Archive for August, 2015

I will be… Beloved

Yep, the capitalization is intentional.

I heard a song today, a song that made tears sting my eyes. In sorrow, perhaps. In rage, maybe.

白狐 White Fox

我是一隻愛了千年的狐  -  I am a fox that has been in love for a thousand years

千年愛戀 千年孤獨 –  A thousand years of love / a thousand years of loneliness

長夜裡你可知我的紅妝為誰補  -  in the long nights, do you know for whom I apply rouge

紅塵中你可知我的秀髮為誰梳  -  in this world, do you know for whom I comb my hair

我是一隻守侯千年的狐  -  I am a fox that has waited for a thousand years

千年守侯 千年無助  -  a thousand years of waiting / a thousand years of helplessness

情到深處看我用美麗為你起舞  -  let me use my beauty to dance for you (in my love)

愛到痛時聽我用歌聲為你傾訴  -  when love is painful, let me use my song to speak for you

寒窗苦讀 你我海誓山盟銘心刻骨  -  (when you were) studying by a cold window, we vowed forever to each other
金榜花燭 卻是天涯漫漫陌路殊途  - (when you) succeeded at the exams and married, we were lost to each other

能不能讓我為愛哭一哭  –  may I cry for (our) love?
我還是千百年前愛你的白狐  -  I am still the fox that fell in love with you a thousand years ago
多少春去春來 朝朝暮暮  -  how many years have passed, how many days and nights
生生世世都是你的狐  -  I will be your fox for all of my lifetimes

來生來世還做你的狐 — (repeat of the above and then…) next reincarnation I will still be your fox

Additional clarification:

The lyrics said that she has 守侯 waited for a thousand years. But, really, that phrase is more than that. 守 can mean to guard and 侯 means to wait (often with anticipation), so it carries connotations of safe-guarding and expectations. It’s not just waiting, essentially. It’s not sitting around doing your own thing, with a book or your own life, it’s waiting with anticipation for something eagerly awaited, something precious that she is keeping safe.

寒窗苦讀: to study by a cold window – usually used as a metaphor for how difficult it used to be to be able to pass the Imperial Exams. Usually used in conjunction with ten years, as in cold window ten years, as a shorthand.

It seems that he saved her a thousand years ago, when she was a fox, and now that she was able to take on human form, she came to him while he was still in his poor, struggling days, and they vowed their love to each other. The usual is that for most scholars back in the day is that they had to spend a lot of time studying and was thus often starving/broke because they didn’t have the spare time to work. That’s part of the whole “cold window, bitter study, ten years” thing.

Then, he made it, passed the imperial exams, and then got married. Back then, it was not uncommon if you were first or second in the exams, that the emperor would give you a princess or a noble to marry, or often if you had a sponsor, the sponsor would give you their daughter in marriage. It’s implied that he married someone else because of that sort of thing and so she made like the little mermaid and turned to foam or something.

Just …no. No. No no no no no no no no.

Thene and I were talking kink the other day and she mentioned that some people have a kink for pining. I came back with the retort that I got over that kink by the time I graduated from college.

I really want to take that fox by the shoulders and shake her. A thousand years and you haven’t learned better? Get your heart broken, be betrayed, and you haven’t learned enough to say “fuck it” for next lifetime?

This is what’s considered romantic, which is the frightening thing. Talk about socialization and brainwashing.


If I had a thousand years, I’d do something with myself. If nothing else, I’d teach myself to be self-sufficient. I’m a fox who has managed to break the laws of the universe enough to be near immortal and take human shape – dude, I have much better things to do than pining over some wretch who doesn’t appreciate me properly.

You get one chance. You betray me and we’re done. What’s this bullshit about doing it all over again? No. Just no.


I need some “fuck you and the horse you rode in on” songs to get that out of my head. So much nope.

On the other hand, I totally want to fanfic this now. Of course, she’s going to dump his sorry ass once he betrays her and find some other hot fox to run off into fairyland with.

Soft. Softer. Softer still.

What’s in a name?

My cousin said the other day that she liked 君 (jun), word for ruler or lord or gentleman, the word that our names share, because it was more 霸氣,  more domineering, more confident, more more, all those things that a girl might want in her life in this world.

I love that word too, but I don’t know that I want to keep it.

What I thought, but didn’t ask was: what has being hard brought me anyways?

A reputation for being a force of nature. Broken expectations that shattered my love. Ruined health from all the anger and despair I choked down with the notion of being strong. A bitter spirit and a cynical mind. Being thought to be impervious and thus fair game. Simultaneously the person who surprises people with my love of long hair and longer skirts and the person once compared to a declawed kitten.

The thing is, it’s not enough to be hard. It’s not enough to be domineering, arrogant, and unrelenting. Not unless you’re prepared to go all the way, dive off the edge of the world, and declare yourself to be an island unto yourself.

Logic. Reason. Sobriety. All tools that I used to keep myself safe when in actuality I was drowning in denial.

According to the Chinese stars, I carry three tigers, a torch, and three knives; the horoscope for my faults say that I “possess a significant capability for damage”.  Essentially, I’m a walking arsenal, a one-person army. My brother laughed and said that my new nickname should be Godzilla.

The thing is, like I said, it’s one thing to be Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan, but it’s another to be Cleombrotus or Napoleon. Or worse, someone who isn’t even noted in the annals. Either you go all the way, or history will sing of someone else.

All of the fortune-tellers that I’ve met have looked at my stars and shook their heads. One of them, more recently, said that my independence and stubbornness was … all right in this day and age. His tone said it all, that it was good that I was born in these times because if I were born in an earlier age, I would have been sent home to my parents in disgrace as a wife discarded for lack of virtue.

I know it.

I look in the mirror and I see a hard woman. An unhappy woman. The lines between my brows. The grooves that bracket my mouth. The downward tilt of my lips in rest. The awkward way a smile sits on my face when it’s not buoyed by genuine mirth.

Ignorance is bliss. I’ve always thought thus, but in the past I would push past it with the thought that if I could not be soft and content in my ignorance, I could persevere, could push past with sheer will and surmount everything that stood in the way of my happiness.

But no.

In my stupidity and youth I made a fatal mistake.

I thought I could be a sword, lethal to obstacles and a sharp tool to gain me what I wanted, what I needed. But I wasn’t. I was a dull chef’s knife, one prone to slipping and cutting into the hand wielding it, inefficient and cursed.

No. I don’t want to be one of those women who use their femininity as a weapon. I don’t want to be demure and resigned either.

However, there has to be a happy medium, one in which I can set aside my constant need for revolution and be content with defending what I want and need.

I don’t want to be a broadsword, nor a needle, but perhaps I can be a soft sword. I’ve always been fond of that (mythical?) weapon and I should have taken a hint from that. Soft enough to be used as a belt when at rest, resilient enough to be wielded as a whip, but capable of driving into stone when infused with will.

The key right now is deciding what I want, what battles I will fight, and what lines are drawn. If nothing else, at least I have the enviable chance of being able to figure that out right now.

There is a poem that goes “ten years I have honed my sword/ never has it been tried/ now I show it to you/ and ask what injustice is there”.

What sword have I honed and what injustice is there?

Updates, things and stuff

So. August was a bit of a wash. By which I mean all of my plans and good intentions ran into reality the way Typhoon Soudelor wrecked Taiwan.

Which, by the way, was kinda awe inspiring in the sense of watching a volcano erupt really puts a human in their place. Half the trees in the city are gone because they got uprooted. Windmill blades were torn away. The winds blew so hard that glass shattered in their frames. Huge numbers of people lost power and water and a good number of people lost their homes entirely. The person who came up with the saying “human perseverance can triumph over nature”? I don’t know what shroom he was on, but it must have been the good stuff.

The good news is that all the visitations should be all done now. I went to Japan with my family for our annual “quality time” trip, then to Guangzhou China to see my grandfather, came back to Taiwan and took a train down to Hualien to see my aunt.

All that travel was exhausting and literally sickening; I spent about five days in bed to recover and I think I’m only now over the worst of it. Mixed up somewhere in there was the worst depressive episode I’ve had in years and that alone took about a week to get past.

Tangent: I no longer get peevy about authors dropping off the face of the planet, leaving unfinished series behind. It’s upsetting, yeah, but I got no room to talk, and if the statistics are true about writers having some of the highest depression/suicide rates around…

The bad news is, of course, that almost nothing got done.

Welp. September is a new month and I’ve decided to mute everything except the writing until I get at least one thing done, even if it’s just a short. No more accepting dinner invites, no more travel, no more visits, no venturing out from the writing cave.

The other good news is that I think I know what’s wrong with the second book now. I remember how I struggled with book one until I woke up, slapped myself, and cut it from 122k to about 62k. There’s a lot going on in the book right now that I don’t think strictly needs to be there and I was running myself ragged trying to pay equal attention to all the things that needed it.

So. Characters are going to get trimmed and events are going to get pushed back. The latter is kind of problematic because I really don’t want this to turn into a ten book series. Especially because the cover artist who did my first two covers has disappeared off the face of the planet with my third cover and I can’t manage to get in contact with her. I might need to suck it up and just have a different style of cover for the latter books in the series, but right now the uncertainty is killing me and any motivation for the project.

Yeah. I’m a ghost shrimp. Everything has to be just so or I start freaking out instead of being productive.

Then again, Phoenix Chosen is currently quietly sitting in the corner in terms of interest and sales, so I might be able to just shove it in a corner and ignore it for a while until I figure out the artist.

Or, I just might release an epic-length book and have it in parts, with each part being a discrete book.


We’ll see.

My Kelly-darling has come up with crits and edits for the first portion of Goddess in Waiting, so that will probably end up being what I concentrate on in September.

*stares up at the heavens* No more typhoons, please.


Take a deep breath and…

When you have to start a conversation with “don’t freak out, but…”, it tends to mean that said conversation doesn’t really tend to happen.

How do you tell someone that you’re thinking about suicide? That dying seems like a winning proposition, that everything just seems unbearably hard, that the burden of dealing with this shell, this drama, this day, you, just makes you want to curl up and stop breathing?

I’ve thought about suicide for decades.

I remember learning about God at Harvest, the Catholic school I went to briefly when I was in second grade, and coming home to pray at night to be taken away. If I should die before I wake… oh how I wanted to die before I woke again. Still do, if you want to know.

I remember praying to the buddhas and the ancestors when I was in fourth grade, that my life should be taken and tacked onto my mother’s so I could just go. Softly, gently, full of relief into that welcoming dark.

I remember pressing the sharp edges of my wood carving tools into my skin when I was twelve, resulting in my mother screaming at me about how terrible it was of me to threaten her that way. How sinful it would be, to desecrate the skin and flesh given to me by my parents. No, no mention of how I felt, whether I needed help, if I had trouble, if there was anything anyone could do to ease the pain.

In the end, that’s the problem, isn’t it?

Almost everyone takes it personally when someone commits suicide or talks about it.

Suddenly it’s no longer about my pain, my life, my choices, but the pain of other people, whether or not I’ll ruin the lives of other people, about how this one gigantic choice isn’t actually mine to make at all.

So I don’t talk about it. I talk around it. I mention it and then I shy away from saying the truth as soon as I see that first instinctive recoil, the defensiveness roaring forth until it’s not about me anymore but about them.

The truth?

If someone offered me a completely painless and surefire way to die right now, I’d take it.

If someone said they could erase me completely from this world, no memories, no pain for anyone, and that it would be quick, I’d go for it, even if there was pain involved.

Don’t ask me questions like whether or not there’s anyone worth staying alive for.

The brutal truth is that no, there really isn’t. Think about it; don’t take it personally and think about it.

I’m in this life 24/7, which means an almost constant battering from my various health problems, depression, and other people’s applied drama.

Isn’t it better to take a step back, realize that no one really wants to be responsible for someone’s happiness around the clock, that no one cares enough to shelter my ridiculously fragile mind from the world, including myself, and accept that it is what it is?

Sure, with sufficient money and enough insulation from the world, I might be content, but is it really worth that effort for anyone? Is it even possible?

I don’t actually think so. So why not die if given the chance?

People like to say that “it gets better”. The thing about that is, no one actually wants to put a timeline on that shit.

It’s been twenty or so years, give or take a couple, and I still don’t believe that whatever pleasure I’ve gotten outweighs the misery. Odd how no one else really agrees that two decades is enough time to say that I’ve given it a good faith effort.

Wouldn’t it be better, to die and allow my organs to be harvested so that someone who actually wants to live, can? Too bad that isn’t an option or I’d hop right on that. Just imagine, my one death might mean that many other people could live. Where’s the bad in that?

One of the only things stopping me at this point is that I’d feel sorry who had to find me and it seems a waste when my organs probably could go toward some good use. On the other hand, considering the poor sod who had to find Kayleigh’s mom’s exploded remains, not killing myself doesn’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of saving anyone horror.

I’m honestly at the point of laughing whenever someone goes “what would you do if you only had six months to live?” because I would cheer, take out all of my savings, and just go to town.

I don’t want to hear “it gets better” because you can’t guarantee that. You really can’t.

I don’t need to hear “what can I do; I’d love to help” because there’s nothing you can do and it’s pointless to pretend otherwise.

What would be helpful is if this post helped even one person realize that sometimes talking about suicide isn’t about a call for help; it’s not an accusation; it’s just a fact.

Hi. My name is Katje and I want to die and no you can’t help and I don’t want help.