"Hey, Bob, close your office blinds." "Why?" "NEVER MIND! JUST CLOSE EM!" "What’s that squelching noise?" "Oh dear gods, get the salt! get the salt!" "Oh the humanity!" (i can’t claim it as a tale, as this was our riffing, as giant snails take over shanghai. )

"Hey, Bob, close your office blinds." "Why?" "NEVER MIND! JUST CLOSE EM!" "What’s that squelching noise?" "Oh dear gods, get the salt! get the salt!" "Oh the humanity!" (i can’t claim it as a tale, as this was our riffing, as giant snails take over shanghai. )

Hotel, Shanghai, China.
Exec level, in Puxi, Shanghai, China. If by some random freak chance, my writing ( or for that matter, my goldsmithing) causes some epic stir, I’ll retreat where its quiet. Here. Overlooking the city, in golden orangey tones and pretty art and a nice glass desk. Some of book one WAS written here. 
And they have the BEST exec lounge and buffet. Oh my word. But tonight its Toronto, with the dog giving a squeakytoy a working over. 
**
Someone compared some of my work to the latest “50 shades” and another writer I’m reading got hit with that stick too. Dude. Yeah. Keep writing. We’re better than that, I think. I kind of made an “yeeearrgg!” noise, much to the amusement of some. Ah well. You want the good brain tweak? Ask me for links. I’ll hook you up with the good stuff, your brain’s worth so much more. 

Hotel, Shanghai, China.

Exec level, in Puxi, Shanghai, China. If by some random freak chance, my writing ( or for that matter, my goldsmithing) causes some epic stir, I’ll retreat where its quiet. Here. Overlooking the city, in golden orangey tones and pretty art and a nice glass desk. Some of book one WAS written here. 

And they have the BEST exec lounge and buffet. Oh my word. But tonight its Toronto, with the dog giving a squeakytoy a working over. 

**

Someone compared some of my work to the latest “50 shades” and another writer I’m reading got hit with that stick too. Dude. Yeah. Keep writing. We’re better than that, I think. I kind of made an “yeeearrgg!” noise, much to the amusement of some. Ah well. You want the good brain tweak? Ask me for links. I’ll hook you up with the good stuff, your brain’s worth so much more. 

Shanghai, China,2011
Finished my final project for the term, and half way done with the goldsmithing pressure cooker that is this program. I can’t say its the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it ranks up there. I’m starting to realize that I push, and push hard. I run low, and I somehow find it somewhere to dig deep and keep going. I get home aching, sore, cut, bruised, burned, reeking of the studio, and I wonder how some of my more delicate classmates get by, because this is a program that’s not for the faint of heart. 
Not that I’m special. I just do what I do. And there’s a bit of freefalling silence, of having MADE it across that ocean you started swimming before realizing how many sharks lurked and the waves that threatened to sink you but the option to quit is as ridiculous as it is to go forward. So forward I went.
This pic in china…I wanted to add a bit of internationality to my characters, to their world. I didn’t want to make it all mysterious eastern stuff, because in my view, its not “mysterious”, it was simply a frame shift. A change of perspective. Leading up to the trip I was a bit hesitant, even for me the veteran traveller, but you go forward, because well…
I did wind up slipping in references to the vast network of scattered Houses and sanctuaries around the globe, mostly at first because my character is avoiding them because they want him dead. And later, he’s part of the world he was once denied.
I love the scroll/fretwork, the swinging red lanterns, the uptick of the eaves. A little community of immortals could find themselves at home just fine here. There’s a bustling market, full of mortals, lots of little side streets, perfect for what they need. Am I the only one who notices what goes on when people think no one’s looking? And no one during the day is much wiser.
However, during festivals, it does get very loud. So maybe here, they all sleep with earplugs.
For now, I think I’ll do some work work, and then settle in to some “I’m free of the pressure cooker for 5 months!” writing. And start feeling my aching body knit itself back together. 

Shanghai, China,2011

Finished my final project for the term, and half way done with the goldsmithing pressure cooker that is this program. I can’t say its the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it ranks up there. I’m starting to realize that I push, and push hard. I run low, and I somehow find it somewhere to dig deep and keep going. I get home aching, sore, cut, bruised, burned, reeking of the studio, and I wonder how some of my more delicate classmates get by, because this is a program that’s not for the faint of heart. 

Not that I’m special. I just do what I do. And there’s a bit of freefalling silence, of having MADE it across that ocean you started swimming before realizing how many sharks lurked and the waves that threatened to sink you but the option to quit is as ridiculous as it is to go forward. So forward I went.

This pic in china…I wanted to add a bit of internationality to my characters, to their world. I didn’t want to make it all mysterious eastern stuff, because in my view, its not “mysterious”, it was simply a frame shift. A change of perspective. Leading up to the trip I was a bit hesitant, even for me the veteran traveller, but you go forward, because well…

I did wind up slipping in references to the vast network of scattered Houses and sanctuaries around the globe, mostly at first because my character is avoiding them because they want him dead. And later, he’s part of the world he was once denied.

I love the scroll/fretwork, the swinging red lanterns, the uptick of the eaves. A little community of immortals could find themselves at home just fine here. There’s a bustling market, full of mortals, lots of little side streets, perfect for what they need. Am I the only one who notices what goes on when people think no one’s looking? And no one during the day is much wiser.

However, during festivals, it does get very loud. So maybe here, they all sleep with earplugs.

For now, I think I’ll do some work work, and then settle in to some “I’m free of the pressure cooker for 5 months!” writing. And start feeling my aching body knit itself back together. 

Shanghai, China, October 2011
Yes. Its my damn finger in the lens. What of it? Shanghai World Financial Center and the Jintao Tower. We went up to the viewing decks of the WFC, and as we approached, I had grave misgivings but the pride in me made me go forward, because when else will I ever get the chance? 
This sense of screwball daring is sure to be the end of me someday, the need to throw myself into once in a lifetime experiences, to take all you can and well, you DO get the best stories. 
What I had not anticipated was..well…its really fucking TALL. And that’s fine, but first you go through a long pre-presentation in swirly surround graphics, and it doesn’t do anything for someone who really kind of doesn’t like highrises, not so much the heights, but the sense of being “trapped.” I can’t explain. Highrise office towers and I, beautiful but terrifying to me. ( Its not some 9/11 pstd, either, this existed way before).
So. You get to the elevator and some perverse nut has decided the best thing to lift you 93 stories off terra firma is a small crowded white box with neon Space Odyssey lighting and blinking and a myriad of counters to tell you JUST HOW GODDAMN FAST you’re being shot off the planet. Its knee buckling terror. I was on the other side of the elevator from R, couldn’t grab his hand, ( just as well i’d have broken it), and we get out at 93, and I go “GROUND. DOWN. NOW.” and the poor attendant looks at me ashen and sweaty and nearly falling to my knees. 
They coaxed me to stay at the 93rd floor deck, because the next level was 101 with the glass floor. I wanted to. I really did. But I’m also not stupid. I didn’t fancy wetting myself in terror, 101 stories over shanghai. 
Its one brainbender of a view. I do recommend it. Possibly with a xanax smoothie first. 

Shanghai, China, October 2011

Yes. Its my damn finger in the lens. What of it? Shanghai World Financial Center and the Jintao Tower. We went up to the viewing decks of the WFC, and as we approached, I had grave misgivings but the pride in me made me go forward, because when else will I ever get the chance? 

This sense of screwball daring is sure to be the end of me someday, the need to throw myself into once in a lifetime experiences, to take all you can and well, you DO get the best stories. 

What I had not anticipated was..well…its really fucking TALL. And that’s fine, but first you go through a long pre-presentation in swirly surround graphics, and it doesn’t do anything for someone who really kind of doesn’t like highrises, not so much the heights, but the sense of being “trapped.” I can’t explain. Highrise office towers and I, beautiful but terrifying to me. ( Its not some 9/11 pstd, either, this existed way before).

So. You get to the elevator and some perverse nut has decided the best thing to lift you 93 stories off terra firma is a small crowded white box with neon Space Odyssey lighting and blinking and a myriad of counters to tell you JUST HOW GODDAMN FAST you’re being shot off the planet. Its knee buckling terror. I was on the other side of the elevator from R, couldn’t grab his hand, ( just as well i’d have broken it), and we get out at 93, and I go “GROUND. DOWN. NOW.” and the poor attendant looks at me ashen and sweaty and nearly falling to my knees. 

They coaxed me to stay at the 93rd floor deck, because the next level was 101 with the glass floor. I wanted to. I really did. But I’m also not stupid. I didn’t fancy wetting myself in terror, 101 stories over shanghai. 

Its one brainbender of a view. I do recommend it. Possibly with a xanax smoothie first. 

Yuyuan garden,Shanghai, China, October 2011
On a trip to China last October ( Yes, I logged serious airmiles, long story), our guide took us here, and I loved it. Smack in the heart of the city, with skyscrapers rising all around, was this bustling, but tranquil, if there can be such a thing in a city…park. Built by a son for his aging parents and then preserved in their memory.
It was a delightful rabbit warren of nooks and crannies and winding walkways and ponds bubbling with orange and red fish, like, the water was churning with them. Lots of little overhanging nooks that were meant for familial ceremonies, tea, writing, contemplation. 
Of course as much as I loved it, the writerly part of my brain snurched the locale, thinking how lovely it would be if you, an immortal, weren’t confined to a stuffy library in your velvets and lace, sipping wine as mortals curled at your feet.
Mind you, I never bought into that vampire stereotype. You’re immortal. Do things with your life. Create, read, make things. Do things. Hang out in a library with books untouched and contemplate the woe of it all? naaaaaaaah. 
Go out to a lovely little garden with your lover and kiss under the stars, in a little canopied shelter as it rains. Live. 
Never understood the angsty angry vamps. I’d go study biology, and biochemistry and art and whatever else. I’d relish the extra lifetimes to do and see all the things a mere lifetime makes you decide which ones on your great life list to do. 
But the garden, slightly fictionalized, appears in my writing in a few places, as sanctuary, just like I experienced in Shanghai. 
Still could use an extra couple lifetimes. Someone get on that. 

Yuyuan garden,Shanghai, China, October 2011

On a trip to China last October ( Yes, I logged serious airmiles, long story), our guide took us here, and I loved it. Smack in the heart of the city, with skyscrapers rising all around, was this bustling, but tranquil, if there can be such a thing in a city…park. Built by a son for his aging parents and then preserved in their memory.

It was a delightful rabbit warren of nooks and crannies and winding walkways and ponds bubbling with orange and red fish, like, the water was churning with them. Lots of little overhanging nooks that were meant for familial ceremonies, tea, writing, contemplation. 

Of course as much as I loved it, the writerly part of my brain snurched the locale, thinking how lovely it would be if you, an immortal, weren’t confined to a stuffy library in your velvets and lace, sipping wine as mortals curled at your feet.

Mind you, I never bought into that vampire stereotype. You’re immortal. Do things with your life. Create, read, make things. Do things. Hang out in a library with books untouched and contemplate the woe of it all? naaaaaaaah. 

Go out to a lovely little garden with your lover and kiss under the stars, in a little canopied shelter as it rains. Live. 

Never understood the angsty angry vamps. I’d go study biology, and biochemistry and art and whatever else. I’d relish the extra lifetimes to do and see all the things a mere lifetime makes you decide which ones on your great life list to do. 

But the garden, slightly fictionalized, appears in my writing in a few places, as sanctuary, just like I experienced in Shanghai. 

Still could use an extra couple lifetimes. Someone get on that.