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[livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid requested that I finish my happiness by saying that the cognitive dissonance that this book cover creates makes me happy and now I have because it does.


happiness 6

Jan. 5th, 2009 11:08 pm
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Well, it was a humdrum day. Writing, the gym, lunch at Whole Foods, an out of the way coffee shop wih free wifi for writing, the gym and then some more writing. I only got 2,250 words on a new story. The deadline's fast approaching and I feel like I can pull it together within a few more days.

It's about where a grew up and, at least in some ways, it's more personal than most of what I do. This approach seems to fit what the antho's looking for. So instead of rummaging around in the memories of what I've read, I have to remember things I've actually done. Time and space are two variables I tend to reject. Anyone who knows and loves me will agree that I get lost easily and I rarely know what time it is. I went to Barnes & Noble today too. I bought Locus with a gift card and lurved the Caitlin R. Kiernan interview. She is so the dreamiest. I happened to talk to her right before she did this interview, so it was nice to see her looking like she looked and being who she was, if that makes sense. It was odd to be back at "work."

I look forward to going through all the old writing that's boxed up and bringing it back to life, bit by bit. page by page. I have the time and such to rebuild a lot of it.  I'm one of those people who wrote for a long time without really knowing what I wanted to do with it. In 1988, I would've told you I wanted to be a full-time "horror poet." By 1992 it was a poststructuralist theorist with pronounced Marxist tendencies. Somehow that led to reading way too much theory for years. I still dashed off poems withwannabe  Beatness and I read in more poetry open mics than anyone ever should and, to oversimplify, I partied really hard and tried to write down what was smashing through my head. Once things levelled out, I read Exquisite Corpse. It's no lynchpin to some big thing with me, in the sense that for me it was a spellbinding book at exactly the right moment, but I am willing to concede that I might have left the store with something else that would've had a similar result. Whatever happened, it was enough (on a plane ride back from LA where a job that had looked right wasn't) to rekindle the teenage love of Barker and King into something I wanted to actually act on.
 
Poppy Z. Brite had everything that I needed to see then together in one place. It, again, would be false if I claimed that no other book could've worked. It's not true. I hadn't read fiction other than trashy bestsellers (Patricia Cornwell, for example) for a long time and I, if pressed, was probably embarassed that even I read those. But I went to Dangerous Visions. I think I just saw it and thought "bookstore," in the same way I went to one of the Psychic Eye bookstores several times in that same week, but I spent over an hour and bought Exquisite Corpse. I really don't think I knew what kind of store it was and didn't connect the title of the anthology to the name of the store until I was inside. I liked that Corpse looked creepy, transgressive and intelligent and the idea that it was by a "woman" (yes, these things are fluid, it was an idea that was in my head at the time even though I try to escape the tyranny of gender because gender is most certainly not binary) and it stood out in the store because it was a trade paperback and not that many of the other books were. The person behind the counter told me about meeting Poppy, maybe at a signing at that store. I was sold.

 However many other books could've shown me how much things had changed while I was "away," Mr. Brite's book was most certainly one of them. It blew my mind. I wanted to wash my hands when I closed it and I felt guilty chatting with the little kid who was sitting next to me on the plane, flying by himself. I was afraid he'd look over my shoulder and not understand how great that book was for me.

The difference between writing fiction and the grunt work is still something I'm learning to calibrate. To sit down and write an attempt at a good story takes less time than ever before, but, compared to the kind of writing that's just throwing words onto paper, it's trickier. So tomorrow I move into a new place and I hope to start unpacking and rebulding and it's kind of funny that it's a new year, since I tend to put some stock in that but 2009 seems lost in the riffle shuffle of all the other newness of the moment, if that makes sense. So I'm trying to be glad that I got 2,250 words I can use for this story. It's playing it safe at the moment and that bothers me. Writing fiction for publication is about making a product. You can't do a page of Xs in all caps or change the characters names twice a page and have it hold together the way it needs to for what I'm trying to write but I hope I'm not erring in the other direction. I guess the right way to put it is that I've always liked a style of story that I don't write and this one is going to be an attempt at that. The good news is that I banged out a story on New Year's Eve (thanks to encouragement from [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid) quickly enough that I'm starting to learn how to do what I want faster. Leaving stories on scraps of paper jammed into file folders for years wasn't working for me either. It helps to be asked. Having deadlines coupled with time to actually write seems to be teaching me things I really needed to learn.
 
I've never written something that feels a little humdrum to me. It's just a draft and I'm tired and overthinking. I know I'm laying a foundation for a slow-build and I know I'm trying to rep where I've chosen to set the story, but I'm not used to feeling tight control, that's all. I'm glad I have a framework that I can use to get it wherever it needs to go. Traditional isn't always bad. I love it when other people do it. I just get caught up in some petty internal thing where I want to blow minds and be subversive. My old definition of avant garde is more like a form of intentional self-marginalization. I've written plenty of things that made a point of being unreadable. As a writer, I'd love it if I could change my perspective and see the craft like actors who want to show off their range. I don't read just one way and I shouldn't be silly enough to think that I should only write one way.

So wish me luck. The next few days are going to be pretty madcap. Digging through memories while packing and unpacking and trying to make something a little different than what I normally try to make. I feel like the end of Doogie Howser, M.D. where he would shovel stupid platitudes. That's not me either, but I've taken on happiness. I can't express happiness at the drop of a hat. It's not my thing. I'm not glum as much as I'm unimpressed.  [livejournal.com profile] goblin_exchange  blogged a Ligotti quote today and I was going to swoop in and try to explain it from the Ligottian perspective. I'm not a Ligotti expert on the level of some but I have made a point of understanding where he's coming from and reading his stories and interviews over and over and now I'm making less sense and jamming another concept into this ramble. I won't delete the half-finished bit, but I'm tired and it's time to stop.

I remember what I was going to say. I think stepping into the blade or claiming that your characters talk to you are stupid. They're silly ideas that don't hold water. With this particular story, if I don't nail it, if I'm not careful, I'm stabbing people in the back who I care about. It's hard for me to tell a story about other people who horrible things have happened to who really matter in a way that cockamamie slippy slidey stuff isn't. I can screw around with words all day, but it's harder for me to take other people's truths and turn them into something that shows the darkness they've ha to endure without selling them out. I feel that part of being a writer is exposing secrets on the page. I'm the first person to say that hiding from sex or death or violence does nothing. Repression and prohibition are useless to me, but airing dirty laundry is something I usually do in ways that are untraceable and that's not quite going to work in this case.

Happiness: I'm happy that I don't blog about writing or my life very often.
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Dear Universe,

This is an attempt at having five random things make a post but it seems to have gone awry. Somehow I'm not surprised that when I try to be zany I end up sounding slightly depraved, or at least really scattered. When I try to be normal I...

I want you to know that I love John Travolta. He has made lots of bad movies, but just enough good ones that I love him and I feel for him. I could go on and on about the Scientology and autism issue, but I'm not going to bother because no matter how brainwashed or enlightened, he's still got a dead kid and that, even if you're a very high level operating thetan, has got to suck at the end of the day. If the media is to be trusted (ha ha ha), his wife is the most mangled at the moment so please bring her kid back, thanks. And Vincent Price. We could really use Vincent Price coming back from the dead right about now.

Maybe if I tap a few more keys my head will stop spinning at least for long enough that I can watch a movie or something. The first person who says that it's that I can't sleep until I post why I'm happy and I know it and I should clap my hands will turn into a newt. I've clapped until my hands were raw and chafed and it sounded just as hollow as snapping my fingers until my bones wore down, I'll have you know.

My eyes hurt from staring at a monitor in bad lighting.

Happy Birthday, Michael Stipe.

I finally ended up with a third December Holiday present today. I was so proud of myself for convincing everyone I know to give me nothing because it seemed so much simpler. (I gave more than I got, but only because there were children involved.)

Thank you for letting me even consider the idea that I could go to see Seabound on the 14th and Repo on the 15th. These combine and give me hope that I should bother living for at least another ten or so days, not that I'd been considering other options at the moment but, you know, we all need to pretend that there are reasons to live.Seabound and Repo are things that I can believe in. Scary dance music and scary horror musicals are all that are left that give me hope, I guess. I know it would be cooler to bother going to the Chip Delany reading in NYC and it doesn't even make a difference that I might not go to any of these things because the truth is that Seabound is cool and Repo is cool (at least hypothetically) and idea of seeing them two days in a row and being caught up enough on all the typing is just fantabulous really.

And Bill Richardson, way to stop hiding behind that beard you corrupt guy. The only thing I liked about you was that your voice sounded like Scatman Crothers every once and a while and that made me think of Hong Kong Fooey. Hong Kong Fooey would be a politician I could have faith in.

My previous bit about how I was happy that my head was empty? My how a few hours can change that...

Ooh, Murders in the Rue Morgue. Perfect.
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On a certain and insecure yet petty level, I'll always want to be in Fantasy & Science Fiction. I have never subscribed even though I've bought at least a hundred copies in the course of my lifetime. Worse, because I have been cursed with the strange amalgamation of tendencies that make one into a hoarder, I still lug these through life. I remember buying a complete run of an SF zine from the 1971 because it was the year I was born and thinking it would be nice to get a sense of what was going on in the "tentacles on the ground" sense back then. All thirteen or so issues (it was most likely Analog) sit in a pile balanced into a decidedly overstuffed bookcase in my parents' basement. They might be wrapped in plastic. If they are, I doubt I've ever opened them. Some of the F&SF's are probably unread too. An author I'd meant to read gets mentioned on the cover, it ends up in a pile, my off-kilter and roving imagination moves on. It's not how I deal with my booksihness anymore; I'm at least somewhat free of the obsession -- but I'd also guesstimate that another dozen or so of the F&SF's I own I merely looked through for (oh I don't know) Elizabeth Hand, Lucius Shepherd, James Sallis or Paul Di Fillipo or a funny comic, the Charles De Lint book reviews and threw that into a pile thinking I'd get to the fiction when I wasn't in the middle of three or four books at once.

I can think of only a few stories that I found in there that rocked my socks enough to remember that I read them in F&SF. To give a glimpse into my eccentricities, the two that come to mind at the moment I'm typing this are: that one about the unicorn in space called something like "Bringer of the Right Equation" (don't worry, some googling couldn't get it, the pat yet quirky ending makes me think of Silverberg for some reason) and that Alan Arkin one about Jesus on an airplane where Jesus wins. These stand out because they were cute and I don't do cute so I never read them again somewhere else. (I don't believe in writing defenses of Jesus, at all, but it was funny and I read it on an airplane and, who knows? Am I really required to embrace the tyranny of sensemaking in my own blog? I thought not. Next someone will mention that it's obnoxious that my paragraphs are about to star ending in parenthesized self-commentary as if Duncan Shriek has crawled to the surface and is writing in my margins when I go pee.)

I think I just gave a peek into how my mind works. Here's the thing. I hear somebody's doing amazing work (Link, Barron, Rosenbaum, Bacigalupi - there have been many more than that), I buy the issue, read it or don't and then put them on some grand internal list of people to check out when they get a collection. Reading the collection, I'll tie the story to that in my head. I realize this is complicated, but what I'm saying is that I read stories in F&SF (or I don't but I mean to) and then I track those authors down, read their collections and (ideally) eventually fall in love with their stories and read them over and over. This isn't some ideal or honed system. It's just that I adore contemporary short stories and find that the atmospheric and garbled story motifs and structures that I like most are more likely to occur in short fiction. And, because I am not normal, I keep these magazines forever. (Oh, I know I'm not the only one. Yes, I'm looking at you.) You name a horror mag or horror author of the past twenty years and I've got something in my disorganized "collection," even if I don't recognize the name. In trading with other collectors, my library has never let me down.

Where am I going? I, personally, need short fiction to be published so that my desperate and batty radar gets put to use. It would be foolish to have devoted my life to reading if people stopped publishing what I like.  I worked in one of the larger bookstores in Massachusetts for seven years, have taught college, go to a convention or two a year and troll the internet trying to find short fiction writers who are spooky. (Not the people. If you, personally, are a creep and you can't write your way out of a biohazard bag, I don't want you to email me about how you're the next Stephen King but no one will give you a chance until you've read over one hundred books on writing. Even then, you might suck, but enough will accidentally leak into your head that when you talk about writing, you'll sound like you know what you're talking about. I was a crappy musician for many years and I was always astounded when someone could talk a ton of music theory and not be able to play. It was quite rare. Being able to seem really good and not know anything, conversely, was more common. (There are ways to learn to play guitar, drums and keyboards that are more about moving your hands than knowing what things are called. It's how major talents can say that they can't read music and mean it.)

So I need the heat check. The chill check?  I need places that get a slew of submissions and winnow through them quickly, buying from people who are really good and on the rise. I wade through a ton to get my fix and I can't process anymore low-end material unless people pay me more than a little and dental to do it. I give what I can to the cause and I try to rep big for the writers who blow my doors off. *koff* Joel Lane. So I need F&SF to exist. Viscerally. It provides sustenance even if all it does is bring a few more playmates to the playground every year. They're not going to publish the extra-weird that I like (Simon Logan's stories in IO, as one random example, but I confess to not reading every issue and skimming the fiction if it looks even semi-skimmable, so he could've been in there, though I'd be surprised.)

And I'm no schill for them. I take issue with any consistent day in and day out publishing endeavor that doesn't generally aim for equal distributions on gender and a few other variables. Accurately representing the percentages of the submissions, to me, is the beginning, not the end. I don't want to hear dominant voices. They make me yawn. Beyond that, I've chatted with Gordon Van Gelder like twice at ReaderCon and watched him on some panels. I slept in his bedroom when I crashed Clarion for a night once and he wasn't there. (Dear rumor mill, please have this spiral out of control in an extremely funny way or remain friendslocked, thanks!)

Have I burbled my way through this effectively? I want them to buy a story from me because they are a pillar of the skiffy community and they've published many of my idols and favorite stories. I skim it and rarely find it that memorable, partially because I remember the stories as being wherever they are when they turn up in books. Despite my practiced incompentence as a reader, F&SF brings buckets of joy to my life. They function as an indicator species for the speculative genres and they're a voice in the field that, though flawed, tries quite hard not to suck. I, even though I am one person and it's clear that I'm not good at making sense when I have a bunch of other things that I should be writing instead and I'm typing fast and I'd rather be singing along to Suzanne Vega's "Left off Center" but I got tagged and I have decided that this beginning of 2009 is a time to go on and on a bit for no apparent reason, need the words to be burbling through the atmosphere because I don't want to miss a thing, just like that song Diane Warren wrote for Celine Dion but that got recorded by Aerosmith.

Cut me some slack. I'd rather be listening to Joy Division with all my attention rather than typing to the beat and I have like three other things due right now. And finally, I don't love everything that F&SF stands for, but I'm enough of a bookseller and a lover of the genre that I want people to be able to go to a large chain bookstore and buy some fiction in a magazine that has stories that are sometimes awesome. No magazine is going to meet all my needs as a reader unless they let me write it and that would be remarkably boring for me to read, so...

Reason number 4: I am happy that Fantasy & Science Fiction is going to 6 issues a year instead of going under. No, this is never a good sign for a magazine but (if memory serves) Gordon Van Gelder funds enough of it himself that he wouldn't make this call unless he fully understood the money side of this change. I am not saying that they get enough right compared to some others to be special or sacred. I am not saying that I'm pretending to like them because I want to be published in there because then people will love me. (I've only sent them two stories, I think. Three at most.) I'm saying that it's statistically likely that they will publish two or three stories in the next year or two that are great enough, by my personal and highly subjective standards, to encourage some future talents to keep going who would otherwise move on to something potentially lucrative that does more good for the world like furniture repair or selling stuff on eBay.
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On the Watchmen film: I've read Watchman twice, once in dribs and drabs when it first came out, missing at least one issue near the end because the owner of the comic store I worked in went mad. (This was a regular enough occurrence that it's a bit hard to remember which owner.) Then I read it about three or four years ago, when I traded some old Wolverines for the trade collected. I've become a trade comic book reader. I can't keep track of the release schedules even though I used to lurk outside comic stores sweating like an addict. Illyana Rasputin's death will always feel like a deep personal loss. I never adored Wolverine except for the fights, but they'd been an "investment." I had a platinum Spidey too. I think my investment turned a total four percent profit over a decade...I did much better in baseball cards and I hate sports except chess. It was in the timing. Knowledge doesn't always equal power.

It was a groundbreaking comic, for me and pretty much everyone, when it came out. Alan Moore brought a whole world of weird storytelling to the farmtown where I grew up. (For you babybats, the internet is relatively new. When I  was a trapped in upstate NY, we had to get in cars and travel to find stuff out. Or read issues of Rolling Stone from the 1970s that we found at yard sales. Libraries had a special section that you needed permission to read and the really special stuff was there.)

I thought this was abundantly clear, but there seems to be some confusion about Alan Moore, so I wanted to straighten it out. Many believe that Alan Moore is a gifted occultist who is part of an extremely powerful group of Northampton magicians that includes Moore's wife, Melinda Perry Geddie, and David J., guitarist from Bauhaus and Love and Rockets, among other practitioners. Some speculation has emerged because of Moore expressing a specific reverance for the snake god Glycon. (Yes, glycon is also a brand name for a medication that lowers blood sugar levels and the name of a company that makes hardware parts. That is not germane to this ramble, though fascinating even in this context.)

Glycon may never have been worshipped before Moore. The reference that gets cited is from Lucian. Lucian, if you're interested in oversimplification, was a satirist and fairly odd. The kind of people who dwell on these things like to take his weird imaginary references and say that he was the first science fiction writer and somesuch. That's like saying Gilgamesh was the first horror novel. You can say it and you can mean it and you can back it up, but you're really just cheating on what horror means and ignoring how the stories that people tell each other are products of their times and that our definition of "horror novel" doesn't translate. (Unless "The Empire never ended" is a true declaration and Promethea is as biographical as I personally believe it is, both of which, if true, mean that Roman soldiers are attacking us right now and we should go hide in sarcophagi.)

So Lucian of Samosota claimed a guy he didn't like named Alexander of Abonutichus worshipped Glycon the snake god. He also called him Alexander the Oracle-Monger and badmouthed the cult. There's not enough evidence to be positive that Alexander really worshipped Glycon. It's generally accepted that, whatever Alexander believed, he did use his spiritual concepts to impregnate many young women. Lucian considered the whole thing a hoax and may have been playing it up for satirical effect. Lucian made up satires of Homer that implied extraterrestrial life and wars between planets. So Alexander probably claimed he could raise the dead to attract young women and Lucian almost certainly wasn't from Samosota even though he said he was and all this comes from a few surviving fragments. To show just how speculative it all is, some believe that Glycon, if Glycon actually was worshipped, was represented by a puppet that Alexander wore on his hand. Given his rep for charlatanism and seducing young women, I'm going to take the moral high ground and stop speculating about the potential existence and meaning of his hand puppet. I know people who love puppets, but not like that.

It is known that sculptures of seahorse-looking snakes symbolized fertility around that time, so Glycon may have been worshipped but, if so, based on all we have, it was only in Abonutichus, and that's from an unreliable source. Macedonia had plenty of serpent cults. Thus, the existence of Glycon worship back then is suspect. This is brilliant because it leads people to believe that Alan Moore worships a god that does not necessarily exist. A translation of what Lucian wrote is here: http://www.piney.com/Lucianalexander.html. It reads like James Randi and Penn Jillette writing a letter to Teller as a goof, only more ancient and Greek.

Zack Snyder? I've never seen his movies. I missed Dawn of the Dead because I try very hard to skip remakes, clinging to the folly that my $10 will add up and convince Hollywood to release films that are more interesting. Also, in watching the trailer, I felt that the zombies had been drinking too much Gatorade. 300, I also skipped. Frank Miller rarely works for me. The movie of Sin City was more true to the comic than anything else I can think of, but I didn't enjoy either, partially because Miller's characters don't feel real to me, especially the women. In watching the trailer for 300, it also looked like everyone had been drinking far too much Gatorade and the flying sweat reminded me of the Gatorade commercial where everyone's sweat turned Gatorade colors.

I'm concerned that the Watchmen film will look like a Gatorade commercial but the trailer was incredible. The redemption of one of my favorite Smashing Pumpkin songs (all synthy because they were really into Nitzer Ebb at the time) by having it connected to a good movie was merely the iceberg's tip. Watching a lawsuit throw this into turmoil frees me from having to wrestle with my love of the comic and Alan Moore (who claims to hate all movie adaptations of his work) and the fact that Zack Snyder cannot make a film that doesn't look like a commercial for Gatorade. Moore has cast a hex on the film and it's amazing that his powers are so powerful that, at least for a moment, he has been able to dangle the potentiality of a completed film based on his work getting shelved over bureacratic paperwork problems.

Reason #3: I am happy that Alan Moore has fooled everyone into thinking that he worships a giant snake god named Glycon. This has kept people from realizing that Alan Moore is the living embodiment of a giant snake god named Glycon. I am happy that Alan Moore has the power to turn into a giant snake.
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As always, please blame[livejournal.com profile] time_shark for this.

I've spent several months with about a single carful of belongings. I tend to shower at the gym (where they have soap and everything!) and I spend plenty of time in public libraries reading their books. Big ups to any librarians in the MetroWest area who stock Night Shade, still have 1980s horror anthos on their shelves or who rock comics with fewer underwear perverts than most comics.
 
My personal library (of something like 4 to 5 thousand eerie volumes) has been in storage all this time. I love books more than I love most of the human population,  veering toward dark, existential and mind-boggling tomes. Pretty sentences that say little bother me less than they do most people. And plot isn't something that makes sense to me. Writers who get accused of having too little plot and too much atmosphere tend to have plots that strike me as compelling and original.

As a writer, I see the traditional rising action diagram and I want to desecrate it. My favorite plot diagrams loop, spin and intentionally detour. I've reached a point where I want endings tucked somewhere into the story, but they can be dream or nightmare logic. I've never agreed to some sort of contract with the reader and I have little use for giving or receiving consolation. I've read enough that I've seen almost every trick before but I don't mind a bit when an author revisits techniques I enjoy. Justine Musk describes her novels as vampire fiction that doesn't actually contain vampires. In short fiction, I guess I like ghost stories with no on stage ghosts. In longer work, it seems much harder to keep it offstage, but other people's mileage certainly varies on that.

There's a lot more to all of this. I've oversimplified. In short,  I've collected eccentric and creepy books with a fervor for a long time. I used to wish that every bookstore had a special section for books that were darkly and complexly philosophical to such a degree that they were unlikely to interest the general populace. It would make browsing more convenient for me. I tend to have multiple editions (even multiple copies of the same editions) of the writers I love most. The recent ambling through time and space has taught me that I need to be more careful in my purchasing. It's likely that I already own far more unread books than I'll be able to finish in my lifetime. I've changed. This week, I bought Charles Stross' The Atrocity Archives in mass market, the Virgin UK edition of Thomas Ligotti's Teatro Grotesco (which I adore) and Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil.

This much collected creepiness is very heavy. I know because I've lifted the more than a hundred boxes a bunch in the last year. Just to shoehorn one more tidbit of opinion on the genre: the horror boom of the 1980s was very helpful to me because a few less mainstream voices got published that wouldn't have if there hadn't been a boom, I can't imagine a better time to have been trapped in a small town and having little choice but the check the one grocery store in town for horror anthologies -- but I hate stories where a man saves his house, wife, kids and pets by being brave and tough in the name of restoring the status quo.

Maybe bookstores should start a section called "Fiction Where Everyone Dies."  With all the books (and a few too many horrific action figures, Tarot decks and other sundry and weird things, including at least a million words of dark rambling that I've written by hand) in boxes, I look forward to eventually being in a situation where I can unpack the storage boxes like creepy presents to myself.

Reason #2: With that much darkness in one place, I'm glad that the storage space, so far, hasn't become haunted by the powers of evil that are so clearly represented within its contents.
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I have never been tagged by a meme. At least not that I remember noticing. I've always viewed it as somewhat comparable to cooties or something. (Is cooties good or bad? Where is that Vitamin C?)

I have joined in on things that have filled my friendslist but this feels different. (Antibiotics, then?)

Alas, it is the happiness meme. Because I'm always up for new ways to educate and enlighten, or at least be generally stupid for the entertainment of others, I'm going to attempt to spread joy throughout the land.
 
I'm not going to bother to understand the rules of said tagging or what I'm supposed to do. I just know that it looks like I will be moving for the third time in six months (fourth actual living space) next week and I am trying to be both delighted and delightful about it. All my books are already in storage so there's no lifting involved.

There are advantages to escaping being smack dab in the middle of someone else's house and lurking in the basement typing nonstop. Some people grow old, wear purple and have lots of cats. I am a crazy person who types in basements. Coincidentally, I am moving to where my cat has been living for months. His name is Berry Gould. It is the same as my former high school principal with a slightly different spelling. Berry won't tell me if it is short for Huckleberry but it might be. He is an extremely vocal cat who weighs about 20 pounds and has had an odd life. He entered mine in the previous living situation and has tagged along but lived somewhere else. Since cats would rather switch people than homes, the nice woman who has cared for him is off to Florida and I will be in her place, smack dab in the middle of lots less chaos that results in frequent escapes to the library and hopefully even more typing. Though sleep would be nice too.

I could get all tangential about the artificialness of faking joy, but instead I will finally tell you something that makes me happy:

1) I am happy that I don't talk about my cat in my blog.

Does this have to go on for eight days?

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