storyrainthejournal: (fable)
Loneliness is a thing that happens to most people. For the unpaired, once-abandoned children among us, e.g., me, it's a companion in its own right.

Last night's dreaming contained an element frequent to my dreams, a strong sadness, near desperation, in the search for a place to live in the world where there will be support and comraderie. This has been amped up lately as I've been thinking about how I'd like to move to Portland, Or. Except there's no dayjobs there and I have to have a dayjob, and moving is scary when you're alone.

Austin's been a good place for me. I love my loft. I know a lot of folks. But they're all paired off and many have kids and they're just busy with their own lives, not really very there, in that supportive, community-feeling way. I reach out, invite people to go to dinner, movies, etc., but they just have too much already going on.  

A lot of the time, that's okay; but also quite regularly, it is not so okay.

Enter this Mary Oliver poem, excerpted on Terri Windling's blogpost today (*you know about the amazing auction raising money for the amazing Terri, currently in need, right? Glittering scads of remarkable items and services on offer there.)

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

© Mary Oliver


This is, btw, one of the elements that contributed to my becoming a writer at an early age, the desire to participate in this offering of the world, the vast and inspiring natural world, to my imagination.
storyrainthejournal: (in dreams)
In last night's dreaming, a Hollywood version of a Voodoo-esque ceremony, a man pulling an endless string of t-shirts in many colors--like a magic trick, except he'd stolen them--from his pants, using a rigged up gear and pulley system, and a wedding.

I guess it was romantic comedy night. Sort of. It was all very entertaining.
*

Pulmonary function test yesterday; according to the tech, at least, I haven't lost too much more additional capacity since the last test (due to scarring and tissue thickening from the scleroderma). So, uh, yay! It's a weird series of tests, if you've never had a PFT, and makes me dizzy and my lungs ache.
*

Three things I recced made it onto the final Nebula ballot, so I'm pretty pleased about that.
*

Finished Kathe Koje's Under the Poppy and really enjoyed it; her writing is so very fine, and the characters move into good places from hard ones, and puppets! Puppets are love. It's apparently being adapted for the stage, a show I want to see.

Then, for an abrupt change of pace, I read Ben Aaronovitch's Midnight Riot, after a 50 page preview online hooked me; a fun, fast read.

Now: Ariana Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death.
storyrainthejournal: (Default)

This, what [livejournal.com profile] matociquala says here.

And from Nancy Springer's twitterfeed, ...how many of you writers struggle with depression? I think creativity and depression go together... once you learn to spin it, depression need not be depressing. I mean, embrace it, use it, and it can be a friend. ...Art to me is turning pain into beauty. So cherish your depressing thoughts, welcome them in, and write.

Camille Alexa‘s story "Particular Friends," gender roles-bendy future steampunkish pulpy awesomeness, is being serialized at Red Penny Papers. Episode 1 has been up for a week or so, and Episode 2 will go live sometime today. "Mystery! Scandal! Secret messages! Tea cakes! Fall into the charming world of Camille Alexa's headstrong Mr. Jonathan deWinter and see what all the fuss is about..." With gorgeous art!

In part of the dreaming last night, riding in passenger side of car on epic journeying (that had included airship and water vessel and being hunted by bad dudes earlier), just looking out window at passing landscape and soaking in the beauty--of the light, the trees, colors and heft of the world, breathing it in and getting intoxicated. 

ETA:  Paperback books; I actually prefer them to hardbacks and the oversized paperbacks, lighter and easier for me to hold and read (I'm not afraid to crack a few spines).
 


storyrainthejournal: (what?)
Dreamed last night that a kitten, a scrappy little black one, climbed up onto the bed and joined Aristotle and me in slumberous cuddle. The dream was so real I tried to wake up to call out and see if my neighbor B was there and was the one responsible for bringing the little guy over.
storyrainthejournal: (carousel horse)
Dreamt that I was traveling with [livejournal.com profile] planetalyx to a convention and we took a detour to the past to visit a young Michael Swanwick (one of our Clarion teachers) in a closed neighborhood library. Much disarray of books, but it was a charming spot, with overstuffed Victorian divans and armchairs. While there, I lost my voice. It was very frustrating trying to talk and not being able to get above an almost nonexistent whisper--I had a very strong reaction, but then made light of it by planning to write on my badge at the convention, "apparently monkeys have stolen my voice."

My reaction was so strong that when I woke up, I had to talk to make sure I still had my voice.

Symbology, you say? Nah...
*

I also dreamt briefly that I was preparing an essay on the disitinctions between covert vs. overt learning, and how there is so much more covert learning, and some of it we are so unaware of until it comes to the surface, than overt.
*

Another follow-up for Sula Pironimous Rex this morning; holding steady--meaning no improvment in her blood count numbers, but no lost ground either. The doc reiterated that recovery time for pure red cell aplasia can be months. She (Sula, not the vet) did come to sit in my lap and rub her scent all over me this morning; I'll take that as a good sign, despite the appearance of every illiminatory option in her carrier between the trip to the vet and the trip home.

storyrainthejournal: (in dreams)
Dreamed I was at some sprawling writers' conference/workshop/retreat and one of the things was a 'give up your words' challenge. I didn't want to do it, but was cajoled and gave in. In the way of dreams, the rules and mode were understood, but never articulated. Most of the writers (all younger than me) did little films full of evocative images. One older woman did a kind of q&a in which she answered questions without using words, charade style--except no one asked anything, so she never left her chair. Watching the various lovely little films, I was dismayed at my own lack of preparation, but filled with things I could have done if I'd felt like dragging a lot of props along--put a beautiful scent on a scarf and waft it up and down to fill the room, pass around various tactile objects, use a fan and ice to fill the room with cold wind...

My brain maundered on about this for awhile after waking, on the way in which we use writing to conjure the simple magic of the everyday--food, touching--that another thing one could do in such a challenge would be to take liberties that would be too intimate outside the bounds of words, go around kissing people on their bellies, for instance, or tickling the backs of their necks. Writing a story, bringing a person into a narrative is, thereby, a very intimate act (my half-asleep brain said).
storyrainthejournal: (seagrass)
Lots of dreams of nature and traveling through it last night; huge night skies full of stars, green forest trails deeply columned by birch, watery verges and thick rolling carpets of moss, back roads and bent trails and unexpected hot springs on tiered terraces...

I think I'm feeling the lack of green, of rain, of windows in my loft, and of any significant outside time. At least I get some beach and canyon time in a couple of weeks. I may sleep out on my mom's porch.
storyrainthejournal: (in dreams)
Rich time in the dreaming last night; spent all the dreamtime in this old curiosity shop, telling story to myself, one big story, about the objects, while playing out  a story with the owner and the place as I did. The tiny doll of a burlesque dancer, in tattered, sparkly pink, the shadowed painting of three women in white, the central arrangement of antique red velvet and dark wood settee and chairs that the young man who is the most current owner tells me is known as the "well." You haven't really settled into/been accepted by the store until you sell the well, but the person who buys it always pays the $500, says they'll be back to pick it up, and never returns for it. And then there's the old notebook, which I am remaking, in vivid colors, as a new book, full of story. And the story the objects are telling me, and the one the owner and I are in, are both so amazing.

And at the end of the day, potluck dinner with the employees, and it rains outside, and the story is glorious.

Really didn't want to wake up.
storyrainthejournal: (in dreams)
Almost forgot to post this dream snippet from last night: I went back in time with [livejournal.com profile] mkhobson and some others; we went to a very early SF convention, in the 1930s or so (no, I don't know if they had them then, though i rather doubt it...). M.K. very cleverly made friends with the big editor dude of the time and he liked one of her stories and was going to publish it; I got concerned that that would mean someone who originally was published wouldn't be and that would change the SF publishing/history timeline in possibly damaging ways. But I still though it would be cool that we'd go back and everyone would be amazed to find one of her stories printed in this historic artifact.
storyrainthejournal: (in dreams)
Appearances were made by Bette Midler and (older male actor whose name I can't remember); Ms. Midler was crocheting a costume beard and yeshiva locks from her own hair. There were also a whole party of people in an apartment (male and female, gay and straight) having a general circle jerk, and a plan being floated to bring back the wild abandon of a Pan/Dionysus reign in Williamson County (but I live in Travis County, I kept thinking)...

More than enough said, perhaps.

I mean, really.
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Writing exercise in the dreaming: sitting around a table with two other women, we have magazines and have been instructed to find representative images of one of our characters and then of a prop which symbolizes some aspect of that character, and arrange them in some way that speaks to the character's overall arc...behind this somewhat pedestrian activity, by brain was busy coming up with a character and giving her some chops in a slightly bathetic overwrought bit of interaction with another character. I like it when my brain does this.
*
I am home today; skeleton holiday at work and mine is not the skeleton in the office. These bones are dem happy to be home. Oh yeah. Writing is happening. And I can do anything I want, all day, the day is mine! Mine, I tell you! *maniacal laughter* ... *coughing fit*
*
This Pablo Defendini post on Tor.com, Skynet, The Early Years, gives good video.
storyrainthejournal: (bunny)
N&C and the kids came over last night; we used the lofts grill, the kids ran all around the grounds like a three-short-person army of destruction (why don't we toss the hula hoops up and hit the light globes in the pavilion, that are so high up some of us never would have guessed they were even in danger); then we all sat on my little balcony and watched both the city fireworks and all the various neighborhood shows as well. It was nice. Plus N made pecan pie from pecans the kids shelled.

Had my echo cardiogram last week; always cool to see the ultrasound of my heart.

Things in the dreaming last night included two tiny kittens I was watching for a friend, which turned out to be the nymph stage of a strange bug, when they suddenly began splitting again and again by process of mitosis into even tinier bugs, bugs with more than a passing resemblance to insect-sized kittens, but with insectoid accoutrement. I was mostly worried how I was going to explain to my friend what had happened to the kittens.

I blame this on [profile] planetalyx's picture post of baby globe spiders and our conversation in the comments about the snuggliness of same.
storyrainthejournal: (in dreams)
 A snippet from last night's dreaming:

In a long seeming dream about going to a rather fabulous and endless amusement park, while touring a grand hall/mall/palace in the park, I and a companion are let through a secret folding screen panel into a very grand hall given over to beer making, which involves the use of swans, including a very large Zeusian swan with three necks and heads, as well as an interesting assortment of other zoological oddities. We didn't stay to sample the beer as we were on our way to meet some friends for dinner, though I did take a piece of "dusky mousse cheesecake" from a table of desserts, on the old theory that it's best to have dessert first.
storyrainthejournal: (in dreams)
 
In the dreaming, split some time between a sideshow and a bathroom where I was joined by my old boss and two young business men (one who looked an awful lot like a young Sulu), having a meeting while I used the facilities. I mean, they were in the bathroom stall with me.
 
Out at the other sideshow, after an act in which three dancers wearing spools of colorful foil gift ribbon disappeared so only the bright ribbon spools could be seen dancing hit a snag (the invisible, ribbon-spool-defined figures stopped moving), the next act came out: at first, a middle aged woman in an old fashioned bathing suit, a little unsure of herself, then a moment later, s/he bares a blondly hirsute male breast before swinging into a dizzying act of standup and song with rapid fire costume quick changes taking place before our very eyes as s/he moved all over the stage--one fabulous, glittering ensemble after another.
 
Later, as I stood off to the side preparatory to leaving, s/he, wrapped in a cloak and watching the rest of the show from the shadows, offered me some banned pharmaceuticals; I declined, but it was a friendly exchange.
storyrainthejournal: (clockwatch)
Exotic water...a whole planet of it, maybe.

On the cusp of the three-day Memorial Day weekend here; Pirate movie this weekend—which, while hardly as edifying or wonderful as, say, WisCon, still, yay! And I believe I'll take myself by dillo to the downtown Farmer's Market tomorrow morning. And, as usual, dinner and food shopping with N tonight; I've made a list of restuarants we might try that we haven't tried before.

Rain, rain, rain! In the night, walking to the bus stop. Me love.

What is dream, what is reality... Last night Aristotle threw up during the night, on one of the rugs. I heard the noise, looked over the bed loft edge, and saw the puddle of vom. This morning, down off the loft, grab the paper towels and wet a rag--to find that there is no vom, anywhere. Nor traces of vom having been anywhere. So now I’m dreaming about the cats throwing up and thinking it’s real.

Whereas a couple of weeks ago, I was lucid dreaming about finding a well hidden person known as The Icon who was going to tell me the secret of fixing everything. All over the map much? I also think I see big spiders in bed and then find I wasn't really awake, even though it really seemed like I was...
storyrainthejournal: (tinyumbrella)
Having such a weird day, physiologically, today; feel dizzy and somewhat surreally disconnected from everything, with a headache trying to verge into being, but not quite coming (thankfully). And just...weird.

Had weird prolonged dreamage last night, too, in which an evil fay had gotten into the house where I was staying with my sister/not really my real, but sort of my real sister and my mother and her husband (sort of). In order to contain the evil fay being—a wizened, nasty man-thing with lascivious wiles and agenda—at bay/contained, sister/notsister and I had to wet our hands in the rain outside repeatedly and go around touching all the doorknobs (there were a lot of them) on doors while saying a little spell in our heads on each one. Which we did, but somehow the fay still managed to get into my sister’s room and affect a changeling switch with her/me (it wasn’t clear which one of us, or, rather, it kept switching off between us)…vaguely disturbing, that.

And I’m sleepy and I don’t want to be here and I’m tired of editing the endless ass document I’m currently editing.

And I feel weird, did I say?
storyrainthejournal: (luminousrain)
This morning on the way to the bus stop, and waiting for the bus, the sun leaned over the dark bulk of the storms that had passed in the night, while another storm system lowered in from the southwest. Very sparkling out in the space between storms.

Now, the day is quite dark with the system from the southwest, raining raining raining. Lovely. Except for how I’m stuck inside with only little mirrors giving me my view of the stormy day.

In the night I dreamed I was driving in the rain with Aristotle on my shoulder and woke to the sound and smell of the rain through the screen door and open window, one black and white cat snugged against my side.
storyrainthejournal: (in dreams)
In L.A., I run into my friend D, who I've known for oh so very many years, but he looks like he looked when I first met him; he's holding a very lovely little babe, the child of other friends of ours; he takes me and a posse of other folks to visit this artist, who has a sort of touring installation set up. It starts in an old trailer, of Silver Stream extraction. Here, in decrepit environs, he has a bunch of freezers with glass doors set up. There is much thick frost surrounding little acquarium pieces in which odd things like half-decomposed foods, meat, veggies, soggy bread, have been arted up and then frozen. It's very strangely beautiful, but what I say, when one particularly large, magnificent acquarium of frozen foodly art is taken out to display, is "jeez, don't let it defrost." (ants crawling on it already, apparently impervious to the freeze-iness, and I can only imagine the smell should melt occur)

This is only the beginning of the art of this mysterious man (he looks like a skinny santa in soberly-toned day off clothes); in the trailer we also see all these clothes he's handmade, in fashions as strange and strangely beautiful as the frozen art. Then we discover that the trailer is only the front of a large, rambling complex, rather like an ultra expensive hotel in another, somewhat grotty and freakish, dimension. There is a ladies room, large and tiled in small square blue tiles, peeling, and distressed, giving the feeling that the room once used to be a pool, long ago. The light sconces are half submerged in the walls. What seems an automaton of a woman rests in a crab like position at one wall; she looks exotic and barbaric, and seems to have a malfunction, as she periodically shudders and jerks as if her servos were fucked. Then she crabs across the floor to a large round divan. As she does, her toe rings get caught in my pinky ring and in the process of getting us seperated, she reveals herself to be, in fact, a performer pretending to be a messed up automaton. She smiles, somewhat abashedly and conspiratorially at me and my companions.

Then there is a hall at the end of which is a set of windows, that appear to be very small because a parrot perches on the sill and fills the window, but as we get closer, we see it is a giant parrot, giant and green and part of a flock of other giant parrots. There are other performers, all very artfully made up as strange beings and things.

In the course of all of this I am thinking about how I will write about if for lj (as I sometimes do when out in the actual world seeing actual things); I even do a series of illustrations of all of the above, which come out very well, considering I can't draw at all.

Last, we return to the trailer where the artist has tables set up with materials similar to those he uses (soggy breads, soaking and unidentifed bits of sealife, crystals, pigments made from god knows what...) and we all attempt some art. I very intently squish balls of softened sealife of some sort into a paste/pigment and work them onto a rough peach and gold crystal, but it's not a success...

However, it was a hugely entertaining dream.
storyrainthejournal: (in dreams)
A city built all of wood, huge Venice-esque manses of it, along waterways with open colonades, wood wood wood. I'm a guy, a kind of magus. I have this little sphere that holds a female essence/spirit, not imprisoned, she's perfectly happy, the sphere is more or less her natural state. When around people it likes, it shows lucid and filled with ever-morphing blossoms, like a living millifiore paperweight. When needed, for attack or defence of some kind, the sphere fills with lightnings, pulsing and buzzing in my hand with dark, baleful colors.

I take the sphere with me to go to a long-deserted manse along a quiet part of waterway; this was my childhood home, but there's a malevolent spirit living there now. Putting the sphere, now in an agitated state, up against the door lock , it breaks it. Inside the place is large, palatial, empty-seeming.

There's a break and I'm no longer the magus, but me, holding a little girl close, both of us wrapped in a blanket; a couple other of our company are in the house, too; we're all staying out of the way, leaving the large wooden hall clear as the magus paces, telling story, on the railed walk ringing the open space. The little girl and I are in a closet, watching him. As the story draws to a close, the magus suddenly changes appearance, appearing briefly with dark purple hair and white-pale face, tricked out like a punk-shaman witch doctor in hardened leather mail; then he aims his staff right at us, it seems, but really at a cupboard built into the back of the closet behind us. I tumble the little girl and myself out in a roll of blanket and limbs, the magus tumbling just after us with a large ceramic head that was hiding in the cupboard. It's like a doll's head, but larger than a real adult head, with a strong-featured woman's face. As I see it lying there in the tangle of blanket and us, I know it's the malevolent spirit. The magus stomps on it with a booted foot and light explodes from it, rolling away in little pearls. We all chase after them, rolling them all back together for the magus to dispatch.

dreamage

Nov. 29th, 2006 08:22 am
storyrainthejournal: (in dreams)
Zombie-fying parasites put in water by one faction of an alien race; don't eat the ice! much harrowing adventure and narrow escapage ensues; large portion of the population decimated--especially anyone who munched their ice or lived in a sorority, frat house or dorm. Eventually, other faction of aliens relieve the rest of us of our daily danger by killing off the parasites.

Woke amused.

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