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"Dead to the world, alive I awoke."

The rain is here. A little rain. And the temperature has crept just about above freezing, so I have hope the snow and ice will begin melting today. I have learned that snow is beautiful, as it falls, but hideous thereafter. I suspect the hideousness arises largely from the actions of man. The streets of Providence are awash in a foul slurry of salty, shit-coloured ice and sand, and snow lies pushed waist high at the curbs, like boulders of some unclean substance. There are icicles of prodigious length hanging from the sagging gutters and eaves of most of the houses, knife-sharp torrents frozen in mid-spill. Everything drips.

Less than seven hours sleep last night, but, the way things have been going, that feels like a windfall. I did not even try to write yesterday, I was so asleep. The day before, on Monday, I wrote 1,027 words on "There Are Kisses For Us All." It's an interesting beginning, though not quite what I had in mind. I may set it aside, as I'm not sure I have time to get it written for Sirenia Digest #37. I'll make that decision today. Last night, as I tried to find sleep, Spooky and I talked about having a farm. I would give up writing, I said, except for those things I wanted passionately to write, and we would have goats and chickens and an old horse and sheep and bees and rabbits. Orchards of apples and blueberry bushes behind fieldstone walls. We would have an enormous garden. It would be hard, hard work, but we would be as self sufficient as anyone can hope to be in this odd millennium. We'd only need to buy grain and sugar and coffee and such. We'd have a windmill for electricity, and a well. It was a pretty dream, no matter how impossible, to have before sleep and the inevitable nightmares, a dream of dirty hands and sweat and not sitting in this chair every goddamn day, worrying about sales figures.

This morning, I sit and type and stare at the melting snow.

"The Colliers' Venus (1893)" has sold to Ellen Datlow for her anthology of urban dark fantasy, Naked City, which I believe will be released in 2009.

Yesterday, Spooky took me to see Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen's adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux. It was exquisite. I believe it has unseated Ratatouille as my all-time favourite animated film. Every frame is a wonder to see. The voice acting is so much better than average, and the story (I'd not read the novel) is smarter, more adult, and darker than anything I'd expected. Dustin Hoffman is wonderful, as is Sigourney Weaver's narration. It's damn near a perfect film. And relevant for more reasons than I can recount in this addled, sleep-deprived state. "Imagine that your name becomes a bad word." I think that's the correct quotation from the narration. Certainly, The Tale of Despereaux goes on my list of best films of 2008, and I believe it has raised the bar for animated films. I could have watched it again immediately. Please see it. Something good about December.

It's one thing to sign onto a "roleplay" server on WoW and discover that no one even tries to rp. It's another thing, altogether, to learn how ignorant they are regarding roleplay. Night before last, I was awake, I don't know, somewhere around five ayem. And something came up in guild chat, and I asked if a comment in question had been said "ic or ooc," and no one had any idea what I was talking about. Even after I explained, no one seemed to grasp the concept of being "in character." One person guessed that I'd meant "in combat" or "out of combat," and I think that guess gets straight to the very root of the problem with WoW. Who needs suspension of disbelief, or story, or characters, when you can use broken English to babble in chat while racking up xp and raising your stats and finding better gear and obsessively piling up those "accomplishments" during which one accomplishes nothing whatsoever? It's sad, thinking what it could be, and seeing what it is, instead. This is the way of man.

I just stopped to watch a woodpecker on the tree Outside my office window. A Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), I think. Fortunately, there was no train of thought to lose.

I should go now. Before I begin to speak my mind on the Pope and Rick Warren and all those things that will only make me angrier. I'll take the arrival of the woodpecker as my cue. I will remind you of the current eBay auctions, because the rent must be paid, snow or no snow.

Comments

( 14 comments — Have your say! )
scarletboi
Dec. 24th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
Have you seen anything about 9?

It looks to be excellent.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 24th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)

Have you seen anything about 9?

Wow. That is wonderful. Also, it's reassuring to see that Tim Burton can evolve.
tinkbell
Dec. 24th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
I passed through Berlin last summer and stayed at a former squat, Kasselberg, also a former Stasi base, because one of my friends had met some people there in Estonia, as part of a performance group. An organic food company used the land at one point and put in wind turbines - which the people there maintain and are energy independent - and had converted at least one former bunker to a greenhouse. It's a commune now, because the people there borrowed money to buy the land - i think it was 100,000 Euros - all without banks, and paid it back in five years. There were 30-40 residents, with some children who were great in the way that commune-children I've met are, offering us honey for tea and politely amused by our foreignness. It still operated like a squat in that any traveler was welcome, with one open barn - we stayed in guest rooms inside - and there could be trouble on occasion but they accepted that and dealt with it. There was a sauna next to the shower room that they'd made. Many people had their own truck-cabins (caravans, i guess). We came and played a show just for the people there; some Irish DJs were passing through as well, and set up their sound system for us. Despite how many visitors they must have, they made us food and treated us like gold, and gave us some of the bread they get from Berlin for free.

The windmill reminded me of this. I'm always surprised by what's possible.
sovay
Dec. 24th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
"The Colliers' Venus (1893)" has sold to Ellen Datlow for her anthology of urban dark fantasy, Naked City, which I believe will be released in 2009.

Congratulations!

I wish you in the coming year a garden with drystone walls within sight of the sea.
ulffriend
Dec. 24th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Perhaps the Pope needs a copy of this:
http://www.amazon.com/How-Profit-Coming-Rapture-Getting/dp/0316017302/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230145469&sr=1-1
Oh, wait: the Catholic Church doesn't need any more money, does it?
ulffriend
Dec. 24th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
Sorry, comment on wrong post. Still looks to be a hillarious book, though.
cillygirl
Dec. 24th, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
Wonderful description of the aftermath of snow. Here in London snow only lasts for a few hours, when it falls at all. I have a picture somewhere of a snowman on a doorstep in a broad victorian avenue, with no other snow visible at all; whoever made it must have collected every scrap from a long way around to do so.

There was more RP on RP servers when they began, but even then RPers who spoke IC were a minority. People knew what it meant though, back then. I guess even this is gone.

I found ranting about the Pope thing really helped. What he said was amazing in its sheer self-contradictory nature, and its stupidity.
mardott
Dec. 24th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
"It was a pretty dream, no matter how impossible..."

Yes it is a pretty dream. I harbor the same one, and I hope it's not defeatism to admit it will probably never happen. That's more likely a good thing, considering I've never successfully grown a vegetable. We'd get hungry, indeed.

But it's pretty, nevertheless. And pretty dreams can help us relax.

Sleep well.
Marlene
mistressmousey
Dec. 24th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
Speaking as a gamer (or former one, before this baby & work combo entered my life) and someone who is working on an MMO of WoW proportions, I feel your RPG-related pain.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 25th, 2008 06:47 am (UTC)

Speaking as a gamer (or former one, before this baby & work combo entered my life) and someone who is working on an MMO of WoW proportions, I feel your RPG-related pain.

Need a writer? Will work for pizza crust.
stsisyphus
Dec. 25th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
You know, I keep thinking as I read these tales of woe in regard to your roleplaying ventures in WoW, that I ought to point to toward the MMO I'm on at present. Unfortunately, I know there are several obstacles: 1. I think the gameplay (the mechanical, programmed gameplay) would drive you crazy being as you're very interested in a kinetic interface, 2. There's grousing that the game is fading away, particularly due to its age, 3. The Mac version is only in Beta at the moment, 4. there is no dedicated RP server (although there is an unofficial RP server which is reasonably active for RP), so you'd still have to deal with people who were dolts, and 5. I just don't think the game's theme is compatible with your interests.

And then, I hear about the asshattery you endure and I say, "Could it really be worse?"
greygirlbeast
Dec. 25th, 2008 06:46 am (UTC)

And then, I hear about the asshattery you endure and I say, "Could it really be worse?"

Dear, it can always be worse. Anyway, what's it called?
stsisyphus
Dec. 26th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
It's an older game, as I mentioned. I tend to play redside more often than not. Still, I don't know if this is even your sort of nerdery.

Still, you have things like this in the RP community, which sort of made me like people try to think about their character...
greygirlbeast
Dec. 26th, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)

It's an older game, as I mentioned. I tend to play redside more often than not. Still, I don't know if this is even your sort of nerdery.

Well, no, not really. Though, when the game game out, I was curious, and annoyed I couldn't try it (system requirements and all). I was wondering, recently, if it was still out there.

( 14 comments — Have your say! )