Friday, 31 May 2013

LOL and fuck me sideways: I am so tired that tonight, when mum and dad took me to an exhibition opening in an old derelict mansion (great, great stuff), I forgot to put the batteries in the camera. I left them BOTH at home. I've never even forgotten to bring ONE until now. That's just ... beyond ... messed up.
Three more days.
When the professor told me if I want to be a professional writer, I have to think carefully about my relationship with editors and with the readers, this is what I have decided:

Readers will find you out if you deserve it.

Editors are a graveyard of good ideas.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

The roadtrip report from two days ago. Ye, I know. I'm lagging.

After the Monday in the capital and the Tuesday on the road, I was so tired when I got home, I don't remember most of anything of Tuesday evening. This must be what black-outs feel like. I could swear I turned down a marriage proposal from a local poet revolutionary drunk in a small town that I stopped to have a coffee break, but I just can't recall the details. There were probably a lot of things going on yesterday, also, and I can hardly remember any of those. A part of me runs great on autopilot, it seems. I’ve gotten a lot of work done and this morning there are several emails with thanks and jobs done. Also an empty ice-cream cup in the trash. I ate ice-cream? How? When? Which one??
Maybe the brain is acting like an over-worked computer – running processes just fine, but unable to relate to the long-term memory storage. Ah, well. Brain should know. I remember the trip was actually kind of a joyride.

Going on the photo road trip alone has its pluses and its big minuses. Plus is I get to drive myself and stop when and for how long I want. Need not having to justify every extended unexpected point of the journey. What I should do is get one of those stickers saying ‘caution, balloon following. Unexpected stops and swirls.’ That’s how I drive. I just wanna photograph everything. It’s funny how in places where nobody knows me, my confidence and my attitude is so much more relaxed and bold. I actually run around with my hair down. I actually engage in dialogue with total strangers. Many of them museum employees or homeless folk of the shoot sites, but still. 

My first stop was a small, ugly, unpleasant looking town that grew because of the coal mining industry and they situated the glass factory there. There are three neighboring towns of this description there. You can probably get to them through tunnels. I was supposed to photograph these in winter, but there was such foul weather and the scenery so bleak, I had no problem bluffing. These towns are very dear to me, because I am extremely fond of all-engaging establishments and can walk around, observing their once was way of life with great compassion. They are things of the past, obviously. In the recent years almost all of these establishments have gone bankrupt and towns, once industrious and tightly knit as communities, are just extremely poor and dirty now. 

See these? I know these things! I know how to USE them! There's the coalcase. The water heateing drawer with a tiny pipe. On the next pickie is the table used for making bread (among other things).
The second, the central, is a full blown mining station. Another plus to its appeal is the fact it has been shoved into a really very narrow gorge: narrow so that only a small river, a small road and one extremely narrow and a mile long building could fit. This town is a bitch to park in, because these streets were not designed for traffic and lately everyone has a car. Small and family, but a car nonetheless. If I had come with Steampunk, I wouldn’t be able to park here at all. A regime of tiny cars would have improved the situation, but who can afford a tiny car these days. (Ironically, I saw my very first Microcar today and what’s even more of an irony, I saw it just as the Batmobile (I’m guessing a really low, prowly, black Lamborghini with a lion’s roar of thunder for sound) drove past. The later looked like a joke. I mean, how would you even drive a car like that on our roads? It’s like taking a crystal shoe on a Paris-Dakar rally. 

The best part of the museum tour of this town is, and I’m not being ironic here, a street called The Field, where historians have restored the two old worker’s apartments, such as they once were. And such as the rest of the apartments in the buildings are now, only less neat. Kicker being, these were actually really nice places to live. When the mines and factories were built, workers’ families got these homes and that, even now, seemed like such a sweet deal. I can totally imagine living in a place like this. Dad working in the mine, mum working in the glass factory… Me, dreaming about whatever, but ending up in the glass factory as well. My sister working in the shop, my aunt a grade school teacher. My granddad a local doctor or something. Sure, that sounds like a nightmare to some, but seeing those apartments, it feels almost like a fairy tale. I can still REMEMBER some of the items that are on display there. These are very fond memories of my childhood. Our housekeeper used to live in a really tight, power-less, waterless deal in old downtown and I loved it there. Everything was niches! And there were no baths! (I hate baths.) And everything was small and had a purpose. You couldn’t fit not even a portion of the things I have in my room alone in that entire apartment. Then again I am a hoarder. [looks around] Good Gods, the things I keep.
My next stop was the geographical center of the country. That’s about a half-hour drive up the countryside, over hills, pass meadows, pass tiny villages, down forest roads, towards nothing, over nothing, pass villages, down country roads, up a knoll, around nothing with some forest left on it and there’s the proud monumental flagpole with a date carved in stone. Check.
Back over the ridge pass, I drove down to the other river valley (and such a vast and magnificent valley it is, my home), to shoot a small town with a Roman necropolis in it. The towns on this side of the ridge, however, are airy, colorful, clean and all over the place. If you grew up here it was probably because your parents moved here from out of the nearest larger town where they are working. Must say I’ve never actually been to the necropolis and just shot it from outside, nor have I ever been to the famous cave 5 miles northwards, which I also just shot from the outside. 

My last stop was a fair half-hour drive up the river run, through some of the most beautiful small villages I have ever seen on the entire planet, (prosperous fucking little region, isn’t it), benefiting mainly from wood-related enterprises and  river traffic. There’s photo I was after, as we didn’t seem to be able to get the rights for it to print it, so I just drove to the wood industry museum and re-shot it myself. No regrets there at all, that museum is adorable! And if I wasn’t married I was so high on tiredness and running around, I would probably have sex with the girl working at the ticket office right there in the deforestation miniatures room. (Some of that is the fault of a war victims monument of the town I drove through. I am viciously attracted to stratus of dying naked men of god-like stature. That has been an ongoing issue between the General and me, because he still hasn’t forgiven me for saying I would like to see him die bleeding in my arms after battle. Naked. Is that really such a strange fantasy to have? It’s not like I actually WANT that. It’s just a fetish. Some people skin cats for fucksakes. (Still watching AHS: Asylum.) Moving on.)

The last last stop was hopping over to my friend who works a couple of small towns up the river for the last cup of coffee. By then I have already been on the move for twelve hours and my eyes couldn’t focus properly anymore. I just sat, looking probably like I’ve been hit by a steamroller, happy, tired to fringes, next to a local poet. My friend is a shopkeeper and she had to tend to the store periodically, but that wasn’t unpleasant at all, as I just lay in the chair and felt good about that day. General was waiting for me with a dinner and having been so bored he cleaned the entire apartment. I have no idea how I got home. I am a super careful driver, so that part didn’t worry me, but I have to really think back hard to remember what we actually ate. I’ve posted some of the photos, which I obviously made, because that’s what I do when I come home from a shooting spree. And it’s possible we might have watched a movie. I simply do not know. We probably had entire conversations with me already long out. The next day I was so tired I could barely move. But it was a new day and new work orders in the mail. Which is, oddly, exactly how I love my life to be. 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Whoring for the camera (in front not my strong side.) and the General :))

I exist in a country where, say, some fucking tiny village is throwing some cute little event, welcoming people from near and far to come see their fucking tiny village (and hence upgrade their tourism income.) I find this event to be cute enough to write about it in a major nation-wide publication. I ask if they can send me some photos of the previous events. They ask a) who's gonna pay for the photos, b) how many copies of the book they are going to recieve and c) to edit the original text acording to their village event propaganda. Or else.

I am at the stage where I can't even talk nice back to people who ARE grateful for the free add. Which is probably impolite of me, but it is truly unintentional. Five more days.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Darker version of the latest trip (I'll make the happy happy later.)

Been watching AHS: Asylum. I haven't been able to do that before. Too scared. Scared shitless in the first two minutes, to be exact. Even though Jessica Lange is amazing and I could eat Zachary Quinto with butter on french toast. I wanted to. But couldn't. But now, with everything happening, I can watch monsters, little girls entrails, lunatics, psychopaths and gruesome torture victims like they're a Will Ferrell comedy. Though, something tells me it's starting to affect my work :)))

Monday, 27 May 2013

Home from the nightmare that is my professional life at the moment. The editor gave me the perfect good-bye words: Stick to your fiction. On top of the lot I also learnt that I will be getting a grand less of my fee, 23% than what's in the contract due to taxes, because perish the motherfucking though anyone should ever fucking create anything in this God forsaken county. This rendered me so incredibly defeated, I didn't even say goodbye back. It was like the last bitchslap. I got so sick I needed to cry so badly I just fled. Later I talked to the literature professor who told me I deserve no applause for the (professional) decisions I am making. How I should thoroughly rethink my ambition if I am to stop feeling stabbed. He told me it is not only common practice to give a professional's idea to a student for nothing but peanuts and gratitude and ultimately treat the pieces as no different. In this case I am the fool. As proud as I am, thrilled as I was, grateful for the opportunity and changed over the past year, I am less than an amateur. Allowing things like these to happen is nobody’s fault but my own. Editor told me many people think this book to be poorly executed and inappropriate for their publishing palate. She said they didn’t know whom they were hiring and that my drafts and blogging seem fine, but my writing is faulty and messy at the best of times. This was probably a warning that I should expect negative press and hate mail. Well, we exist in the world where 50 shades of Grey is the bestseller of 2013. My one bright light, my one extended hand of greatness and triumph in all this is my mock copy of the Gorgonaut I'm keeping on the desk (and in my mind as I go around). It is the finish line for which all this bile and sulfur is worth it. Nothing is as important as the Gorgonaut right now. After that, I'm free. And I'll be deciding what to do next. Either a novel, Goose, picture book Tree or my dad's autobiography which I would ghost- write. I'll give myself till summer's end to decide if I want to continue being the writer. The reviews will be out by then. We’ll just have to wait if real life happens while I'm making other plans.
            No idea how my Reader's Digest interview will turn out. That was the one appointment today that pleasantly surprised me. It was less an interview than a two hour fast talking coffee date with someone who speaks my emotional span lingo and who made me think that if being a writer was any easier, we'd probably just find ourselves something more fucked up to do. There's always a chance my behavior will backfire, but I think I'm fairly original and stand by my work, so ... Fuck it. All of this can go either which way. Once they removed the Celine Dion from the tray, we even had two really good songs in the soundback: Mad world and Iz's Somewhere over the rainbow... Appropriate. I know now I desperately need more portraits. The missing grand cut the new lens from the list, tho. That much about that.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Tiny karlins update...

I thought I still had two weeks of December to re-write but the editor says they were written well enough and so I needn't worry abut that anymore. Know what this means, right?

Saturday, 25 May 2013


Am stealing this, because on a gray day this is just too cool to pass :D :D :D

Friday, 24 May 2013

Unpleasant correspondence between the editor and I continues. I never know, in these confrontations, am I the righteous one or the villain? I believe she took three years of trying to add to the country's culture of travelling and turned it into a 200-page pamphlet. She, though, was just doing her job.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

I've started doing drugs. Well, okay, not drugs, the herbal stuff you can buy over the counter at a pharmacy, but I have never taken an anti anxiety medicine in my entire existence until today. Unfortunately, I have run out of things to break and magazines to rip apart and General has ran out of tools to fix the doors and door frames - and patience - so I stormed over to the local pharmacy and asked for whatever they have then downed four. No idea if they work. I feel kind of normal. Calm, I suppose. Which is okay, I guess, considering I've been going from rabid lunatic to despondent within minutes and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight with the damn book. And i'm sure the pharmacy lady will have stopped sobbing by now.

Nasville season finale ://

Nasville ended for the season - or did it? Well, yeah, it did, it'll be eons before the next season comes along and until then we'll have to wait to find out:
- did Scarlett say yay to Gunnar and was that a good idea?
- Did Rayna and Deacon survive and if they did, are they in a coma and if they are not, do they have their necks broken or vocals damaged or fingers cut of or whatever trial awaits these fine but unfortunately self-destructive people. (Good thing I'm not talented enough to be this crazy. Mixed blessings.)
- Is Juliette going to become a devastated crazy lady or grow as a woman and a star?
- Teddy whatever
- Pregnant chick - no surprises there. Doesn't ANYONE have safe sex anymore? And I hope the guy learns and does the paternity test sooner this time. 

Kudos to make-up people. Or onions.

Found out yesterday that the editor threw all my stories and all the poems out of the travel articles for the Little Karlins. That made me feel so incredibly stupid. So incredibly - why the fuck did I ever bother writing ANYTHING - all she ever wanted was to know the stuff that's on the web sited: where places are, how to get there, where to FUCKING PARK!!!!!!!!!?????, how much are the entry fees and how much do local hotels cost and where you can eat what. This is what they wanted. Oh, yeah, and what will their fucking kids think of the event. What fucking event???!! There's no text about events left. 

This is a baaaaad time to feel this fucked. About a week left. I am supposed to draw stuff for them and write the intro. I cannot write the intro. I hate what they did with the book. I fucking hate that my name is going to be on it. It's so incredibly fucking boring. They (or just she, I don't know.) took out every single fucking witty, funny, adventurous line. They said they want an original, now it's less than a copy of a copy.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Fooling around with Sara in the park

I wrote the very last article for the Tiny Karlins TODAY. Like, right now. There's still plenty editing and rearranging, but boy is that an odd feeling. I've carried and gathered info in my head for that book for the past three years. What now, I wonder? Inertia is a bitch...

General's line of the week:

In one of the articles I’m working on (and G is proof-reading before we move them on), there's a mention of a workshop in one of the ethnic museums called Ol' mama/Ol' papa have told me… So while reading, he starts to frown and says: »What is this? This can't be right. This isn't an information, it's group sex.« I come over and notice that when making the tilted line mark, I didn't push the Shift key hard enough and it said: Ol'mama 7 Ol' papa…

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Had SUCH am amazing stroll yesterday (I mean today). I've monologued almost the entire time, a passage for the beginning of the second chapter of Goose, in which the lead heroine is off to track down the perpetrator of the golden goose legend and she simply starts in an undefined time, undefined rural place, on a road through forests and fields. No rush. Just the absolute sensation of freedom an namelessness. Remembering how her parents would leave her be like this whenever she felt like leaving them go ahead and she just walked home until she was tired, then she hitchhiked. These days it's different, because the General is uncomfortable leaving her/me like this (and NOTHING could possibly happen, nothing but some really freak accident, like stepping on some really random snake or being bumped by some really random car). Making sure she/I have my phone and something to drink on me. Even though there's a forest creek running alongside the entire track. But he doesn't let me drink water in nature. And I have to call him when I get too heated up and tired (typically about an hour after the road starts being asphalt or if it's narrowing noon.) And there's that element of walking without music and - lo and behold - without camera. This is somewhat a part of my 'a day without screens' diet, though that one never stuck. (Nothing beats slacking the Sunday afternoon playing WoW) That helps me fight the urge to document everything and leave certain things as passing, fleeting memories even, just for myself. 'Mine'. Perfection, eternal and ever changing, a show for an unreliable witness, the memory.
Perfect stroll, really :) General even made me eat ice cream at the end, to cool me down. Course then I slept for 12 hours. But come Monday morning, I'll be freakishly rejuvenated. :))