capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
1. California University at Northridge: College of Humanities

The program explores how heterosexism, heteronormativity and transphobia intersect and collide with national, ethnic, racial, class and other identifications, fostering a community of learners who grapple with issues of diversity, gender, sexuality and social justice.



2. Denison College (Columbus, Ohio)

To that end, queer studies examines the cultural, social and political implications of sexuality and gender from the perspective of those marginalized by the dominant sexual ethos. It explores the ways that culture defines and regulates sexuality as well as the ways that sexuality structures and shapes social institutions.


3. Hampshire College (Amherst, Massachusetts)

Queer studies at Hampshire utilizes gender theory/philosophy, historical analysis, critical race theory, and contemporary critique to further the discourse on queer identity and community, as well as notions of queering heterosexualized relationships and identities. Courses and projects within queer studies focus on the law, family structure, media representations, public health, religion, the arts, cultural studies, sexuality, and biology.


4. Oregon State University

Queer Studies teaches students, through theory and practice, to:

  • Recognize and articulate entwined relationship between heterosexism, patriarchy, gender regimes, racism, classism, colonialism, and xenophobia
  • Critically engage oppression and inequality through intersectional analyses in scholarship
  • Practice tactics of intervention in their scholarship and activism that challenges all systems of oppression and inequality
  • Interrogate one's own multiple and shifting social locations in relationship to intersecting systems of power
  • Practice social justice and transformation through scholarly, artistic, and organizational projects that engage both the OSU campus and local, national and international communities.


5. Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)

As an interdiscipline, Queer Studies focuses not only on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans) lives and communities, but more broadly on the social production and regulation of sexuality and gender. It seeks intersectional, social-constructionist, and transnational understandings of sexual and sexualized embodiments, desires, identities, communities, and cultures both within the U.S. and beyond.

[...]

As a direct result of student activism, Wesleyan made its first faculty hire in Queer Studies in 2002. Students in Wesleyan’s Queer Alliance lobbied the administration, secured faculty support, and staged a kiss-in in front of the admissions office.





You know, when I was in high school, and starting to think about what I'd like to study and where I'd like to study it, it was a toss-up between Peace Studies (Wikipedia) and English/Creative Writing. And if Oberlin College had been more barrier-free in 1983, that's very likely the degree I would have gone for. But it wasn't, and Peace Studies are thin on the vine, in academia. So I went the English Major Route at a college closer to home, instead.

But reading these course descriptions recently (prompted by young'uns on Tumblr), I'm realizing that Queer Studies pretty much what you'd get if you through "Peace Studies" in a blender with English/Writing/Art history/Film. And if there had been any paragraph like the ones above in the college catalogs I was reading 35 years ago, I very likely would have signed up for at least one class... and realized I was not straight about 30 years earlier than I did.

Ah well.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)

So, I took part in my first NaNoWriMo in 2005, and crossed the 50K word line by a hair’s breadth just prior to the stroke of midnight, but in terms of storyline, barely squeaked past the first chapter -- I just sorta picked the resolution of a mid-plot conflict and chose that to be the point where I stuck "the end." And ever since then, my goal has been to:

Get the number of words written and actually get the entire plot written.

And that accomplishment still alludes me.

This year was actually a third attempt at the same story. And I still didn’t actually get to writing the final scene... Though I did get about 7/8th of the story written? or maybe 3/4ths?

And even that word count win is kinda-sorta, because maybe half to three quarters of what’s on the page is either: the same scene written multiple times (with different wording/p.o.v./voice), rambling as an author about what I want the scene to accomplish, rather than writing the actual scene, or multiple versions of author ramblings.

On the other other hand: a) after ten years of having this story in my head, I am still not sick of it, and want it to be a thing (and I vow that I will revise), and b) at least, even if I didn’t write the final scenes, I at made a list of them, so I have them on record.

And at least I made it past chapter two (yay?)



I’ve learned two things about myself, in the process, the first is neuro-cognitive, and the second is ... what’s the word?... philosophical? Or political?

First: This year, for the first time, I mostly wrote using the offline version of “Write or Die,” which keeps track of your typing speed, odometer style, and also requires you to set a timer for writing. Those two features together revealed that when I’m just writing words in the abstract (such as those bits I mentioned above, where I’m describing what I want a scene to accomplish) I can easily write 25 words per minute. But when I’m writing an actual scene, and visualizing it through my P.O.V character’s eyes, I struggle to reach half that speed. And, further, when I’m writing in a rambling way, I can keep going for 40 minutes without getting tired, but writing in-character wears me out at around 20 minutes -- and that’s even when I have the scene detailed clearly in my head, and I’ve been “rehearsing” it for days.

Who needs an fMRI machine to tell you that visualization and language production take place in different regions of the brain, and compete for resources?

:::Brain go FLOP!:::

Second: while "gentle fiction" may be my favorite thing to read, it turns out that writing it? Not so much. I mean, I love the gentle resolution, but in process of the getting there, my mind is drawn to the ugly guts of cruelty like a moth to the flame. Like opening up an alarm clock, scattering the gears and springs across the table, and then, sitting down and examining each gear in turn, admiring how the light glints off each cog... And that kinda makes me uncomfortable?


I tell myself it's 'cause I feel the need to plant flags all over evil, in order to make sure that no one can ignore it, ...but I dunno...

Can you kink shame yourself? Can you fiction kink shame yourself?




Final word count: 51,864 (by NaNoWriMo's counter). Probable word count after I revise it will probably be half that, but it could be double -- depends on whether "Backstory" stays in the back, or moves to center stage.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Seriously... ever since last evening, sometime, no matter what I start to do -- writing, arting, reading, watching videos, playing semi-mindless games, even daydreaming, and snacking, my brain has been noping out on me.

...Thank goodness it hasn't balked on the "breathing" and "heart beating" activities, that's all I can say.
capriuni: half furry, half sea monster in wheelchair caption: Monster on Wheels (Monster)
A few years ago, I came up with the monster design in the icon above this post for a specific boy, and put it on a tee-shirt for him (in the hopes that it would fend off doting adults who wanted to pet him, and call him a "Little Angel!").

Well, recently, I got a hankering for my own monster, that fits my personality. And this is what I came up with:

Loose pencil sketch of a bird monster in a motor chair
(Picture description: A loose pencil sketch of a one-legged bird monster in a motor chair, facing the viewer, with a flower growing out of her head)

It's still rough. I think, in my finished version, I'll give her the same pose as the monster above -- that is: with the chair in profile, and the creature's face turned toward the viewer. This would make the wheelchair more instantly recognizable (thanks to the international access symbol), and, to be honest, a heck less complicated, perspective-wise.

At first, because I have such a strong affinity with spiders, I thought to give her spider-like legs. But as I was drawing them, I got a visceral feeling that that was not me -- my hands are very much human!

...I don't think I'd have realized that if I hadn't tried to do something radically different...
capriuni: A a cartoon furry monster whistling a single note; text; One-Note Nellie (1-note Nellie.)
So, I;m currently writing (or trying to write) a poem on how certain words (like the 'R*-word' and the 'sp-word') get picked up and used in the culture as triggers for violence.

... And so far, on average, it's taking me three days to write each eight-line stanza.

One part of that is because I'm trying to write about the process without actually mentioning specific weaponized words (I want to save that for the prose commentary). And that takes a lot of cognitive work.

Mostly, though, it's because I'm trying to write satirically in the style of a survivalist handbook on "how to make your own weapon," while justifying why those dirty freaks deserve what they get.

...And that just makes me feel disgusted/disgusting.

*shudder*

On the other hand, the fact that this poem is so hard to write is a signal of just how important it is to write. ... And the more I procrastinate, the longer I'll be living inside it.

*ick!*
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
Still working on that poetry collection* I drafted during July's Camp NaNoWriMo... And a good quarter of them, so far, are etymological-- often snagged directly from dictionary pages, rearranged for the purposes of scansion.

Right now, I'm writing a longish poem on the word "Cripple," and trying to explain why I love the word, even though it is most often used in hateful contexts. And this simile / analogy popped into my head: Etymology is to cultural beliefs what fossils are to biology. People choose words to convey their thoughts, and the meanings of those words change gradually over time as people's attitudes change. So by tracing the meaning of a word, through its different language roots, you can find evidence of what people were experiencing a thousand years ago, even if they weren't writing them down explicitly, in a "Dear Diary" format. Just like the fossils of tiktaalik tell us about how we are related to ancient, bony, fishes, words themselves can provide evidence of the people whose lives and experiences are otherwise not recorded at all


*or "short essays that just happen to be in iambic pentameter"?
capriuni: Matt Smith (11th Doctor) Thumbs Up (Absolutely!)
In a way that I haven't been since 1996 (My disappointment in the "TV Movie" *cough*failed pilot*cough* has muted nearly all twitterpation since then -- but not this time)... There may be deep, philosophical, self-identity, reasons for this ... or maybe not.

Behind a cut, because I don't remember how out of date my *Doctor Who* filter is )

(I need a new Doctor Who icon...)
capriuni: Text: "an honorable retreat ... not with bag and baggage, yet scrip and scrippage. (Scrippage)
1. I remembered, in replying to [personal profile] raze, yesterday, that I eventually learned react before the scary music cue, and thought that it might be good to make that clear.

2. Much of the language in this poem is self-reflective, adult, and jargony. So I tried to make the two lines where I'm "hiding," at least, sound more like the voice of the two-year old me (cue Eleven's regeneration speech).

3. Question -- Considering the above: Back then, my actual name for the show was "Scare Trek." Should I call it that, in the poem?

A SPASTIC CHILD WATCHES THE T.V.

I learned to tell a story at age two
(At least, the craft of pacing and suspense).
Propped up between my parents on the couch,
With season one of “Star Trek” on the screen,
I could not hide, but quickly learned:
Anticipate the music's minor shift,
Then plug my ears and close my eyes and hum
Until the things that scared me went away.
I never feared the aliens as much
As all the angry shouts and lasers' whine
That always happened – every episode –
As soon as any “monster” came on-screen.

Could I have understood, as young as that:
My difference, too, was something that they feared?
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
1. Share my current earworm:



Tradition of the song snagged from the description ) ...Which I think is rather sweet...

2. Also called Cousin Toni to wish her a happy New Year and reestablish contact. She was not at home... I think she may be on her annual extended vacation with Bob.

3. Now on to my third thing -- My main desire for 2014: writing with an eye for making it public / publishable, and published! ...Starting with that anthology constructed out of "Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream."

I'll put off worry and sorrow for another day.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Context: Yesterday, in reporting on the story of Jenny Hatch, Dave Hingsburger pointed out that people with disabilities are the only ones who have scientists with clipboards collecting data on them to prove, scientifically, that freedom is better than captivity.

...There was a lot of push-back against that. Generally along the lines of: "But lots of people still have to fight for freedom, and human rights!"

In today's post, he defended his statement, and the point that talking about what is unique about the discrimination different minorities face is valid, and does not mean that we're trying to outdo each other.

This is the reply I was prompted to make, and I thought folks here would be interested in reading it:

[Begin quote]

From my experience (as someone with a congenital disabling condition), I've come to the conclusion that the discrimination disabled folk face is psychologically and socially difficult in two unique ways:

1) More often then not, we're minorities within our own families, so we often experience oppression from those who should be protecting us from it (the stories of Eve and Jenny both illustrate this).

2) And, unlike gay and transgender people, who are also often isolated within their families (and therefore, are subject to cruelty and injustice, as well), very few people with disabilities are able to "pass" as either able-bodied or neurotypical for the sake of their own safety.

Even if a disabled kid is lucky, like I was, and wins the "supportive parents" lottery, being alone in your family means sometimes going without the emotional and practical support you need. My mother was fantastic with helping me deal with sexism, because she'd had experience with that herself, and had figured out ways to get through it. But if I came home from school complaining about how the newly-waxed hallways made it hard to get to class on my crutches (for example), she was at a loss.

And, while this wasn't always the case (and was, itself, the result of hard-won battles for social justice), it's now recognized that children in racial, ethnic, and religious minorities need some contact with adult role models from their own minority to help them grow and learn. I've yet to see that same recognition for children with disabilities.

[end quote]
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Today, I remembered a shirt I hand-painted for myself, back when I was taking horse riding lessons... I had a bad habit of holding my breath when I was concentrating on something, so I made a shirt with "Breathe!" painted on it in dimensional fabric paint ...

Upside down, so I could read it when I looked down...

And today, the idea came to me that an update of that design would be something other people could appreciate.

Yes?
No?
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (towel)
So -- I've got this long term, long-short-medium fiction project going, and now that I'm recovered (mostly) from NaNoWriMo, my mind has turned toward it once again. What that means, right now, is putting thought into a main character's house.

And that's got me thinking about the kind of house I really want to live in.

What I really, really want to live in is a space that's round; circles are just friendlier than squares. And with about third (maybe even half-- not really good at estimating space by eyeball) less interior space. Seriously.

The big Master Bedroom-with-full-bath/roll-in shower is the right size, because need all that wide open, empty space to have room to maneuver my wheelchair (which is a feature that makes the current version of Tiny House Movement unworkable for most with mobility impairments). And I use the adjacent laundry room nook. But:

When I bought this house (Before I'd ever lived in a house of my own) I didn't know that actually cooking three squares a day would be beyond my spoon count, and that I'd end up surviving on prepared food zapped in the microwave for 90% of my meals. So basically, all the space I really need for a kitchen is space for a microwave and a freezer/refrigerator and a table to eat at-- I've never used the oven, but maybe three times in the sixteen-plus years I've lived here (and those times, I had help, and it didn't really work). And I hardly ever use the stove anymore.

The "Great Room" (aka "living room" for Northerners) is nothing but a big empty space that I have to cross in order to get from by bed to my computer room -- it's also an empty space with walls in between that separates the part of the house that gets nicely warmed by the sun from the part of the house where I actually spend my time. The guest room has turned into a closet for all the stuff from the House on the Mountain, since Father died... it's only used by the cats, now, who sleep on the bed, that's somewhere under all the books.

And you know what? All that extra, unused space, is depressing -- it reminds me every day that the cultural norm is "Family of Four with a Dog" while I live "All Alone." If I had a genie, who could zap this from the house I have to the house I'd be most comfortable in (so I wouldn't have to figure out where to live in the meantime), it would shrink down and turn into a little round (one storey) tower, and I could be like the woman who lived in a vinegar bottle (image of a children's book cover, showing a woman sitting in a vinegar-bottle-shaped house).

The problem is: Zoning. There are rules that say every house in a neighborhood has to be a certain, minimum, size (so as to give the appearance of affluence, and discourage those icky Poor People from moving in). And my house is already the smallest in the cul-de-sac.

And then, I had an idea which amused me: Keep the foundation footprint as it is, and turn that into a terrace/patio, with architectural columns all around the outside to define the space, and a garden of potted plants with benches and tables... So the space my house would take up would look just as big as all the others, at first glance, and it wouldn't be until you looked closer that you'd notice that the actual living space was about half the size... Heck-- I could even make the columns two storeys tall, and top them with a trellis with vines, to make it match the roof lines of the houses around it...

Y/Y?

(sometimes, it's fun to make wishes, just for the sake of it)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
In my last post on this subject, I stated my discomfort with the current cultural discussions of "Bullying, and What to Do About It," because, in my experience, it's the adults who form the largest segment of the bullying population, and that children, on the whole, are more tolerant, and no one seems to be talking about that part of the equation. This entry started out as what I thought would be one brief sentence in a reply to a reply to that post... and then it kept getting bigger, and I realized it should be its own thing:

... I know: I've seen the reports, and the candid filming of behavior on playgrounds and in lunch rooms, so I know that childhood bullying exists. But it's still my deep is my deep gut feeling that adults are far worse sinners as far as bullying goes. I don't think I will ever shake it completely. And I think this is a direct result of growing up, from birth, with Disability Disprivilege.

You see, what I've seen, from the time of my earliest memories, is that a very great (if not a vast majority) number of people who work in the "Disability Services" sector -- from young adults taking summer jobs at "special" camps, to Special Ed teachers, physical therapists, and social workers, all the way up to administrators of disability services at city and county levels -- are drawn to the field because they are bullies.

First off, they know that the job title on their business card is enough to earn them adulation from their community (for making such a noble and charitable sacrifice on behalf of those poor unfortunates). So they get near global reinforcement that their view of the world is the one true view (and this is precisely what bullies have been trying to prove to the rest of the world since they uttered their first insult in preschool).

And second, and perhaps more important, it puts them in position of control over other people's lives, and gives them an air of expertise, and the power to make up the rules of the game. So, for example, when they tell parents of a disabled child: "Johnny will never be able to read at grade level, anyway, so we'll just pull him out of class during English, so we can at least train him to walk normally as possible," most parents just take their word for it (and any quick survey of "rehabilitation and treatment" literature will reveal that the appearance of normalcy is the number one measure of "quality of life").

If Johnny, himself, tries to complain or protest, he gets stuck with the label "Resistant to Treatment," and "Disobedient," and gets punished and put in isolation.

And because of how the Rehabilitation Complex is organized, my parents, who were incredibly supportive of me, and did everything they could to reinforce my sense of self-worth, were outnumbered by these "Experts and Professionals" by about four to one.

........

Meanwhile, in grade school, I couldn't run and play hopscotch or jump rope with the rest of my class. And so I spent recess on the sidelines, sitting in the shade of the big oak tree.

And before you start listening for the sentimental strains of the violin, underscoring the "loneliness and isolation of the crippled child's life," consider this:

The children who were bullies -- who were afraid of and disgusted by any whiff of difference -- knew that no amount of insults or punches could shame me out of my wheelchair, so they stayed the hell away, rather than catch my cooties. And the kids who were interested in who I was as a person, who liked wordplay and imagination games (and perhaps, sensed that I came armed with my own Bully-repellent force field) came over to play with me of their own accord. And together, we made up our own games, where everyone was an equal participant.

So, in my life, my interactions with the Adult Population were always skewed toward the bullies-and-thugs end of the spectrum, and those with the Child Population were always skewed toward the Incredibly Nice and Ridiculously Creative end of the spectrum.

So -- yeah. In the ongoing "What to do About Bullies" discussions, my instinct is going to be to side with the kids, as "my tribe."
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
There's much talk in our culture, at this particular moment in history about the phenomenon of bullying... And the general, distilled, cultural meme that seems to be coming out of all this talk is:

"Children are, by nature, horrible, and cruel, and they need to have their broken, dysfunctional, compassion modules repaired by adults who know better."

And... that makes me very uncomfortable. Because? Frankly?

The vast majority of all the times in my life that I, personally, have been bullied, especially because of my disability and the difference that engenders (there's a part of my mind that is shouting "EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!" But I'm trying to stay away from extremes), has been at the hands of adults. On the whole, I have consistently (that part of my brain is shouting "ALWAYS!") felt much safer in the company of children, and respected as an actual human being.

And ...

On the one hand, I believe and respect the stories of people who have been bullied and harassed by children. And on the other hand, I want to respect and believe the stories my own memory is telling me about my life... without just dismissing my life experience as some "strange luck."

I sincerely doubt that I was visited by a fairy godmother in the Neonatal Unit of Strong Memorial Hospital and blessed (or cursed) me with a "backwards bully spell," after all.

Also, I think explaining bullying behavior by simplifying it to "Children are horrible little bundles of id and cruelty," is likely to miss the forces in the culture (at the adult level) that encourage bullying, so that the children who are so inclined will learn how it's done...

I've been puzzling my way through some hypotheses on how to reconcile my experiences with those of others... haven't gotten there yet.

But... yeah... that's kind of been circling through my mind, of late. So if you see a bunch of posts about this from me, that's why...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
I'm pleased with this... though I think if I start talking about why, I will be here for all the hours, using all the words, about all the feels... And my tummy is rumbling, and I haven't had dinner...so maybe I'll come back after I've eaten.

---
A different sort of self portrait (a usual one will likely be forthcoming, too, but in the meantime):

Following [personal profile] spiralsheep's lead, because some people don't like looking at feet, here's a link to the Flick'r page, instead of a thumbnail (ha, idiom is funny, in context): My left foot

Now I know why I was on that shading kick spree this week...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
The other day, I posted (what I thought) was the last poem in this cycle.

But, frankly, I was unhappy with the happy ending I gave it:

(Quote)
And I find a path, and there, the root:
That "Monster," once, meant "Warning from the gods"
This fear's unveiled, and like a ghost, it fades.
(Unquote)

First, simply defining "monster" as "warning" does nothing to make clear why I feel a strong personal connection to the word (especially if this piece is to stand on its own).

And, second (and more important), that ending is a lie. As much as I would wish it, the fear doesn't fade. I, and my companions of the abnormal, have to deal with it over, and over and over again, every time we go out into the world, and it's a fear that has real, painful, consequences for our lives. Also, I did not want to leave the casual TAB reader at any place where: "Oh, good. She'll have a happy ending, I don't have to worry about her (or people like her)" is a reasonable reaction.

So, I went back and finished up my original closing poem idea (which I initially abandoned because it was a radical chance of voice):


THE MONSTERS' CHALLENGE: THE VOICE OF REASON

There are no monsters underneath the bed
(Or so they say). They say there never were.
And when a baby's born with half an arm,
No chanting priest foretells the death of kings.
Today, we know the scientific truth
And we've outgrown those silly, antique tales

(Or so they say). And yet, we're all afraid.
There's something churning underneath our feet.
This modern world is bursting at the seams,
And All agree that Order must be Kept.
We've turned to science, and learned ten thousand ways
To know just who is normal and who is not.
We raise our funds, we look for cures, invent,
And teach the child to wear a plastic hand.
And though we know it's fiction, we still cheer
The knight's triumphant ride, returning home;
At last, the dragon's dead, and now hear heart
Is safely bundled in his handkerchief.
The monsters must not ever win the fight.
We only let them try, to prove who's right.

This is a good #5, as an answer to #4, which brought up the fallacious thinking of ancient philosophies (but we don't think that any more! -- yeah. But... no). And also, it's uncomfortable enough to make the reader squirm and (maybe) question their own thinking.

But still, you know me. I hate to stay in a place of bitterness for very long, for my own well-being, if nothing else. And I thought the reader deserved some sort of "author's note" as to why this whole series was written, in the first place. But first, I had to figure out how to end it in a truthful way, that gives a bit more meaningful context.

... That was yesterday's big project. This is the result.

THE MONSTER CHALLENGE: PERSONAL JOURNEY

In looking down upon my naked self:
My lap, my scars, my hands, and crooked feet,
My posture's slant, my elbow's inner bend,
I sometimes wonder what it means to see.
This looking at myself from where I am
Is not at all like looking at a rock.

The words that echo through my memory
In all the languages I've heard (or seen):
Like forest leaves that shift in every wind,
Their shadows hide -- disguise -- the things I see.
It's through this tangled forest I must go
To find my truth, and know just what I am.
And then: one word. It catches like a thorn.
And though it stings, I trace its twisted growth.
I find a path, and there I find the root:
That "monster," once, meant "creature born deformed,"
(Somewhat like me?), "a warning from the gods--"
One shadow pierced. This light can answer fear.
And here's the fruit: it's heavy -- rich with seed.
I'll plant one for myself, and start anew.
capriuni: Illustration of M. Goose riding a gander; caption reads: Beware the magic of words (mother goose)
Freshly minted -- as of seven minutes ago -- the mold's barely been cracked.

I'll come back later and revise.

THE MONSTER CHALLENGE: OUT OF THE LABYRINTH

In looking down upon my naked self:
My lap, my scars, my hands, and crooked feet,
My posture's slant, my elbow's inner bend,
I sometimes wonder what it means to see.
This looking at myself from the where I am
Is not at all like looking at a rock.

Remembered words -- they echo in my thoughts --
In all the languages I've heard (or seen).
Like forest leaves, they sway in every breeze,
And cast their dappled shadows through my mind.
It's through this tangled forest I must go,
To find my truth, and know just what I am.
And then: one word amid ten thousand words
It catches, like a thorn, with sharp intent.
Although it stings, I trace the tendrils back,
And find a path, and there, the root:
That "monster," once, meant "warning from the gods."
The fear's unveiled. And like a ghost, it fades.
And here's the fruit: it's heavy -- rich with seeds.
I'll plant one for myself, and start anew.
capriuni: footnotes are where the cool kids hang out (geek pride)
So yeah... the other day, I wrote this as a quickie post:

[Quote]
A proposal for a definition of "Geek," which can exist independent of any particular cultural trend (e.g. video-games, comics, or spec. fic):

Noun:

Someone to whom the sentence: "You're over-thinking this," is inherently nonsensical.
[Unquote]

This is the ultimate antithesis of a "quickie post" It has All the Words... But a bunch are under cuts, and I'll understand if you don't actually read them all (though it would be nifty if you read some). Basically, this is where a non-geek would say I'm over-thinking this...

That thought came to me in the middle of watching the newest music video from the YouTube Channel called "Geek and Sundry," which is provided under the cuts below for those who are curious. Go Watch / Read / Whatever. I'll wait 'till you get back.

I'm the one that's cool -- video behind the cut for NSFW or kids visuals )

I'm the one that's cool -- Song lyrics for those who can't watch vid, behind the cut for length )

The thing is, I've always considered myself a "geek,"* but I had to Google about two-thirds the cultural references in those lyrics before I understood them. And I really think "geek" is really more about: 1) A general attitude toward the world around you and 2) your favorite ways of solving problems than it ever was about which particular cultural tastes you have.

I mean, take this soliloquy from Hamlet, for example: if these aren't the words of a Geek-type wishing he could be more of a Jock-type, than I don't what is (whether these are words strictly specific to character and situation, or [as I suspect] the author getting a wee bit autobiographical)

Video of he Soliloquy from the end Act 2, Scene 2 in *Hamlet* as acted by David Tennant )**

Text of the Soliloquy )

Here's where I stop quoting and start babbling my own words about everything above -- Starting with *Hamlet* and finishing with why I think 'Geekdom' is MORE than just science, math, computers, and science fiction, but even so, I understand why so many people think Geek=Science ... What do you mean, I'm 'over-thinking this?' )


*or rather, as someone of that personality type -- the year I graduated left high school, (I stayed an extra year after I was qualified to graduate so I could be in the new Advanced Placement History and English classes): 1982, the first definition of "Geek" in the dictionary was still "Someone who bites the heads off chickens," and I was never that.

**There's also a video that compares the performances of both Simm and Tennant, back-to-back, but of the two, David's version comes across to me as more frantically barely-out-of-adolescence in age, in terms of don't-know-what-to-do-with-my-feelings and resulting social awkwardness, so I think of this performance as one of the geekiest ever. Makes it easier to remember that Shakespeare wrote the character to be college student... Or it could just be because of that tee-shirt he's wearing in the scene ;-)
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You know. This may sound super naive and ridiculous, and not something that should come spilling through the fingers of a 47 year old woman--

But:

I write "fantasy" because I believe it's more real than so-called 'realistic fiction'

It's not that I believe in the literal existence of elves, or vampires, or unicorns, or nannies who come flying in hanging onto the parrot-headed handles of umbrellas, or any of that (necessarily).

But I Do believe that:

A) There is more to the world than can be explained by the tangible and logical.

and that

B) That the things we imagine (subconsciously in dreams, and consciously, in our daydreams) can, and do have a profound impact on the real world all around us.

So every story I write will have at least some element of each of those things, even when I'm not consciously trying to put it there. Because it's more than just a favorite genre, it's the filter through which I see the world.

And that's also why I tend to get much less enjoyment out of reading "realistic" fiction:

If it's a story that never even questions "reality," never challenges the broad, culturally defined nature of our world, it just feels "flat"-- like the author is only telling half the story.

Ya know?

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Ann

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