labelleizzy: (write first edit later)
gods help me, I'm signing up for the new mini-season of LJ idol, [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol.

*\o/*

go me!
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
it didn't feel like being crabs in a bucket
too lonely an experience for a plural metaphor.


though definitely there was a dragging down experience:
  • anything exceptional
  • anything experimental
  • anything that broke the status quo


I expected we'd be raising each other up
not pulling someone back to toe the line
I expected us all to reach for the stars
not speak only when spoken to

I didn't realize my teaching internship
landed me in a diploma-mill
churning out inferior product
with very few value-add options

Should I have known better?
I didn't.
I have always been too trusting.

I was sent into the trenches
to build bridges with cardboard
and I was guilty when the bridges failed.

when I asked for lumber they said
"There's no budget for that
You'll have to find that yourself."
And some of them smirked.

I was a hero
but I couldn't see it
all I could see was
muddy trenches and disrespect
for miles in every direction

and when I was discharged
grateful and ashamed
I took my papers and went away
glad and sorrowful
that I was too soft for these wars.

I tend my garden on this faraway hillside
watch the struggle from a distance
climb the cliffs seeking perspective -
and maybe some new way to stop the war.


(this is my entry for this week's [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol.)
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
His hands are strong, blunt and square.
He works in silence, for the most part, letting his actions do the instructing, with bare hints of where students should watch and learn.
From a rounded, spinning lump of clay he pulls a graceful mug shape, smooth and even with thin sides.

The Beginner's class gasps when, after separating the beautiful shape from the wheel, he deliberately slices it in half to show the walls of the mug in cross-section, so thin and even with beautiful lines. We exchange glances. It's so EASY for him, after thirty years of practicing his craft, and we know we will struggle to make items that don't either collapse or else have inch thick walls and bottoms.

Several weeks later, I have enough practice on the wheel to only feel mild envy instead of shock when he demonstrates a technique so far beyond my skills that it might as well be rocket science. Still, I watch in awe as he shapes the clay with skill and ease. I notice my mouth is hanging open in admiration and I just don't care.

Grace, skill, and subtle elegance. Clay worked into every fold of his fingers. I want to be able to do that. I will need many more classes and dozens of hours of practice.

Half-accidentally, I pull a beautiful bowl from a lump of clay. I'm not sure how it happened, because I wasn't thinking. Rather, I was living into the feel of the clay beneath my hands, utterly engaged in the slow and mesmerizing process as it changed and opened up.

Just for that moment, in the best possible way, I lost myself.

The second bowl is more of a struggle. The third bowl stretches and warps and collapses.

The following week we are meant to trim our pots, which means to carve away unnecessary thickness at the base and to shape the "foot", or the pedestal our bowls or mugs rest upon.
The first part of the process is upending our greenware and recentering them on the wheel, then we anchor the piece with evenly placed blobs of soft clay. Then, we start the wheel spinning, and carve away at the underside of the piece to form a pleasing and functional shape.

The first of two bowls that had survived the previous week, the bowl I had lost myself in making, trimmed up like a dream.
The second bowl first refused to center, then once I finally anchored it, spun out of control off the medium-speed wheel at the first touch of the carving tool. Of course this knocks a big ugly chip into the rim. Of course the clay is dense and too dry, and so was the anchor clay.

With help from a teacher, we re-center and re-anchor the bowl, and he lends me his own (properly sharp, with a lovely graceful line) trimming tool. What a difference proper tools make! I trim and smooth the base, until again I am looking glumly at the chipped rim.

My friend suggests I even the chip out so it looks intentional, and carve out more chips for a kind of flower edge. I try this, but I do not love the effect. It is part of the learning process, though, so I plan to take even this sad example through the glazing process.

A week later, I am glazing all my recent work. And now? The weird little too-hard wanna-be flower bowl has called for an experimental double-dip glaze with a drizzle of contrasting color across the overlap place.
IMG_20141015_211150
IMG_20141015_210946

I have my fingers crossed, because these pieces haven't been fired yet, but I think in the end this may turn out to be my favorite piece from taking this six week class.
Not because it was easy, but because it was part of the process.
Making one, I was in the zone; making two, I struggled, then I failed in the making of the third.
With this specific piece? At first I didn't love it, then I was actively angry at it, then I tried to redeem it, then I found a means whereby it could possibly be beautiful.

Working to transform raw or broken things into beauty is what I've strived for my whole life.
Starting with myself.

I don't claim to understand the concept of shibusa (2) or how to determine if something is shibumi (3) or not.

But the older I get, and the more often I try new ways of making things, the more I come to appreciate the beauty in the process, in the struggle, to create. I'm coming to appreciate subtle and nuanced, where once I envied bold and blatant. And I also have come to understand there can be beauty in the imperfections. The creative process, the struggle to find meaning, my life itself are filled with little things gone wrong (and right). What we expect to happen can turn out to be something totally different instead, that may also be wonderful. This is true in life as well as in art.

Redemption, transformation, metamorphosis, and growth come both in big gestures and in small details.
I am not my teacher, with his steady hands, his years of experience, and his refined technique. Still, in my state of Beginner's Mind, I can create something unexpectedly beautiful, or beautifully unexpected.

(1) from http://www.mkdkarate.com/senseis-blog/what-is-shibumi-shibusa-shibui
(2) from http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibui
(3) from http://www.studiokotokoto.com/2013/06/18/shibusa-and-shibui-a-severe-exquisiteness/


This has been my reentry to [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol for week 25 (hello again!), and the topic I chose was "shibusa."
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.
*wince*

I didn't have what I would have thought of as a "happy childhood". Suffice it to say that there was enough pain in my life that I chose to live almost entirely in books from a very early age. Also I think it's fair to say that I had a lot of difficulty making friends even under the best of circumstances. The neighborhood kids and I didn't get along, and where I'm what we now call "geek", they were all what we'd call "jocks". Family dynamics at home weren't "nourishing", and I spent almost all the time I wasn't in school, alone. That didn't change till junior high, when I finally found a safe place to make friends of my own, friends that my sister didn't know about and couldn't mercilessly tease me about.

It will be a surprise to no one that I was regularly bullied almost every day in junior high school.

So, I was humongously awkward. An ugly duckling in so very many ways, lacking in social skills and without confidence to make proper conversation with new people (which was *everyone*) at my new high school.

Somehow, eventually, I did find a few people who warmed up to me, starting with one friend who'd just moved into town and didn't know anyone else, and gradually getting to know some people I'd known slightly in junior high. I still had huge amounts of anxiety around social interactions. Thinking of my freshman year in high school is enough to bring the memory of metallic-tasting panic to the back of my throat, even twenty-five thirty years later.

(God, this is difficult to write.)

There was this small group of what I would now call geeky guys. Robert, Mark, and Erik.

My lack of experience in any kind of social interaction, my extreme anxiety (that I was fighting to overcome on a daily basis), and the, well, let's face it, neglectful home environment, all meant that it was easy for me to mistake attention of any kind for positive attention. My sister and I were used to hitting, punching, hair pulling and scratching each other on a regular basis; my dad was either emotionally distant, physically not there, or verbally abusive; Mom had her hands full juggling the whole household and a full-time job, and my brother was just a kid, four years younger than me...

Any kind of attention, really, was a novelty, and nothing I was used to at thirteen. (I was really just thirteen when I did this. Someday maybe I can forgive myself.)

These geeky guys began to pay me attention. It felt ... familiar. Trading verbal barbs and sarcastic jabs, was second nature. It was how we talked at home.
It did eventually get to be mean, moved from notes in lockers to them learning my combination and leaving things for me. Once a pile of brown apple cores. Once, actually, a dead bird. *shudder* (If I knew then what I know now...I would have done some things differently.)

Once, I returned to my locker, and my books were neatly piled as though on a bookshelf, upright. Which I knew full well was not how I had left them... With a sinking feeling of dread, I noticed wet white glue, and sawdust, all over the bottom of my locker. I guess I was lucky to have found it all before the glue dried and set, in retrospect.
(In retrospect, I now feel a blazing and righteous anger at Robert, the boy who I knew even then was the ringleader.)

At this distance, I've no idea what the chronology of events was, where in the school year these different things fell. I distinctly remember, however, that it was a hot day on the afternoon I missed the school bus home and realized I had to walk four miles home with a heavy backpack and crappy shoes.

I had had a rotten day to begin with and missing the bus felt like the cherry on top of a shit sundae.
This was in the early 80's, before anyone thought to carry a water bottle around with them regularly, and it didn't take long walking in those crappy shoes under the Sacramento late spring/early summer sunlight before I was hot, sweaty, thirsty, and even MORE cranky than I had started out.

I was turtling HARD. Head down, armor up, not noticing the world around me, stewing in my own misery, when someone goes by on a bike.
... and turns around, and heads back towards me, panting.

Pulling somewhat out of my turtle shell, I glance up.
It's Erik. Little blond dude on a bike. He's sweating. I wish *I* had a bike. I'd be home already instead of only halfway home.

He says, "Here!" and holds out a water bottle. There's beads of condensation on the sides, it's obviously nice and cold, it's everything I wish I could have but I have learned that NOBODY does nice things for me, period, unless they're going to snatch it away and yell "PSYCHE!" afterwards.

Something COLD and MEAN shifts in my chest.

I question his motives to his face. I say mean things about the water bottle even, that it's probably dirty. Wide-eyed, he stammers something about he just bought it at the gas station when he saw me walking home and thought I looked hot and thirsty. (He wasn't wrong.) The MEAN in me doesn't let up, and I think I say something about he probably already drank from it and he probably has herpes and as it leaves my mouth just as MEAN as I can make it, the MEAN in me shifts, twists and oozes away, leaving a horror in my soul. Did I actually SAY that?

His face slams shut. His eyes get dark, his jaw juts out, he jams the bottle (delicious cool bottle, that I wanted so much, I want now to say "yes, please", I want to erase the last ten minutes SO BADLY) back in his backpack, wheels his bike around and rides off.
.
.
.
Erik never spoke to me again.
There are things for which there is no apology possible.

And that is the lowest I have ever sunk. That is the person I have striven to make amends for, *shakes head* with basically my entire life.
One single moment of intentional, focused cruelty in a time of my own soul's pain.

I was in the gutter for so long. It took me many years to be able to know that there even WERE stars, much less figure out how to see them.

I'm sorry, Erik. I wish I could have seen your kindness for what it was, instead of what I expected.



This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, Last Chance Idol, week 3. The prompt is "We are all in the gutter."

You can read my colleagues in Last Chance Idol, and vote for me (and some of the other wonderful writers there), HERE.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
I never used to think of myself as an artist, which is funny and sad on a number of levels. I had this image of myself as a fuckup, someone who does stuff half-assed, has trouble with completing projects, and I wouldn't let myself justify costuming or calligraphy or writing as "artistic". I'm almost entirely self-taught in those realms, which was part of the problem.

Finally I decided I could call myself an artist once I'd become a part of the Waldorf teaching tradition. My program follows one of Steiner's precepts, that the Teacher as Artist is a goal to strive toward. And it's made clear that the artistic technique is not just meant for the Art of Teaching, though it's a part. I struggled hard to make my work "artistic" as my teachers requested, characterizing rather than defining, showing the gesture or direction of an idea rather than delineating it.

I also struggled with comparing myself to my classmates. I have always been an enthusiastic maker of images, but I had never had much instruction with regard to technique, while half my classmates produced what seemed like masterworks in comparison to my own clumsy efforts.

The first teacher training art class I felt at home at, wasn't even an *art* class.
The second half of the High School Mathematics curriculum taught to the Waldorf Teachers-in-training is Geometry, including the artistic component of Geometric Drawings.
There is a real peace in learning how to be precise. We were explicitly taught the steps and stages for any geometric construction. Bless Patrick for a meticulous teacher, breaking down the techniques with ease and clarity, having us practice until we understood.

24PointConnection GeomDrawing
(image of a 24-point geometric web)

Once I began the process of drawing a geometric figure, I found myself in this incredibly clear-headed space. Like a life-long weight of self-judgment had lifted. Liberating!
I can't even really explain how it felt, what it did to my head, to my sense of self, to be able to grok clearly and completely how to construct this precise and beautiful thing.

flowery fun with geometry
(image titled "Flowery fun with geometry" using many interlocking circles and colors and shading to create a flower shape.)

Being able to create these complex and meticulous drawings sent me into a very Zen space. My head quieted, my focus narrowed, and all there was in the world was me, my hands, the paper, tools, and pencil. Completely "in the Zone", completely in flow-state, I very rarely wanted to stop or even pause in the process. It seemed *easy*, and was definitely FUN.

I had a paradigm shift. No longer could I tell myself "it's too hard, I can't do that, too complicated, too detailed, I'm not ____..." where ___ could be anything from "that kind of artist" or "precise" or "clever like that" or "skilled like that" or even the base canard, "good enough". Those evil little brainweasel voices couldn't be heard over the all-consuming focus on the process of construction, the flow that somehow seemed so easy in such an unexpected place after so long striving after it.

SimpleGeomFlowrWNotes
(image titled "simple geometric flower with notes", seven interlocking circles filled in with blue, pink and green.)

Why am I not doing geometric drawing all the time? It's lovely, it's satisfying, and there are thousands of possible projects to practice.
Why NOT do a thing I enjoy, and that brings me peace? Why NOT enjoy exploring my skills, expanding my image of myself to include calm precision and creation of beauty?

Every day we grow and change. We all transform ourselves into new people, a little at a time. Sometimes the transformation is consciously done, sometimes simple passage of time creates the transformation without us thinking much about what we're growing into, what we're becoming.

If the time will pass regardless, why NOT be intentional about what you choose to do with your transformation?

I wanna get GOOD at the art. And I know it doesn't just happen, I know I have to work at it. I have to LET myself get good at it. I have to be willing to fail and to suck and to throw stuff away sometimes. I have to go GET what I need to get better, I have to take lessons, write scripts for comics, watch YouTube instructional videos, practice little chibi drawings, start doodling on my tablet computer, and with the watercolor paints, and just allow myself to practice and experiment.

And I have to remember that nothing worth having is birthed all of a sudden.

ComplexGeomFlowr1
(image titled "Complex Geometrical Flower stage 1", initial shading and coloring)

Art in particular is part of a slow and steady process, a conversation between me and the paper, or the clay, or the paint or fabric or the computer screen.

complexGeomFlowr2
(image titled "Complex Geometrical Flower stage 2", intermediate stage of shading and coloring)

Art for art's sake is fine, I think it's a worthy goal just to bring more beauty into the world, to provoke conversation or thought or change. Art has the ability to wake people up to something they may be unaware of in the world.

complexGeomFlowr3
(image titled "Complex Geometrical Flower stage 3", completed shading and coloring)

Art can serve an even higher purpose though. Art can bring a chance for transformation and healing, rest and respite, community and peace.
All of these are things that the artistic process has taught me, has brought to me.

This, this making things, making art, changing one thing into another thing by channeling ideas and images THROUGH ME, this is one way I can contribute to the world.
And to make this contribution, means that I can give myself permission to learn these skills properly, to practice the crafts that I love: writing, art, communication, teaching, healing. I can give myself permission to practice them until I am properly good at those skills and can then use them out in the world to the end result of community and healing.

There's so much pain in the world and not nearly enough beauty. Too much loneliness and not nearly enough love, compassion, and beauty.

I can do this. I can remember, and use as fuel for the work, the fact that the things I HAVEN'T done are the things I have most regretted.

Face the Fear and Do It Anyway.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Just now in my garden (that isn't a garden -
It's more like a dead patch of dirt than a garden!)
There's men cutting trees, stripping sod from my garden
There's men moving rocks, digging holes in my garden.

My backyard was green and quiet,
Full of light and birds and green things,
Overgrown and sweet and shady,
Blessed refuge for my spirit.

Knowing what is yet to come
Still my feelings drag and droop
Missing what had been before
nothing yet has been replaced...

But then in my garden (so soon in my garden!)
New pond and stone birdbath enlivens my garden,
Bright birds and orange koi making homes in my garden,
My sweet spouse and me drinking tea in our garden.

soon,
our
green
flowering
fruiting
quiet
noisy
fluttering
splashing
twittering
garden.

IMG_20140916_154921
This was my garden last week,
IMG_20140929_124645
And this is my garden right now.


please find my colleagues' work on this theme HERE and when a link to voting has been created in the evening of Sept. 30, it will be HERE. =)
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
well hello there, [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol community!

Apparently I'm here in time to say HELL YEAH LAST CHANCE IDOL! WOOOOOO!~~~

*climbs back on the horse*
labelleizzy: (dance with Jeff)
YOU know that the music made me do it... I saw that look in your eye, that glint of mischief.
the music made me flirt with you, how could I do otherwise, with jaunty jigs and reels whirling around in the pub...

the fiddle made me flirt with you, the drums made me dance with you, the pipes helped me pirouette, the singing helped me swing.

I could dimly hear the music from the parking lot across the street as I leaned against the car and invited you to the Fair.

you said in a soft voice, looking up from under those long, dark lashes, "are you asking me out?"
and that delicious twist your vowels used to make is still branded into my own way of speaking.
I said yes, I'm asking you out (yes i said yes i will yes).

we probably walked three miles that evening, had crepes and talked and told one another important and amusing stories, and never DID make it out to the fair. I can't remember when we first kissed, it seems like I've always been kissing you, even before I met you.

our second date was TEN DAYS long. *headshaking in disbelief* Eleven years later, I still can't believe how sexy and engaged and satisfying you were, how WE were together.
can't believe you.
can't believe US.

I spent so long looking for that kind of an US, and hurting for the lack of it.
I never take us for granted.

our third, or something, date, I drove down to visit and you'd gotten hold of both albums by an artist I had newly come to love.
I was flabbergasted. you took MY musical opinion seriously? soaring vocals and driving drums brought epiphanies...

you said, "Your words have an IMPACT, you know?"
and i... I... that was the start of me falling in love with you.

you said, "You're aren't broken, you're just bruised up some."
you said, "Come here and cuddle me."
you said, "I can't wait to get my hands on you!"

you said, "What do I do when we're waltzing, to show the follow where to go?"
I said, "you put her where you want her!" and that wicked glint showed for a moment before you scooped me up under my bum and carried me away and dumped us on the bed, both of us laughing hysterically.

you sang for me, little hilarious Canadian bar bands, and old sea songs, and we both rediscovered the round about barges sailing away on adventures.
and I sang for you, all the songs to sing together, all the harmonies, all the rounds I could think of.
we sang all the delightfully filthy or screamingly ridiculous songs I learned from decades working the Renaissance fair.

then you went away and I was sad, but we shared our love and our longings with words on internet and phone
and we missed each other
but then you came back and I had never, or maybe once before, known such blinding happiness.

because you came back, and we had music together again.
we had dancing together again (I will always love to waltz with you in the kitchen and wedding receptions)
we had singing together again (remember the UU choir and the parties at the "choirloft"?)

we had a home together.
we have a home together.

and now you play piano for yourself and for me, and the music makes me move, stretch and dance, or makes me curl up on the sofa next to you and watch you play (I never get tired of watching your hands and your face when you play piano)

and I think we should sing more, together and separately.

but definitely we should keep making beautiful music.
Together.


My entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol this week. Prompt was "the music made me do it." I didn't fall in love with Jeff ([livejournal.com profile] eeyore42) JUST because of music, but music of ALL kinds, definitely helped.

More links here shortly.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
I check over the controls of the diving bell yet one more time. Usually I would laugh about how "OCD" I am about checking, double and triple-checking my instruments, but diving to 600 feet is serious business, not something to be at all casual about. I will make no apologies, even in the recesses of my own (admittedly geeky and neurotic) mind.

This is definitely the deepest I've ever been, and I'm an accomplished diver. But it's only the second time I've been down in a diving bell and the first time I've soloed.

Thank God for Mark, up on the surface. Mark's as reliable as the day is long, and knows these seas as well as anyone his age possibly could. He's grown up diving and fishing out here his whole life. Out of a huge family of divers and fishermen, he's the first one of his family to finish college and start working as a marine biologist. I'm so glad we got partnered up by the Institute.

The bell descends further. I'm past 150 feet now, and breathing a little heavier. Vision's slightly blurry. I check my glasses against the fine print on the dials, the bifocals are much more effective. My ears won't pop from the pressure and it is affecting my hearing. I toggle the communications switch, and hear Mark saying something garbled, something about the controls?

I clear my throat. “Philip here. All seals working well. Still having trouble hearing your transmissions. Over.”

More dull crackling noise from the comms. I shake my head. We continue the slow descent and I keep making detailed notes in the paper logs so we can compare with the films and tapes for reference later. Sonar shows some schools of fish, and some interesting large silhouettes at the edge of instrument range. I scan the camera banks in between passes over the dials and displays to make sure everything's okay. Sudden flashback to driver's training, and chuckling, I remember how I aced the driving test. This is nothing like that, of course, a diving bell is both more complicated and more simple than driving a car. Feeling pretty confident today, however. Everything seems to be going splendidly, despite the comms and their glitchiness.

The bell descends even further, and I feel a little dizzy, damn my ears that won't adjust to the pressure! They hurt horribly now, and definitely seem to be affecting my vision too. There's grey fuzziness in my peripheral vision, and I'm still having trouble focusing, even on the sudden flicker of movement on the cameras.

"Are you getting this, Mark? Left edge of the dorsal view. A light keeps shimmering in and out on that side. Over."
I have difficulty hearing the response. The comms crackle. I hear a voice making noises, though it's unclear, then, "Yes. Left ... blue light."

It looks almost like one of those music videos, where a spotlight follows the performer around the stage, only... only it's moving in three dimensions, and I've never seen anything move so FAST. I have trouble tracking the whatever-it-is. The movement style is atypical for any of the big sea creatures I've spent years studying.

"Mark, Mark, please tell me the video feeds are working, and that you see this. Have you ever seen anything like it before? It seems totally unfamiliar to me!"

I frantically check all the video monitors as the comms fill with static and clutter AGAIN. Flick a glance over the dials. We're still descending, and the creature, this new creature, seems to be pacing me, pacing the diving bell as it descends.

"Mark, did you see a tail? Dorsal rear view?"

Mark's reply this time, "Yes ... seeing it. ... blue ... fish ..."

My vision is getting even cloudier, but I'm determined to get a good focus on this fish. This may be a new discovery, a new paper, for Mark and me (and the Institute, of course)... We could really make a name for ourselves! We could...

uh... wait. What? Is this really happening?

Hair is swirling around the face, the human face, of the creature swimming slowly around my diving bell. It definitely appears, well, mammalian, in spite of the blue color to the skin, and the scales that begin mid-torso, right where a human would have a navel.

She's BEAUTIFUL.
I'm yelling.

"Mark, Starboard Center camera! Do you see anything? Check the goddamn Starboard Center Camera!"

Seriously, I'm gonna die if we don't have this on film. This is INCREDIBLE. Myths come to life, proof on camera, everything I've dreamed of since childhood! I'm absolutely euphoric!

“Philip ... big deal ... right there. Right there.”

I'm breathing heavily, and my vision isn't getting any better. I stumble over to check the gases mixture and make sure everything's OK. It's not great, but it's within safe parameters. I think.

Except that my vision's narrowing, and my ears make all the bell's instrument noises sound like I'm underwater (OK, I do know I'm underwater), or in a cavern or something...

... and I feel the back of the dive chair pressing hard at the back of my neck, but I don't have the strength to raise my head
... and the grey at the edges of my vision is turning to black...
... and it's getting kind of hard to breathe...



This has been my LJ Idol entry for week 20, and I intersected my entry with [livejournal.com profile] grail76's. You can read his entry HERE . We worked with "intersubjectivity" and "rapture of the deep".

Please feel free to enjoy the work of my talented colleagues, and vote for the entries that you enjoy, HERE.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Kindling:
The moment of eyes meeting
That flash of heat or awareness:
Gorgeous! So alive!
Potential and possibility.

In that moment,
It's not mister or miss right
It's mister or miss RIGHT NOW
Like, damn you smell good
And
What are you doing later?
And
I wish I could taste your sweat
Or
Do you taste as good as you smell?

The heat builds as you slide closer
Hands touching, eyes meeting
Mouths ... Testing? Tasting.

How lovely is that spark of awareness
That tells me of another's loveliness
Of my desire
Of their desire
Of my loveliness to them.

*****

Sidelong glances, flirting in a coffeeshop. Sparks kindled, fueled by a comfortable loveseat and delicious spicy chai. Warmth of your denim-clad knee, a certain tone of voice, a sudden impulse of delight that burst out in my laughter.

Another, immediate, passionate connection. The crowded pub, the musicians jamming traditional tunes. Ridiculous flirting beneath your lowered lashes as your bold words surprise me, again I burst out in laughter. I dared to flirt back, I kissed your cheek, asked you to dance. That spark flamed so bright and beautifully!

Some fires are slow to catch, and burn unexpectedly. With you, it wasn't the first glance, or the fifth. Perhaps it was the twentieth or even fiftieth, but I was suddenly caught in your eyes, drowning in desire. Wanted to touch, kiss, taste, nibble, hear incoherent noises from your throat.

Some fires sputter, move from warm coals to flame and back again. There's days where all I need is the smell of your hair and your soft body cuddled up to mine, or a cup of tea in your kitchen. But there's days I want to growl and plunder your mouth, take your clothes off with my teeth, drag my fingers over your sweet skin.

*****

Passion, fire, sparks, ignition.
Connection and lust and affection and humor.

It's not the kindling that's most important, though it's the most exciting part of firestarting. The most important part is how you feed and care for the fire.

Some fires you only need, only want, for a moment: strike a match. Some fires you want to keep you warm a long time, and those require more planning, more care, more tending.

Strike your spark, kindle your flames, and meditate.

Do you need a flash of light?
Do you need to feel the burning, do you need to be consumed?
Or do you need a lot of long, slow, warm coals?

Bear what you want, what you need, in mind.

Now select the appropriate kindling for your fire.


This has been my week 19 entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. I'm pretty sure anyone can guess the prompt this week was "kindling."
Please feel free to enjoy the work of my skilled colleagues HERE and to vote for me in the poll that's coming up Tuesday.

I need to apologize in advance, but since I'm going off the grid this week, I can't guarantee responses to comments. Nor can I really guarantee I'll get to read even the [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol entries on my friends list, much less everyone's entries.

I want to wish everyone the best of luck this week, while I go off to the desert and try to kindle some new fires of my own. =)
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
It's been two years now
since you left
So loud
And then so silent
Refusing
To speak.
Lying with silence
Sharp, pointed,
Nasty.

You said you'd be here
many years
you said...

Words left unspoken,
Promises
broken.

Lying to my face.
Mirrorshades,
Blank eyes:
Lying with the truth?
"I don't know"
FUCK that.

Disingenuous -
DID you know?
You said
whatever you thought
I wanted
to hear.

Disinformation
feels just like
all trust
disintegration.
Every time
you lied
Recalibration:
How could we
make do?

A strategy in war.
We were the
terrain...
Was I the prize?
The end-game?
The goal?

Was this even love?
Furious,
hurting:
Win the heart and mind,
Recover
MYSELF

Sex was fantastic...
Apathy?
Passion?
Now I'll never know.
Your true north
nowhere,
Your compass: broken.
Did you love
At all?

Disinformation:
Truthiness
Ain't truth.

Pattern's still the same:
Please tear down
your walls
Learn to see yourself.
Grow a pair
Man up.
Motherfucker, PLEASE.
KNOW thyself.
*eyeroll*




This has been my entry for this week on LJ Idol, [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. This week's prompt was "disinformation" and it immediately brought to mind this PARTICULAR ex boyfriend. *sigh* I guess I still had some old feelings about all the stuff that happened.
I encourage folks to visit my colleagues' brilliant writing HERE and of course I will also encourage you to help me continue to play in this enjoyable sandbox by voting for this entry HERE
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
LIGHTS FADE UP on a crowded office, cluttered desks, televisions tuned to news stations mounted high on the walls. A newsroom, with a city skyline visible through several tall windows.

(GRISHAM is typing furiously and squinting at her keyboard.)

(COOPER enters, crossing from stage left to stand behind the other reporter's desk.)

COOPER: No wonder your family name is Grisham - this reads like a crime novel. Sensational, over the top, florid prose.

(COOPER tosses a file folder onto the desk near the keyboard.)

GRISHAM: (smirking, continues typing without looking up) You know, Cooper - your name suits you too. Was James Fenimore one of your ancestors? Ya old fuddy duddy!
(Shoves file folder aside)

COOPER: (genially) Ah, blow it out your ear. (Takes deep breath, puts on stern expression) But, seriously, Sheila, we've got to fix this. You can't keep using sarcastic "air quotes" (COOPER makes the gesture) in your HEADLINES!

GRISHAM: (rebelliously) So... You're telling me to bury the lead!

COOPER: No, I'm telling you to write like a damned JOURNALIST, not some hotheaded opinion blogger. (COOPER sighs, runs a hand over her head and rolls her eyes in frustration)

COOPER: Look, Sheila... we owe the public a civil discourse! we owe them facts, not smears, and we really ought not incite them to riot! (Clearly enunciated for emphasis)

(GRISHAM has stopped typing and is slumping in her chair, a stubborn expression on her face)

GRISHAM: You may have noticed that your "principles" aren't causing the advertisers to line up in droves.

(COOPER hitches up one hip to sit on the corner of GRISHAM's desk) The way to change the hearts and minds of our readers is by bringing them the news that the major media outlets simply won't print. Or broadcast. People need to know these things. They need to know about Mike Brown and the problems of Walking While Black. They need to think about Robin Williams, about depression and the abysmal state that the American mental health system is in. But the minute we let our feelings color WHAT we write, if we make it more about US, our reactions, than about the actual story? People stop thinking and they ALSO start reacting.

(GRISHAM sits up from her slump, leans forward, speaking intensely) But we WANT them to react. We WANT them to feel, to get stirred up, to do something!

COOPER: See, part of the problem is, lots of people are already reacting. Down deep? Lots of folk are terrified. They think that they are "deserving" because they "made the right choices" and "worked hard" and therefore people who aren't prospering, or get shot by cops or vigilantes MUST have "made bad choices" or "been lazy slobs" and are therefore "not deserving" of sympathy, compassion, or help. To admit otherwise is to admit that life is inherently unfair. Bad stuff could randomly happen to ANY of us...and could turn your life into a miserable shitstorm at any time, through no fault of your own. That's just too fucking scary for some folks to even contemplate, you know?

GRISHAM: ...so the Denial keeps on flowing.

COOPER: ... Yep. And we, we fight denial with facts, with real human interest stories, with words that help change how people see each other, help people really SEE each other. Stories change the world, Sheila. You know this, I know this, and thank God our publisher knows this.

(COOPER leans back, folds her arms) Sarcasm won't help us change the world. I think sarcasm just makes us more angry and bitter and hopeless, lashing out at the things that hurt us.

(COOPER unfolds her arms and gestures at GRISHAM) You wanna be angry? BE angry. Use it as fuel to get things DONE. Use your anger for your sword and shield so we can protect the helpless. Use it as a megaphone to give a voice to the silenced.

(COOPER leans in, stabbing a finger at GRISHAM's chest) Sarcasm and air quotes are for lazy fucking HACKS, and you are So. Much. Better than that. You're Sheila Fucking Grisham, and you? Have a job to do. (COOPER stands, scoops up the folder, tidying it, and extends it to GRISHAM)

COOPER: Rewrite the headline and the lead paragraph. Take out the sarcasm and as much bias as you can, and I'll let you have six inches for a fiery op-ed piece next week.

(GRISHAM makes a face and looks down, but extends one hand for the folder.)

(COOPER stands) Sheila, you're one of my best. Let's do this thing, and do it right.

COOPER: Now, I'll leave you to it, since we've both got deadlines to meet.

(COOPER exits swiftly stage left, as GRISHAM flicks a glance in her direction)

(GRISHAM, with a reluctant smile) Fucking hippie idealist.

(COOPER, from offstage) I HEARD that, you anarchist punk!

(GRISHAM's smile becomes more genuine as she reaches across the desk for an editing pencil and flips the folder open, slouching back in her desk chair as the lights come down)

**END SCENE**



This is my entry for week 17, season 9, of [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. The prompt for this week was "scare quotes" aka "air quotes" and also aka "smear quotes". (I had to look the definition up, then recognized I had used this rhetorical technique in a comment on FB earlier the same day. Presto, I had a story seed.)

The link to voting page will be HERE, and you can read the skilled work of my colleagues at the end of the elegant and finely crafted link HERE.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Smoky candle wick
Relit by match through the smoke
Magical science!
Silver sooty snuffer burns;
Pain and blisters as I learn.

Around the campfire
Dreaming, mesmerized by flames:
Red, gold, blue, orange.
Flash! Roar! Swoosh! Whiskey on coals!
“You guys actually DRINK that?”

Many fires go out.
Dad dies. Grief drags us all down.
Under the rain and fog
Slog through the mud seeking joy
In Library, Students, Books.

Candleflame, cauldron.
Friends in darkness, points of light
Sometimes belonging
Ritual, dance, myself, words...
The sun comes out, the rain stops.

A phoenix, reborn:
Passion flames as strength returns.
Tattoo needles burn,
Fighter’s heart burns fear for fuel
Crucible of warriors.


This is my Week 15 entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. This week's prompt was "A terrible beauty has been born."
The link to the poll is HERE if you would be willing to vote for me, thank you.
Please follow the elegant and finely-crafted link HERE to read the excellent work of my colleagues in this endeavor.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Pavel stamps his feet into the too-large snow boots and wraps the warm muffler tightly around his neck. Even at seven, and small for his age, he knows better than to forget anything that will help conserve body heat out in the deep taiga forest.

Papa is waiting.

Pavel buttons up his coat (also too large) and checks for his mittens and hat in the coat pocket, taking a last deep breath of the warm air in the cabin as he fumbles for the door latch, hands eager and his heart in his throat.

Papa is taking him hunting.

The snow is crisp, crunching beneath his boots, the air sharp in his nose and throat, the light reddish and dim through the thick branches. Pavel is proud to finally be big enough for Papa to bring him here, to the family cabin, to learn what Chekovs for generations have come to the forest to learn.

Papa is huge and dark in the dim light of dawn, the old fashioned projectile rifle held loosely at his elbow, barrel pointed down.

"Always pointed down, my Pavel, always down and away from other people, until it is time to take aim at your target," rumbles Papa's deep voice in Pavel's memories.

Papa this morning is silent, but his white teeth flash bright in the dark bushy beard. Papa always grows his beard out strong and thick to be ready for the long Siberian winters. There is no ice in his beard yet, but it is only October, after all.

Papa tips his head, a glint in his eyes, and Pavel grins. Though Papa cannot see his mouth behind the warm thick muffler, eyes smile as brightly as mouths do.

Ivan and Stepan have hinted that today, words will not be necessary. Today, all day, he and Papa will watch, will walk, will eat in silence.

If the right moment comes, Papa will pass the rifle to Pavel, will help steady his aim, will brace his shoulder against the recoil of the antique weapon.

This is his most important birthday ever. Pavel is eager to do well, to make his Papa proud.

He and his Papa turn and walk toward the sun, into the deep forest. Chekovs together, silent, focused, and determined.





This is my entry for Week 15 of [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. The week's prompt was "Chekov's Gun" and yes, I went there. Sue me. =)
Link to the poll for voting will be IS HERE, please feel free to explore other entries for the week at the elegant and finely-crafted link HERE.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
I've been thinking for the last few years, that attention is the rent we pay for being in relationship, for being in community.

It was never such a privilege to pay attention as it was, many years ago, when I was teaching high school reading and drama classes, and became the advisor for the Improv Comedy Club. Thinking back, I marvel at the quick wit and facility with ideas, language and expression that these teenagers had. How fluent and adaptable they were to performance situations where anything could change (and did) with the drop of a word or addition of a new gesture!

Nick was a wiry, nervous Italian looking kid, earnest and new to the Improv team, often half-a-beat late with his responses, or just this side of awkward, in its own kind of funny. Mariel was a comic genius, with a rounded buxom figure, huge brown eyes and an impressive range of physical expression, and she could also get really LOUD in all the good ways. Tawd was clever, almost effortlessly funny both onstage and off, and a deceptively mellow, slow voice. He's the reason I acquired a nickname among the drama classes, and I remember him fondly for that. Aliza was slim, sly, sarcastic, with a drawling kind of vocal delivery that could quicksilver turn to something manic and panicked if the character called for it. Lucas was tall, with what his friends teased him was "emo kid hair", at that gangly teenage stage where his every gesture seemed floppy, but he sure knew how to use that puppety-ness to his advantage, like a Tim Burton character. Brandon was short and compact. He had a deep voice that belied his small frame, and an onstage poise and speed on the uptake that was nothing short of marvellous. Adam was blond, almost with ringlets, and our tech guy when he wasn't onstage. He was ridiculously silly and ridiculously smart, and I still remember one skit where he was spontaneously, slowly, somersaulting around the stage for no apparent reason.

They were all, every one of them, hilarious, but Parker felt like the ringleader. That kid... well. Damn, that kid was a force to be reckoned with. Sandy sort of dishwater brown hair (and I'm not just saying that because he had a positive TALENT for pissing me off), a nondescript sort of everyman face, and sleepy-looking hooded eyes, he was an absolute fucking chameleon onstage, with a rubber face and a skill at vocal characterization that reminded me of the young Jimmy Stewart. He's the one who I remember (with Mariel and Tawd) as starting the club and teaching the other kids all the improv games. He had a very strong personality, and he pushed hard to get the team members to practice all the different kinds of games and to get them in shape for competitive Improv Comedy events with other schools.

Parker was so funny and occasionally so bizarre... I remember how impressed I was with how much he knew about comedy and improvisation. I was brand new to the drama gig, and I don't mind at all saying that I learned virtually everything I know about improv and theater games from these kids. From Highway Patrol to New Choice, tongue-twisters and physical warmups, their speed and sarcasm and joy and silliness just delighted me. I would watch from the audience space and sometimes grade papers as they worked and played and tried new things, always new things, even with the old games they all knew well.

Building characters and scenes with zero stage props or maybe only hats or scarves or a couple of chairs from the audience is what made me think of them when I saw this week's prompt. These kids? I could imagine them EASILY getting a "confession from the chair." You'd be laughing at the one-sided conversation, imagining the chair's responses, and then cheering as the chair is dragged offstage. Of course, there'd be implications that a well-deserved beat-down will happen once the chair is in lockup.

It was a privilege to pay the rent there, to be on the sidelines watching the worldbuilding these kids could do in the blink of an eye. I got no call to be proud of them, I didn't teach them anything. They did it all themselves, but I'm proud of them nevertheless. It was a pleasure to know them.

I hope they are all still finding joy in words and connection and their own quick minds, making creative and subversive things in the world, and messing with people's heads.


This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol . This week's prompt was, as I mentioned, "Confession from the Chair."

Here is a link to one place you can find short descriptions of improv comedy games, you can also google "theater games" or improv games if you would be interested in learning more. Also I recommend comedysportz san jose as an example of improv comedy as a hell of a lot of fun for an evening's entertainment. (hmmm, I need to get out and see that again sometime soon!)
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
You've got to be careful with wishes.

I heard of one witch who said, I wish my husband would shut up... And then there were silent, violent, dark days afterwards...

It's why we're in such demand, witches... Wishes have real power.

You've got to be careful with words as well.

It's through words, after all, that we convince the world to be other than it is.
From sickness we can coax health, from discord, harmony.

But it's easy enough to make the world change in the other direction as well, if we're that-away inclined. Like the silent-husband case I've already mentioned, careless words in the world, in this line of work, can have horrific consequences.

The final element is will. Will-forces are the hardest thing to train up in the apprentices! And will-forces are terrifically important!
You can't expect even the most poetically-worded wish to deliver results if you don't have enough OOMPH to back up your desire and make it happen for real.

"With Wishes, Words, and Will, witches work in the world."

*grin* We've got that engraved in a nice signboard and hung up at the entrance of the School. As of this year's enrollment, we've got witch-children from most every religious tradition, and teachers from almost every tradition as well. Our School has a very strong commitment to cross-training and to understanding the philosophical underpinnings of the World-Soul, That Which Moves Us All.

Would you believe, that even now, some of our students come to us thinking that the way they have been taught is the Only True Way, and that all other Paths are invalid? No?

It's the truth. We do have quite the challenge to explain and demonstrate otherwise, but when the children all have to rub elbows with one another in all their classes, it tends to take the rough edges off any sharp belief systems pretty quickly. Added to the impressive experience of our teaching staff, and our Silent Recess policy, the children build tolerance and cooperation faster than in any school system I've experienced before.

I'm sorry, what?

Oh no. The Silent Recess policy is intended to prevent any apprentice-level mistakes out on the playground. Children feel things so intensely, they certainly do not lack for force of will! And a strong force of will is QUITE enough to enact some serious levels of mischief upon one's playmates. All the teachers concur, having all experienced, well, pretty appalling things out on the playgrounds themselves, before the Principles of Magic were studied and understood thoroughly. The voluntary Yard Duty roster is always well staffed, and the children are always well-supervised.

*fondly*
Yes, I know. Our children are lucky. Now that we understand the Principles, we can teach Ethical Magical Behaviors at all levels of school. We can train the children up into the adults we all know they have the capacity to be. They can all be strong, ethical, committed, principled young people that we can be proud to unleash upon the world.

*cough* Oh, unleash? My mistake. I meant, um, well, I meant...

May I offer you some more tea? ah, here we go. *pours*

Yes, well, our graduates find regular and lucrative employment in all walks of life, as a matter of fact one of our recent graduates is now Head Pastry Chef in our kitchen. Oh, yes, the petit-fours are her specialty! Here, DO allow me. And one of the small eclairs? Splendid.

*lengthy pause*

That said, shall I draw up the enrollment documents now? I think you will find the terms most competitive with the other Schools in town.

*sly smile*

Yes, I thought you might.


This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. This week's was an Open Prompt week.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Steve's deep voice comes through the comm system with a clear note of sarcasm and a touch of Brooklyn: "Well, THIS is gonna be more fun than a barrel full of monkeys..."

The giant gelatinous creatures look like an unholy offspring of banana slugs and squid. Their eye-searingly acidic stench had evacuated civilians without complaint for city blocks in every direction.

Clint shudders, speaking loudly over the sound of the rotors. "Cap, I never understood why townfolk used that figure of speech. Back in the circus, I SEEN a barrel full 'a monkeys, and it NEVER ended well. The screeching. The biting. The scratching, the fur flying, and just let's not talk about the rest of the dirty mess monkeys love to make." He rotates quickly through the arrows in his quiver, selecting the most likely to get this job done fast.

Steve snorts as he flies the helicopter in circles over the park where the creatures have nested. "Nah, Hawkeye, that's just right. Ma said her pa would always say that just before he had to go tackle the nastier chores on the farm. Nest of skunks under the porch. Wild boar gored one of the horses. Mucking out the pigs, or fixing the stock fence that went down in the middle of the worst rainstorm in thirty years."

For a moment, both men watch in fascination as one of the iridescent eggs below bursts open with a flail of acidic tentacles. Birth fluid rains down on the sad, scorched remnants of the park's trees and jungle gym, droplets hissing and smoking wherever they fall.

"Well, thank god for Bruce and Tony and Jane and SCIENCE," Clint muses, pulling the string taut to his left ear, delivery-system arrow nocked and ready. "THESE pigs are going to be a lot easier to muck out once we've neutralized most of the acid they've slimed everywhere."

A few moments later, the creatures below are writhing like slugs doused with salt. The SHIELD science teams in full hazmat gear are laying down even more acid-neutralizing foam as they cautiously approach the egg-pile.

"Hah! Evil scientists, Zero, Avengers and SHIELD science-types, fifty-four? or is it fifty-five, now?" Clint raises an eyebrow, cocking his head at Steve.

Steve chuckles. "And nobody's handing us shovels and pointing us toward the pig-pen, today. I'm just as happy to let the science teams do the rest of the clean up."

"Hey, if they wanna analyze acidic tentacled slug-babies, who am I to stand in their way?" Clint rubs his chin and swiftly stows the rest of his gear in the long narrow pocket behind his seat. "Not my circus, not my monkeys."

Steve slants a wry, sideways glance at Clint from the pilot's seat, as he turns and heads for home. "This ain't a circus? We got acrobats and knife throwers, fireworks and explosions, exotic animals and shiny costumes...?" He raises an eyebrow back at Clint.

Hawkeye slouches back in his seat, scowling. "Okay, FINE, this IS my circus." He gets a thoughtful, mock-serious expression for a moment gazing straight through the windshield. "Does that make us Fury's monkeys?"

Steve's face is perfectly bland when he replies, "That would mean Tony and Thor were Fury's flying monkeys. I don't think it would be productive sharing that image with either of the guys, do you?"

Clint laughs softly. "No. Don't suppose it would." He grins at Steve. The next time Thor and Tony light up the sky, they both know they'll remember this.

Flying monkeys, heh.




This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, week 12. The prompt was "barrel of monkeys."

I'm enjoying writing within this community very much. If you enjoyed this post, or got something out of it, please consider voting for me so I can continue to write with these amazing and supportive people (sadly this week is a Community Only vote, so if you're inclined, feel free to join the LJ Idol community!). The polls are HERE, and I'm back in Tribe One.

Author's Note: If anyone's unfamiliar with the Marvel Avengers fandom, Steve/Cap is Captain America, Clint/Hawkeye is, well, Hawkeye. (and I hope Hawkeye gets his own movie someday too.)

Crossposted to Archive Of Our Own, here.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
You'd think, with how good my life is now, that it'd be easy to pretend.

Pretend WHAT? says the acidic voice in the back of my head...
Pretend that you were happy? Pretend that you felt loved? Pretend that you ever felt safe?

"Yeah," I shoot back at the Nasty. "Pretend that I had a 'happy childhood.'"

I'm an optimist now. It feels as though I have always been an optimist, and perhaps I have. I'm not SURE, though.

From a very early age, I remember... melancholy, and a sense of disconnect from the world around me. I remember deep suffering, and an almost equally sharp despair. I remember a fierce yearning to BELONG somewhere, or to someone, as I never did at home. Convinced that would never happen, I still determined I would somehow learn to be happy. I knew that people were happy, somewhere (though not my family, except in brief glimpses.)

Wasn't it Tolstoy who said that unhappy families were all different and happy ones were all the same? I disagree. I've met so many people from unhappy families, and we all have so much in common... It feels like Tolstoy had it backwards. The folks I know who had happy childhoods seem to me like visitors from another planet.

My own childhood feels as though someone else experienced it. It feels like a story I was told long ago that no longer apples to me, so I have mostly forgotten it.

It's no longer relevant to my current life, my childhood, but it's still true. And it's still a part of my story.
*thinking*

Joy staining backwards. That's how Lucy Maud Montgomery defined it... In her book The Blue Castle, the main character has a miserable life under the thumb of her family and the small minded society of the small Canadian town she lives in. Valancy has a brush with death, determines to make a change for herself in the short time she believes remains to her, and finds happiness for the first time in her life. Her joy in her new life with her new husband is so vivid and rich that she finds even her memories of the miserable grey childhood of neglect, control, and verbal abuse, seem happier as she looks back on them. Like looking on the past with rose colored glasses, her past did not change, but her present joy gives her a new perspective on the horrible events and the grim family that were all that she knew for most of her life.

Sometimes, nowadays, it does seem as though my life has only been contented, full of love, happy, and with my needs met. It's because the contrast between then and now, makes THEN seem completely unreal and distant. Now is what's real. This hilltop I live on now, these woods I ramble through with those I love and those who challenge me and make me laugh. I don't delude myself anymore that I was truly happy, back then. I was lonely, miserable, heartsick, and friendless.

But I am none of those things anymore. Even when I am completely solitary, I am none of those things anymore.

I am standing beneath the same moon as my childhood self, and it is a comfort to me... a comfort that I still have a childlike sense of connection to the universe, to the impersonal unending beauty of nature and the cosmos. I have joy, I have courage, I have friends and family and beloved community. I have plans and goals that draw me on to the next chapter, the next goal, the next adventure.

I know that this moment is just a pause to rest and refresh myself. Anticipating the next big adventure, like my heroine in The Blue Castle, doesn't mean I've forgotten my past, or am in denial of what life was like, then.

Now is different. These hiking boots don't come with a rear-view mirror. They do help me carry my permanent sense of wonder, along with all the other tools I now possess. Life is amazing, NOW.

And Now? That's where my focus is.




This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, week 11. The prompt was "recency bias."

I'm enjoying writing within this community very much. If you enjoyed this post, or got something out of it, please consider voting for me so I can continue to write with these amazing and supportive people. The polls are available HERE , and I'm returning back in Tribe One.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
She didn’t even look up from the wash cloth she was wringing out to bathe the skin of her patient as I approached, and at first all I could see of her was the dark skin on the back of her neck and some steel-wool textured hair beneath the brightly colored headwrap.

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time,” she said, her hands angrily twisting the washcloth. “You’d do better to get on the horn to the CDC and find out if any of their new young hot-shots has any idea how to mitigate the speed of this onset. I have children who are playing happily on Day One and by Day Three are either comatose and staring blankly, or babbling incoherently with a terrifyingly high fever.”
She glared upward at me.
“And if they could get their thumbs out of their asses long enough to arrange a fresh drop of basic medical supplies, that’d be PEACHY.”

I took a step back. Paused. Straightened up from my usual slouch, even though her words felt like a slap in the stomach.
“Uh, well, some of those descriptors aren’t accurate, but I actually AM here from the CDC, via StarkIndustries. And we managed to bring in most of the supplies you were requesting... Doctor St. Pierre?”

She softened her glare to merely suspicious, and nodded once, looking away.

“I’m Doctor Bruce Banner. We’re here to help.” I gestured vaguely in the direction of the young interns and nurses who came with me in the Quinjet. My hand combed through the damp hair at the back of my neck, warm already with the heat of this desert, only an hour past sunrise.
“Where do you want us to start?”

Victoria St. Pierre rose from her low stool next to the child’s cot, nodded again, scrubbed at her face with her left hand, and extended her right hand. I took it, and we shook briefly.

“Doctor Banner." She exhaled slowly. "Thank you for coming. I apologize for my rudeness, but we’ve lost nine children in four days, we’ve no idea of the disease vector, and twelve more have come down sick.” Her gaze took in the rest of the cots in the medical tent. “Let’s begin by you telling me about the new staff and supplies you’ve brought us, and I’ll bring you up to speed about the protocols we’ve been using to help ease the children’s symptoms.”

I held the flap of the tent for her to exit. She inclined her head gracefully and moved out into the sunlight.




(This is my entry for the Home Game version of LJ Idol, this week's prompt was "If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time")
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
I was a school librarian way back during the dialup/AOL days of the internet.
We started the library microlab with three 386 machines in 1995, and at first they weren't networked.
Eventually we acquired 8 newer Mac/Windows Power PC machines, and daisy-chained them with a ninth machine to act as server.
By default I became the IT guy and network admin for the library. I was learning fast, but barely kept two steps ahead of the kids.

I remember when we got internet working properly. Even in '98 and '99, the junior high kids would rather look things up on webpages than use the CD-rom encyclopedias. In retrospect, finally I understand why. They feel so... STATIC. The internet feels *alive* in a way that most books and every encyclopedia I've ever met, simply do not.

I also remember staying late after work, and after I finished tidying up after the kids, I myself would sit down, read email, and surf the net a little.

There was a "meme" (before I understood "memes") which I stumbled across at some point. As I thought about this week's prompt, this page came to my mind's eye, so of course I Googled it. *smile* The Last Page Of The Internet. Hope you've enjoyed your browsing, now turn off your computer and go play outside!

Even fifteen years ago everyone could tell that the internet was a fascinating, roiling, sea of distractions and delicious, delicious data. Distracting.
Even then, it was apparent we would all need reminding to turn off the screen to go outside and play...

There was a bumper sticker on the door of my office in that library. I probably had picked the sticker up in Berkeley, it said in big dark letters, "KILL YOUR TELEVISION". Some kids would read that and argue that they loved their television; others immediately got the point of the message and why I found it so damn funny. Because they did too. But the thing I never would have expected, was to need to think about Killing My Tablet, Phone, and Desktop computer too, from time to time.

The most seductive thing about internet memes? They are in-jokes. You have to have been there. You have to be part of the culture, the subculture, the microsubculture. You have to belong.

And that's part of why memes are so irresistable. Embedded in the joke, is the reminder that you belong.

We're all citizens of the internet. With the rights and privileges thereunto.

but sometimes, you do indeed need to turn off your computer and go outside.

*click*

This is my home game entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. The prompt for the week is "Keep calm and end this meme."

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