Friday, October 21, 2005


The madness descends on us once again. The smell of scorched pencils and stale fear fills the air as Doomsday looms like thunderheads sweeping across the plains. Darkness falls and the shrieks of the damned fill the humid air. Yes, it's time once again for NaNoWriMo, the annual rite of Autumn insanity.

I don't NaNo. Never have. Might in the future, but not right now. I just don't need the stress. I'm sure it would be fun. At first. Then, as I lagged further and further behind, fun would become work, then work would become worry and worry would become stress. After about two weeks, I would be a nervous wreck and beating myself with a cudgel night and day for being such a LOSER!!!.

So no NaNo, just Wri. Wonder if I can get ham on that?


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Rant - Health Care and Insurance

So apparently some nameless, faceless dickweed at the insurance company knows more about my health care needs than my doctors. This in spite of the fact that he/she/it has never examined me or even seen my chart. I guess my doctors are just all incompetent assholes. From now on, I'll just call the insurance company about my diagnostics and treatments. Must be some powerful crystal ball they're using.

Health care is not about dollars and cents. It's about getting the proper diagnosis and treatment at the proper time. Pencil-pushers have no place in this process. Medical professionals only please. "Managed health care" is bullshit. Get your goddamned nose out of my business! Hold down costs by cutting useless jobs and stupid people, not by interfering with my health care needs.

This rant brought to you by:

My Insurance Company's Refusal To Pay For The Standard Diagnostic Test (CT Scan) For My Preliminary Diagnosis In Favor Of The Deprecated Ultrasound;

Lack Of Coffee, Food, and Medication Until After 10am This Morning; AND

An Urgent Need To Locate A Certain Fuckwad And Kick His/Her/It's Ass So Hard He/She/It Will Have To Wipe His/Her/It's Nose Every Time He/She/It Shits.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Back in Business (For a While, At Least)

Computer's back up, at least for now. Some documentation on the fershlugginer modem/router would have saved me most of a day. Enough screwing around. Butt in chair, fingers on keys, type, type, type.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Why can't it ever be easy? The DSL installation has subjected my system to voodoo rituals unfit for public description. At some point (maybe tomorrow), I hope to have it working for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Sigh. The wonders of modern technology.

All Dressed Up

DSL installed and working! Ah, the joy of release from the bondage of dial-up. Near-future upgrades will be a router with VPN so I can access my system from anywhere. $60 and about 2 weeks hair-pulling should get that done.

Monday, October 17, 2005

How Much Am I Worth?

I received an e-mail from a friend the other day. In it, she apologized TO ME for feeling bad. She said she felt like she was letting me down by feeling so bad. An awful lot of people don't really understand how anybody could feel that way. I'm not one of them. I understand only too well.

One of my biggest struggles in life is to convince myself that my feelings, good or bad, have value. Hw am I supposed to take time for myself if I feel guilty about it, if I feel like I'm letting some other person down? How can I value my feelings enough to take ownership of them so I can begin to deal with them? These are serious questions that many people have to face on a daily basis.

The fact is, I am worth every bit as much as any other person in the world. My feelings are just as valid any anyone else's. If I feel bad, that is a valid feeling. I am allowed to feel bad, good, silly, lazy, or whatever.

How does a person go about convincing him/herself of these truths? By paying attention and by carrying on an internal conversation. I am training myself to be aware of my feelings. Once I realize that I'm feeling bad about feeling bad, I can try to discover why I feel that way and start telling myself that it's okay for me not to be perfect. Through repetition, it becomes true. If I tell myself enough times, I will come to believe it. I am already well on the way to overcoming this particular obstacle, though there is still a lot of work yet to be done.

I carry on the same self-conversation about my writing. I know, on the surface of my mind, that I am a good writer. Underneath, I am still not convinced of that. I can now submit non-fiction articles without the fear of them being pinned to the office bulletin board for ridicule. Fiction is still hard. I am still searching for validation as a fiction writer, but it is hard to come by, mostly because fiction is so subjective. It is so hard to hit just the right editor for a story at a time when he/she is most receptive to it. There is a lot of chance involved, but my inner mind persists in seeing rejections as reflecting badly on me.

The struggle between the internal critic and the internal booster is vicious. The booster has my support, but the critic has the inertia of a lot of years behind him. I may never get to the point where the booster takes over, but I can keep up the fight. In order to succeed, I am going to have to give myself permission to be good at the things I enjoy. You can probably hear the critic howling about that sentence all the way to Australia.

Just to twist that knife a little harder, I am going to brag that Zette has accepted my article "Studies in Lines and Shadows: Character Development for Short Stories" for the November/December issue of Vision. Yay me! Take that, critic!