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

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....

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.

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

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

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.

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

*yawn* Morning,…

*yawn* Morning, everyone. Spending the morning trying to tie off a lot of the loose ends I have lying around (messy closet, masses of papers that need to be sorted and then dealt with, stories I've been meaning to submit to anthologies, etc.). Sort of fun -- satisfying to a person with a rather compulsive streak. :-)

I realized that I haven't been talking much lately about what I've been reading. That's partly because I've mostly been reading things for class, such as the Faulkner, which has taken up a lot of my time. I did also recently pick up a copy of Lynn Flewelling's next book in the Nightrunner series, Stalking Darkness. Liked it a lot -- fun series. Fantasy series need fewer lords and more thieves, in my opinion, and Flewelling does thieves well. Also started rereading the Dragonlance Chronicles in a fit of desperation (couldn't find anything else I hadn't read in the house (at least nothing I wanted to read) -- it's been something like ten years. They're entertaining, but I don't know if I'll bother finishing the series again -- there's a reason I haven't looked at them in ten years. I'm about to start on Ellison's Invisible Man -- I'll let you guys know how that goes.

Not really much more to report. Work work work -- and the funny thing is, I enjoy it. I'm going to turn into a compulsive workaholic like my mother, I can tell. :-)

Hey guys. Bit of a…

Hey guys. Bit of a frustrating day. While I had a good class this morning, I've spent the last couple of hours working on Dreams and not progressing much. I'm mostly fiddling -- clearing up little details of chronology, etc, and not getting any big chunks of writing done. It's especially frustrating because I pretty much have the entire framework of the first book laid out, with single line placeholders for many chapters which need to be filled in. Mosty characterizatino, though with some plot, and I'm just having a very hard time buckling down to it. I suppose the fiddling is useful as well, but still...

Argh, and I'm procrastinating again simply by sitting here and writing to you guys instead of working. Enough. Back to it.

Okay, I’ll get better, I…

Okay, I'll get better, I promise. Actually, I should momentarily be installing a little mailing list that you can get on if you want to be notified when I update this diary. Will let you know as soon as I finish setting it up.

Highlights of the weekend: Had a birthday party for Ian Friday night -- that's three parties in three weeks and I think we're all a little partied out. Was much fun, though, and got to meet many of his high school friends (of which Sherman is one, of course). My friend Adam arrived from out of town (he's moving to the area (anyone need a Mac/Unix debugger?)) and we dragged him to Gaskell's Winter Ball Saturday. Still exhausted from hours of polkas and waltzes and shaddisches (sp?) but great fun, especially the costuming (me in straight wine-colored formal gown, Sherman in white ruffled shirt, top hat, gloves, spats, etc., Ian in dress uniform, Elle in peach gown with hoop skirts, Cliff in white tuxedo, Kirsten in royal blue gown with acres of crinolines and Adam in formal kilt -- and we weren't even closed to being the dressiest people there :-).

Sunday was moderately relaxing with a potluck and chatting -- got to have dinner with Joani Blank, the woman who started Good Vibrations -- very interesting! Ate at the Blue Nile up in Berkeley -- good Ethiopian, but I still think the one on Haight is my favorite -- I'm just fond of it.

Today mostly took the day off; drove down to introduce Adam to Lydia and keep him company with some job thingies in the South Bay. While we were visiting Lydia, her kids' school called that Kaylie wasn't feeling well. Since Lydia was busy, Adam and I ended up picking the poor kid up -- she looked pretty wasted, but I think she'll be fine. Apparently they had a really busy weekend too, and she was just dead tired. Poor munchkin!

Lots of work to do before I leave Thursday night -- will update this as much as I can. On the plus side, Adam is helping me install PPP at home, which means I can run Netscape now from home, which means I can do more of my work from here -- hooray! Best go make dinner now -- just pasta tonight -- cooking dinner for nine on Saturday (oh, forgot to describe Chelsea in black velvet and Jeremy in suit) burned out my cooking urges for a bit. :-)

Take care, guys.