Category Archives: Philosophy

NaNoWriMo 2014: All About That THREE-peat!

‘Tis the season, fellow writers and lovers of the written word! National Novel Writing Month, a day-by-day literary reckoning. Many sign up, few complete 50,000 words, even fewer, before November 30th.

First year…SMASHED IT!!

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Second year…BOOM!!!

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And I blogged intensely about it right here in WordPress in case you need to know what insanity reads like. :) (Search NaNoWriMo in Make Contact)

 

This year, going for Da Tre. Win #3. And I’m really excited to enter this novel as a contender, especially at the cusp of another presidential election season!

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The picture does the synopsis no justice, so here’s the extracted text in full:

The sequel to NaNoWriMo 2012 Winner The Black Parade, the United States has economically imploded, sending the leadership into self-dug graves, the wealthy running for sanctuary, and the general population taking the law in their own hands. With hungry eyes and salivating chomps watching America, smelling opportunity for land takeover, will the faction-ed camps of Kills Enemy and Vargas, the people responsible for the initial uprising which brought down Archie Wilcoxon at the expense of Shenandoah Leslie’s life, put their issues aside to protect the fractured nation from marauders?

Thursday nights I’ll be NaNo’ing at Community Cafe. There are other write-ins around Pinellas County; please check nanowrimo.org for the region you’re in and where those WriMos be at!

GOOD LUCK AND FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS!!!

The inspiration for my original work, “Welcome To The Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance:

 

 

The Crowd Pleaser

Every event has its own outfit. Every outfit contributes to the show. I didn’t learn this from a fashion magazine, I learned this from a grown man wearing an arrow through his head!

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Courtesy Tumblr user tucec9

Steve Martin wants to get you to dance the King Tut? He throws on a Pharaoh’s crown. Needs to prove to you he’s a normal (crazy) guy? Steve Martin pushes on bunny ears! He doesn’t do it to feel complete; he does it to engage his audience. In person, he’s quiet, introverted, and even distant, as I read about him years ago. Kindred I feel, and thus, do my best to emulate.

Given the choice of sitting on a couch listening to talented storytellers, or, standing under spotlight to tell a tale, I’m likely to be in my baggy sweats, legs curled under me, rapt in attention. But, there are moments when the crowd becomes the crowd pleaser. My most recent event found me wrestling with that discomfort: while I enjoy writing and I love my stories, I’m worn out from stage life and the spotlight. However, if I’m trying to profit off my art, I gotta do the arty thing and get on stage with it! Yikes.

For me, it’s not a nerves thing. It’s more of a fun-ed out thing; the more time I spend reading completed art, the less time I’m spending on incomplete work and I’d rather invest my time at the computer screen. So, when I find myself wrestling with the duality of solitary writer/crowd performer, I settle my nerves with a simple question: WWSMD?

Steve Martin would coat, shellac, paint, tighten, sculpt, mould, highlight, tweeze, press, scald, twist, puncture, squeeze, and freeze spray for SpookEasy! Here’s what two solid hours ended up with at my vanity:

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Nothing 49 coats of mascara and a set of Spanx can’t fix!

Since I read from Night Walkers, a Horrified Press anthology featuring ‘creatures of the night’, I dressed as a glamorous gangster, and introduced myself as ‘Queen of the St Pete Underworld’ before launching into my short fiction, “Tokyo Rose,” a story of a woman’s slow, terrifying downspiral during an evening at a martini bar. I am actually not sure when the book will be released, but I imagine if you visit their Amazon page, you’ll be able to find it eventually. See?? Proof that I’m not into the marketing end of things!

You do performances to keep people abreast of your art, but you be a writer – you exist as a solitary individual ensconced in the deep folds of imagination, preoccupied with hours upon hours of unrelenting play, to create what brings you joy, and, maybe, develop that creation into a format worth sharing, should you choose to do so. Being is so much easier than doing, but doing can be a delight!

Here’s a few pics with me as The Glam Gangster, courtesy of Community Cafe’s Facebook Page:

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SpookEasy host Monika sharing her 2012 short story. There’s me, stage right with Meg, another performer for the evening.

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Performed Tokyo Rose, then ‘Stopping By The Master’s Grave,’ then switched ‘Ode to Three Birds Tavern’ to ‘Ode to Community Cafe’ en homage to Ms Mandy, the cafe’s owner.

 

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The glam breaks through the darkness. :)

Also went ahead and got some head shots taken before the eyeliner seeped into the crow’s feet! :D I’m using this one as my new Avatar. Ya like??

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Von Simeon as Queen of the St Pete Underworld

 

 

 

Ease Into Monday – Groove Armada

Von Recommends: Alexei Leonov and The First Spacewalk (Longread)

The First Spacewalk

Courtesy: BBC Painting by cosmonaut Alexei Leonov

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29534966

Wordless Wednesday – Board Game Empire

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Remember Anthrax?

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There’s precautions, and then there’s dumb what-if scenarios with danishes laughing at you from a distance.

Turn on any information communication device, and you will know, for a fact, undeniably, you are dying from Ebola TODAY.

Helluva job these media folks are doing scaring the bejeezus out of the simple minded. I did help myself to a chuckle, as the first U.S. case was in jolly Dallas, Texas! I spoke to a former work colleague the same week the Ebola case was unfolding, someone who still resides in Texas, and I told her, “You can have it! If any state is better qualified to re-enact Contagion, Texas is it!” followed closely with a, “Glad I left when I did!” Then I asked my former co-worker, “Do you remember anthrax…?” To which she offered a begrudged, “Ohhh…”

Allow me to elucidate.

After the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, every single industry set out to fortify its defenses; physically, numerically, and gigabyte-ly. IBM was flooded with anxious IT administrators and company executives seeking whatever adaptation necessary to keep their servers online. During that time, I worked for the team which specialized in disaster recovery – we created customized fail-over servers, we employed network migration to re-build fried servers, we developed off site data storage solutions, along with many many other skillful tactics to preserve data integrity –  and the September 11 attacks had us on overtime, literally. There were no such moments as a call-free pager duty. Everyone on my team was working minute by minute to deliver.

Then the envelope thing happened.

IBM’s focus shifted from fortifying its clients to protecting its own. As these emergency situations go, objectives were laid out by the Big Bluers, trickled down to the middle range, and then (mis)interpreted by the floor managers. Our team manager, bless her heart, was already a skiddish woman for a WWF Raw fan. The added responsibility of training us snarky bastards on identifying and reporting anthrax gave her hives.

I recall us sitting in the conference room, at that ubiquitous parabola surrounded by squeaky chairs, wondering why they put the assorted breakfast danishes way on the opposite side of the table and not in front of me, as would be convenient. The manager had us listen to a recording, and from that recording, determine if we were experiencing a possible threat to the office. A round of comical roasts and burns of each other in an emergency situation derailed the manager’s attempt to bring us back to line. We could not take this serious even if she paid us to!

From same recording, we needed to identify key noises in the background that would help us, if in danger, to identify the person on the other line making the threat. I may have heard a passing train, but the growls from my stomach overshadowed her attempt to engage me. I dunno, after more than two bomb threat evacuations in my life, I’m just not a good scare tactic reactor.

The division I worked involved four camps: Research Triangle Park, NC; Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; Austin, TX. I was in Austin at the time. We snarky ones had found out over the grapevine that someone at RTP called in sick, claiming anthrax exposure. IBM, I imagine to protect the staff, made it mandatory for the person to stay home more than two days.

We snarky ones liked the sound of that.

Slowly, like a large-faced daisy losing its petals, the most rebellious of our team employed the anthrax cough and subsequent call-ins to get out of work. Yes, I know, it’s terrible to monopolize on a serious infection, especially when so many people were harmed or died, but frankly, we didn’t give a damn. We just wanted a few days off, and if saying the A word was going to get middle management to sign off on sick leave, why the hell not? You would’ve done it too, don’t even try to be pious right now!!

I played the A card. But I only took one day off. ;)

 

 

T.V. PARTY TONIGHT! We’ve Got Nothing Better To Do…

I had a week of more achievements than failures, yay!

As one should do, I celebrated that W last Friday night by taking care of Numero Uno. Check out the dinner spread, yo:

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That’s right, Daddy…PANCAKES N STEAKS!!! Braised round smothered in Vidalia onions, minced garlic, peppercorns, and balsamic vinegar. Little red potato spud stuffed with butter and cheddar, two flapjacks, and to keep it healthy, a bowl of green beans, covered in cheese! This should get us through the night.

 

BF indisposed for the weekend, so I get to wear my Fat Girl clothes, spread out across the couch and queue up Hulu. It’s an old school TV Party ya’ll!

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Premise is, Ichabod Crane of the classic story is brought back to life in current time, and has to get busy controlling the Headless Horseman and the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I tuned in last year because it debuted during spooky Halloween season, but I started to really enjoy the story, especially how they mash up the battle for the republic with witchcraft and supernatural beings. If you haven’t seen this show at all, it’s binge-worthy! Go ahead and add it to your Favorites list.

People tune in for…

Sometimes they cast spells, sometimes they unload rounds. It’s a comprehensive action drama.

But I’m watching for…

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Jenny Mills is Abbie Mills’ estranged sister, a recent mental health hospital patient, and a trained gun-for-hire. Girl of my dreams!

“I’m a mental patient with a handgun.” ’nuff said.

 

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This show is what I imagine Mitt Romney’s family is like when the cameras aren’t on them. Story takes place in the richy rich part of Long Island, but the way these Crazy White Girls act, you’d think they were on Staten Island! Hats off to the costume design team, too; everyone, down to the subordinate characters, are dressed supa dupa fly!

People tune in to see…

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Emily Thorne-Amanda Clarke really, really, REALLY loves her daddy; so much so she kills errybody!

But my eyes are on…

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Madeleine Stowe CRUSHES IT as the wily Victoria Grayson. Talk about a tiger mom; she’ll literally kill to protect her babies.

I’ve never witnessed such gracious evil! She just stood at the door to let Emily know she broke out of the mental institution and will kill her. Talk about decorum!

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Another ‘Life in the D.C. Bubble’ show, but this one is Shonda Rhimes’ work, and just as fan-building as Grey’s Anatomy. It is frustrating to watch from an experiential standpoint, but I guess the general public needs their delusions that there are people out there, working the Capitol, who are pure of heart. I do love a good comedy!

People are big fans of…

KERRY WASHINGTON

Olivia Pope, the beleaguered Gladiator, whose fundamental flaw is she thinks entirely too much with her pussy.

But I root for…

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Mellie Grant is flawed yet fearless. That woman has ambition, motive and drive. She also has the President wrapped around her finger, and a White House that is at her complete service. The First Lady is a reminder to all side pieces: there is NO HOPE for you!

 

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The Bat Boy’s back, but this time, it’s everyone’s Origin Story. I’m a sucker for origins, even though I famously can’t stand Batman. This is worth couch surfing, even binging, if you’re a fan of DC Comics and have yet to jump on this!

Fans of justice relate to…

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The handsome, unrelenting Jim Gordon before we get to know him as Commissioner.

But my ideology mirrors…

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She’s getting hers, she’s mowing down the competition, and she’s ridding herself of the inconsequential. Fish Mooney would’ve made Ayn Rand proud.

I thought Jada was perfect as Niobe in The Matrix movies, but I’m really enjoying her in this role; scheming, conniving, destroying, all while dressed to the nines and keeping her nail game tight!

HONORABLE MENTION:

 

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This summer series is my quiet addiction. These women are essentially me splintered in four – their personalities, their clothing tastes, their drama, everything! This past season, my life was crazily mirroring the story line, proving that my bullshit is not even unique. So that’s a calming experience. :)

Idea For The Throne

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Ishtar has many animal depictions, but the standard is the bull. I, a true Taurus, also identify with the bull. This ashtray swiped from the BF isn’t the right civilization, but the ideal design. So, if you come across something opulent and bull-y that compliments my blue, shoot me a link. Thanks!

Sharing

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Writer’s Block @ Community Cafe October Meeting

Creating Ishtar’s Throne

The first move I made after a long summer road trip was slap my tired carcass onto my bed, face first.

I feel my neck bend the wrong way, my shoulder blades touch, and my feet lift towards the ceiling. I muttered into the sunken space, “This is not where a queen sleeps!”

This shitty lump has been in my life since I was rocking Cross Colors and Benetton to school. I took it from my mother’s house before I moved out here; the bed I got from the divorce was too wide for the U Haul. Granted, I’ve been sleeping on it alone, so I’ve been tolerating it, but now that I have a Significant Other Who Stays The Night Regularly, it’s become clear this mattress set is more a torture zone than a slumber pad.

But then, why stop there? I renewed my lease until 2016, so I figure, we could paint! I’ve been admiring a certain blue this year, and I find cobalt blue to be especially stimulating and powerful, perhaps it’s my new power color? I picked up a sample can at the Home Depot and I think I like what I see:

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Isn’t this cobalt just gorgeous?? Thinking of gold stencils along the top, or even painting gold cuneiform a la the tablets of the tale of Gilgamesh.

I read the Penguin Book version of The Epic of Gilgamesh this summer, and I feel inspired to incorporate lapis lazuli, emerald, gold, ruby into my wall design. My eyes are training on lamps, frames, planters, furnishings, that evoke that Sumerian era, focusing on regalia and opulence. I’m calling the bedroom Ishtar’s Throne.

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These lovely urns would make great additions to my throne! Courtesy abozdar.wordpress.com

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Very eye catching! Courtesy abozdar.wordpress.com

 

As I await the final cool down of Florida so that I can invest a day in rearranging and painting, I’ll be surfing Pinterest and Etsy and other chick sites for design ideas. You, my dear friend, are very much welcome to provide me your design ideas, forward me pics, or point me in the direction of quality fabrics and carpets that evoke queendom and ancient supernatural power.

And of course, I’ll be posting my progress here! So excited!

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This is an old Christian Audigier wrap I hung as an accent piece for my TV wall. These colors could definitely work in Ishtar’s Throne.

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