freakin

I'm on VPN now, so take THAT, misguided ISP! And NSA too!

I've been excessively perturbed about NSA's shenanigans lately. Now, on a separate but related note, today my internet service was rudely and abruptly cut off.

Reason? Someone from this IP address downloaded several files from a torrent with "Girls" in the title, and the ISP service suspected child porn. (Obviously the traffic stream + title keyword triggered some boneheaded alert in their system.) So, with no hesitation, no inquiry, and certainly no informing the end user, they simply pulled the plug on us, until, 4 hrs later, we made a phone call to inquire WTF.

I know who dl'd the "suspicious" files. It was ME. Something totally innocent and having nothing whatsoever to do wtih porn. While I am steaming about this in another room, the account owner is getting lectured and being told she will have to go down to their office to sign a statement asserting this household has not been downloading child pornography. Other technotrivia about router access, but that's irrelevant.

The point here is the monitoring of traffic, the arbitrary service interruption, the "you must grovel to get service back" etc ad nauseum.

!!!!!!!

Straw. Final.  Camel's back beyond repair.

I'm on a VPN service now that is based in the fucking SEYCHELLES, that records no logs and is happily unresponsive to any information requests except those coming from a local court. to which they still can't provide info, since they record nothing. (As an added bonus, it assigns me an IP in a foreign country of my choice. I've chosen my favorite foreign country, which incidentally allows me to watch streaming media from there which is viewable only by people with an in-country IP. Huzzah.)  If squeezed by US authorities in US territories, my VPN company also happily shuts down their services, thumbs their nose at Big Brother, and relocates elsewhere to open new nodes again.

A bit much, you say? I don't think so. I have every right to privacy in my internet trollings, and that's all there is to it, and now I've taken steps to ensure that that is so. Because you know what? I've had it. I've had it with our govt spying on us, and had it with our local fucking ISPs taking it upon themselves to monitor our media consumption habits and intervene not with a dialog about a perceived problem, but with complete denial of service.  Fuck 'em all. I'm so going off the (traceable) grid. So if you all start seeing my email route through hushmail or similar encryption services soon, this is why. I can't do this piecemeal. It's all or nothing. This must become my new habit of interaction with the Net.  I used to lament the loss of anon.penet.fi (the original Finnish anonymizer service, from the early '90s), but now I guess I'll just pay for my own modern equivalent.  Today I just finally got a snoot full, so now it's going to be all for me and nothing for Big Brother. For $5/month, it's more than worth it.

And as soon as my middle finger gets unstuck from the f-you position, I'll resume writing and communicating, only now from somewhere (apparently) in Europe. Which is just as well. I feel another novel coming on.

HA.
Wylde3sea

There is No Hearth in this Home

hearth fireI had an epiphany a couple days ago about what something that is enduringly amiss in my present environment. It has always niggled since I first came to this particular version of of my writerly retreat (which is not my own household).  Lately it has become more pronounced, and I have felt more and more displaced. Finally the light bulb turned on.

There is no hearth in this home. It is just a house, with waystop areas in it where people do their various things.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

This is not a household that is "gathering"-centric. There is no heart of the home, no center to the house, where people come together, periodically or ritually as we so commonly do even for (or especially for) sharing meals. That hole at the heart of the house works outward from there, damaging the fabric of what could be a warm and comforting weave and creating instead a place where people operate in their separate bubbles.

I don't like this. It is not my nature. Oh, the separateness, certainly: I do quite well in hermit mode. But I also like to emerge from the cave, have festive times with others, even just close and warm communal times, do some bonding with my pack, before going back to the cave-zone. That is all desperately LACKING here where I live.

There is a beautiful fireplace in this house. It is boarded over "to avoid drafts."  Why isn't it used? "Because it doesn'[t draw right."  Well, that's something that can be fixed, but one has to want to fix it, first. And the people here do not. Instead--they wall the hearth off (literally).  I didn't see the metaphor and meaning of that until just now, but once seen, it shouts loudly.

There is no dining table in this house. (That says reams all by itself.)  The room that could be a dining room is a storage room-cum-guest bedroom--but not out of any pressing need for same. There are other rooms and places that could serve those functions. Rather, that could-be-dining room has become something else because the notion of making a meal a central part of family life is so far off the radar here that rooms and spaces associated with that notion have no existence here either.

"Family" dinners are "help yourself in the kitchen," then go eat in the living room where you're in a chair watching tv. Or, well, *I'm* not. I leave with my food to my room. I prefer whatever I'm doing at my own desktop and table, which I sometimes turn into my own little proper dining area, including music, candles and wine glass, instead of eating off a plate in my lap in a noise-chaotic environment with no conversation. Good god.

Food purchases, once provided by the main breadwinner in the household, have devolved into an every-man-for-himself, buy-yer-own-stuff-fix-it-yourself effectively scattered "room-mate"-ish arrangement. The fridge and pantry and food storage situations have become similarly balkanized.

Their version of "nice meal" is a mess of bacon and eggs at 10pm. That is just so wrong on so many levels I'm not even going there.

A proper dinner a nice well-rounded, interesting (even gourmet) meal prepared by me (I'm the real cook around here)--often goes ignored. It is never eaten when hot. It's catch as catch can. There is essentially no social event, sharing, community or communal or familial anything that follows on the heels of preparing something special. My scope of cooking has narrowed down to what I like, for me, because half the time it will be ignored by others anyway, or gobbled cold at 10p with the same gusto applied to bacon and eggs.

This place lacks a center, a hearth, if you will, for family life and (more importantly) the connecting that occurs around family time spent together. The food and dining situation is symptomatic as well as a cause of this disjuncture. It is a black hole at the heart of the household that works out subtly in many other ways domestically.

We almost never have guests over. When someone does come, they sit in the living room and if they eat, they eat there too (although the general notion of hospitality and what Germans call Gastfreundlichkeit--"guest friendliness"--is just as lacking as the hearth-center itself. Or visitors will eat a bite outside on the picnic table under the tree. How pleasant at certain times of year ---yet how stop-gap, and done in lieu of an interior center for entertaining or even just comfortably chatting with a friend.

At holidays there is no center for festivities. In tight money times recently, holidays slip past nearly unremarked--including Christmas, without so much as a tree put up or a single light strung.

I could go on but the scattered discombobulation of this place (which bears an eerie resemblance to a situation I was in briefly in a household with 5 roommates) speaks for itself.  At first I didn't notice any of this--I was glad just to have my cave to write in, and things like no dining table seemed like a temporary situation. But if anything this disconnect has gotten worse over time.

And my epiphany? It's that I NEED a hearth to my home.

I am very hearth-centric. I entertain. I have guests over. I cook nice meals and share them convivially with others. I am (or was) known for the Gemuetlichkeit of my space. Now I look around and my cave resembles in appearance the same scattered energy that exists in this household at large.

Chaotic. Disconnected. No center.

So I've decided to create the change I cannot create in the household at large (since it's not my place):  I am going to create a hearth-centered home right here in my cave.  I have room for a small fridge--I'll save my money to buy one, where I can keep specialty cheeses and dinners I've made and cold bottles of wine and beer, which have no room downstairs in this tee-totalling household. And I need to unpack and set up my altar, and turn my Zuni Indian pot (brazier) into a miniature hearth, where I can focus and evoke that grounding energy I need. I need to re-pot my peace lilies that are growing in overabundance and start some lettuce in a pot for my mice, and get my speakers wired up so I can have the right sound ambiance here (especially to counter the constant drone of Faux News and other toxicity from the living room beneath my feet)...

I need to change my space. And that will change my energy, and hopefully get me both more grounded and more lifted up at the same time. I have slipped into being influenced by the environment I'm in, instead of creating my OWN environment to set the tone of "me" how I want it to be.

I don't fathom how people can live in this inhospitable, un-warm, unfocused hearth-less manner. My Roman and Japanese hearth gods and goddesses are pitching fits about it. I'm glad I finally heard, and I hope they will help me revise this out-of-whack part of my current setting.

If I can't fix Them (in the household), at least I can fix ME. Man, am I overdue.
Wylde3sea

There is No Hearth in this Home

hearth fireI had an epiphany a couple days ago about what something that is enduringly amiss in my present environment. It has always niggled since I first came to this particular version of of my writerly retreat (which is not my own household).  Lately it has become more pronounced, and I have felt more and more displaced. Finally the light bulb turned on.

There is no hearth in this home. It is just a house, with waystop areas in it where people do their various things.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

This is not a household that is "gathering"-centric. There is no heart of the home, no center to the house, where people come together, periodically or ritually as we so commonly do even for (or especially for) sharing meals. That hole at the heart of the house works outward from there, damaging the fabric of what could be a warm and comforting weave and creating instead a place where people operate in their separate bubbles.

I don't like this. It is not my nature. Oh, the separateness, certainly: I do quite well in hermit mode. But I also like to emerge from the cave, have festive times with others, even just close and warm communal times, do some bonding with my pack, before going back to the cave-zone. That is all desperately LACKING here where I live.

There is a beautiful fireplace in this house. It is boarded over "to avoid drafts."  Why isn't it used? "Because it doesn'[t draw right."  Well, that's something that can be fixed, but one has to want to fix it, first. And the people here do not. Instead--they wall the hearth off (literally).  I didn't see the metaphor and meaning of that until just now, but once seen, it shouts loudly.

There is no dining table in this house. (That says reams all by itself.)  The room that could be a dining room is a storage room-cum-guest bedroom--but not out of any pressing need for same. There are other rooms and places that could serve those functions. Rather, that could-be-dining room has become something else because the notion of making a meal a central part of family life is so far off the radar here that rooms and spaces associated with that notion have no existence here either.

"Family" dinners are "help yourself in the kitchen," then go eat in the living room where you're in a chair watching tv. Or, well, *I'm* not. I leave with my food to my room. I prefer whatever I'm doing at my own desktop and table, which I sometimes turn into my own little proper dining area, including music, candles and wine glass, instead of eating off a plate in my lap in a noise-chaotic environment with no conversation. Good god.

Food purchases, once provided by the main breadwinner in the household, have devolved into an every-man-for-himself, buy-yer-own-stuff-fix-it-yourself effectively scattered "room-mate"-ish arrangement. The fridge and pantry and food storage situations have become similarly balkanized.

Their version of "nice meal" is a mess of bacon and eggs at 10pm. That is just so wrong on so many levels I'm not even going there.

A proper dinner a nice well-rounded, interesting (even gourmet) meal prepared by me (I'm the real cook around here)--often goes ignored. It is never eaten when hot. It's catch as catch can. There is essentially no social event, sharing, community or communal or familial anything that follows on the heels of preparing something special. My scope of cooking has narrowed down to what I like, for me, because half the time it will be ignored by others anyway, or gobbled cold at 10p with the same gusto applied to bacon and eggs.

This place lacks a center, a hearth, if you will, for family life and (more importantly) the connecting that occurs around family time spent together. The food and dining situation is symptomatic as well as a cause of this disjuncture. It is a black hole at the heart of the household that works out subtly in many other ways domestically.

We almost never have guests over. When someone does come, they sit in the living room and if they eat, they eat there too (although the general notion of hospitality and what Germans call Gastfreundlichkeit--"guest friendliness"--is just as lacking as the hearth-center itself. Or visitors will eat a bite outside on the picnic table under the tree. How pleasant at certain times of year ---yet how stop-gap, and done in lieu of an interior center for entertaining or even just comfortably chatting with a friend.

At holidays there is no center for festivities. In tight money times recently, holidays slip past nearly unremarked--including Christmas, without so much as a tree put up or a single light strung.

I could go on but the scattered discombobulation of this place (which bears an eerie resemblance to a situation I was in briefly in a household with 5 roommates) speaks for itself.  At first I didn't notice any of this--I was glad just to have my cave to write in, and things like no dining table seemed like a temporary situation. But if anything this disconnect has gotten worse over time.

And my epiphany? It's that I NEED a hearth to my home.

I am very hearth-centric. I entertain. I have guests over. I cook nice meals and share them convivially with others. I am (or was) known for the Gemuetlichkeit of my space. Now I look around and my cave resembles in appearance the same scattered energy that exists in this household at large.

Chaotic. Disconnected. No center.

So I've decided to create the change I cannot create in the household at large (since it's not my place):  I am going to create a hearth-centered home right here in my cave.  I have room for a small fridge--I'll save my money to buy one, where I can keep specialty cheeses and dinners I've made and cold bottles of wine and beer, which have no room downstairs in this tee-totalling household. And I need to unpack and set up my altar, and turn my Zuni Indian pot (brazier) into a miniature hearth, where I can focus and evoke that grounding energy I need. I need to re-pot my peace lilies that are growing in overabundance and start some lettuce in a pot for my mice, and get my speakers wired up so I can have the right sound ambiance here (especially to counter the constant drone of Faux News and other toxicity from the living room beneath my feet)...

I need to change my space. And that will change my energy, and hopefully get me both more grounded and more lifted up at the same time. I have slipped into being influenced by the environment I'm in, instead of creating my OWN environment to set the tone of "me" how I want it to be.

I don't fathom how people can live in this inhospitable, un-warm, unfocused hearth-less manner. My Roman and Japanese hearth gods and goddesses are pitching fits about it. I'm glad I finally heard, and I hope they will help me revise this out-of-whack part of my current setting.

If I can't fix Them (in the household), at least I can fix ME. Man, am I overdue.
Wylde1

On Tsernaev: "Torture the f*ck out of him."

That's the pronouncement from someone I have to share space with, on the capture of the 19-yr-old younger-brother idiot who was suspect #2 in the Boston marathon bombings.
Yeah, that'll get all the info we need from him, fer sure, you betcha.
Seriously? I understand the urge for 'revenge.' But "torturing the fuck out of someone" is a cretinous thing to begin with, and to end with, and completely counterproductive if what you want is to learn the truth about connections, bigger pictures, what's behind it, etc etc.
If what you want instead is to get your revenge rocks off? Hell ya, it'll do that. Here, want a waterboard while you're at it? Help yourself. Plenty of our "good guys" have already set that example, along with beatings to death and everything in between.
But is that *really* your reaction to capturing someone responsible for a heinous crime and many casualties and injuries? Fuck them up? Because it's going to...what?  Not give us real intel, not help victims, but at least it will make *you* feel better in the moment?
Ok, 12-year-old-mentality in a 40-year-old-body.  You get on with your bad self, in your exercise of the imagination.

Then stand aside and let those (at least purportedly) real adults actually run an investifuckinggation that can tell us something worthwhile.

Feh.

Wylde3sea

Sometimes I think I'm not made for social networking

Regina crushing a heartYeah, yeah, people can be st00pid on the interwebz and all that, but I am getting really irked by people talking out their ass commenting on content I put out there when they don't actually listen to or read the content, but respond to what they "think" its about based on a teaser line or two.

Latest PITA:  I say in a vid "this method isn't necessary to achieve X, but it can be fun if you're inclined to try things this way."

Comment left by a Name in my industry; "It certainly isn't necessary to do this to achieve X. You can do Y instead."

YA THINK?  Not view the vid you're commenting on, much?

Pinhead.

So of course I leave a (relatively) diplomatic response because this is a business blog and this is a Name and conduct and image-management matters on the Web Eternal and all that, but at the end of the day I would really just rather be in my cave taking care of my thin skin and being blissfully ignorant of all the fuckwads posing as intelligent posters out there in Internet-land.

I'm getting beyond cranky about this kind of dickishness. Yeah, verging on bitchy. This is why I go for months and not make a peep on the web. I do not suffer fools gladly and there is a surfeit of same online who intrude into my corner of the pond.

Maybe I will take up misanthropy as a hobby, since I have not yet perfected my power of banishing boneheads to one of the Outer Planes.
glowing

That's not how you create abundance.

If you think you're reprogramming your prosperity mentality and the abundance you attract,
and you decide to equivocate over the purchase of $3 worth of potatoes
(when you are spending over $200 at the store already)
on the grounds that we already have some that are wrinkling and need to be used
(and when using them for the next meal means we'll then be out and will, nevertheless, still need more potatoes) --
then you are effectively telling the Universe that you live in a land of LACK, and that
those wrinkled potatoes are very nearly The Last Ones on Earth, and must be used before
we deserve to have new ones.

That is called a scarcity mentality.

Do you really think that's the way to tell the Universe you are living in abundance?
Uh huh.
You keep working on that.
wrinkled potato
freakin

People who don't hear and don't have dialog (rantish)

So, I have a workshop online about something writerly-creative-related.  My premise is simple. Parsed out to logic-speak it basically says, "Y detracts from the validity of X. If you want X to be True, then you can't have Y present. X+Y=False." 

The workshop is 90 mins long. Someone just tried it, listened to less than half an hour of it (in which, granted, this core premise is laid out)--and decided he "didn't agree with it." and found it of little value.   And then he unsubscribed from the associated list before giving his subscription time to deliver him any high-value content. 

WTF. 

If you're going to try out someone's info-pool, why not just fucking GIVE IT A CHANCE to see what value is actually there? 

On the one hand, I'm REALLY glad short-attention-span, listening-comprehension-challenged people like this self-select out of my peeps. They are obviously not of my tribe. (Had another unsubscribe because I referred to something writing-related as "work". Likewise: buh-BYE)

But it is still irksome, that someone not only does not Get what so many others do, but also just vanishes without so much as a dialog attempt about what they thought they heard that they're taking offense at.  And really? You disagree with a perfectly reasonable statement that is not only demonstrable, it is logically valid and given qualifiers that confine the declaration to a specific set of conditions? This, you "disagree" with? What fucking planet are you on? Rational thought, much?

Then on the third hand I know there is no shortage of muddy thinkers and people who react to what they think they heard, without taking time to understand what was actually said. 

Feh. Humans. 

And on the fourth hand, I'm glad that I am able to connect with so many people who DO speak the same language as me. That is actually rather enjoyable and yes, I should probably spend all this energy focusing on that fact, instead. Guess I just had to get the "peeved-ness" out of my system. 

I hope the New Year is full of much more pleasant encounters and vanishingly few Boneheads. 

Huzzah. 
Wylde3sea

On creating in isolation

Am probably not going to make a delivery deadline I committed to this month. I am having terrible problems getting on with book revisions. Either writing crap, or can't write at all. Why. 
why why why why why
Ideas but no solutions.

One thing that occurs to me is this. I am in an isolation zone. The people around/near me are not writers or creatives, have zero clue, don't provide much if any emotional support for what I'm doing, and especially when I am in the thick of it and struggling, I hear echos of Faux News-fueled laments and tales of What's Up With the Horses, but there is no receptivity to what I am dealing with except in the very broadest and most meaningless brushstrokes of "good luck with your work."

I'd like to think (in fact, I DO think) that my art and my creativity are not dependent upon a feedback cycle in my immediate local environment. But I suspect there is some other alchemy going on here as well, something I've been wilfully ignoring but which in fact has a real impact on me mentally, psychologically, socially. It is something to do with how closely connected I am to a supportive network of like-minded others. Hey, I try to create that through the interwebz, because I live so very isolated from Real People, but the unfortunate thing is that Real People are in incredibly short (ok, virtually non-existent) supply in my domestic and local environment. 

Part of me thinks my own Vision and Power of Creativity should be sufficient to surmount ALL OBSTACLES. I ought to be able to forge mightily ahead even without close support in my process. Yes? I'm thinking there are times I've done this in the past. But upon honest retrospection, all those times have actually been touched by emotional support by at least _one_ person who Got It, who got *me*, who was that "unconditional love" kind of cheering-on-squad. Not in occaisional once-a-month-whether-you-need-it-or-not "You go, girl" space, but daily, or frequently, and offered with full understanding of where I'm at. 

And I just don't have that now. 

So I think a large part of my personal challenge is to find how to work in a near-complete creative and supportive vacuum. I have plenty of "supportive" internet connections for a superficial level of my work and endeavors. It's not the same as one or a few individuals who really grok wtf I'm working on and are whole heartedly beaming sincere atta-girls at me. 

See, part of me thinks I shouldn't even need that. THat I *should* be able to pull magical creative rabbits out of a hat born out of desire and focus and isolation. 

I think I've been able to do this a time or two in the past, but somehow it eludes me now. What is the key that I am missing? My druthers is not the go-it-completely-alone, I'm-fine-working-in-isolation path.  I want more close personal support than that. But I don't have it, and so I am trying to figure out how to get what I  need, or even if I "need" what I think I need, as I strive to meet deadlines that seem ever further away the less things come together and the closer I get to the date on the calendar. 

Frustrated. Where has my Genius gone? Why can I not be an island in my creativity? I thought I could. And the reality of my situation right now rather dictates that I must remember *how* to be a self-sufficient island, if I want to complete things I have planned to do.  Because I really don't have anyone but myself to turn to for the cheering squad.  

But then I've kinda forgotten what I'm cheering about. 

Argh. 
glowing

Sent letter to agent...Eeee! (That's tension, not joy...!)

I went through an extended period (a decade) of not writing, and during this time (unsurprisingly) drifted apart from my agent. Which is a bad thing if one wants to be a professional writer, especially since I have a Big Bad Agent who represents Really Big Fish in the pond. Also promising small fry, which I was perceived to be...until I quit writing. 

Now my work is going through a regenesis, a follow-up to my biggest hit is coming out next year from Major Publisher, and now, inevitably, there are issues cropping up I need an agent's intervention for (ebook rights, yadda yadda, etc).  So, I had to finally get back in touch with my agent. 

It's been a two way street of silence. It's not like he's been pinging me while I've been doing non-writerly things. And since I wasn't producing-- well, I didn't really expect any agent would keep me on their front burner. But do we even still really have a relationship moving forward? 

I'm sure he'll help with my immediate concerns, because he negotiated those contracts. But moving ahead? 

Guess I'm about to find out if I still have top drawer representation, or must go agent shopping. Sigh. 

Also, it's just really hard to talk to someone you've exchanged exactly 1 email with in a decade and say, hey, are we still in business together? Want to rep me moving ahead? 

Well, ok, put like that it doesn't look so hard on paper. And that's essentially what I asked him. But it *feels* difficult, because here I am, wayward too-long-silent-child, emerging from the twilight of all that is not Actively Writing/Publishing Authors, and clamoring for assistance and renewed business interaction. 

Hence..... "Eeee!", to quote my subject line. 

DIgits crossed, yes? IF he wants to be an advocate for my work. Guess I'm about to find out. !!!
freakin

When you contract to write a non-fiction book, follow the freaking outline!!!

Yes, c'est moi, with an(other) editorial rant. 

When you sit down with an editor (like myself) and agree on a outline to follow for a book (as in, Chapters will be X, Y, Z, with subheads X1, X2, etc), 

AND you agree to deliver a certain word count for that book ms, following that outline, then

DO NOT turn in less than half the target length, arranged in a slap-dash "that's how the topics occurred to me" kind of format that bears no resemblance to the outline. You WILL get the ms promptly returned with instructions to "write to the outline, to the specified length", and you WILL irk your editor. 

When you do this a second time with only 50% more verbiage (which still falls 1/3 short of real word count target), and have artfully "rearranged" the outline to "match your thought process", and deliver this mess thinking it seriously meets the terms of what your publisher is looking for, then you move beyond irkage to "pissing the editor off". 

You're also generating footnotes to "not work with this person again." 

And if you bill yourself as a professional writer? Seriously. My own lambasting at the delicate hand of Marion Zimmer Bradley comes once again to mind. Everyone should have a lesson so well learned. 

Having been a delinquent writer myself more than once, I am now abasing myself before every past long-suffering editor who ever worked with me, and am seriously wondering how editors do not kill authors outright more often than they do (I'm assuming they do. There *are* a certain number of unsolved homicides on the books, after all.) 

FEH.