I am my own conductor

Range trombone

Image via Wikipedia

Lots of things going on right now.

All good, all deep, all time-consuming.

Woke this morning feeling quite low, although I couldn’t fathom why.

But after a serious brain scrubbing by my most fabulous shrink, it seems that feelings of unworthiness and inability have been slowly reinserting themselves into my poor little battered psyche.

Fortunately, my most fabulous shrink understood this and was able to talk me, gently but clearly, through this.

The end result being: I am my own conductor.

Really.

The orchestra is seated. All the instruments are there, ready. But without someone to lead them, they’re just going to make a bunch of racket. Lead them, however, and you decide who goes when, who is more important at any given moment, and how to get them all to play together without dumping a trombone on someone’s head or a bass on someone’s foot.

Not to say there wont be a sour note every once in a while, but it’s a helluva lot better than seeing if they can come up with an impromptu concerto without assistance.

Still with me?

We went and watched the Nutcracker ballet last night. Only two rows from the stage, I sat above the orchestra, the conductor’s white head bobbing in time to his orchestrating. The dancing was gorgeous, the miming beautiful, the gowns divine. I would go again and again and again. Thanks to Leftlion, I got to see it for free, too. Most excellent.

The Dr Who show at the Arena was not so much spectacular stage show as stupendous theme park show with characters. But the kids liked it…

I once had a professor who said, “Every day you wake up, you have the chance to decide what kind of person you want to be that day. Choose. Dont just wander through the day without deciding if you’re being the person you want to be.”

I had forgotten this much cherished saying.

So, now I’m choosing: I am my own conductor, and the band will start playing the way I tell them to. 

So there.

Song: Careless Whisper by George Michael

Book: Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (This is going to be the book for a very long time).

Lesbian Word Crunching

It was a rousing success by any standard.

All the authors showed up, on time, and enjoyed pizza with goats cheese before the reading. People sprinkled in, directed by Sam upstairs and by I. Beacham to the food and wine so wonderfully provided by Waterstones.

The reading was well done, the questions good, and the bar party at New Foresters after full of fun and laughter.

And we sold a fair amount of books too.

Most excellent.

Discussing ebooks vs print books

And then Pride, where many, many people wandered the few tents but mostly hung out on the lawn and chatted with other groups of folks. And a few previously unknown people even said hello, as they recognized me from the “book thing”.

Indeed.

And now the guests have gone, the phone is no longer necessary, most thank you’s have gone out, and I can crash onto the couch like the giant potato the pictures show me to be…

alas.

Driving through Morrison’s parking lot the other day, I noticed the line of trees–the ones with the multi colored leaves.

Seriously.

August 2nd and the trees have yellow and red leaves. And I’m wrapped in a blanket and considering turning on the heat tonight.

Global Warming, heir apparent.

So now it is time to get back to projects left unfinished, catch up with projects on my plate, add a dessert plate or two, and then attempt a midnight snack of word filled thesaurus.

Hmm.

And so, I am going to take a nap so that I can actually function on my days off and make a meal of the words which need crunching.

yup. Happy Monday.

Book: Wolfsbane Winter by Jane Fletcher

Song: Das Testament des Dr Mabuse by Propaganda

The language of the body in public

Up hours before I need to be. The doves cooing at sunrise does not help.

There is something disturbingly ironic about being angry with a bird of hope and peace.

Yesterday’s meeting was abundantly, excitingly successful. And although a migraine and stomach agitation threatened all day long, I remained uplifted right till the moment my head became pillow bound.

My next birthday is on the ever clearer horizon. Growth over this past year of life has been swift, abundant, and unforgiving. Like a tulip, suddenly forcing its way through the heavy earth in early spring, battling late frost and bitter conditions, it manages to release it’s petals into the world despite all the efforts of nature to the contrary.

Yup, I’m a tulip.

Now I just need to metamorph into another flower that lasts beyond spring…

I watched people yesterday. All kinds of people.

But I really watched body language. I heard the unmistakable sounds of silent frustration.

One couple sat across from one another, speaking quietly but earnestly. She leaned forward, he leaned back. Her hands stayed in her lap below the table. His were flat on the table top as he gazed not at her, but out the window. When they left, her eyes were puffy. He walked ahead of her down the stairs, not seeming to notice her behind him. She held onto the banister so tightly her knuckles were white.

Another couple hugged on the street. He held her close, his intent and desire clear. She stood with one arm at her side, her lower body held away, one hand patting his back in a placatory manner. Her eyes scanned the area around her.

An old couple held hands. He shuffled, she looked in store windows. He watched his feet, she kept her body open, turned ever so slightly toward him. She commented on something in the department store window, he stopped and looked at it with her. They stood discussing it. Still holding hands.

For years and years I slouched. I walked with my shoulders hunched forward. I sat at the table, my shoulders rounded toward my front protectively. My emotional and physical pain forcing my chest slowly, inexorably, toward the ground.

I walk with my shoulders back now. Victim no more. The pain acknowledged but held at bay, released in little puffs of smoke throughout the day as my engine thinks-it-can all the way up the hill.

What does your body language say throughout the day?

Book: Ambereye by Gill McKnight. A werewolf story with a gentle bite.

Song: We are broken by Paramore.

A Prophet’s Love Poem

When love beckons to you, follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you, yield to him,

Though the swords hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks, believe in him,

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as

the North wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you to free you from your husks.

He grinds you to whitenss.

He kneads you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire…

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the sercrets of your heart,

and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart. (The prophet by Kahlil Gibran)

There is little more frustrating than being told “you just need better coping skills”.

I’m quite tired of coping, thank you. I’m tired of pain pills, of tests, of xrays, of blood draws. Of pats on the head and “see me next week”.

I’m tired of pain and tired of being tired.

Frustration and fear overwhelm and depress like wave on wave in a rip-tide zone.

So, I’m trying to focus. Trying to see the sun from the sea bottom.

On work, on studying, on keeping up and slowing down enough to keep track.

On forward. Forward, forward, forward.

With or without my cane. With or without pain pills.

News:

I have been informed that I have reached the final round of judging for the Writing Awards.

A very good feeling indeed.

The housing hunt is in momentary stasis while we await the decision of the money folk.

I will be advertising a reading/signing event coming up in July. This is time consuming but very exciting as well. It turns out my planning abilities aren’t so bad after all.

Book: The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. Quite possibly the most beautiful philosophical metaphors about life ever written. (The beautiful section above is from the section on love, obviously).

Song: Hazy Shade of Winter by the Bangles. (Yes, really).

Upcoming and Exciting

For me, anyway…

Out in Spring '10

 This will be my sixth publication. I havent received the cover art for the fifth book yet, but will post it as soon as I do.

I am working on some sheets for writing–guide lines, kind of, as I go about the job of editing other people’s work and realize that many of the things that we do in our creative writing that are no-no’s are easily fixed if only someone would tell you what, exactly, the rules are.

So I’m going to set about doing just that. We’ll see how that goes.

I am overwhelmed with work right now, and trying to keep it all in perspective so I dont freak out and start throwing things out the window at people walking down the sidewalk. Just because, of course.

But other than that, I can breathe again. I can stand straight without emotional pain forcing me onto my knees. I can move through life understanding that all things happen for a reason, and even if the lesson learned was brought about by an excruciating, torturous and debilitating catastrophe, the lesson has truly been learned.

Yay for me.

So, back to work I go. More writing. More words. (Did you listen to the previous blog?)

Onward.

Updates, Awards, Porn

I received some really great news yesterday. The first anthology I was published in, Blue Collar Lesbian Erotica, received an award yesterday–Best Lesbian Erotica Anthology for 2009, at the GCLS Awards in Florida. I am, for lack of another word, stoked.

Blue Collar Lesbian Erotica

Blue Collar Lesbian Erotica

The other anthology I’m in, and which I’m doing a reading from in Provincetown during Women’s Week and in London at the end of October, is called Where the Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica. It came out last month, and seems to be getting some great reviews. Again, I’m so stoked.

                                                                                                       Where the Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica.

I am currently working on a few other short stories, as well as keeping up with my editing and such. The calendar is getting a bit cramped, but I’m still above water, if barely.

But these publications bring me to my question for today: What do you think about porn? Any kind, not just necessarily female on female.

Is it degrading as the feminists have raged for years? Is it just hot? Does it demean women and lead to violence against them? Or is it an outlet, a way to get out sexual urges without having to actually touch anyone?

I’m genuinely interested in feedback on this.

My personal point of view? I really enjoy it. The women are (almost always) there because they have chosen to be there. This is especially the case in genuine lesbian porn. (I dont mean the ones with extra long finger nails who only do a bit of junior-high groping and open mouth kissing). There are more and more quality porn sites for women, both straight and gay. There’s always been an abundance of straight porn, so I dont feel the need to go into that.

I think it can serve as an erotic lift to a relationship when viewed together, I think it can fuel fantasies and the imagination, I think it can provide stress relief.

Yes, of course there are down sides. As there are to any addiction if it becomes such.

But sex, in the 21st century, is a good, open thing. I went to Nottingham GLBT Pride this weekend, and there, among the booths, was a sex toy booth doing an abundant trade. I didnt buy anything, but it struck me that we’ve come a damn long way–from seedy back aisles and home made toys, to buying them right out in the park in broad daylight, jostling shoulders to get a look at that cool shaped dildo.

No shame, no embarressment (or at least not a lot), and easy access.

Gotta love the times we’re in.