Dita Parker

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Have you heard the news: We're all gonna die! No? No wonder. There is a whole industry out there, several actually, to negate the reality and inevitability of death. Mortality is still at a steady one hundred percent, but you wouldn't believe it watching and listening to the Merchants of Eternity. For the sake of brevity, I will call them Moe.

Why the sudden moebegone? My firstborn was very quiet after a visit to the cemetery. Then: "I don't want to die, Mom, and I don't want you to die, or Dad to die." Without going into a deep philosophical discussion, I tried to explain that I'm afraid we'll just have to, but if we take good care of ourselves and each other (and if we're very, very lucky), we'll all still be here fifty years from now. I didn't promise not to die anytime soon and I'm glad I wasn't asked to.

That calmed my child some, but we spent the rest of the car ride in silence. Back home the kids started playing all business as usual. They're children; they're gifted that way. They don't wallow in a past they don't yet have, they don't trouble themselves much with a future they cannot envision. As for us adults...

You're not doing yourself any favors thinking about dying, not all of the time. But avoiding the issue altogether may be even worse. It's bad for you, but it's big business for Moe, and he'll do everything in his power to convince you that you don't have to go. Death and taxes; remember that ol' maxim? If you can evade and cheat on the latter, why not on the former as well? Moe wants you to give it a try, to give it everything you got.

So we embalm ourselves alive in the hopes of taking ten years off. Wear what our daughters wear and giggle at the 'Sisters?' nonsense. Drive at 50 what we dreamt of driving at 15. We'll still be fifty, but who's counting. We certainly aren't, and we wish everyone else would stop crunching numbers. They're only numbers, right?

Your back and knees start suggesting you might be mathematically challenged, but there are all kinds of ways to shut them up. Medicine, religion, science, philosophy. Pick one, pick each and every one, have a field day, throw in a parade, and Moe will try to see it doesn't rain. Keep pushing those clouds away and ten years from now, or fifty, when you know you're a goner, you'll find yourself standing in the receding tide watching as the mother of all tsunamis approaches.

And you'll be pissed. Think about the last time you went all-out two-year-old and multiply it by a thousand times. That is how pissed you will be. You will feel cheated. You purchased all the antidotes your money could buy and it didn't make a lick of difference.

No use calling Moe at that point; he won't be in. He's cashing in on the new crowd. They haven't heard the news yet: We're all gonna die!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Set adrift on memory bliss

I just finished a session of trying to take a picture of a moment that's long gone. Isn't that what much of writing is: Waking up the dead or giving life to people who have never existed; capturing a place and time that once was, or might be?

How and what do we even remember? Are there places we fear to tread, or worse: doors through which we categorically refuse to enter? There shouldn't be. Memory is not a safe lined with preservatives to combat time and decomposition. It's an altogether different kind of process, one that is sure to bring fiction into the mixture.

Filling the gaps, not leaving the puzzle undone, requires creativity. It's hard not to reach for facts, absolutes, The Truth, even when those may not have been part of the equation we're so desperate to solve.

So what are you gonna do? Your unflinching best. You have to trust you are doing yourself a favor. And hope you're doing whatever it is you thought you couldn't face justice, even if it's only of the poetic kind.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Attack of the Amazon Women (and A Few Good Men)

This is bad, I commented on Jaci Burton's blog. This is unacceptable. And I'm madder than Howard Beale. I sent Amazon my seething sentiment, nothing as coherent and structured as Jaci's fine lines I'm afraid, only something as illogical and absurd as what Amazon came up with.

Dear Amazon.com

Some alarming gagging, binding and blindfolding action was brought to my attention. Since said action was mostly done by you, I would like for you to extend the invasion of my tastes, free thinking and bedroom to other parts of my mental and physical health as well, to say nothing of house and garden.

We have a snail problem I suggest you help solve by removing all mention of books that even refer to the nasty vermin eating their way through my vegetable garden. Rafflesias are rather ugly and smelly; please keep a vigilant watch in case they sprout. Keep hits pertaining to carbs and fatty foods to a minimum lest people take to eating them as they may be bad for you. I'm also deeply, heartily offended by any and all mention of tobacco and smoking; they are surely worse.

Since you have made individual taste an objective issue, I will keep adding to the list until we are all safe as mother's milk. Or is it safe to mention breastfeeding? Oh no, I almost said 'boob', and maybe insulted bottle feeding moms while at it. Help me, Amazon; you're my only hope.

OR you can rethink your policies, apologize for the patronizing liberties someone took with the freedom of others, and make sure that as long as no laws are broken, writers not only get published but read as well, and your customers keep getting top-notch service in the form of all-inclusive information and open access.

If you concede that only gods get things right the first time, a) you turn this around, b) you grant that none of us are casting defected. All different - All equal; all the world knows this yet still does not practice. Please do not join that caravan.

Proverbially yours,
Dita Parker

Yeah, I climbed on that soapbox, didn't I? Couldn't help it. I get teased all the time for my intolerance against intolerance, so there you have it. I saw red. Customer Service replied that they had "recently discovered a glitch in [their] systems and it's being fixed." I sure hope so, or there will be Listmania galore.

They didn't ask what I might be referring to. They knew; so good for you, i.e. all those of you who took and are taking action.

Friday, April 10, 2009

To be continued

Previously on Dita's Den:

Dreaming of having more time to write, our protagonist was taken to the cleaners and cleared of some income producing clutter getting in the way of said writing yet to produce any income whatsoever. Doggedly hanging on to hope, and our devoted and dead sexy hero for comfort, she is momentarily struck numb by the sudden turn of events and by how dirty their windows looked in the spring sunshine.

After picking herself up and dusting herself off, Dita decided to a) clean the windows, b) the closets while she was at it, c) keep working on her WIP's.

On one less than sun shining day that made our girl rather regret the idiotic drive to clean house since it made no visible difference now, news arrived in the form of an offer. After her family ascertained her shrieks were not the result of an oncoming seizure, they alerted any alarmed neighbors that all was indeed well and the rather demonstrative Miss Parker was only a little overwhelmed and a whole lot excited.

A few days later a contract arrived; tangible proof this was not a 'Bobby stands in the shower' scenario, a dream sequence. It was real. Our leading lady did understand in that same instant she had by no means arrived in the world. She was barely taking off.

Finally ready to lose sleep over the recent head-spinning changes made to the script, she was left lying awoke one night wondering dare she believe that everything happens for a reason.

Good Friday? The best.

[After being accused of using the deus ex machina plot device, creators disavowed any knowledge of shenanigans, horseplay or monkeyshine and stated that "Humbug? Bah!" Miss Parker was unavailable for comments. She was later seen leaving the building wearing such an inimitable Mona Lisa smile no one dared point out the hem of her dress was caught in the waistband of her pantyhose. Judging from her expression, she might not have minded that much.]

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Snow on the Sahara

I got an offer. I got an offer for the very first manuscript I ever sent out. Can you believe it? I'm not sure I can, not quite yet.

How likely is that? How lucky am I? How much prior work, dedication and tenacity does it take to get there? Let me count the ways... How much work will it take to keep going, keep growing? Let me keep counting...

I'm not yet sure what happens next and on what sort of timeframe. All I know is that I'm a deliriously happy camper. As if I'd been shot with pure adrenaline.

Let it rain. It's all snow on the Sahara. I'm melting.