Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Someone sent over a muse?

I wrote yesterday. Not the painful, one word at a time torture of - well, far too long - but simply paragraph after paragraph, until pages stacked up. The way I used to write.

Don't know what did it. Don't know why. But I am hoping to do the same today. If you have been out there thinking/praying/committing indescribable acts of sacrifice, saying "jeeze, whatever it takes, make her finish the damn next book!" thank you for the muse. I'll treat her well as long as she stays. I hope she likes Greek yogurt.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reading by the bucket

When I say I like long sagas, I am not kidding. (That's also why I write them.) It's always disappointing to me when a series seems to peter out under the weight of its own vast universe or the exhaustion of an author who just needs to crank out another formula book to make the payments on...well, whatever.

Rarely, a series seems to just enthrall me so much that I can't bear to read the final book. I put off reading Colleen McCullough's The October Horsebecause I dreaded the murder of Caesar. Finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowswas painful, although I respected the vision of the author very much.

But as I am in a stage of recovery, I found reading the final two books in the Thomas Covenantseries *excruciating.* I could not take the relentless doom, gloom, confusion, frustration, impotence...the miasma of bad questions and bad answers and "hey, didn't we do this already?" scenes of artificial peril.

Now, a logical person would ask, why did I bother? Well, I first read the series as a teenager, and lemme tell you, the self-absorbed stubborn, rapist, anti-hero *leper* was about as aimed at a teenage audience as any other way to wail about how unfair the world is and how alone you are in a sea of pain. It was, in fact, the antidote to a spate of mild Tolkien rip-offs that filled the fantasy shelves at the time, lots of magic swords and dragons and unlikely teams of wiseass adventurers who were seeking the Golden McGuffin. Not that I minded those - but you know, candy is for snacking. And if you looked at my fantasy collection *now* you'd see very little from that time.

But I held onto the Covenant books, for two reasons. One was that I always felt I was not getting a complete picture of the story, I needed to know more, reason more, to be able to appreciate the full spectrum of the tale. After all, the first one was really good; the second and third not that bad, etc. What could I be missing? And two, his amazingly turgid language.

When I read Steven Donaldson, man, I need my dictionary handy. I like to think I have a pretty good working vocabulary and a better reading one, but whew, this guy wears me out. Reading a few days ago, I was amazed to find three words in ONE SENTENCE that I didn't know. In one sentence! Now sometimes, I look a word up and find it's a really cool word to know. Penumbra was one of those. (Lord Foul has one around his form as he becomes real.) I looked that up and thought, oh, that is a good word, I gotta use that somewhere. Things like that make me happy.

But there is a line between learning a new word, phrase or concept and feeling stupid. There's also a part of me that thinks, "couldn't you have just said the forest was dark and creepy? Just a thought."

So there I was, feeling ill and tired and slogging through this morass of cold, uncomfortable things - and I mean this, his main character is always cold, bathes in cold water, scrubs her wounded body with SAND, sleeps on slabs of 30,000 years, no one in the Land invented SOAP? Running water? The idea that maybe a bathtub closer to the fireplace might be warmer? I dunno, have they all been sitting around muttering cryptic, dire warnings to each other and forgetting to, maybe...write shit down?? Come up with a warmer outfit than a thin belted tunic? (Which everyone wears, regardless of weather.)

The Despiser doesn't have to ruin this world - it's stuck in a massive dysfunction already. (Hm. New thought. Maybe that's WHY he's so desperate to get out. The place IS a prison, of unimaginative, rigid, short-spoken people who wouldn't know a happy day if it came wrapped in rainbows and unicorns. People who never invent things, never grow, never question, and above all, never get freaking WARM. I'd be ready to destroy the Arch of Time myself after a few hundred thousand years like that.)

So...I couldn't do it. Couldn't finish the final book in the series. It has my place marked and I think I will put it on the shelf for a while, maybe hit it up one last time in the future. I still think there's something I am not getting. Or, maybe I am just not that teenager any more.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Blatant Commercial Message

In today's Blatant Commercial Message, I would like to announce...


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*GASP! as you spot the very reasonable prices.
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This has been a commercial message from the Official Laura Antoniou Marketplace Cafe Press Store. Act now! The web is standing by.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I know it's been a while

I've been out of commission a bit. But I am on the road to recovery, helped along by copious amounts of chicken soup and the wonders of modern pharmaceuticals.

Here's some quick catch up -

I keynoted and taught at Master Taino's Master/slave conference in DC. The speech is now available on their website! Just scroll to the bottom of my bio.

If you had intended to register for the weekend intensive class that Midori and I are teaching/leading, the time is now. The cut off for registration can be met in two ways very quickly - when we reach capacity, or when we decide there is not enough interest to sustain the class financially.

This really is a unique opportunity. Having just been at the Master/slave event in DC, I can't tell you how many people were frustrated by 90 minute classes in complex topics, 5-minute Q&A sessions, competing schedules, time spent in fun but ultimately non-relationship related activities like shows and auctions and festive meals. 12-16 hour days.

Here there will be no stages no shows, no auctions, no contests. After some general concepts are shared, the rest of the time will be about YOU; what do you want, what are your dreams, what are your limits and strengths? The things Midori and I water down (and occasionally dumb down) the things we gloss over or simplify can instead be sharpened, deepened, made applicable to you and your relationships. You will have the time and space to really talk about your triumphs and challenges with other people who want what you want - the best, most conscious, personal D/s relationship you can have, complete with goals and protocols that come from your desires.

So to remind you:

"Passionate Bonds: Weekend Intensive for Conscious D/s & Protocol"

2 Locations / Dates
November 6 – 8, Washington DC
November 27 – 29, Toronto, Canada

Registration is now open

I am still on Facebook, and have my own little corner on Fetlife. Friend me at either place according to your tastes and free time. Join my mafia.

I am still writing. I hope to pick up the pace soon, ideas are sort of crashing into each other in my brain.

I am aware that The Marketplace, The Academy and The Reunion are all currently very hard to find. I personally have many of the other books though, and you can get them from me via my website and I'll sign 'em. If anyone knows of a store that has stock in the harder to find volumes, please let me know so I can tell people who are looking for them. And yes, of course we are working on a way to get them back into print and distribution.

I am still reading, although I have been re-reading quite a bit, recently the entire Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Including her concordance. Highly recommended, which might seem odd, as they look like a romance series, right? But add in time travel, feisty characters, travel, adventure, surgery, kidnapping, torture, and men in kilts...I like 'em a lot.

And since it was summer, I rounded things out with some Star Trek novels of light distinction and an old (1997) collection of violent porn called A Metropolitan slave Anthology, by jeb. Complete with illustrations by Beau. This is raw stuff; jeb has some strong fetishes and a weak writing styles, but I have to admit, sometimes that sort of "Plot? what plot? torture him some more!" format has its charm. But it reminded me of what fun their magazine was - back when there were porn and SM magazines that didn't look like catalogs for muscle milk products and/or very expensive clothing.

(No kidding, I actually thought a copy of Instigator was a recent protein supplement catalog I'd misplaced. Then I flipped it over.)

So anyway, I'm back and hope to be continuing to regain energy and focus.