Friday, January 31, 2014

Hafiz break!

I'm a big fan of Hafiz (or Hafez), a Persian poet who lived 1325-1389 CE.

Sometimes, when I am completely stressed out, I open a book of his poems and read. I always come away refreshed and enlightened.

Here is one for you today, translated and re-imagined by Daniel Ladinsky, called I Know the Way You Can Get.

I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of love:

Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
And nose.

Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to cahng
To help your mind and soul.

Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
Tomb of Hafiz in Shiraz.
And throws sharp stones and spears into
That innocent
And into one's self.

O I know the way you can get
If you have not been out drinking Love:

You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.

You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.
You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once

I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love's

That is why all the Great Ones speak of
The vital need
To keep Remembering God,
So you will come to know and see Him
As being so playful
and Wanting.
Just Wanting to help.

That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me,
For I am a Sweet Old Vagabond
With an Infinite Leaking Barral
Of Light and Laughter and Truth
That the Beloved has tied to my back.

Dear one,
Indeed, please bring your heart near me.
For all I care about is quenching your thirst for freedom!

All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rewriting the past.

I recently read this question and it started a flood of thoughts.

So I thought I'd share the pain!

If you could sit down with your 15-year old self, what would you say?

I think I'd say, "You are going to live, live, LIVE like you want. You rock!"

And you?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tag, I'm it.

C. Morgan Kennedy insisted I talk about writing. The nerve!

Here are the questions she wanted answered:

 What are you working on? 
 How does your work differ from others of its genre? 
 Why do you write what you write? 
 How does your writing process work? 
1. I am working on an erotic coming of age novella, tentatively titled "Auntie Vamp." I'm finished with the first draft, half way through the second draft, and I should have the third draft done by March 17th. Auntie Vamp herself is based on Mae West and she shepherds her great-niece Holly into discovering her true strength. 
 2. My work differs because I write woman-centric pleasure, with no coercion and no "bargains" of sex in exchange for something.  My heroine doesn't cook or clean and she wants a life in paranormal politics.
3. I write explicit, complicated stories because I despise books that fear women's sexual and personal power. A woman should be able to name her desires, both sexual and intellectual.
4. I flail a lot.  I hand write my brainstorming, plotting, and tricky scenes. I do have a loose outline at the beginning of the process, but it always goes off the rails by the middle of the first draft.

Thanks, C. Morgan!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monster Mash.

Welcome to my very first blog post, from February, 2009!!

Hello, world, and welcome to Linda Mercury's Blog!

Today's topic is Monster Movies. How curious is it that a woman who loves to write vampire novels doesn't watch monster movies?

I made up for lost time this week, though, by watching The Mummy (1999), The Mummy Returns (2001), and Nosferatu (1922) all in one week.

What exactly does a novelist take from watching movies? This novelist, at least, takes the importance of setting, body language, and story structure. How do they keep the pace going or not going? How do the film makers create a sense of anticipation and danger? Can I identify the story arc for each character? How can I translate an action scene into words? What little things 'make' each shot special? What makes a character sympathetic?

But most importantly, I get images of really hot men. I confess, I now have pictures of Arnold Vosloo and Oded Fehr pinned above my writing desk. Their physicality and charisma definitely have inspired me to write a much hotter hero than before.


Noferatu was a different proposition. Dracula's Secret explores facets of the Dracula myth and as such, I figure I'd better watch some of vampire classics. The print I rented through Netflix had the most distracting music I'd ever experienced in a silent film. Something about cheerful string arpeggios when Count Orlok is being his creepiest just really killed the experience. I turned the sound off and enjoyed the film that way.

What did I learn from Nosferatu? The importance of soundtrack! Listening to frothy, uptempo music when I'm writing something frightening or even sexy is self-defeating, to say the least.

What monster movies do you like? What do you get from them?