"Dear Wynterblue Staff;
Hello. My name is Vicki Nemeth. I read the ad in Wyn Lit #2/17 that you're looking for volunteers. I would like to help out.
Currently, I'm not a member of Wynterblue. I have only found out that memberships are available at the Books By The Bay opening, Friday night. I plan to become a member once I can scrounge up the funds.
My first draft of this email was a barrage of facts about what I'm capable of, so that you could see what to get me to help with. But I think I'd rather summarize:
I love literature and writing. I am an Honours English major on break for at least a year. I think I should job shadow publishing editors and others in the literary field. I rely on the bus to travel around town, and am physically fit (though not athletic). For the summer, I have lots of free time but little money, and after labour day, I plan to have less time but more money.
Now I can ask you what you would like help with. Thanks for giving me an oppurtunity to help!
I'll be awaiting your reply.
Books By The Bay
This past weekend was the Books By The Bay Festival: A Northern Festival To Celebrate Canadian Authors. Whee! I went to the launch party. It was a book fair with readings and interviews. I talked to a lady who is just about to have her book published, and she gave me info about Wynterblue Thunder, and a few tips on learning about Canadian contests.
I had dragged Clayton along, and we were among very few young people who went to the party, and the even fewer who went without adult assistance. After having learned what I did from the woman next to me, I began to realize that I, my writing, or my success wouldn't benefit much more from attending. I decided to sit out the rest of the weekend. Luckily, I hadn't bought a weekend pass. The nature of my work means I can't rely on myself to attend enough to make it pay for itself.
Today, I learned that Wynterblue Thunder works to help Northern writers get published. The editor may publish something in her litmag(s). Or, she may workshop your piece to get it into good enough shape to submit somewhere. She'll even help you search for an appropriate, legitimate publisher or agent. Awesome.
She is looking for members. It doesn't have to mean you're a writer and want to be workshopped. It could just be your way of giving support to Northern artists. She's also looking for... volunteers. Oo. I could be a volunteer. I wonder what those volunteer folk do.
You know what? PMS sucks. I thought I was in a low, but it was just PMS. If I had realized it was just PMS, I would have had an easier time dealing with it. I'm going to start keeping track of them on my calendar from now on.
I'll talk about the night I found out I was kicked out of school.
Mom had been over the weekend before, and when she got back to her house, she discovered even more mail for me. However, I hesitated to phone her and ask her to open it, because I had already heard enough from her when she was around.
The first letter was just saying that I'd get my $100 deposit back for keeping my dorm in good condition. The second was that I am required to withdraw, that I will also see it on my web account, and that I can petition if I think I have a good reason for having such a bad average.
So I said nasty thing to Mommy, like, "I only went to University to get out of your house anyways."
So when we hung up, I called Clayton. I didn't want him to come over, because I was having a clingy day, and thought him returning would just make it worse. However, we both knew I needed him, now.
So he made it over to my place, but not before I'd had time to phone more friends down south. I calmed down while talking to them. I knew I did not belong in Nipissing anyways. I might later, but not as a prisoner of society.
But when Clayton and I went to bed, I could not sleep. I had stomach pains for no apparent reason but anxiety. I wanted to hit the bed or scream or something, but I was afraid of hurting Clayton's ears or disturbing the neighbours. I kept shaking, and I think I was chanting "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry." Or maybe I'm mixing up the chanting part with another night. For a while I tried rubbing Clayton's back gently, instead of spending my energy on killing something. I don't know how many hours we spent trying to sleep.
After trying for hours to give me advice on getting to sleep, Clayton gave up on trying to fix things and just said, "Vicki, you don't deserve this."
So I started panting, and crying, and screaming. I didn't care if I woke the neighbours. All Clayton could do was hold me and keep saying, "I love you."
I was able to sleep after that.
I wrote my English essay. I finally wrote my English essay! I even did it through a low.
Well, I wasn't very confident in my citing, or the file I'd turned in to the online plagiarism checker, so I hung around the Prof's office until I had the chance to hand it in to her in person.
With time to kill, I eventually let my eyes wander along the "Free Books" shelf next to the English offices. There I found NEXUS Vol. 7 #1 (summer, 1994), and NU-NOW Anthology #2 (Nipissing University - Northern Ontario Writers' Contest, 1996). By the way, I rather like John Kooistra's poetry so far. A bit of that in NU-NOW is all I've read of the two mags.
So, here I was, reading away at all the yummy yummy poetry, and wondering if these publications are still alive and well, and if they take the kind of material I might create, and if maybe I do have a chance at being a writer, now that I have the oppurtunity to learn about places I might submit to. Oh, it's so nice to find some litmags for free. They're far too spread out, and rare, and expensive for a student or aspiring writer to get hold of, which is quite ironic if you need to know what a mag will accept in order to send it anything appropriate.
So, my Prof finally turned up in her office, and I handed in the essay. At the end of our lenghty discussion about my reservations, I choked, "Do you have a moment?"
"Do you have any litmags."
"What do you mean?"
"What kind?" she asked.
I stared. "I don't know."
She frowned. "I have scholarly literary journals, with reviews and essays and such."
"Oh." My head refused to decide whether to sink or cock sideways. "Well, do you have anything with just stories?"
"I don't think so... Oh wait, I do have a pile of these that I never look at." She pulled a BRICK out of her shelf.
"Oh, BRICK," I squeak. "That's a big one."
Summer of 2003's BRICK 71. One of about seven Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Issues she has piled up on her bookshelf, gathering dust.
"Here. You can have it."
"Okay. Thanks. Umm... you don't have any genre litmags, do you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you know, like fantasy or sci-fi."
Yes, we then went on a little clicheed discourse, focusing on my pet peeve about scholars and awards people not respecting genre-specific work without even evaluating it, first. But, never mind that.
I rested the BRICK over the other two mags in my school bag. As I left, she called after me, "Maybe that's the sort of thing you're going to be editing."
I've already told her I say editor because I'm afraid people won't accept housewife. "Well, I could just be writing for them," I called back down the hall.
Guess what. I have a BRICK. I've just been drooling over it in preparation for this entry. Oh, God! Oh, God! I have a BRICK.
Not that I expect to get my work into one in the near future. It's still nice, though, to have one of Canada's biggest litmags kicking around the house, with submission guidelines right there on the publication info page. There's that, and then there's the most coveted and elusive guideline: the material inside. Now I finally get to see if I should even care about the technical submission guidelines in the first place. It's quite encouraging.
Soon, I get to spend the summer tasting and smelling and caressing and holding and feeling and reading and absorbing and staring at the firstfruits of hopefully many litmags to enter my collection.
I usually don't have my principles defined word for word. For the most part, I have some summaries, but nothing really detailed and meaty. There is one thing, though, that I've finally realized I live by and know I live by, even on the outside:
If you can do something that most people can't, you should, because if hardly anybody can do it, then there is going to be a need for it that you can fill.
One reason why I moved to a tiny Northern school, is that I can handle the cold and the forest better than many other people from my hometown. I'll leave room down south for the people who can't handle the North. I took English, in part, because nobody else I know loves it as much as me.
So now I feel like I should be doing something about the water crisis. The thing is, ~real~ things aren't my strength. I find world issues, political debates, and particularly things that require a good fight, very stressful (in my opinion, debates about linguistics are not required for human survival, in the way that debates about the poor treatment of Canadian aboriginals is).
However, nobody else ~knows~ about the water crisis. It appears that only activists and scholars do. So I am suddenly put in a position of relatively unique power that I don't have all the skills to handle. My standard of what I can do to fill a demand is suddenly brought down a few notches, against my will.
Well, I guess I'm already doing things about other important problems I'm worried about (mostly consumerism, especially in the area of companies controlling consumers). I avoid wearing certain clothes just because they obey fashion trends. I thrift shop. I avoid TV. I use a free browser that can toggle visual ads on and off. I eat little meat. I try to buy certain things organic, free-range, or less than conventionally polluting in some other way. I use Linux. Oh, and by the way, I already don't buy bottled water.
That is the first action recommended to me to help. I know my next one is shortening my danged showers. And I'm already leaving people little thoughts that, Hey, look, there's a water crisis, and isn't it scary that nobody knows about it?
So, I guess this means that I have to start reading in places like www.blueplanet
Uni culture has been putting so much pressure on me to get involved. It's woven throughout my class material, and practically required if you want a social life with decently engaging people. Well, it looks like I've finally caved. Once I'm on my feet this summer, I'll be figuring out how to do things besides classes and food. I will be starting from scratch.
(cross-posted on other domains)
These are the ways that I deal with depression, which I've had for long enough to learn them.
I separate my logical mind from my emotional mind. That way, when I feel worthless, I can still think I'm not.
I force myself to see people as many days a week as possible.
That includes going to class.
I don't watch sad or dark media. Unless the only way I can see people is to join them in watching it. It's ironic. At least then I still have my limits.
When I'm seeing people, if it's a really bad day, I deliberately avoid wearing black. In fact, sometimes I even do it on a pretty good day.
I don't drink. Alcohol makes me cry, and I barely have a tolerance.
I give hugs. When I lie in bed hating myself, I tell myself that I'm not worthless, because I can give hugs. So fulfilling that statement helps me believe it.
I listen to happy and/or high quality music. Sometimes hymns, from ancient to very new.
I cry like a 3-year-old. Or older.
I clean my room, and organise my school notes.
I get lots of sun.
I get exercise. The bus sucks anyways. I find it more stressful to wait for it than to walk, and even riding it is kind of crappy, because I'm just sitting there. Or, I'm standing in an illegally full-to-bursti
I know that sleeping the way I do is a form of avoidance. My mind likes to do it because it doesn't know how to take care of itself. Unfortunately, I really am pretty darned tired. I got plenty of sleep last night (after having gotten no sleep the night before, of course), and I was still tired through my classes today. I hadn't even had to get up too early for them.
I really hope my separating my logical from my emotional thinking doesn't rig my mental health assessment tests to be nicer than they should be...
My body has antibodies. My mind has...
I don't want to do anything. I just want to sit here, quiet, and alone. It's nice at night. There is nothing demanded of you. The easy strokes against the senses are relaxing, and valuable in their rarity. Why sleep through my rest? I should rather enjoy it. Let me sleep through the time of assaults on my psyche.
Let me do no work that is not of my first love, for I am not composed of prestige in the eyes of others. I am me. I am a whole person. I am here, before I do what you want me to do. I am a being. My identity exists without your brownie points.
God made me before you made me what I am. I need not serve your wishes to be alive.
When I don't believe this, I have no identity. When I attempt to form my identity based on accomplishment
I am sleeping through namelessness to defend my life.
Well, today, I'm going to Disability Services at my school. I didn't want to, because the mental health system has shown itself to be unhelpful throughout the years I've used it. But I am driven to think that I should give this one a chance before turning it down.
On days when I am diminished, I can get up just in time to eat before walking to class, plod up the hill like a persevering camel, arrive slightly late, and hot from exercise, come up with some wonderful critical analysis that makes my teacher squeal at the unique talent behind it, hear a personal praise, and not feel a thing. I leave, thinking, "I was supposed to react more to that, and now she's going to think it never works on me."
Oh, but on days when I'm not diminished I dance all over the school and make a dozen new acquaintances and give my friends all the goodness inside me and hope to God that I will not ruin myself again over my next stretch of too much free time.
I am winning. I have been winning since after seminar this Friday, when I finally wanted not to do that to my teacher again. And I wanted to go see the island in the frozen pond, so I did.
Nic came to Canada this week. I saw him on Friday, the day he left. He shot a stupid movie, a sequel to his stupid Bionicle sketch on YouTube, and gave me two Zamor Spheres. :) So dumb.
Conversation With A Too Vintage Gamer
<Kiddalee> Guys, is there a Playstation 3 or something?
<Raindance> umm... yes
<Kiddalee> When did that come out?
<Amoryl> like 2 years ago
<Amoryl> where've you been?
<Kiddalee> Oh, did it really?
<Solenna> can I join the rock you live under? it sounds nice. :P
(from #lothlorien of the EsperNet IRC network) - Crossposted w/Elftown
One day, when I was about fifteen, I started my period. I'd been having regular periods for about three years already, and was no stranger to the pain, the crankiness, and the low self-esteem. It really bothered me. So, I told myself, "Well, I'm tired, and in pain, so I just want to be beautiful today, and that's it." And I was.
I put on my favourite long, baby blue polyester sundress. It put no pressure on my lower torso at all. On top of the dress, I wore my pale yellow shirt. I think I might have had a pink kerchief in my hair. I don't wear bras, heels, or makeup, and I think my period would have hurt more, if I did.
I walked around that day feeling pretty, like Maria from Westside Story, only much more mellow from the tiredness.
A lot of guys noticed me. A lot more than usual. After receiving a curious look from another, I finally asked myself, "Why can't that happen on days I want it to?" For I'm not very sexually interested during my period.
I figured it was because I wanted enough to be beautiful - not sexy - that I was.
Energy, Metabolism, Angst 2
Carli faints. Her blood sugar level was around 2 or something when she fainted at work.
I don't faint, because I can go 16 hours without food, miss a night of sleep, climb a steep trail up to school without stopping, carrying a very small load, and still have a blood sugar level of 5.3 at testing time. I guess, then, I'll have to attribute the lack of balance on the way to breakfast to a lack of sleep.
It's true. My energy isn't all low. It only gets low at certain times. Sometimes, it is too high.
One evening, I was at the Powers' house with nothing to do, and I couldn't stop moving, so I decided to go for a walk down by the lake, in the wind and the snow. So I was a little more settled when I got back for supper, if too ravenous for the food available.
One afternoon, I was at the Powers' house with no energy, so I decided to go for a walk down by the lake, in the wet snow, and saw some mallard ducks, and grabbed bits of tectonic ice ranges, and didn't get any soakers. I finally had the energy to play cards, when I got in. It was nice.
I haven't seen Carli much, since then. I really like Carli. I've liked other people better just by seeing them around Carli. I miss her.
At school, I was sleeping up to 12 hours a day. Either that, or I'd miss a night of sleep, then make it up by sleeping 15 hours the next night, and then not be able to sleep again.
I was always hungry, so used to it that I didn't always obey it, always eating more than half the guys when I did, and still losing weight. It was really bothersome when I got home, as I had nothing really to distract me from it. I checked my BMI and it's perfect (22.7). Well, that's nice. Then, one evening, I ate a can of Chef Boyardee. Why I needed one can of junk food to be the breaking point for lowering my metabolism, after rebuilding all my bad home habits, I do not know. Now, I'm not always hungry.
Maybe I should have kept the metabolism. It was rather amusing to be able to beat Dad to the midnight snacks.
I still sleep 12 hours a day. I haven't been out to play much since I got home. The forests are too safe at home. The people are too cheap.
I don't actually call this place home. I think of going back home in January. If I ever call this place home, it's because I can't always think of a new term. Sometimes I say down south or downstairs or Orangeville.
God's trying to get me to be better.
YaY! My friend Nic is on Jabber, and I helped!
I want to write a story about nothing in particular, but I keep dreaming up stories about what I wish would happen to me. They are like Mary Sues, but they're not all fanfiction. Please note that I never write fanfiction, even if I do sometimes dream it up.
I did write one story about nothing in particular. I've so far called it, The Doctor's Orders. It's a modern fantasy. Well, I suppose the story about the first unicorn that I wrote isn't about me either. It's a Christian metaphor, but it's horribly innacurate. Oh well. I tried. Plus, there's still room to improve it, so maybe I won't need to destroy it.
The stories that I write about me have lots of dragons, and amazon-types, and eunuchs, and oversheltered preteens, and girls who misuse their sexualities to make up for their childhoods, and relatively stable men who have to turn them down while still taking care of them, and asshole men who like to devour and destroy dragons and girls they don't understand, and passion, and guys who are coming of age and getting over angst, and for some reason the girl has some sort of wierd, senseless, divine quality.
You see? That's why I'd rather write about nothing in particular! The stories pertaining to my nonexistent adventures follow too many conventions. Besides, they're less realistic than would be a story about nothing in particular. A Mary Sue is about what a girl wants to happen. A story about itself, however, is about what must happen due to characters and plot and cause and effect.
Oh, I've forgotten the overly-cute fairy story. That one isn't about me, either, though it's kind of annoying, and the ending sucks. I picked a fairy who couldn't solve her own problem, and then tried to make her solve it. Yuck. I think I'll go rewrite that ending to be sad, as it would be, if I hadn't forced plot over the character. And then maybe I'll write another version starting with a fairy who can solve her problem, and ending with the problem solved. Dangit.
At least I'm a good poet. You don't have to be good at fiction to be a good poet. Most of my poems are about my true experiences, and never Mary Sue fantasies. Yuck.
This is a story about what would happen if I fainted, as I have always wanted to.
I'd be going about my business as usual. Nobody would notice anything strange about me, in spite of my being ridiculously tired, or stressed, or exhausted, or fatigued, or in pain, or sick, or hungry. As usual.
I would see my gentleman friend in the hallway. We might stop and talk. Or maybe we'd be about to pass by each other.
Suddenly, my energy reserves would run out, and my legs would give way under me. He, among many others, would notice. But he has really good leadership skills, and he'd be the one to clear me some space, and call an ambulance.
He would keep standing there, protecting me in my stupor, until I wake up. It is only a faint, after all. I've heard of lots of people who pass out and then manage to wake up pretty quickly.
When I wake up, we would talk. I don't know what we'd talk about. I do know, that from a third person omniscient perspective, his concern for my well-being would be apparent. Maybe he's even emotionally stricken by my lack thereof. I don't know how it would look from a first-person perspective. I've never before considered how few wits I might have upon waking up from fainting.
Then the ambulance would come, and take me away, and he'd be left standing, concerned.
Or maybe I would wake up, seeing his face before anything else, and become guarded. You never know. I mean, why should I expect him to react that way?
Angst 1, as I wrote it, Nov. 16
I hope you will excuse me for saying I want to die. You see, youthful angst isn't my regular faire. I concede that you may be sick of it, but there is a place for everything, you know. It has been overdone and out of place, yes, but that's no reason to censor it from me. I certainly haven't overdone it, myself, and I can't underdo it if I am a real artist.
So. I want to die. I like to stay in bed and starve myself, and masturbate to abusive fantasies. Unfortunately, God keeps ruining it on me. He keeps waking me up and saying things like,
"Read your Bible."
"Brush your teeth."
And my favourite.
"Go to class."
And you should have heard Him when I angsted at Him!
"Well, if you want to die, then kill yourself."
Apparently, I don't really want to die.
Fine, then. If I don't want to die, I wish I didn't want to die, so I could get on with my life and do my homework. As it is, I have 2 assignments overdue/reject