Dick Driven


The fireworks have begun, despite (boom!) the many neighborhood bans on them. Seems the more bans pop up, the more (boom!) stores sell ’em. So now it’s the pissing contest, with each and every yahoo (boom!) countering someone else’s fireworks as if to say: Yeah, mine’s the biggest.

This is gonna go on for awhile.

My writer’s email account is under maintenance. Mm. Means something might be there and not showing up. Can’t say anything for sure until I hear. Doing my best to not haunt it, but…it ain’t easy.

No word from friends, either. I expect they’re all out having fun. I hope.

Took the morphine down to 2 a day. The pain recedes a bit more each morning. That’s encouraging.

Still manic. Seeing but not seeing, hearing but not hearing. Problematic when my brother tells me something, then leaves, and I can’t remember where he went or when he’s returning.

Bored out of my fucking skull with tv. Nothing new, so we’ve been watching from our collection. Last night’s selection was Hobo with a Shotgun. I enjoyed it for its splat element, its over the top chroma push and panto acting. I didn’t enjoy the blatant dick story: the only women in the film were non-descript mothers who stood protesting violence, or hookers. Nothing else. And only one woman – no, check that, two; the nurse was female – had dialogue. It was dick-story city, testosterone driven drivel that was really repulsive. Could not get past it during last night’s viewing. Made me doubly proud of my own work: solid stories in which the main characters happen to be women. They could be male, as well. It makes no difference to the basic story. It’s not about women’s problems with men, or pregnant women, or women bitching about relationships. It’s just a story. No women’s issues undercurrents, although they’re present in a light degree because they’re always present in women’s lives.

Similarly, I’ve been having issues with reading the Dune series. Good Goddess! Always the male lead, the male who ‘can see where women can’t’, the male who drives the entire fucking thing. Women are victims of time and space, their own frailties and the men who enforce the law. *vomit* Same shit made me stop reading CS Lewis.

And every time a man writes a woman’s story, it ends up like Ultraviolet. I want to like that film. But it’s based on what every man assumes is the ultimate pinnacle for every woman: motherhood. What. the. fuck? You spend all that money and time making a film and THAT’S your fucking message? That motherhood is the saving grace of every female? That’s as bad as Grease.

I will jump all over ANYONE’S ass who calls me ‘the mistress of suspense’ or makes any other reference to me being a female. Screw you; I’m a writer. Sexless. It makes no fucking difference! Let’s throw out the bullshit: words like actress. Why? Why aren’t we all just actors? Why the sex difference? It shows up a lot in Dutch, and I find it irritating. Different words for female teachers, female this, female that – it’s a not-so-subtle enforced distance from men.

Men who support that shit…You can all go suck your own dicks. I sure as fuck won’t.

…Yeah, yeah. I’m on a rant. And I’m becoming an entrenched feminist. The times make the woman…

*sigh* It doesn’t help that lately I’ve been reading a story from my friend J. It’s…female strong. Female strong from a homosexual male’s perspective. It doesn’t ring true. In some ways it’s as clunky and offensive as a heterosexual male’s take on women. And I don’t know how to tell him that. Plus, well…all the intensive writing and editing I’ve done has made me sensitive to certain problems. Passive writing. Inclusion of all the senses. Truth is, I’m not even half way through the story and I’ve already a long page of notes for him. He’s a good writer. Excellent when it comes to stuff like film reviews. But he’s too cerebral for novel writing – at least, to my tastes. And while I understand he’s writing fantasy, his narrative continues in the same pondering sort of tense as his dialogue, and it becomes too much. I think his stuff could be real good, and break out of his cult fan base, but only if he addresses some of this. I just don’t know how to say it…

And doesn’t that make me sound arrogant? …On the other hand, if I notice it and really do want to help (which I do), shouldn’t I say something? This is stuff I had pointed out to me. Not nicely. If I can convey the info without hurting people the way I was hurt, well, that’s good, right? I mean, I’ve run into writers to whom I’ve had to say: run your stuff through spell check first. And they don’t. You can’t help people like that. They do what they do. But J’s my friend. He’s promising as a writer. …Fuck. Let’s face it: I don’t want to risk losing him as a friend. I don’t want to hurt him.

Honesty again, huh? Oh, Universe. I woulda thought you might give me a few days off from that. It IS a holiday, after all.


…Yeah, it is. And as long as that’s going on, I’m hibernating. Napping while it’s quiet. Chillin’. Making no decisions more pressing than what’s for dinner.

And finding something (boom!) that isn’t dick driven (boom!) to watch.


Thoughts and thanks

Ninety minutes.

I’m not a big phone talker. Maybe when I was 14, but not since then. Use the phone to make a date or a plan to talk in person. So much better! But last night, I was on the phone for an hour and a half with S, the casting director from the film. Unexpected? Absolutely. But not unwanted, even tho the call came in around 10 at night (she’s a night owl).

I think I might have found a real friend.

Heard about the last day of filming, which went great. Heard how much everyone missed me, which felt great. And then, it was just talk. Talk about life, relationships, self confidence, our past…Well, we had a long conversation, so we covered a lot.

She said I was a role model. That she thought I was brave. I’m a bit stunned. Me? Brave? Maybe in front of the camera, but other than that I know how deeply chicken shit I tend to be. Yet, there it was: I was tagged as brave. I think that might be the first time in my life I’ve earned that particular label. I don’t feel like a role model. But then, I’m older. I’ve let a lot of stuff drop. I used to worry about people finding me attractive. Now I think about being a good person. I used to worry about saying too much, being too blunt. Now I state my opinions simply, without an argumentative tone in my voice. I understand how, as a younger woman, that might look brave and like someone you want to emulate. And good if that’s what it is! If I can take one day off of another woman’s internal suffering because they admire how I deal with life or men or politics or whatever, then I’ve lived a life worth living. I know how long I’ve sat in the shit. I don’t think anyone deserves to feel as bad about themselves as I have.

And I am so tired of seeing women tear themselves down. That shit that surfaces from competitiveness and petty jealousies. The nasty comments behind the back and to the face. The use of male branded put downs, male dominated ideals, male led lives. We have allowed ourselves to be led around the ring by our noses, just like the pieces of meat so many misogynists see us as. And those of us caught in that web deny it: I’m not jealous; she’s just a whore.

Can we be honest? Can we say that a lot of that surfaces because we’re all dick hounds after a good fuck? Because we all want this fairy-tale ideal we were fed from birth, that a perfect life includes a husband who has a good job? Okay, I know I’m ignoring the lesbians (sorry) and the non-sexual people out there. I’m making a point. This shaming of women BY women comes out of competition. It’s insidious, and it’s been instilled in us for forever.

Every time we do it, we play their game. Every time we do it, we support their foul opinions of us. Every time we do it, we kill ourselves and hamper our futures and the futures of all our daughters.

It’s got to stop.

If the only way you feel you can get ahead in life is to tear someone else down, you’re not making any progress.

I guess considering the world these days, that attitude alone should make me a role model. Embrace it, Beeps. You’re a knight in shining armour. Hm. And thus, comes understanding of how roles are thrust upon us. You just…live long enough that you become an oddity. An oddity that people admire, but an oddity nonetheless. And then they tell you, and you begin to monitor your own behavior. You start to become what they see you as, because a part of you doesn’t want to let them down. So you try. You reach for the bigger part of yourself. You keep doing that, keep trying.

And so you become.

That’s not to say you buy your own marketing. Therein lies the problem. I guarantee you that at the base of any star’s suicide is a deep seated belief that they didn’t really live up to their image. Maybe it’s not the ultimate tipping point, but it’ll be in the mix. It’s a big and ugly problem. Because people need those heroes. People need role models, the personalities larger than life to inspire and lead them thru dark times. But it can feel like a lie. I’m not really that good, I’m not really that smart, or that talented, or that beautiful… You need to balance what is and what is perceived.

Tread lightly, oh walkers of life! You never know when you will become. And you never quite realize, from where you are, just how difficult that balancing act is.

So. I have a friend. Admiration. Dizzying amounts of respect. It is as tough to take as the opposite. Especially after years of having no friends, no admiration, and no (or little) respect. And I don’t want to fuck it up. I want friends. I want people in my life. People who are happy to see me, people who are sad if I’m ill. People to share things with, because fun is amplified a thousand fold when you share it.

I am…at a loss. I don’t know why I’m getting this outpouring. I don’t know what I did so right to deserve it; if I did know, I’d keep doing it. All I can do is be the brightest me I can be. Listen, care. Slow down enough to really interact. Share my sense of humor. Hug people when I know they need it.

Waking every day with a sense of thankfulness. It’s totally new. I’ve had it for short bursts, over little accomplishments. This feels big, and solid. Like a river of lava flowing thru my life: huge, encompassing, and burning away all those truly inconsequential things that have been hampering me for so very long.

Thank you.

Who you are

Four a.m. is a lonely time. I suppose if you see four a.m. because you’re still up partying it doesn’t seem so lonely. But getting up that early is another matter. It’s dark – nighttime dark. And cold, and quiet. If I needed the time to tease a story out of me, it would be perfect.

Instead, I’m just re-setting my time clock: live normally, only a few hours earlier. That’s what makes it lonely. Get up alone, eat breakfast alone, spend hours alone because I’m off of the rest of the world.

Really makes me feel for those third shift people out there.

Another call from the casting director, with an apology for calling me on a Saturday. Ah, the Dutch! Even if the world was about to split apart, they’d apologize for bothering you with it on a Saturday. Called to see if I could make rehearsal on Tuesday. We need to test make-up and hair, check the dress she’s got for me, meet, greet, and rehearse with the rest of the cast, talk, and take care of whatever else comes up. Yep. Expected as much, and ready for it. Dug out my mother’s wedding ring and my pearl necklace. Finally! A chance to use them.

Me: played Susie Housemaker and cooked up dinner. Usually that’s my bro’s job, but Saturday is his comic day, so it fell to me. Didn’t need to do much, but I kept thinking about the role: she would make a full dinner. She would do it and be happy about it. She would lay out the table, make hot bread, think three steps ahead and be serving up the food the moment people walked in the house. So I did just that, to get in her skin.

Also spent time in front of the mirror. Usually, the only time I look in the mirror is to fix my hair or brush my teeth. Now I’m trying out smiles and small nods. I’ve determined the key to this role: I can’t move my eyebrows. She is cool as cool; as the old saying goes, butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. And so, always a smooth brow. A small, almost sad smile: look how much I do every moment for you! It’s both believable and surreal – too real to be fake and too off to be completely comfortable with. Keeping my eyebrows still is a challenge. I’ve the kind of face that moves with expression, and in my natural state I’ve been told many a time I could never play poker well. My eyebrows jump and twitch. I can feel them doing vaults over my eyes – in particular, that right eyebrow raised to a pitched arch with my left eyebrow steady and glowering. Yes. I speak with my damned eyebrows. …Like right there, when I realized there was no more coffee. Pop, went that right eyebrow. Really and truly? Hm. That’s a shame. She doesn’t do that. Smooth forehead. Slow turns of the head. Slow blinking, even. Been practicing it. I like the way it looks in the mirror. Hope the director likes it, too.

Chilled yesterday in between bursts of Susie H. Felt I deserved it and that it was warranted. I did well on my audition, and I need to conserve my strength (which means relaxing when I can). Today I want to walk at the gym and get thru my Dutch homework. Also want to prep for Den Haag. I might need to head up there on Wednesday, as well. Sure that will depend on how Tuesday goes. Must make sure I get laundry done; it’ll be my last opportunity before next weekend. Trying to keep my cuticles under control and my nails neat. Do a last check for earrings; haven’t found any I felt were appropriate.

Things I really should invest in: a pair of natural looking false eyelashes. A pair of pumps, for a (ugh) dress. A new bra or two. Pantyhose. Earrings. Maybe some make-up that isn’t so garish. All could be used for the film, and I don’t have any of it. Seems a bit weird. The shoes, anyway. But I gave up on all that. Stopped caring so much. I am me. I shouldn’t have to window dress myself like that. Groom myself, yes. Take care with my appearance, sure. But paint myself up with poisons and dead animals? Throw my back and hips out of balance by tip-toeing on some impossibly high shoes? Hell no! That’s…insecurity. What about you makes you feel you have to do that? It’s not comfortable. It’s not healthy. I just don’t get it.

She, of course, gets it. She lives it. And so I must change. Drop my attitude and embrace hers. I’m not going to torture my feet with pumps all week, but I will try to remember that’s the way she lives. I did it at one point in my life. The memories are there. And I fully expect to be handed a pair of shoes to wear. If I can wear my sneakers because my feet won’t show, I will. But I’ll think pumps.

…I sometimes wonder how much of this is me. I am very visceral, and must do to learn. Want to know what madness is like? Go there. I am also a parrot, picking up gestures and phrases and mimicking them back. Right at this moment, I can’t think of one thing I do or say that I haven’t seen or heard done by someone else. I am not original. I’m just kind of an idiot savant at parroting back exactly the right thing at the right time to the right person. A spliced together sound and vid file that seems to answer you with the appropriate response.

What’s underneath all the learned bits? That’s what I keep asking.

Time to anchor myself solidly again, before I drift off into another persona.

Punk. Toker. Joker. Brilliant. Powerful. Feminist. Person. Student. Teacher.

That’s who you are.

Sip, sip

I’m a damned good writer.

Let me say that again: I’m a damned good writer.

I walked into last night’s read thru of my script feeling pretty good. A little nervous, as always, when my work comes under scrutiny. But good, because I heard from J in the afternoon. She couldn’t make it to the read thru – insert unhappy face ’cause I wanted her there – but she said ‘I hope the group decides to do this because I really want to audition for it’. And she didn’t just tell me, she made sure to tell a couple of other people in the group.

Caught some typos and grammar problems. Nothing like having six to eight people read your stuff aloud to catch things no amount of proofing or grammar check on your computer could ever find! But they loved the story. Loved the characters, loved the whole set-up. Even discussed (briefly) their ability to pull the script off – because they liked it that much. I assured them I hadn’t written it for them, but I was working on something I wanted them to do. Then came more discussion: a bit about the thrillers, and many questions from me regarding their limitations on cast size, sets, and other bells and whistles. I asked if anyone had stage fighting experience – if they’d be open to a scene that called for a fist fight.

Feels like I have a number of people on my side right now. I’ve fired up their trust in my writing by sharing my work, and I’ve fired up their imaginations by teasing them with the thriller. I feel there’s no question in the director’s mind anymore: he’s doing the thriller trilogy. But I spoke to one of the board members and got all positives in response, which felt good because I know, in the end, the board has final say.

The only little monkey wrench in my whole happy pie is the fact that this group, unusually, has more men than women involved on a regular basis. I’ve been in this women, women, women, mind set – lots of women on the stage, powerful roles for women, women pushing and leading the storyline. But I can’t diss the men, especially if I’m writing specifically for this group. Lucky for me, my stories are fluid. Usually it doesn’t make any difference if the role is male or female. I don’t write stories about having babies or prostrate cancer. Those are gender specific stories. I did write them…once. But a gender flip on my own work showed me the holes in my writing. The result was so unfunny, unappealing, and unworthy of my skills I just said forget it, no more of that. Now I just write people. And I remember the words of the scriptwriter responsible for Alien – Ripley was originally a man. Characters should be strong, interesting, and non-gender specific. And as a writer, I should be able to flip the gender on any character and still make the story work. If I can’t, I don’t have a real story to tell.

So, flux in my head because I’m thinking on the limitations we discussed last night in relation to the thrillers. A bit of pressure, because I said I’d have a finished script for everyone to read by the end of January or beginning of February. Simple brain static, caused from remembering the typos and corrections needed in Taman.

And I gotta get back on sending out my brother’s work. I gotta get back to the gym. I gotta buckle down on language. I gotta…

I gotta stop telling myself what I gotta do.

Planning on making use of my alone time when my bro is at band rehearsals. I don’t generally like to write late at night. It’s hard to get started at that time of day, and harder still to stop. But I can’t let a couple of nights every week go to waste in front of the tv. I’ve got work to do. I opened my mouth and made the verbal commitment – now it’s up to me to see it thru. Thought about this before I went to the reading. The time I’d need, the nights spent writing rather than relaxing, the increased pressure I’ll feel trying to juggle all this at once. As always, I hope I’m not stretching myself too thin.

But I had to own up to the truth. I really want to do this.

I really want to write plays.

Maybe even more than my desire to be in them.

Because I know. I know my words have a chance of living beyond me. A performance…while entertaining, maybe even great, isn’t quite the same. I can enjoy the performance of someone no longer alive thanks to film and video. I enjoy many such performances. Many times I’ve thought to myself, ‘Gods, that person could really act!’. But words…words that make you think. Words that catch your imagination. Words that stop you suddenly, that make you see the world and even time as a small thing because here, out of the millions, perhaps billions of possible words and authors and word-author combinations, someone put something down that made you realize that no, you’re not alone and yes, someone else sees it that way. It can come from current literature or the classics. Known or unknown authors. Does not make ONE whit of difference. When it’s there, it’s there – and it’s a powerful thing.

It’s a power I’ll likely never taste. Not in full. I’d have to have a rocket engine ride to fame to achieve that. That’s unlikely to happen. So I’m trying to walk that line between dreaming of greatness and expecting nothing. – It’s the second bit of that statement that I’m working on. Meh. Tough to do.

Meanwhile, I’ll sip a little from the power of my words. People like my writing. It’s hard not to feel like a cook who’s just pleased she didn’t burn dinner, tho…

Sip, sip.


In the past 24 hours, I’ve had to turn down an invite to see a local band and nix my language lesson – all in the name of health. Does not help that I feel manic and am having a difficult time settling. I’m probably erring on the side of caution, but after six weeks ill this spring plus losing my hearing, I don’t really think of that as a minus. Still…it’s hard not to feel like a wimp. I’m not ill. Trouble is, I want to stay that way.

Avoiding class today because we were scheduled for a field trip to the local library. Offered a three month free library membership, which I wanted. But it’s cold and wet and windy again. Chances of getting soaked on the walk to and from the library are high, and even higher for being exposed to something. So I’m bundling down. Drinking juice. Staying warm.

My commitment to the theatre group runs through the end of October. Like it or not, I have weeks of vigilance ahead of me.

Vigilance kept me from a full work out yesterday, too. All went well, topped another 3 km on the cross trainer, felt strong. Then I got off the cross trainer, and felt a twinge in my knee. Tried walking it out, both on the floor and at a very slow pace on the treadmill but it kept giving me gip, so I followed the damned instructions on the machine (the one that said STOP if you’re having pain) and headed home. *sigh* It’s not like I wanted to. But again, experience spoke to me: nine months unable to walk after tearing the cartilage in both knees makes for a powerful memory.

Been watching Ally McBeal again. Very dated at this point. Especially post Ugly Betty and Drop Dead Diva. Had to remind my brother it was a ground breaking series when it came out. Ally McBeal was one of the first shows to portray a single, working woman who didn’t close herself off in a male world. She was romantic, soft, and very flawed. Oh, but there are elements that grate at me! I watch it now and pity my younger self and all women of that era. THIS is what we thought was marvelous at the time. I can only hope that the rapidity of strong female role models emerging in the entertainment industry will be mimicked in reality.

Ach. It comes too little, and too late for me.

Not too late for me to capture what I know, though. My particular brand of family issues and insecurities is brewing into something. Will I leave an opus? Goddess, I hope so. I don’t feel I have much to give as a person. I give what I can, trust when I’m able – but I recognize it’s far too little in most instances, and I judge myself meanly.

…Being left alone with only my thoughts brewing isn’t helping.

C’mon, distractions!

Broken Levee

C’mon…who didn’t think of this when they saw the headlines? How could you not? Most of the headlines quoted the chorus. Bet I’m not the only one posting the song today.

On the heels of one of the worst natural disasters pampered America has had to deal with, my uncle sent me a link to an article discussing the melting of the arctic permafrost level, with a note saying in HIS opinion, this was being caused by a change in the inner most core of the earth, the magma center – even though he’s not a scientist, and probably (from his comment) hasn’t opened a scientific book since he was in school.

Goddess, save us from idiots!

How did I come from such inbred, backwards-thinking stock?

Took the day off yesterday, as the temp soared above 30 degrees. Watched a rather non-thrilling thriller out of Sweden. Interesting to see Swedish landscapes, but other than that, I couldn’t recommend it. Far too slow. In fact, my attention kept popping in and out of the story – as it did all day long. My brain is cooking up part three in The Terror Trilogy.

In between the master dish being prepped somewhere in the back kitchen of my head, I’ve also been aware (somewhat) of the shit that’s been dished up before my eyes. Caught a line last night about an older woman – ‘She’s held up well’. Held up well? You couldn’t actually spit out that a woman over 40 was still sexy and attractive? “Held up well”! Like we’re a bridge or a building. Gee, those supports have held up pretty well over the years… Ugh.

Can’t seem to finish Perelandra by C.S. Lewis. Can’t get beyond a sentence before I interject (often aloud) ‘Because he’s a man!’. So many male dominated religious overtones I just can’t take it.

And you know what? That shit’s got under my skin, too.

I’ve been writing my trilogy with all female characters taking the forefront. Why not? So many stories are all about men, and have men as central characters. They don’t need to be male characters, it’s just a sign of the culture. But the thought occurred to me that my work will get dissed because I used all female characters. That the idea that I’m representing the effect on ALL humans through using female characters will somehow get twisted into it ONLY affecting women, and that’s not the case. I’m just using women to convey the story.

I’ll bet my bottom dollar some man gets the issue confused.

And then we’ll have to have the discussion, and I’ll get accused of being a this or that lesbian, feminist, and/or left wing radical.

But there’s nothing like telling me no to get me to do it. My determination is ramping up, and right now I kind of regret ever writing a story with a male lead in it. I don’t want to go THAT far. I don’t want to write men out my stories entirely. After all, they still dominate this planet. Can’t really write a story without including them. Oh, they seem to be perfectly able to write stories about themselves without including women. Yes. Yes, indeed. But I flatter myself that I’m a broader thinker than those closed minded individuals. I don’t think any story can truly be told without all sides being presented. Women have to deal with the fallout of men’s actions all the bleeding time. We’ve been doing it since the beginning of time, when they started to blame us for being ‘evil’, ‘weak’, and ‘subservient’.

…One more thing. I am so sick of seeing/reading/hearing stories about women written by men. They never get it right. It’s true; they really don’t understand women. They can write about what they see, what they hear from us – but they don’t understand the inner workings. They don’t understand that continual pressure, that continual diss in every aspect of society.

Sick. of. it.

Oh, I’m angry. I know. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a real issue underneath my rants that SHOULD anger people.

And once that wall breaks, that bit of peer pressure or societal pressure that we’re subjected to every second of our lives…Well, everything just comes pouring out. The built-up resentment. The anger, and the frustration. At least; that’s the way it is for me.

‘Cause, baby…It’s been raining a long time now, and my levee’s broken…

It ain’t my fault

Ugh. Let’s vent.

Merry, merry. My return to morning posts has generated a few more readers. That’s what I’d hoped. I mean, writing English while in the EU…there’s got to be a joke in there somewhere, tho being as I’m living it right now, I can’t see it. My goal was to reach more English speakers and, thank you, it seems I’m doing that.

…Which leads me to my first vent. Some likes on yesterday’s post (now dim in my memory, after 24 hours of crunching more words out of my brain) made me go back and read my own words. All well and good, and a little stroke to my ego because I thought the post was pretty good, too. But it made me notice the advert WP puts on the bottom of my page (making money off my words, while simultaneously wanting to charge me money every month so I can get a piece of the ad revenue). And what lay there, asking/begging/demanding you go and check it out, even pony up some funds to buy? Scrivener. That software I gave a go, the shit that’s not worth even the trial version (if you’re a playwright) because it lacks the standard formatting 99.9% of places want.

Ye Gods….really?

Second vent: news. Nothing new about that. I’m not even reading the articles anymore, just skimming the titles. Trying to keep up on world news while not being triggered. Tough. Wish there weren’t so many pix of 45 out there. Is it possible to snap a photo of him when he DOESN’T look like a self-satisfied snobby bastard? Doesn’t seem to be.

Third vent: this current “free speech” bullshit the far right in the US is pulling. Let’s be clear: there is no free speech. There isn’t even any freedom. Not in the US, not anywhere. If the US had free speech, why did everyone come down on a certain female comedian when an obviously staged and comedic photograph came out with her holding 45’s head? Oh, no! I believe she got fired for that one. I believe she got death threats. And she sure as fuck got shamed beyond reason for it. Yet, that was her free speech. And the far right, who are now screaming that they should be able to call anyone anything, they should be able to say these people are all lazy, or rapists, or criminals – they’re the ones who put this pressure on her. …More than that, even. “Freedom” would be you’re able to do whatever the fuck you want (that is, actually, the way I’ve heard most right-wingers define it). So from that stance, it must mean you support the laziness, the raping, and the criminal behavior. They should all be free to do that, right? Oh! And how about pedophilia? That would be covered under your definition, as well. My point is that NO society is absolutely “free”, and thinking that you are is a child’s fantasy. For every individual to be free, societies would fall – because absolute individual freedom is counter to civilization. It’s an ‘all for me’ attitude, and that kind of thinking does not build roads, or schools, or hospitals. It does not pay a fair wage; it may not even pay its bills at all. It’s the kind of thinking that serial killers and narcissists have.

Fourth vent. A lovely link to a nonsense feature on the internet about how someone ran 1000 Hollywood scripts through a computer program to “find out” that women’s roles have, on average, thousands of fewer lines of dialogue than men, that taking women out of most stories doesn’t change the tale, and that women are underrepresented and dissed in almost every fucking way. Again, seriously? Can I be angry and bold enough to say I bet it was a man who came up with this idea? Because women have been saying that for ages and not taken seriously. The only reason I can think of why this particular bullshit shows up as “news” is because it’s a man’s study. A man’s article.

…And all that before 7 in the morning.

Other: worked on my script. Read it through, made a few changes. Prepped up a different script to send out again. Got to the gym, did my thing. Got on the scale, horror, horror…After all my sweating and straining, the damned scale said I lost a grand total of .3 kilo. That’s not even a pound. For months of hard work. The thought hit me that I should begin to accept my body for what it is. I’m not 20, or even 30 anymore. I’m 50+. That big number that always seems to have so many black colored birthday wishes in greetings card shops. Time to let that size 10 ideal go…

Had a thought strike me as I sat on the thinking chair (toilet). Yesterday I talked about reconciliation, and how I yearn for it. And I do. But I also realized that in my life, I’ve been the one to walk away from people. I’ve done it to protect myself, because being in their presence meant continual dissing and put-downs on a level I found very self-destructive. Of course, they faulted me for it. I’m the baby for walking away and terminating communication. I’m at fault. But I’ve never been able to make them see that loving someone means you make a choice. A choice about how much hurt you’ll take from someone. Everyone will, eventually, hurt you. They leave, they die, you argue, they betray you – something will happen, and you’ll feel let down. It’s inevitable. So for me, loving someone has meant I have to know where that line in the sand is drawn; what kinds of abuse I’ll take from people and still care. My family has crossed that line so many times, in so many ways, I can no longer trust any of them. Because even if I try to talk to them about it, all I get is blame, blame, blame – it’s my fault.

And it ain’t my fault.


Draft one: done. Once I got to a certain point in the script, it just went. Have begun reading it through for errors and typos. Changed up a few things; found I’d gotten two of my characters muddled in the middle of an argument. And, despite my sticking to my outline and often feeling like I was writing a term paper, this script has given me some surprises. I was going to set up one character for stealing, then realized that I had another, shadier character to actually take the fall. My attempts to add subtlety into the dialogue led me to ambiguous statements (as it WILL do), and by the end of Act 2 I found a couple of my ideas modified without me even realizing it. Hm, now it sounds like maybe this person did that in secret because of her earlier statement… It’s added color and a refreshing slap to a story I worried was getting too predictable.

Now it’s dead-head time. Stop thinking, start editing. Not looking forward to the hours needed to get it into the formatting software. Sure, I can upload the text – but nothing else sticks, and I must go through it all, line by line, marking each character, each line of dialogue, each production note, again. Ugh.

Good news is that without pushing myself, I’ll be able to format and print the script for final inspection before my language lessons begin again.

I want to say it’s good. I think it is. Been very persnickety on military details (which often go lacking, or are incorrect in many portrayals) – but I’m not focusing on them. They are not the story. Nor is the war itself; there is only one scene with the women in battle. In fact, as I read through my work for errors and corrections, there was only one word that surfaced in my brain. The reason for the entire story: respect (and yes, Aretha is singing it in my head). Respect for these women – or the lack of it – is central to this piece. It comes up, again and again: the male commander shouting that women shouldn’t be soldiers, the male soldiers’ flirtations…Even amongst the women themselves, the question of respect comes into play. The characters’ alliances shift, in response to action both on and off the stage. Everything funnels down to the end, to the most combative roles in the play, and a final handshake – a sign of respect.

And I have settled on a name. ‘The Night Witches’ (or some form of that) is damned tempting. Kind of hooks you into it right away, doesn’t it? But it’s been used. Like, a million times. For articles and books, videos and films. Despite how much I want to use it, I won’t. Thought about calling it ‘588’ for the regiment number, but then it should really be ‘588th’, not ‘588’, and I felt the ‘th’ at the end was something that might trip people up. It tips you off this is a story about the military (at least, for me it does). Besides, the regiment was renamed after receiving recognition. So using a number is just confusing. …The script is called ‘Taman’. It’s set on the Taman Peninsula, in 1943. I know ‘Taman’ is a bit misleading as well – it should be ‘The Taman Peninsula’ or ‘The Taman Offensive’…but I don’t like either of those. And something about just calling it ‘Taman’… Although it’s not an English word, it’s not something that would frighten most people. It’s not Tzuychrswski or some similar foreign word with that string of consonants that always trips up English speakers. And it’s neutral. What is Taman? A person? A place? Immediately you ask questions, want answers. I’m hoping that curiosity will transfer into audience members. Plus, this is where the women made history. This is battle front that earned them their honors.

…Since it be about respect, y’all…I figure I be allowed a little of that there ‘artistic license’.

Keeping up on exercise, tho skipping my 30 minutes on the bikes. Pushing myself on the mental front right now. If I do it mentally and physically, I’ll run myself into the ground. So I’m being a little easy on myself until I feel the push is really over.

And it is a push. I’ve put so much into this…including a rape scene and the aftermath – accusations, shame, humiliation, fear… I’m tearing up every time I read it. The battle scene, when two of the characters are shot down and die, is also difficult to read: full of emotion, raw and ripe.

I sure hope other people are as moved by it as I am.

For myself, I feel I can put another notch in my belt. Didn’t know if I could write something military. Certainly doubted my ability to write something historical. Yet, here I am. I won’t lay claim to having written some fresh, new perspective. Don’t know that I’ll ever be that arrogant. But I think I’ve written well. I think the story is engaging, the characters believable.

…Maybe underneath all my writing, there’s another message: respect for myself. I rarely give it.

Today, I will.

Chicken Shit

I guess every generation has its stories. For my grandmother, it was the model T. For my mother, it was the death of Kennedy. I lived through it; I was there. And we each came away with our own perspective. One of my grandmother’s favorite quotes was ‘Men have a place; it’s six feet under’. My mother always harped at me ‘don’t become dependent on any man’. I have to deal with being tagged a cougar or a MILF.

And dare I say how completely disappointed I am in society today? How quickly women’s problems have been shoved to the background in the face of racial tensions, religious fighting, and every other issue de jour you can think of? Yeah, yeah, I’m told, but that’s yesterday’s problem. Today it’s police violence, terrorism, blah-de-blah. And somehow, it’s always from a man’s perspective…

Just another diss by our male dominated society. Because no matter what issue you want to bring up, women are on the bottom of the pile. Our concerns come last. Our voices are heard last (if at all).

And we’re supposed to feel good that there’s the occasional Angela Merkel out there. That every once in a while, one of us is allowed – let’s not mince words here – allowed to come to the forefront.

You wanna talk about silent majorities? Then you need to address the women on this planet.

Oh, I’m becoming militant in my feminism. The more I see and learn, the more militant I become. And nothing makes you aware of these subtle disses throughout history than writing historical based stories. I’ve found the words and set-ups I’m using in my upcoming script to be extremely current. Seventy bleeding years and not much has changed.

That’s my fucking point.

Take away the historical setting, the Russian names, and you have a story that fits today’s attitudes towards women. The same struggles. The same blame. The same unspoken need to be twice as good as any man in order to earn half the respect.

This is the whole underlying reason for the script. To really show it. These women were pushing through the glass ceiling LONG before the equivalent shake up happened in the West, and here we are, SSDD (which in this case, should be read as same shit different decade).

But I digress…

Asked my bro, who’s ex-military, quite a few questions about some of the day to day stuff of military life. Like, do majors run around saluting each other, or do they use first names because they’re the same rank? Is it unreasonable for me to think a group of soldiers might sneak off for a little party in the middle of this war? I got a load of good info, including some really strong ideas for what might be stolen from the men’s regiment. The general story proved believable, even to a military person. So far, so good.

Hit the gym hard yesterday. So hard I was falling asleep around 9:30 last night. My arms are fucking killing me. Moved up on the free weight exercises, and ho-ly hell! Can I feel it!

Today was my last Thursday language lesson before the summer break. We had a few visitors and spent our time walking through the local parks, talking about the artwork scattered here and there. It was a pleasant change. There’s a language course over the summer, but it’s €50, and I just don’t see being able to cough that up right now. Things are too tight.

One look at my hair should tell anyone that.

Have to call my dermatologist for a refill on a prescription. Ugh. Dutch, Dutch, Dutch. You’d think I’d be able to get over this, but it seems no matter who I talk to, they end up using new words I’ve never heard before. Then I get flustered, and anxious, and the existing Dutch in my head goes out the window. Doesn’t help that I just don’t like phones.

Tomorrow is my last Friday language lesson before the break. Then I’m back to drop off my stuff and head out to theatre rehearsal – so my day on, day off exercise thing has a snag this week. Thought I might head over today, but…I’m still tired, it’s hot and humid, and I can’t imagine pushing myself after walking all morning.

Ah, well. If I’m that concerned I can get my fat ass down on the floor and do some abdominal exercises. Any takers? (Obviously not, as I continue to sit here in front of my computer and contemplate getting up to only (1) pee, or (2) grab a sugary cola from the ‘fridge.)

My brain is rebelling, and daydreaming over my very cute physiotherapist. Thought I’d trained myself out of that. It’s so easy to slip back into it, though. Now I ponder asking him to this theatre production. One of those I wanna ask you out but I’m too chicken so I’ll do it this way things. Push the comedy, the fun, tell him I don’t know many people and it would be good to bring a few audience members in with my first role (always add in the sympathy vote), it would make a great date for him and his girlfriend (a fish to find out if he’s still dating someone), and that it would be great to buy him a beer afterwards (a fish for time, and to see if I pick up any signals outside his office). And, honestly, doing it this way, if he says no or doesn’t show up, he’s rejecting the idea of sitting through an amateur theatre production, not me, right? Or, at least, that’s a foothold I can build for myself.

Gods, I’m chicken shit.

Yes Women

Ah! The words every back pain sufferer wants to hear from her physiotherapist were uttered to me yesterday – your back is in really good condition. Yippee! It’s been 5 weeks since my last appointment and I feel I’ve been a good girl with exercising and all that, so no real big surprise. After all, I wasn’t screaming with pain while he was gone. Still, always good to hear it from an expert.

A really, really cute expert.

Honestly, I’m once again left wondering about this man. He went on holiday to Thailand for three weeks. An observer might have assumed an entirely different relationship than the one we have; sure, he showed me into the examination room (as usual), but then it was almost ten minutes of showing me pictures and video from his trip, telling me about the people he met and the scuba diving he did. We had that fast exchange two people who’ve been apart for a while but really like each other do: rapid speech, lots of laughs, and an excitement to share everything the other’s missed in our absence.

Gods, and his eyes! I swear they twinkle.

*lovesick sigh*

Been having trouble finding the information I want/need for my script. Amazing (not) how completely censored the internet is. All I can find is repeated info; the same blurbs a thousand times over, masquerading as new articles and stories while offering the same pat. Wondering if I should even consider contacting the Russian embassy to ask for information. In these days and times, just the act of asking could be construed as ‘wrong’.

Determined to get to the gym today despite the forecast high temp and humidity. I’m strong enough to have doubled my speed on the cross trainer. Still not that fast, mind you. I only cover slightly over 2 miles in half an hour. I hope to increase that speed a bit more before turning up the resistance again. And the only way to increase my speed is to keep doing it. This day on, day off timing is working exceptionally well for me. I don’t get into a two day endorphin roll, then jones out on my off days. My workouts still drain me, and every time I think I’ll do a double day I wake up on the second day sore, stiff, and bone tired. So I’ll stick with the day on, day off thing. I AM over 50, after all.

Running the lines for the last half of my scene. Gotta roll my eyes again at the writer: typical male written dialogue, with a lot of support language for the female characters. Oh! Um – yes. That’s it for at least 50% of the play. I like the physical challenge, being asked to stand silent on stage for long, long moments. But don’t ever try to tell me this writer knows anything about women. He doesn’t, and it’s obvious in the dialogue, stage directions, and underlying messages in his work. We’re silly little add ons, desperately clinging to the men in the scene. Fluffy headed reasons to put a joke in somewhere. He’s left every woman in this play stuck in the fifties, which only emphasizes it’s he who’s stuck.


Yeah, I know what I sound like.

It does make me determined to write better roles for women. I won’t skew something I see as male just to be a feminist. If the story presents itself to me as a male thing, I’ll write it that way. But no female role I ever write will be some side salad, nothing with any meat in it. Even if they’re not central characters, they’ll be interesting. More than yes women.

I so bloody hate yes women roles. Real life, and scripted.