Okay, so I’ve gotten no…

Okay, so I've gotten no writing done today. On the plus side, I finally got business cards made up again, and found some bargains at Goodwill, and did some more organizing of my files, and dealt with a bunch of old (really old) e-mail, so the day wasn't a total loss...oh, and I reread Paxson's _Lady of Light_ and am rereading _Brisingamen_ (which I really like). But no writing yet. :( Ah well -- it's only 6:50. There's still hope. And yes, I'm procrastinating again by writing this instead....sigh...I'd ask y'all to forgive me, but I'm afraid I know what your answers would be. Okay okay, back to staring at the blank screen. Argh. I like this job, right? Maybe if I say it ten times, I'll believe it...

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So, I had all these…

So, I had all these plans for giving you guys a nice, long, juicy entry last night -- but I'm just too busy. Lame, I know, but here's a quick recap of events since last entry:

  • Friday night - Good Vibrations 20th Anniversary party, with a great floor show featuring Annie Sprinkle
  • Saturday morning - brunch with an old friend from out of town and her dad
  • Saturday afternoon - phone call accepting me into Clarion West. And there was much rejoicing (and wondering how I expected to *pay* for this).
  • Saturday evening - book party at Greyhaven, home of fantasy notables Diana Paxson and Paul Edwin Zimmer (I haven't had a chance to read Paul's work yet, but Diana's novels are old favorites of mine -- she does a lot of work with Norse mythology)
  • Sunday morning - we were *supposed* to meet Kira (old friend ref: previously) at her wedding site (she's getting married in September) down near Redwoood City, but got thoroughly lost. The redwoods were magnificent, though -- I hadn't seen them before. We'd drive by them, and I'd look up and say, 'yup, those are pretty tall', and then realize that the ground to the right that they were growing out of dropped away sharply, and so I'd look down and down and down and say 'wow...'
  • Sunday afternoon - drive to Santa Cruz to meet friends of Sherman's -- again, had trouble finding them, but had a lovely time walking the beach amid rocks and mussels and across what would have been a gorgeous blasted heath if it hadn't been spring and awfully green :-)
  • Sunday evening - hot tubbing at Kiva. Very mellow.
  • Monday morning - supposedly was being interviewed by Ann Online, but she messed up. We're rescheduling. Churned through a lot of e-mail. Cleaned room.
  • Monday evening - Irish dancing at the Starry Plough -- I'm going to try to go regularly because I am woefully out of shape.
  • Tuesday - confirmed contracts with Puritan for novella and article. Together those will pay for Clarion -- now I just have to write them. Am going to try and get them the novella by end of the week. That's 9000 words. Wrote 3000 yesterday. Tentatively titled "Interplanetary Janet Meets the Triple-Breasted Whores of Eroticon VI" -- think anyone's likely to sue me? Space farce.
  • Tuesday night - Paul (ref above) graciously invited me to the local SFWA (Science Fiction Writers' Association) meeting, even though I'm not yet quailfied to be a member. We talked 'til 11 and I had some good pear cider.
  • Wednesday morning. Tired.
So that's it so far. I also have two short story contracts to fill for Sizzle (a week late) and I had planned to do a lot of work on the novel this week, though who knows, what with all the money stuff needing to be done quickly. Did some revisions on Deep in the Valley - not sure if I'm quite happy with it yet. Suspect I'll let it sit and hope that I can cajole a few more people to comment on it. Revisions waiting on Season of Marriage and Just Reading News for various anthologies - not as urgent, but a good thing to work on between big things. Also hoping to do some schlepping around to bookstores this week (probably tomorrow) to badger them into carrying my book. I think the rest of the week is pretty quiet -- mostly work work work, but who knows.

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Hey, guys. Well, it’s…

Hey, guys. Well, it's been an odd week. I've been slightly ill, just enough to throw me off balance. I had a bunch of financial problems that appear to have sorted themselves out. My mood's been sorta mopey. On the plus side, we appeared in Yahoo's version of PR Newswire, and I have an interview scheduled for Monday with Ann Devlin, host of http://www.annonline.com, a RealAudio interview site. Should be interesting. Hope I don't make too much of a fool of myself.

I've been working a lot, but on all sorts of little things, which means I don't have one nice big thing to point to and say, 'I accomplished that this week'. Ah well. At least my To Do stack is smaller.

Going to take it moderately easy for the rest of today. Sherman and possibly some others will be coming for dinner (chana masala, tandoori chicken, mixed vegetables, I think). So do some cooking, some homework, read my Harper's that just arrived. Try to get healthy again. Have a good weekend, everyone...

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Okay, so yesterday’s…

Okay, so yesterday's lack of entry wasn't my fault -- I tried three times, but the server was down.

Life's been a little stressful lately - lots of work, and a bunch of important deadlines (some of which I missed, including the Cal Grant deadline :( !) I'll try to write more later, but I need ot head off to class. I just wanted to show you guys the letter I intended to share yesterday... (oh, btw, I went to a Boys of the Lough concert last night -- excellent! If you like Celtic music and they're touring in your area, you should definitely try to go).


Geroge Farquhar to Anne Oldfield (1699?)

Madam,

If I haven't begun thrice to write and as often thrown away my pen, may I never take it up again; my head and my heart have been at cuffs about you two long hours, -- says my head, you're a coxcomb for troubling your noodle with a lady whose beauty is as much above your pretensions as your merit is below her love.

Then answers my heart, -- Good Mr Head, you're a blockhead. I know Mr F___r's merit better than you; as for your part, I know you to be as whimsical as the devil, and changing with every new notion that offers, but for my share I am fixt, and can stick to my opinion of a lady's merit for ever, and if the fair she can secure an interest in me, Monsieur Head, you may go whistle.

Come, come, (answered my head) you, Mr Heart, are always leading the gentleman into some inconvenience or other; was it not you that first enticed him to talk to this lady? Your damn'd confounded warmth made him like this lady, and your busy impertinence has made him write to her; your leaping and skipping disturbs his sleep by night and his good humour by day; in short, sir, I will hear no more on't; I am head, and will be obeyed.

You lie, sir, replied my heart (being very angry), I am head in matters of love, and if you don't give your consent, you shall be forced, for I am sure that in this case all the members will be on my side. What say you, gentlemen Hands!

Oh (say the hands), we would not forego the tickling pleasure of touching a delicious white soft skin for the world.

Well, what say you, Mr Tongue?

Zouds, says the linguist, there is more extasy in speaking three soft words of Mr Heart's suggesting than whole orations of Signior Head's, so I am for the lady, and here's my honest neighbour, Lips, will stick to't.

By the sweet power of kisses, that we will, (replied the lips) and presently some other worthy members, standing up for the Heart, they laid violent hands (nemine contradicente) on poor Head, and knocked out his brains. So now, madam, behold me, as perfect a lover as any in Christendom, my heart firmly dictating every word I say. The little rebel throws itself into your power, and if you don't support it in the cause it has taken up for your sake, think what will be the condition of the headless and heartless

Farquhar

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Hello my little…

Hello my little munchkins. I am very very tired today. Forgive any extraneous silliness. Woke up at some ungodly hour with horrible nightmares (sadistic serial killer stalking type nightmares) and never really got back to sleep. Despite this lack of sleep (or perhaps because of it), I've been hyper efficient today, revising "Deep...", mailing off my Clarion West application, sister's presents and "Would You...", and handing in my Teaching Assistantship application. A day late on the last one, accidentally. :(

Also spent a while reading half off The Phantom Tollbooth Very very funny. Highly recommended, especially if you like wordplay.

Late for class, so I'd best run. Hope y'all are having a good day....

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Hey, guys. Wrote a…

Hey, guys. Wrote a story today! Tentatively titled "Deep in the Valley of Shadow", a techno lesbian bd erotic sf story (thereby fulfilling the requirements for *three* anthologies I'll be submitting it to. :-)

Also got ready a submission of "Would You Live For Me?" for Circlet Press's Taste of Midnight anthology, and worked on my application for Clarion West (sf 6 week workshop in June/July).

Also got my sister's birthday presents wrapped (wonder if she's reading this :-) and finally put my Sri Lanka pictures in a photo album. Lots of little productive things today (okay, writing a new story wasn't little :-).

I've been bad about submitting stuff to anthologies and magazines lately, so I'm trying to be better. Got spurred on a bit by a note from Cecelia that Sex Magick II (which has my story, "Fleeing Gods" in it) will be out soon (end of April, I think she said), which is exciting. Look for it from Circlet Press if you're interested -- it'll either be in the erotica or sf section of bookstores.

Gotta go make dinner -- just wanted to say hi to y'all. Had a really nice weekend hanging out with Sherman (incidentally met Diana Paxson, really good fantasy author and really nice lady) and feeling all energized and ready to take on new projects. Oh, and read The Crying of Lot 49 by Pynchon and a bunch of children's f/sf I picked up Friday (some Jones, some Newbit, some Eager, and some del Rey (the del Rey was especially exciting as it turned out to be a series I loved dearly as a child and had not been able to locate until now...)). Still have the first Alanna book (by Pierce), The Phantom Tollbooth (yes, I know, it's appalling that I haven't read it yet), and Lisa Goldstein's collection, Travellers in Magic. Good book week.

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Heya. So, not a whole…

Heya. So, not a whole lot to report, really. Working hard, reading a lot (enjoyed Ellison's Invisible Man quite a bit, although I'm glad I had the class discussion to clarify its murky depths), etc. and so on. Had a really yummy dinner last night -- if you like Thai food and aren't familiar with the Taste of Thai series of packets and sauces, you should look them up. Very quick, easy ways to make yummy Thai food -- last night we had Tom Kha Kai (coconut milk and lime soup) and Yellow Potato and Chicken Curry over rice. They also put out a Lite version of cononut milk, which is good because the dishes are otherwise incredibly high fat. :( But delicious. Once again I ask...why are so many of the things that we enjoy so much so bad for us???

12:40 -- okay, the long-awaited e-mail notification of diary update!

I know, I know...you're tired of checking here daily (or hourly), only to find I have made absolutely no changes to this diary. So we've instituted a mailing list, for those of you who'd prefer to be notified when I've added something here. Simply send mail to this address with a subject line 'subscribe' to be added to the list. If you find it annoying, sending mail back to the same address (madiary-request@iam.com) with the subject line unsubscribe should get you off.

Keep in mind that you may need to 'refresh' the page to see the updated entry, and also note that any changes cause the e-mail to automatically go out, so the e-mail doesn't always mean a new entry.

I'm going to test this here -- let me know if you guys have any problems with it. If I don't hear anything in a week or so, I'll add this notice to the main diary page.

1:00 -- another poem

RHETORICAL

Shall I see you again, shall we
rip off the bandages and roll in our blood --
clenched in the skin-touching,
nerve-burning now, not soon, not later,
not eventually.

It is quiet here -- my books, my cat,
my house and flowers. Friends and
comfort and the rush of music and
swirl of dance and the lush luxury
of words. It could be enough.

Yet I have known the danger-thrill,
the touch and taste and thrust of death
of pain of love, and I, I find that I
would race to you, embrace the
burning ice, the freezing fire,
the swift combustion, destruction,
regeneration, if only a moment in your arms.

*****
M.A. Mohanraj
February 28, 1997

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Hey, guys. Well, I’m…

Hey, guys. Well, I'm back. In some ways, this is a good thing: I've got a lot of work to do and I'm looking forward to doing it; the weather is beautiful; it's good to be home. On the other hand, Kev's not here. Sigh.

The trip was wonderful; I have no complaints. Tonight David arrives to visit for a bit, which should be nice, and at the very least will be distracting. :-) Since I do have tons of work to do, I'm going to go do it, but I'll leave you with a poem I wrote on the plane:

Flying, Falling
This strange landscape, these grey hills,
whisper of a promise forgotten.

Lit more by stars than
pregnant moon,
a child could wish
to walk their valleys,
even dance.

I console myself blindly --
pleasure can subsume
the ache
for a sharper biting joy
that shrieks muffled within.

Turn up the lights, draw close the covers,
stir a cup of chocolate in a grey morning.

It is not a bad ending.

*****
M.A. Mohanraj
February 28, 1997

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Hey, y’all. May I vent…

Hey, y'all. May I vent a little? Arghhhh! Really minor, really annoying thing happened -- had a bright idea for the novel, sat down to write it, wrote for about an hour on my laptop, was almost finished, damn computer froze up, had to reboot and lost it all. I'm used to working in Word which has a tendency to save a copy even if you don't tell it to, or on-line, ditto, but the laptop only has a copy of ClarisWorks currently, which doesn't do that, or if it does, I can't figure out where it stores the rescued item. So I guess I just write the section over again -- but it was going really well, flowing, y'know? Ick. No energy to attack it now, which is why I'm trying to catch up a bit on all the net stuff.

Been spending lots of time just hanging and talking to old friends (a couple of which are going through really hard times now and needing a shoulder), and also, of course, enjoying Kev's company. Been pretty good as well about practicing and working and reading the Ellison -- not sure what I think of it. I mean, it's well-written, and parts (especially the dialogue) are really gripping...but I find it hard following such an unsympathetic character -- actually, the book is full of unsympathetic characters. Bit distasteful to read...it'll be interesting to see what the class/prof says about it when I get back.

While I'm sorry about missing some of my classes, this break has been really good for me. It's just so nice seeing these people again, and being back on the Chicago campus and seeing the changes (if any alumni are reading this, you wouldn't believe what they've done to the Reynolds Club -- I mean, it's really nice, but jarring. I keep trying to walk through doors that don't exist anymore). It's been a satisfying trip so far: good food, good friends, good fun (and a fabulous Talisman game). Not many organized activities, though Elissa is having tea on Sunday (Liss's teas are legendary: little sandwiches, chocolate dipped fruit, tarts, and Eugenie's scones...), which should be great fun. Too bad I didn't bring a flowered dress...

Ah well -- back to work. Hope you're all doing well and surviving the winter okay -- I've borrowed Kev's warm jacket, but I must admit that I'll be glad to get back to warm weather.

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Note: I’ll be flying out…

Note: I'll be flying out to Chicago at midnight tonight -- journal may be more erratic than usual for the next ten days. I'll try to be good.

Note 2: Koen Book Distributors has picked up my book, so if you want to buy a copy from a bookstore rather than over the net, it may help to give the bookstore Koen's name to speed up the process.

Note 3: Many additions to the web pages today -- I spent about 3-4 hours working on them. Too many to list -- just wander through.

Instead of a regular journal entry, I thought I'd give you a sample of some of the other stuff I write -- this one is part of an ongoing discussion on the alt.polyamory newsgroup.

In article (E69pn6.By4@world.std.com), bearpaw (bearpaw@world.std.com) wrote:

>Rights always carry responsibilities, however often that's overlooked.
>My take would be, yes, someone who "incited" violence is in a sense
>"responsible" for it, though they are not "as responsible" as the
>assholes wielding the bats. They are certainly *ethically* responsible,
>whether they can be held *legally* responsible is a much messier
>question. (I think they *should* be held legally responsible, I'm
>just not sure how that's best done. The connection between the
>victim and the asshole with the bat is a lot easier to show than the
>connection between the victim and the asshole with the voice.)

So here's a question for you -- what about someone who says or writes something that could be construed as advocating Something Bad (tm), but who had had no intentions of advocating said Bad Thing, and in fact, didn't even consider the possibility?

And how does ethical responsibility apply to fiction/art?

This is wandering a bit far afield, but recently this question was brought home to me very sharply when one of my readers told me that he felt one of my stories was glorifying killing in a sexual sense. That wasn't at all what I intended, and I still don't really think the story says that, but looking back at it, I can certainly see how it can be read that way.

Am I responsible if someone goes out and gets into snuff because they got all turned on by my story? Are writers/artists generally responsible for what people read into their work?

Details of story and critique at:
http://www.mamohanraj.com/Stories/diana.html
http://www.mamohanraj.com/Stories/dianacrit.html

- Mary Anne

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