Monday, August 29, 2005

Writing is...

solitary. And not always the good kind of solitude.
It's just me and the screen, and the white space.
Filled with words I'll edit out or apart or utterly destroy.
I have no way of knowing if this is good, if it works.
I think I end up wasting too much time brooding over it.
It's invaded my dreams, which is a good sign.
I think writer's are prime candidates for serious paranoia.
I wonder if THEY are really out to get me.
Maybe they'll give me a lollipop. Or I will find other ways to procrastinate.
I am not sure anymore. I do know i am doing this because it's fun.
Because I like doing it. Maybe that is rewward enough.
Especially when you've typed a paragraph in an hour.
Which is less words than this silly post.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Yay, now my blog can be censored by blogger. flagging is SUCH a good idea. Really. We can even get our blogs unlisted and have google add a warning saying it is hate speeh.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's get flagged!

</end rant>

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A small part of the novel in progress...

(Being a conversation between the MC, Pat, and Old Shuck, a black dog with eyes and no head (via british mythology)).

Fred's Place turned out to be a large warehouse converted into a three-story rooming house. Fred wasn't there, but Officer Davidson, (aka "Call me Chris.") opened the door with a key, got some money from her as a down payment, gave her keys to the building and the room, told here were the laundry room was, took her to her room and gave her a free map of the city. She could tell he'd done this before. Pat just thanked him until he finally got the hint and left close to an hour later. She sighed and plopped down on the bed, feeling drained.
        "That wasn't just a dead body," she said quietly. "There was - something wrong there. Something evil. A bastion of darkness."
        "A bastion of darkness?" a voice said from beside the bed. "Do you even know what that is?"
        "Shut up."
        "I mean, really. You were doing so well until then."
        "I was trying to not go insane."
        "That's what I meant," Old Shuck said. "Sane people do not use the word bastion."
        Pat ignored that. "I saw a dead man who was flayed alive and - and decorating a wall. And it was like I didn't feel anything. I should have. He'd been alive, and he was dead."
        "People die in Africa on TV screens every day," Shuck growled. "I don't see you feeling anything for them."
        "It's not the same thing. It's not right in front of me. And I felt nothing."
        "What do you think you should have felt?"
        "I don't know! Something."
        "Humans. Haven't you heard that everyone is an island?"
        "Actually, it's that no man is an island. Some poet."
        "Everyone is an island. Everyone is apart, alone from all other things. We have to be, to keep ourselves from going mad. There has to be a distance. Always and ever, Patricia Longwell. Insanity is caring too much and feeling too much about things you cannot change."
        Pat blinked. She couldn't recall the last time Shuck had said her whole name. "I don't believe that."
        Shuck wuffed a laugh. "And that is why you are human."
        Pat dug through her bag for a granola bar and ignored him. Sleep came quicker than it should have, and she dreamed.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Thirty Minutes of Writing: Thoughts on Orchard Drive

This is just writing I did 30 minutes after coming from from seeing the play Orchard Drive here in Kelowna during the premiere. It was - interesting. Funny, moving, disturbing. I handed a copy of this over to someone to give to the author on the Saturday matinee, no idea if he ever got it (I couldn't stay, since I had to do laundry :)) So, here we are ...


Stereotypes painted broadly to canvas,
rough sketches come easily
painting the everymen
who are no man. No men.
There are deep waters here.

Actors, playing parts. But aren't we all?
the quiet voice asks, too soft
to not be heard. We do not fit so easily
into roles, not even those we make
for ourselves. Edges always blur.
Fear death by water - no, by drowning
under what we are, and are not,
and the dreams we can never be.


Voices whisper in the ever dark places,
in the darkness that is shroud and comfort.
We listen to the ones who say
the words we think we want to hear.

We have not died.
But we have killed.
Evil is not in saying: "Yes."
But in simply never saying: "No."
Evil is consent, and silence.
Silent. The worst are all silent now.


It is too easy to fall into traps.
We make them for ourselves
As we make our own heavens
And craft private hells.

Refuge in dark images,
In truths to shock. Shells
That hide away deeper truths
Under. These we never sell.


We are all bought and sold.
Drowned, and drowners both.
Saints and sinner and points between.
No monster, greater; no miracle, lesser.
We are life, and there is power in quiet things.
In the truths everyone knows, and no one speaks.
In the silence carved inside we build dark things, unholy things.
We blame others, but there is no one else to blame.
We are also all the hands holding us down.
Down in the dark, where we have names.
We do not want them: it matters not.
Something's can't be forgiven.
Everything must be.


In the darkness, we forget our names.
Forsaking games we cling to dreams
of better places, seemings we imagine.
Worlds without sin, without faces
Without hungers no one can sate
No one is greater. Or lesser.
But no matter what we will and dream
We have still forgot our names.


What would happen, I wonder, I asked you
If everyone of us was suddenly true
If there was no one left who could tell a lie
No matter how hard or long they tried.

You told me that no one could be true
Not and be left without things to rue.
You told me many people would die
Rather than live up to all their lies.

I said: "The world would be better."
You said: "For who? Would you let her,
Tell you that she couldn't stand you
If your daughter said she hated you?"

I said: "I don't have a daughter."
You said: "Don't be stupid. Laughter
Won't answer anything, won't hide
From anyone. We have places inside,"

You said, "we have to keep our own
Private places for us to be alone,
To just be ourselves and no one else
Where we can be true and false."

I said: "I just asked about lies and truth."
You said: "I know. But I know youth
Always says things but never understands.
This world you see is made on quicksand.

"It's made not of truth but of the lies
Without them civilization itself dies.
There was no cherry tree chopped down
There's secrets buried in every town."

I said: "You make me sound foolish
And I think that you just dismiss
What I'm asking, what I'm saying: I said
Wouldn't it be better with no lies instead?"

You said: "I'm sorry." And then you said:
"I'm sorry, but I'd sooner be dead.
Truth is good but it's hard edges dull
Wouldn't you rather people were people?"

And I said: "No." And "Never," I coldly replied.
"That's a long bargain," You sighed.
And in silence you turned, then walked away.
But all I could do was stand and stay.


It is said the darkness comprehends not the light.
The same is true of the light and the grey places.
The shadows where most of us walk quietly.
Places were we say opinions, but not proclamations.
Places where we say no truth for fear of offending.
The only stand we make is not for light, nor for dark.
We choose which way we face even if they seem the same.


At the end, when we stop living,
and changing even in the minds
of those we left behind, will we
be able to laugh or only cry
for things did, and worse,
all the things left undone?

Saturday, August 06, 2005

In The News

A 16 year old Guinean girl in NYC was plucked from school and is being held in a detention centre in Pennsylvania, apparently as a high risk terrorist threat. It seems that no-one who actually knows her has any idea why

"I just can't fathom this," said her teacher, Kimberly Lane, "she's just a regular teenager. Two weeks ago her biggest worry was whether she'd done her homework or studied for a science test." This story follows the recent incarceration of another 16 year old from New York, a Bangladeshi girl now held at the same detention centre. According to the FBI, the teenagers are "an imminent threat to the security of the United States based on evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers." (via)


FBI Agent, two weeks later: "Err, well, you see .. we might have acted in haste. But after two weeks in detention, we are now sure that, if we release them, they WILL become suicide bombers."

Monday, August 01, 2005

A Poem

Suicide Note

I used to think that suicide was wrong.
Why would someone just throw their life away?
We have too much to live for, I'd say.
But - Ah! I'd forgotten there are things more
Important than survival and living.
There is love, and loyalty, and choices -
Choices made where there is nothing to choose
Except walls and hard places, like closets.

I knew my mothers would not understand.
There is more to life than mere survival.
There are times when we have to take a stand
To tell the truth, decide the way we face,
Ad accept finally who we will be.

I sat them down and told them I was straight.
The guys at school were just friends, nothing more,
And I snuck looks at girls on the beach, and
I wanted to marry one and have kids.
My mothers looked at each other, silent
In the way that adults communicate.
Having whole conversations in silence.
I felt I had lived my life in silence,
Stepping out to find the whole world was deaf
And no one would ever understand me.

They don't wish to know me, won't accept me,
Say there are support groups I could attend.
I said I love them, they ask why I betrayed them.
They always said they'd love me but I knew
There exists no love without conditions.
I tried to make them see but they were blind
And my mothers looked at me as if I
Was a televangelist preaching sins.

Facing their hurt and angry confusion
("Don't you love us? Why are you hurting us?
Was it something we did wrong? Is that it?")
I couldn't face them like that and fled outside
But there is nowhere to hide from myself.

If there was someone I could have talked to
To explain all the shame and hurt I felt
I would have tried to understand the hurt
I caused my mothers and maybe they, mine.
But who could I have tried with my pain?
Everyone I knew was a friend of ours:
Gay, or hiding (like I) being straight inside.

And so, out of options but with one left
I act, knowing I'll hurt you more this time.
I only hope words can explain it:
The indoctrination "support group" failed.
When you find my body please forgive me..
I felt like you couldn't hear me at all
So maybe now, too late, you will listen.

(This was inspired by an article in the paper that quoted a woman saying how her 14 year old nehpew had come out to his parents, been carted off to a religious conversion camp, and killed himself four months later. Things like that really, really piss me off. So My response was to invert the situation entirely, since the exact opposite could happen just as easily.)