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Don't You Think You're Falling?

Didja miss me? Yeah, right ;)

Been away for four days inflicting my personality on innocent bystanders. Wrote a tiny fiction thingy some people liked sufficiently to give me a book in a small brown wrapper. I think I'll rewrite it, put it out to the flashy little podzines.

A tipping point, I think. Planets aligning or something. Pluto in retrograde. Everywhere I turn, I'm hearing that it's time to quit crit grouping in the way I've been crit grouping, whether this is said to a room of us or just alone. Maybe time to climb out of the safe little clubhouse and just lob fic at friends when it needs a quick view. And I am very grateful by the offers to do the same I also collected like shiny little shells on a string through the weekend. I took no pictures and got very little sleep and used my liver as a dumping ground for vile black fluids of the bitter Candice Jane Dorsey persuasion.

I found a very good book of poetry a couple of weeks ago and bought a paper copy. You should read it. Buy it if you can. It is a treasure that lurks below the water of consciousness with all the promise of a ticking alligator.

ETA: Translation for SOME people who think I'm being too poetic. You know who you are.

  • Went to Ad-Astra in Toronto
  • Had a good time despite my nervousness and annoyingly over-compensating personality
  • Entered the flash-fiction contest and won second place. The prize was a book wrapped in brown paper. The humour of this was brought to mind.
  • I'll be redrafting said piece and adding it to the dozen or so other pieces I have in circulation to markets.
  • By Coincidence, my own statements and things being told to me are pointing to the idea that it's time to move beyond the current format of my crit group. This culminated with Julie Czerneda's workshop where she explicitly made this admonition to everyone present. I talked to her about it afterwards (she was one of the flash-fiction judges), and she made a convincing case. But part of the problem is that she and I have very different chemistry, and although I respect her wisdom and experience, I can see where it doesn't apply 100%, so I have a modified view. In the final analysis, though, I have to agree.
  • I was deeply gratified at the number of people who I also respect and admire the work of who offered to provide the main thing that the crit group has helped with, which is short relevant feedback and reality checks (alpha/beta readers so to speak).
  • I brought a camera, but found I was not really interested in photographing anyone or anything. I'm really not into the whole media thing. I think it's partly that I'm on the other side of the career and marriage boundary, and cosplay is really what SCA was in my day: a hook up service and a means to the hominid mating ritual of display and congregation. I appreciate fantastic costumery, though. In moderation.
  • I went to the CZP party, and I have a real love of bitters. There was Fernet Branca, and I partook much to everyone's horror and dismay. When I read Candace Jane Dorsey's Black Wine, I always imagined the liquor of the eponymous title as being something like Fernet Branca
  • I took advantage of being there to buy a copy of Helen Marshall's book Skeleton Leaves, which is a marvellous take on Peter Pan, sexuality, coming to maturity, and the attaction/influence of a psychopathological condition. I don't think I've enjoyed a book of poetry as much since I read Howl twenty five years ago or so. And I've read some rather fine poetry in the intervening years.

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
peadarog
Apr. 17th, 2012 08:54 am (UTC)
You're becoming more and more obscure. Time to recalibrate your poetry settings ;)
barry_king
Apr. 17th, 2012 11:28 am (UTC)
Nay, Sirrah. It is YOU who must come under the shade of this red rock!
barry_king
Apr. 17th, 2012 11:57 am (UTC)
There. The red rock can come to O'Guilin.
peadarog
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:03 pm (UTC)
Dare I follow up your mohammadean reference with a link to U2? Oh, I think not!
barry_king
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:07 pm (UTC)
Damn. U2 was never my group, so my head isn't cluttered with too many references, unless they come from the Unforgettable Fire album which everyone hates except me and it's Brian Eno's fault.
peadarog
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, you need to go back muuuuuuch further than that.
barry_king
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, no. Much further than THAT!

But interesting... Thanks!
peadarog
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC)
Arrgghh! You're wittier than Macavity and wiser than the Magi.
barry_king
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:17 pm (UTC)
No, there's NO ONE like Macavity!

[for he's a fiend in feline shape; a MONSTER of depravity]
peadarog
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:18 pm (UTC)
I guess I'll just have to put on my white flannel trousers now and head off for that walk along the beach :( Curse those mermaids!
barry_king
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:20 pm (UTC)
Don't forget to roll your trousers. And avoid fruit.
peadarog
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:21 pm (UTC)
Good point! And I'd better start reading up on Michelangelo if I want to score some chicks.
barry_king
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:23 pm (UTC)
Needn't bother. They're all talk.
peadarog
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:24 pm (UTC)
Sadly, I need to bow out here and do some work. I don't feel at ease in this new dispensation of yours.
barry_king
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:40 pm (UTC)
No, this could go on forever.
moon_custafer
Apr. 17th, 2012 12:46 pm (UTC)
Coincidence - I think sovay mentioned Fernet Branca in a post just yesterday. She didn't like it as much as you (i.e. at all).
barry_king
Apr. 17th, 2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
No, most people find it a little like imbibing drain cleaner. I've heard it said somewhere (can't remember) that it has something to do with having a particular genetic disposition to bitter flavours, some sort of additional group, like the 6% of the population that don't taste PTC as bitter, but as "something else" in the supertaster test.

All I know is that I first tried an Amari (Amarum?) after dinner when I was eight-ish and the flavour stayed with me for life. It's hard to find amari most of the time, since so many people hate it, and the ones that you do find are usually the awful cloyingly-sweet kind like Unum and Jagermeister. The latter being popular in North America more of a my-scrotum-is-hairier-than-yours sort of college ritual. But I think it's more an acquired taste. My early teens were spent eating very very hot curries, so I think the intensity is something I just got used to.

So I like Campari, and Fernet Branca, and various pastises/pernods/ouzos/rakis (as long as they aren't too sweet), Punt e Mes and Cynar. And of course Chartreuse (the real cask-strength one, not the one watered down to make the legal alcohol limit), which in small doses gives you multifaceted dreams. I'll even sometimes have a thimbleful of Angostura.

I think we don't have enough of an Italian community here in Kingston for LCBO to stock most of the good ones, so we end up with stuff like Alpenbitter, which is more of a wino's amari. So it's hard to get hold of where I live.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )