Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
When my brother was seven or eight, he founded a book company and hired his little sister (me). Kevin was a mild-mannered book editor by day and Superman by night. His other interest at the time: trucks. The short piece of writing I scanned and linked to is one I’m pretty sure my brother put me up to. From across the years, I can almost hear him say, “Write about a little boy who loves trucks…” It‘s a direction I followed to the letter — there was no deliberate attempt at humor in this piece, and I lacked the sophistication to write something so over-the-top on my own prerogative...
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
After my picture fades, and darkness has turned to gray
You're watching through Windows, you're wondering if I'm okay
Are you watching through Windows... or using a Mac?
P.S. The next blog entry will probably appear under this one. There's something in my drafts folder that I've been working over.
Alright -- it's there now: 'Further Chronicles (and Audio)'
I picked a copy of Further Chronicles of Avonlea off the bookcase downstairs for two reason: 1) I knew it was public domain. 2) I was locked out and needed something to read! The piece that I ended up recording, and linking to here, is by far my favorite of the stories. Even so, there were lines that were hard to record because they didn't ring true for me. There's a character in the story who, years back, had broken off an engagement because she believed her fiancee's mother when she said her fiancee was merely infatuated with her youth and beauty -- which wouldn't last -- and that she had nothing, but nothing, else to offer.
Back in high school, I had a friend from India whose parents were incensed that she wanted to date an American; I think that they actually made a brief threat to disown her. But my friends spent six years convincing those parents that their relationship was sound, and at the end of that time, they were allowed to marry. As for why my friends wouldn't go against the parents' wishes -- well, part of it was because they were Ba'hai, and, while the Ba'hai faith prohibits arranged marriage, it does require parental consent. My friends were bound by what they believed. I honestly think either one of them would have -- like the girl in the story -- broken off their engagement if they believed they would be a lifelong burden to the other; yet I can't imagine either of them believing it. Going back to the story, it's hard for me to imagine a girl who says you're right, I have nothing in this world to offer, but for a fleeting beauty -- a girl who lacks the drive to fight that she's somebody. But there's a lot in this story I do like: It may be an archaic societal criticism, but it's societal criticism, nonetheless. Now, without further ado, here's The Little Brown Book of Miss Emily.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Download now or listen on posterous
So now I have this computer-ito -- and it has this headset-isimo that is almost as big as it is. We plan on doing online tutoring, and also recording some copyright-expired 'kiddie lit' for Librivox. But first here’s audio for a flash memoir that a few people will remember from long-ago co-op days. This was my Audacity test recording and also my headset test recording... I expected to have to erase the recording and try again. But…Well, I was juggling the Audacity program and the Microsoft Works document on the computer screen(ito)… I lost my place a couple times, said “purch forniture”, developed a brief frog in my throat… And then I played it back, and it sounded quite a bit better than I expected. I decided to let that first-ever bit of recording stand, as-is. Sometime soon, I’ll learn how to operate the editing controls -- but here’s “Of Artichokes and Desert Rain”.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Now I wonder what Dr.Laura would say about the prairie voles. Prairie voles have been in the news much more often than the average rodent. It’s partly because of them that scientists know that monogamy is a drive, supported by its own neurochemical systems. There's a volume of research that goes back years: scientists wondered why this one species of vole was monogamous and nurtured its young for a long time, when other closely related species weren’t (and didn’t). What was different about this vole’s neurochemical systems -- and were some of those same systems at work in human beings ?
The short answer is yes. Those same systems are in place in people, though they don’t function identically. One of my all-time favorite movies is A Beautiful Mind. The woman in that story… well, there are different types of strength, but hers is the type of strength I can admire. Of course a Dr. Laura could argue that life isn’t the silver screen... and that an over attached person has only themselves to blame when their attachments cause pain. That’s a valid argument. But it’s not valid to equate over-attachment with dependency, or to suggest it’s an affliction of women who lack their own strength, their own self-worth, or their own voice. I think that often -- I’m not going to suggest always -- it's the people who don’t have strong attachment/monogamy drives themselves who most self-assuredly and vocally mistake attachment for weakness.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
“But I like to publish myself on a daily basis,” I said.
Actually I’m trying to publish myself a bit less than that -- otherwise who would actually read me? I expect I'll not feel the need to write so much as time passes, but right now I have a web log backlog… a blog cklog. Evidently there are lots of people who live life without narrating it -- I'm not sure at what point in childhood I figured that out. As for me, from the time I was a little girl, I narrated the events of my life as they were happening. I would often have some favored person who I talked to inside my head. Cat Stevens has a song with the refrain, “Always talking to you, always talking to you…” Boy, do I know that always-talking-to-you feeling. I've never written for therapy, and the manual process of writing or typing is not, for me, a matter of self-discovery. I do most of the composition in my head before I ever sit down to type or handwrite. I also do some of the editing -- cutting and pasting, moving paragraphs 'round my head like a human version of Works. (No, my brain doesn't have Word 2007, but it was outfitted with quite a good copy of Works.) By the time I sit down in front of a computer, it’s about expression and connection. Sometimes I am writing to connect with just one person -- but I am always writing for an audience of some sort.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Long after the fact -- long after I had gone so very far away -- he expressed some regrets...
"I got scared," he said.
"Why?" I asked. "Everything I expressed was real."
"I knew that," said my palindrome-named friend. "That's what scared me."
If you are, like me, the kind of person who loves with every breath you take -- or not at all -- it can be hard to control your energy. Another person may pick up on that note of desperation and not know what to make of it; they may be able to see anything and everything but the truth, or they may glimpse something real that scares them.
Referencing the ad I quoted in an earlier post (3G: faster friends) ... Now why would someone want faster friends? Some of us have friends who run plenty fast without electronic enhancement.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
We are all mixtures of such different things; in disjointed snapshots taken over time, we would likely not impress a stranger as being the same person. Now I'm going to draw an analogy from a particuar book -- though I am not comparing my mother or anyone else to that particular character.
In the closing scene of Stones from the River, the main character sees, in a vision, her first friend: She sees him not as the war-scarred, drinking, wife-beating man he's become, but as the child of thirty-odd years back. She wonders if story still has the power to salvage something of worth: "It had to do with what to tell first - though it hadn't happened first -- and what to end the story with. It had to do with what to enhance and what to relinquish. And what to embrace."
Few people express the power of story -- or their own authorship -- that eloquently. Yet aren't we all, in careless and not so careless ways, the authors of each other's stories? When we describe a person's physical attributes, or quote their words, we're making observations. When we attribute mental states, we're making inferences. And when we share our inferences with other people, we may alter the course of the story, becoming, for good or ill, the authors of each other's lives.