Just a guide so that you (collectively) will know in future. I don't mean it personally; I do actually know that everybody who did the things I'm listing here meant well, and I appreciate all your good thoughts.
E-hugs. If you care about me enough to want to make me feel better, at least show it by taking the time to compose a sentence that's relevant to what I'm upset about. Just *hug* looks thoughtlessly generic, even if it I know it isn't. Besides which, when I'm upset even the thought of being touched makes me tense up because I feel invaded.
Actual hugs unless you know me extremely well and can read me and unless you ask first. I am frighteningly likely to snap at if not actually hit anyone who gets too close when I'm in that sort of mood. Suppressing that, and being polite and acknowledging that the person hugging me meant well, takes emotional energy that I need for holding myself together.
Cliches and platitudes. It will all turn out for the best, Nothing worth having comes easily and the like are not very comforting because they're not very plausible. And I'm in a bad mood to start with, so I'm not about to be tolerant of this kind of thing.
Telling all your friends what I'm upset about, so I have to do my bloodied but unbowed act with a load of total strangers. See above re emotional energy.
Asking for details of what went wrong. If I wanted to expand I probably would without prompting. If I explicitly said I was finding the subject painful to talk to about, it's not likely that I want to repeat all the background. I probably will want to go over the details at some later stage, in which case thank you for listening, but not at the immediate moment when I'm upset.
Retrospective advice. I really don't want to know what I should have done six months ago to avoid getting into this bad situation now.
Making me cry. Once I start crying I won't be able to stop, so right now I'm avoiding starting. Please do back me up in this!
*sigh* I'm really, really glad I have lots of kind people in my life who care about me. I'm posting this not because I'm annoyed at anyone, but because I assume that people genuinely want to make me feel better, so they will want to know how to do so effectively (and not inadvertently make things worse). The answer is: distract me. Talking to me reminds me that I do have all these wonderful connections with my friends. But talk about something that isn't my problems, politics, what's going on in your life, whatever.
Right now I am most grateful to usuakari and tooticky who organized an extremely pleasant and distracting evening on Thursday when I was reeling from bad news. It's great to meet new people, and they were really sensitive even though they'd never met me before, and generally wonderful. Also to MK and family with whom I had an absolutely wonderful, relaxing, happy weekend. Settlers of Catan is a top-notch distraction, and I find it impossible to be upset when I'm being smothered in affection by the Most Adorable Boy in the World. Not to mention lots and lots of good food and cute fuzzy animals... just try staying in a bad mood while watching platypuses playing or tickling a wombat's tummy. I've extended my stay in Australia for another week. There are various reasons for this which I shan't go into in a public post, but the main thing is, expect me to continue more or less incommunicado until 30 November. I need to post properly about everything I've done since Wednesday, and a review of The Worm Ourobourous, and probably some more detail about the thing I was upset about on Thursday and what I'm doing about it.
And thank you all for being good friends to me, (even if some of you haven't quite got the sensitivity thing down). Now a few days have elapsed I'm revisiting people's comments and actions and feeling loved instead of my initial reaction of feeling annoyed and upset.
I picked up The Worm Ouroboros on rysmiel's recommendation--after all, Rysmiel is the person who introduced me to the weird delight that is Mike Ford's The Dragon Waiting.
And now I'm wondering if I'm just the wrong sort of reader for that book, or if it's more eccentric than I'd realized going into it. I gave up fairly early on, after concluding that I wasn't interested in the characters or impressed by the world-building.
Thank you! It's going to take me more time than I have just now to put together a proper review, but I do very much agree with your comments here. Definitely the world-building and the characters are not the strong points of The Worm Ourobourous. It took me forever to get into it too, and even when I was "into" it I found it slow going, so I think it's not really the plot either.
There's something about the language; I couldn't make up my mind whether I hated it or really admired it, or some mixture of both. But I think that was the main thing that kept me reading, maybe a bit like that crack about waiting for the verb at the end of a German sentence! I think the eccentricity makes it interesting though not necessarily enjoyable; it doesn't really have most of the characteristics I would expect of a good book, but neither does it have most of the characteristics I would expect of a bad book, it's just weird.
I have a feeling I'm possibly the same kind of wrong reader for it as you.
Ah. It's not often you write about a book I've actually read, although I had to look up a story synopsis before I could remember what it was about.
I personally didn't like the language. It seemed to make the book unnecessarily diffult to read and comprehend. As such I was often left a little hazy about what had actually happened, which was (more or less) the basic problem of the book. Nothing was well defined enough to make the book hang together properly; neither characters, nor places, nor events. He could have done with making the whole book about half as vague, so I didn't end up with the feeling of a half-remembered dream about the whole thing.
Yeah, often when people post reviews (whether of books or films or whatever), I have nothing to contribute cos I don't know the work they're reviewing. But it's nice to have comments when you do happen to have read something!
I agree with you that the book is rather vague. I'm not sure that it's just the language that makes it so, though. If it were "translated" into ordinary English, it would just be a rather boring story of a war and some mountain-climbing. I don't think it's just finding it hard to read that makes it ill-defined. I doubt I'll hold the plot in my head for many months, but I think I will retain an impression of the atmosphere.
I've extended my stay in Australia for another week.
Damn, I've been wanting to talk to you. I have no clear conception of the time difference (and I'm guessing you haven't either). Also, I clearly can't actively get in touch with you. I'll be at home (in LA) starting on Tuesday afternoon/evening, so if you can find a way to phone me at a sensible time in both countries, that would be lovely.
Err, I'm going to e-mail this to you as well, in case LJ eats the comment e-mail.
I'm sorry I'm not around when you want to talk to me. I'm having fairly urgent sort my life out issues, is the reason, but it's still bad.
Anyway my friend www.timeanddate.com says you are 19 hours behind me (LA versus Melbourne). The best time to phone you is probably in your evening, right? So let's say... 8.30 pm for Darcy = 3.30 pm the next day for me? Let's wait until Wednesday evening so you're not still travelling, meaning early afternoon Thursday. But no later than about 5 pm or I'll wake your parents. Email me a phone number, will you? I don't have my address book on me.
Ditto to the damn. I've been meaning to contact you about your birthday party. I'm thinking I'll probably not be able to go because of money constraints (damn house), and because a friend from Australia may be visiting Manchester so he's kinda a priority as I probably won't get to see him for a long long time! But I would still like to meet up with you so I don't suppose you'll be able to get to London around the 21st Dec since I'll be there after the office party! Don't worry about answering until you get back but just thought I'd flag it up to you sooner rather than later!
London 21st December should be very doable. I am not absolutely sure because there's a faint possibility that I might do something crazy involving moving to Liverpool in about 2 weeks' time. But failing that, I should be around. I'll talk to you when I'm back at home and in a position to do logistics, for sure.
I was going to suggest that plotting meeting up over Xmas might be a fun diversion, but on reflection, plotting logistics might be more stress than you want to deal with just now. So, without plotting any logistics at all right now: you're going to be somewhere in the UK in the latter half of December, I shall be making fearsome efforts to subdue geography and see you, a dear badger. You shall be fed tea!
Yay yay yay yay! Prospect of getting to see hatam_soferet without having to worry about logistics right now this moment. That's the most cheering thing ever, thank you so much. Yes, I am going to be in the UK, probably still in Cambridge (but not definitely) through the second half of December. *bounce*
I'm sorry I didn't know how to handle you being in a bad mood. My only excuse is that I haven't seen you in a bad mood enough to know how to handle it other than through behaviours not applicable at a distance. Well, I suppose I could send you tea through the post, but it wouldn't get there particularly promptly, and you'd still need to make it up yourself...
Don't worry about it. I did appreciate that you were thinking of me, even if the appreciation was buried under the general bad mood that was going on at the time I first saw your comment. I'm no use at dealing with you when you're in a bad mood either, so I reckon we're even.
You really don't need to apologize. Besides, you sent me emails about lots of fun random stuff, which helped lots, so really you've done very well by me. Let's make an appointment to drink some tea together once I'm back in England, hey?
Thanks for the offer. I think I'm not going to manage to see you again, because a sort of Parkinson's Law thing has happened and even though I extended my trip, I've ended up being busy nearly all the time. Not to mention horribly disorganized; I'm supposed to be seeing my friend MK tomorrow and we've just failed altogether to get in touch.
I think LJ is very broken. That, or sofas have been causing eddies in the space/time continuum again. I only received this comment today, well after reading about your departure and arrival back in England...
*bounce* I'm really glad I got to meet you. And it's reassuring that I was good company too; I was feeling a bit knocked for six at the time, so really not at my best. I hope you don't mind if I friend you?