Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Off to China tomorrow

Yessss! Finally! I have no preconceptions. Of course I have been told plenty. I sort of know what to expect. But (and this is weird coming from someone who's spent her entire adult life in and around New York City), I think I'll probably be overwhelmed by the immensity of it. A "small" Chinese city has several million people! That's a whole different scale than we're used to. And I think I'll also find it strange to be in such a homogeneous place. I'm so used to the Big Melting Pot, I think it would be strange to be in a place where nearly everyone is of the same ethnicity. Well, in just about 30 hours, I'll be able to see for myself. (Don't forget the passport!)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Is there a point to this?

Memo to self: forget the thought that anyone else might ever take a look at this. Just write whatever the fuck you want. But then...why bother? I write all day long. Who needs another place to put shit down? I can read my own writing all week long. I don't need the validation. I thought the point of this was to share. Why bother if no one's going to take a look?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

One week til China

A week from now I'll be in the air, on my way to Shanghai. What do I need before I go? A new larger memory card for my camera. Lots of pictures coming. I'm not going to buy anything else before I go, since I'm going to the land of cheap everything. Clothes, shoes, leather, whatever...I'll get it there. That's not why I'm going, but what the hell! Europe's so damn expensive now. At least I'll get the most for my hard-earned dollars.

We'll be taking the maglev from the airport to wherever it goes in the city. Fortunately I'll be with someone who lives there and speaks the language. I don't know one word of Mandarin! Should be an interesting experience, being in a place where I don't understand anything. I've been told that lots of street signs and directional signs are also in English. And there will be plenty of fractured English to split my sides over. I'm sure I'll find a few new entries for

I've been studying Italian since the summer, but hardly anybody in China speaks Italian. So I can try it out and make lots of mistakes and no one will know the difference! Hey, maybe just for kicks, I'll tell everyone I'm Italian. What do they know?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Wish I Was There

This is what I would like to see out my window. Mars, taken by one of the rovers. I love this picture. I love the wide-open emptiness and desolation. I would love to be standing in the middle of that, totally alone. Don't get me wrong, I like people. I like Earth. I like living and working in a big city. But I would love to know what it feels like to be that alone. It must be amazing.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Writing for me is like picking at a scab

Those of you who write -- I mean seriously write, whether it's long fiction, stories, dramatic works, whatever -- understand the whole notion of "process". However, it's one thing to know the word and that it somehow applies to what you's a whole 'nother thing to understand how YOUR PROCESS works. The writing that matters to me (as opposed to the writing that I get paid for), I've been doing it for about ten years. And I only just recently figured out my process.

It's different for everyone. It is! Mine, I've discovered, has the essence of organic lifeforms. Tiny ones, generally. Here's what I mean. As much as I try and work in a linear fashion, I find that my writing emerges in patches and grows outward in all directions. Kind of like a mold or a bacteria growth in a petri dish. Charming, huh? It gets more so.

I recently suffered through a block of sorts. Actually it was more like an unsolvable problem. But I kept picking at it and picking at it (kind of like a scab). Eventually I scraped away a tiny opening. Once I had that, I was able to get in and make the opening bigger and bigger. I picked off the scab, solved the problem and continued writing. But not only did I solve the problem with the plot, I also really learned how my PROCESS works, so I can consciously use it again.

I've known for a couple of years that, when I would run into trouble, eventually it would work out. But I didn't really understand how. Now I do. And you can too. Just pay close attention. It might take time. A long time. But it will come.

Floating in the Lagoon

This is the Lagoon Nebula? Isn't is gorgeous? Imagine living in a place that looks like that. I do, often. I love space. I've got this on my desktop right now. I stare at it and feel myself floating in it. How's that for serene?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spacing out...again

Just when I thought I'd gotten over the Pluto thing, there's this article about the general weirdness that astronomers are discovering in the Kuiper Belt. (Anyone know how that's pronounced?) Seems it's chock full of bodies that have no explanation for their whys and wherefores. They've divided them all into three categories: classical bodies, random bodies and I can't remember the third one. Some have really weird eliptical orbits. Some come in pairs, like Xena and Gabrielle. Yes, that's the name they actually gave to two of them. Who says scientists don't have a sense of humor. So anyway, it looks like things are looking up for li'l Pluto...seems it's actually living in the cool, funky neighborhood, where the neat stuff happens.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Absolutely NOT PC

Yes, it's September 11th. And no, I did not spend the day reflecting. In fact, I wish everyone else would stop with the reflecting and move on. Yes, it was a shock. And it was terrible. But it's five years ago. A loved one dies, we mourn. And we move on. So why are we still carrying on over the WTC victims? Were those people's lives any more valuable or important than any others? Were their losses more devastating to their loved ones than people who died on the 10th of September? Or the 12th? Or the next week, or the week before?

I've been hearing some people saying that 9/11 was the bloodiest day in American history. Wrong! And wrong by such a large margin, it's ridiculous! On September 17, 1862, at the Battle of Antietam, 23,000 Americans died in one day. How's that for something to reflect on?

This country sometimes reminds me of a self-involved adolescent -- a very powerful and sometimes dangerous one. But our collective obsession with the WTC attacks has come to sound to me like just so much whining. "Look! Look what happened to me! It's the end of the world! It's the worst thing that's ever happened anywhere, ever! Look!"

Just fucking grow up already, would you! The worst, huh? Look at Dresden. Look at Hiroshiima. Look at Rwanda and Darfur, for god's sake. Want to learn from 9/11? Here's the lesson. Shit happens, often when you least expect it. Accept it, deal with it and move on.