Month: April 2013

The Walls are Closing In

Near the wall

Near the wall (Photo credit: Niamor83)

I thought I would feel better after my rant about fear and changes in my last post.  Wrong!  I posted, and then checked out this week’s posts from blogging friends, and ended up in an interesting conversation with Caitlin Kelly from Broadside Blog, prompted by this post.

Sometimes I question my perception.  Everyone is struggling in this country right now.  Everyone I talk to, anyway.  Jobs that offer a true living wage are scarce, gas is high, health care costs are obscene, and on down the line of what’s needed to survive.  I know the cost of living here in Manhattan is crazy, but I’m certain I’m romanticizing life in the country, too.  Everywhere presents a unique set of challenges.  And then something reminds me I’m not completely insane, after all.

Check out this article from the NY Times.

Now, we don’t pay an insane rent.  We’re lucky.  If we didn’t have a rent controlled place, we’d be homeless in Manhattan.  Literally.  Sounds good, right?  Except that means we can’t move within NYC, stuck in a too small apartment with a doll’s kitchen and a nightmare of a bathroom.  One bathroom.  Makes virus season lots of fun.  And let’s not forget the rest of what goes into the cost of living.  I’d love to put Flower Child in an art class, or even better, private art lessons, so we could work around her health and limited energy.  Can’t afford it.  One once per week after school class, run by the school is $600.  And that is reasonable compared to the cost of lessons and classes not run by the public schools and those lessons are often fabulous, in just about anything you can think of.  Makes for awkward moments on the blacktop when the other moms are talking about what their kids are enrolled in.

Schools here? Crazy. If you can’t afford private schools, which are >$30,000 a year here, you have to be very, very lucky.  Too many kids competing for too few decent spots in the too few decent public schools.  The stress involved is horrendous.  This is for entry into nursery school, Kindergarten, and again 6th grade (middle school), and 9th grade (high school).  Have more than one kid?  This is for each child, not each family.  Don’t forget the testing and the interviews.  And testing for K, 6th, and 9th grade is much like the SATs have become.  Test prep.  Costly, private test prep.  Private test prep for public middle school, high schools.  Excuse me while I tap into my Brooklyn roots.  Get the fuck outta here.  Have a child with special needs?  Well, you know those too few spots?  Forget it, you’ll find yourself wishing for those days of 1 in 4 odds.

From this recent HuffPost article, NY has the curious distinction of holding 3 of the 10 most expensive cities (they’ve separated the boroughs into cities for this) to live in. A hellofa town, for sure.

But it’s New York!  Theater!  Tickets for a Broadway show, let’s say Wicked.  On a Saturday afternoon, seats in the mezzanine.  $160 per ticket.  Are you surprised that we haven’t gone to see it?

March 1860 Godey's Lady's Book Fashion Plate

March 1860 Godey’s Lady’s Book Fashion Plate (Photo credit: clotho98)

How about going to the Met for an opera?  Hah! Maybe, if we want to buy a year in advance and stand up for the show.

I would miss the easy availability of any type of food I’m in the mood for.  I can see it now, “Mrs Fringe learns to use a crockpot.”

Why don’t we forget being fancy.  How about bowling?  $9.25 per person, per game at Chelsea Piers (on weekends/holidays, yanno, when you’d take your kids bowling), $6 per person shoe rental.  Don’t forget the Metro card fare for us to get there and back, and the long, long ass walk from the train.  So, for our family of five to go and bowl 2 games, no frills, no snacks, no lunch, it would cost $147.50.

We don’t go to the theater, infrequently go to the museums (and only the ones where it’s a suggested donation, not a mandatory admission fee), we don’t even go to the damned movies because of the cost.  The nice part of living here is that when we do go to a museum, we don’t feel compelled to pack everything into one day, and we don’t have to be pillaged buying lunch at or near it, we can wait until we’re back home for sandwiches.

A few years back, I was determined to take the kids to see a performance at Shakespeare In The Park.  These shows are great, and they’re free.  You just have to go the morning of the performance and stand on line for tickets.  Limit, 2 tickets per person.  OK.  I got the kids up, we went to the park and stood on line.  Heh, three hours before the ticket booth opened wasn’t early enough. Bonus seizure from Flower Child while we waited to be told they were sold out way before we got to the front of the line.  Tried again an hour earlier the following week.  Still no go.  Really? So many NYers,  infamous for brunch at 3PM are getting on line for tickets at 6AM?  Turns out a good number of people pay someone to stand on line for these free-so-everyone-can-enjoy-theater-in-NY tickets.

Please, someone tell me why I’m here. Yes, Central Park is free.  And beautiful.  I hear some people have backyards where they see trees and birds.

Gutter Ball Graphic

Gutter Ball Graphic (Photo credit: cote)

Is the Boogeyman Getting Bigger?

Return of the Boogeyman

Return of the Boogeyman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a funny thing.  I find as I get older, certain things that used to bother me, don’t.  You really do reach a level of understanding, this too shall pass.  In other ways, though, those fears take hold and get more firmly rooted.  Like, say, fear of the unknown.

I’m at a point where I’m ready to make changes.  Not quite sure about what they’ll encompass, but I’m ready.  Except, what about that other old adage?  You know the one, “the devil you know…”

Fatigue and I were talking about fears the other evening.  Not wanting to live our lives dictated by fear.  We were talking about our young adulthood, before we knew each other.  I realized I used to be brave.  Ok, maybe not brave, but braver than I am now.  I took chances.  Some worked out, some not so much.  Yanno, life.  It’s a lot harder to take those risks when the fallout of a miscalculated risk involves more than me and a cat.  Yes, once upon a time, Mrs Fringe had a cat.

I dream about moving to “the country.”  What if we did it?  Would it be an easier life, living somewhere the budget would stretch farther?  I have blissful visions of a kitchen where I can’t touch both walls while standing in the middle.  A dishwasher.  Not living with people literally on top and below me.  Privacy!  A garden.  A spot to let the beasts out so I don’t have to always walk them no matter what at least three times a day.

There’s nowhere we could go where our money will magically stretch for a fantastic area, HGTV worthy house, or a house on the beach.  A lot of factors have to be weighed in.  Cost of living, school system, special ed services, doctors/hospitals, work, somewhat reasonable distance to get to Mother In Law.  Let’s not forget political factors.  Not every area would be happy to welcome us.  I don’t need to be somewhere where everyone has the same political beliefs, but I also don’t want to be somewhere I’d be afraid to state my beliefs, know what I mean?  And Husband, who would be very happy if I would forget all about this fantasy and continue to trip over each other in the apartment, choke on the budget, and keep waving as I trudge out with the dogs to walk them for the eleventy billionth time.

If I keep huffing and puffing and moaning, and swear it will all be fabulous and I will wake up and skip through the daisies every day, maybe we’ll go.  Eventually.  But  that isn’t how I want to walk into a big change.  My crystal ball is looking a little milky these days.  I don’t know if this type of move would work out.  If we’d end up in the perfect area, if it would provide enough stress and financial relief to enjoy those daisies.  We all face decisions, we all try to stack the odds in our favor.  But at the end of the day, big decisions are a leap of faith.  A calculated risk, but a risk nonetheless.

None of this obsessing is getting me any closer to the revisions I should be working on.

For the moment, I’ll continue to watch the real estate porn on HGTV while I wonder if I’m being ruled by my fears or being practical.  Sensible.  Oh gawd, am I supposed to toss my stilettos and buy orthopedic lace-ups now?

And in the meantime, Flower Child and I keep watching our little seeds sprout, pretending we’ve got a real garden.  And I trimmed and bathed Little Incredibly Dumb Dog.  Productivity, sorta.

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Wild Thing, or This, That, and the Other


Lion (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Walking down the street to meet Husband…I get in the car, and he’s laughing.  “You look like un animal!” This is how Mrs Fringe knows it’s time for a haircut.  For now, I stuck a clip in my hair.  But I’m going to follow this thought for a bit.

I did take a few days off after finishing the first draft, and just read.  One of the books I read was The Wolf Gift, by Anne Rice.  She is one of those authors who provokes strong responses among her readers.  You love her or hate her.  I love her.  I’ve heard for years about her not taking editorial suggestions anymore.  Have I seen it in her books? Maybe, sometimes, but nothing enough to interrupt the suspension of disbelief.  With Rice, I’ve fallen in love with angels, vampires, mummies, witches, castrati, New Orleans, the gens de couleur libres, and became fascinated by thoughts of the early life of Christ.  Yes, her prose tends towards purple, but wow, can she tell a story.  And sexy.  Leaving her erotica books out of it, her writing, her characters, ooze sensuality.  Not my writing style, but as a reader I adore her details and world building.

I have to say, I was disappointed in The Wolf Gift.  The MC didn’t feel believable, even before he turned into a werewolf.  And I couldn’t suspend disbelief for the whole were/woman secksy times.  Even putting smell to the side (very hard for me to do), how in the world were they kissing when he had a snout?  I watch True Blood, love it (no, don’t love the books it’s based on), but when Sookie and Alcide were smooching, he was in human form.  Guess I’m just a prude–who needs a haircut, so Husband isn’t accused of  kissing a mangy lion.

I’ve begun the process of reading my manuscript, cleaning up noticeable, small errors; making more notes for things I want to add or change, and writing an expanded outline based on what’s there. Playing with the idea of adding another character and subplot, I feel like the story is missing…something.

But I’m taking it slow, it’s too soon to rip it apart completely, I need some distance.  I’m worn out, and I suppose this post reflects the way my brain has been unfocused over the past week.  Flower Child has been focused on her art, drawing a lot of trees, so we’ve both been paying attention.  The other day, I took some more bad NY wildlife photos.  Obviously, I have to share them here.

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First Draft Purgatory

End of the road

End of the road (Photo credit: benuski)

Today I finished the first draft of my WIP.  I would happy dance, but I’m too drained.  I feel like I’ve been wrung out and run over by a truck.  Wouldn’t be so bad if you would be so kind as to hold off on throwing it in reverse and running me down again.

It’s been too long since I’ve done this.  Funny, I remember it feeling…different, when I’ve completed first drafts before.  More yippee! and less holy shit, I’m going to spend forever in revisions!  Forcing myself to push through and keep writing until I had a complete draft was a good thing, but it leaves me looking at a lot more work that *needs* to be done.

For every manuscript, I have a corresponding composition book.  This is where I first begin notes; character sketches, motivation, plot lines, rough outline, and a quick sentence or two for every scene as I go along.  It’s also where I write down ideas I want to revisit, possible plot holes, thoughts for details to enhance Chapter 6 when I’m already in Chapter 14.  So going back to edit and revise, not a new concept.  I’ve got plenty of notes, ideas, and questions to address.  But I’m going to have to look very carefully at my female main character in the second half of the manuscript.


Tragic (Photo credit: Tanya Dawn)

There’s a scene at the end where she’s wondering if she’s about to get dumped, and as I was writing it, part of me was thinking, “Yes!  For the love of God, dump her!  She’s a great big yawn.”  I’m no expert, but that isn’t a good sign.  I’m definitely going to have to look at what happened to her in that second half.

For the next few days, though, I’m not even going to open the file.  Maybe I’ll rest.  Or give Little Incredibly Dumb Dog a bath.  Then I should be able to start catching up with the blogging friends on my blog roll.  Soon enough, I’ll be out of Purgatory and into Revision Hell.

El Purgatorio (1890). Óleo sobre tela 339 x 25...

El Purgatorio (1890). Óleo sobre tela 339 x 256 cm. GAN.Cararas – Venezuela. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bonus Photo Post

As I’ve mentioned, the pom pom crab is my favorite critter in the tank.  He came out for a rare appearance a little while ago, staying visible long enough for me to grab the camera and take a couple of shots.  Not long enough to shut the pumps so I could get clearer shots, though, sorry.

Just a crab and his return pump

Just a crab and his return pump

Normally he stays hidden, coming out once or twice a month to grab food.  It’s rare for him to venture this far from his home, hidden in the live rock.

Pink streaked wrasse, on the hunt

Pink streaked wrasse, on the hunt


In danger of being swept over the overflow.

In danger of being swept over the overflow.


Knock Knock

Knock the Door !

Knock the Door ! (Photo credit: Elias Pirasteh)

Busy writing, busy reading, busy mamaing, busy stressing.

And a bit blue.  Probably from all the busying of daily life nonsense, and the need for warmer weather to stay for more than three days.  I’m not even going to mention continued problems maintaining a signal to stay online, and the fact that it took 3 hours to post this.

Last week, Man Child confirmed he’ll be staying in the area of his school this summer, he’s got a great job offer.  Fabulous on so many levels.  Not least of which because that’s my goal as a parent; independent, happy, thriving kiddos.  Then he called needing some information because he was on his way to the ER, a kitchen accident.

Evidence – Screaming Woman

Evidence – Screaming Woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He was treated, all is well, he even had a long weekend to recuperate.  I asked if he wanted to come home for a few days, rest, visit, etc.  No, he had plans.  No problem, take care of yourself, have fun, rest.  This is what I want for him, right? Right?

I love being a mama.  I love my kids.  I even like my kids.  I’m a human being, I have made mistakes as both a person and a parent, but mostly, I feel like I do a decent job.  In our house, we don’t run with the assumption that parents and teens/young adults are natural adversaries with different goals.  Objectively, I think it’s worked out pretty well so far.

But add over-busy to writing angst, stress, Flower Child missing her brothers, blueness, thinking of how many months before I see Man Child…well, mama brain goes into overdrive.  Maybe no matter what decisions Husband and I made, no matter how we tried to parent, we can’t do anything to avert the stereotypical outcome of our kids never wanting to visit, cataloguing our mistakes and couldn’t-dos….  Maybe he’s never coming to visit again!

Okay, okay.  Stop being a drama mama, suck it up, be happy that he calls.  Plant some new seeds with Flower Child, think about what kind of cake she’d like for her birthday later this week.  Flower Child and I were doing our Sunday stuff.  I’m sweeping the floor, and the front door opens.  Husband hasn’t been feeling great,  oh crap, he must really be sick if he left work.

I look up from my pile of dog hair and


It’s Man Child and his friend, Miss Lovely Music.  Just for the afternoon, Flower Child and I showed off our microscopic seedlings, they sat for a bit and then they went downtown to run a couple of errands.  Came back, chatted a little while more, and then left to surprise Husband for a few minutes at work before heading back to school.

That’s a long drive and a lot of gas money for two broke college students who had to be back at school last night, with no way of knowing if I would have cash to reimburse them (I did and I did).

Thank you.


sunrise (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

It’s a Beautiful Day–Join Mrs Fringe for a Guiltshake!

English: One of the "shakes with a punch&...

English: One of the “shakes with a punch” at Hot Chocolate at Docklands. Whiskey, Baileys, Very Vanilla & Bee Keeper ice cream, dark chocolate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been having problems getting online for weeks.  Initially I thought it was my laptop, it’s old and freezes up on a semi-regular basis.  Then Husband, Nerd Child, and Flower Child were all having problems with their devices.   At first it was sporadic, but over the past couple of weeks it’s been a daily hassle to stay connected for more than 2-3 minutes at a time.  I thought it was connected to the jackhammering they’ve been doing on the corner.  We reset the little box thing.  We called the cable company.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Then I started asking neighbors, but no one else is having a problem.  Hmmm.  It occurred to me it had to be something in our hardware.  We’ve had our router for a long time.  Really long.  Purchased when there were fewer and less powerful computers using it.  So I asked my fish freak buddies (yes, they know everything) and they told me it likely is my router.  By yesterday, we couldn’t stay on for more than a minute without getting cut off.  Ugh.

Why is this such a big deal?  Because a couple of weeks ago, I bought myself a present.  I had done several extra dog walks and was feeling beaten by winter, so I splurged.  I bought an e-reader.  I love it, it’s made me happy, and I’ve been skipping along, pleased with myself.  Except now we need a new router.  We don’t have any extra money right now (like this would be different a month ago, or a month from now, ha!).  I didn’t buy a fancy e-reader, you can’t surf the web with it, but still, I could have bought a router with that money if I had realized then what our internet problems were.  I would have still had the money if I had put it to the side for Flower Child’s upcoming birthday pedicure, the way I should have.

A macro photo of a Maraschino cherry, taken wi...

A macro photo of a Maraschino cherry, taken with my Fuji S7000 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s the double ugh glazed with extra guilt cherry on top.

What a selfish bitch.  A good mommy would have waited another three years for the e-reader, making sure no one needs anything before spending money on something so frivolous.  Am I the only one who hears that voice?

Husband went to go buy a new router.  We have stuff for the kids’ schools that needs to be done where we must have a somewhat reliable internet connection, and Husband needs it for work.  Ok.  I’ll swallow the cherry, figure out where I can tighten the budget this week.  He asked if I wanted to go to the store with him.  No, I didn’t.  I was writing, and only had a couple of hours before I had to dogwalk.

Husband came home with the SuperDuperMegaRouter.  I would have gone to the next store, in search of the EconoRouter.   And this is me, choking on the stem.  Funny how that guilt never completely gets digested, but it sure is absorbed.

But it is still a beautiful day, so I’ll share a spring in Central Park photo, just in case you’re one of the blessed ones who can decline a guiltshake on an early summer day.  I was going to upload a bunch, but apparently the SuperDuperMegaRouter doesn’t care to do too much fraternizing with Ricketyoldlaptop.

From a distance, the trees are still saying winter, but when you get close...

From a distance, the trees are still saying winter, but when you get close…


Farmer Fringe

Clematis, New York Botanical Garden

Clematis, New York Botanical Garden (Photo credit: Kristine Paulus)

Flower Child likes the idea of growing things.  I like the idea of growing things.  We don’t know what we’re doing, but little by little, we’re trying to figure it out, in pots on the terrace.  We aren’t successful enough yet to call it container gardening.

Last year we did pretty well, using little plants from the local plant shop.  We had a couple of pots with flowers, one with mint, one with basil, a couple of window box type things hanging off of the terrace railing filled with herbs.  We learned that dill will attract the birds with the red chests.  Never had one of those come to my terrace before, apparently they think dill is comfy for nesting.  We learned pigeons enjoy basil, not to keep it in the boxes on the ledge.  We learned tomatoes need to be pollinated, and bees don’t come up as high as we live.  I’d like to try that one again, after reading some more about how to self pollinate.

Yesterday was a beautiful spring day, so this morning, FC and I decided today was the day to work on our terrace.  Yanno it’s still sunny but freezing today.  We went back to the plant store and bought seeds this time.  Much less expensive, we can try more things.

to be planted next week

to be planted next week

We were going to plant these tomorrow, but neither one of us remember which of the two identical planters is the one we already put seeds into.  So we’ll wait a week, and see which one sprouts something.

to be planted tomorrow. I hope.

to be planted tomorrow. I hope.

Turns out, some seeds have to be soaked for twenty four hours before planting.

veggie seeds planted

veggie seeds planted



Flower Child digging

Flower Child digging

Window boxes on terrace railing

Window boxes on terrace railing

See?  We’re ready for rural life.

Green Acres





Kin, Utopia, and Rape

For me, reading fiction is like a bag of dill pickle chips.  I’ve learned to resist temptation most of the time.  Earlier this year I was so blocked I couldn’t read even if I let myself.  But when I’m in a phase…I can’t eat one.  Once I start, I have to keep going until I’m licking the residue off of the bag.

Mrs Whyte's Kosher Dill Pickle

Mrs Whyte’s Kosher Dill Pickle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most novels are read, details forgotten within a day. (I’m a fast reader.) Maybe I’ll remember the general plot line, or the main character, and so I’ll remember the author’s name and look for more of their work.  Then, of course, there are the macaroni and cheese books.  You know, the comfort novels you can and do re-read.  Other books are like the  special dinners you remember forever.  Even if you only got to enter the restaurant once,  some meals have a huge impact on your life and memories.

The Kin of Ata are Waiting For You, by Dorothy Bryant, is one of those books for me.  *spoilers ahead*

Cover of "The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for ...

Cover of The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You

Initially, it was published in 1971 under a different name as a novella, by a small (I think feminist) press.  A few years later, it was picked up by Random House and retitled, maybe 1976.  I first read it around 1983, looooved it, but until last week I hadn’t seen it around or read it in at least twenty years.

Oh yeah, feminist sci fi, in line with Marge Piercy, Joanna Russ, and the queen, Ursula K Le Guinn.

The protagonist is an anti-hero, a truly despicable man who seems to represent some of the worst of what the Y chromosome can produce.  The book opens with him, an unnamed successful novelist who is in the middle of a fight with a woman.  It’s ugly, it’s crude, and he kills her.  An accident, but his thoughts in response are all about him, how this might impact his life, how he can get away with this.  He runs away, crashes his car, and awakens in an entirely different world. Ata.  A mysterious island, a utopia where the inhabitants are governed by their dreams and the greater good.  No violence, no sexism, no racism, no written word.  They know about the world he comes from, and somehow they keep the balance of that world by maintaining their own.  Sex isn’t puritanical, not only for procreational purposes, but it isn’t without consequence, either.  He does not magically accept this new world, the people, or their ways, and tries to bring the “real world’s” ugliness with him.  As he starts to accept where he is, and begins to understand them, he thinks he will return the favor.  Yanno, benevolent privileged white guy, gonna teach the savages the error of their ways, help them out with all his words, studliness and of course, his superior understanding that more is better.

This is not a likable main character.  It takes a while to find anything sympathetic in him, and just when you think you have, Bryant raises the stakes and you’re disgusted with him all over again.  But because she keeps raising those stakes, you keep reading.  He’s one big “id” and the kin of Ata are all “superego.”  The book is very Jungian, which fascinated me when I first read it thirty years ago, and fascinates me now.  Her descriptions of the island and the people, their customs, all beautiful.  There is growth for the protagonist, and a definite (though not easy) character arc, and redemption by the end.  But again, not easy.  In the same way he confuses the kin for simplistic people, it’s easy to assume he will be saved by acknowledging their spiritual “superiority,” without facing any consequences.The Protagonist

Because it’s been so long since I last read it, some of what I took away is different, some of what I noticed are things I didn’t notice then.  The time period?  My youth?  I don’t know.  But I do see some “preachy” factor now, that I didn’t then.  I wondered, as I read, if Bryant was raised in, or had spent time with, the Quakers.  Quite a few of the customs and beliefs made me feel like I was in a Friends’ Meeting House.

Part of the book is a love story–though not a romance, and this is the part that has me rambling on today.  I have one absolute rule in reading or writing romance.  Rape is not romantic.  I can never, and will never, accept a hero as a romantic lead if he crosses the line.  For me, crossing the line doesn’t mean intercourse.  Any scene where the “hero” uses physical force to restrain a heroine, or hold her down long enough for her to realize and acknowledge those “strange new stirrings” and I’m done.  I’ve heard some writers of historical romance (not many) say well, you have to understand the context, the times….  Umm, no, I don’t.

How could I not have remembered this scene, or loved this book anyway?  Yes, he rapes his love interest, Augustine.

He knows she doesn’t want him, but she doesn’t fight him off, doesn’t yell for help, so he justifies his actions, telling himself if she really didn’t want it, she would have called for help, hit him, something.  Not only does he do this, but a relationship develops between them later, paralleling his spiritual growth.  Can this be?  Can I, as a modern pseudo-feminist, accept and still like this novel?  Should I oppose it on principle?  If I had never read this book before last week, had no associations with it, I would have stopped reading.

The scene itself was interestingly written, and in many ways, it made sense as a powerful statement for a gender neutral, post misogynist society.  She could have fought him off, she was at least as strong, if not stronger.  The impression was that it was him who was reduced by this act, so ridiculous, so disappointing, it was the tantrum of a child, and she would wait until he had finished his fit before she took care of herself.

Augustine becomes pregnant from this rape.  Yes, it’s part of Bryant’s theme of consequences, action/reaction. I assumed he would never, as long as he was on Ata,  be able to forget who he was, what he brought to the table and thought was superior, every time he saw the baby/child.  I kept waiting.  No matter how he evolved, truly loving Augustine, their child, and Ata, I was disappointed.  In his depths, it’s clear he understands his actions were wrong, even as he committed this act.  And again, this never tries to be a romance, and the protagonist is never a hero.  Even within the framework of a “love story,” as opposed to a romance, Augustine’s feelings for him are complex, and never overshadow what she believes is the greater good–or better for herself.  And on Ata, the greater good and the individual “good” are so entwined they cannot be separated.

I understand why Bryant included this scene, this heinous act on the part of the protagonist.  He was a murderer, but it was through the rape that he realized just how his belly was scraping the bottom, and begin the climb towards caring about others and his actions.  I understand it, but I feel squinky every time I think about it, and writing about it.

On Ata, there is very little disease, illness, or disorder.  There is pain, injury, aging and death; the kin are human beings, not supernatural creatures.  But another detail I hadn’t remembered, the one specific mention of a physical disorder, was of a member with epilepsy.  He wasn’t seen as special, having a direct path to God or dreams, nor was he seen as less than anyone else.  He was kin.  And it gives me a connection to who I am today, what my life includes in reality, not the fantasy of what I thought would be.

I’m wondering what will happen if revisit some of my other old favorites.  If I blow the dust off of The Once and Future King, will I find might makes right, after all? Happy Hour Happy Hour (Photo credit: Scott Beale)