Hello!

Every now and then I like to say hello to the visitors from far afield. So this is for you: Scunthorpe and North Shields (UK) and Culverden (NZ). Hope to see you back again soon.

IWSG: Celebrating

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

Right now I’m caught between the desire to land an agent or [reputable] publisher and the option to self-publish. This is mostly due to my own impatience, but it also comes in part from feedback I received from an agent at the San Francisco Writers Conference. My current manuscript is a YA contemporary update of Hamlet, and the agent said that’s already overdone. That I should go choose a lesser known Shakespeare play to rework instead. She said I could then sit on my current manuscript so I’d have it if whatever fresher thing I wrote took off, or that I could self-publish it. The gist was: it’s good to have another manuscript banked. At the same time, there are no guarantees. And it wouldn’t necessarily work against me to publish it myself since they wouldn’t technically be a series.

Well. I’ve got a couple agencies still reading the manuscript, so maybe not all hope is lost. But if everyone passes . . . I don’t know what I’ll do. At least I’ve outlined a couple more Shakespeare books to write as well.

Question of the Month: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/finish a story?

Depends on the achievement. If I land a contract (or agent, or option, though those things have then fallen through), we usually go out to eat. If I just finish a draft or something, I don’t do much of anything special. Maybe eat a cookie or something.

Sun Conjunct Ascendant (pt 2)

One of my most popular posts is the one I wrote titled “Sun Conjunct Ascendant” which actually talked more about Aquarius than anything else. So now I’ll tell you about the actual aspect, or really, my experience with it. Specifically, however, I’m going to discuss what it means between two people (what astrologers call “synastry”) when one of them has their Natal Sun on the other’s Ascendant. (Sounds kinda dirty, doesn’t it?)

First let’s recap the function of your Natal Sun. In astrology, your Sun shows your core being. It doesn’t, however, always show how others perceive you. That’s determined more by your First House, which is where your Ascendant comes in. Your Ascendant is the sign where your First House falls.

For example, my Sun is in Sagittarius, but my Ascendant (aka “Rising Sign”) is Aquarius. So I come across to others as more like an Aquarius, though deep down I’ve got a lot of Sagittarius happening.

Okay, so what happens when your Sun is conjunct someone’s Ascendant? Well, in my personal experience—and I’ve had this happen fairly often in my life, where either my Sun is on someone’s Ascendant or vice versa—the Sun person pulls the Ascendant person into their orbit. While there is definitely mutual attraction of some kind, the devotion seems always to be stronger on the side of the Ascendant person. The Sun person feels a bond, too, but it might be more like a deep friendship, while the Ascendant person often falls head over heels for the Sun person.

Depending on the nature of the Sun person, he or she may struggle with the pressure of the Ascendant person’s love. And depending on the nature of the Ascendant person, he or she might become clingy. There’s so much more to synastry, but the thing about Sun conjunct Ascendant is that it seems to go one of a few ways: either the two people are devoted to one another for life; or they form a terrible, co-dependent relationship in which the Sun person may use/abuse the Ascendant person; or the Sun person runs far and fast because the Ascendant person is so intense.

Remember, though, that none of this is written in stone, so to speak. Being aware of your chart and how it intersects with others’ gives you a starting point for planning accordingly. And planets and stars move. They’re dynamic, and so are we. You choose how to behave or react, so choose wisely.

Oh, Oscar

I have an admittedly complex relationship with the Big 3: Golden Globes, Academy Awards, and Emmys. This is because my goal from childhood was to be among those stars, and as I get older that seems less and less likely.

The far-too-late movement to include more minorities in filmmaking doesn’t seem to extend to the likes of me. Despite much wonderful feedback (even a win) for my screenwriting, I can’t get anyone to take me and my work seriously. Is it because I’m a woman? Or because I’ve aged out? Or just because I don’t know anyone?

This is why I resent the overall tenor of things like the Oscars, where they act as though if you just try hard enough you will get recognized. This is patently untrue. Sorry, del Toro, but you can’t just kick the door open. That door is like a bank vault; you need to be able to crack a safe open to get through it.

Some of my sorrow is my own fault, certainly. I made the choice to have a family, and Hollywood is not family friendly. I’ve worked on film sets; I remember the insane schedules and the gnawing worry about what my next job would be. It’s not steady work or a stable environment. Piss off one person and you may never work again.

Still, as a writer you would think I could at least get a script produced. Hollywood needs writers, right? Well, apparently they only need the five guys who write all the Marvel films.

I don’t mean to sound bitter, but I suppose I am a little. For all the talk of being inclusive, what they really mean is including the women (and minorities) who are already there, not anyone new. Those walls are still standing, that vault door is still firmly locked.

Off Topic

Last night I was trying to find some specific information that I was, alas, unable to find. However, I did discover these photos:

The first headstone I’ve seen a number of times in my life, and the second one I’ve seen at least a few times, too. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen the third, and I don’t know about the fourth.

Lloyd, Joseph, Perry, and Clarence were brothers. Clarence was my grandfather, the others were my great-uncles. For some reason Perry is buried in a different cemetery. I have a vague memory of “Aunt Evy” . . . ::shrug::

Both Uncle Joe and Pop died on November 11. The O. stands for “Ovide”. I own his Catholic missal. Not sure how I ended up with it. I think my family has a lot of the Asian knick-knacks Uncle Joe collected while stationed overseas, too.

I don’t know what the C. or P. stand for. I know next to nothing about Perry or Lloyd.

Miss Stella is, as you see, still alive. She was Pop’s second wife, so my dad’s stepmother. But Dad and his brother and sister didn’t live with them. They lived with their grandmother (for whom I’m named). Here she and Rosemond are:

The V. is for “Viator”, her maiden name. Rosemond’s middle name was Alexandre.

Men in our family die relatively young it seems. Makes me worry about my dad sometimes.

I realize this is a really random post. But sometimes it helps me to collect information in one place. Right now my oldest son—not coincidentally named Alexander—is working on a family tree and history. So I thought this might interest and help him. Langlinais is not a common name. Rosemond was the oldest of 11 children, and so there are many branches of the family, but even still, it’s a fairly small and select clan. According to Name Stats, only 794 people have the surname Langlinais in the United States; Forebears says 991 have it worldwide (including those 794 in the U.S.). That’s a drop in the bucket when the world population is some 8 billion.

Anyway, I like my unique name, even if no one can spell or pronounce it. Dad used to just give the last name “Lang” when making dinner reservations or anything like that because it was easier. In all of my school years, only my high school world history teacher could pronounce it correctly, and he spoke five languages, so I guess that helped.

Do you have any interest in genealogy? Any interesting family stories or names? I love hearing about things like that! Let me know in the comments!