"Kevin liked to say, 'On judgment day when I'm brought up before the great judge I'm going to say, "Hold on a second," and then I'm going to whip out my dead cat from inside my coat. "How do you explain *this*?" I'm going to ask.' By then, Kevin used to say, the cat would be as stiff as a frying pan; he would hold out the cat by its handle, its tail, and wait for a satisfactory answer."

~Valis, Philip K. Dick

I've got a feeling I'll be reading Valis again, because I need something of substance. Something tougher, sharper, more naked underneath the escapist magic tricks.

Life's a bitch, and my life's been a particular bitch for a while now. Not to be bitching about the bitch, and unlike David Byrne, I'm not wondering where the beautiful car is. I'm simply wondering where every-fucking-thing went. 

So here we are, more than a year after the hubby and me took in dad, because he could not return to his old place and live alone there, and we were all that was left, for a myriad of reasons that will get me spitting bitter foam as it is, so no need to go into that. Sucks to be the idiot that believes there's something as an honest draw with one short straw in the stack, hah.

Anyways, in the meantime my mom's boyfriend passed away, leaving a shadow of the strong and independent woman that raised me, and on top she'd been actin' funny too for a while and it ain't really passing even now she's finding herself again. Unless I personally visit her every day. Capisce?

See, in the life I had planned, there was a hole for one parent to take care of daily, and my dad wasn't it. He's sleeping in the guest bed reserved for mom years ago, imagine how that goes for a gall whose parents divorced 35 years ago. Things are just peachy!

Meanwhile I had a great job except for the idiots I had to deal with in the workplace. Luckily it was a substitute thing, so when the substituting was done and they offered me a real position I bowed out, and found THE JOB OF MY LIFE, except I'm not allowed to continue doing the job, because I don't have a bachelor degree, which the Flemish authority of sports federations thinks I should have. *Any* bachelor degree is better than someone who's been gathering directory secretary competences by doing for over 10 years the job of the better qualified and better paid person over head ("over-head" got it? I made a joke there, see?)

And just when you think: ah, well, when the going gets tough, the tough get going (*eyeroll* I know), GOD KILLS MY GODDAMNED CAT!

There. I just needed a marker for just this day, see. Because I've got plenty of dead cats stowed away in my coat. But Pipsqueek, right here right now, is where this crap stops, okay? Next big thing that happens better be ME WINNING THE EFFING LOTTERY ARRIGHT?

Jeez, fuck karma, man, what was I supposed to be in my former life? The guy who butt fucked Charlie Manson when he was 5?

Never mind April's either. Hello May!

Hi there digiblips, thought I disappeared, didn't you? Well, I might be fading at the edges, but I'm still here. Last couple of months have seen a lot of reading, too lot even.Words go in, and in, and in, and some day they'll have to come out again.

I'm as displaced as the weather these days. Medium temp of 9° C in April, really? Making up for global warming are we? And only three days into the month, May is already trying to beat April in precipitation records. But even with these wintry wet past weeks, there's ticks all over the cats, garden surging into jungle again, and still no 30 hours in a day to fix my eternally fumbling time-management. The long weekend was the first relaxed one in over a year, with dad spending a short stay at a home and our life and house shortly returning to whatever normal was. Slept awfully well, but now Cow Watcher's all caught up and so I've had two restless nights with Dungeon Congestion and yet, no writing. Just thinking up correction on texts I haven't touched eyeball with for a long time.

Displaced. What was that thing I was doing again? Where did I do it? And when?

What was that name you called me? And why did you go so soon?

The crows lift their caw on the wind, and the wind changed and was lonely.

Somehow cold wet dark autumny days always remind me of this Carl Sandburg poem...

Where did February's rant go?

Ummm, into the private slice of life, digiblips, that's where. When life throws me lemons, I like to throw my dingy old juicer back at it, screw the lemonade.

Then things get messy, and it takes a whoooole lot of efforts to put things back together again.

No, seriously, things just keep cascading for the moment, and the balance between fencing stuff(1), life stuff(2), Russian stuff, work stuff (3) and supernormal daily toil(4) is very tight.

So like, I've spent all my ranting energy at walls and the hubby, and a tiny little bit at the cats (their expression of sympathy is slightly better than that of the walls). I've squared things with life and bought a new juicer. Let's not rock this boat by even thinking of making time for writing (5).

(1) everything from me fencing to fencing federation related things like me volunteering to help out with the accounting, because, really, what would I do with all that free time? *le sigh*
(2) things to do with dad
(3) busy busy stress with a good helping of conniving self-serving bitches and managerial idiots
(4) laundry, grocery, cooking, cleaning, and generally managing the necessary check-ups (dad, cats, car...)

(5) Though truth be told, nobody can stop the Cow Watcher. I've penned down a couple of pages worth of revision-paragraphs for Barynn, a tweak or two for Dreams of Cold Stone, and a dialogue for the UTA trilogy that has opened up much needed perspectives.

Actually, that's already a pretty damned lot of writing for not-writing. Thanks for pointing that out! I knew I could depend on you digiblips to turn my lemonade into Pepsi Max.

!January's rant!

Promise to self and digiblips: at least one rant per month!

Because I ended reading this in an attempt to put off studying for my Russian exam tonight, I'll lift out some random replies.

"This is really not a positive representation of women with agency."
I've commented here before on discussions I've had on the theme of women, the cliches and genre elements surrounding them, especially in "epic" fantasy. Most of such discussions end in women  not speaking to me, and helpful men trying to tell me that She is right, and I am wrong. Right there's the paradox in Female Power, you see, my dearest digiblips, because female power works like Bush's Axis of Good: you are either with them, or against them. It's a game women folk play, dear gents, and in the world of chickens, it even has a name.
Anyways, the last couple of years there has been much ado about the place of Woe-man in fantasy and science-fiction. To some points I agree: there is no reason why female authors, nor female characters, should be given less consideration and care. These are mainly issues of marketing and . But I draw the line when the solutions seems to point to More Strong Female Characters All The Time and such nonsense. When I'm in a quaint but happy mood I see in it a plot of Emancipated Caucasian Chicks Inc. putting their hands together with Men who like Two Strong Female Characters for all the obvious reasons. Let's not turn every fantasy story into "Xena and Gabrielle", thank you very much. But mostly it makes me afraid of what Emancipated Caucasian Chicks Inc. will say upon reading my stories.
Seriously, in Dreams of Cold Stone there's only 4 females. Two are simply extras, and two aren't really there (one exists only in memory, being the deceased wife, and the other, a goddess, is an even vaguer female presence).

"If Sullivan desired to invent a dialect, he should have done so. False archaism is sloppy and lazy."

"Heavy handed criticism can do wonders when it comes to the too easy habit of letting authors write disposable, unmemorable fantasy/fiction in general."
Yes, because the world absolutely and urgently needs an agency to mark people that dare to write, so a proper quality control of their produce can be done all the time. And here I thought the book-trade was a market regulated world, where--however lamentable or painful this sometimes is--if there are enough people out there willingly to buy shit, writing shit is A-ok.

Ceci n'est pas procrastination.

Oi, stop looking at me like I'm a good fer nuthin' dachshund. Amongst other things, this is what I've been doing:

images for chapters - Dreams of Cold Stone

font sample - Dreams of Cold Stone

Procrastinating is in the eye of the beholder after all, my dearest digiblips. So *you* tell me, hmm?