Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What We Need To Do

Hello all! I know I've been gone a lot lately. With everyone tweeting and facebooking, I wonder if anyone reads blogs any more? (I do, I do!) For me, it is fun to quickly communicate with people I don't often (and sometimes never) see, but I do find this instant EVERYTHING stressful. It doesn't feel mindful. In any case, though, what I've been doing while I'm away from blogging (which I do miss) is writing. I am determined to make my living as a writer. Yes, I'm back to being a writer gal.

I have been determined to make my living for years, but then I was told by someone who worked for me that I couldn't make a living. He said what I wrote was beautiful and people didn't buy beautiful stories. And he only knew one writer who was making a living. Since I respected this person (and he said this to me soon after my mother died), I took it to heart more than I should have. And now I'm finally bouncing back from all that, I think.

What I said to him then and what I say now is this: The publisher makes a living; the editor makes a living; the printer makes a living; the agent makes a living; the cover artist makes a living. As writers, we are the creators of the stories: We should be able to make a living. Revolution comes in all forms. I've said it before and I'll say again: We need a revolution in publishing. Readers and writers need to lead the way. I'm going to keep writing the stories I want to write and hope that the readers (and publishers) will follow.

We also need a revolution in the food industry. I believe they will determine that this latest flu outbreak was be caused by or at least exacerbated by factory farming and/or the inhumane living conditions of animals. This has been true of other viruses as well. This doesn't mean you can't eat meat if you want to eat meat, but take steps to make certain the animals don't come from factory farms and that they have humane and clean living conditions. Crowded living conditions are vectors for disease. Stressed animals are more liable to get diseases. Also, write to President Obama and your congress people. Ask them to do something about factory farming.

Have you ever seen a factory farm? You can drive by them when you're going through California. They look like concentration camps for animals. Factory farms are inhumane, they're disease-ridden, and they cause an enormous amount of pollution. We get air pollution where I live from factory farms 120 miles away!

So if we're going to eat any animal products, it is up to us to make certain the animals were treated well while they were alive. This is for our own good, as well as for the good of the planet.

And during this time of hype and fear, let's all do what we can not to spread the fear. That can be the worst kind of epidemic.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Torture is Torture

Torture is torture, I don't care who knew about it. If Nancy Pelosi knew about it, it's still torture. It was wrong. It is wrong. There should be an investigation. Our country is not about torturing. We the people do not condone torture. We are supposed to be a country of laws. Let the investigations (and prosecutions) proceed.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Every Day is Earth Day

What are you doing? Here's a website with some good ideas. Have a good day: dance, laugh, eat, love.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009


OK. This had me weeping. First because everyone was making fun of her. It was disgusting. And then she began singing. Listen and watch here! Thanks, Melissa. Oh look! She's got a fan site. Sign me up!

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Overheard At the Little Yellow House

Man comes home from work and finds woman hunched over the computer where she has been all day writing. He goes into the kitchen and does six loads of dishes. Then he heats up dinner and eats it. He sits on couch exhausted. He asks woman for a glass of water. She goes into the kitchen and gets him one.

"I'm sorry about all the dishes," the woman says. "Where do they all come from?"

Man says, "I have no idea. You didn't eat anything today and we ate out last night."

"I promise," Woman says. "I'll wait on you all day tomorrow."

Man says, "No you won't. I'll be at work all day tomorrow."

Woman smiles. "My momma didn't raise no fools."

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Go here for lots of good information.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Poetry is Needed Here

I heard Alec Caldiero reciting his poem Poetry is Wanted Here as I was driving down toward Ashland, after going over the Siskiyou Summit. It wasn't the best place to start crying.

(Listen to it if you can. At the top of the poem you can click to listen.)

More and more I'm thinking and wondering about how things have gotten so off-balanced. When did our society as a whole come to value $$$ over people? I was trying to talk to Mario about this today and I wasn't very articulate about it. I squirm when people start talking about "branding" and "marketing" and the "bottom line."

This isn't because I'm anti-business. Economics and busidoms are actually interesting to me. Sometimes. I almost got an MBA. But I've always believed that the best businesses are not about $$$. They have values and ideas and ideals, and they create community within and with out the actual building where the people work. They are a part of the community.

Of course there have been robber barons for almost ever. There have been the mighty rich, the royals, thems up there. But what about us? When did the goal become to make lots of money? When did the making of money become valued over EVERYTHING: including our health, our lives, our happiness, our environment?

I see it over and over again. Obviously, I didn't pick my professions based on how much money I could make. I'm a writer and I'm a librarian. But I have chosen to stay in work situations that were unhealthy for me.

At one library job, they decided to remodel the building. I asked them to use environmentally safe products. This was fifteen years ago, so it was a little more difficult to do. Still, they didn't even try. I was treated as a troublemaker. They did the remodel. I came to work and smelled the chemicals. I knew it wasn't safe. Yet I kept working. I was afraid of losing my job.

I lost it anyway. I became too ill to work.

And now I see people I admire and care about talking about themselves as "brands." Cattle are branded, not people. I know that's simplistic but that's just what I keep thinking. I wonder, "What happened to us? What about peace? What about love? What about changing the world?"

As I walked Mario to work this morning, we discussed the word "brand."

"It's just semantics," Mario said. "You don't like the word brand, but you want people to know your name so that they will buy your books. That's branding."

"No!" I said. "It's not semantics. It's something very deep and it's symbolic of all that has gone wrong. People used to be valued for who they were and what talents they had." Like a shoemaker, a tailor, farmer, seamstress, etc.

"It's just a word," Mario said. "Stephen King is a brand."

"He is not," I said. "He is a human being."

"And his name sells books," Mario said. "That's a brand."

I imagined searing flesh as Stephen King had his name branded on his backside.

"Why is everything about selling?" I said. "It's this black hole of consumption. It's never done. Never satisfied."

Mario said, "It's a big topic. And I've got to go to work now."

I nodded and left him at work. I felt even more disconcerted by it all. If Mario didn't understand what I was saying, how could I get anyone else to?

I have to figure out how to articulate it better. Form it into words.

Poetry is definitely needed here.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Warhol & Moi

Mario just sent me this. Isn't it fun? You can go here and Warhol yourself.

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Friday, April 3, 2009


So at the G20 summit, the spouses had their own dinner, apart from the leaders. It wasn't really the "spouses." It was a dinner for the wives. Apparently they had other "important" women at the dinner, including Naomi Campbell. Tell me: in what universe is walking up and down a runway considered important work? Bleck, bleck, bleck. Yes, I recognize this is a snarky comment. But where are the women who are scientists, teachers, economists, engineers, doctors, wise women? Don't they exist in England? What happened to our world that all this superficial crap is considered important?

The whole thing reminds me of the Stepford Wives and makes me queasy. Anyone who thinks sexism is dead and that equality between men and women has been achieved need only go as far as this to realize it ain't so.

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Wandering Under the Old Sun

Near the end of the day. Tired. Sun is down. It is interesting lately that I don't have many words, do I? Perhaps the more I'm living my life, the less words I have to spare.

Do you suppose that's true?

It's good being here with my sister. It's good being here alone. I think it does a body good to be on their own sometimes. I like hanging out with the dogs. I like walking and walking and walking. A lot of cars here. It is California. It is as big as some countries.

Today we drove along the coast for a bit. North. The wind was too strong to walk on the beach. At least for me. We walked inland for a while. We were surrounded by poison oak. I asked the poison oak to leave us walk in peace. The wind whipped up the dirt and threw it right at us. Hoped no poison oak oil took a ride on the dust.

Hoping for redwoods tomorrow, but anything is okay. I've got sun and I've got my sis.

Sometimes I wonder why I travel. It is always so disconcerting. Always takes me so long to feel comfortables. Must be I've accepted that discomfort is tolerable because travel is always a pilgrimage for me.

When I walk down my sister's road, away from the townhouses, I pass a patch of Earth that feels like magic: tall grass, dilapidated garden beds, old green pickup truck, ramshackle house—and crickets. I like standing still when I first hear the crickets chirping. I listen to the crickets and look at the one pale red rose that droops a bit, like a dejected suitor staring at his feet. The rose makes me smile. The crickets remind me of home—Michigan home. The sound is just plain comforting.

As I stand listening, I feel as though the whole world is alive. Which, of course, it is.

I see butterflies everywhere. Even in traffic.

I am glad I'm here.

I miss my sweetheart. I'll drive home Sunday or Monday.

Just in time for the sun.

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All work copyright © Kim Antieau 2008-.