Monday, July 6, 2009


This has been a week of two distinct activities: making clear moves towards increased earnings and stubbornly hiding from the necessity through active imaginings.

The clear moves: sending this blog out to agents and editors; making appointments for clients coming from Canada and California; sending notes to prospective clients; cleaning piles of paper out of my house so I can think more clearly; giving the dog a bath; anything that cleans, clears, opens or beckons that can move me forward.

OK, enough of that.

What I love most in life is any dream time I can garner - by which I mean finding a stimulus and letting my imagination run with it in a million different directions. My friends have often accused me of living in my head - well, what can be better than a self-generated realtity, or one where the events take shape according to one's own wishes and whims?

The stimulus right now is the HBO series TRUE BLOOD. Many of us are following the growing relationship of vampire Bill Compton and his human love interest, psychic waitress Sookie Stackhouse, through the wilds and wilderness of the Louisiana bayous. The vampire world, populated by houses that go dark in daylight, supplies of Tru Blood in local bars, an all-vampire dance club called Fangtasia, and often medieval justice, is coming out and colliding with the human one at every turn, doing its best to maintain an identity but also to merge into normalcy, if anything vampire can ever be normal. This show gives new meaning to the phrase "separate but equal."

My most stimulating character vote goes, this week, to the vampire Erik Northman, the thousand year old Viking who is the sheriff of District 5 where Bill Compton and Sookie live. Bill has already killed a fellow vampire in protecting Sookie, and Erik was instrumental in having justice meted out - Bill had to create a new vampire, a petulant teenager named Jessica, to replace the one he destroyed. The vampires stood around like kids in the parking lot of a shake and burger hangout, screaming and convulsing as Bill did his thing. Erik's face never changed expression.

Northman is a Viking and often spouts short sentences that are probably some version of Celtic and usually intended to make his loyal co-hort and fellow Viking-ess Pam do something she does not want to do. He is tall, blond, seductively handsome, dryly humorous and infinitely world weary after being stuck here for a milennium. His humanity is a constant but distant element of his personality, as though it has not been taken away but worn down by years of seeing humans come and go while he cannot. He is intrigued by Sookie - sees the power of her psychic talent - and is amused that by no means does she have one ounce of fear where he is concerned, unlike anybody else, even Bill. He is sending her to Dallas to find a missing TWO thousand year old vampire through her ability to hear peoples' thoughts, and Bill is going with her. She despises Erik for what she sees as barbarism and violence, and makes him pay through the nose for her services; but, in between having his highlights done, he finds time to compliment her on how good she looks in a red Fangtasia tee shirt.

I, for one, want to see more direct contact between Sookie and Erik. Bill is the kind of vampire you marry, but from Erik you can learn things. Erik lived through the War of the Roses, Henry VIII, the invention of printing, the rise of art in Italy.....maybe he had conversations with Michelangelo or Napoleon. Here are some of the possible scenarios that I see which might bring Erik and Sookie closer together or Erik more to the forefront. Sorry, Bill!

1. Erik goes to an all-sheriffs conference in Salem, Massachusetts where he runs into an old vampire girlfriend who wants to kill him because he left her for Anne Boleyn in Henry VIII's court. Sookie hears her thoughts all the way to Louisiana, and warns him before she has time to think about what she's doing. But since Erik has already saved her life once, they are now EVEN.

2. Erik turns Lafayette into a vampire so he can utilize him and be sure that he doesn't go to the police regarding the vampire methods of punishing humans. Sookie goes nuts; Erik says he thought she'd prefer that to outright killing Lafayette, who had not yet (in Erik's mind) been punished enough for stealing blood to sell from the vampire Eddy. And Erik says "believe me, this eternal life is punishment."

3. Erik has to end up in drag before this show ends. Please, let him end up in drag. But good, androgynous drag, no frilly lace things. Part of a celebratory show at Fangtasia - maybe Halloween, when Sookie will put on the petticoat she promised to Bill..... but who will be the one to open all those hooks and eyes??? And what was that in Sookie's drink?

The thing is that Erik is funny. The humor is dry and restrained, but it makes him perhaps the most well-rounded character in TRUE BLOOD. He has seen it and lived it all, but he can still laugh at it.

And that, right now, is what I need to do among the living.