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Le crayon rougeOops. Sorry.

By “writing to the market” I didn’t mean “gearing your work-in-progress to match current market trends” (which, I feel compelled to add, unless you are a spectacularly fast writer with a very good agent, is a fool’s game).

I mean “writing to the market’ as in writing copy for marketing. Which is what I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks.

You see, my wife opened a business. Continue Reading »

Lupine Hi-Rise“Why don’t you do something with your life?”

Such an awful question.
So packed with disdain and condescension.
So dismissive.
You can hear the curled lip in the words.
You can taste the bile.

“You had such potential.

Sharp words.
Words designed to hurt, flay, maim.
Words heated in a smith’s forge, hammered into blades, honed to an edge, and thrown with piercing accuracy.

Useless words. Utterly useless. Continue Reading »

I, Immigrant

Dragons AheadIn 1889, my great-grandfather and his brothers left their home in Lucca, Italy and traveled to the port of Le Havre, France, where they boarded a ship bound for New York. They left their homeland to escape the economic misery and political chaos that typified the Kingdom of Italy in the late 1800s. They came to build a new life in a new land.

For them, the immigration process was not long. They were asked a few questions, were inspected for disease, and were allowed to enter.

Upon entry, they were met by a populace that despised and denigrated them for their peasant background, their Catholic religion, and their cultural differences.

Yay, America.

Today, the immigration process is a good bit longer. Without American relatives or sponsors, an immigrant can wait up to six years for a visa, only then to begin the months-long process of background checks and vetting. Refugees fleeing the chaos and upheaval of war-torn regions such as the Levant may actually have a shorter wait-time, but their vetting process will take up to two years and includes interviews, background checks, screenings, security checks, cultural orientation, and registration with an American resettlement agency. Even getting a tourist visa — a requirement for most people outside of Europe and the Far East — is a relatively long process.

And when these immigrants finally enter the U.S. — if they are allowed to enter — they’ll now be met by a government that despises and denigrates them for their background, their religion, and their culture.

Yay, America.

Typewriter

I see a silver-lit night, full moon struggling to pierce slate-colored clouds. I see a ghostly crag, pale rocks rising above a dark, heathered moor. I see a woman in blue standing at its summit, bare feet on bare stone, hair loose, arms wide, waiting.

The clouds marshal their forces, focus their power. Winds rise, rumbling forward, and rain comes down in icy sheets. The storm builds, advancing on the crag.

She stands tall and closes her eyes, her nostrils scenting the moss and granite beneath her feet, and the wind-swept tang of a miles-off sea.

Glassy whips lash the sky. The storm clenches its fist. Heather bows beneath its blasted screams.

The woman turns, facing the storm as it thunders toward her on lightning limbs. She tilts back her head, bares her throat.

The wind belches a roaring laugh, sprinting toward its prey.

With a smile and fulsome intent she grabs the wind, bends its trajectory, twisting its path, coiling it around her summit. She reels it in, pulling it to her. She breathes it in, breathes in its power. Her eyes flash open and she sees the swirling clouds above, the vortex of her control. The wind is within her now, part of her. The wind’s laugh is now her laugh.

This is not a victory, the wind not a vanquished enemy. This is a joining, a strengthening, a fusion.

She and the storm are one.

Now, she is power. Now, she is strength.

Now, she is the storm.

La Push

 

Today, we went dark. Sort of.

Today, our cable and land-line were cut off. We still have internet and our mobile phones, but the dedicated connections for television and phone are as dead as Monty Python’s parrot.

During our fortnight-long sans cable experiment, everything about our television viewing habits came under scrutiny: what we watch, when we watch, and how we watch. We learned a great deal about our habits and thoroughly re-evaluated what we considered “worthwhile” viewing. After two weeks, we no longer think of things in terms of networks, but see them in terms of providers, apps, and individual shows.

Not everything was rosy, though, and before we dropped the hammer, we had to make some compromises. Continue Reading »

Le crayon rougeI’ll update you on my cable-cutting process soon, but for this week, here’s a look into the things that keep me up at night. Literally. This is the type of shite that makes my brain whirl like a dervish when it wakes me up at 4AM.

There’s a language construct that has bothered me for a long time. It’s the “negative question.” It’s like the question in the title of this post or, as found in the large portion of my viewing and reading intake that includes British and “period” drama, it’s often tacked on to the end of a sentence, as in, “She is a handsome woman, wouldn’t you say?”

In general, I don’t have a problem with negative inquiries.

Unless, of course, I have to answer them. Continue Reading »

On January 1st I woke early, made a pot of coffee, and sat down to watch the Sunday morning punditry. In general, this is not a good idea as it often leads to shouting and throwing things at the television, which tends to wake my wife and scare the cat, but it’s a hard habit to break.

First up, as always, was ABC’s “This Week with” … whomever they got for that week … George … Martha … Krusty the Clown. I turned the television on, punched in Channel 4, and was presented with a black-bordered message from Frontier Communications, our cable provider. It informed me that the distributor of our local ABC affiliate was being a pooter and wouldn’t negotiate a “reasonable rate” for their programming and, since Frontier “won’t settle for less than fair pricing for our customers,” they chose instead to deprive us of the ABC channels altogether.

It was the last straw. Continue Reading »

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