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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Asking if there's no Heaven, what is this hunger for?

I think it's going to be all Emmylou all the time until this damned draft is finished.

It's only appropriate that Red Dirt Girl and Wrecking Ball wound up being the theme albums for a book that's essentially an libertarian feminist dystopia, with flesh-eating AIs. Such is the fleeting but inevitable irony of a writer's life.

Like falling stars from the universe we were hurled
Down through the long loneliness of the world
Until we behold the pain become the pearl.

I solved a plot point last night. It means I have to turn Lesa's kid into an actual character, though. Why is my subconscious suddenly convinced it can write ten year olds? Who the hell can actually write ten year olds?

Progress notes for 7 September 2005:


New Words: 2,473
Total Words: 78,815 / 93,750
Pages: 375--about 65 pages to go. Guess I'd really better see about wrapping this up. Eeeee. I guess I need to reunite our heroes, kill some people, and work my way around to the solution.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
93,750 / 110,000

Reason for stopping: lunch, and more than quota. 
Mammalian Assistance:  The mastiff came in to sing to me for cookies. I guess he feels better.
Stimulants: ceylon tea
Exercise: none
Mail: nomail
Today's words Word don't know: Urdu, indeterminacies
Words I'm surprised Word do know: n/a
Tyop du jour: n/a
Darling du jour: He looked at her standing there, open-eyed, empty-palmed, and for a moment almost managed to think of her as human.
Books in progress, but not at all quickly: Richard Overy, Russia's War: A History of the Soviet War Effort, 1941-1945;  Ladislas Farago, The Game of the Foxes; Leigh Richards, Califia's Daughters;
Mean things: Poor kid. Sorry to completely screw up your future like that.
Other writing-related work: n/a
Interesting tidbits: Fourth sister? (via sclerotic_rings)

Our path is worn, our feet are poorly shod
We lift up our prayers against the odds
And fear the silence is the voice of God--


Those are two of my favorite albums ever, and "The Pearl" is one of my theme songs even though I'm an atheist and take all the references to God and Heaven in a different-than-intended light, ie, Tom Joad's "one big soul."
I'm a recovering pagan with relaxed agnostic tendencies, which I guess makes it odd that so many of my very favorite songs are about spiritual longing--"The Pearl" and also "Deeper Well," k.d.lang's "Constant Craving," Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," (the best pop song in the English language, oh yes), and Janis Ian's "On the Other Side."

Whatever you call it, there is something in the human psyche that craves transcendence--and so much of our most powerful art is about that.

Beyond sex and death, there's that thing.

And man, that is one hell of a song. She just gets up under that sucker and pushes like big John holding up the mineshaft. It's amazing.
"Deeper Well" is my favorite from the other album. And yeah, me too: Cohen's "Hallelujah," Bruce Springsteen's "Beautiful Reward" from the underrated Lucky Town, Dave Carter and Tracey Grammar's "The Mountain," Tom Waits' "Come on up to the House," Paul Robeson singing "Balm in Gilead."

All my favorite songs are about longing, for a person or artistic success or freedom, if not for God.
*g* Although, come to think of it, "Hallelujah," "Deeper Well," and "The Pearl" are more songs about loosing religion than finding it.

Though there's a hint of redemption at the end of "The Pearl," all the other imagery is falling and loss and going unanswered--and the redemption is immanent, not external. "behold the pain become the pearl."

Now I must listen to "Hallelujah" seventeen thousand times.
Thrilling. However, as a mountain-climbing Portlander, I have to admit that I am dismayed that I have no idea what or where Mount Newberry is.

I had known that Hood was still active -- when hiking, you occasionally come across trees downed in the last eruption. But climbing Hood drove it home. In the crater you have to be careful to skirt the sulfur vents (for fear of being overcome by the vapors) and one can see where the heat of the mountain has melted away the snow. Tres cool. And more than a little unnerving.

Trivia question of the day: do you know the name of Crater Lake's mountain?
I haven't the foggiest! *g*
Mount Mazama, named after the mountain goats.

That eruption that led to the creation of Crater Lake had to have been something else again...
...I've been writing a ten-to-twelve-year-old with some success, I think. Digging out my diaries from that age and reading bloggers in that age group has helped a little. Also, I don't plan to jump into anyone else's head for that book, just hers, which makes it much, much easier. Having to shift from adult perspective to kid sounds trickier.

Also, allow me to adore your icon. Even if I misread it as a Les Miserables quote at first. (I am not caffeinated, and I am a victim of sinus snot. That I can read at all is actually progress, but I'm misreading the heck out of a lot of stuff lately.)
Hee. It's Shakespeare, from Henry VIII. *g* And thank you.

Tilda has pretty much become my Lucifer, after having been the only good thing in Constantine....

Fortunately, the kid's not a POV character in this book. I got enough of that with Genie to last me a good long time.
Hey! I've written a 7yo and an 11yo. Convincingly, by all reports. I'd be glad to help if needed.

And I currently own a 10yo.
Who the hell can actually write ten year olds?

I think janni does a pretty good job. Her scout troop seemed to think she nailed them.

flesh ... eating, you say? Now that I have to see.

No children are Completely Normal, anymore than any adults are. :-)

I think the secret to writing children well is the same as the secret to getting along with children: knowing there's no such thing as children as a group, there's only each individual child (or child character), just like there's only each individual adult.