vixenmage: Beautiful bird which people dislike because it is a crow-related animal (grackle)
I could write about how I am all depressed and whiny and my brain keeps coming up with new reasons to hate myself and it's kind of getting to me, and I'm going to do NaNo anyway.

Or I could write about how I finally gave notice at Zoup! to work more hours at the bird store and how much of a weight this is off my shoulders and how I'm now wondering how I did it for that long at all.

Or I could write about love, and how much it is awesome and hurts and how I am struggling to keep from angsting constantly on this subject, with limited success.

Or I could say fie! fie! to journalling, and read more comments or archives of Slacktivist, or work on NaNoWriMo as I should be doing.

Instead, I will describe what is now my home in Minecraft. I have dubbed it the Tower of Improbability. It is a very shady spot in Hemn Space indeed.

The first tower* was a sandcastle, with an underground entrance that went to the Sea. Then I dug the Cave of Wonders, in a misguided attempt to create a thing of beauty, and stumbled into horrors and riches in equal proportion. When I had despaired of beauty, I cursed the laws of reality and probability, and surveyed my scattered disarray of forges and workbenches, my hoard of tools, my chests of metals, magma, stone and precious stone alike. And I laughed, and was taken by a momentary fit of madness.

Soon, the sandcastle that had been the marker of a den was no more, demolished by my flailing shovel, and I stood on the beach, nothing in between me and the skies-- nothing, that is, but the skies themselves. And I began to build. I built walls, with and without windows-- I smelted glass and bedrock alike, and I crafted doors on whims.

Cut for long description! )

Next time, I'll post pictures. ...Yes, I am procrastinating. >_>

*The -very- first settlement was a Den, but I abandoned it fairly quickly in favor of the Tower.
vixenmage: (existentialist)
...Okay, I need to do more writing in Barnes & Noble. That cafe, with Kafka staring through the fourth wall, straight, as all the other writers lounge and grin, is what I need.

“I’m not really… coming back. For that,” she continued, not without a sense of some discomfort. “A friend of mine asked me to talk to you – as a favor.”

He snickered, a rather nasty note creeping into the tone, and shook his head. “And what makes you think I’ll help you out of yet another one of your little jams?”

She started to answer, but a voice boomed down from the heavens, and Rolf snorted.

“Oh, so now you’re actually audible?” Piper, getting confused, said nothing. Rolf was not looking at her – or even in her direction, she realized. “Are you so desperate, so early?” he asked. “And I could very well have been speaking to the girl, you know,” he added. “She is my apprentice.”

“I
was your apprentice,” Piper corrected him, automatically. He gave her an inscrutable look, and she fell silent once more, feeling more and more out of her depth.

“That, too, actually,” he continued. “That really isn’t fair of you. I am not that bad.”

“You were more –” Piper started, then stopped in fear of an oncoming glare – which never arrived. Instead, Rolf looked at her somewhat curiously, as though seeing her for the first time.

“Aren’t you laying it on a little thick?” There was a long silence, which did absolutely nothing to ease the tension whatsoever. At all.

“Our narrator, “ he said finally, “Is strangely silent on the matter. I suspect you – your personality, really – turned out differently than she thought, and the dystopia is not as… dystopian, I suppose, as it was meant to be.”

Piper seized the only word that made sense, albeit probably from one of Kyle’s rants, or even all of them, actually. “Dystopia? You mean… this world?”

He nodded. “Too idealistic would be my guess. She tries to be cynical, but it takes more of a cynic to write a truly dystopian world. Get too idealistic, and you see your own world as a dystopia for not living up to snuff – which makes it far too hard to imagine and write about things getting worse, somehow.”

The girl looked absolutely mystified, and said nothing in response.
Rolf looked at her, shrugged resolutely, and leaned back in his chair, looking lonelier than Piper ever remembered seeing him. She felt guilty for a moment. “If you don’t understand the implications of any of that,” he said quietly – Piper shook her head, apologetic – “Then I am allowed some bitterness, I think.” Musing for a moment, he added, “And don’t feel bad. There’s nothing you can do, Piper.”


I feel guilty. But he would be disgusted if I just sugar-landed it. Maybe I should? No. That won't do anything. Story is Story. And he KNOWS that, which makes it so much worse. I'm really glad, if this is a novel, that I can't hear the narration - any of it.
vixenmage: (icarus)
A while back, maybe a year and a half, two years ago, I created this character, Rolf. He was a little bit character, but I kinda knew when I wrote him that he'd have a bigger role, in more than one story. I tried writing his own story up, but it never came together for some reason-- just a shop doesn't cut it. He was the old man who sold Jim his portalling guitar tuner, and the glowering man with dreadlocks who ran the Shop That Opens Every Now And Then across the alley, and the uncle of one main character in my last NaNo attempt, the shopkeeper who sent them on the road to Coyote Connor, the shaman on the mountain. He's got a backstory, but I don't know that I want to write it just yet, and he's got a slightly disconcerting habit of breaking the 3.5th wall by commenting on the plot, pacing, or narration from time to time. And making suggestions. And so on.

He's also, incidently, a cloudy sort of mirror to my own guilt complex. Not sure where that came from, but to explain would take the wind out of the sails of his backstory. I just remember telling my Chem teacher about how I had the tendency to blame everything that went wrong on myself. He raised an eyebrow and went, "Wow. You're really not that important, you know." It made me think. So... um, yes.

Here's a little bit-- I started writing in preparation for NaNoWriMo, and have been poking at him.

He pokes back. )

I think posting drabbles here is probably going to be a routine thing; I've learned the hard way to back stuff up on the Interwebs. I'll keep cutting it, though.

Caves

Sep. 29th, 2010 04:04 pm
vixenmage: St. Francis wiv a bird on 'is haid! (Default)
In the game, every cave has a door. Little old wooden things, clearly rickety, set in a large stone, or the side of a hill. And you're wandering through the woods, outside the walled cities, and you find one of these doors, set into the side of a hill, a rickety wooden thing with an iron handle, squeaks when you press the button to go in.

And one day, you realize it's a lie.

The caves don't have doors. There are no rickety wooden portals set in the side of the hill that squeak on their hinges when you push on them, no mysterious boulder with a torch set on the outside of that opening, no sign or caption to alert you as you push onwards. You wander in the woods, and in the darkness beneath the trees you don't notice as the trench gets curvier, and the air gets darker, and danker, and the stars slowly disappear into darkness but you don't know, because you weren't looking at them, and there is no ominous music to alert you, and you never chose to go in, and you won't choose to get out, not on your own, because there are no maps, either...

In life, we find our own paths through the caves.
vixenmage: (existentialist)
Sometimes, stream-of-consciousness is fun.

The sacred ceremony by the children who place one copper piece on the eyelids of the dead balloons, floating to their graves; when the bell tolls in the tones of the broken wind-chime, cans clattering across the gutter, you will know—and here lies what once was nostalgia, smoke-borne shapes shredded into ghosts by the prevailing wind.

This was to be a passage about the gates, we’ve all missed them as we slipped beneath, and looking back espied only the shadows cast which dwarf our own – the image lost in the meaning from the artist. Gates from the garden path to the house to the graveyard, lovely in the daylight, filtered light on dusty grasses and the flowers that grow between the plots and trees, gates that creak in vain to warn you of the vast impending slope you’ve been rushing down this whole time.

(it's a good song, though, you should look it up and I just made the connection!) (off of Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ)
vixenmage: (coexist)
Uh. This is something I posted to Facebook, and to my blog-thing, and nowhere else because it is really rather unfinished. But I'll post it here anyway, and apologize for the double-post, because I really am curious about thoughts you might have. (And suggestions for polishing, which it does need.)

Author's Note: I am kind of a shite writer sometimes. This is one of those times; I've had this flowing about my mind for a good few months/years now, but it always seemed like... like writing out the steps to an equation that you see complete in your head-- which is actually a lot harder than writing something complicated out-- it seems self-explanatory. But. All the same, here is the first bit; when I have a bit of time to breathe, think, and re-calibrate my head, I will write the second, which deals with "What God hath made clean call not thou unclean," and, if I were a philologist of absolutely any skill whatsoever, would also deal with the works of the Apostle Paul, and why I don't think what he is saying is what a lot of people think he is saying. As it stands I might try and touch on the point that he was writing to wayward churches with advice, not transcribing The Words of Jesus to all Christians everywhere at any point in the future. Or I might leave it-- sometimes it's better to have three decent points than three decent... and one weak.

Let me begin with a disclaimer. I am not the best person to write this—nor anywhere near the top of the list. I am not as wise, nor as eloquent, nor as learned a writer as it takes to do this subject justice. Furthermore, it has been said before, I’m sure, and will be said again, more eloquently – and again, and again, and again, I hope, until it is no longer necessary to repeat; until we are, as the poet says, too old to need such crutches. In the meantime-- here goes nothing.

With the disclaimer out of the way, a more… traditional introduction is in order. This is a hard essay for me to write, simply because the final conclusion is something I reached a long, long time ago; it’s something I find self-explanatory, and I don’t know how to convey that simplicity.

Put succinctly – expect rewrites.

To the Christians the world over—every church deacon and pastor and preacher and priest and bishop, and every authority who’s made the claim that God Hates X. Unless that blank is filled with a word like ‘bigotry,’ ‘hatred,’ ‘hypocrisy,’ and especially if it is filled with a specific group of people, consider this essay directed almost entirely at you. I am a Christian, and it’s taken me a while to be able to say that again without wincing at all the implications – after seeing what this religion can be capable of, it’s hard to then take a deep breath and go back, and say to myself that it’s the institution, the people in charge – that I have no beef with God (at least, most of the time – I will admit to a fair amount of skyward-fist-shaking, and furious profanities shouted in quiet dark spaces), that I have never disbelieved in Christ.

That I believe in Love.

For that is the greatest commandment, is it not? Love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and all with thy soul, and with all thy mind. No side-stepping, no hemming or hawing; that’s straight out of the KJV, the Bible the more strict churches believe is The One And Only Word, right down to the punctuation. Love thy God; love thy neighbor. These, Jesus says, are the greatest – there are no commandments greater than these. But what does that mean? Love thy God – how, exactly, are we to do that? Besides an internal belief, and surely that isn’t all, what are we to do?

Peter doesn’t ask this at the time – I can’t recall if any of the disciples do. It’s a lawyer who originally asks him what the greatest commandment is – what he must do to inherit eternal life, depending on which gospel you’re reading. But at the end of the gospels, Jesus asks Peter. I’ll just… I can’t paraphrase this.

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

“He saith to him again the second time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

“He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17)

Unless there’s an entire lost gospel kicking around somewhere about Jesus’ time as a shepherd, those are metaphorical sheep there he’s talking about. The message is clear: If you love me, take care of your brethren—your neighbors. Everyone you can. My sheep. My flock. You. How do you uphold the first commandment? Follow the second.

God is Love. Over, and over, and over again, this crops up in Christianity. So why is it that apparently, in order to worship Him, we need to wear nice clothes to church every Sunday, marry a nice boy/girl (depending, obviously, on gender) in our own social group, always support our country first, and spend much of our life shaking our heads in disapproval at those who don’t follow our set of rules? All of our rules are meaningless – yes, everything even The Apostle Paul wrote, everything that does not uphold those two commandments. Love thy God; love thy neighbor. If it’s not supporting that, what is the point?

So there’s my first proof. But that doesn’t quite hit the heart of the matter; there are plenty of people who preach the doctrine ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin,’ and in this manner avoid outright acts of violence towards any subgroup they disagree with, while at the same time telling them, basically, that their love is something God hates. That they are condemned as sinners – oh, of course we all are – but… they are, moreso, for something they didn’t choose.

Here, I will pause the sermon-type bits to make a short point that I find very difficult to talk about LGBTQ without mentioning. Often, the argument or debate or discussion quickly disintegrates into a snit-fight over whether homosexuality/bisexuality, etc. is something natural, or something chosen. I have one quick question to every single person who’s about to rush me with one finger upheld, pointing, condemning, or, most infuriatingly, holding up invented 'studies'. Look at your Significant Other. Your Better Half; your fiancé, fiancée, your wife, your husband, your lover, the one person who you want to spend your life with. Look at everything that makes you love them – if you will, an itemized list. (Note: Do not actually try to make an itemized list. It’ll take you a good few eternities, I assure you.)

Did you choose that? Did you choose her eyes that make you smile? Did you choose to have that little flutter in your chest every time he looks at you? Did you make a conscious choice, at some point, to first be attracted to that person, and then to fall in love with them? (...Or to fall in love with them and then find yourself blown away when you actually meet them face to face?) Somehow, I doubt it. So unless you’re about to tell me that you made the conscious decision to be attracted to girls with red hair, to really tall guys, to girls with dark eyes, to guys with green eyes, or to guys or girls at all, I don’t want to hear it. Nobody chooses who they fall in love with, okay? Moving on, now.

I'll pick this up later with a Part Two. But I'll summarize that Part Two now by saying that it is unbelievably hypocritical to blather on about homosexuality being a huge, incredible, horrible sin, to persecute and attack and marginalize the very humanity of couples, two people whose major crime seems to be loving one another, while ignoring the rest of Leviticus. And before you go on and point out that shrimp and unclean animals are allowed by Peter's vision, I will quote that passage: "What God hath made clean, call not thou unclean." God seems to have scattered people in all different molds. I'm pretty sure His intention was not to make some automatically more powerful than others, simply by dint of being born out of the majority. And before you put on airs about that passage applying to food, not people, and who do I think I am anyway, I will roll my eyes in advance, and point out that the same passage of Leviticus forbids women to leave their rooms while on their period, forbids men from touching them, or sitting where they have sat, and declares that if a man rapes a woman who is not betrothed, they must be married. (If she is betrothed, her family/fiance gets to kill the rapist! Fun times.) That passage was never specifically refuted either! (Unclean, unclean!)

Now I'm going to go beat my head against the wall until the overtired crazy goes away, and write that rest thingy later.

I should also add, as an aside... this is not meant to be patronizing. As I said, it's a letter to Christendom, explaining... well, why I think they're wrong. It could be argued that everything I've said here is heresy-- so be it. But I don't want anyone thinking this is a "Hey, gay dudes, lesbians, trans people! It's okay, you have my religion's permission to love, now!" It's more... a statement of belief-- I don't think love is condemned by my religion, or ever has been. I think we got something wrong, somewhere a long ways back.

Summer!

Jun. 18th, 2010 08:26 am
vixenmage: (it's a heron, most likely a great blue, from the shape.) (statue)
Okay, well, it's -been- summer. I know. (At least, for college students it has.) But I have been outright lazy so far, pretty much just working and occasionally throwing a few lyrics onto a page or something. This has gone on far enough!

Today, Rebecca and I got up wicked early (I accidentally woke up even earlier than planned, because my window was open and dawn is distracting! also, slept rather restlessly) and went down to the highschool to see our English teacher (freshman and senior year for me, freshman and junior for Rebecca), who is a really really awesome amazing just AMAZING person, for many, many reasons. And we talked, and hugged, and laughed, and talked, and squeezed a conversation that I rather wanted to go on for hours into about ten or fifteen minutes, because she had to get grades in before graduation. And she made Rebecca promise to travel so she can figure out where she wants to go for school, and me promise to keep writing.

She said something... she said to both of us that she thinks we can do well anywhere, as long as we have a drive, a push, a motivation. I jokingly mentioned the quickly-hidden flash of contempt that most people have upon hearing that I'm going to Manchester Community for the fall (I am totally distracted by the incense smoke from my windowsill-- I started burning it to get rid of my brother's horribly loud cologne smell, but it curls in such -interesting- shapes! I could watch it all day), and she said that either of us will do well anywhere, because we both already... get it. We just need someone to push us.

It made me pretty happy.

But anyway, she told me to push Rebecca to travel and find a -place- she wants to be in for college, and Rebecca to push me to keep writing. And I think I will. I just have to set a goal.

Right now, at any rate, with the memory of dawn fresh in my mind, and smoke curling up over my windowsill in the morning breeze, anything seems possible. I hope I can hang onto that.
vixenmage: St. Francis wiv a bird on 'is haid! (Default)
This is a little thing I wrote a few months ago, for a friend and to get it off my head, and it turned out okay. I think... it was just an expression of the conflict in my head. It's not supposed to be overtly hostile; it's not supposed to be only surface-deep. I wanted to say something about the world, and maybe the patriarchy, and definitely the dynamic of relationships that I have noticed around me. And... other things. I wanted to raise questions. I think it does all that, to some extent or another, so on that level, Yay.

I will also admit to being mildly annoyed (and fully aware of how ungracious that annoyance is) to the response on the PPC 'Board of Eclectus, asking that I clarify the details-- why they are in Kansas, making sure to mention in-story that they are, in fact, in Kansas, and why, exactly, Brian has the effect he does on other characters. And also to the point that it "had potential as a fantasy/sci-fi/horror novel-thing." See... I like the flaws in my work being pointed out. It hurts, but it's a good thing to know. I don't like my work being reviewed it was an entirely different genre, and critiqued for not being the expected genre. It'd be like if JK Rowling wrote, oh, I don't know, a modern business-setting romance, and people reviewed it complaining that there weren't any wizards. I like criticism, just... prefer if it's helpful.

Deep-Fried Grapes In Kansas )

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vixenmage: St. Francis wiv a bird on 'is haid! (Default)
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