September 06, 2004

battle of the sexes

I am doing some work with myths, stories, and fairy tales, in books, movies, anywhere you find them. I am finding stories that have a strong male protagonist, usually with weak females, or a strong female protagonist with weak males. Can anyone give me some good examples of stories, tales, myths, with strong male and female characters both?

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March 11, 2004

APA template

By request, here is a link to the APA template.

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February 04, 2004

I love this work

I have an exciting new gig courtesy of the Writing Center at UNT. I get a lot of clients from them, students who want papers edited or occasionally written (not really, although with all the work it takes to edit them I might as well have written them). The latest student is a communication arts major, and she's good. This isn't an editing job, it is a job helping her with her ad campaign, coming up with headlines, maybe helping with some copy if it gets that far. I don't think she will need much help, her work is brilliant. She is probably just nervous and has a bit of writer's block due to the importance of this campaign. Her client is cool, too, an urban zen ikea kind of minimalist furniture store. I meet with her tomorrow night.

Should be fun.

addendum: it's all I thought it would be. :D

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December 27, 2003

through the eyes of a child

Let me tell you about the time I had a piece of my soul taken from me. I have it captured on film, but the photo is misleading.

The picture is from the 1970’s, of a young girl, 4 years old, on a tricycle on the sidewalk in front of a house. The trike is red, and the front wheel is much larger than the back two. Her dress is pale yellow, one of those short little-girl dresses that connect to the body only at the sleeves and shoulders, billowing down from there to mid-thigh. Little white sandals cover her feet. The sun is shining brightly and her eyes are squinted. There is a slight breeze. If you were there, you would see small goose-bumps on her tiny arms.
Beside her stands a tall man, a boy really at the time. Maybe 18. He is wearing a tuxedo and orange Converse sneakers. He is the Boogie Man, and I hated him. Whoever snapped the photo didn’t know it at the time, didn’t know I hated him.

When I was young, I didn’t know compassion. I had no idea what it was. What I knew was that I was happy, or sad, or hurt, or pre-occupied in my fantasy world where everyone was beautiful and happy and magical. I was perhaps more aware of what I liked and didn’t like, something that faded over time as I learned to put my wants aside in favor of the wants of others. But I didn’t know any of this back then, I didn’t have the social or mental capacity for these thoughts. But I did know when people were mean. I didn’t think that there might be some reason, that maybe they were hurt deep down inside. They were just mean.

There were different kinds of mean. My daddy was mean, but there was a spot underneath where I was safe, something inside him that would have killed anyone who harmed a hair on my head. On top of that was a harsh exterior that told The World they couldn’t take advantage of him. A fake kind of smartness, so people don’t know that you think you’re stupid. Cynicism equals intelligence, don't you know. Head ‘em off at the pass, don’t let anyone get into the inner circle that is where you keep the real you hidden in a treasure box. I figured out early on that my body is a box I live in, and people can do what they will to it, but they will never get to the soul inside. But there is a crack in the box. And the meanness seeped in.

The man in the photo is another kind of mean. We call them sociopaths now, but as a 4 year old, I didn’t understand that. I saw someone who would torment animals, hurting them physically, sometimes to death. Those were probably the lucky ones. Anything smaller than him was fair game. I was much smaller. Whereas I feared my father in that I was afraid to disappoint him, I was afraid of this man because he hurt me. I didn’t tell on him. I was scared. And I thought it was normal at the time. Other kids, my age, would do similar things. Let me wear your boots or I won’t like you any more. Paint my fingernails or I will kill you. If you tell my mom, I will kill her too. They say “kids say the darnedest things,” but I think kids know full well what they are doing. They learn it somewhere, and I learned to fear it.

Right before the photo was taken, I was riding my tricycle in front of the house. There was a blue pickup parked on the street. The Boogie Man lived with us, and was dressed up for some reason. “C’mere,” he said. I did and he grabbed my arm and started hitting me with it. “Why are you hitting yourself?” he would say, laughing like someone who delights in the pain of others. “C’mon, stop hitting yourself! What’s wrong with you?!” I was so angry tears were rolling down my cheeks. “Stop!” I yelled, over and over. Of course he did - when the front door opened. Why did no one ever see him doing these things? I was so alone. Out of the house came someone to take a picture of the Boogie Man. I couldn’t have told you who because I was so focused at the time. “Get in the picture, Alicia,” I was told. And I always did what I was told.

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December 22, 2003


I am the spark in your eyes at night
I am the flame that burns in your heart
I am the promise of endless light
I am the lover of the dark

I am the fire Prometheus brought
The eternal flame of hope to all
I am the inferno Mankind wrought
The beautiful token of your fall

If you would catch me, beware my friend
Your undying pleasure may be your end

© A. Holston 11/4/94

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