Thursday, April 29, 2010

A chickadee was just tapping at my window while I was looking at Carole McDonnell's blog. Was it telling me that all the bird food was gone or picking up invisible to me insects? I got up and set out suet and sunflower seeds amongst excited chirping. The dog got excited because I always give her the suet container to lick and chew on. Happy, happy Pepper, the hairy hairless Chinese Crested mix.

I finished The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd last night. How I wish I could write as beautifully as she. She has a gift for using the exact right adverb or adjective that describes everything. Her metaphorical use of mermaids is masterful. But as to the plot.... Sigh. I despise adultery. It's engaged in enough that there must be billions of people not getting their perceived needs met. And I need to remember that not very many woman have my wonderful husband. ... So the main character in her midlife crisis has a few months of glorious sex with a monk and becomes alive and can do art again now that she's broken out of her box of marriage. It's fantasy sex with someone she does not know who might leave his socks on the floor or might behave abominably in traffic, but she doesn't need to deal with it, so this is good for both of them, and she returns to her marriage revitalized. Whoopee. She also discovers that the pipe she gave her father as a child is not, after all, the cause of his death. Instead, she discovers that her father committed suicide after coming down with the same hideous brain-eating disease his father did. And instead of finding a way to kill himself by himself, he has to involve two monks, his wife and two of her friends, who make it look like an accident. Guilt drives the mother of the main character to, thirty years later, cut off her fingers. Once the mother is forced to confess this to the daughter, she is freed of the compulsion to punish herself. Uh huh. So now I have been taught that having a fling would help me return refreshed to my marriage.

Being in love is an awful lot of fun. I can see the attraction. Since I make friends among men more easily than I do women (unless the woman also has a mild case of asperger's or has no problem with my differences) I've had the chance to skirt the edges of falling in love again. When I find my emotions going there, I simply draw back until the hint of the possibility goes away. Why can't everybody else do that?   I suppose my attitude is why my feeling daughter finds me such a chore sometimes. She told me she's tired of explaining why she likes the dangerous things she does. After all, I'm never going to get it. I suppose so.  I solved my mid-life crisis by taking college classes. I already have a B.S. in medical technology, so I was relaxed in the classes and massively outperformed the students half my age. Wish I could have been that good the first time I went to college.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Funerals and grief

Our houseguest's wife died. She was buried wearing the Coptic cross I had gotten for myself in Ethiopia. I did not feel sad; I felt exhausted and unable to cope. And a couple days ago, I simply could not find any of the nouns I wanted while speaking. He is having trouble getting through his days, so I am preparing more meals for him. The mother of our music pastor died, and the funeral was extraordinary as was the life of this mother of eight musicians volunteer and worker in education.

I have finished what I hope is the last proofreading of The Circumnavigation Of Shatterworld. Othersheep of Written World Communications has indicated an interest in the Trilogy. Perhaps I won't need to self-publish it after all.  We'll see. So today I need to write up some synopses.

Reading, reading: Since I had denied myself SF for Lent, I went on a Dean Koontz tear and read 5 or 8 of his books in a row. I enjoy his thoughtful, elegant writing, but suddenly I did not want to read about one more murder or creative way to violate a body. I had had it. So I read Ebola by Dr. William T. Close. Absolutely fascinating. I fell in love with the nuns that gave their lives in service to the Africans in the Congo.

The Parrot's Lament by Eugene Linden: What a fun book about animals thinking things through.

The Boneman's Daughter by Ted Dekker. After the elegance of Koontz, it felt almost painful to read Dekker's prose. I understand that his prose is thoroughly acceptable and engaged in by an entire generation of whippersnapper writers. I myself use the occasional sentence fragment because sometimes that is the best way to say something; but this new style where up to half the sentences in a book are fragments is detestable to me. Sentence. Modifier fragment. Intensifier fragment. Another intensifier fragment. Aaaaargh! I got to the end of the book and Dekker has there a small essay describing how the book was a metaphoric description of what was going on between him and his daughter. I cried.

I read two sequels of Marcher Lord Press books: To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson and, and, I can't find it. My husband must have taken it to work with him. The title is something like The Stream Supernal by Kerry Nietz. I hope Kerry doesn't get his head cut off for telling thinly veiled true stories. The Williamson story I must accept as straight metaphor because no economy would work in her world. People who don't wonder how pencils are made will enjoy the adventure of the story.

Lent ended and I read a batch of SF novels that were pretty much all meh. I dropped Earthbow by Sherry Thompson after two chapters. I was disappointed again after purchasing a fantasy written by a Christian. I want to support the Christians who write in the Fantasy field. I wish I could stand the writing of said people. I like high fantasy with writing that is close to poetry. That's why I don't write fantasy. I cannot achieve what I would want to write. I am prosaic, so I write prosaic science fiction.

We have had variable weather here for the last few weeks. When the sun shines, I run outside and work in the gardens. I am far behind in maintainence. I am always behind in maintainence. I hid some treasure chests in the cave (a rock covered dogloo) for the next batch of grandkids. I took the middle grandson and matching niece to Good Will and we bought all sorts of treasures for the chests. They found a cardboard chest that I hope can be a painting project for this summer.
For my Dad's birthday, I drove up to his house in Kelso and planted seeds of dry loving flowers in the front planter, took out some of the junk on the front rocks and planter, did some preliminary pruning on the Japanese maple and exposed the lantern, sprayed weeds close in to the house, emptied out the tomato planters and put in a few inches of chicken manure, had enough potting soil to fill two of the concrete planters and put in two tomato plants 6 wks early on a gamble and some lettuce, planted some flowers in the fern garden, did a little cutting on the blackberries, hauled and dumped wheelbarrows of dirt, etc. Doesn't sound like much for all the hours I put into it. Then when I ran into the house to grab some scissors to open the bag of fertilizer for the tomatoes I had bought for him, he shouted, "Close the damn door!" He had never even looked at what I had done for him. Now, my dad is my dad, and he usually gives back whatever I give him as a present, saying he doesn't want it. So I know that it's gambling to give him anything, but every so often I hit it right. I thought I might have done so this time. Apparently not. Well, he was likely sick. He had told me he slept in until 10:30 that morning. That should have been a clue. And as much as he maybe appreciates the work his kids have put into his place to make sure it doesn't look abandoned and as much as he has been asked before anything has been done, he likely doesn't like the reminders of his present feebleness and seeing so much of his work through the decades being dismantled. I should have shrugged it off. But this time, the hurt cut deep. Now, he's been ticked for decades that every one of his kids became a Christian and a Damn Republican. He's still mad about an 8 yr old preacher's kid that persuaded him (when he was 6) to join him in shoplifting some candy bars. The police caught the boys, took them to jail, and called the fathers. His dad called him jailbird for years. So, if he can't forgive that (happened 79 yrs ago), there is no reason to expect he'll ever forgive me. And as Mom taught me: don't ever ask for what someone won't give you. So why did I suddenly expect that he was going to respect me? I dunno. I think I was a little sick too. I had to spend the next day in bed. Every time I stood up I sneezed uncontrollably and felt cold. I could hear Dad behind me saying he felt cold as I hastily shut the door, grabbed the scissors, and ran out again, closing the door. I had planned to watch TV with him for a few hours when I couldn't work anymore, but after fertilizing the tomatoes, I just put away all the tools and threw out all the garbage and drove home. I couldn't even say goodbye. I just left. Well, since I'm the Christian, I need to go back and keep on loving him.