Saturday, January 31, 2015

Reading Gilman

When I was in my first year of undergrad, the prof had us read "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. He asked us, "do you think it's a psychological story of a woman going mad, or a ghost story?" and we picked "woman going mad" so he took the side of "ghost story," and proceeded to point out all the things that could be read as a ghost story.

He also taught us that this was based on Gilman's experiences so we weren't totally convinced of its ghostliness at all.

Years later I'd read "The Rocking Chair" and "The Great Wisteria" and now I can totally buy the ghost story angle, because she was a ghost story writer too.

"When I Was A Witch" is still my favourite Gilman story so far, though.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Note To The Bank

My brother sent me an email with a PDF scan of a letter I received from Scotiabank, the bank I had been using in Canada, for quite a while. I had no problems with Scotiabank and moving cross-province was a pleasure. 

The letter tells me that my account is now inactive, since I haven't used it in 2 years (which, yes. I still do have my Scotiabank card though!), and that accounts inactive for ten years revert all its funds to the Bank of Canada, which I did not know. I should make a small deposit once in a while. Perhaps I will forward my next few checks towards it. 

I filled out the appropriate blanks, ticked the appropriate ticky-boxes (how satisfying ticky-boxes are) and wrote my address at the back of the envelope. On the front I wrote the address of my Scotiabank branch, all the way in Hamilton, which must be snowy at this time of year. I can still remember its edifice and the last time I walked into it to explain that I would be gone, a long time (hoping not forever). 

It still feels strange, to this day, two years and a bit after moving here, to finish my address with "U. S. A." It is still a foreign place, an exotic location that I never expected to find myself in. I never expected to write that as part of my address. Perhaps on a postcard, perhaps to a penpal, but never as a resident. I wonder if this feeling will ever go away. 

An Acceptance!

The other day, I received news that I had placed third in the Strange Horizons Reader Poll, under the Columns category. I am flanked by Rochita Leonen-Ruiz, in 2nd place, and Cassandra Khaw in 4th place, with the inimitable Genevieve Valentine in the 1st place, and John Clute in 5th. This is passing strange, to me, considering I have contributed only one column there in the past, a reprint of a response. However, it chuffs me to know that I have made an impact, and many dear friends are also listed in the various categories, such as LaShawn Wanak for her short story "21 Steps to Enlightenment (Minus One)," and, well, practically everyone in the Poetry category! I've never seen the like of Bogi's poem before, and still cannot wrap my head around it. And M. Sereno's big splash onto the spec-po scene is to be envied and celebrated. 

Today I have further news: I have sold a poem! This will be my first, and hopefully not the only, acceptance of the year, which is happy news and will hopefully set the tone for the rest of the year, publishing- and writing-wise. I hope to share it with everyone sometime soon! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dusting off Ye Olde Blog

I've been percolating with a lot of thoughts lately that just don't seem to fit on Tumblr or Twitter, and which I don't care to put on LiveJournal or Dreamwidth because those are more personal. So, I will be blogging here more regularly! 

Re-reading a lot of these old posts, I cringe at some of the things I've written, how clumsily I wrote them, how wordy I got when less could have been more. But then, I've always been a wordy person--I really like filler words! 

Many things have happened since 2011. My life has taken me so far abroad into a strange exotic land where I feel strangely disassociated, like I cannot believe I truly live here. My health has changed. My priorities have changed. I picked up new hobbies, set down some other ones. I probably should not have started writing this at 11pm, but them's the breaks. 

Have a flash fic from 2010:

"Simply put, you don't want to fuck with Kancil," Sang Buaya said.

She thought this over. "What about Agan Peland-"

"You especially do not want to fuck with Agan Pelanduk. He will turn you inside out. Stay away from all of that family. Bloody tricksters."

She didn't care to bring up the fact that he, as someone who used ambush as a way of hunting, was as much a trickster as either mousedeer.