all things landscape

anonymous asked:

Ok so if all four of them are gonna be in a *cowboy themed* motel in 13x6 they're gonna have to split up 2 and 2 right??? So I'm really gonna need Dean and Cas to share a room and then have a convo that's reverse of the "Talk to me" one in S8 where instead they talk about how they both did feel suicidal but how they've both overcome it. ~For reasons unknown~

That would be great mirroring, and it’s always good to compare the fun episodes where things seem back to normal to 8x08… However… Sorry, but this is a bummer reply, I’m just not good with leaving off things like this :P

I sort of feel though that neither Dean or Cas got to completely overcome things in their respective paths through dark other worlds… Cas said he’d just keep fighting and even if the standing up was an important part, he acknowledged he was going back with a sense of hopelessness that he’d get what he truly wants - and that’s just how it was in the Empty, while it sounds like he may have forgotten the experience so it’s for now a metaphorical state he passed through and we got to see it vocalised and it probably means roughly where he’s up to. But the despair of resolution, the fact need/want has been called out for US to know it’s a major theme but Cas of course hasn’t actually talked face to face with any Winchester, let alone Dean, to resolve need/want, which is the core of his depression, thematically… He’s come back with levelled up determination and a will to live, which is great, but there’s so much work to do before he feels happy even if he DOES remember the Empty. I’ve written ridiculously long things tracking his arc so I’ll just say that this was a great step forwards for him but in no way actually resolving anything. 

For Dean as well, Billie sent him back but it was with the “work to do” order/motivation that’s made Dean and Sam power through a lot of their worst times, and like how in the Empty nothing new was actually said about Cas, it just brought everything up that was troubling him so we’d get a sample of how he feels, that was just repeating the theme for Dean that he started this season on - that at best he’s going to feel like a guy doing his job, because someone more important than him told him he had to and he can’t stop now. 

Billie’s words are the sort of advice he got in season 7 after Cas (and then Bobby) died, from Bobby, Frank and Eliot Ness, all of which was a variation of the same sort of nihilism about doing the job because it’s the job and you’re the one who does it. I’m in most agreement with the meta I’ve seen that Dean didn’t go into that whole mess looking for a reason to die, he just was in that state Bobby described: 

I want to talk about your new party line.

Party? What are you talking about? I don’t even vote.

“The world’s a suicide case. We save it, it just steals more pills”?

Bobby, I’m here, okay? I’m on the case. What’s the problem?

I’ve seen a lot of hunters live and die. You’re starting to talk like one of the dead ones, Dean.

No, I’m talking the way a person talks when they’ve had it, when they can’t figure out why they used to think all this mattered.

I’m picking on this conversation because it’s the most detailed but also because it’s the one Dean has WITH Bobby so in no way shape or form can it be about Dean losing Bobby, except that of course this episode gave Dean and Sam both a private conversation with Bobby about where they were at, so we could have a good last moment with him each, and also to gauge how they’d react to his death (Dean with this massive depression caused by losing Cas and his betrayal to pile on top of) and Bobby’s last advice apply after as well. His advice being:

Come on, now. You tried to hang it up and be a person with Lisa and Ben. And now here you are with a mean old coot and a van full of guns. That ain’t person behavior, son. You’re a hunter, meaning you’re whatever the job you’re doing today. Now, you get a case of the Anne Sextons, something’s gonna come up behind you and rip your fool head off. Now, you find your reasons to get back in the game. I don’t care if it’s love or spite or a ten-dollar bet. I’ve been to enough funerals. I mean it. You die before me, and I’ll kill you.


But this is essentially what Billie does for Dean. She reads him, sees he wants to die, and he tells her that he doesn’t matter, so she reassures him that he has a job, that he is important, that he’s in this cosmic position of responsibility. It would almost be encouraging, to know you’re not meant to die that day, that there is a reason for you to be alive. But not for Dean in the state he was in then.

Cas coming back is GREAT and of course it’s going to make Dean wildly happy. But he’s been feeling this way about the job a long, long time in ways that aren’t to do with Cas at all but is just his underlying major trauma that you can see coming from a hundred miles off in season 1:

from 2x09:

I’m tired, Sam. I’m tired of this job, this life … this weight on my shoulders, man. I’m tired of it.


I just think we should take a break from all this. Why do we gotta get stuck with all the responsibility, you know? Why can’t we live life a little bit?

Or this speech from 2x20 I contractually have to quote at least once a month as a card-carrying Dean!girl:

All of them. Everyone that you saved, everyone Sammy and I saved. They’re all dead. And there’s this woman, that’s haunting me. I don’t know why. I don’t know what the connection is, not yet anyway. It’s like my old life is, is coming after me or something. Like it like it doesn’t want me to be happy. Course I know what you’d say. Well, not the you that played softball but… “So go hunt the Djinn. He put you here, it can put you back. Your happiness for all those people’s lives, no contest. Right?” But why? Why is it my job to save these people? Why do I have to be some kind of hero? What about us, huh? What, Mom’s not supposed to live her life, Sammy’s not supposed to get married? Why do we have to sacrifice everything, Dad? It’s… Yeah…

(And, side note, it really annoys me when people make 2x20 about brotherly wuv, platonically or not, because THAT is why Dean decided to go un-wish this life, not because of anything to do with AU Sam, who he still trusted he could find his Sam in >.> I’ll just keep repeating this until I stop stumbling over the idea… :P)

He’s had similar smaller moments like this but season 2, 7 and now 13 are his grief seasons, so I’m most interested in these parallels. Like, just in general. Specifically in season 2 because he was dealing with John’s order to save Sam or kill him, which of course is a dynamic that Jack could horrifyingly repeat for him if Dean gets attached to a kid with the same horrifying destiny. Specifically in season 7 Dean was dealing with losing Cas and it immediately struck him to the core, that even while Cas was still Godstiel he was having mirrors with his season 2 self after losing John:

Sounds good. You got any leads on where the demon is? Making heads or tails of any of Dad’s research? Because I sure ain’t. But you know, if we do finally find it - oh. No, wait, like you said. The Colt’s gone. But I’m sure you’ve figured out another way to kill it. We’ve got nothing, Sam. Nothing, okay? So you know the only thing I can do? Is I can work on the car.

[… five years elapse]

So, what? Try to talk to him again?


Dean, all we can do is talk to the guy.

He’s not a guy. He’s God. And he’s pissed. And when God gets righteous, you get the hell out of the way; haven’t you read the Bible?

I guess…

Cas is never coming back. He’s lied to us, he used us, he cracked your gourd like it was nothing. No more talk; we have spent enough on him.


Hand me that socket wrench.

Dean didn’t lose the car this time, just had Miriam deface it with “Bitch” on the window and the car was washed and shiny in a couple of episodes. But it’s metaphorically a similar process and I guess all they had time for when 13x01 was about taking time in a very different way, by giving Dean like 10 minutes at the end of the episode all about how he was grieving Cas. 

Anyway, I think there’s a lot of thematic overlap in what it means for Dean right now, with Billie’s reminder of his position on the cosmic ladder, to John’s order about Sam, to Dean’s responsibility to deal with Cas and the Leviathans, which eventually crystallises into his mission to kill Dick - and though Dick kills Bobby, finding out who is the head leviathan in 7x09 really just seals the deal of who Dean needs to personally kill to deal with everything, and the Bobby thing was just an extra motivation to fall into a revenge mindset, but it also about what happened with Cas (and when Cas comes back, he has to help kill Dick for the same reason it all happened to him and he was connected to it and responsible). 

We really haven’t seen anything yet, but I think getting Cas back is a temporary fix at least to a bigger issue, which is Dean’s burden of the world, which Chuck lumped on him in 11x23 and made me very, very excited that Dean’s duty to save everyone was hopefully going to get some microscopic treatment and maybe one day some sort of resolution. I don’t think Billie’s comment was a pick me up, and it reminds me of how Cas started picking on Dean on Heaven’s behalf in 4x01 - telling him they had work for him. In 4x02 Dean complains a lot about how he hates being singled out and it’s absolutely horrifying that he was saved for unknown reasons. And those reasons turned out to be being Michael’s vessel and one of the 2 grenade pins needed to be pulled on the planet being destroyed.

(Which we have some handy visuals for and reminders of in the AU world right now :P) 

I’d hope in the long run Chuck’s orders end up being destroyed as much as John’s were, because the parallel is 1 to 1 except bigger scale, and Chuck telling Dean the world has him to protect it literally in God’s own place is an absolutely horrifying unfair burden than broke him in season 5 and can be directly equated to how season 2 broke him when Sam, who was basically his whole world at the time, was lumped on him with the same burden. In the mean time, Billie’s adding to the weight on Dean, although long run she’s neutral, commenting on it rather than ordering, and seems to have some confidence that he has a purpose and will fulfil it, I can see Dean struggling with it in just the same way he took Cas’s comments in 4x01. 

So even if he seems happy to get Cas back, the root problem of his depression, his sense of being worthless, is still truly about how he defines himself as a hunter and the guy who is supposed to save everyone - who will trade himself for a house of random ghosts he feels he LET DOWN by not investigating well enough sooner. Because he has sole responsibility to fix the planet.

The job is killing Dean literally and metaphorically, and the grief of losing all his loved ones as they do it is just an additional awful, awful part of it. Not getting Cas back immediately thanks to Chuck in 13x01 just confirmed how alone Dean is in the world to him, and he directly mentioned the line from 11x23 when reaching out to Chuck… Getting Cas back and Cas returning seemingly on his own steam is going to be a nice turning point, and good for uplifting Dean, but the core problem remains and since 11x23 I’ve been pretty certain that Dean’s endgame is NOT to be a hunter… Billie also now makes me think he has some purpose to fulfil, and ideally, fulfilling it would let him finally get off the cosmic ladder and be who he wants to be without obligation. 

About all I can really speculate about that hopeful endgame would be that Sam seems to be lumped in with Dean on this, but Cas is literally outside the system based on how he got himself back from the Empty without Chuck’s interference, OR except for in thematic “rewards” or dramatic irony from just missing him really hard, Dean didn’t actually bring him back by DOING anything, and Jack, who is also outside the system in some ways, did instead. But that’s all a huge mess right now :P Need more data. 

So anyway, to go back to Dean and Cas next episode? I think they will have a lot to talk about but it has to be immediate character stuff about their actions and desires. They are both really good for each other and going through very similar emotional territory so I hope they get honest and tell each other how they’re doing, but I don’t think they’ll be talking about overcoming anything. I think if it does mirror 8x08 it MAY be a reversal that Dean admits how bad he was doing without Cas, and Cas is still too uncertain about what happened to him or with a link to make it directly about Dean to reciprocate the sentiment… For all the good communication lately I’m not entirely sure if Dean and Cas can absolutely knock down all the walls. 

And I seriously fear dramatic interruptions to their reconciliation just because of the extremely vague episode descriptions we have after 13x06, which seem to  be concealing exactly what happens in that episode… I’m really expecting silly cowboys for like the middle half of the episode, with the first quarter for reconciliation and getting onto the job, and the last quarter or five minutes for shit to completely hit the fan in some way, probably about Jack, and probably involving Cas since he’s specifically not mentioned in the episode descriptions *even though they just got him back*. 

I’m not worried or wanky about this, I’m just bracing myself for the next round of drama and what its subject will be. If Cas is fine and hanging out with the Winchesters still for 2 episodes and it was redacted spoilers for the sake of 13x05′s last 5 minutes that’s awesome :P But it sounds like time to brace yourself not to expect everything to be fluffy or resolved, either with plot stuff, or emotional arcs. We’re only 5 episodes in so the drama needs to keep on happening, and there’s no way Dean and Cas can or should overcome their arcs about their depression when it’s been set up so interestingly, just because they’re hanging out again.

But it WILL make them feel a lot better in the short term. :D I’m really excited for what they WILL say to each other, I just feel like in some ways we’re really starting to put the cart before the horse on identifying what stories are being told and what moments are being offered to tell them, and assuming the stories are over just because something really dramatic happened. I’m seeing it a lot with all sorts of thematic threads, that just because they’re becoming obvious or surface level or have had a really dramatic moment all about them, they’re being wrapped up as we speak. Instead I think it’s got to all be set up for the rest of the season, where this is all important stuff to know, but the real work hasn’t even begun yet :P

Landscape practice

Where the hell can you get tutorials for sunsets and sunrises????

I did search up a ref tho and tried to recreate it minus a few things, eh, I tried :/

Kinda like how it came out tho <3


Is it time for bird? I just want to stop staring at the godawful bridge, there are artifacts everywhere and mess but it’s been four nights straight picking at it and I just can’t, it’s burned into my retinas. (Thankfully, none of these things is visible in the screencap. Take my word for it.)

Eagle commencing this weekend. First, I’m giving myself a break. Only halfway through the battle, and I’m not getting any faster. -_-

This amanita muscaria hoop was a lot of fun to experiment with! I hope to stumble onto a scene just like this while camping in October. 😍

The mossy landscape reminds me so much of this one favourite spot of mine where I forage milky caps - the moss is so lush and covers everything. I’m so freaking excited that it’s finally autumn (can you tell?).



A cool story idea

In which Jungkook has a friend, Namjoon, and Jimin has a friend, Taehyung, who both have no clue the other exists but Jimin knows that they would be perfect for one another. So they set each of them up on a blind date which they tag along on for “peace of mind” Jimin tells Jungkook. Suffice to say the two don’t hit it off right away. Namjoon spills wine on Taehyung’s expensive suit jacket and in his rush to clean it knocks over a waiter with a full tray. They go their seperate ways that night solemnly swearing never to trust Jimin or Jungkook to set them up on dates ever again no matter how much Jimin insists that they should give it another go. As luck would have it they end up meeting again at an art gallery (It’s a photography exhibit by non other then their favourite photographer Min Yoongi). They start talking because “if he likes Yoongi he can’t be a bad guy”. Taehyung learns he likes the way Namjoon talks about the things he likes and wouldn’t mind listening to him talk for hours. Namjoon finds that Taehyung is extremely well versed in photography and is surprised that he’s not the only one contributing to the conversation. They spend the night laughing and trading ideas and decide that maybe Jimin wasn’t wrong about maybe giving this a second shot.


A bit different than the usual, but lo and behold: photography!

I don’t photograph much anymore, but I used to and photography is still something that I enjoy overall, so I decided to post some photos that I took some years ago.
Regardless if they’re very good or not, I’m very fond of them :)

Introduction: Francis Bonnefoy 

Francis is 35 years old and an only child. He came to Germany for his work and of course to learn the language (he speaks English tho). He sees it as a new beginning and a new adventure and it sure will be with his new neighbor. Of course he brought his French habits with him and so his German neighbor gets genuinely confused when he eats dinner at 8pm or later. Sadly tho he’s got a fear of dogs due to a traumatic experience in his youth, so the dog of his neighbor scares him a little. 

Food is Francis’ great passion! he LOVES food and is therefore an excellent cook! He loves to invite people over to cook for them. But of course he’s also a great baker, something he has in common with his German neighbor without even knowing it yet. His knowledge about food also is quite grand and sometimes he likes to show it off a little. As a Frenchman he of course knows A LOT about wines as well. 

Francis loves flowers and taking care of his garden. In his old town he used to be very famous for his beautiful roses in his garden. He wants to do the same now in his new home; to have a beautiful garden with lots of pretty flowers. He could spend hours in his garden, just relaxing and smelling the flowers. 

One of his hobbies is panting. Francis is quite the artistic person and painting is one of his natural talents. he enjoys painting all sorts of things, landscapes, portraits and other objects. It also gives him relaxation in stressed situations. Who knows, maybe one day he’s able to paint his neighbor? 

Of course Francis is a fashionista so he enjoys shopping a lot! He always pays attention to what he is wearing and likes his overpriced good quality items. He therefore doesn’t hesitate to buy some expensive things. But he also likes to just go window shopping and look what they have in store. 

I hope everyone can see by now

that Donald Trump is not ‘stupid’ or ‘crazy’ – those are a smokescreen he uses to use people’s own smug satisfaction against them, and that’s how he won this election, and if you have any sense at all you’ll take it as the deadly serious thing it is, and not just laugh at “How can this guy go any further?” as he strips rights from every minority group in the country.

I kind of knew he’d won last night.

I wasn’t looking at the election results.  And the last I’d heard from anyone telling me anything about them, things were going Hillary’s way.

I didn’t trust that.

I didn’t trust it because before I went to bed, I looked around.

I hadn’t looked around in a good long while.  I’d been absorbed so much in NaNoWriMo that I hadn’t had a chance.  But I’m a few days ahead on my word count goals, so instead of frantically trying to get everything written by midnight, I’d already written what I was going to write, turned in my word count, and gotten ready for bed.

And then casually, without even thinking, I looked around.

I can’t tell you how I look around.  I can’t explain how it’s done.  I do it the same way I visit the redwood forest I lived out my infancy in on a regular basis, without ever leaving my apartment in Vermont.  It’s just something my brain does, a way I take in information.  It’s not the usual way, it doesn’t yield the usual results.  But it tracks well with what people doing things the usual way get – well enough that I think it’s just as reliable a way to pick up information about the world as any other, even if I can’t understand or properly explain it.

So I do my brain’s equivalent of looking out the window, looking at the country as a whole, without even thinking, I just do it…

…and I see something I’ve never seen before.

I’ve seen bad things before, mind you.  There’s bad things all over the landscape of America for anyone with any eyes to see it in this way.  The legacy of a country built on slavery and genocide can’t just be paved over and forgotten, it sticks like a disgusting kind of polluted muck on the ground, it won’t come off.  And I remember how things looked in Japan after the Fukushima disaster.  And so many other things going wrong in the world that when my mind even glances at them it can just see Bad written in capital letters all over the place.

But this one was different than most.

The best analogy I can find – and it’s only an analogy, mind you – is giants.  Like fairytale giants.

Walking over a dark landscape, tearing up the ground, throwing it around, killing people right left and center, causing chaos and mayhem of the worst sort.

I’ve never seen them before.  I don’t know what the fuck they are, in the real world.  I just know that’s what they looked like in my head as i looked out my window at the entire country (my window was actually behind me at the time, which doesn’t matter with this kind of looking).

I’m not always too open about this particular way of getting information about things.  I’ve found that sometimes it’s worse to be taken seriously for it than to be bullied and laughed at, if being taken seriously means having people put me on a weird kind of undeserved pedestal that’s just as creepy if not creepier than being bullied and taunted and called crazy.  It’s not about being crazy (that’s a totally different part of how my brain works, this if anything is one of the least crazy things about my brain) and it’s not special supernatural powers or something.  It’s just one of many ways that the human (and probably other species too) brain can get information about the world.  Sometimes it’s culturally accepted, sometimes it’s shunned, sometimes it’s put on a pedestal, but honestly it’s just one more way of sorting out information and it’s better at doing some things than the usual ways, worse at others, and should be considered on its own merits, not shunned or worshipped or anything extreme like that.

But whatever it is?  I’ve learned over the years what situations merit trusting it more, and what situations merit trusting it less.  And this is a situation that calls for trusting it more.  There may not be literally giants running around out there ripping up our landscape, but I would bet my life and everything dear to me that those giants are something real.  I don’t know what, and I am a little scared to know what, honestly.  But we’d better find out if we want to fight them.

This morning my kitten, Igor, woke me up by jumping on me and purring as usual.  I forgot to take my neck pillow off when i stood up to get out of bed, and instead of getting off me, Igor rode around on my neck pillow.  I asked him if he was planning on just riding around on that neck pillow all day and jumping on the backs of those giants to shred them with his claws or something.  I think a kitten could probably fight giants surprisingly well.

But all joking aside (and that’s not totally joking, I think kittens have a lot going for them at the moment, and he’s been very serious about something the past day or so, maybe just picking up on the tension of just about everyone around here – we all voted for Hillary and we’re all terrified of Trump) the giants are real, Trump is real, the danger is real, and Trump is cold, calculating, and terrifying to anyone who can see him with any kind of clarity.

And he’s had some kind of glamour going on that’s been fooling people into thinking he’s just a blowhard who doesn’t know what he’s doing, may even have something wrong with his brain, ha ha, don’t take him that seriously, so he can creep right into office under people’s noses.  You have to stop falling for that.  Have to.  The right wing in this country has been using that sort of bullshit to dupe you guys  into complacency for years, you have to wake up.  It’s bullshit, learn to sniff it out.  It really does stink.

And we need to learn what these giants are, and we need to fight them, and everyone capable of seeing through glamour has to work overtime at doing that and helping others to do it, in any way possible, because we have to see what’s really going on, not what he wants us to think is going on.  Or this nightmare will only get worse.

And speaking of nightmares, do not get me started on the kind of nightmares I had all night.  They were probably just as meaningful as the giants, and they weren’t remotely pleasant.  It was good to wake up to the cat.

Cats are good.  We need more exuberant ridiculous doofus Ravenclaw kittens with outsize brains and ridiculous ideas about the world, and fewer giants ripping everything to shreds.  All Igor ever rips to shreds are the paper towels.  Always the expensive ones, too.  But if that’s the worst he does, he’s not bad at all.  Frigging hell, I wish I was more surprised by this election result, but I wish even more that everyone else was less surprised, because everyone who is surprised by this is someone he and others like him and all those working with him, can fool again in the same way if you don’t watch out.  And this is going to have a body count.  If you’re not already awake, wake up now.  Please.  I saw this coming.  Many of my friends with similar ways of perceiving the world saw this coming – there’s something about us he hadn’t learned to slip past and fool, probably because there’s less of us and he wasn’t aiming at us? Whatever it is, FFS, please listen to people who saw this coming, whether through cold logical analysis of the situation or through looking out the window behind us at a bunch of fairytale giants ravaging the landscape of the entire country (I’m convinced there’s more detail that can be seen, but I can’t force myself to look no matter how hard I try).  You can learn from all of us, regardless of what cognitive styles caused us to be able to see this better than other people did.  And all of us, we need each other.

Most of all… if the systems that take care of people start getting dismantled, then people need to take care of people.  It’s like the part of Lacy J. Dalton’s song “This Ol’ Town”:

Well Bane was a farmer
Was a mean old man
Used to scream at us kids
Chase us off of his land

But you know last summer
Old Bane broke his arm
All the neighbors pitched in
And they painted his barn

That’s just the way that we live
In this ol’ town

There’s towns, and places much larger than towns, like that, all over this country.  Where it’s just a fundamental value that you help out your neighbor even if you hate his guts, because none of us could survive without each other.

And disabled people – people like me – are often the first to be considered utterly disposable by people like Trump (and secretly also by lots of left-wingers too, which is a big reason we’re often the first – too many people agree that we’re disposable, look at Britain, fucking look at Britain).  They gut the programs that take care of us, and if we don’t have family, we’d better damn well have neighbors that step up, or we are dead.  Literally dead.  Not figuratively.  Not in some imaginary world.  Dead.  In coffins and urns and whatever else the dead get put in these days.  Corpses.  We’re usually among the first, but we’re not usually the last, so everyone else needs to watch out too.  And never get complacent that disabled people, people of color, queer people, and everyone else who can become disposable, will become disposable, even more so than we already are.  (And never think that because we already are, it can’t get worse – it can always get worse.)

So wake up, and pay attention, and that’s one part of it.

But also, practice actual love and compassion for your fellow human beings, check in on your neighbors, set up systems to take the place of the government systems that may get dismantled, try to keep the government systems that keep us alive from getting dismantled in the first place, all of these things are important.  But the fundamental love and compassion is the most important of all, because that’s what will mean life or death for whoever gets targeted as disposable.  Whether we live or die will come down to whether you have it in you to think we’re important enough to keep alive, even if it means sacrificing things you would rather be doing right now.  Learn to live as people who value each other – who value everyone, whether you like them or not, and who act on you valuing of everyone, not just talk about it.  That’s the most important thing anyone can do to build up resistance to these giants, I suspect.  Love – practical love, not a vague fuzzy emotion but one of the deepest properties of the world enacted in your life in human terms – usually is the best thing to overcome evil.  And this is evil, there’s really no way around that.  So get to seeing it clearly, and get to loving all people in the most active and practical way you possibly can.  It’s the only chance a lot of us are going to have, it’s not like countries accept people for political asylum on the basis of ableism, because all countries that accept people for political asylum accept a deadly level of ableism as normal.  We can’t fight this all ourselves, and we can’t just leave, not unless we can prove to whatever country we’re fleeing to that we’re an asset to their economy that will offset the potential cost of our disabilities, and how many of us on SSI and other disability income can possibly do that?  See what I mean about accepting deadly levels of ableism as normal?

Anyway.  Wake up, certainly, but don’t despair, because that’s exactly where they want you and it’s no better than being oblivious.  Love and hope are both vital right now.  And you have to put everything you have into love anyway, if you want anything you do to turn out right, even in far less troubling times than this.  So love, love beautifully, love actively, love powerfully, but love.  It’s an action, and a power, not a feeling.

[And now I’ll go back to saving most of my writing ability for NaNoWriMo, but don’t think I’m keeping that separate from these issues either.  In fact, a lot of them are right at the heart of the novel i’m writing, even if it’s not obvious to everyone.]