Thursday, November 27, 2014

Rambling: Bubble Realizations

I’ve been trying to spend more time writing fiction, and less time reading and posting on forums.

I’ve been unsuccessful. So far. But the process made me open to the realization that there’s a difference between what I want to write (or want to have written) and what I have to say. My fiction efforts have been focused on what I want to have written. My forum posts are what I have to say. And that’s why I keep pouring out the forum posts.

This is a new realization; my hair is still damp from the bubble bath in which I realized it. But it’s one of those realizations that is so obvious, once seen, that it’s impossible to remember what I was thinking before I realized it. How could I ever not realize that my fiction writing has to be about whatever it is that I have to say?

I suppose it's partly that I don’t like stories with conscious morals or themes. Or any intent to teach something. When that intent is detectable, I go “bleah.” When I think of fiction, I think of form and plot and characters, but not theme. I want whimsical, intricate worlds and characters, like my favorite children’s books. And I was under the mistaken impression that I could create that without actually having something to say.

But I was confusing myself. Rumer Godden’s work, for example, doesn’t have tidy little lessons. But all the same, every one of her stories speaks to me about the longing for a place in the world. I don’t think that she sat down and decided that she was going to present us with her opinions on that subject. I think it’s just that that subject was in her, and wanted to get out.

Even when the thoughts that drive a work aren’t thoughts that interest me, I suspect that they give the work a strength that it wouldn’t otherwise have. For example, the religious themes of The Chronicles of Narnia don’t speak to me at all, but all the same, the stories do.

So can I write whimsical, intricate stories about dysfunction and self-delusion and betrayal? Well, I suppose that description is not entirely a mismatch to The Princess and The Caffeine and Caveat Emptor. Maybe I can.

At least I have a clearer view to a goal.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rambling: Rambling

If I'm going to just keep giving my posts that title, there's not much point in a title, is there? I suppose I could go with "Saturday rambling."

Have you seen the Barbie software engineer flap? Mattel produced a book, "I Can be a Computer Engineer", in which Barbie the engineer needs Steven and Brian's help not only to do her programming, but also to rescue her from a computer virus. She also has a pink heart-shaped flash drive that she wears on a necklace, because otherwise she'd be too forgetful to take backups.


While reading the stuff on various sites, such as Feminist Hacker Barbie, I also kept running into Lammily, a doll made with realistic dimensions for a 19 year old woman. She's more about body image than careers, but I think she looks like she'd write her own code, don't you? She's still a lot thinner than me, but she has room for her internal organs, which Barbie, apparently, doesn't.

One delightful detail is that apparently kids really, really like her. And it's not surprising; if you look at the photos on the website, she looks startlingly, delightfully, human. She reminded me of the fact that I always liked Skipper (back when Skipper was flat chested  and had a relatively wide waist) and the mother of the Sunshine Family better than I liked Barbie.

So I bought one. I'm weird that way.


That appears to be all.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rambling: Rambling

So, not so much the writing. Lately. But it's Friday night, and a person should be able to write with a whole weekend in front of her, right?


Remember how I was going to give away Serge Lutens Bas de Soie? Well, it was on the shelf--waiting to be given away--and I grabbed it and sprayed some on just because, the way I do, and I fell in love. It wore it every day for three or four days. It appears that Bas de Soie is what I crave in that fall-to-winter temperature transition time when I dislike so many perfumes.

So I'm not giving it away.

I am giving other things away. Like perfume. Other perfume. I sent out a Stinky Giveaway email to a bunch of local friends, offering twenty-two bottles and eighteen decants and minis to the first takers. I'm hoping that this is just the start of an all-around mass decluttering. But whether it is or not, a dozen or so fragrances are already in Ziplocs waiting to go out the door, so it's a start.

The remaining perfume still doesn't fit in its allotted storage and display space, though.

Coke is tasting too sweet to me, the past several days. As is Thai iced tea and chocolate and hot chocolate. What's with that?

We went to Portland. I went to the new Josephine's--the fabric store that closed because the owner retired and then reopened under a new name and in a new location and under new owners.  They're good. Really good.

I'm reading Best of Food Writing 2014, edited by Holly Hughes. It's really good. Various pieces are raising various thoughts, but apparently my head hasn't cooked them enough to blog about them yet.

I bought a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. I don't know what I think. I was most struck by her method of folding clothes, which is an odd thing to be struck by.

As I italicize the book titles above, I find myself wanting to italicize Bas de Soie, too, as if it's a story. But I refrain.

I've been wearing a little newsboy's-cap kind of hat, despite the fact that I think it looks wrong with my long hair. Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners, would tell me that I have to take off this hat indoors because it's a man-style hat, and the woman's privilege to wear hats indoors only applies to women's hats. I took a poll at lunch, and two out of three responders agree with Miss Manners, while one disagrees.

The show Mom is playing in front of me. It has Allison Janney as the Mom. You remember her from West Wing, right? She remains fabulous.

Italics again.

You notice how this blog post is going a little more free-associationish than usual. Yeah. It doesn't mean I've been drinking. Sober as a judge.  My only intoxicant is the jasmine from the bath oil from the bath that I just emerged from.

Dang. Mom is over.


OK, that's probably all. If not, I'll be back.