Kate Orman's Writing CV
snow kate
Published Books and Short StoriesCollapse )

Completed Writing Projects, 2014
Playing For Time, short story
Why Robbie Can't Dance, short story (published as Robbie Can't Dance in Cosmos magazine, 13 October 2014)
The Ambassador from Wolf-Rayet 134, short story

Words in print, 2014
Robbie Can't Dance, short story, 4200 words

Books read, 2014
*books 3
John Blofield. Bodhisattva of Compassion: the Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin.
Michael Coogan. The Old Testament: A Very Short Introduction.
Barbara Demick. Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea.
Luciano Florido. Information: a Very Short Introduction.
Swami Harshanansa. Devī and her Aspects.
Luke Timothy Johnson. The New Testament: a Very Short Introduction.
J.H. Patterson. The Man-Eating Lions of Tsavo.
Salman Rushdie. The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey.
Eric Schlosser. Command and Control. Couldn't put it down.
Ronald Takaki. Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb.

Alfred Bester. Extro.
Janet Frame. Owls Do Cry.
Nalo Hopkinson. The New Moon's Arms.
Andrey Kurkov. Death and the Penguin. Strangely difficult to put down.
John le Carré. The Looking-Glass War.
Mary McCarthy. Memories of a Catholic Girlhood.
Atiq Rahami. A Thousand Rooms of Dreams and Fear.
Steven Sherrill. The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break. Superb.
Bram Stoker. The Jewel of Seven Stars. I read an abridged version of this in primary school and was so bewildered by the conclusion that I thought "abridged" meant they had shortened the book by removing its ending. Now I see why my infant self was puzzled.
Koushun Takami. Battle Royale. (Trans. Yuji Oniki.) You must read this and then watch the movie, or vice versa.
Philippe Vasset. ScriptGenerator©®™.
Fay Weldon. Watching Me, Watching You. Breathtaking.

Hatori Bisco. Ouran High School Host Club vol 1.
Hino Matsuri. Vampire Knight vols 1-9.
Kishimoto Masashi. Naruto, vol 5.
Tite Kubo. Bleach volume 3.
Mayu Shinja. Ai Ore volume 8. Well that was confusing.
Yana Toboso. Black Butler, vol 1. Holy ^&*$^%$. vols 2-11

Books borrowed and boughtCollapse )

Oh God, it's Korean
snow kate

1. Just as Red Velvet sang ecstatically "Shine on me, let it shine on me!", I saw my first jacaranda in bloom for the year. :) (Would that I had felt the presence of the Divine, but that's why I'm seeing the shrink tomorrow about reducing my meds if possible.)

2. I am now the proud owner of a copy of 곰돌이 푸우는 아무도 못 말려, a translation of A.A. Milne's most famous work, the title of which I believe means "Nothing Stops Winnie the Pooh". :) (I'm sorry to report that the heffalump, instead of turning into a hepaleompu, has become a mere elephant.)

3. Many moons ago in this very lj or its predecessor, I puzzled over a line from the theme song Nightmare from the anime Death Note: "孤独も知らぬ Trickster". Online translations put this in English as "I'm a trickster who knows no solitude". What I wondered was how the line could end in the word "trickster". I now know exactly how you'd do it in Korean, and since K shares some of its grammar with J, I wonder if it's the same trick - turning a whole phrase into a single noun. An only-knowing-solitude trickster.

4. I also wonder if the Korean requirement for a boy to address an elder brother or older man as "hyeong" has a Japanese equivalent, and if so, that's the reason Alphonse Elric always addresses his brother as "brother" but not vice versa. (Similarly Rom and Quark in Deep Space Nine.)

The New Testament: a Very Short Introduction
*books 3
Like The Old Testament: a Very Short Introduction, this clear and interesting little book left me much enlightened. It puts the New Testament into the context of thought and literature at the time it was written - over five decades, rather than over centuries or millennia, like the Hebrew Bible; as the author, Luke Timothy Johnson, explains, this is the literature of "a religious movement on its way to becoming a religion". My impression is of a group of people who've been hit in the face with a shovel (in a spiritual sense, of course) by an electrifying, cosmic experience, and who are staggering about with their hair still standing on end, trying to figure out what to do next. What they do is two things: apply Greek thought to try to make sense of it; and squabble amongst themselves, of course.

Rather than leaving a bunch of notes here, I just want to share one story that I really liked. In Mark 14:51-2, when the soldiers come to arrest Jesus, one of Jesus' followers runs for it stark naked, leaving behind his linen robe. But when the women discover Jesus' empty tomb in Mark 16 - the final chapter - they meet a messenger who tells them that Jesus has risen, described as "a young man dressed in a white robe". Johnson says, "Mark wants readers to understand that the young man who fled naked is already restored, as the first human witness to the resurrection. Mark's Gospels ends not in despair, but in hope."

Refugee Update - Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru
Indonesia's president-elect Joko Widodo has told our PM it's unacceptable for the Australian navy to enter Indonesian waters when turning back asylum seeker boats. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison retorted that Indonesia has benefitted from the turnbacks, as they have stopped people-smuggling, which the haven't. Neither country mentioned the thousands of refugees and asylum seekers trapped in Indonesia.

Seven months after the attacks on asylum seekers at the Manus Island detention centre, 87 detainees still await medical treatment which cannot be provided at the camp, including a man with bullet fragments in his back. The delay in providing medical attention inside and outside the detention centre cost Hamid Khazaei his life. Conditions at the camp are filthy, contributing to detainee's poor health; skin infections are routine.

Gay asylum seekers at Manus who fled persecution in Iran fear resettlement in Papua New Guinea, where homosexuality can be punished with more than ten years in jail. They are also experiencing bullying within the camp.

Manus Island's local government has halted construction of new facilities at the detention centre and is threatening to close the centre unless the billion-dollar assistance package is renegotiated, citing issues such as the large difference in salaries for local and imported staff at the camp.

In September, hard drives were stolen from the Nauru detention centre's offices. Nothing had been done to secure the drives. The private information therein is potentially extremely dangerous to detainees, containing asylum seekers' case information and records of complaints against staff at the camp, including reports of physical and sexual assaults on children and women. The government alleges Save the Children workers fabricated the reports. Detainees were shown a video of Tony Abbott telling them they would not be settled in Australia; the subsequent outbreak of self-harm and suicide attempts were attributed by the government to coaching by STC.

The detention centre on Nauru lacks adequate water for washing and laundry due to a breakdown in equipment. (Thankfully, drinking water is supplied in bottles.) Requests by asylum seekers for basic necessities including clothing, mosquito nets, children's shoes, and sanitary napkins largely go unmet.

Nauru itself may shortly run out of money.

"Robbie Can't Dance" is now online - read it for free!
It's right here: https://beta.cosmosmagazine.com/special-edition-robots-and-ai/robbie-cant-dance

I'd love to know what you think. :)

The Well-Being of Bodies
*goddess bless and protect me, *goddess, *goddess moon, *cosmic code authority, *witch
The introduction to Melissa Raphael's 2000 book Introducting Thealogy naturally talks a lot about the body and the embodiment of experience, by contrast with the disembodied abstractions of traditional religions for which the body and especially the female body are profane: "the female body is sacred; it incarnates the Goddess to such a degree that sacred space is simply that which the body's being-there sacralizes"; it can be "celebrated and revered" "as a part of that divine female body which is the earth or nature itself".

These are familiar ideas, but the sentence that struck me hard was this: "The well-being of bodies becomes a sign of the health of their spiritual, political and ecological environment."

Imagine a world based on that value system - one where the well-being of bodies (and minds, as Raphael makes clear) is the goal and the measure of a culture or society. The more you think about it, the more staggering it becomes, the more institutions it consumes - pollution, bombs, detention centres, hospital queues, addiction, clean water, guns, homelessness, even junk food - the list just goes on and on. This could not be a world in which society decries sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, and simultaneously tolerates them.

I am powerfully reminded that, despite criticism that Goddess feminism is a distraction from "real" politics, it is in fact profoundly political.

Urgent action request from the Combined Refugee Action Group
(Click on the Julian Burnside link at the end for the full details of the Bill's implications. To write a quick, personalised email, pick a couple of points from the list. As an example I've included my own email at the foot of this posting.)

Here's the email I sent:

"I'm writing to express my alarm at the potential consequences of the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment Bill 2014. No government should have carte blanche to do whatever it likes without the oversight of the law, whether that oversight comes from the High Court, the Ombudsman, or the international treaties to which Australia has agreed. This lawless approach is especially alarming given the vagueness of the Bill, which leaves unspecified crucial issues such as how the safety of refugees sent to Cambodia will be guaranteed, and the details of the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa.

I urge you to speak out against this Bill, which is dangerous not just to vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees and to Australia's international reputation, but Australia itself, as a nation run not just by politicians' whims but by law."

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