is going quickly now. Hopefully we will have the solar panels installed next week! The pool is beautiful, crystal clear and very inviting...except that it's 68 degrees. It's going to be a long summer of construction. After the building is done then we are going to have to rip out the Inner Sanctum landscaping and replace it. Money is bleeding away from us, but we're okay because we paid off the house last Winter! Don't ever let them tell you that frugality doesn't pay off. It does.

* Contractor-buddy S is taking off this coming week to go camping with his daughters and we are relieved. We love him but he is incredibly difficult. His alcoholism is a permanent, life-disfiguring disability now. 

* I decided to pick up Blood Meridian because I wanted Cormac's voice in my head. His work is so utterly astonishing to me, his intellectualism, his imagery, his interpretation of the meaning of it all. I have tried to parse his books out slowly slowly over the last two decades....because I know that The Road was his last. This one is hard and damning and terrible. How can such horror be so beautifully wrought?

* D went to poker last night so I queued up A Star is Born. I liked it. A lot. I think it's successful far more than it's not. Cooper is wonderful in it and I normally don't care for him. I've always loved Gaga and she delivered wonderfully. 

* I do realize I've become more and more quiet. And it's not just "here," it's out "here," too. I can't account for it. But I can feel it. Of course I can discern the change in myself....and it's not like counting bricks that are walling me in and off from others. It's the exact opposite. I feel as though bricks have been removed, the things that gave an architectural shape to my life, my limits, the edges of my wanderings. All gone. I'm standing in a field and the trappings of any civilized discourse are far along the horizons. 

Something like that with less longing for the farmhouse and more exultation at the distance I've crawled....

* It's HOT. Really freaking hot. Terrible down in the valley, but up here with no A/C, we're feeling it from five to ten each evening. D and I are contemplating relocating out to the pool house which is wonderfully cool with its cement floor. I did manage to crack a whip a few weekends back and get D and Kidling2 to clear that beautiful cabiny space out of all their junk stuffed into hefty bags. Ugh. It took all day long. And so many cobwebs. But now it's coming together. I should take some pictures. I'm shopping for a rug and two over-stuffed chairs and a small circular table. I want it to be mountain decor but my Americana WWII posters are hanging in there and I don't know what to do with them. Nothing cooler than a fierce Uncle Sam...but that doesn't go with the vibe. I'm tired of filling the attic with these fancies of mine. I should sell them, replace them with vintage images of Mt. Shasta or somesuch.

* Anyone else reading Ocean Vuong's novel? If so, let's discuss because it's not working for me and I would love to figure out why. 

* We are watching documentaries. Last Breath was riveting.

 * What are you guys doing? 

Unexpected Topics Meme

Those who wish to participate - say so in the comments, and I will give you three topics, or spheres of interests, which I think you are not interested in, or maybe I will be surprised to learn that you have an affinity with.

I was given my topics by jaelle_n_gilla

Not a clue. They do this down at the community center and it looks like slow motion Karate. That's all I got.

2) 70s TV SHOWS
My childhood. My parents were very anti-TV and we were allowed an hour several times a week. Period. Sesame Street was the first TV show I ever saw. I was mesmerized. And soon had a huge collection of Sesame Street puppets that I took everywhere. Oscar the Grouch was my favourite. My father loved Kung Fu and I developed a childhood crush on Caine, of course. We never missed an episode. Then Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons. At the end of the decade I became obsessed with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton in their Beauty & the Beast. Then I didn't watch TV for the next three decades so I was quite shocked when I tuned back in and TV had become slick and glossy and instantaneously gratifying. Not sure which is the superior.

I like birds. A lot. They are NOT US more than most critters. I am of the school that believes they are the descendants of dinosaurs. We only have songbirds here for the spring and then they disappear after raising their young under our roof eaves. What we have are pileated woodpeckers with their many wives and congresses of ravens. We amuse ourselves by feeding the ravens. They are crazy smart and will alert their unkindness within seconds of food going out. 

* So, first up, my mother was hospitalized with what they told me was a "possible beginnings of a heart attack." Not a good half hour. BUT SHE IS FINE. As a matter of fact, for her age, she's better than fine and all the cardiac tests are now part of a generally fantastic medical fact sheet. This is, of course, wonderful news but getting to that point was difficult and emotional and required ALL family members to work together. I guess THAT'S a good thing. Being back in the ER where my father was his last day, and being summoned there by an emergency phone call was horrid. Won't dwell on that. It happens to all of us in some shape or form and then it happens when we are front and center. She's home now, I'm home now and both sisters are stepping up their game which has been, frankly, a long time coming. 

* Chernobyl! Broke me. Good Omens wants to be a hoot and a holler but I just can't get past Crowley's contact lenses. I just can't. I will stick with it but yeah no. Thoughts on either? Also, Star Trek Picard

* Seeking out the lyrical dark fairy tale and I have quite a few new rec's for the flist. 

* The Viking's birthday was last weekend and we hosted the mothers. It was super nice with the exception of both kids coming home from an all-night bender and being in no shape for a barbecue and I was so not impressed. I got him an iPhone because enough already with the outdated technology. He won't let us set it up until THIS weekend because FEARS. *sheesh* 

* It's freakin' hot here now. Summer sprung itself fully formed out of the forehead of late-spring storms and it's unbearable. Must take the flannels off the beds.