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As I have said in the past, I do not recognize Veteran's Day. Rather, I recognize Armistice Day. This is not just a streak of contrariness. See Kurt Vonnegut for my rationale.

A sunny day here in Providence. Sunny, but cold.

Nothing was written, though there was a lot of talking about the story I was trying to write. In the end, I've decided to put "Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars" back on the shelf, and write a somewhat different Martian story. Truthfully, I think I'm not a good enough writer (yet, and maybe I never will be) to pull off what I wanted to accomplish in "Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars." If the best I can do is a half-assed job, better I do no job at all. Some will disagree, but in the realm in which my stories are written, I am the sole goddess. So, I have this other story, that I need to make serious progress on. I haven't written anything since finishing Chapter One of The Drowning Girl on Sunday.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

I feel as though I have forgotten how to sleep. Last night, Spooky was reading me Kelly Link's "Magic for Beginners," and Hubero came into the bedroom and proceeded to lay on my face and purr. It was all I could do to stay awake. As soon as Spooky finished reading the story, I was instantly and completely awake. Story ideas racing through my mind. (Do not try to solve this problem; this problem is seemingly insoluble, and certainly resistant to any simple remedies). I took Ambien for the first time in months. I slept something like six and a half hours, which is good, the way things have been going. As for "Magic for Beginners," I loved it. The whole thing with The Library made me think of the best sort of bizarre and whimsical television fantasy: Doctor Who, Farscape, etc. The characterization in this story's especially poignant. It has all the awkward innocence and too-often unsuspected depth of youth.

There was an amazing sunset last night. The sky in conflagration. There are photos below, behind the cut. And Spooky went to the Knight Memorial Library on Elmwood Avenue to see Kristin Hersh read from Rat Girl and sing. I wanted to go, but knew I shouldn't. When we first saw a flier for the reading taped to the door of What Cheer, I said, "No, I can't go." Crowds just freak me out too much these days. Crowds and fluorescent lights. Spooky got home about 9:30 p.m., and she said "It's a good thing you didn't come. There were too many people, and fluorescent lights. But she sang 'Fish' and 'Your Ghost,' and read about Fish Jesus, and talked about Betty Hutton." Which made me sorry I'd not gone, despite the fluorescent lights. Again, photos below, behind the cut.

You know, I wouldn't be so annoyed at how WoW and CoX and pretty much all MMORPGs force socialization on their players if there were only a good, Mac-friendly MMORPG that took into account those players who just want to solo. Sure, I enjoy being part of a VG in CoX, put sometimes it would be nice to have the option of going it alone.

I have, in fact, begun to wonder if loners are being systematically weeded out of the population, culled from the world. At least in America. Can loners survive in a world of texting, twatting, and virtual social networking, where you can be alone with a thousand other loners? Where words like "shy" and "introvert" are being replaced by psychological disorders (highly suspect psychological disorders, mostly manufactured by pharmaceutical companies that can then manufacture cures to treat them) like SAD (social anxiety disorder) and AvPD (avoidant personality disorder)? You would think we loners posed a threat. I'd say it's a fear we slow production, but America's no longer about production. We outsourced all that, and now we're a nation of consumers. Maybe there's a belief that people in groups consume more than loners. I see far too little emphasis on individual effort and accomplishment, and far too much focus on teamwork. But I ask, why be a cog, when you can be a whole machine, entire and realized?

Six acronyms in only two paragraphs. But, I prattle on.

Gotta write. Here are the photos:





From the front parlor.



From Spooky's sewing room.



Also from Spooky's sewing room.



Kristin Hersh singing.



Kristin Hersh reading.

All photographs Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn A. Pollnac.

Comments

( 17 comments — Have your say! )
jtglover
Nov. 11th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
I read Magic for Beginners and some of Stranger Things Happen this year, and her stories just rock. What an imagination--I found the same thing happening in terms of story ideas running through my head, and there was at least one night of Link-induced insomnia.

As something of a loner myself, I've had many of the same loner-thoughts. What disturbs me is just how little alone time many students I encounter get/have. So many of them are always connected. Perhaps they've found ways to divide their attention more effectively, but I don't think so. $64,000 question: what happens when people who are by nature loners are born without any understanding of what it is to be a loner? Is it like left-handers being beaten into right-handedness? Hrrm.
greygirlbeast
Nov. 11th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)

there was at least one night of Link-induced insomnia.

I can't blame Kelly, just my not sleeping.

$64,000 question: what happens when people who are by nature loners are born without any understanding of what it is to be a loner?

A world where being a loner has been so stigmatized that no one recalls there ever were loners.
eluneth
Nov. 11th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
That sunset -- ! Thank you for sharing the photos. The textures in the clouds remind me a bit of beaten gold.

I have, in fact, begun to wander if loners are being systematically weeded out of the population, culled from the world. At least in America.
Interesting proposition. I'm going to have to think about that more, especially since a friend of mine who just started teaching elementary school (and a very liberal and nurturing one) raised a similar thought, based on how some of the more odd-one-out-type children were being encouraged to socialize and, to put it broadly, be a little less "weird" by the estimation of the rest of the teachers.

Also, I thought you would enjoy these ornate paintings of undersea creatures - they reminded me of the cover art of A is for Alien:
http://coilhouse.net/2010/11/mark-garros-underwater-portraits/
greygirlbeast
Nov. 11th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)

That sunset -- ! Thank you for sharing the photos. The textures in the clouds remind me a bit of beaten gold.

It truly was spectacular.

I'm going to have to think about that more, especially since a friend of mine who just started teaching elementary school (and a very liberal and nurturing one) raised a similar thought, based on how some of the more odd-one-out-type children were being encouraged to socialize and, to put it broadly, be a little less "weird" by the estimation of the rest of the teachers.

I'm hearing a lot of these anecdotes.

Thanks for the link! Gorgeous.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Nov. 11th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)

Exceedingly well-put.

Thank you.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Nov. 11th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)

There is nothing here I can disagree with. Yes. Don't even get me started of the autism thing.
nihilistic_kid
Nov. 11th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
Nothin' beats New England sunsets.
jdack
Nov. 11th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
I find personally the most annoying thing about being a loner is that everyone is always trying to "fix" me, because it's oh so obvious there's something wrong with me because I don't like to go out and be around people.

Bugger that.
greygirlbeast
Nov. 11th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)

We deviate from what is normative. And lately this particular deviation seems to trouble the norms more than it ever has before.
jessamyg
Nov. 11th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
Lonely is an Eyesore
If my Grandfather, who did the majority of the job of raising me, had found that being a loner was that abnormal, then I would have been straight to a psychiatrist the year I spent almost entirely in my room. I only emerged when absolutely necessary, basically to eat, excrete, or when the books ran out. I explored a lot of worlds in that time, thank you, what did the people who weren't loners do in their one world? You're only truly alone when you allow your imagination to atrophy.
greygirlbeast
Nov. 11th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Lonely is an Eyesore

My favorite 4AD title, so I have to respond....

You're only truly alone when you allow your imagination to atrophy.

And I wonder, how does the new hyperconnectivity of internet social networking affect the imagination? Given, the majority of humans aren't especially imaginative, but what about those who are? What about all the day dreams that won't be dreamt, and all the woolgathering that won't get done, because 120 text messages a day have to be sent, and 300 friends Facebook status updates have to be read before lunch, and, instead, of thinking about what's happening in the moment, there's the need to twat about it? Where's imagination in an age without quiet reflection?

Signal is drowned in noise, more than ever, and especially I mean the signals we send ourselves.
spank_an_elf
Nov. 11th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Lonely is an Eyesore
Ah, only if we let ourselves drown. In this age those who cherish imagination really cling to it because it is an endangered concept. Sad how nowadays one is branded as "rude" when you ignore the nonsense but hell, it's part of being a loner. Yes, I am babbling...
greygirlbeast
Nov. 11th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Lonely is an Eyesore
Ah, only if we let ourselves drown.

Not to beat a metaphor to death, but there's a point where the noise becomes such that there's no overlooking it or shutting it out.

And mostly I'm thinking about kids, and people in their early twenties, who have never really known any other world.

Edited at 2010-11-11 11:17 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Nov. 11th, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)

OK, this loner thinks that the sky looks downright apocalyptic in those photos. Wow.

While we watched it, the thought crossed my mind. But then when I looked at the photos, the impression was greatly increased.
humglum
Nov. 11th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)

Yep. One of my first thoughts was that it looked like the sky was on fire.
shaula82
Nov. 12th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
Where words like "shy" and "introvert" are being replaced by psychological disorders (highly suspect psychological disorders, mostly manufactured by pharmaceutical companies that can then manufacture cures to treat them) like SAD (social anxiety disorder) and AvPD (avoidant personality disorder)? You would think we loners posed a threat

I work in the field - and while I agree with you about the evils often perpetrated by pharma (such as not releasing full results of studies, which would harm their sales figures, suppressing information on side effects, dodgy statistics, bribing prescribers, etc), for most DSM Axis-I disorders (such as Anxiety Disorders) one of the key criteria is distress. That is, if you're very shy/a loner and quite distressed about it, then perhaps SAD may apply. People who use that label to describe introverts who are perfectly happy the way they are? Are wrong and throwing words they don't understand around.

Antisocial Personality Disorder is not exactly what it sounds like. It involves behaviour related to sociopathy - various degrees of violating others' boundaries, exploiting, deceiving, poor impulse control, sometimes violence, without guilt or empathy. Not really the kind of person who'd be happy on their lonesome in a room, reading a book.

Apart from this minor bone to pick, I wholeheartedly agree with you - outside of clinical settings, there is this notion that if you don't enjoy the company of others all day, every day, there's something wrong with you and why can't you just be normal, like everyone else? I laugh at this notion of normality. Just because the majority of a population fits within certain parameters doesn't make it "normal", except perhaps statistically speaking.
ulffriend
Nov. 12th, 2010 04:13 am (UTC)
A hearty amen from another practitioner.

Once upon a time, people got to be eccentric. Now they're just "sick". We've become so quick to catagorize and label that we're shrinking the spectrum of behavior down to a very narrow band of "normal" rather than the whole beautiful range, rather like saying that everyone who doesn't look like a model or actress is somehow not OK.

And, with the exception of Antisocial Personality d/o as you've mentioned, the idea that a disorder is something that causes people concern is something that is often overlooked. I always try to emphasize that the criteria are what is out of the ordinary for that particular person, not some immaginary yardstick of what "normal" looks like.

( 17 comments — Have your say! )