Dita Parker

Thursday, June 30, 2011

In the cool, cool, cool of the evening

Temperature: 20/68

Eating: all done, thanks

Drinking: got scrumpy?

Watching: the sun trying to set

Listening: to The Commitments OST 
Reading: what I wrote today
Writing: about that old black magic called love
Feeling: sleepless in Scandinavia

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Easy livin'

Unplugging for a long weekend with friends and family, The Weekend up here, a.k.a. Midsummer. See you next week, dearest denizens! Behave.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The man who knew too much

Unless you've been living in a tree for the past decade, you've probably heard of Stieg Larsson and his Millennium trilogy. Here in Scandinavia, there is no escape. His literary and monetary legacy is an ongoing saga the local press churns out with fervor and the reading public gobbles up with morbid fascination. But did you know that before Larsson died, before he sold a gazillion books without tasting either fortune or fame, he was an investigative reporter, and a dedicated one at that?

Extremism, racism, human rights violations, the exploitation of and violence against women, honor killings. He spent his adult life researching and writing about the same topics you may have read about in his books. Think the crimes between those covers are gruesome, revolting even? Nothing compared to the things he came face-to-face in real life. Or rather, those fictional crimes are equally proportional to what people who are revolting between the ears are capable of.

So the man wrote what he knew, what troubled him, what he'd investigated and uncovered. The right-wing forces loved to hate him for it. All he wanted was to expose those leagues, to bring them to public consciousness and under scrutiny. Analytically he'd studied the birth and growth mechanism of fascism and seen signs it was happening in his own country.

He chose to take them seriously. These weren't second generation unemployed punks blaming society in general and minorities in particular for their problems. These were your next-door neighbors running for office and being elected on the basis of the fears, prejudices and empty rage of people who wanted someone to do something about the world turning too fast for them to follow.

Too much coffee and cigarettes, too much junk food and an utter absorption in his work claimed Larsson's life, not the Aryans. So he wasn't a saint, but he couldn't he bullied or bought, and he refused to back down. And how right he was, from the start, all along. Sweden, Finland, Denmark... In these very safe, open and democratic Scandinavian societies something very dangerous, myopic and fascist is brewing, something that goes against everything these nations have stood for and defended and been proud of for so long, and proud for good reason.

You know what in my mind is even scarier than these forces? It's your fellow man telling you they have no interest in politics. It doesn't concern them, move them, or influence them one bit. It's all the same to them. Like in that The Who song, the new boss is bound to be the same as the old boss. Oh yeah. Oh no. No no no. May I suggest next time you're tempted not to vote, speak up or make a stand, you take some time to do as Larsson did and listen very carefully to what is being said and who is doing the talking. The new boss might be nothing like the old boss, and the problem with political jokes is that they have a tendency of getting elected.

You can't rationalize racism. There is no justification for bigotry. Hate is hate and hate crimes are hate crimes. Words haven't lost their meaning and they certainly haven't lost their power. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Temperature: a rainy 14/52

Eating: whatever Hubby is cooking, it smells delicious 

Drinking: whatever goes with that lip-smacking aroma

Watching: Kung Fu Panda 2 with the family in a few hours 

Listening: to Daniela Mercury

Reading: Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie (not just for kids!) 

Writing: my latest bright idea, not a new one but one that's been brewing and taking its form and is finally round and ripe enough for writing

Feeling: like reporting to the dance floor

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Or die trying

Weighed, measured and found wanting. Romantica roadkill. Not coming to Ellora's Cave. (Must you be so theatrical, you ask? Would I be me if I weren't, I ask? And what are we talking about here, innocent bystanders ask?) The story I was asked to revise and resubmit. Not happening.

I'm so sorry, dearest denizens. Hurts like a mother bitch. Won't pretend it doesn't. Hindsight being what it is, maybe I should have given up at some point along the way. Well, I didn't. At least I tried. And you know what? I finished the book. I finished the damn book twice. How about that?

The premise was the hook, and it ended up being my downfall. It felt like a good idea (now don't they always...). Tricky but doable. And then I couldn't pull it off, not this time around. I took some calculated risks with the ms. I lost. On each and every account. My bad. I'll have to live with that. And I'll be sure to remember that next time I have a bright idea.

The comments I've gotten from friends who don't write have been along the lines of deep condolences. I put in all those hours and came out the other end of the process with nothing to show for it. They feel sorry for me, I can feel it. They can't bring themselves to say it and frankly, I don't want to hear it. It is what it is. I'll live, believe me. Silver lining: I've found new ways of how not to write Romantica. That knowledge is golden.

I'm young, life is long, this too shall pass. Even if that doesn't ring true, that's what I need to believe right now. Besides, it's too hot for me to start getting cold feet, and too beautiful out there to think ugly thoughts, and Saturday is just around the corner, and come Saturday...Carnaval! Samba!! On the streets of Helsinki!!! Yes, there will be half-naked ladies. Okay, more like two-thirds naked. No, samba is not an erotic dance. And no, I most definitely won't be posting pics, you'd just stare at my...shoes.

On Monday, it's back to the monster plan. Master plan. It's back to the master plan. I'm thinking something simple. Nothing too ambitious, nothing too contrived. Yeah, will definitely give it a try after I type The End at the end of my latest bright idea. (Yeah, right.) But, as Samuel Beckett put it: "Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order." See you around, sweetie darlings. Dance on.