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Friday, November 28, 2014

In A Glade. Ukrainian Lullaby. Performed by Milla Jovovich. Translated Lyrics and Video.

In a glade by the Danube
A nightingale is singing
He is calling, he is calling
His soul mate to his nest

Oh, weet-weet, tee-weet-weet
A nightingale is singing
He is calling, he is calling
His soul mate to his nest

In a glade by the Danube
There music is playing
Bass is roaring, violin is crying -
My beloved is feasting

Oh, weet-weet, tee-weet-weet
There music is playing
Bass is roaring, violin is crying -
My beloved is feasting

In a glade by the Danube
I am grieving in solitude
I am weeping in sorrow
Because of you, my beloved

Oh, weet-weet, tee-weet-weet
A nightingale is singing
He is calling, he is calling
His soul mate to his nest

Oh, weet-weet, tee-weet-weet
There music is playing
Bass is roaring, violin is crying
My beloved is feasting.

Translated by me.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mundo Lingo - Mundo Lindo [A World of Languages - A Beautiful World]. Novelette. Chapter 1.

Hello! My name is Arien, and I am an Elf.

Surprised? Don't be. Yes, I am sort of permanent resident here, and can totally pass for one of you. And you guys dress like us every other day - for Comiccon, for Halloween, for work sometimes, when you decide a bow and arrows sticking out of your briefcase can help you get a date with the pretty colleague from Accounting. For the ladies, it's even more obvious - you wear heels and earrings. Enough said.

So you and we are practically one people, except we have sharper ears and bigger heads - both literally and figuratively. Ellen sila lumen omentielvo!*

*May the starlight guide you on your way - a greeting in Quenya

Anyway, I am stranded here in Montreal, Canada, for a while, and several weeks ago I wandered into Mundo Lingo. This is a networking and socializing event for multilinguals and people who want to learn languages. Wow, I said, that would be cool if I found someone... with whom I could practice my Hen Llinge. I've been a very bad Elf in school, you see... cared more for dancing than for The Elder Tongue.

I am also hoping for a Na'Vi from that Avatar world, Pandora, but no blue-skinned nine-feet-tall individual has been noticed yet at Clebard on Tuesdays and at Le Petit Medley on Wednesdays. Well, here's hope. But I met a living replica of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and he appreciated the compliment when I told him of my impressions.

Unfortunately, there was no Enterprise ship parked on the corner of St. Hubert and I Heart Languages. I checked. Well, oel ngati kameie* anyway!

*I see you - a greeting in Na'Vi

Mundo Lingo is the epitome of the multicultural Montreal. Also, it is the perfect setting for jokes like "a linguist, a translator, and a couch-surfer walk into a bar".

Bars, more precisely. At Clebard, the bartenders are so nice they put lemon in my water without me even asking. The bartender from Le Petit Medley, a young man with long hair and truly inhuman sadness in his eyes, just brings water to me whenever he sees me hyperventilating. So nice.

You see, city air is bad for someone known as Arien, and my favorite Park Mont-Royal is so cold and unwelcoming for a stranded Elf girl at this time of the year... not to mention the squirrels who beg for nuts, and I don't usually carry those on me, not even in winter. Squirrels still like me... well, nutters know a nutter when they see one. Only joking.

So, I told you about the place. The time is circa now. The mood is... noisy. Well, there are lots of words uttered all at once in a confined space. But imagine the energy, imagine the genius of place! And if you do, you'll just drop everything and start... how do you people call this?... ah... Googleing!

Yours truly likes to arrive early - I need to cross two cities and crawl under a river to get there, but when the Anar* is out, I just take the Jacques-Cartier Bridge and am there in due time to observe how the place fills up.

* Sun in Vrtaxlan


Then The Emperor enters - well, his name is not that, actually, but this is how I call him. He is the one who will welcome you and give you a sticker flag of the country from which you come, and flags of the countries whose languages you speak. Easy.

I personally love the early hours, when people come in, meet friends - new, old, and those who are in your life forever, and I feel like home again. I speak nine human languages,  you see. I also know Latin and Ancient Greek, but as of now neither Mark Anthony nor Alexander the Great have been noticed at Mundo Lingo. Maybe they're busy. Or in disguise - I don't know. I mean, look at me - I am an Elf, but everyone thinks I am Polish :-)

Also,The Boss has no flags of Valinor, my homeland, but I think J.R.R. Tolkien would not mind. After all, The Professor spoke six modern and two dead languages, and I think he would have enjoyed Mundo Lingo enormously.

So would Daenerys Targaryen, I believe, although her favorite little dragon would probably not fit into her Louis Vuitton purse, if she ever chose to wear one with her Dothraki leather boots. I think Dany could pull it off, though - the weirdest matches are made not only in heaven, but also on Fashion TV. Oops. Getting too philosophical here.

Then the happy hour starts, and to my eyes, I can sort of imagine why it is called happy...

To be continued

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kisses. Song by VIA Gra, Ukrainian Lady Band. Lyrics. Translation.

You should not have deciphered my weaknesses
You should not have decoded my SOS signals
I could not bear that sweetness
Everything that happened between us was revenge

And there are no places left to hide
Please hold me tighter

Leave now, not through the window, but through the door
You pretended to be a kitten, but you are a wild beast
It was me who could do it, it was me who was in your life
You say you do not trust what you see, well, don't

Nothing matters now
I am not afraid anymore

Please guide me with your hand
Please shield me from full moon with your body
I am ready to have you lead me
The higher is the love, the lower are the kisses

You should not have deciphered my weaknesses
You should not have decoded my SOS signals
Your wings are full-fledged now, so fly
I remember everything - it existed and it exists

There are no blames left to take upon
Please hold me tighter

Please guide me with your hand
Please shield me from full moon with your body
I am ready to have you lead me
The higher is the love, the lower are the kisses

Nothing matters now
I am not afraid anymore

Please guide me with your hand
Please shield me from full moon with your body
I am ready to have you lead me
The higher is the love, the lower are the kisses.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dark Side. My Old Poetry Dated May 2003. Translation.

The Southern Cross is somewhere beneath my feet,
Somewhere behind my shoulders are Solar flares,
Magnetic storms, and the light of silver rays -
My own guiding lights.

Somewhere in front of me another ghost lingers,
Out there, in my future, I will say goodbye to him again,
I will lose my breath in a furious white-hot cry, and I will
Pray for forgiveness.

And a vers-libre will grow through my pores and my tears,
Like grass, and it will be about forgiveness, for my hands
Have left lots of traces of evil, so that I am now afraid
To hurt the air with my breath.

When will the white darkness find itself another victim?
Oh heavens mine, I have been so many things among the white ones
I am becoming now a mirror-surfaced Venus of Milo
Will you look at me?


When you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss is gazing into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Everything has happened already; my sixth sense is exhausted
My tears drop poisons, which hurt the tissues of hearts
I have more than one heart, probably this was decreed
By the Lord of our local universes here.

One of them is black, high winds blow there,
There are pains that suddenly curve into upturned eights, then sing victory, then
Melt the baby minute into pastel colors, and disappear
As everything has happened already.

My other heart is whiter than diamond dust,
Whiter than silver, and fairy tales live there,
Their names are not human names; they won't be erased
By time or demons.

A numb pagan, I prayed to rainbows and fires,
Give me a ray of light, give me love, and I will fight till my last drop of blood,
Give me a voice, and I will unveil the secret of salvation

To all, for you are all saved already.

Translated by me.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

As he floats through the clouds. Li Bai. Dedication to Meng Hao-Jiang

As he floats through the clouds
He is divinely drunk in the moonlight

Not wishing to serve
He got lost among flowers and blooms

He's a mountain
And I'm bending my knees to the mountain

He's an icon
I am merely ashes and dust.

Translated by me.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Anti-Geisha. Song by VIA Gra, Ukrainian Lady Band. Lyrics. Translation.

I thought, as I saw him, despite permanent sleep deprivation
How handsome he is, how sure of himself, a real sonovabitch,

I thought, as I saw him, how endlessly I am sick of him
Why didn't I kill him by now, people, I do not understand - he's a maniac!

I would run away somewhere, but does relocation help?
I mulled this over and over and over, but I can't help realizing he is the best after all
A scarlet patchwork quilt floats in front of my eyes and covers me head to toe
I was flying with him, but was waking up alone.

A fleeting falling and not a single word about the future
There is no continuation after a geisha's kiss
Our souls are not simple things - white is mixed with black
Your pain will soothe with her pain only an anti-geisha
A fleeting falling and not a single word about the future
There is no continuation after a geisha's kiss
Sometimes, dear boy, it is not the strongest one who wins
Your pain will soothe with her freedom only an anti-geisha

I thought as I saw him and took the razor out of my plait,
He is so sure of himself - well, I will get him back for this, the sonovabitch,
A scarlet patchwork quilt floats in front of my eyes and covers me head to toe
I was flying with him, but was waking up alone.

Translated by me.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Oh The Pure Water Told Me. Song by VIA Gra, Ukrainian Lady Band. Lyrics. Translation.

You girl friend mine, blue-eyed current
Please tell me of my beloved
Into my maiden dreams turn his path
Please bring him onto your shore

I am waiting for him for too long, so it happens
Waiting for him for too long

Oh, the pure water told me
Where my love lives
Oh, the pure water told me
About the place where I will meet him
Oh, the pure water told me
Why I do not sleep at night
Oh, the pure water told me
About the one I will love

You girl friend mine, blue-eyed river
Please tell me the truth about my beloved
Show him to me and, like the sky charms a bird,
Chain him with your charms to my heart

I am waiting for him for too long, so it happens
Wise river, please help me

Oh, the pure water told me
Where my love lives
Oh, the pure water told me
About the place where I will meet him
Oh, the pure water told me
Why I do not sleep at night
Oh, the pure water told me
About the one I will love

Oh, the pure water told me,
Oh, the pure water told me,
Oh, the pure water told me,
Oh, the pure water told me...

Oh, the pure water told me
Where my love lives
Oh, the pure water told me
About the place where I will meet him
Oh, the pure water told me
Why I do not sleep at night
Oh, the pure water told me
About the one I will love.

Translated by me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The True Story of the Vortex. The Conception Files. Chapter 13. Sabbatikos. Reconciliation Scene. 18+

Ages later I got out of the bathroom, squeaky-clean, hair brushed and blown dry, wine and tobacco stains cleaned off my teeth, eyebrows plucked, and extremities clumsily self-manicured and –pedicured, legs shaved. Almost decent.
I rummaged in the closet for a fresh sundress, pulled it on and froze on the spot. Something was wrong. It felt like a groceries bag pulled on a hand puppet. Whoa. I used to have quite some curves to clutch at. Where was it now?
‘Oh! Where art thou now, o voluptuous heifer?’ I exclaimed to the stranger in the mirror.
It mimicked me. I did a couple of ape-like grimaces and laughed. Well, I was laughing more and more lately. Good!
I reflected on near-death experiences and a potential loss of a great love being the best diet recipe, although I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy. Well, maybe except an overweight Kee-Axi bitch who blamed it all on extra amount of scales while gorging on some innocent roadkill?
So here I was. Was it actually me, this unknown person with hard eyes and hollows under prominent cheekbones?
Plus, my hair was now falling down to my waist. What used to be a well-groomed shoulder-blade-length cut was now an unruly wild mane sun-bleached to the color of straw. From tasteful light chestnut I have gone blonde. Great. Well, I could afford losing an IQ point or two.
The sundress was flopping about me as I walked. What the hell? I took it off and threw it onto the floor.
Ah. Nudity. Much better.
As I was observing myself in the mirror, a silver voice came from the door.
‘Gate? Is that you?’
Six months ago I would have jumped, blushed, and run for cover. But my new badass self dictated otherwise.
Although my heart was thundering, I kept still as a statue. I surreptitiously dropped my eyeglasses on to the floor, then composed my face into a haughtily welcoming mask in the best imitation of Mother Cairn, and turned slowly to face my prodigal Ariser.
‘Yes,’ I said, my voice dripping with royal coolness. ‘It is indeed I. Good afternoon, Rob.’
I’ve seen all sorts of expressions on his face. But it was the first time he gratified me with a dropping jaw and popping eyes.
Go, Gator, I told myself as I took in his smooth gorgeous face, his otherwise unruffled appearance, his white shirt and khaki pants almost indecently crisp and fresh for this kind of heat.
Well, my Eve’s outfit was definitely the attention-grabber in that room, I thought triumphantly as I walked towards him while his shocked eyes taking in… well, everything, from the overgrown hair falling all over the place like an unkempt lawn, and down to other more conspicuous body parts.
‘Take a seat, please,’ I continued in the same high-society hostess voice. ‘Would you like some iced tea?’
Silence. He was gawping at me. I couldn’t take it anymore.
‘Oh, for the Thirteenth’s sake, Rob,’ I said lightly, letting a bit of pressure out in a small burst of giggles. I sat in an armchair and crossed my now slim, shapely, killer legs. ‘Bad sunstroke? You look like you’ve never seen me… in the altogether.’
But he wasn’t a teenage boy. Oh, far from it. By the time I uncrossed and recrossed my legs in a passable Sharon Stone imitation, he already recovered and sat on the sofa opposite me.
‘I cannot say I got tired of looking at you… in the altogether included,’ he retorted lightly. ‘But what happened to you? You look… like you haven’t eaten since I… for months,’ he finished somewhat lamely, and I saw again the shade of guilt in his blue eyes.
Go baby, go. Walk in my shoes.
But there was something strange going on. With me, not him. He continued caressing me with his gaze, this time with deliberation and relish, rather than shock, while I was analyzing the goings-on inside me.
I was still madly in love with him, I still wanted him more than anything, I’d still walk through fire for him, and yet those dumbfounding eyes lost their effect on me. They were even more beautiful now that they had this new tinge of well-earned guilt in their blue fire, but…
I stared into his eyes again, at length this time. Yes, those Luminite eyes have lost their overwhelming power on me. My heart still squeezed painfully when I registered how beautiful he was, but without the effect of being hit on the head. He was totally unchanged, if maybe more rested and less harassed, as if he was having a passably good time away from me…
I felt bucketfuls of ice fall in avalanches around my heart. Well, brace yourself, Nolementar.
I let the pause drag as long as I could, while staring at him unblinkingly, then said, ‘Anything else of interest to you?’
‘Er…’ He faltered in his would-be-calm poise.
I could see he was nervous. By some miracle the power rapport changed. Now it was I who was holding all the levers.
Well, almost all. I should keep in mind he could play the game, too. By not playing it at all.
‘Yes,’ he said finally, calm again. ‘I came to say I’m sorry, to explain myself, and to see whether you still want me.’
‘Hmmm,’ I purred. ‘Let me see… No, Rob, I do not accept your apology, I do not care for your explanations, and I don’t want you anymore.’
I observed that guilt flicker in his eyes with newfound sadistic pleasure.
‘Well, what did you expect? Three months of Robinson life would turn anyone into a Nazi.’
‘Fair enough,’ he conceded gravely. ‘I can see now you’ve really changed, Gate.’
‘Yeah, yeah… how are you, anyway? I hear Paris is lovely at this time of year.’
I was smiling, but my eyelashes were down so that he wouldn’t see my eyes screaming, I am still madly in love with you, I still want you more than anything, I’d walk though fire for you, but you must be taught a lesson, and I must find a way to forgive you for those months of purgatory… But if he came to offer me heaven as lightly as he cast me into fire, he got it all very wrong.
‘You learned how to be cruel, Gate,’ he said heavily.
‘I had a good teacher,’ was my obvious reply.
‘OK,’ he said half-angrily, half-tiredly. ‘I think I’ll have that iced tea, then you’ll hear me out even if I have to tie you down and…’
My laughter was icy.
‘You’re into BDSM now, Rob?’ I trilled, as I got up and walked to the bar.
I poured him an ice tea and swaggered back to his chair, making sure to let a drop fall off the tall frosty glass onto my bare hip.
He watched it progress down my leg and swallowed. My, I was good at this.
‘Could you please put something on? It’s distracting,’ he said, accepting the glass with a stiff hand.
Oh yes. He was a man, after all. Luminite, magical, outlandish, God knows what other fairytale rubbish, but he was a man in the first place.
‘Sure,’ I shrugged.
I went to my bedroom closet where I chose a white silk male shirt, which I left unbuttoned, then checked my reflection. Good. If I knew anything at all, this would disconcert him even more than mere nudity.
As I returned, I went straight to the bar and poured myself a glass of ice-cold white Muscat wine, then lit up a cigarette and went to see him react. If he was surprised, he hid it well.
‘Living on the edge?’ he inquired. ‘It’s 10 AM, Gate. Any new habits I must know about?’
Well, this was fun but getting too tiresome to be worth it.
‘OK, what did you want to tell me, Rob?’ I said irritably, dropping my sex bomb charade with a sharp draw on my death stick. ‘You came to talk? Talk. Don’t mind my little R movie routine, I’m just bored and trying to have fun. Well?’
‘Sorry.’ Only I could hear sadness through that businesslike manner. ‘I’m at a loss. I came to talk to my Gatie and I find an absolutely different woman.’
‘Her evil twin?’ I suggested, drawing on.
He chortled. ‘Thank heavens. It is you.’
‘How come?’
‘Signature crackpot jokes. Now, why do you look like you’ve just escaped a concentration camp? I did make sure you are provided with everything you need or want, food included. Well, sorry I didn’t ensure you as much emotional comfort, and you’ll have a lifetime to taunt and punish me for that. But trust me, I had my reasons.’
OK, that did it.
As I felt a nice massive Gator tantrum coming, I gave it free reign.
With a quick flick of my wrist I sent my wine glass flying and crashing into the wall. Damn. He didn’t even wince.
I jumped off the chair and screamed at the top of my lungs, banshee-like, nostrils flaring.
‘Need or want? Emotional comfort? You son of a rotten goatfish! Dratted toad-kisser! Who do you think you are, coming here and trying to be funny! Concentration camp? I’ll give you concentration camp, you vomit-flavored lollipop! Go have green dragons blow their noses at you! Three months of… of… of this!’ I was working myself up into hyperventilation. ‘A holiday in KADE Continent would be enjoyable compared to these three months of hell! Shut up laughing, you dirty, vile warthog ass wiper!’
Damn. It was too late when I remembered that he actually liked shrieking hysterical women.
He was already laughing, tears of mirth springing to those maddeningly beautiful eyes. I was never able to understand this addiction for tantrums, rather perverse for a Luminite person. ‘It was all that time spent on Earth that corrupted him,’ I thought.
‘Yes,’ he said, still laughing. ‘It is the time on Earth that corrupted me… although… I’d rather call this enhancement. Oh, Gatie…’
He looked at me and I saw the old love, the love I remembered so well, that I couldn’t make myself forget about, shining bright in his eyes.
‘My sun, you didn’t change, after all. And what perfect use of Luminite expletives, although I’d skip the KADE holiday part if I were you,’ he added, suddenly serious. ‘You don’t know what it’s like…’
‘Of course I do, you dung-brain cheater!’ I screeched. ‘Where do you think all of this came from? You think I spent three months waiting for you on the porch, you moronic roadkill eater! Do I look like bloody Penelope? I almost died of mental hunger in this blasted bookless place, you disgraceful kisser of unwashed horse undertails! Where – have – you – been? And now you show your crap-stuffed face here and snigger at me, you miserable booger!’
I stopped, unable to breathe. I guess I was done for the day, what with teasing him and yelling quite nasty things at him. Well, they were nasty in any terms, not just Luminite. Unless they made one laugh themselves stupid, that is.
‘OK, OK, plead guilty,’ he said, clearly restraining his laughter, quite unsuccessfully at that.
It was rather putting me off my shrieking match as I was feeling ridiculous. All right, time to change tack.
‘You are an asshole, Rob,’ I said weakly, falling into my chair, my barely covered chest heaving. ‘OK, as an afterthought it came to me you were right to leave, but you could at least warn me. Tell me. Kiss me effing goodbye! Not break up with me by a note like in some lame third-rate TV show! And what right did you have to lock me up here? I was going mad with doing nothing for weeks! You could at least have those guards bring me normal books!’
‘Oh, crap…’ He ran his hand through his hair, guilt now obvious on his face. ‘I forgot. I am sorry, my sun, I forgot. The books. Damn, I thought you’d ask the guards to bring you some!’
‘Do you think I’m stupid? Go get the chicken droppings removed out of your ears! I said NORMAL books! They kept bringing me paperback romance and Hello! magazines, you furball-eating dog hairdresser!’
He suppressed another guffaw.
‘Yeah right, you forgot! No Internet, no phone, not even bloody TV! Right! Do you think I have swamp ooze for brains like you do?’
‘I didn’t want you to degrade to TV.’ He was trying so hard not to laugh, I almost pitied him beneath all my anger.
‘Rob, I am in no joking mood!’ I growled. ‘My next glass of wine will fly at your head, I promise!’
‘All right,’ he said decisively, seeing I was at the end of my tether.
He streaked to the bar, poured me another glass, and shove it into my trembling hand.
‘Listen. You’re not going to like it, but I left because you needed to remain alone and sort out your guilt issues. Alone. Without me reminding of them to you. Right?’
I reflected on that for a moment. ‘Right.’
‘I left because it was the only help I could render. Do you think it didn’t break my heart? Leaving you there in bed, pale, twitching, crying in your sleep? I was a dead man walking. Trust me.’
I fought back furious tears.
‘Hello, do you even listen? Why – didn’t – you – tell – me?’
He streaked to the bar again, brought me my cigarettes, and clicked the lighter.
‘There. Stop yelling, darling, you’ll hurt your throat. Again,’ he said with a pained expression, and I realized he knew I shouted myself hoarse while looking for him all over the island.
He must have received reports on what I was doing every day of those interminable months. At that thought, I burst into tears. However, he didn’t dare approach and take me in his arms, although I could see through salty streams that his urge to do so was overwhelming.
‘Did you… hic… get reports on me?’ I spluttered. ‘And why didn’t you tell me when you’d come back?’
‘Because I knew that’d make you spend your energy on waiting for me. Focusing on me instead of your own self. I wanted you to focus utterly and completely on you and none other but you. And see me… well, from another perspective… to see the dung-brained dog hairdresser warthog ass wiper that I am. And then indulge in yourself a bit. As if I was deleted from your life.’
‘But… you could call… or let me know you were all right,’ I continued weakly. ‘You’ve no idea how much energy I spent worrying about you!’
‘Silly girl,’ he chuckled softly. ‘What was the Ring for?’
‘Don’t tell me about the stupid Ring,’ I sputtered, my last sparkles of anger dying away. ‘It was always clear!’
‘Which means?’
‘Which means you’re OK, but…’
‘So what was there to worry about?’ He dared to sit on the arm of my chair as he saw the change in me. ‘I know what you mean. It never shone other colors.’
‘What if it did turn red? What if anything happened to you, and I’d be just stuck here not knowing where are you and what’s wrong with you!’
‘Well, if it wasn’t for that prophesized connection between us… I’d say you’re well shot of me,’ he said gloomily.
‘What?’ I felt outrage being replaced with… I didn’t know how to define that emotion. He thought he didn’t deserve me?
‘Rob, you fool… didn’t it occur to you I’d die in all possible outcomes? Including if the Ring just slipped off my finger?’
‘You know it will never do so. And I’m made of stronger stuff than you give me credit for,’ he said, looking straight into my eyes but still not daring to come closer and hold me. ‘And your Ring… it was indeed always clear, because I wanted it to be so. Unless when you were sleeping.’
‘What? You were missing me or thinking of me only when I was asleep? But…’ I couldn’t make myself believe it. ‘What an outrageous lie!’
‘I’m not lying,’ he said, looking down at me, the familiar blue twinkle in those gorgeous eyes rekindling. ‘I did let myself think of you or drown in longing for you only when you went to sleep. Again, in order to not distract you from the most important thing – yourself.’
‘How is that possible?’
‘I come from a dynasty of Sages. And I’ve lived a long life, Gatie,’ he said seriously. ‘I am certainly able to exercise mental control over myself.’
‘But how did you know when I was asleep?’
‘I watched the progress of my own Ring… letting go when it went clear. It meant your mind was at peace. And your sleeping hours were criminally short, if that comment is allowed.’
I exhaled. ‘You filthy swamp ooze eater,’ I said, leaning onto the chair back and draining my glass. ‘You put me through hell.’
‘I’ve been through one myself.’ He took the empty glass out of my hand, then seated himself back onto the sofa, looking braced for something. ‘OK. Do you think you can handle another rage match?’
‘Why?’ I asked warily, jerking out my weary and – I should be honest here – half-drunken relaxation. ‘What now? OK, bring it, Torquemada.’
He sighed. ‘This is the worst, and the one I feel really guilty about. I… it’s just so unimportant under our circumstances, and may seem quite petty to you… Anyway, I used it as a pretext to leave because, to tell you the truth…’
‘Rob, please! You’re a walking torture device! What else did you do?’
‘Well…’ he stared at his impeccable brown loafers. ‘It was this contract I signed ages ago… to cut it short, I had to do a European tour. Concerts, you know…’
God. I almost forgot he was a freaking rock star, to top it all off. He looked at me guiltily. It was now my turn to gape, paralyzed with this piece of information. As I stared, his voice was growing more and more hesitant.
‘The band was irate because we didn’t rehearse, and the performances were, well, total crap, because I had other things on my mind…’
He paused. I inhaled.
‘Are you through?’
‘Well… no. I also noticed how you seemed unable to come up with a single idea or impulse when you were… with me… so I just sort of let you alone… for reasons of having the SLB written inclusive. Boost your creativity, so to say. There.’ He sighed. ‘You can kill me now.’
‘I sure as hell will!’ I hissed, flaring with rage again, this time in real earnest.
And I lunged, shirt hems flapping around me.
I blamed it all on the alcohol later, but in that moment I wanted to hit him even more than have him make love to me, and that I was longing for ever since he entered my shady, white-and-blue living room.
He didn’t let me hurt him or, rather, myself. He caught me deftly, taking the shock of my weight, rolled gingerly off the sofa, and pinned me to the floor. I writhed and hissed, staring into those maddeningly beautiful eyes with rage.
‘I think this is when we kiss,’ he said in a whisper rough with anticipation.
Then he did it. He kissed me. I would be right to say he kissed me like never before.
My sizzling rage turned into pure lust, my hiss turning into a calling purr right there on my lips.
His glowing heat engulfed me into an intoxicating haze, and everything vanished. My hatred, dismay, pain, and urge to cause him as much pain as I’ve suffered – it was all gone.
I knew he wasn’t lying. My absence from his life was as excruciating as my own experience. Really, what did I care? I realized then, as I soaked in his glowing heat, as I stared hungrily at that haunting face, that we’ve actually done it. I sorted out what I had to sort out, I created what I had to create, and he just stayed out of my way in order for me to do it.
Yes. He knew me better than I knew myself, and he was right. He helped me immensely by giving me the chance to fight my own dragons alone.
And in another blinding flash of realization, as his lips crushed mine, I knew one more thing.
He couldn’t help me slay my own dragons just because he loved me too much; he worshipped me wholly and absolutely. Dragons included.
We didn’t notice the night fall; we were too absorbed with each other. And when I woke up after hours of refreshing sound sleep, he was there to kiss me good morning.
I felt amazing. All in all, it was a good summer.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Freedom. "Morning Stars" Album. By Duczewska and Schnapps.


Today I am free
Today I am free

Freedom is
Walking through sleet and never balance lose
In your wet socks and Adidas shoes

Freedom is
Facing your empty bar - everyone is on strike
Then go at night for a hike


About "to love and to live"
About "to prosper and to rise"
About "to want and to dream" 
About him.

Freedom is
Sleeping till noon tomorrow
Fighting with vanilla yogurt the sorrow

Freedom is
Brushing your hair at your ease
Have time to say "thank you" and "please"


Freedom is
Loving it
Showing it
Being a woman
Being just human.

Influencer Marketing 101: A Rookie's Guide to Forging Relationships with Key Influencers. Non-Fiction Book Proposal

Title. Influencer Marketing 101

Subtitle. A Rookie's Guide to Forging Relationships with Key Influencers: Learn to Swim with the Sharks!

Summary. Influencer marketing and influencer psychology are a relatively new field of knowledge. While other researchers and authors describe the tools and methods of influencer marketing in corporate paradigms, e.g. spreading brand awareness or achieving specific sales objectives, I am focusing on influencer networking and influencer relations management for individuals.

This "rookie's guide" is for new and obscure talents who want to promote themselves by learning "to swim with the sharks" i.e. by exposing themselves to top influencers in their particular field, building relationships with them, and ultimately obtaining some form of endorsement by one or more major achievers or decision-makers.

While keeping in mind that everyone is an influencer, the new influence networker:
  • - will learn how to build and operate their influencer network,
------- and how to avoid mistakes and missteps when doing that,
  • - will learn about the core differences between the four levels of influence,
------ and about ways to act within each level;
  • - will read about the five types of influencer psyche,
------ and will learn how to approach persons belonging to each particular type,
  • - will learn how to determine the actual worth, influence-wise, of their influencer network members by applying some social media ratios I specifically devised for this purpose, as well as my patented E.U.F.O.R.I.A. approach (Energy. Utterance. Footprint. Outreach. Resonance. Impression. Awareness),
------- and, in particular, will be disillusioned about some holy cows like the Klout score, but will nevertheless be reassured about their particular if not universal usefulness,
  • - will learn how to create content specifically designed and optimized to attract the attention of influencers,
-------- with case studies of sensitive content like humor and sarcasm,
  • - will learn how to start interacting with key influencers,
-------- with case studies of stuff that works and stuff that doesn't,
  • - will decide whether he/she is ready to invest in a software suite for influencer relations management,
------- with case studies of Traackr and Onalytica,
  • - will learn how to act in order to build mutually fruitful and beneficial relationships with key influencers,
--------- with case studies as well, and
  • - will learn much more...
-------- ... from research I have done, from facts I have explained, from case studies based on my own experience and practice, and from homework I will be setting every now and then.

Note: For this project, I made up an alter ego, the Metatag Hag, who introduces particular bits of advice in a rather snarky tone in order to lighten up the text and ensure a more enjoyable reading experience. Other reasons for having the author speak in two voices was my intention to create an illusion of dialogue and to counterbalance the seriousness of the topics.

There will also be a pictogram representing the Metatag Hag and introducing her bits of advice.

Demographics: both sexes, age: 21-60+, education: college and higher.

Psychographics: the proverbial "chiropractor who feels he has a novel in him" i.e. talents who feel they have potentially great ideas in their heads but do not want to be lost in a sea of bloggers, Tweeters, social media dwellers, and other "small fish". To continue the line of metaphors, even if the readers see themselves as baby sharks, swimming with the big ones takes some learning and training.

Note: If the readers want to position themselves as key-influencers-in-the-making from the start, and feel they could attract the attention of, and belong with other key influencers due to their talents, this book will come in useful. It will allow the readers to concentrate on honing their skills and building a network of influencers - quickly, efficiently, and without making common or less common mistakes.

It would take years to study archetypal psychology, behaviorism and transactional analysis, to learn to develop behavior tactics function of influencer archetypes, to test influencer platform management software, or to take a course on mathematics applied in economics in order to figure out what the Tweet-to-followee ratio has to do with influencer worth... and to make, rectify, and learn from a bunch of mistakes of their own in lots of dealings with top influencers. The Metatag Hag and I, having studied all of the above and more, will save the readers a lot of legwork with this collection of swimming lessons for baby sharks.

Competitive Analysis.

Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Al Switzler et al.

Similarity: some psychological concepts taken as basis.
My focus is on contextual rather than personal influence. I also give advice not on becoming a better influencer, but on building relationships with influencers in specific fields where my potential reader wants to become a top achiever.
- While Influencer discusses the individual's power to change the world, I am discussing the individual's power to make their talent noticed by already affirmed talents.
Influencer is, in some reviewers' opinion, believed to be either a self-help book or a set of theories accompanied by anecdotal case studies. Influencer Marketing 101 is in essence a DIY book with case studies and mistake analysis from my own experience and practice.
- Their set of tools is based on behaviorism and traditional networking. My own tools are rooted in social media marketing, SEO, and archetypal psychology.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Similarities: certain techniques used for relationship-building
- Carnegie is mostly criticized for underestimating assertiveness. Ex.: "Many people will blatantly abuse niceness. The truth is, that in the real world of today, too much kindness is taken as a sign of weakness and those who try to win friends and influence people in the way Carnegie recommends, all too often end up used and abused." While I do not tell my potential readers to turn into complete doormats, I also do not recommend acting boorishly just for the sake of asserting something that is totally irrelevant to the situation. Level 2 influencers - the main target of my potential readers i.e. public personas who interact with large audiences every day - are normally very polite and considerate. So, many of Carnegie's principles, even though considered outdated by some critics, are still applicable in a framework where it is important to present oneself not only as a talent, but as a well-bred and well-spoken person. Moreover, some of Carnegie's principles are as applicable as ever in the context of business communications, to which my recommendations for building influencer-influencee relationships are related in many ways.
Set of tools; social context (see above).
- With this bit of critique contra Carnegie, I happen to agree. "The techniques in this book basically converted this man into a robot. Nobody really knows what kinds of things he's interested in - although at first you think his interests have a lot in common with yours. The man has no sincerity or credibility. When I see him smiling I don't know if he is genuinely happy or just trying to appear pleasant." However, people today are jumping to the other extreme: wearing their hearts on their sleeves, passing unpleasantness for sincerity and adopting unsavory behavioral techniques like calling someone they barely know "bi*ch" in a misguided effort to appear genuine. I am not trying to teach potential readers to be sycophants and flatterers. I just advocate demonstration of respect and affability in your relationships with people who have achieved more than you did in your particular field.

The Influencer: One Hundred Seven Lessons on Being Effective Without Being a Jerk by Nick Wolff

Similarities: case studies from corporate experience.
Differences: just like Influencer by Switzler et al., this is a book discussing steps towards becoming a better influencer in the personal rather than contextual paradigm. In other words, leadership, not influencer marketing.

Networking Is Not Working: Stop Collecting Business Cards and Start Making Meaningful Connections by Derek Coburn
Similarities: pointers and tips on relationship-building vs. traditional networking.
Differences: context. Coburn discusses business-to-business relationships and networking, not particularly influencer-influencee relationship-building.

Estimated length: ~100,000 words
Estimated delivery date: ~ March 1, 2015 (approx. 50% of material is already drafted and/or written)

Table of Contents with Outlines

Intro (see full text below)

Chapter 1. Build your influencer network
Case study: Kissinger's translator (language services; the "five handshakes" theory, and how much or how little may the one handshake between me and the President of Israel mean)

Chapter 2. Operate your influencer network

Case study: Monetize your mistakes (fiction writing; negotiation-jitsu; self-publishing strategy: pluses and shortcomings; how I self-published a 500-page novel for 1 British pound)

Chapter 3. The four levels of the influence pyramid

Case study: The mediator genie (language services; how a long-term relationship with a level 2 influencer landed me a contract with the Ministry of Interns of France)

Chapter 4. The five types of influencer psyche

Case study: The graveyard shift (semiotics; design; key influencer psychology; behavior patterns; how I was mentored by Umberto Eco's apprentice)

Chapter 5. Ratios for a rational selection of your influencers

Case study: Harry Potter and the Analysis of Influence Worth (social media marketing; estimating influence inside and outside the social media; the ratios I researched and/or invented; how I dissected the Klout Score holy cow)

Chapter 6. E.U.F.O.R.I.A. - Energy. Utterance. Footprint. Outreach. Resonance. Impression. Awareness. - my patented approach to influencing and being influenced

Case study: how I did my homework with the E.U.F.O.R.I.A. of several of my Twitter follower/followees: Josh Stern and the need for thick hide. Selena Gomez and #MakeAnInfluencerSmile. Michael Hyatt, Elise Stokes, and Thomas G Ray. The Ice Bucket Challenge and the Randomness of Virality. My own E.U.F.O.R.I.A. (social media marketing) 

Chapter 6. All hail her Majesty the Content: Sensitive material

Case study: Do not forget to hold up a SARCASM card (fiction writing; handling sensitive material; how I had my own hashtag fail on the eve of the Pitch Wars)

Chapter 7. All hail her Majesty the Content: SEO optimization
Case study: Curing cancer in Korea (SEO; guidelines for writing and optimizing content; how I was contracted to write SEO articles)

Chapter 8. All hail her Majesty the Content: Trending

Case study: The Hashtag Fail List (social media marketing; Susan Boil's album announcement, McDonald's true stories, etc. How I use memes and #funnystuffontheInternet to prove a point)

Chapter 9. The point where you decide to spend or not to spend more money on your influencers

Case study: I compare Traackr and Onalytica influencer relations management platforms. You decide.

Chapter 10. Start swimming!

Build your influencer's profile based on what you had read and on this questionnaire:

Type of influencer psyche?

Level of influence?
Why your ideas may be of interest to him/her?
What can you do for him/her?
What he/she can do for you?


Prepare your approach strategy
Prepare your interaction strategy
Prepare your offer

Case study: Anastasia swimming in circles around the Query Shark (relationship-building, right steps and missteps, me making a case study out of "courting" a top influencer, the Gob and Jane series, and Chinese classical poetry)


Outline: conclusion and pitch for Book 2.

Sample chapter:


This body of information and advice is not for marketing or SEO specialists who know it all about how to push a product to the first Google search results page. I have written this book for the regular talented person.

No, that is not a typo. Someone once said, "there will be no ordinary people in the twenty-first century. Earth will be home to seven billion talented, special, extraordinary people." Today, this is not a sci-fi writer's dream. This is happening.

So, are you a brilliant mind who wants to spend time working on their skills, not spending a lot of time chasing followers in an ocean of bloggers, Tweeters, and other "small fish"?

Are you in fact a shark star in the making?

You just don't know how to swim with the big Kahunas?

I am reaching out to the regular creative but not quite marketing-savvy mind in Uncle Sam manner. I want YOU to make it! I want YOU to be the hot news!
Important people talking about you among themselves and telling about you to the world - this is the Mount Olympus of the social media era. And this is your goal.
A Word from the Metatag Hag
After all, we all know the second page of Google results is the perfect place to hide something, like evidence to a crime. Seriously, though, if you are an individual vying for public attention, being on the first search results page is as difficult as climbing Everest, let alone Olympus. If you are trying to hide something nasty, don't hope even the 100th Google search results page will help. This is the paradox of our life.
 So don't do nasty things and be careful with every step. This is my advice to everyone - to influencer marketing students in particular.
 Let's suppose you are strictly a man or woman of letters or a starry-eyed Game of Thrones fan. You know little about marketing, less about Jung's archetypes or Berne's games people play, and zilch about mathematics applied in economics, econometrics or statistics. Your talent is to design mega action figures or draw supercool graphic novels, and you don't just want the world to find out about it. You want your special product to become a household name.
Metatag Hag:
For instance, you have a killer TV show idea, you're working on the script, you're enjoying yourself swimming in your little sea of creativity. After all, any writer will tell you that the writing part is the best and easiest part. But don't forget it was the promo of your work that at some point, made you utter all the expletives you knew.
So the usual advice is: be smart, learn from your past mistakes, and dedicate equal amounts of time to both activities - creating and promoting what you create. Its value notwithstanding, you must bear this in mind: the more time you spend promoting yourself, the less time you have left for honing your skills and becoming the brilliant talent other sharks are bound to notice.
For a creative mind striving to reveal its talents to the world, one way is to build a network of relationships that can ultimately bring accreditation and endorsement by top level influencers or KEY influencers.
Influencer marketing and influencer psychology are subjects of growing importance within the greater field of Marketing Management.
Contrary to the common belief, the hot shots are not the only influencers - your neighbor is an influencer, too. Your little sister with her blog and her 5,000+ Facebook friends - even more so. If you're promoting a musical product, your neighborhood's garage band is the first to befriend - trust me, they know all the sites and are following all the people. Don't forget about Grandma and her book club, too!
 The difference is level and impact; horizontal and vertical influence.

Business owners, literary agents with popular blogs, Hollywood producers - those are top level influencers. As the infographic shows, they can give you more reach, but the degree of influence will be lower. 
As for your own influence on them... to them, "unforgettable" is not what it means to the rest of the world.
So don't be afraid to show to mountain-top sitters in what particular way you are unforgettable.
 Metatag Hag: ...but beware gimmicks!
Bottom line: if you want to sing with Justin Bieber, you have to start by impressing your Mom.
 Now, let's take it you have the first two levels covered. Your family, friends, and friends of friends know about your new product. You have a small but devoted fandom who like you and think you are worthy of acclaim.Yet they cannot give you the endorsement that can land you a network of high-profile contacts and eventually a contract.
 We all know the old adage about making one step at a time.
Metatag Hag: To rephrase an old Danube-Carpathian saying, "if you want sausages for the holidays, you should not start fattening your pig on Christmas Eve".
So, if you want your product to be in stores by Christmas, start working on your influencer network now.
 Actually, you should have started in February, but you're not a megacorp and you don't play by their rules. Nor do you have their resources. Luckily, you have all the tools to start promoting your talent at zero expense. Just use your old toys - blogs, pages, Twitter, Pinterest - things you only used for a little blah-blah-show before.
 Metatag Hag: Influencer networking is a key strategy in your battle plan. Every day, we are both influencing and being influenced by someone or something.
You know any friendship can have great intrinsic value. Just imagine what resources you can tap by building a relationship with a powerful person! This is exactly why you need more time to hone your skills - key influencers tend to befriend brilliant people who, for their turn, have the potential of becoming key influencers some day.
This is why you need this book. It will teach you how to build and manage influencer relationships on all levels. You will learn to handle this or that kind of influencer properly - without spending years on studying things Anastasia and I are serving on a silver platter for you.
We will also share lots of details about our mistakes... so your own would be less frequent or grievous.
So, let's learn to swim with the sharks! We will start with Chapter 1: Build your Influencer Network.
Sincerely yours,
Anastasia Stratu and the Metatag Hag

My profile:

Language services specialist - speak five, read and understand three more languages, 16 years in the language services, a career path from translating personal correspondence after school to running my own language services boutique company for over three years.

Professional interests: translation | terminology | interpreting | proofreading | revision | management | consulting | theory and practice of negotiations| semiotics | lexicology | structural linguistics.

Academic interests: Jungian archetypal psychology | behaviorism | transactional analysis.

Field research: social media management and marketing | SEO/SEM | influencer marketing | influencer psychology.

Since March 2014 - SEO writer for NEO Informatics Co.

Education: pre-university lyceum student of modern languages and world literature with strong emphasis on reviewing and critical analysis. International Business Management major and Translations minor. Additional courses and/or training: economic journalism, economic semiotics.

Other: Fiction author. Oxford comma fan.

My platform for marketing the book (TBD):

Social media;

Own influencer network;
Established relationships and contacts, both local and international;
Public speaking.