Les Semaines


what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout


Argue, Mostly

Well, damn, what have I been doing to get myself so upset? Get myself in a state where it's hard to get any work done when I already feel overwhelmed by little things to do? When I want to spend my time working on the NOVEL? Well, I've been arguing online. Again. You'd think I'd know better. You'd think I'd know that it's NOVEL Avoidance Activity (NAA). And not only that, it's not my favourite form of NAA, but it is one that serves to keep me sleepless, on tenterhooks, and all-around anxious.


Maybe arguing online is where I become a Libra and start hating it when people don't get along. I managed to stay out of two brouhahas in rec.arts.sf.composition, but got into one on SFF-Net, when someone started talking about corruption in arts agency's grant- and writer-residence-giving processes. From the comments, it was clear he didn't know what he was talking about, but felt compelled to tell everyone all about it anyway. I saw red, and got entangled: hovering over my newsreader, firing off messages, not sleeping well, you name it. A little out of proportion, eh? It took me several days to finally get smart and just quit. In some ways I'm glad I did it--I hate disinformation, I hate it when people claim knowledge that their comments prove they don't have, but I hate how arguing like that makes me feel.

I felt better when I stopped, and finally made clear to the person I was arguing with that I didn't dislike him, I disliked his argument. He finally admitted that he was setting forth his opinions as though they were facts, which made me feel that at least he had learned something from our discussion. I'll be interested to see if he argues that way again.

Anyway, the title of this entry comes from a Dr. Who episode where someone asks the doctor what he and his assistant do in the tardis anyway. That was his answer.

Jim and I argue a lot. Mostly quick spats about little things, and that rarely have any anger in them. We used to do it so much that some friends said that they found us occasionally wearing. My mother says we argue like siblings. I don't really think of myself as an argumentative person, but on some level I must be. I've been working on arguing less with him, because even with Jim I hate how it makes me feel.

But neither do I want to let some things stand as they are; I'm big on compromise but I also feel compelled to stand my ground when I feel strongly that I'm in the right.

I'll be watching myself to see if I argue that way again.


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Still not a good listening time, I've been so busy, but got in a disc for review for The Ectophiles' Guide that I keep listening to and delaying forwarding to the reviewer (sorry Andrew). It's Jill Cohn's the absence of Moving (her website is www.jillcohn.com). It's not that her music or voice are that original (she's basically doing similar things to many other songwriters and there's a strong touch of Sarah McLachlan in her voice) but despite one or two tunes that are too pop for my tastes there are several songs that stick in my brain and keep me pulling the disc out of the mailing packet. I'm going to have to send it on soon, though, so I think I have to just order the disc and be done with it.

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Victoria Strauss' The Garden of The Stone was an absorbing, delightful, rich read, and reminded me that I really can like epic-type fantasies, especially when like this one they have a unique flavour, have interesting characters, and some interesting ideas. The best thing for me about epic fantasies is that you can get utterly lost in their world.

Tanith Lee's Voyage of the Basset was a disappointment. This is part of a children's fantasy series--the concept of the original book that these are franchised out of is that there is a voyage like Darwin's but instead of into science it's into imagination. Tanith Lee's take on it had some good ideas, but tended to have the worst traits of children's books: it was sloppily written (by Tanith Lee whom some writers I admire think writes lovely prose), thin characters, was moralistic, and never felt like it took off at all. Terri Windling and Ellen Streiber contribute another volume in this series that I already have, and Sherwood Smith has one coming out soon. I'll be curious to see if my lack of interest in this is an artifact of the writing-in-someone-else's-world thing or if Lee was just too rushed--or of course it could be that her writing simply isn't to my taste because I've tried reading her books and some stories before and she just never clicked with me. I did like The Silver Metal Lover when I read it a while back at Vera's suggestion, though.

Steven Brust's Agyar actually reminded me in flavour of The Silver Metal Lover. Flavour, and the idea of someone in love with someone not quite human, though this book was from the point of view of the not-human one. I liked how the narrator was clearly a vampire but no one ever said the word. I liked how the depiction of his personality came through, and fun things like his relationship with the ghost of the house he lived in. I liked how the narrator clearly learned things about himself and became a better person, though he still did things which to someone else would have seemed horrible but from his perspective made perfect sense. Brust has been another author I never quite Got before, but I did really enjoy this one.

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Ah, here's the rub. I wrote arguments on the net. I kept thinking about the NOVEL. Thinking and thinking and never writing. I hope I don't over-think this. Good, another thing to worry about. Right now my plan is to spend the next couple of weeks clearing up the backlog of stuff in my life so I can start working on the NOVEL without feeling quite so pulled in different directions. I hope this isn't just another NAA.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

August 1976

491. I, more than others

I, more than others need paper and pen by my hand, within reach at all times (even when i sleep). When life gets too much and i can't find Jesus, then paper reminds me of my answers. And when i'm back up again, my joy spills over onto words that need paper. Travelling up and down, always held by God, His Love.

492. Success by the artist upstairs [1]

Success isn't the answer. I am success. I am not. Success is what people see in you. It is not what you feel. Love is what is needed by me. Love needs humility. Success needs a loud mouth. The two don't go together. My art is very successful. My self is not. Doing something well doesn't mean happiness. It becomes a front that becomes a wall that hold people away from you.

493. Answer to the artist from upstairs

I hope i'm not going to be preachy. I just want to tell you that, as you thought, Love is the answer! And the ultimate Love is Agape (God's Love). If you want to know about His love, ask Him (or me, i'll be happy to share it with you, so would Marijke be). I love you (as God Directed) just because He gives so much Love, I have to share it! (I hope you understand what i'm trying to get across, and i hope i'm not preaching at you too much.)

494. Another night

It's another night, and i know not what to say, so sad, 'cause i don't know the way to make you stay. The poetry in my mind is dead and my pen is dying, richly. So little to know, so much more to understand, and i don't think i can. I'm not even sure of what i once was. The only thing i'm positive of tonight is that He loves me, whether or not i say what i should when the opportunity is given. Lord, give me words, i can no longer rely on myself. (Maybe that's the lesson i am to learn tonight.)

495. Hey that story

[Quote from a Christian rock song about being reborn as a Christian omitted.] Beautiful story, believed for sure, for real for today and tomorrow.

496. Evening

In evening, when all is silent and the shadows have already spread into night i sit (on this rock) and wait for you to call and send morning. You only know light and truth, and you are the dawn. You are the sun. You are the Son.

497. Truly to be taught

I am truly waiting to be taught. I want to know, and seek His knowledge surely. I want to learn how to love Him more freely, more purely, and more. Love freely given to me i surely must share. I am learning to love, and the unloveable are proving loveable, with Him by my side.

498. Getting late

It's getting late, and i'm all alone, well, as alone as i'll ever be. I'm certainly looking forward to tomorrow, when, for a short while (minutes?) i'll be with Paul. Paul who? I know, but somehow am not sure. Anyhow it's late, and getting later.

499. Ready to find

I'm ready to find the morning, wherever it is, and i'm sure if i sit here long enough i'll find it. (Give it about five hours and it will find me.) Then again, if there's nothing at all then i know for sure i can't lose it.

500. Halfway to a thousand

Wow! I'm halfway to a thousand! One hundred more chapters from the end of April to the end of August. It took me quite a long time to do this hundred. (Am i running out of things to say or am i running out of time? Time, i think.)


1. The artist who rented a space upstairs from The Mustard Seed's storefront. He used to stop by occasionally to chat and have a cup of coffee.

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