valarltd: (ravenclaw princess bride)
One of my least favorite quotes in the universe is "Do or do not. There is no try."

There absolutely is "try." It occurs when you have put out the needed effort, and the success of the venture is dependent on others.

When you have written the story, edited and submitted it, you have tried.
When you have done all you can do, and still failed through no fault of your own (say roads iced so thick you can't tell where they stop and the ditch begins), you have tried.

Some would argue that you are still doing.
No, you're failing at your objective, so you are not reaching "do." You are still at "do not" despite putting out everything you have, despite doing all you can.

When it would have gone off, if everyone around you had not dropped the ball, that is a try.
When you have done, and are awaiting the judgement of others on your success, that is a try.
When you are in the process of doing, but accomplishment is not yet in sight, you are trying.
When you accomplish most of what you wanted and can live with the rest, that is trying.
When you do things by the directions and the outcome is still unexpected, that is a try. (I have this issue with pasta)

I put out the effort in the prescribed ways to create a result. The universe around me determines whether I accomplish my goal or not. The outcome may or may not be what I want.

All we have, in the end, is try.
valarltd: (pagan)
Since I'm not there, I've been doing a little searching and thinking and meditating.

What do I believe?
Why do I believe it?
Where do I go from here?

My Articles of Faith:
We are all part of the universe. We are energy made material for a little while by way of E=mc^2. Which means there's a lot of energy invested in each of us and if we press on our corner of reality right, we can affect the whole.

Gods are the constructs we make to understand the universe (given reality and power by the energy we lend them). Myths are the stories we tell ourselves about the way the world works. Both of these are vital and true, but should not be taken for fact.

The gods only affect us if we allow them to, by believing in them. A few have enough power, lent them by other people in our lives, or previously by us, to affect us if we don't/no longer believe in them.

Truth and fact have very little to do with each other. Facts are usually true. Truth encompasses many things that have no relationship to fact at all. All myths are true, because they fill a need in the hearer and the teller, a need to understand the world around them. Does observed fact bear out the idea of turtles all the way down? No, of course not. But the story is still true.

Now, where do I go from here?
I've been thinking a lot this fall. I'm not entirely happy with my church. One one hand, I see myself as in a position to do something about the problems I see in it. On the other, I keep asking myself if I really have that much time and energy to devote to anything, especially other people.

I am radically selfish. I hoard my time and energy jealously. I get it. My writing gets it. My company gets it. My family gets it. Anything left over goes out to other people. That is NOT a good quality in a spiritual leader.

I resent being made to leave the house these days. Even for work and grocery shopping, I resent it. And I find this deeply troubling. I blow off a lot of things I want to do. "Writer's Group? nah. Church? do I gotta? Chili cook-off and craftfair? Bleh. Gay pride? Whine, please no." (I did go out to Pride yesterday, but I almost didn't) This scares me, because it's a sign of addiction and a sign of budding agorophobia.

It would be easier to go solitary, show up for sabbats and do my own thing otherwise. It'd probably be healthier for me in the long run. BUT.

I'm a woman of a certain age. I grew up with a sense of obligation to the whole universe for simply letting me exist. I want Oli to grow up with a better spiritual connection than I have. Do these outweigh my selfishness, my need to husband my energy so I can make it through another week of work, another deadline, another tutoring session or another band concert? I haven't decided yet.
valarltd: (Default)
This week I bumped into an interesting driver. I showed him a little about how doubles and lift-gates worked. He looked and asked "Where are you originally from? You have the most interesting accent."

Turns out he used to program speech recognition software with the major American accents. Apparently mine is midwestern, with a heavy TV overlay.

I told him that I learned to talk in rural Missouri and learned not to talk like a hick by watching TV. He said the TV overlay was common among whites between the age of 50 and 25. After that, there were enough dialects on TV that most people didn't lose their accents.
valarltd: (Default)
From the Prayer Wheel

At the center of the universe is a
loving heart that continues to beat
and that wants the best for every person.

Anything we can do to help foster
the intellect and spirit and emotional growth
of our fellow human beings, that is our job.

Those of us who have this particular vision
must continue against all odds.

Life is for service.

mister rogers neighborhood - fred rogers - 1928-2003
valarltd: (zen by lanning)
It's too late and I'm a little drunk. I should probably leave this for a more sober time, but I want it out while it's fresh.
cut for fannish introspection )
valarltd: (aisha)
Been thinking hard on this idea, ever since I first saw it. ::massages aching brain.::

My uberstory has to be Fall and Redemption. One character falls in some way and redeemed by the love of the other. The fall can be sexual, physical or emotional.

The physical is often called "hurt/comfort."

Sexual, I tend to refer to as "the Magdalene Myth" More correctly it could be called the story of Hosea. (For those who aren't up on minor prophets: Hosea married a slut. She gave him three kids [he claimed them as his] and left him for her lover. Her lover put her to working the streets, but Hosea made sure she was taken care of, without her knowing. Eventually, she came back to him, and renounced her wickedness. He took her back and loved her.)

Sometimes, I only show the fall. Sometimes, there is no redemption. Sometimes I just feel fluffy and ignore deep themes to write a quick BJ. But the big stories, the stories I'm proudest of, deal in this.

"Lost Blue" is a Fall story. Han didn't take his redemptive moment in ANH and the whole galaxy is paying the consequences.

"What Says the Wind?" is a Redemption story. Luke has fallen long before we see him. But through Ben Kenobi's teaching, he's freed, while Han's love gives him a wholeness, a balance between the sex slave he started as and the celibate Jedi he became. Han brings him fully back to being human, neither a subhuman toy nor a superhuman warrior.

"Illugi's Saga" is a quest story, the redemption there is not for our heroes, but for Ani Owanson, who is returned to mortal life through the love of his son for him, and the love of Han for Illugi/Luke.

"Hunter in the Shadows" is a literal descent into hell to retrieve the beloved.

"Off-duty" is set in the Mirror-verse. It's an ugly Fall story from McCoy's PoV, but within his compliance, Spock begins to exhibit both desire and gentleness for the man whose mind he has turned inside out. The redemption is only slight, and still very dark.

The Indy stuff is, so far, all Fall oriented and it's not showing any sign of redemptive themes. (Marcus/Henry is just fluff)

My Simon & Simon tends to the fluffy (or PWP), which doesn't lend itself to big themes.
valarltd: (Default)
A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer and he started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie.

He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so pleasant that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer.

Again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted!

They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug.

He gave him his biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face.

She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?"

He replied, "I had lunch with God."

But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, "Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?"

He replied, "I ate Twinkies in the park with God." However, before his son responded, he added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."
valarltd: (Default)
It was rough.

Sat, there was a parents meeting for the play. Bunny is a Birch tree dryad, Jonner and Obi are part of the Witch's Army.

I did my gorcery shopping

Saturday night my alarm system shorted out. A pumper truck, 2 police and the fire chief had to be appeased and apologized to. And the neighbors had to be soothed

Sunday I slept far too late. I did laundry. There was a showing of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the cast. We went. Jonner sat on my lap for almost an hour of it. Then, supper and I had to get ready for work. We counted a CompUSA. Took about 3 hours, which means we were over-staffed, because it's a 4hr inventory.

Did some assesment on erotic vs. squicky rape.
Some thoughts behind the cut-tag.
Read more... )
valarltd: (mad)
I can feel incipient depression happening.
Or maybe I'm just PMSing.

I don't want to write e-mail. I don't want to do anything.
I really don't like long periods of self-eaxmination, and I just went through one.

Cut for much personal whinging. )

Also in the news:

Leni Riefstahl, 101, brilliant and beautiful woman, with a huge influence on cinema, died this week. Imagine what movies would have been like had she not been blacklisted and had worked for the last 60 years. She was as influential as DW Griffith for technique.

Johnny Cash, 71. He'd been very ill for years so this was not unexpected. He will be missed. I was never fortunate enough to hear him in person, but I have many recordings.

John Ritter, 54. Unexpected. Terrible shame as he'd just gotten picked up for a second season.

I knew i felt immature )

I think I'll have some chocolate therapy tonight.
valarltd: (Default)
Here's why slash is NOT porn )

I like this structural definition better than the "Treats characters like objects as opposed to people" definition that the Erotica vs Porn panel came up with.

"She read porn.
You like erotica.
I like love stories with some physical aspects."
valarltd: (Default)
Various fic ideas:

A world without textiles. Nudists.

Macho Merry/Pippin. Sitting round, cleaned up after the taking of Isengard, having dinner, smoking, snogging. Just doing guy-hobbit stuff. No toe-licking. Ewww.

Raging headache from a feminist parenting discussion that claimed women who didn't make enough to take care of their families were slacking and worthless. Hello, if I made enough to take care of a family, I wouldn't need a husband. (Despite loving hubby, I'm not even sure I'd want a husband if I could make it on my own)
Their arguments are the exact flip-side of the guy who said women should not be educated because if they are able to take care of themselves, they are more likely to divorce.

Both sides give me a headache, both piss me off, and both devalue the nonpaid work done in running a household. There has to be a middle ground between "One size career fits all, even when it doesn't." and "Chain the bitch to the stove so she don't run away."

Maybe I've been drinking too much diet pop. I'm very irascible.
valarltd: (Default)
Original characters are necessary in fanfiction.

This statement will come as a shock to some, and blaspheme to many. But if the boys get out of bed and interact with other people at all, there are bound to be a few. Even if they're just anonymous stormtroopers used as blaster-fodder.

A quick glance at my new fic page shows I tend to create
an average of 2 oc's per fic.

They fall into several categories:

1) Scenery that moves. This includes large numbers of students wandering to and fro on Rudrig (a university planet), the ranks of stormtroopers Vader reviews regularly, the gamblers in a scene, the patrons of a bar, Luke's students, etc.

2) Cameos. The scenery that gets a line or two. The waitress at the malt shop. The yellow humanoid who is eyeing Luke to approach him. A cell block guard.

3) Minor characters. The bartender at the Tavern Outside of Time. (this character is so minor sie is not even gendered, yet much of the action is seen through hir eyes.) Eril, Leia's long-lost lover. Med-droids.

4) Adversaries. Instigators trying to thwart a treaty. Gun-runners. Weapon merchants. Disgruntled Imperial nobility. The Davrosian leaders who try to poison the ISS Enterprise command crew. The paparazzi.

5) Allies. Friends. Family. Sympathetic planetary leaders, who want to help out.

I like Oc's. They have their place. They form the background and conflict for our canon characters.

When does an OC become self-insertion? When the author says so.
Yeah, I have an avatar. Two actually. The bartender at the Tavern Outside of Time is me. And Zora in the Sw'verse. She's a minor character.

So when does an avatar become a Mary Sue? When she begins to annoy readers just by existing. (Some characters are designed to be annoying, and that's deliberate) When he's too perfect. When she upstages the canon characters, saving the day, making them all love her. When he exists for no reason other than to have a canon character fall in love with him.

Why worry about it? Especially if we're only doing it for the fun... Seriously, it should be fun to write, and fun for the readers. And someone else's sex-fantasies are no fun. They feel like voyeurism at best.

It's my lunch time.
valarltd: (Default)
So, the hypothetical came up: What if women were forbidden to work outside the home, and prohibited from starting their own businesses within it?

My immediate thought was “There will be a lot of suicide, and a rising alcoholism rate. The economy will plunge into chaos. Employers would have to pay men a living wage for this to be anywhere near feasible.”

Consider, if every woman quit working tomorrow…
Most schoolteachers, nurses, domestics, janitorial staff, wait staff, retail clerks and librarians will be gone. No school. No hospital care. No motel rooms or malls getting cleaned. Noone working behind the counters in shops. No one waiting tables. No daycare workers, but then, no one needs daycare if women aren’t working.

Would every male in America go out and get a job? There would be plenty going begging.

Then comes the wide-spread poverty. In some places, women are the community. Men are the predators around the edges, useful only for sex before they are hauled off and incarcerated.

If women are unemployable, girls will marry much younger. A way of getting out of the house. Of course, if wages don’t go up, men will quit marrying and having children, since they can’t support them. Especially since the daughters will live at home until they are married. And if the girls are being policed by their families (who don’t want “soiled goods” which will be impossible to get rid of, and/or an extra mouth to feed), sexual outlets for men will be greatly reduced. Prostitution could reach heights unknown since the Victorian era. Since they would be the only women who had money, it would be a popular dumping ground for the spoiled girls.

Divorce would have to be illegal, just for the women’s protection. After all, if she can’t work, she can’t support herself, and divorcing her would be tantamount to killing her by starvation.

I think it could be significantly uglier than it was during the last couple centuries. Even then, women worked, usually lower class ones, and there were always the unconventional and adventurous. (Husband’s grandmother was the first female optometrist in OH) But were convention given the weight of law, I think it could be a nightmare.

Much of this is my response to a man who claimed the divorce rate skyrocketed when women started being educated and able to support themselves, and that literacy for women should be illegal. The worst part is, he was serious. (His own wife has an 8th grade education, does not drive and will be hard-put when he leaves her)
valarltd: (succubus)
This was originally [ profile] thete1's, but seems to be making the rounds like a virulant cold.

So, what is it, you ask, that leaves a part-time succubus fanning herself over a stoy? What is the one thing this high-iron spelling bitch will tolerate glaring errors for?

Power Imbalance.

Preferably non-con and very brutal.

It always has been. When I was a kid, I loved prisoner stories. In my teens, all my romance novels had at least a kidnapping and coercion element, if not an actual torture scene (you be amazed at some of the stuff that romance novelist puts in). I read all the Gor novels. I read Brownmiller's Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape not with a sense of outraged horror, but as pornography.

When I started writing erotica, I wrote very explicit Maledom/femsub. When i got into slash, my tastes didn't change.

I so miss Fannish Butterfly's "Slash Without Consent" links.
I hang out far too often at Amothea's. And probably too much at ShabbyBlue's. But the femsubs don't do it for me anymore. It's too easy. The real challenge lies in dominating a man, an equal, someone who isn't physically built to be invaded.

"It's all about Power." --Buffy.


Mar. 27th, 2003 02:16 pm
valarltd: (lucius)
it's been a hellacious week.

So this morning, the gal from Charlotte says unkind things about crafters. I hated the "if it's women's work it's oppressive and not worth doing" subtext of her article.

OK, so working with our hands doesn't remove the fear. But it soothed me in those dreadful post 9/11 days until I could think and act. It continues to soothe me so I can sleep and maintain a semblence of normalcy for my kids. Also the idea of sewing as oppressive: so ill-fitting clothing isn't? I sew from necessity. I have to make a pair of pants tonight.
For 2 hours work, i'll have something useful for my actual work. If she shoots hoops for 2 hours, what will she have to show?

And I got word that my squares for an exchange weren't right. Damn but claret and burgundy look alike in the dark!

No mail yet, says hubby. Hope my hat comes. Gonna fasten buttons in the braid around it. Hope I still have my "Graduate Han Solo School of Hyperdrive Repair" one.

Hubby answered the phone "Schuster, Shyster and Scheister."
I asked for "Schiller."

Pricing button maker. Will see what buttons are selling for at MWC. And what size is popular.

Got the TIE fighter square done. Must size up to match Alliance insignia.
Starting X-wing.

blah. Just blah.
valarltd: (Default)
"An Oak is just a nut that stood its ground."

We now return you to the usual insanity.
valarltd: (Default)
The New Year's writing meme

Shamelessly gacked from [ profile] destina

Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted?

I never predict. I write what the bunnies tell me to.
But I did write a fair bit. Eight zine stories, three poems, several round robin chapters, including one for the Star Wars Erotica Forum (het and lez, ewwww), the VaderxLeia piece, and two Han/Luke pieces, including the one I'll post tonight.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January 2002?

Spock/McCoy. Lexi Dio/Padme. Het!Obi. (Straight Jedi. What a Concept!)

What's your favorite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you happiest.

I am happiest with "Illugi's Saga" because of the background work that went into it. It flows so well.

Did you take any writing risks this year? (See above for unexpected pairings, etc.) What did you learn from them?

I wrote a scholarly paper. that was a huge risk because I've been out of school for 11 years.

I also wrote a semi-con vampire story in an egalitarian fandom (vampires are all about power), as well as the "talk dirty to me" piece. I learned that i can push the boundaries, as long as i listen to the characters.

Do you have any fanfic or profic goals for the New Year?

Write more. Write faster.
valarltd: (mugshot)
Talking with [ profile] heronirene this weekend, and got to thinking.

Everyone comments about how I do so much. I don't feel like I do anything. I have a sense of time slipping away from me.

I'm 35. My family doesn't live much past 70, and the ones that do are gaga by the end of it.
Senile Dementia runs strong in my family. I have this feeling that half my life is over.

So, there is a rush to do many things, to write everything, to make all the pretties I want, to spend time just playing with the kids. (Huge ticklefest with Dollface last night. I'd tickle her until she gasped, stop let her catch her breath and then she'd demand "Tickle me more!" I was laughing as hard as she was)

Less time for doing things I hate, cooking meals that are "good for us" that no one likes and everyone leaves on their plate, going places I don't want to be, and seeing people I don't like.

Does this sound gloomy?
I wonder if it's because every winter, my knees get a little stiffer and my my fingers have to be coddled a bit more from the cold, otherwise the joints won't bend. It makes me feel old when I'm only middle aged.

The problem is, the Boomers redefined everything about the life-cycle. I'm hearing "35 is the new 18" from my age-mates, most of whom are still not married, or are divorced without kids. But I don't want to be 18. I want to be middle-aged. I want to be dignified. I want to be mature.

Am i the only person still trying to live the American Dream: marriage, kids, cat, 2 cars?
Sometimes I feel like the world I was raised for is not the one I'm in, but I don't really want either.

Anyway, back to work, and I'll just go crochet my blues away when I get home.

White Chili in the crock pot: white beans, turkey, green chilies and cumin.
(White as opposed to red, with beef, kidney beans and tomatoes)
valarltd: (Default)
Nothing witty. Nothing Fannish.
Just remembering my grandfather, Tech Sgt H.J. Wymer, who died on this day eight years ago. If your grandfather or other relative flew over North Africa with Sgt Wymer in his radio room, I'd love to hear from you. (This includes folks stationed in England or Italy with that unit)

In Flanders Fields
by Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D. (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

August 2017



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