Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In Spring, the Dholes Come Out to Play . . .

I love having guests over--they find the most interesting things in your library. Books that you loved once, books that you had laid aside and forgotten. Books that you chain to the shelves so they don't wander off.

My younger brother discovered this gem hiding under the bed, and together we spent an evening perusing Blake Williams' Songs of Insanity and Excoriation. I think the Fair Use provisions should let me share this one sample with you.

The Shoggoth

Little shoggoth, Who made thee?
Doest thou know What made thee?
Gave thee life and bade thee feed,
Gave thee toys that scream and bleed;
Gave thee such a fearsome mien,
Unholy, loathsome, and unclean
Gave thee mouths to gibber and wail,
Under hill and over dale?
Little shoggoth, Who made thee?
Doest thou know What made thee?

Little shoggoth, I’ll tell thee,
Little shoggoth, I’ll tell thee.
The Elder Gods, deep under seas,
As you may see in temples’ frieze.
Built you strong and built you sound,
Ruled you till you gained the ground;
Then, throwing off your masters’ yoke,
You bent the Earth until it broke.
Little shoggoth, tekili-li!
Little shoggoth, tekili-li!

I'd write more, but someone's tapping at the window. I should go and let them in. BRB!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Auntie Meme

Today tastes like rice krispie squares, vaguely sweet and dull. Not quite there, somehow, although crunchy and textural. Like a meme when they're fun. So--a tossaway post in honor of a tossaway day.

The Band Meme

Here’s how it goes. You are about to have your own band’s CD cover. Follow these directions to the letter. It’s fun and requires no thought at all. Go to……

The first article title on the page is the name of your band.
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together, and post the result in your own journal because it’s more amusing that way.

I'm vaguely amused. Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Like Topsy, It Growed

Today tastes of blueberries and pomegranates, sweet and astringent and musky.

I've been writing a fifty-five word story each day for the past few months. Since January 1, 2008, as a matter of fact. I did this for November 2006 through January 2007 and dropped the project. I don't recall why exactly--something about being tired and muddled and afraid to go on, to push through the dip and see what was on the other side.

The excuse grew into a reason, and I let it take over and keep me from growing. Now all I have is the book that came out of those three months--when I could have had four books. It turns out that three months is roughly 90 days, which makes a nice slim volume to hold in your hand.

Hence, with the turn of the year, I picked up the pen again and got going.

55 words is fragmentary--you get very little room for introductions or denouement, never mind conflict. And sometimes you wind up with a little more than a sketch that makes you wonder how these people got where they are, why they're doing what they do, and what comes next.

So. A story and some exploration.

Nothing is what it used to be, she thought as they walked down the street, her
in heels, him in tails. Instead of gaslamps and swanks with canes and
umbrellas, there were garbage cans set ablaze for the small warmth and light and
men with ragged lions' manes.

"Not exactly the Ritz, is it, sweet?" The remaining cobblestones were uneven so she wobbled sometimes on her pointed stilts. He steadied her with his arm around her waist. A tripartate display, she thought. That he could afford to keep a woman in furs, that he could protect what he kept, and that he had no fear of needing to draw the blade by his side. That he could walk where he wished, when he wished, and no one would challenge him.

A silver chain around her neck, a coat of wolf's pelts on her back, and the black coach that dogged their footsteps as they walked down the dark street.

Hmmm . . . I think this is actually a middle somewhere, now that I get a better look. I can half-see the world this belongs in, and there's a bunch of stuff that comes first. Tucking this between the pages of a Bible to flatten it. Perhaps I'll come back later.

Monday, March 03, 2008

First Review

Today tastes like leftovers, but remarkably decent leftovers. Like white bean soup with chunks of ham from Easter dinner, like open faced pulled pork sandwiches from Sunday's roast, like shepherd's pie with lamb and beef and chicken.

Time for the first Groudhog's Day Resolution Review.

1. I will not beat myself up for falling short of perfection with respect to this list.

Doing surprisingly well with this one. Doing well with this perfectionistic habit in other areas as well.

My wallet is playing peekaboo with me. I carry a large messenger bag full of stuff, and I have an eeensy weeensy black wallet. So when I go into a store, I just take the wallet. I don't need 40 art doll patterns to get a quart of milk, I just need my credit cards, right? So I dig the wallet out, and chuck it back in when I'm done.

And then, of course, the next time I'm at amazon.spend (OOOOOHHHH, Interweave Press has a new collection of doll patterns--40 Art Doll Patterns You've Seen Before, But Now They're All in One Place--where's my wallet?? I MUST HAVE THIS NOW!!!) and I can't find the thing.

Or I'm on the way to work on Monday (could I call in with spring fever?) and I realize I need to stop for gas, so I need my credit cards . . . and they're nowhere to be found.

See, normally this would bring on frustration (I'm SOOOOO stupid!!! Why can I NEVER put anything back??) and frustration leads to anger, and anger leads to suffering, which leads to the Dark Side.

Lately, though, it's been leading to thoughtful stubbornness. (I know I put it in this bag SOMEWHERE. I've looked through the bag three ties, I've checked the car, I;ve checked the shuttle purse, I've checked by the computer. I'll check the bag AGAIN--and there it is.)

A small victory, but mine own.

2. I will complete 9 knitted projects this year.

We're on track for this so far. I finished Gareth's Montrously Intricate Socks--and actually loved the pattern when I went back to 4 DPN's (not 2Socks2Circs No Waiting) and used all my little tricks--stitch markers to track the pattern, half-toothpick cable needles, etc.

I've made excellent progress on one Linus Binkie and a shawl for me. Again, I have tricks for a reason; I should use them as they make the process more fun for me. Keep this "process" thing in mind, it becomes important in a minute. There will be a quiz.

3. I will complete three spreads per month in the art journal.

Uhm . . . not so good. I mean, I made two in February, but it seems to take two sessions of weekends to get one spread done.

Part of it is that I'm not happy to slap down a melange of green papers, a vintage photo, a party hat and an inspirational ejaculation ("Brulee!") and call it a spread. I'm working on more of a finished piece that has meaning to me, at least.

And I'm not P&M'ing about how looooong it takes, and how I wish I was more creative like yooooooouuuu, because it's sooooooo easy for youuuuuuu. I'm saying it takes longer to get to a finished product than I thought it would when I set my goals.

And here's the pop quiz. I'm a process person. I know that. Always have been--that's part of why I knit, and why I'll take on complicated projects just for fun. And I'm okay with it taking time, because that time is being used doing something I enjoy. Some people spend five-ten hours a week watching soap operas, and count that as time ENJOYED rather than WASTED. Hokay.

But all my goals are PRODUCT related. No wonder this isn't feeling like a good fit. I'm feeling a little anxious about getting it all done RFN and meeting my goals, when my focus should be on doing my work.

Don't get me wrong--I would very much like to complete nine knitted projects and 4 signatures of my art journal per year. I also have ongoing exchanges and workshops to attend to (an ATC workshop, two art doll exchanges, a knitted shawl exchange, and a partridge in a pear tree) plus the 55-word storybooks to print and bind each quarter.

Hmmm. Need to fine-tune these goals a little, methinks. There's a lot going on here. Feels like the first time I inventoried all the knitted projects I had in some stage of completion--from cast on and worked the first row to needs some ends woven in and buttons sewn on--and just about passed out from the sheer number of things in the middle.

Tune in in 32 days for a Groundhog Day Resolution Review. Will Spike have revised her goals in light of her desires? Will she have found another bunch of hours in the day? (If I could just give up sleep . . . there's eight right there!)