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Saturday, December 30th 2006

12:11:33 PM (3498 days, 7h, 43min ago)

i'm back!!

  • Mood: could sleep all day...
  • Music: BACH solo cello concertos...
i finally figured out a way to get around the verification system problems that have been locking me out of the blog, and well, here i am!!  (i gave them my yahoo email address, an address i NEVER use because it gets nothing but spam delivered to it...)  oh, it feels good to be able to write freely again.  i don't like to write like this over at the STRINGIER THAN THE TRUTH blog, i don't know why.

anyway, Christmas, for whatever it is truly worth, is over.  to me it means very little.  it is just a passing of days.  Christmas and the holidays are events for family and children.  and since i have no association with either it is just a passing of days.

i have not been writing much lately.  my work on my novel came to a virtual standstill when my creative gears shifted to doing photography.  i have uploaded over 800 photos since November to my Flickr account.  it is not that i am finished with my novel, or tired of it.  it is that as being bipolar, and whatever it is that ails me, i can only manage doing one major project at a time.

other things are going on that could start to lead me into a depression.  i think (as i've mistakenly done so before) that i've lost another hard earned/well deserved friend.  and the pain of this has not broke out of my heart yet.  i went and saw a movie on xmas night that i thought would cause me to cry (CHILDREN OF MEN), but it didn't.  can anyone recommend a good, current movie guaranteed to crack open a hardened heart?
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Friday, November 10th 2006

07:47:29 PM (3548 days, 0h, 7min ago)

3 of a Perfect Pair / Adrian Belew Power Trio

  • Mood: tired, but enthused...
Adrian Belew played this song last night at the show at Slim's.  I've seen so many good shows this year it is hard to rate them all.  Tom Verlaine inspired me to want to learn guitar.  This show last night, wow, I just want to be a better person and fulfill my potential before my time is up.  There are pictures I took at the STRINGIER THAN THE TRUTH blog.


She is susceptible
He is impossible
They have their cross to share
Three of a perfect pair...
He has his contradicting views
She has her cyclothymic moods
They make a study in despair
Three of a perfect pair...

One, one too many
Schizophrenic tendencies
Keeps it complicated
Keeps it agggravated
And full of this hopelessness
What a perfect mess...

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Tuesday, November 7th 2006

04:40:54 PM (3551 days, 3h, 14min ago)

dreaming again, TG!

  • Mood: a little weary...
  • Music: OPETH
well, there was no question about whether i would vote or not as i've voted in every election i've been present in the U.S.A. for since i was 18 when i voted to elect Jimmy Carter for president.  and today, no secret, i voted straight democrat across the board.

it's been a good week.  i've adjusted the meds back some and am feeling some slight manic energy.  didn't go to sleep till 3:30 am this morning, then was up at 10:30.  thought about maybe taking a nap this afternoon but now thinking not.  there should be some rain tonight, i hope, to quell the energy of this last full moon.

check out my pics page.  there are some new images that were modified using a morph program that blends painting styles of El Greco, Mongliani, and Botticelli.  a little frightening, but very austere i feel.  somewhat reveals an inner character i've not really known that i've had before.  something to use to help trigger my fiction maybe.

oh, and i've been dreaming the past 2 nights, pretty ferociously.  two nights ago an old high school friend, Mark Oliver appeared.  came back from travels (as he has done many time in my life) and picked me up in his car.  we were driving around looking for something to do.  i've lost touch with Mark in my real life.  he lives in Australia with his wife and two children, but i t has been over a year since i've last heard from him.

the dream i had this morning though, a little more poignant.  one of the best male friends i've had in my life, Don Eike, who died from AIDS nearly 10 years ago appeared.  just the other night when i was in the cemetery it struck me that HE is someone that i should try to make spiritual contact with, ala the work i do in the cemetery with talking to the dead.  and it doubly struck me as weird that i had never thought of doing that before.  then voila!  he comes to my dream this morning.

the dream also had my Santa Cruz friend, Kim in it.  the three of us were in an apartment building trying to get ready to go out for the evening - we were going to attend a concert or play (or something).  Kim was very mellow and orderly, taking her time, but suddenly Don started to freak out and told me that we had to hurry, that time was running out and he started to chase me.

somehow ended up in a car and drove to a place in the country where it doubly looked like either a small city had been devastated by war, or, a brand new community was being built up.  overlaying images?  i'm not sure.  the scenery was brown, or sepia-like... which just made me think it was California in the summertime with our brown hillsides.  and it also made me think of the Dougherty Valley subdivision here near San Ramon where there is so much new construction going on where once there were only rolling hills...

then the dream faded out...

otherwise, Nanowrimo is going well.  i've written approximately 1,500 words a day since the first.  gosh, didn't mean to say so much...
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Friday, November 3rd 2006

05:41:26 PM (3555 days, 2h, 13min ago)

happy birthday son...

  • Mood: ambitious and typing many words...

Just a very quick blog entry for you all.  After library class last night I by chance started to talk to one of my classmates and somehow the keyword “cherry trees” led us to discover that we grew up in the same city, went to the same elementary and junior high schools and knew a ton of the same people.  And as soon as she said what her first name was I knew exactly who she was, Elena Sotello. Anyway, she is still in contact with many old classmates, or knows how to find them.  I asked her about Corky Flores and I told her about the people that I had found.  We are talking about making a coffee date with everyone.  Found out too, that sadly, a person that I remember being quite friendly with since at least fourth grade, Jimmy Freeman died last year from complications related to gout.  His blood got poisoned and died within eleven hours of being admitted to the hospital.  Small, small world.  I’ve been sitting about four seats away from Elena in class since September and never knew that it was her. 

Beyond that magic has happened in my coffee shop.  I’ve earned the notoriety of being an interesting enough face, and regular enough customer that ~almost~ anytime I come in they give me free coffee.  Plus refills through the night!  See, I have my way.  I’m an interesting looking character, I always sit in the same seat, they know I am writing a novel, and well, the hours I come during no one just comes here and sits for hours on end.  There are nights I’m here when there is no one else here at all.  And it being a Starbuttz they have to stay open corporate hours.

I’m doing Nanowrimo, yes it’s true.  Today is day three and I haven’t started on today’s word count yet.  To make the 50,000 words by November 30th one has to write 1,666 words a day.  I’m up to 2,051 as of last night.  Didn’t have enough time to make the mark yesterday because of school.  But today I’m shooting for 2500 words and will try to make so many again both Saturday and Sunday.  I am an anti-social Nano.  There have been several Nano get togethers here in the Bay Area so far and I have not gone to any.  I’ve never gone to any during any of the other years I participated in either.  This is a deeply philosophical dilemma for me.  Writing is a sole process, not a group process.  I’m not so much a Nano, as a writing using the gimmick of Nano as a tool for inspiration to just get me to sit down and write.  Really, that is all that it comes down to for me.  I mean, god knows I could use some socialization and (new) friends… speaking of which, I made an effort to make a new friend last weekend…  And I’ve also set up a MySpace page.  Check it out if you want.  

The only other thing worth mentioning is meds related (possibly).  I got a clean bill of health report from my liver tests.  The Cymbalta is not affecting it in any ill manner, TG.  But I am having this terrible, terrible problem with muscle cramps.  Doc checked my potassium and magnesium levels, all is well there.  But I wake up in the middle of the night with cramps in my legs, and now they are spreading to other areas.  Right now I have a cramp forming in my mid back below my left shoulder.  My diet is NOT good right now.  Many days I only eat one thing.  I don’t think I drink enough water (or anything else…) I just don’t carry an awareness of my self that warrants doing anything different/better.  I am never hungry in the morning.  I usually don’t get hungry till dinner time and then I’ll just get a big burrito at Chipotle.  Doc said to start eating bananas, which I’m doing more of.  It all comes down to that I just can’t afford to buy more food to eat, and so I have adapted to not eating so much.  I hope the cramps will stop cause they are effed up.

Oh, and tomorrow is my son Billy’s 24th birthday.  Well, it is already tomorrow in Ireland, but he was born in California on November 4th.  He is more or less exactly half my age now.  24/48.  I was 24 when he was born.  Sounds auspicious, doesn’t it?

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Saturday, October 28th 2006

09:41:04 PM (3560 days, 23h, 14min ago)

why oh why, Lord?

  • Mood: content & quiet @ home...
  • Music: it's a Bob Dylan Saturday night... *sigh*

Bob Dylan, World Gone Wrong

1. Strange things have happened, like never before.
My baby told me I would have to go.
I can't be good no more, once like I did before.
I can't be good, baby,
Honey, because the world's gone wrong.

2. Feel bad this morning, ain't got no home.
No use in worrying, 'cause the world gone wrong,
I can't be good no more, once like I did before.
I can't be good, baby,
Honey, because the world's gone wrong.

3. I told you, baby, right to your head,
If I didn't leave you I would have to kill you dead.
I can't be good no more, once like I did before.
I can't be good, baby,
Honey, because the world's gone wrong.

4. I tried to be loving and treat you kind,
But it seems like you never right, you got no loyal mind.
I can't be good no more, once like I did before.
I can't be good, baby,
Honey, because the world's gone wrong.

5. If you have a woman and she don't treat you kind,
Praise the Good Lord to get her out of your mind.
I can't be good no more, once like I did before.
I can't be good, baby,
Honey, because the world's gone wrong.

6. Said, when you been good now, can't do no more,
Just tell her kindly, "there is the front door.
I can't be good no more, once like I did before.
I can't be good, baby,
Honey, because the world's gone wrong.

7. Pack up my suitcase, give me my hat,
No use to ask me, baby, 'cause I'll never be back.
I can't be good no more, once like I did before.
I can't be good, baby,
Honey, because the world's gone wrong.
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Friday, October 27th 2006

06:27:29 PM (3562 days, 2h, 27min ago)

what is wrong with my writing...

  • Mood: upbeat, yeah...
  • Music: still on a bit of a Dylan buzz, but LOTS of other things too...

What is wrong with my writing right now: an essay by D.W. Barnett

I would say that the thing most obvious to myself that is wrong with my ability to write consistently right now are the facts that I am not truly connected to my inner spirit.  And even now as I read those words that I just wrote, while trying to find an answer that sounds more like an excuse than a truth. Although I think back to periods of time, even when I was in the inspired stages of creating this very novel that I am working on now when I experienced daily epiphanies of discovery and powerful feelings of self worth because it all seemed to be “coming together”.  Times when I was both strongly inspired and was feeling physically healthy.  (Don’t mind matters of feeling mentally well other than not being in incapacitating depression.  Mania so rarely destroys me.  Depression is my slayer.) 

I enjoy so much being back able to work now.  If there were a wage attached to it, that would be nice, but I don’t know that I am just ready for that level of responsibility yet.  Right now I am only obligated to appear at work 4 hours a week.  The job that is available to me would require my attendance 10-15 hours a week, during hours that right now would be very difficult for me to adjust my sleep routine to.  I think once I clean these meds out of my system some I may start to experience a more normal need for sleep, and may be able to sleep more normal hours.  Last night I was dead asleep by 1am but today could not stir from that deadly sleep until noon.  That is bad!  And then I feel like a zombie for a few hours…  couldn’t even get out of the house till nearly 4pm this afternoon.

This has been my pattern for months now, and tomorrow is the last day of Daylight Savings Time.  I’ve been mentioning the approach of this for a couple of weeks now because for me it is a serious thing.  The immediate shortness of day light is a sort of impending doom that I have no protection from.  Last winter my depression got bad once the storms started to blow in.  I love the stormy season for its moodiness but it ends up making me more of a hermit.  If I don’t feel good to start with physically the darkness, I don’t know, it seems to seep into me and bleeds me out from inside. 

I think part of what allows me to give myself excuses about not writing 2,000 to 5,000 words a day to just pour this novel out (and see, there I’ve broken another rule of “novel writing”, you are not supposed to tell anyone that you are writing a novel.  You are just supposed to do it, damn it!) is that I confusedly carry this “novel” as a torch to make people think that I have something important in my life to work on.  What I want to say I am lacking right now is a “writing coach”, like Kim was for me when I was working on my Buffy thesis.  I reported to her weekly.  She reserved 20-30 minutes on Sunday evenings to talk to me, or well, to let me rant about how my research and writing was going.  To bounce ideas off her and let her know what problems I was having, if any.  She was not my academic advisor but she was a friend that liked me and cared so much that I succeeded.  As things ended up with that project, my actual academic advisor paid me little or no attention and failed my thesis.

Today I have one true friend that encourages me on a daily basis to be enthused about my writing and to pursue this project, and I am so thankful for her.  But she is far away and only one person.  Although, I do admit that she believes in me more than anyone else ever has.  Re: the idea of enlisting more supporters, I think that… hmmm, I’m not sure what I actually understand about this.  I kind of have a theory, damn, well this whole post has been a theory of a sort, and see, now while I’m writing all these thoughts out I’m not writing ‘my novel’ either… I think I need a little mania to help me get more excited and focused, and right now my mania is deadened by these pills.  And my good physical feelings are deadened… 

I have one other writing support, my cousin Ellen that also lives far away.  We have a strengthening connection in spirit and communicate by email only.  There is so much electronic/ethereal support available on the internet.  I need to be in contact with people, real life, blood and flesh, air and water intaking people.  And well, by gummit, I think I’ve found one person to welcome into my life.  Don’t want to say anymore about this yet but already this person is willing to go sight unseen with me to a writer’s workshop in San Francisco on Sunday!  She’s a poet.  (And ohmygod! She is into seeing live goth-metal shows!!)

Ok, well by talking to you this way I’ve actually reconnected with my spirit a bit.  Some fog has cleared,  There is a fearful thing about writing something you consider serious for permanence to be in a book.  Once you allow your thoughts to go one way, and you follow that path, the story is set.  It can’t be told a different way.  It takes courage to allow a story to be pressed into a page.  I let this letter to you flow honestly from my heart and spirit to your eyes… I need to find that openness of spirit again to trust my story to blank pages… 

To be continued…

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Thursday, October 26th 2006

03:57:15 PM (3563 days, 4h, 58min ago)

body is feeling poisoned again...

  • Mood: pained about tonights midterm
  • Music: Cannibal Corpse
maybe it is just November rolling around, some form of regeneration or rebirth or cleansing that i need to go through this time of year, but i am feeling like stopping the meds again.  when i did it last year i felt so great, and there was no collapse at the end, remember?  i just restarted because of how my pdoc threatened to NOT treat me if i continued to take nothing.  the way i feel now though, i am starting to get sluggish again, and well, we are just 3 days away from the end of DST, and i know the shorter days will only add to my potential depression.  not a good thing.  i am so inspired emotionally and psychically now to be doing my school work, the library work (and even applying for that PAYING job) but my body is just not feeling strong enough with this poison shit in me.  sleeping too much for one thing, and can't control it.  anyway, just wanted to kick this post out quickly, and wanted to mention too that i have made contact with a very cool writer-person that is into goth/metal music and lives in the east bay.  we are talking about going to some shows togeher.  how about that for a HELL-YEAH!

(((oh, and i scored a video ipod.  i'm giving my old 20gb mp3 player to my son Billy in Ireland for his birthday.  told my mom that i'd load it up with sermons for him to listen to, and his favorite music... but that if i didn't have one for myself anymore i'd lose my mind.  i'm paying her for it, but she ordered it on her Dell account for me.  check it out! http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=19&sku=A0587179)))

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Wednesday, October 25th 2006

06:23:24 AM (3564 days, 14h, 31min ago)

Free Hugs - 4,103,569 views at YouTube!

  • Mood: sonambulistic...
  • Music: Eno...

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Sunday, October 22nd 2006

03:32:18 PM (3567 days, 5h, 22min ago)


  • Mood: feelin' pretty good!
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Friday, October 20th 2006

06:29:12 PM (3569 days, 2h, 26min ago)


  • Mood: ambitious and hungry for fish...
  • Music: Dylan, man, Dylan!

The First Commandment of writing fiction is, Sit Your Ass in the Chair*.  And sit it there daily.  Strap on a seat belt if you must, but sit.

*And the other nine commandments are:

2.  Thou Shalt Not Bore the Reader.

3.  Remember to Keep Holy Your Writing Time.

4.  Honor the Lives of Your Characters

5.  Thou Shalt Not Be Obscure.**

6.  Thou Shalt Show and Not Tell.

7.  Thou Shalt Steal.***

8.  Thou Shalt Rewrite and Rewrite again.  And again.

9.  Thou Shalt Confront the Human Condition.

10. Be Sure That Every Death in a Story Means Something.

**If you have something to say, why would you make it difficult for someone to understand you?  Could it be that you’re not so smart?  That you think if you muddy the water a bit, it’ll seem deeper than it really is?

***Artists who have weighed in on the Seventh Commandment:

            Lionel Trillin: “Immature artists imitate – mature artists steal.”

            T.S.Elliot: “The immature poet imitates; the mature poet plagiarizes.”

            Igor Stravinsky: “A good composer does not imitate; he steals.”

            Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Genius borrows nobly.”

            Wilson Mizner: “If you steal from one other, it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many, it’s research.”

            Pablo Picasso: “Bad artists copy, good artists steal.”

            Picasso again: “Copy anyone, but never copy yourself.”

            George Moore: “Taking something from one man and making it worse is plagiarism.”

            Thornton Wilder: “I do borrow from other writers shamelessly! I can only say in my defense, like the woman brought before the judge on a charge of kleptomania, ‘I do steal, Your Honor, but only from the very best stores.”

            George Balanchine: “God creates, I do not create.  I assemble and I steal from everywhere to do it from what I see, from what the dancers can do, from what others can do.”

            John Billings: “About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.”

            Archibald MacLeish: “A real writer learns from earlier writers the way a boy learns from an apple orchard by stealing what he has a taste for and can carry of.”

            Alexander Pope: “Most authors steal their works, or buy.”

            Philip Johnson: “Creativity is selective copying.”

            John Updike: “My purpose in reading has ever secretly been not to come and judge, but to come and steal.”

            Michael Caine: “I only steal from the best people.”

            Lawrence Durrell: “I pinch.”



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