Dita Parker

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm a believer

Sorry, I'm not in. I'm visiting with some very Nice N' Naughty authors guest blogging about writing, love at first sight, and writing about love at first sight. Yeah, the stuff much of romance is made of and the reason some aren't buying any because they're not buying it, the concept I mean.

Hah! I have evidence to the contrary, evidence which substantiates the existence of such a phenomenon. It's somewhat scientific and maybe not all that romantic but hey, whatever it takes to prove a point.

Yes, I do know it's Halloween, but as I've tried to explain, it's not that big a deal over here (quite yet...), it's been going on for the whole of October over there, and aren't you getting a little tired of it? No? Okay, carry on then and have fun, but do swing by NN'N and vote in favor of the romantics. All those opposed: What is wrong with you?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Love is in the air

Because I love you and I know you love me or at least you should and if you don't what's the matter with you, a heads-up.

Come visit with the Nice N' Naughty authors this Saturday. I'll be there too with a guest blog post that has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween, promise. Or my apologies, whichever way you swing.

This Saturday. Don't forget! Yes, I know it looks a lot like Halloween weekend. Not from where I'm standing. Can't see it. No. Still not seeing it.

See you then, sweetie darlings!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Zen and the art of car maintenance

Do anything interesting this weekend, dearest denizens? I spent quality time with my hot man from the cold installing winter tires. We're getting pretty fast at it. A couple of years from now we'll be ready to hit the NASCAR and Formula 1 circuit. What? It's not rocket science, just nuts and bolts. Two cars twice a year, a collaboration between husband, wife and proper tools, semiautomatic chores that free the mind for thinking and talking.

I don't know how much *quality* quality time we spend together, as the concept is generally understood. It makes every other moment sound somehow subpar when I rather enjoy those mundane moments of working together, side by side, doing things as a couple or as a family. "Nothing special" can be just as fun and meaningful as the Kodak moments, even more so. Look back on the moments you remember best and cherish most. Pretty ordinary things you did with friends and family? Yes? No? Wouldn't know, wasn't there?

Maybe Hubby and I are just lucky to enjoy each other's company so much. Or maybe we're clueless, so horribly settled that's all we know, but what I do know is daily life doesn't stress me out, it's a sanctuary. It's the outer world that has been driving me nuts lately, sweetie darlings. Bullying, bigotry, anti this and anti that. It makes me feel three hundred years old, as if no progress has been made, always two steps up and two steps back. I know it's not true. I know it's only my own frustration talking, but when someone starts talking about the True, Obvious, Natural Order of Things as ordained by this and that and the other... It makes me want to scream.

On a cerebral level, I can't help but admire such single-mindedness. On a purely amygdalaic one... You know you make me wanna/Shout/Kick my heels up and/Shout/Throw my hands up and/Shout/Throw my head back and/Shout! It's the stuff fundamentalism is made of. I grant you it is a rock, a solid foundation, on which to stand on. But on that bedrock stands a fortress of a fellow man unwilling to rethink or review. Between us stands a wall, the you're-either-with-me-or-against-me mentality.

I'm not with you, nor am I against you. I don't plot your demise or dream of revenge. [But when I'm Queen Sovereign of the Known Universe, you're first up for post-conflict exit counseling.] I hope for a higher common ground, a human league where everyone stands on the same footing, free and equal in dignity and rights, regardless.

So I scale that wall to see if you're still there and, sure enough, you always are. You retreat behind a monumental righteousness I could never take on because I'm not the Rock of bloody Gibraltar nor do I stand on one. What I do stand behind is the belief equal rights are human rights and everything else is unnatural selection. In that sense I'm as bad a monomaniac as you are.

The disowning, negating, dehumanizing, the rhetoric that sounds as old as it sometimes makes me feel...  It drives me up the Cliffs of Insanity, down the Pit of Despair. And then I remember slavery is almost gone, women's suffrage has mostly been won. Things have changed. They can only get better. With time, with patience, with small daily measures and grand gestures alike.

I bid you good night, dearest denizens. I bid these times good riddance.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Come as you are

Sorry, I'm not in. I'm over at Delilah Devlin's with a guest blog post. The one I mentioned. On Monday. What do you mean you haven't read my Monday post? FYI, this is not the week to get cheeky or start talking funny, sweetie darlings. 

I've cleaned, fed, read, written, taken a stand, have a punching bag bursting at the seams, it's only lunchtime and I still haven't run out of steam. When that happens, only the keenest observer might detect a hint of slight annoyance in my generally unshakable demeanor.

Let's turn those potent powers of perception on something infinitely more interesting, shall we, namely you. What do you mean what do I mean? Come on over to Delilah's blog and find out. I'm playing Dr. Feelgood, my practice is now open, my only condition: come as you are. And hurry or I'll expend all this energy installing winter tires when I'd much rather sit by the fireside with you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Blue Monday

Bummer way to start the week but c'est la vie, my Ellora's Cave editor announced she's stepping down. I'm really sorry to see her go, we were just getting started and she was the perfect coolheaded counterpart to my, well, hmm, idiosyncrasies. All I could say was thank you and be well when all I wanted was to grovel and plead please don't go.

I sent out a story some three weeks ago and I guess I'll have to send it out and start the process all over again once I get word whom to send it to next. Here's hoping she's half as nice as my ex. 

I'll try to keep the bread and circuses going until I know more. On Wednesday, I'm visiting with Delilah Devlin and talking about... No, wait. Come by and find out and take part in a game I want to play, and everyone's eligible to enter, I promise, as long as you come as you are. Can't say more, won't, shutting up now lest I do.

I feel better already. Thanks for listening. Hope to see you over at Delilah's then. Don't forget! Wednesday!! Jot it down!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oh, yes I did

So. Next time you're doing a rendition of Maria McKee's If Love Is a Red Dress (Hang Me In Rags) while raking, you might want to make sure your next door neighbor isn't at it, too. Raking, I mean, not wailing like a banshee.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The New World

Happy Columbus Day to all those commemorating a Genoan who never actually set foot in North America, or South America for that matter, but who kindly paved the way for the Spanish, Portuguese, English, French and Dutch who did by stumbling upon the Bahamas.

"The Seven Cities of Cibola? Where? Is it Quivira? El Dorado? Shangri-La? The Fountain of Youth? Where, man, where? Whatever it is, tell them it's ours."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Burn after reading

I have a confession to make. I hate the pre-X-mas fuss, the commercialism, Santas on every corner driving the kids nuts (yeah, they still believe and mum's the word, you buzzkills, this is, after all, the land of Santa, and no, he most definitely does not live on the North Pole, whoever gave you that idea?!). I mean, whose party is it anyway?

With no Thanksgiving, High Holy Days or Diwali to celebrate, and with the local Mad Men shoving a carnivalistic Halloween down the throats of nations used to more somber All Saints' Day celebrations on November first with all their might (the MM are winning, BTW, ain't consumerism grand?), there's only one holiday to look forward to on these ever darkening northern latitudes. You guessed it, sweetie darlings, and hence it comes early every year.

I have another confession to make. I hate loathe detest to admit this, but I'm already looking forward to it. Maybe I've had better years, lighter ones, and I could use a little bling right about now, some extra brightness. Even the artificial kind would do, and that's all we'll soon have anyway with daylight fading fast only to gradually return after the winter solstice right around... Well, you know, that holiday that comes earlier each year.

I want the snow we had last year. It was so atmospheric. Romantic, even. I want my kids going berserk waiting and planning and waiting and guessing. I want to see them happy and giddy with the holiday highs and to hell with where it stems from because for a few weeks it's heaven. I want light. I need it. Fluorescent, incandescent, LED, sun, moon, snow, bling... Give it to me. More. More! More!!

So I'll be a shameless enabler, the enforcer-in-chief, and if you hear me say I hate it, don't believe a word. Claim I'm loving it and I will disavow ever having said so. Are we clear? Crystal? Crystal... Crystals hanging from a chandelier as big as The Ritz. Yeah, that would do it. One, please.

Friday, October 1, 2010

When the night comes

It's Banned Books Week, sweetie darlings. This year's slogan: "Think for yourself and let others do the same." I've been going around reading some pretty witty reviews on books on lists such as this, and I'm not the only one whose personal library looks like the Disreputable Books Depository, it seems, or the only one shaking their head in disbelief all the while thinking, "Why is this book on the list?"

Why are any of them? Words still carry immense power, why else would individuals and governments alike go to extremes to ensure some words never get out? Because the messages they convey are subversive? Disturbing? True?

That list, it troubles me. It terrifies me, really. Denying children, teens and young adults the chance to get their hands on books such as What's Happening to My Body, The Facts Speak for Themselves or Fat Kid Rules the World, is leaving them in the dark alone with the feeling there might be something wrong with them, their thoughts, their impulses. "Did I deserve what they said/did? Is it my fault? Has anyone, anywhere, ever gone through anything like this?"

Rob them of the chance to talk about it, to find someone who has gone through the same, to find out that everyone, everywhere, has at some point harbored those same fears, hurts, doubts, and set them out into the night with nowhere else to go but their heads guilt-tripping ad infinitum. Feeling strange, alone, stupid.

Tell them they can't and just see if they don't. Don't do as I did, do as I say. We all know how well that works. Take sex education. It's not what kids know that gets them into trouble, it's everything they don't. And kids will explore, be it books, movies, gaming, boys and girls, alcohol and other substances, and the ever popular dark side of our human condition, the evil that men do. It will rain down on them eventually no matter what we do, and with the way we live now, the technology some or rather most kids are far more competent in than their elders, they come face-to-face with it faster than ever before.

Our naïveté doesn't help our children retain their innocence. Ignorance, theirs, ours, isn't bliss, it's dangerous, hurtful, irresponsible. It's leaving kids to their own devices, leaving them to figure it all out by themselves, forcing them to make decisions and form opinions based not on facts and open dialogue but our own fears, hang-ups and prejudices.

Think for yourself? Yes, please do, much appreciated. Let others do the same? Yes, please, much obliged. But stand by the wee ones when they're only learning how. Don't send them off into the night without so much as a matchbook, the hope that it's going to be all right, whatever it is, and the promise you will be there for them, whenever they need you.