catelin: (herahead)
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( Jan. 4th, 2009 09:50 am)
It's cold (relatively speaking) today after a few warm days. Yesterday we went to town wearing shorts, but tomorrow looks like it's back to sweaters and boots. Texas weather. Gotta love it. My wind chimes tell me that the wind is picking up and the front is moving in. The year has started off well, very well in fact. Last year was pretty rough, from start to finish.

We had a fairly productive weekend so far. The only low point was the second half of Grindhouse--Death Proof. Not that Planet Terror was any great shakes either, but at least it was gross fun with lots of ooky zombie guts a flying. But Death Proof? I am now thoroughly convinced that Quentin Tarantino is so far up his own ass that he may never come out again.

We started exercising before the new year, and this is what a great man I have. He loves me so much he does silly exercise shows with me in the living room! So we walk every other day and we jump around like dorks every other day. We've been talking about starting yoga together, but we have so much on our plates now that we'll probably hold off on that until after the wedding. I feel so much better already, though. Part of the last year's troubles kept us from getting out and being as active as we would have liked. I've always been pretty physically active, so the change brought a few pounds with it...not a lot, but enough to make me feel heavy and my clothes ill-fitting. I'm way too cheap to buy a whole new wardrobe, so I decided it was time to remedy the problem. A little cleanup of my eating habits and regular exercise has me feeling a million times better.

I think we may head into town for breakfast a little later and finish up some last minute errands before the week starts tomorrow. It's been so nice to have a few days away from work. It really improves my whole state of mind when I have some down time every so often.

Like many of you, I'm determined to be more communicative and reach out more this year, so thanks for bearing with me--through the long quiet spells. There may be more to come, but for now I'm going to really try to write more in general. This has always been a good place for me to cultivate words and it seems that the more I write here the more I write in general. Odd, but true. There are stories I need to finish this year and it's time for that, because I need to begin new ones. I haven't written, really written, in ages. I've gotten flabby and clumsy with my writing. I'll get there, though. This year is going to be significant. I feel it in my bones.
catelin: (pallasathena)
( Jun. 17th, 2008 10:47 pm)
It's been a rough month or so, but especially the last three weeks.  Three things happened.  First, we had to spend several thousand dollars (that we didn't have) on a new A/C system for the little house.  Second, the sweetest of my kitties almost died last week.  He's home now and doing better...still not completely out of the woods, but alive.  Eating, drinking, and pissing after horrible urinary tract issues that put him into a coma are just fine by me.  What's not so fine by me (even though he is totally worth it and more) is the fifteen hundred dollar vet bill that we're now paying off.  Third, I just found out today that my beloved Subaru is taking a big crap after 160K loyal miles.  I've got to start looking for a new (read--new to me) car pronto.  I drive over a hundred miles a day to and from work, so it's not something I can put off or do without for a while.

I am bombarded, yet I stand. 

The words that always serve me well.

My man has gone to supervise the packing and move of the rest of his things.  He'll be back on Saturday, but I sure miss him.  The upside is that my stepdog and I have bonded like nobody's bizzzness.  He loves me!  Wheeeeeeeee!

My life is pretty ordinary these days.  I read some of your accounts with a little envy...books published, bands breaking, bees charmed....mostly, I grin like a kid and am so proud of you all.  I can't help it.  It's the mother hen in me mixed with the secret hope that I also have something extraordinary in me--that I can't have merely stumbled across so many amazing friends by accident.

My writing feels dull and plodding of late, but my life is joyful and technicolor.  And as awful as I am about keeping in touch and making time to be social, I never come here without feeling intensely the care I have for some of you.  Please never mistake my silence for lack of good will.

I'm the richest broke woman who ever lived.

catelin: (glasses)
( Feb. 24th, 2007 01:05 pm)
He apologizes for smelling like gasoline. She just smiles and says, "Don't worry about it."

What she doesn't say is that she loves the smell of gasoline on a man's hands because it reminds her of being six years old and hiding behind her dad's legs every other week at the garage while he and his friends revved engines, talked shop, and smoked Kools. It reminds her of the racetrack, holding her brother's hand and stuffing her mouth full of Bit-o-Honeys while her dad snapped photos of dragsters and greasers for the magazines. It reminds her of the one boy she probably ever loved enough to have stayed married to forever if he hadn't died on the road before they had a chance to find out. What she doesn't tell him is that the smell of gasoline on his hands reminds her of every single best kind of love she's ever had or hoped for in her life.
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catelin: (hands)
( Mar. 27th, 2006 04:30 pm)
This time he was leaving. He’d gone about doing it in his head often enough. He imagined next weekend without her, how he would tend his garden and flop into his hammock with a good book. His spirit, compressed from folding over itself again and again according to her needs, would slowly spread and take root in the bare patches of dirt he carried inside himself. There would be nothing left of her by summer. The harsh words between them would soon be covered in a green so lush that just thinking about it made him kick off his shoes.
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catelin: (Default)
( Mar. 15th, 2006 08:41 am)
She is a tangle of accents and drawls from too many places as a kid. When she laughs, he hears New Orleans. When they fight, it’s the red dirt girl from her grandmother’s farm. Shopping brings out the Valley Girl; and when she’s sad, his heart breaks at the trace of Appalachia that clings to each resigned word. When she’s gone, he sits and watches the news every morning from Atlanta. He doesn’t listen to what they say so much as how they say it, and he wonders how it is that people learn to sound like they are from nowhere.
catelin: (flora)
( Mar. 8th, 2006 09:05 pm)
I haven't had much to say of my own lately, especially not writing; but I've decided that the very least I can do is start the spring off with my tiny stories again. They aren't much, but a hundred words or so is better than nothing and it makes me feel like I'm doing something.


Tuxtla

He tells me he is going to Mexico and smiles. I watch his smiles most intently because they are not really smiles at all. They are something else, so full of concealed regret. The only real smiles I ever see from him are when we talk about my children. I ask him where he is going and he tells me Chiapas. There are waterfalls there, I think to myself. I suddenly picture him naked, all belly and scrawny white legs like most men his age. I picture him walking into a waterfall, naked and hopeful that it will be what finally makes him feel clean.
catelin: (flora)
( Jan. 4th, 2006 05:42 pm)
"You have a what?" she says to me.

"A journal. It's this thing that I started a few years ago and I just write in it when I have something to say."

"Like what? Stories?"

"Different things. Not really stories, but sometimes I guess they are."

She clicks the mouse. "Let me see."

There is a pause and then she looks at me.

"Oh."

I fidget with the uncomfortable part, the explaining why there are a few hundred people who are remotely interested in anything I might have to say. How do I begin to tell someone not familar with the concept about my virtual house? This place where I have, for the past five years, welcomed both friend and stranger to break bread with me. I don't have an explanation for it. I never have.

"I just write stuff," I say, red-faced and fighting the urge to look down while I scuff my foot in pretend dirt.

The moment passes and we move on to other things. It's been weeks. She doesn't read my journal again. I'm oddly relieved, without any idea why.
catelin: (Default)
( Feb. 6th, 2002 02:51 pm)
I've been thinking about writing over the last few days...really thinking about it. Mostly, I've been wondering about the different reasons people write, and how they write--how much or little of their own voices creep into their printed words, what motivates them. I'm not thinking so much about journaling. I can certainly understand most of the many reasons a person might journal. I'm talking about writing for an audience--poetry, fiction, essays...those sorts of things. I was discussing this with my doctor, who often writes for a living. We talked about our reasons for writing and I realized for the first time that not all of us writers go through the same process to create our stories. I think there are different types of writers and I'm trying to figure out what they might be.

I perceive myself as more of a scribe, even though I write fiction for the most part. I chronicle little pieces of people and things that shine and catch my attention somehow. I find a comfort in acknowledging the tremendous battles/losses/heroics/etc. to be found in the smallest of moments. I tell the stories of the angels that dance on the heads of pins...or at least, that's how I think of what I do. I am compelled to write, not so much as a psychological release of my demons, but as a way of reaching out and patting the universe's hand. It's corny, I know. But some of the best and most beautiful things in my life are.

So what is it, writers? What is it that makes you do what you do? How is it you perceive what your purpose in writing is? What do you like or dislike most about it? I'm so intensely curious about this now.
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Painter's Honeymoon---Frederic Leighton


I had been alone a long time with my poems, my pride . . . almost nothing.----Alfonsina Storni




What is it? He didn't know that he'd asked the question, but she heard it just the same. She always heard it, from the beginning of each beginning. It echoed in her head with the gentle timbre of his voice. What is it? She tried desperately not to answer, to ignore it, to pretend he didn't ask. She muffled the sound of it in her head, imagining herself curled in his arms. Willing herself there, eyes closed tight, lips against his chest silently chanting into his skin...as if she could breathe her heart's desire into his. It's nothing. It's nothing. It's nothing. As she grew to care for him, so did the urgency of the question in her head. What is it? What is it? She didn't want to answer. Not this time. Not when it mattered so much. Even with all of her wishing, she knew that the words would come out of her. The question whipped against her ears like an angry wind as she made her ascent to the rocky precipice from whence her answer would come. He nuzzled her in his sleep, draping his arm around the curve of her hip. What is it? What is it? The heights from which she looked down drew tears from her eyes that slid sideways into her ears. The weight of her fear filled her pockets like stones. What is it that shall make me want to leave you? She gave herself up to the question and gently laid herself into the wind, letting go of her hold on the steep rocks, telling herself he would wake her. Trust in him. Trust. He would softly chide her for her foolishness. They would find themselves tangled together in the morning sun, with nothing changed between them. Halfway down, still half-believing in him, she opened her eyes and realized she'd been alone all along.
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********************************************************************************

Space ain't man's final frontier. Man's final frontier is the soul,
guided by someone more powerful than any human being
Someone felt but never seen.
You will be surprised of what resides in your insides...


Had one of those long conversations today about the state of music with my intern, a young man who's in his early twenties. He brings up rap, which nowadays generally triggers an audible gag reflex on my part. It's not that I don't like rap as a genre, but I hate what it became. I don't know who's to blame for that, really. After all, it's no big surprise that in a racist society, the stereotypes generally win out over the small glimmers of truth that can be found in street poetry--even of the hardest and ugliest type. What bothers me is the pimping of the stereotyped black man (and woman) to the white public...theatre of the grotesque, a pastiche of everything that white America fears made palatable because it feeds the notion that we are justified in our separation from African American culture. I don't think that the misogynistic, racist drivel found in much of the modern day rap represents that culture any more than monster truck rallies, neo-Nazi wife beaters, and beer bellies represent most of the people who reside in the south. Now there may be some people who think that a nice pinkish-beige redhead from Texas is not qualified to even voice an opinion about this, but I claim my membership in a larger group--the human race-- as my right. It makes me sad to see the Steppin Fetchit routine being played out still after so many years...even when it's done with a bad-ass back beat bass in the background. Eminem is the new Al Jolsen...trotting around without the greasepaint on his face, but still singing "Mammy." There were some wonderful things going on in rap a few years ago. Anyone remember Arrested Development? Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprasy? Inclusive, beautiful and biting lyrics that represented the best that we could ALL be...that we ALL had voices built for harmony---not discord. Proof positive that women of all colors, shapes, and sizes were queens; that the strength and measure of a man came from somewhere other than the size of his dick/gun/stable. I miss that. I miss the hope of it, and the sheer joy I felt at the slight possibility that maybe things were getting better instead of worse. Shame on the music industry for perpetuating and profiteering from the myth of the evil black gangsta...and shame on us for letting them get away with it. Oh, and Snoop...if you wanna whip my white ass for taking you to task on this, brother....I'll be here. ; )
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catelin: (Default)
( Jun. 2nd, 2001 11:06 am)
I'm going to paint my living room and write a story.
catelin: (Default)
( Jan. 16th, 2001 06:37 pm)
Got these comments back today on a poem that I wrote (Formica), which almost made it to publication but got the ax in the final round.

1 -- not enough bite for the poem. was a little bored waiting for it to
happen.
2 -- Really lovely. I love the triviality of tinkering around and then all
of a sudden, what the poem's really about comes out. Good impact. Images
are nice.
3 -- This poem attempts to build tension but fails to do so effectively.
The lyricality seems strained (reflecting / the speckled pallor/spread
underneath / our plates), and the end aims for cleverness but lacks punch --
largely because the rest of the poem falls short of the necessary build-up.

Oh, well. Back to the drawing board.
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catelin: (Default)
( Jan. 2nd, 2001 09:04 pm)
Ambrose Bierce wrote in 1911 that patience is a minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue. I was informed today that one of my poems is now a casualty of editorial discretion. It was disappointing because I'd made it through several "cuts." I wonder what it is about writers that compels us to keep submitting work as the rejection slip pile grows ever larger. I suppose I lack the good sense to know when to stop...for now I shall continue to bludgeon the publishing world with my work until it wearily relents. I am, in the Ambrosian sense of the word, feeling very patient today.
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catelin: (Default)
( Dec. 15th, 2000 08:29 pm)
Finally finished a short story that's been driving me nuts for the last month or so, and I've gotten back to a half-finished novella that's been gathering dust. Other writing pursuits--submit, submit, submit--now I just sit with crossed fingers and wait. Made the final cut with a couple of journals which is more nerve-wracking because it means even more waiting. May be going to Wales in the spring to interview a band. Didn't even have to send anyone to prison this week. Life is good.
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