Monday, October 11, 2004

Stolen Words

I stumbled on this over at Hugo's place. It's by Sharon Olds, and after reading this, I'll be picking up some of her stuff.

Just beautiful.

Sex Without Love

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health--just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

Interactive Election Map

Run your own Test Election.

This Electoral College crap has got to go.

Via jed

Fuck You All - I'm Eating a Bagel

Is it really neccessary to bring *more* food into a workplace where we all sit on our asses all day and read blogs and check our email incessently?

Oh, fuck it. I've got kickboxing four days this week. I'm eating another bagel.


Ah, Young Love

Amanda's picking apart our trusty MSN advice columns again. This time, MSN is trying to aid those poor, poor middle-aged men seeking 18-year-old sweethearts.

Poor, poor boys.


William, 45, has always dated younger women. It was only recently, however, that he detected a pattern in those relationships. “I end up raising them — helping them solve their problems, grow up and expand their horizons,” he says.

Indeed, it is a lot of work helping your love select what college she wants to go to, especially if that means she might be moving away.

On the most obvious level, there’s that fun, young energy they have. There’s naiveté, which can be attractive when compared with the cynicism of some older women.

Remember how your ex-wife used to correct you when you made mistakes? "Oh no, honey, that's not Cary Grant, that's William Holden." Cynical bitch. When you're dating Bambi, you can tell her the moon is made of green cheese and she'll believe you. Not only is that ego-boosting, but it's entertaining.

All of these things, though mutually beneficial for a while, eventually wear thin for most women.

“If the relationship is… based on the man being a sort of father or mentor figure, problems can – and likely will – arise once [the younger woman] really begins to grow and come into her own,” Masini notes. “Even for couples where there is little-to-no age discrepancy, people often grow in different directions, leading to the dissolution of the relationship.”

That and your young love starts whining that boys her age don't need Viagra and don't want to be called "Daddy" in bed.


I'm totally going out and picking up an 18-year-old hottie.... The sex would be fantastic. Problem is... what, exactly, do you *talk* about? Hell, I won't date 33-year-old men who have nothing to say. Where's the *real* erotic tension?

What's the Ray Bradbury quote - "All the women in my life have been librarians, English teachers or booksellers. If they couldn't point the way to Usher and Ox, it was a no go. I have always longed for education, and pillow talk's the best."

I want to see an MSN advice column on how men should look for intelligence in their long-term partners. Funny. You probably *will* see an advice column like that - only it'll be pointed toward a female audience, and tell those fickle women not to be so picky.

Get me a boy and book.

On Polyamous Matriarchies and Selling Books

My buddy Jenn and I went to brunch over at Mary Anne's yesterday and ate good food and talked shop. I also had the opportunity to meet Jennifer Stevenson, who wrote the recently released trash sex magic. We talked about selling novels - it apparently took Jennifer about twenty years to sell hers - and I found myself terribly uncomfortable talking about my finished book. I tend to shrug it off when people ask and say, "Oh, it's just classic epic fantasy."

But that's not going to sell a book.

Jennifer was talking about finding a "high concept idea" spin for your book. She launched into hers - trash sex magic was about a promiscuous woman, a hussie, who lives in a trailer park and falls in love with a tree... Only - she says it way better than that, and when she's done with her spiel, your eyes light up and you think, "Hot damn, I have to *read* that!"

She told me not to feel too bad: it only took her twenty years to condense the concept down into something that made dollar signs flash in the eyes of editors and agents. We trotted out ideas from my book: priests who practice biological warfare, shadow knights who ride dogs into battle, the kitchen-girl-who-would-be-queen in a polyamous matriarchy.

"Go with the polyamous matriarchy," Mary Anne said.

Always get straight to the sex... it sells more books. When Mary Anne introduced Jennifer and said, "Oh, she wrote this book," and handed me trash sex magic, well, I'd already heard of the book - it's tough to forget a title like that, and it's always cool to meet an author whose work I know.

I've had a tough time trying to condense my book into soundbites that make for good cocktail party conversation. I'd finally figured out how to do that with my thesis project in South Africa because I was asked so many times. Now I've got to work on 1) my 1-line spiel 2) my 60-second Editor's Dollar Signs spiel 3) my 5-minute, chatting with other writers about my book spiel.

I hate talking about myself (though I could *write* about myself all day...). I've been taught that talking about your accomplishments is akin to bragging. Bragging is rude. You should always listen twice as much as you speak. But I was being asked about my book three or four times over the course of the brunch, and every time, my chest seized up and the mortal fear came over me and I wanted to say, "It's nothing, no, really, just an epic fantasy. You know, classic epic fantasy stuff. With polyamous matriarchies. And weird social structures. Oh, and giant dogs. And end-of-the-world, purging-magic-users stuff. You know. Kitchen girl who would be queen. It's classic fantasy, only there are women in it. And everybody gets laid."

So I went home after the brunch and thought about High Concept Ideas while I cleaned the bathroom floor. George R.R. Martin could say he was writing an epic fantasy loosely based on the War of the Roses. I'm writing an epic fantasy where priests practice biological warfare, shadowy knights ride dogs into battle, and a kitchen girl struggles to become queen of a polyamous matriarchy at the brink of destruction as magic-users are purged from the continent. Oh, and there's some sex scenes. And some men kept in harems. And lots of fights scenes. Did I mention the sex?

It's a starting point.

Yada, Yada

Here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies:

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Americans, British or Canadians.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the Americans, British or Canadians.

3. The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Americans, British or Canadians.

4. The Italians drink large amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the Americans, British or Canadians.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Americans, British or Canadians.

6. Ukrainians drink a lot of vodka, eat a lot of pirogues, cabbage rolls and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Americans, British or Canadians.

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you

Via metaquotes