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Les Semaines

00.08.27

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

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Let me get in your head

I have always (well, since I discovered it in 1991) been somewhat net-addicted, but I find it's getting worse. I'm not sure it's all writing-avoidance--well, in the immediate circumstances I'm sure some of it is--but there's more to it than that. You see, I love glimpses in people's lives. I love to hear them talk, and reading web journals is almost like hearing someone talking to you. They're telling you the stories of their lives. I love that. I'm addicted. I've been spending way too many hours at night when I should be writing, (and during the day when I should, too) clicking through and reading their stories.

My favourite journals are by people I've met, however briefly--that makes a huge difference for me. I used to occasionally browse through some journals, but the first journal I started reading all the time was CJ Silverio's Battered Black Book when she was attending Clarion. It hooked me immediately because it was so reminiscent of my own Clarion West experience. I've been reading it ever since, and every year since then I've looked with particular interest for Clarion journals. There were several in 1998 (Chiara, Diana, Tamela) and one several from the next year's Clarion (East) group (especially Karen's). (Many of these and more are linked at the Not-A-Webring site.) I've had a chance to meet all of these people, however briefly, and the ones on the Not-A-Webring feel rather like family after a year and a half of participating in that group. [I was going to list some of the other favourite journals, but it's like chosing teams--I don't want to leave anyone out.]

At their best, these journals feel almost like those late night conversations with friends when you know you should have gone to sleep hours ago but you just can't stop sharing stories. You're tired so your borders are down even farther than normal, and you're talking--and listening.

As well as The Phonosnout, which I originally included in this journal because I wanted to get back into the head of myself as a teenager because of the age of the main character in my novel, I've been reading some journals from people in their late teens/early twenties, the age my character is now--it helps me remember how the emotions felt then. How everything was intense in a different way than it is now--more life-and-death. black-and-white, way way up or way way down. I hope to get the same feeling in the of my character.

I've grown up out of the addiction to drama that I had as a teenager/early twenties woman. My perspective is broader, and I am certainly more stable. That leads to a much more boring journal, but I hope a deeper one than I would have been capable of writing at the time.

At any rate, I love these monologues where people try to explain themselves and their world. They're addictive. It's finally made me try to join the journaling community and sign up with Open Pages and some of the suburb groups affiliated with open pages. Ok, I'm part of the fringes of the community now.

So while I'm trying to make my character's voice flow as honestly and openly as one of the best online journalers I'm up late at night surfing and writing. Till two and three in the morning these last few days before I go back to work.

I love trying to write at night. I sit at my computer (damn I sit here way too much) with the windows open, and the blinds down but open enough to let some breeze through. Sophia sits, usually on a window sill, or sleeps on the bed, or brings one of her furry mice to chase in here, or sometimes she squeezes herself between me and the back of my chair (I have to move the support pillow out and my back hurts them, but I love it for a while even though she wiggles a lot). Or sometimes Zach comes and sleeps on the towel in front of the open window, though usually at night he's down with Jim.

It's pretty quiet--just the occasional car. The computer sounds loud, actually, and my fingers on the keys sound even louder.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing

Listening

This week we finally hooked up our turntable to my computer so we could burn cds of our fading vinyl. One of the first things we did was Larry Norman's Upon This Rock, an album I was listening to in Phonosnout times. It still is delightful. Irreverent and yet inspirational--or would be if I were still a Christian.

And we also burned copies of Martha and The Muffins Danseparc--though a lot of the songs are on their recent Then Again: A Retrospective, the shape of the album is too wonderful not to have it as a whole. We also burned the wonderful Mystery Walk. Sometimes I'm surprised I like something so dancey, but the songs and vocals are so great. And hey, I love to dance!

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

This is amazing--the first week in ages that I haven't finished at least one book. I haven't had much book reading time, as though I always read before I go to sleep I've only been able to read a page or two because I've been up writing as late as I could stand to be. I'm working on--nearly at the end--Judith Tarr's Queen of Swords.

Oh, yes, and I've been reading too much online, too. But not novels.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

New Life in Dark Seas: Brick Books 25 just appeared, a 25th anniversary anthology by the publisher that did Spells for Clear Vision. It has one poem by each author they've published in it, and they chose "Sea Glass From Execution Rock." I'm in there with great company.

The novel had a burst of energy for a few days--pages pouring out of my head/hands, but now it's slowing again. I think I'm tired. And I'm definitely wasting too much time before I make myself focus on the story. Still, when I do, the words do come. Back to work on Friday, though. Ugh. I hope this doesn't stop me dead in my tracks. I won't let it, dammit.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

June-August 1977

821. Beautiful

It has been a while (6 weeks) and it's a beautiful June day. I've had six vegged-out growing weeks, and now it's beautiful, June. Sitting in Marjanna's apartment, about to study, Jericho's asleep beside me. What peaceful, beautiful, growing days i've been having here. P.T.L! A blessing. [1]

822. Jericho

Jericho lets his walls fall down to let love out and to let the people of the Lord in. Jericho chases pigeons and is very nervous of people he doesn't know well, or who try to push him to be friends. If you give him a bit of time he comes to know you and gives you every bit of himself (except the special part that is for Marjanna only). Jericho's tired; he had a busy morning being wary of Tavi, walking in the sunshine, chasing pigeons, and helping Marjanna and i eat a picnic lunch. Thank you, Lord, for Jericho

823. Uh Uh

A while again, a long while. Meaning this is along while later and after. Crazy days after growing days. Hectic & busy days. With Lani and Sherry, then Harold and Lani and Sherry, then Harold and no-one, only me and back to Grandma's [2]. (Can i take it?) At work, waiting for the phone to ring, it won't and will when i doze off. Then confusion on finding a perfect ain't perfect. (But then i should know only the Perfect is perfect.) Oh sigh.

824. Why this is happening

Why i am back writing Phono--no reason in particular, it just seemed right at the moment to do so. After not writing all summer, it seemed necessary to pour something out, even if it wasn't poetry. The young are getting younger, i'm shrinking and growing once. Praise be....

825. Lord, i'm talking to You

Paul and Lani are young and getting younger. It's ten degrees or colder [3] (rather 25 an getting warmer). Yesterday is sinking and last night rises like a new moon, full and round. Finding the fullness and the roundness behind the flat face of the moon. The answers are there and larger than people, my perspective is too small, i see only my house and not a place.

826. I want to be Adam Again (It's real)

[Entry consists of a few lyrics from a Christian rock song about not being able to be Adam in the Garden of Eden again.]

827. The connection, get it?

When i'm crazy, i write in Phono. I'm always crazy, but i don't always write in Phono. I don't make sense. I must be crazy ... i must be writing in Phono.

828. Ugh!!

Don't feel too terrific yet after a spot of flu yesterday. I hated it. I hate being sock. I haven't been in so long, except that rotten Joe/George day [4]. Today my tummy hurts. Poor me. Whimper. At least i work for a doctor if i'm dying. But then again, i don't think i am. 5.

829. Growing

I'm enjoying being back to Phono, back to struggling falling me. Yet it's an older me. A been-there-before me. A me that has travelled this road, knows all the turns, and so can get over it all quicker. I wonder. I dream. I'm back to Phono. Growing Phono-er all the time. Growing all. Phono-growing. Just Growing.

830. Future

Am i going to be a writer? I'm enjoying working in this doctor's office. I'm going back to university in September. Back to UVic where i bummed out so badly spiritually, emotionally, et., last year. It won't happen again. (So there!) We won't let it, will we, Lord? Keep me safe, keep me strong, keep me growing always closer to You. I want to keep riding the Right Road, the One Way. Don't fight it, just play it right.


NOTES

1. I apartment- and dog-sat for Marjanna and stayed for a bit with her. Marjanna is the younger sister of Marijke who worked at The Seed. For a long time that apartment was my ideal of what an apartment should be. It was carved out of an older house, and to get from one main room to another you went through a big closet (or out into the hall). I loved it. Jericho was her sheltie. Marjanna ended up marrying Tim, who was the person who was kind of my spiritual father when I first became a Christian. They got divorced later, though, I remember hearing through the grapevine.

2. Lani and Sherry were Christian girls from the Seattle area. I met Lani at Literature Crusades in the Crowsnest Pass area of B.C. and Alberta. I'd gone there because Phil and Paul were going and it sounded like fun and Paul was going. Literature Crusades is (was?) a weird Christian group that went various places all over North America and tried to convert people to Christianity by means of taking surveys about people's religious beliefs. When we were there my partner and I actually had someone "come to Christ". I wonder whatever happened to her? Anyway, Paul met and fell hard for Lani there (she was going out with someone else and wasn't sure she wanted to break up with him for Paul) and while I was furiously jealous, I really liked Lani and became friends with her. I met Sherry through Lani. Harold is my friend from university creative writing classes and the infamous Philosophy 100 class. Harold and I are still friends. My grandmother used to go to stay with her sister in Santa Rosa for months at a time, and I would go and stay in her apartment.

3. Reference to a Gordon Lightfoot song of that name.

4. Obviously a reference to my period. I don't remember ever calling it Joe, but I do vaguely remember calling it George. I have always had horrible cramps. For almost 30 years now. Thank god for ibuprofen, which didn't exist in the days of Phonosnout. Instead I took Darvon, slept for a couple of hours, then followed my mother around the house babbling at her.

5. Oh, I remember this job! I worked for two weeks as a replacement receptionist for a Catholic gynecologist/obstetrician. I remember him hassling a woman who came to him to talk about getting an abortion...him and his young wife with six kids and his visible hair implants.

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