RELOCATION COMPLETE. Sunday the 15th of March (2009) @ 00:39 am
I'm all set up and posting over at matt_doyle now. Nothing more will be posted here except the remaining chapters of Running In Her Veins. Which will be up this next week, I swear. Just as soon as I do my taxes. And fill out my apartment application. And write up the character sheets for next weekend's LARP.

But yeah. Closing time. You don't have to go over to matt_doyle, but you can't stay here.
6 neon signs on the horizon; rubbing elbows with the moon

A meme. Sunday the 8th of March (2009) @ 17:33 pm
If you think that anyone can be guilty of making a racist comment or performing a racist act, including you, and that you are willing to take ownership of your statements and actions, resist blaming the person who was offended, figure out why they were taken as racist, apologize, and not do it again, post this exact sentence in your journal.

There's been a request made here that this meme not be passed on because of the way it reinforces unhelpful views of the nature of racism. I'm not going to take the meme statement down, because there's been too much post-deletion in this ongoing discussion, and because I do not know to what extent I agree with the request.
rubbing elbows with the moon

As usual... Friday the 6th of March (2009) @ 18:45 pm
Rather than waiting, I rushed madly around the Internet and my hard drive to find new (and old) userpics, and uploaded them over at matt_doyle. Which brings me to the next stage: a layout/style/whatever you crazy kids are calling it these days. I'm not a terribly big fan of the defaults, and absolutely crap at making new ones. Would anybody be interested in helping me beautify my new workspace by designing a layout for me? I am willing to bribe people if necessary.

More Running In Her Veins will be forthcoming this weekend, but as nobody's commented on the three newest chapters yet, I figure I have time to procrastinate a little. If you've been planning on reading it but haven't found the time yet, you've got until the 15th- at that point, the rough draft, like everything else on this LJ, gets privatized for good.

For that matter, is there anything I've written or said or whatnot that people would like me to leave friendslocked or public when I close up shop? A bit egotistical of me to think that, I guess, but it seems only polite to check - I've enjoyed sharing the past eight years with everybody here (though more than half of you have been friended at the new journal, too - and if I've forgotten you and you'd like to come along for the ride, let me know!).

Okay. Cutting this short before it gets more rambly and disjointed.

4 neon signs on the horizon; rubbing elbows with the moon

Setting Up The New Journal, part x of n. Friday the 6th of March (2009) @ 11:47 am
So. The new account (existent but as-yet empty and inactive over at matt_doyle) is a paid account, and has 35 icon spaces. My folder of really-need-to-use-em icons only has 176 images in it; clearly I need more icons to further confuse the issue.

Any recommendations?
rubbing elbows with the moon

If silence means approval, then I need to say something. Thursday the 5th of March (2009) @ 11:15 am
I'm not going to go in-depth explaining the ongoing mess that is RaceFail '09 in this post, because other people have done so far better than I could: there's a comprehensive listing of links at rydra_wong's journal; and it's very worth a read. Basically, RaceFail has been an ongoing, repeatedly-derailed discussion about race issues in science fiction and the science fiction fan community, in which a large number of white authors, editors, and publishers behave very badly.

And I tried to stay out of it, or at least to stay neutral. I knew, liked, and respected people on both sides who were being attacked, or who were being angry and defensive and, to my view, badly behaved. When I believed I saw someone misrepresenting the facts or mischaracterizing a participant, I was unable to make myself stay out, and so I've commented repeatedly in defense of people on both sides of the debate. Even when I felt that someone's behavior was bad, I tried to understand their reactions and their feelings, and I reminded myself that anger and rudeness in no way invalidate someone's argument. I'm not the best or most conscientious debater, and I don't know if I deserve to be called a white ally or an anti-racist, although I try, but every time I saw a tone argument used to dismiss the concerns raised by a POC, it became easier and easier to sympathize with one side of the debate, and harder and harder to identify with the defensive white people.

And I got quieter. I'm in the process of shutting down this blog, after all, and I was afraid that whatever I said would come out wrong, that the new writing blog I'm starting would be colored by a mistake here. But I don't want to play at playground politics and worry about who will like me for speaking my mind, and I keep seeing, on post after post, that one of the things that is hurting most is the silence of sci-fi fandom, the lack of outcry at the racism, the insensitivity, and the arrogant exercise of white privilege. I'm guilty as charged, and I'm sorry.

I do not approve of authors, editors, and the like being insular and self-congratulatory about their behavior when people tell them there's still a problem. I do not approve of the discussion being derailed again and again for the sake of some white person's hurt feelings. I emphatically do not approve of any attempts to sabotage or silence further discussion, and I do not approve of outing pseudonymous posters and pretending that doing so is a commitment to justice.

If I have helped the people who did these things, I am sorry. It's a very goddamned late point for me to get off the fence and say that, unequivocally, I am committed to any group discussion and action that dissects privilege and works against racism in the science fiction community (or ANY community). I will try to make my new journal a safe and equitable space for everyone, and hope to be called out if I fail. I recognize that it is no-one's else's job to educate me on the subject of racism, but I promise that if someone does criticize me for racist behavior, I will not let anyone else defend me, and I will never dismiss the concerns raised.

I haven't done so well lately. I will try to do better.

ETA: I appreciate the kind words people have been saying in the comment threads, but it feels as though it would be self-congratulatory of me to respond, and that's kind of the opposite of what I was going for here. But it also feels rude to say nothing, so: hi! I'm glad to meet you all.
9 neon signs on the horizon; rubbing elbows with the moon

The times, they are a changin'. Tuesday the 24th of February (2009) @ 12:40 pm
Well. I think it's obvious that my heart really isn't in this blog anymore - it's been more than a year since I made posts with any regularity. I've talked about setting up a professional blog, a writing blog with less about my life and more about fiction and metafiction, literature and history and so on and forth and whatnot, probably on a daily basis, like clockwork. Sometime in the next two or three weeks, I'm going to get that set up (for realz this time), and switch over to there. The details, though, are still fuzzy, like:

-should I get a namechange token and switch over, or start a new journal altogether?
-what's going to happen to this journal? leave it abandoned, privatize everything, delete it, keep it for reading my flist, since I doubt everyone is going to make this transfer with me?
-for that matter, who's interested in being on the friendslist of my new journal? Some of you are going to be there whether you like it or not, because there's no way I'm going to stop reading what you've got to say, but honestly, the more I've moved away from this journal, the smaller the list of people I *need* to hear about has gotten. On the other hand, speaking as a writer, the act of wanting to read what I write makes you my friend - nobody's getting cut if they ask to stay.
-What should I call it? I've more or less settled on the notion that while I'm not going to legally change my name, I'm going to write as Matt Doyle. So the new journal should be ... mattdoyle? mdoyle? cmdoyle? md-device? Something altogether different and clever which you will be suggesting to me?

ETA: The new journal exists, over at matt_doyle, and will be fully up and running by March 15th. I've started the process of locking down this journal by friendslocking every post older than this one.
43 neon signs on the horizon; rubbing elbows with the moon

Armageddon and Jiggedy-Jiggedy. Tuesday the 13th of September (2005) @ 22:22 pm
mood  :  amused

My old roommate Chris is a saint. (As a side note, I should point out that my current roommate is also named Chris, and while very cool, he is also evil in fun and interesting ways. I admire that. New Chris often has his friend Chris (a third one) over, and I am some day determined to get a group of my friends together- Old Chris nNw Chris Third Chris, Chris Blake who I have not yet mentioned, Kristi, Kristen, and Krista in one place at one time and watch chaos reign.)

Old Chris (who is actually younger than New Chris, but never mind) is a Lutheran preacher's son, an Eagle Scout, and without a doubt the nicest, most virtuous person in the universe that I know. No foolin'. He is also blonde and slender and dimpled and generally beatific-looking, to the extent that when Brian and I saw him with one of his old girlfriends (tall and blonde and thin with I-shit-you-not sparkly blue eyes), Brain turned to me and said "Two words. Angel babies."

But anyway. Old Chris is courteous, tolerant to a fault, and exceedingly generous, and so is driving me to and from my PRACS study blood draws. Since he is my favorite person to debate things with, on the way back from the latest trip to PRACS, we were talking about terrorism, and the uselessness of the Amber Alert.

"Chris," I say. "Do you know what I would do differently if I knew, absolutely knew, that within the next few days there would come a terrorist attack that would directly and personally affect my life?"

"No," he says. "What?"

"Stop worrying about alcohol and intervis violations in the dorms. That's it."

"Heh," he says, acknowledging my amusing decadence without falling prey to it himslf. "I don;t know what I'd do."

"Drink and Wench, my friend, drink and wench," I assure him. "Well. Shave and then wench. Only about thirty percent of the wenches seem appreciative of my facial hair."

We then fell to discussing the likelihood of snagging a willing partner on the fly pre-doomsday, and Chris- whose commitment to abstinence I respect and even admire- expressed some interesting theories. To which:

"Hunh," I said. "You know, I didn't ever consider exploiting the naive Lutheran nature of freshman girls at Concordia to get some in the event of the Apocalypse."

Breifly and smugly, he says "I did."

A saint, my pal Chris... an absolute saint.

42 neon signs on the horizon; rubbing elbows with the moon

Gravity. Tuesday the 14th of December (2004) @ 08:07 am
mood  :  artistic

My story for Fiction Writing; Final Draft. For those of you who have seen it before; it's been edited. Thoughts appreciated.Collapse )

13 neon signs on the horizon; rubbing elbows with the moon

Short-short Story: Postcards from Hell (working title) Monday the 16th of June (2003) @ 10:43 am
(other possible titles: The Clearing Shadow, Snapshots)

----

Do we track the paintings, or do the paintings track us?

There are pictures that watch you from across the room. There are pictures that show scenes excerpted from your dreams. Pictures that haunt you with their imagery, one way or another. I have spent the last decade collecting pictures- these and others- for the growing collection of a museum with diminishing attendance. So, if there is one thing I know, it is these- the pictures like song lyrics frozen in paint, like snapshots of truer worlds than ours. These are the sorts of pictures that I look for, that I hunt, that I stalk.

Then, there are those that stalk you.

We- Ray and I, in our long searches- have seen six pictures by six artists that we ourselves have appeared in. Some are new; modern art, whatever's in vogue- one, however, is a Bosch. Another is a rendition of the Fall of the House of Escher. Three of the sixth were painted before we were born.

We are always minor figures in the paintings, extras hurrying from place to place, glancing over our shoulders at a shadow that has grown ever more distinct since Hieronymous Bosch showed it in one of his infernal landscapes.

We have not as yet suffered the torments of Hell. We simply appraise each painting we find, whatever it may show, make our reports and purchasing recommendatios, and go on our way, doing our job. Every now and then we run across another, and the expression on our faces is clearer. We are closer to the action. The shadow draws nearer.

We- Ray and I- have simply taken to glancing over our shoulders, now and then. Never at the same time, if we can help it, and never looking frightened- we will not make this series of canvasses into a self-fulfilling prophecy. These looks assure us, for a little while, that no shadows follow us as we walk, save our own.

But even as we track down painting after painting, it does feel as though we, too, are being tracked- that somewhere in our lives, in our wake is that indistinct shadow drawing together scraps of form as it proceeds, ever closer, behind us. But we have never seen it, or any such thing, save in paintings. Snapshots taken rapidly from our future. Postcards from a Boschian Hell. Grey mornings in art galleries become nightmares, and the shape of the shadow is slowly becoming clear.

-----

Any thouhts or critical review would be appreciated.
6 neon signs on the horizon; rubbing elbows with the moon

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