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The freedom of being anonymous

So...it's been a while since I posted to this blog.
I blame it on starting my own website and blogging there, losing interest, starting a blog on blogger and managing two or three posts before it locked me out (yes, it locked me out - it seems I created a blog with an email client that blogger doesn't actually support. Unless I'm just being rum-drunk with my techiness again). AND starting yet another blog on blogger for my Nano. Which has run dead halfway through the month because when life sucks, it sucks everything good out of you. Not that I'm explaining or apologising for not blogging here in so long - I love LJ - because no one follows this blog (yay me!)

I could rant and vent and be as sarcastic and nasty as I want here. Going on my past entries, all I've done is rant and vent and be an overall dog about everything. The thing is, I had no reason to be that bitter. Life was good back then. Now that life is getting really tough I find myself kicking everything negative away from me instead of just outright lamenting.  This includes things such as...well, for example, the only game I've been playing for the past two or three years has been Devil May Cry 4. I got to mission 11 on Son of Sparda mode (playing as a casual gamer, since I have only so much time to myself) and then my Xbox flashed the red circle of doom at me. So, out I go and buy an Elite, which I thought would be slimmer and shinier but no, unfortunately, it's just the Xbox that comes in black. Anyway, so instead of switching hard drives every time I want to play DMC4, I just started playing it from scratch on the new one. Recently I got to the same level as I had that first time, and then Xbox Live became a reality to me and I had to create a new account to get it, so I had to start playing it again from scratch. Which I tried, but lo and behold, the console pops up a message that I need to clean the disc and restart the console when I try to move up to mission 2. So I said, Fuck you Nero, took out the disc, and put it away.

Little hassles, yeah, but if you've ever played this game as a casual gamer and your co-ords aren't that hot, you'd be very easily demotivated too. Anyway, so I have made my peace, I will probably never finish playing this game. One of the other negative things I've cut out is, relating again to DMC, the forums. It was fine and all when the kiddies threw their toys out of the cot at the release of the new trailer for DmC. That's to be expected, you know, kids are kids. What ticked me off was that the supposedly older members - people around my own age and older - acted exactly like the tantrum throwing children. I know it's a forum. I know a lot of fans were upset about the new look. But really, mass disappointment does not compensate for ridiculous behaviour. It was a 30 year old, I believe, who has labelled the new version of Dante as Dino - which according to him stands for Dante In Name Only. When I pointed out that Dino is the Flintstones pet, I got a negative response that I'm not taking it seriously and that I'm not a real fan. I'm pretty sure they expected me to cry, or something, you know the typical bullies on the playground will shove you around until you break. But it's just a game. And I am a major fan. I've been writing fanfiction for DMC (for over a year now - writing until 2am in the morning how Dante looks and speaks and reacts to whatever demons I throw at him - I'd say that classes as a fan) and doing fanart for DMC and I've watched all the cutscenes for all the games 50 times at the very least. So I don't have the action figures and I don't cosplay and I don't have all the games - I also don't have the money to spend on all of that. As it is I'm already starting to save just so I can purchase the new DmC when it comes out. I'm not a teen and I don't have the luxury of my mommy and daddy spoiling me with whatever I crave. To top it all off, I can say that I have officially watched the new trailer over 100 times. No exaggeration. I'm hungry for this game. Like a chocaholic would crave chocolate in a vegetarian cafe, or a thirsty person would crave water in the sahara. (stage whisper: I'm obsessed with this franchise - I hate the game mechanics of most other games - but don't tell ;) )

Anyway, so I've cut those two things out. I've cut my past 'friends' out, considering recent developments in my life, I know they won't understand and they've never really been my friends so no loss there. I have also come close to disowning my dad, just because of his reaction to the news I shared with him. I haven't though. I'm religious and it would go against my faith if I did that. But I considered it.

I now also have a thing against Thursdays. For the past two weeks I've gotten bad news on that day. Last week I was told my pup had to be put down because his kidneys were going. I mean he was old when I relocated, and prior to that he'd been dead for a good three or five minutes. He got stuck in a gate and the damn thing choked him to death. It was surreal - I freaked out, I tried to scream for help but my voice just didn't have the strength of urgency it should have had, and then when help arrived I just kind of went into shock, I think. I remember shaking and feeling incredibly numb and disconnected from it all. I mean this is my baby we're talking about here. He was my first puppy and I had a connection with him that I didn't have with any of my other pets. So...you know, considering the bad news I got the week before last week, my heart feels completely shattered. There's a hollow pit in me. And yeah, I'm afraid of what may come this Thursday.

The sad thing of it all is that I used to write as a method of therapy. I'm really not good at dealing with life and I used to always be writing - when I'm in a good place or a bad place, it really didn't matter, I'd be writing it out because I'm no good at expressing how I feel to others.
Now I don't even have that anymore. It's an emotional block that I don't know if I'll ever get over. But no matter how much I feel like I have a good story to write, whenever I think of sitting down to write it, the lack of passion sends me running the other way.

BUT. I'm not going to complain or vent or rant from now on. Ms. Positivity, that's what I'm going to attempt to be from now on.
Oooh, I just got an email that the next issue for Techday is out. So where's my copy?!


Vampires and book reviews

Wow. My head was swimming with vampires not a moment ago, and as soon as the blank space came up I hit it full force. Writer's block? Nah, I just don't know where to start! This whole Twilight/Vampire Diaries phenomena is tiring. I've given up accusing Twilight for having similar events like VD, because the Twi-addicts just throw that back at me and accuses that VD is a copy of Twilight. Which it isn't, since VD was written and published long before Stephenie Meyer became possessed  with the idea to write Edward and Bella into being.
It just bothers me that some of the things reminded me of VD when I read Twilight. I mean, Christopher Pike's vampire series certainly didn't remind me of VD. Anyway, I hate sparkling people who drink blood and are on steroids. Which is what they are in Twilight - you know, vampires do have fangs. Stephenie could have at least gotten that little detail right, but nooo... urg, it's so disturbing I dont even want to think about it.
Anyway, vampires are not my forte. And quite frankly, even though I have the entire Vampire Diaries in my book collection (and Twilight - which I would have burned if I hadn't paid for it - and Christopher  Pike's Black Blood and The Last Vampire), I'm really not all that much into vampires at all. They're an abomination of fiction, if you're a very, very, very hardcore Christian. I mean, I love to write about the  supernatural, but vampires have never been one of the fictional species I've actually found worth writing. Werewolves...maybe if I'm bored. Fairies, yes. Elves, yes. Ghosts, yes. Demons, oh yes. Angels, YES. Vampires...nahhh.
I read Anne Rice's Servant of the Bones recently. It's the only other book I've read that revolved around a genie. Very interesting the way it was written. Like C.S Lewis and Pike's writing - different. Refreshing.
Anyway. My all time favorite books and characters are Julian and Jenny and Tom from the Forbidden Game trilogy. Am I the only one who really enjoyed those books? There's not much mention of them out there. I heard they're going to be back in print next year. I feel like it's an insult that it's not getting any publicity. I'm hoping once fans get into L.J's VD (after the TV series gets them hooked) that they'll stumble onto FG and fall in love with it like I did. And hey, maybe one day there will be a movie made of it. But that's just hoping.
I haven't been able to find a book review for the Forbidden Game anywhere. Yeah, there are on Amazon and so on, but I mean a proper review by a devoted fan. Maybe I should try my hand at it sometime.
Not today though. I need to get supper ready and start chores. And I need to get Chapter 2 of my latest novel under way.
Sigh. Michellis, Michellis, my friend, finally!

The magic of our world...

I've been rethinking the concept of magic a lot lately. I once had a thick handbook drafted up with information from the internet. I knew all the different kinds of stones you get, from lapis lazuli to opaque to rose quartz, and how to charge them. I knew all the runes in the Elder Futhark, what they meant and implied, I knew how to cast the runes, how to read the tarot. And the fundamentals of 'magic'. Not that I've actually cast the runes or read the tarot or charged the stones. My characters did that for me. But, I've decided that it's all in the mind. If you charge a stone or carry a crystal around that signifies confidence, you will appear and feel more confident because you believe that this inanimate object has given you what you need. When really, it hasn't. You gave yourself confidence. But people often lack the security of who they are, they have no confidence in themselves, which is why they turn to stones and magic. If it doesn't work out, you can always blame the stupid stone for not working, or question whether you charged it right and try it again. No one will believe you when you tell them it was all them. Not some stone. Not some prediction. It was all you. 

That's my perspective on it anyway. I believe the runes were an early form of the written word. Nothing magical about them. It was just easier to carve straight lines into wood or rock when you had to leave a message or record something back in those days. A code, kind of. Like morse code. And stones are pretty. Under instruction from a friend once to hold a stone tightly in my fist to charge it with positive energy, I found I was clutching it so tight that I could feel my hand shaking (which I was told afterward was the stone, not my hand), and when I released my grip on it I was told it was charged because it was warm. Um. ??? Because I was holding it in my hand! So, what, when I get out of bed and my sheets are warm, does that mean I've charged my sheets? It's a silly example, but it's all silly to me. I don't believe stones and runes work. I believe that others believe they work for them. Not for me, though. I don't need to query with an inanimate object or light incense or stare into flames to get what I need. God provides it all for me before I can even think of asking Him. So, yeah. I do  believe there is magic, however.

As an example, have you ever sat on the beach at night when there's a storm raging, and watched the lightning dance across the ocean? That's magic. At least, to me it was. I wouldn't advise you to do it often, though. You put yourself at risk to get electricuted, ha ha. Azmyth and Luna have a scene like that in my book. Urg. Just thinking about it makes me want to carry on working on it.

Peter Hitchens on SA government

An article from the daily mail in UK.( I had to give my input on this)

Imagine how you would react if Gordon Brown opened and closed his election rallies by bursting into a song called Bring Me My Machine Gun, swaying and jigging to the hypnotic chorus of this menacing ditty.
And how would you feel if the Prime Minister were alleged to be taking campaign money from Colonel Gaddafi; faced 783 counts of fraud, racketeering, tax evasion and corruption which somehow never came to court; and had been acquitted of rape while his fearsome supporters mobbed the courthouse?

Then ponder how you would despair if, despite all these things, Mr Brown's party was certain to win the election whatever he did or said (for example, saying that God is on his side and claiming to be the Black Jesus, to mention a couple)
If you can picture all this happening here, then you have an inkling of the horrible process South Africa is now going through. Except it is much, much worse.
This fast-approaching catastrophe is a source of shame and apprehension to millions of honest people, white and black, in South Africa itself.

It is also a tragedy for Africa as a whole, a continent hungry for any reason to hope (I still question how my mother can believe that there is any hope for the land) And it is grave news for the civilised world, which needs no more failed states.
Yet I can promise you I will be accused of alarmism and pessimism for saying so, and quite possibly of 'racism' too. (he should have said - and definitely racism - in South Africa everything is racist, no matter how true or innocent)
Why? All the soppy admirers of Nelson Mandela - especially the BBC - gave the new South Africa a free pass when apartheid ended 15 years ago. They wanted to believe this complicated and important nation had become a sort of heaven on Earth where all tears were dried and all problems solved. (The only day that was heaven was when the Springboks won the World Cup back in 95 - there was no black or white on that day, because everyone was equal and shared triumph and joy. It was a one-off occasion, really)

Mr Mandela himself, personally decent but politically ineffectual and naive (yebo), served as both figurehead and figleaf for the new order. The world ignored or forgave his continuing friendships with the world's worst despots, and the fraudulent bungling that surrounded him. Now, looking frail, bemused and ancient, he recently had to be helped on to the stage by his suspect would-be successor, to endorse the grotesque rabble who seek to succeed him. Once, South Africa dominated the nightly news for weeks on end (it did, really?) Now the liberal media barely mention it. Why not? Because post-apartheid South Africa is a failure (and people don't like to hear the truth)

You don't hear about the terrifying crime (and terrifying is an understatement). You don't hear about the pestilence of corruption, or the absurd purchase of needless submarines and aircraft (Zuma spent millions on one of these just to drop him off somewhere in the country, what an ass) for a country with no serious enemies except its own elite. There is a little about AIDS, but nothing like as much as there should be (they dropping like flies) given the acres of graves that commemorate the government's moronic policies, of denial and folk remedies (including beetroot) -  (yes apparently eating beetroot cures AIDS - who would have thought!!! <-- sarcasm)
Violent xenophobic rage against uncontrolled mass immigration was played down both in South Africa and abroad because it did not fit the smiley picture beloved by the Mandela worshippers (its true, I wouldn't have left the country if it wasn't for the government and crime, and currently I'm applying for residency here in NZ because I'm never going back to South Africa)
And little is said about the unstoppable spread of  shanty towns, far outstripping state attempts to build proper houses for the poor (we call them townships). Electricity blackouts - the invariable sign of a country on the slide - are now frequent. (we're not allowed to call them blackouts in South Africa because it's 'racist' - they call it loadshedding. Imagine your in the middle of baking a cake and the electricity cuts off...)

The ill'runn nuclear power station inherited from the apartheid regime's atom bomb programme is beginning to judder and fail, raising fears of an African Chernobyl (wait, what???) Then there are the overstretched water supply, the railway system fraying at the edges and the unguarded borders open to migrants and refugees from every destitute nation in Africa.
It is largely thanks to these new arrivals that wretched, instant slums sprout right up to the edge of Cape Town's slick new airport, currently being expensively modernised ready for the World Cup next year during which Mandela groupies will doubtless once again swoon about the 'success' of the Rainbow Nation. (yeah, everyone who is suckup to Mandela and supports him should WAKE UP!)

Of course much of tourist South Africa still looks like the American West Coast: smooth six-lane highways, shopping malls (don't forget to mention that most businesses are shutting down because of the bad economy), big houses in shady gardens (most of which are surrounded by tall gates and barbed wire and electric wire to try protect the occupants), all tended by cheap black servants.
But close to the prettiness is fear and apprehension. Even in  the lovely Cape wine country, squatter camps have erupted on the outskirts of towns where chefs drizzle olive oil on to fancy salads less than a mile from open sewers and gang wars among corrugated iron shacks.
Here is another world, much bigger than the tourist paradise, and truly, cruelly poor. It is also increasingly hostile to the soft enclaves where the new rich and the holidaymakers are apparently oblivious of the filth, hunger, alcholoic stupor, drug-taking and wretchedness which lie just the other side of every hill.

Like ice and fire, these two societies cannot coexist forever, and when one is 40 million strong and the other one tenth of that, there is little doubt which will win. The only question is how and when the dreamtime will end (what you on about? it's already over, been over for a while!) In the coming weeks, South Africa seems to me to be taking several definite steps towards its cold, shocking awakening - as a full member of the Third World. The man who will lead it there is called Jacob Zuma. Remember the name. You are going to hear a lot more of it. (I so wish I could get my family out of there!!!)

Zuma is wholly African. He has at least four wives and 18 children. He has for years avoided standing trial on fraud and corruption charges. Nobody seriously believes he ever will (no, we don't, he's got way too much power): his approaching election is already spreading fear in South Africa's legal establishment. Mr Zuma joined the Communist Party in 1962 (he only left a few years ago), and has a dark and inadequately examined past as a much-feared intelligence chief in the ANC's ruthless armed wing, Spear of the Nation. He underwent 'military training' in the old Soviet Union in 1978, when the KGB was very much in charge of such things. (I still say, if they were able to assassinate John F Kennedy, then they damn well should assassinate this prick)

On April 22 he will become President of one of the world's most important countries. Comrade Zuma, as his supporters know him (who should all drop dead!), certainly is not dull. And South Africa will not be dull either when he takes over.
Many fear it will rapidly become a lawless kleptocracy when he comes to power (like it isn't already?), which he will do after a hopelessly one-sided and rather crooked election.

The grisly Winnie Mandela, a convicted fraud with a creepy past, is number five on the ANC's parlaimentary election list, despite the fact that as a criminal she is legally banned from being an MP. She is expected to be a minister in any Zuma government. Zuma's old friend and business partner, Schabir Shaik, has just been released early - on medical grounds, although almost nobody believes this - from a 15-year sentence imposed in 2006 for fraud and corruption, including a payment to Zuma himself. (Well, what do you expect - if you give an 'ex' criminal reigns over a perfectly flourishing country, hell yes he's going to turn it into a hellhole - I still hate, hate, hate F.W de Klerk - what an IDIOT)

Jackie Selebi, the National Police Commissioner, is famous for asking, "what's all this fuss about?" when taxed with the country's appalling levels of crime and violence. (He should be shot for that) He is currently suspended, accused of having - yes - a 'generally corrupt relationship' with a convicted drug smuggler and also 'defeating the ends of justice'. (good, let him stay suspended)
The once-admired Scorpions, a police anti-corruption squad symbolising the country's determination not to follow the rest of Africa into corrupt squalor (I remember them - people used to shit themselves when the name was mentioned) have been disbanded.(all hope is lost now)

So the approaching enthronement of this sinister, populist one-time Zulu herd-boy really ought to mark the moment when South Africa has to stop dreaming about rainbows and miracles, and recognise that experience is usually a better guide to the future than hope (I second that!) Zuma is attractive in some ways (no he's not). He has made his way up from utter poverty. He is a fighter, a keen and hypocrisy-free lover of women and a cunning charmer (I don't see anything charming about him)
He makes no pretence of being Westernised, and delights in wearing traditional Zulu dress, leopardskin, loincloth and all. He had an excellent singing voice, as I can testify (what, you mean screaming?)

He comes from the deep heart of Zululand, where his home is surprisingly modest but guarded by a modern security fence. It lies in the Nkandla district, in the lovely Zulu highlands a morning's drive from the Victorian battlefields of Isandlwana (there, we know where he lives, now to go blow him and his house up - any takers?), where the Zulus destroyed a British army, and Rorke's Drift, where a small British force survived against enormous odds.
South Africa's largest tribe are a proud fighting people, and Zuma will not be a mild leader, as Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, his two forerunners, were. This, not the far-off world of Cape Town, is the real South Africa. It is currently tense and frightening, as well as obviously poor and ravaged by AIDS. Young men, brought up in the warrior spirit, wander in angry and resentful groups, strikingly unlike the more peaceful Xhosas to the south.

My Zulu guide, Emmanuel, is afraid I might be mistaken for a policeman or rival political campaigner, so he lends me his jacket so I'll blend in better, and is pleased when our car is caked with red, as he is afraid it looks too much like a police vehicle. This area is generally run by the Zulu nationalist Inkatha Party, and opponents have died at their rallies. Interlopers are unwelcome. There are Zuma posters, but the ANC - mistrusted here as a mainly Xhosa party - has to come into these districts under heavy police escort. The posters are nailed on electricity poles about 15ft up, to stop Inkatha militants tearing them down.
'People around here will vote for Zuma because he is a Zulu, but in spite of the fact that he is from the ANC', one local explains. (where is the logic? vote for him cos he's Zulu? I wouldn't vote for a white guy if he was as horrible as Zuma. But that's their logic, and that's why the country is the way that it is)

The idea that tribal loyalry doesn't matter anymore in South Africa, spread for years by blinkered optimists, seems absurd here - and tribal rivalry might well play a part in the more troubled future, as it has everywhere else in Africa.

This is also a very old-fashioned place, where the price of a wife is still 11 cows, and polygamy is normal. Zuma has already considered how to cope with this tricky detail when working out which of his wives will be his First Lady. He explains: "There is no First Lady. If there is an occasion, one day we will have the wife we are with, another day we will have another one". He defends his domestic arrangements by saying of his more conventional critics: "many of them have wives, girlfriends and children that they try to hide. I love all my wives and children and I'm proud of them, so I'm completely open about it."

Several of his wives praise Zuma as a family man. Alas for him, another has indicted him from beyond the grave. Kate Mantsho, mother of five of his children, killed herself with an overdose in 2000, and left a devastating suicide note denouncing him. In one harrowing passage she said: "I hope it is true we will meet again - but not as husband and wife. I dare not take that chance again due to the bitter and most painful 24 years of married life I have gone through."

South African coverage of this event was muted, and many journalists denounced the small newspaper that broke the story. Zuma himself has carried on as if Kate's note had never been published. He is above all a Zulu, a man who holds to ancient traditions and customs. Whatever he can be accused of (and it is quite a lot) he is not an urban liberal. He once spoke of how, in his youth, he would knock down any 'pansy boy'. He has also said same-sex marriage was a 'disgrace to the nation'. He has hinted he might restore the death penalty. He is keen on traditional medicine men. He thinks teenage unwed mothers should have their babies taken away; that school prayers should be compulsory and that there is too much sex on TV (says the guy with four wives)

He completely lacks the Westernised polish and smoothness of Mandela and Mbeki. His political party, the African National Congress, sometimes seems aghast that it has chosen him as leader. Too late. The ANC's gruesomely Stalinist communist faction, the most powerful communist party outside China, thought they could use him as a battering ram against the more cautious Mbeki, a cold and solitary academic.

Mbeki sought above all to keep Western investors happy, thus disappointing the communist radicals who wanted to invest in socialist projects. They hoped they could control Zuma or perhaps push him aside after he had done their dirty work. But he is far cleverer than he looks. At first sight he is the jovial double of the Michelin man, bald, bespectacled and wide-mouthed. As he campaigns, he wears a Nelson Mandela T-shirt (his aides sport Jacob Zuma shirts) and a bizarre black leather cowboy hat.
I watched him electioneering in and around the bleak and stony town of Springbok, in South Africa's remote and conservative North West. He arrived for a carefully staged visit to Elizabeth Cloete, a 49-year-old who dwells on an arid hillside in a hovel made of plastic sheets, and lives by scrabbling through rubbish dumps looking for saleable scrap - a trade that brings her about 6 pounds a week.
Her neighbourhood is the bitter end of rural South Africa, many of whose inhabitants exist, in a permanent haze of cheap drink or drugs, defeated and without hope.

Zuma must know that places like this, and their still crueller and more violent urban equivalents, are evidence of the ANC's failure, in 15 years of unrestricted power, to keep its ambitious promises to the poor.
He actually admitted later that day: "We cam here to see the conditions. The conditions are extremely bad."
But when I tried, courteously, to speak to him on the spot, having failed to obtain an interview over several weeks, he brushed me aside. Worse, I was menacingly reproved by an ANC apparatchik, outraged that I should dare to question the next President.
I was also upbraided by a smug, dreadlocked member of the Johannesburg Press corps who sneered at me, "This is Africa, man, we do things differently here". They certainly do.

Zuma's admission that conditions are dreadful was about the only truthful thing in his speech, made to a few thousand listless supporters in a bleak rugby stadium on the edge of town, after efforts to work them into a frenzy had failed. (hahahaha)
"Viva ANC!' shouted the master of ceremonies. No response. "Viva Zuma!" No response. And you can't blame them.
Speaking in English, the future President has all the charisma of an ashtray. The scripted slogans fall from his lips like blobs of cold porridge. He talks of the fight against crime as if he were not himself overshadowed by criminal charges and the unabashed friend of convicted crooks.

As he drones, the chatter from the audience becomes almost deafening. Most of them do not speak English anyway. He wins a little applause for claiming that corrupt officials will be removed. One departing member of the crowd openly sniggers as Zuma declares: "We don't want people to say that the ANC is a corrupt organisation because of corrupt individuals." (hahahaha)
But the multitude springs back into life when Zuma switches to his native Zulu and, in a rich and powerful baritone, begins to sing the song with which he will always be associated, dancing and swaying as he does so.
Bring Me My Machine Gun is surprisingly catchy, and easy to join in. It only has two lines, and the second goes, rather politely, "Please bring me my machine gun".

What is he doing here, in this arid dorp halfway to Nigeria? The truth is that the ANC faces a rebellion, and is trying to quell it with a mixture of power and pay-outs. A breakaway, called the Congress of the People (COPE), has just scored suprisingly well in council by-elections near Springbok. Zuma's allies, furious that for the first time they face serious opponents, have let their rage show in ways which have rightly scared many peaceful South Africans.

The ANC youth league chief Julius Malema, a portly young loudmouth with a gift for rabble-rousing, has declared that his movement was ready to 'take up arms and kill for Zuma'. He has since been made to apologise, but many are unconvinced. Another ANC youth leagure militant said COPE 'behave like cockroaches and they must be destroyed'.
The word 'cockroaches' leaves a specially nasty taste in Africa. Hutu fanatics repeatedly used the same insult to describe their Tutsi neighbours in Rwanda, shortly before the 1994 massacres that horrified the world.
No African is unaware of this. Allan Boesak, a leading figure in COPE, told me the ANC tries to silence his party by the crudest methods.
He warns that a Zuma government will mean 'far more concentration of socialist power, less democracy, new laws to curtail the Press'.
He also claims the ANC tried to recruit him as a parliamnetary candidate, assuring him it had plenty of money for his campaign - including cash from the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.

"They think they own democracy," he said, and adds that public officials who endorse COPE are harassed and denounced by colleagues: "When we try to book a venue, the hall is always 'under repair', or if that fails they organise discos next door to drown out our speakers".
In Springbok, the COPE offices are just down the road form the ANC headquarters. Painted on the side of the COPE building is a large arrow pointing directly at the ANC building, and the words: "Tell no lies."

The ANC response has been cynical beyond belief. Ever since COPE did well in local polls, ANC officials have been promising free food parcels to those who stay loyal to them. Regrettably, the tactic has already won back significant support.
Judging by the Springbok rally's warm response to Jacob Zuma's sing-song and the food parcel stategy, the ANC steamroller will triumph here and almost everywhere else.

The one place most likely to resist is the Western Cape, the area around Cape Town itself and the heartland of Helen Zille, the popular and effective mayor of Cape Town and leader of the Democratic Alliance.
She knows the Alliance must break out of being nothing more than a white liberal party. But alas she is a white liberal, albeit a very impressive one.
I caught up with her at Stellenbosch University, where she was speaking to an almost wholly white student audience, switching easily from English to Afrikaans.
Unlike Zuma, she is a witty, fluent orator. She does not break into song, and critics joke that if she did it would be 'Bring me my cappuccino' rather than 'Bring me my machine gun'.

Her aides, however, point out that she also speaks fluent Xhosa, Nelson Mandela's language, and that many of her meetings are full of black and brown faces.
But her cogent message really appeals only to the well-educated, who are not influenced by tribal loyalties, or open to bribery. Her words are heavy with fear for the future.
"The closed crony system," she warns, "leads to power abuse and eventually to a criminal state." She urges her supporters to concentrate on reducing the ANC's vote and get it used to the idea of real democracy. Otherwise it will misuse its excessive power - something she warns 'invetiably leads to Zimbabwe'. Liberation movements such as the ANC, she says, make bad democratic governments because they believe their goal is to seize power.

The diagnosis is impressive, cool and clear. The cure: a real law-governed democracy, is attractive. But the prognosis - a rigged and menacing election, a government founded on lawlessness and an uneducated, cunning new leader, an African 'Big Man' with his roots in tribe and tradition - is not so good. (not at all)
How distressing to think it might never have come to this if the world had been more critical, and more interested, during the long wasted years of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Wide-eyed idealism has let us down again, as it always does.
It was not, as the fashionable people claimed, a fairy story. History did not stop when Nelson Mandela ended his long walk to freedom. They are not all going to live happily ever after.

Here's the link to it:

It's about time a foreigner voiced the reality of South Africa. People don't believe you when you say 'crime is pretty bad here'. They think you exaggerate, or that you're racist, or naive, despite the fact that you grew up in South Africa and know what it's really like, first hand. So, if the world won't listen to a South African, maybe they'll pay more attention when a foreigner breaches the 'facade' the South African government puts up.


Second best

I'm at a loss. I put meaning into my character's names. And if I don't, then I put something valuable regarding their name in somewhere. Example: Galen feels at ease being led by Lilith to Faye, because he assumes Faye is a fairy - a being he is more familiar with than humans. So, I feel I need to keep her name as is. So I decided to change Galen's name, only to realize that his name plays an integral part of the story near the end, when the runes not only predict his past, present and future condition but also blatantly spells out what (or rather who) is behind the sudden change in weather patterns. Which took me a while to write.
Damn my stupid subconsious! Had I realised at the time that I had already read about a Prince Galen and a witchy Faye, I'd have changed their names on the spot.
I don't want to cut those scenes. I loved writing them, a put a lot of effort into them. It hurts just thinking about cutting them. But I've already re-christened them in my mind to Azmyth and Luna. Which means I'll have to revise that whole book - again. Urg. What a pain. And ouch, it still hurts.
But it's for the best. They'll become more real to me - like Sebastien and Isabelle. At the moment they outshine the main character... which isn't such a great thing. Samwise didn't outshine Frodo, Ron didn't outshine Harry, Jessica didn't outshine Bella, and Dee didn't outshine Jenny. Actually, I shouldn't even mention Jessica and Bella - that was a bad example.
Anyway. Still putting together the details, I've got the rough draft up already.
Recently finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. J.K Rowling is brilliant. I envy her success and her talent. But if she could do it, so can I. Did anyone know that it took her more or less 5 years just to put down the plot for the books? Isn't that just crazy? But it paid off now, didn't it? I'm trying to model her and do the same, focus more on the plot and getting the details right, but I have this burning urge to start writing the books first. I've already done the intro to the first book. I write scene by scene, so I'll dash to dot down whatever comes up in my head.
Arg. I've got to go now anyway. Little Mister has been backfiring.


It's been a while!

I forgot. Okay. That's the honest...partial truth. Okay, I thought I forgot my username and password. Obviously I didn't, since I'm posting again. I haven't had time to update my blog, that's it. Well... not really either. I just haven't felt like updating until today! Yes, it's been a while, haha.

So... what's changed since my last post? Well, I didn't buy the katana (thank goodness, what was I thinking??? I've got a toddler, for crying out loud - sharp things and toddlers don't go hand in hand!) Um... I found a job that December, went back home on holiday and had a Tiger-ific first party for my baby, then went galavanting all over the place with my best friend (we did shopping together, I bought clothes for her baby girl, she bought clothes for mine, it was ridiculously fun), and I had a brief bout of teenage rebellion when we hung out with another friend (I smoked nearly an entire packet of cigarrettes and had a nicotine high, so I had to drink some coffee to sober me down - it was my first and last smoke anyway).

Regardless I still had my mother phoning me every hour asking me when I was coming home. Seriously. I'm not a kid anymore - stop bugging me!!!! Arg! Anyway. I was right, either way. I really DID need that time for myself. So, got back from holiday - only to find an email saying that my services are no longer required at my job. This after they gave me the false belief that I would go permanent with them when I got back from holiday. And lo and behold, September my bf popped the question. On our '8' year anniversary, too. It was romantic, and so totally unexpected that I thought I'd eaten something to waste me. It took a while to sink in, really.

Life is good. I just need to keep seeing it that way, that's all.
Anyway. I'm working again. Got two bubs to take care of. Still working on my books (le horreur). Speaking of work, I should probably do some!

nuthin much to say...

I saw a katana going for an odd $200. I'm tempted to buy it and name it Yamato. It's pretty slick and cool, not exactly like Vergil's, but heck. It's the closest thing I can get to it. Besides, it's not like I'm going to find a sword like Rebellion or the Red Queen, right? Which sucks, but anyway. Do you need a license to have a katana? Ar, stuff it, I'll get it anyway!
I've bought a book on Ancient Egypt. It's given me some ideas to put in Kingdom Demon. No help regarding Beyond Derenvere just yet though.

DMC - Delinquent Macho CraZy

Have I mentioned my obsession with DMC as of late? At first I was all gaga over Nero...then  I realized he was a bit uptight BUT still funny, though pretty mellow in comparison to Dante whose childish wit is more than entertaining throughout DMC 4 - plus he stuffed up Nero every time they were face to face even if the kid put up a really good fight. Inexperienced, I guess, but with Dante's smooth smokin sick style there is no room for error.
Ah, yes, then I got pulled into Dante's history and got to know Vergil a bit better (I can't exactly say which of the two are hotter seeing as they're identical twins) but Vergil's personality is such an opposite from Dante's it's ridiculously amusing. He's more serious and fixed on gaining 'more power' <- said in Vergil's voice--- 
I love them both, they are both just too damn good in their own fighting styles and when they fight each other it's like they set the world on FIRE!!! And when they do the JACKPOT thing....eeeeeeeehhhhhh, Melt melt melt!
I swear if I could get a guy like that it would be just as good as winning the lotto. 

Eh. Well. If I could get a guy like that who ISN'T half demon... which shouldn't be that hard, I mean how many half demon breeds are there roaming earth, right? LOL. 

Anyway. I got my book done in my set time limit. I think when I review it in another month or so I'll probably combine the new version with the original, seeing as both are relatively good in their own way but I want something brilliant. Not like Harry Potter brilliant although I would love to have that much success with it, but I'd like to gain a magnitude of fierce fandom (for my characters, not myself - I can be praised for creating their awesomeness later) and thus far Faye has been quite appealing to a couple of people. But I'll leave it at that, for now.

Baby steps

So, yay. Good news, finally. I actually got started on the book!
I've written 1 and a half pages. It took me 1 hour and 20 minutes to write that much. Which is insane! This is going to take forever to get done!

I want to carry on writing. But I've got to get supper started. Bleah. I hate cooking. I hate the kitchen. I hate pots and pans. I hate food. It's keeping me from writing!!! Grrrrr....


Here we go.
Details of Pergani have officially been laid out. Laws and traditions still to be supplied. You don't need a government if you have a king and queen, do you? Okay, well, I say here they don't. King and Queen. Thema and Oba. What the hell is Prince in ancient Egyptian? Burn it! Another thing to research. Urg. I'm so sick and tired of researching. I'm done with the research. I want to get started now, thank you very much!
So, with Coorall and Argelos mainly being in the background and not really being brought to light until way later, and Baronia being a 'complimentary' mention, Derenvere is the centre point. Lovely Derenvere. Peaceful and eerily beautiful, with drop dead gorgeous Galen. 
Sigh. Galen, Galen, Galen. 

Okay. So, Beyond Derenvere was the original book. It was meant to be a single book, end of story. Then I got this brilliant idea to make a series. Beyond Derenvere has moved to second place and I'm now planning to start the first in the series, Galen's Lair, and I'm dying to start with the third book as I had the plot down to the A before I even thought of a title for the first. Confused? Don't worry about it. I've got to take it one at a time. I'm not a good enough writer to tackle all three at the same time. I'll confuse myself and make a big mess. Besides, what I don't put in number 1 I'll put in number 3. Yay! 

I need to get my copyright. Anyone know how to obtain that? I don't know if I'm going to get an agent - you can publish through lulu and retain your copyright, but I recon I'd need an agent anyhow. Just incase you get an idiot who decides to steal my work or idea, so I have someone with a reputation and who knows what needs to be done get on their asses. And a few lawyers won't hurt either. Play it safe.

At the moment, Michellis is making his appearance. What an arrogantly charming little smuck, I don't know if I love him or hate him. Oh, he's had many names in the past. But no name will really do him justice >and you've called me some pretty retarded names in the past< and he's still a punk. Punk!

I'll get to Michellis at a much later stage. He's in a totally different genre and story, I need to focus on Galen right now. >Galen, what a retard!<  Although obviously Michellis is quite demanding for my attention. Argh! What to do?? I wish I could kick him on the ass and lock him away in the closet until I get this done, he's such a distraction. Damn punk.