This blog is the continuing dialog between two faces of rilla (most of the time!) Rant and rave with us. Leave a comment. Click on the 'nickname' button if you don't have a Google ID already.
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San Francisco Cable Car

Sunday, April 29, 2007

3 -- Peace Talks

NOTE: This blog is a continuing dialog between the two faces of rilla. The identity crisis is explained (if such a thing is possible) in the first edition. Click here to read: 1 -- Introduction

rilla: Peace does not work.
Rilla: Huh?
rilla: Shame on you if you are naïve enough to support peace.
Rilla: What? I didn’t realize…
rilla: No, no, it’s just something I’m writing.
Rilla: That makes it better?
rilla: A speech -- I’m writing a speech.
Rilla: You surprise me. I didn’t know you spoke publicly.
rilla: It’s not for me, it’s for our Muslim activist friend.
Rilla: Ah, Muslim, that explains it.
rilla: Explains what?
Rilla: The call to arms, the rhetoric against peace. Shame on you.
rilla: You don’t understand.
Rilla: You can say that again. I’m on the verge of disowning you…
rilla: You don’t own me.
Rilla: Thank goodness, saves me the trouble.
rilla: If you would hold on a minute and listen…
Rilla: I’m not liking anything I hear.
rilla: That is not the message I … they’re the words of a group of people who are trying to create support for war. The speech I’m working on points out the fallacy of such a…
Rilla: Did you say you are writing for a Muslim activist.
rilla: Peace activist.
Rilla: I thought you were an atheist.
rilla: I am. I’m just…
Rilla: Well, if you’re an atheist, what business do you have writing speeches for…
rilla: What are you?
Rilla: Huh?
rilla: What are your beliefs? Atheist, agnostic, religious, immoral?
Rilla: So what is the message?
rilla: Message?
rilla: Keep your wig on. Here's a bit from the speech. "If we teach our children war, they will grow up to fight, but if we give them peace, they will learn to share it."
Rilla: Tragic!
rilla: I also say th
at the world is not divided so much between races, religions or genders, but more importantly between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, us and them.
Rilla: Darling!
rilla: Sorry?
Rilla: What exactly do we have? You are a penniless writer who hasn’t published a word?
rilla: We have peace, and equality, justice, education, opportunity and the freedom to pursue happiness.

Rilla: Phew! All that! Amazing!
rilla: To say nothing of the house…
Rilla: I was wondering when you would get to that.
rilla: It was your idea.
Rilla: Aren’t you overstating…don’t make me laugh. Peace HAH! Justice HAH! Equality HAH! Education HA HA HA! Which country do you live in? Lucky you didn’t mention having health care or I would have really gotten steamed.
rilla: As opposed to going red and punching in the wall...
rilla: You see, that's the attitude.
Rilla: What attitude?
rilla: The one that leads to war.

Rilla: You still haven’t told me what an atheist is doing helping write speeches for an imam…
rilla: You still haven’t told me what exactly it is you believe.

Created after having helped write a sermon on tolerance delivered by Gulten Ilhan, professor and peace acitivist, in a Unitarian Church. Gulten was a delegate to the Democratic Convention 2004 held in Boston, representing the state of Missouri. She is very active nationwide in promoting inter-faith and community discussions and understanding. Hear her speak in an interview on NPR

Read one of the speeches

Some links Gulten finds of interest:
Little Mosque on the Prairie - for a laugh!
We cannot afford to maintain
Children's Evangelical Camps
A Biographical View of the Koran
Rosie O'Donnell on YouTube
Is it For Freedom?
A Neglected Report from Europol

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2 -- I Read it in the News

NOTE: This blog is a continuing dialog between the two faces of rilla. The identity crisis is explained (if such a thing is possible) in the first edition. Click here to read: 1 -- Introduction

Rilla: Just finished a book.
rilla: Fantasy?
Rilla: No.
rilla: Oh, I only read fantasy …and the news.
Rilla: They take all the women and make them into slaves on religious grounds.
rilla: You mean Afghanistan.
Rilla: No, no, it’s in this country.
rilla: Utah? Where all the women and children are the property of one man?
Rilla: NO! It’s FICTION! It’s UNREAL!
rilla: So, is the news.
Rilla: If you’re considered a scarlet woman, you become a slave or are publicly shot.
rilla: If you’re labeled an enemy combatant, you are put into jail and tortured.
Rilla: That’s only for foreign terrorists.
rilla: Citizens too.
Rilla: Didn’t take much to become a scarlet woman. You only had to be divorced.
rilla: Scarlet?
Rilla: In the book…
rilla: Doesn’t take much to be labeled an enemy combatant.
Rilla: Huh?
rilla: The news. All you have to do is donate to a charity that may have possibly donated money without your knowledge to some sort of militant group somewhere.
Rilla: Maybe I should stop giving to charity.
rilla: I donate all my money to the mortgage bank.
Rilla: You think they’re funding some sort of militant group?
rilla: Yeah…the army.
Rilla: But we all fund that…
rilla: Then I guess everyone’s guilty.
Rilla: Couldn’t sleep last night.
rilla: Me neither.
Rilla: You should stop reading the news… like me…
rilla: Won’t keep them from locking you up.
Rilla: I’ll run away.
rilla: Where to?
Rilla: Leave the country.
rilla: What about the house you just bought? Your American Dream?
Rilla: You had to have a house.
rilla: You had to have the automatic garage door opener.
Rilla: You needed the yard.
rilla: You insisted on the pool...
Rilla: I guess I’ll have to stay.
rilla: And take your chances of being put away forever as an enemy combatant?
Rilla: But I’m not.
rilla: You are if they say you are.
Rilla: They’ll have to produce the evidence first.
rilla: No they don’t. You won’t have the right to a trial.
Rilla: But, that’s called faci…
rilla: Shh…
Rilla: Hist… what…is…it?
rilla: Someone’s… coming…
Rilla: The FBI?
rilla: I’m not sticking around to find out.
Rilla: What should I do?
rilla: Hide.
Rilla: Where?
rilla: In the pool.

Written in November 2006 after a law legalizing torture was passed. Links to articles on the controversial legislation: News Article, More Information

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

I -- Introduction

Rilla: Hello! I am Rilla. Who are you?
rilla: Hi! I’m rilla!

Rilla: How odd! How many of us are there?
rilla: Stick around and we might find out!
Rilla: So, tell me something while I stick around. How did you go about getting the same name as I?
rilla: Emm…maybe it’s something to do with being you?
Rilla: Preposterous! I am unique. When they made me, they broke the mold…
rilla: Ahem!
Rilla: Quiet! I was saying… this level of perfection is impossible to reproduce…
rilla: Ahem!
Rilla: Well, what is it?
rilla: I think I see another one of us…
Rilla: Where?
rilla: Is that panic?
Rilla: Panic? I am not prone to mundane emotions.
rilla: How about if you tell me about yourself?
Rilla: There is nothing to tell.
rilla: Well, for instance, I am a writer and an artist. How about you?
Rilla: I am perfect.
rilla: Mmm…perfection sounds downright boring if you ask me.
Rilla: Tell me about your writing.
rilla: I really did think pomposity was accompanied by an insatiable desire to discuss one’s self.
Rilla: Are you going to tell me what you write or is the writing part just another one of your juvenile pretenses?
rilla: You sound like my therapist. It’s always about me, never about her.
Rilla: You have a therapist?
rilla: No one’s perfect…oh I forgot.
rilla: You’re on a short leash! Maybe I should introduce you to our therapist…Oh all right. I am a children’s book writer.
Rilla: Really! I would never have guessed. Think you are the next J. K. Rowling…?
rilla: Funny, no one has ever asked me that.
Rilla: Aren’t you afraid?
rilla: Of what?
Rilla: Rejection.
rilla: Oh that. I’m past fear. Get rejected all the time.
Rilla: Must be painful.
rilla: Right. You’re so perfect you probably never get rejected. Wait a minute, you haven’t actually told me what you do…
Rilla: So when was the last time you got rejected?
rilla: Just the other day. Arthur A. Levine.
Rilla: Aha! You do want to be the next J. K. Rowling. What did you write to him?
rilla: Oh please, be original, everyone says that. I wrote: ‘Dear Mr. Levine:’
Rilla: Excellent way to begin a letter. Most original.
rilla: ‘All these years, I pictured the eminent Arthur A. Levine as an elderly, distinguished gentleman with a full head of curling grey hair, Romanesque nose, pince-nez, goatee… the kind of person one only views in profile.’
Rilla: Yes, go on…
rilla: ‘Then I had the opportunity to meet you at the recent SCBWI Summer Conference in LA. I wrote this letter anyway.’
Rilla: Brilliant! Insult the editor! Guaranteed to get the result you desire.
rilla: Yes.
Rilla: Did he write back?
rilla: No. His office did. They sent a faded Xerox copy of their letter head with an unsigned ‘better luck somewhere else’ note.
Rilla: You are fortunate they even wrote to you. Look, why don’t you give up this nonsense and get a real job. One that pays, one that you go into an office for, every day, five days a week…a real job.

rilla: I have a real job.
Rilla: Not one that pays the mortgage.
rilla: You’re the one who wanted the house with the pool.
Rilla: You are the one who ‘needed’ the ‘happy’ space that would ‘allow’ you to be creative.
rilla: You’re the one who wanted the granite kitchen and the wooden floors…
Rilla: You are the one who refuses to get a real job.
rilla: What is it you do again?

Read the full Query Letter