Monday Motivational Musings

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Sooo…hello there. I think we can agree it’s Monday all around. Yes? Everyone? OK, everyone except that guy over in the UK who has the day off today? Don’t worry. Your Monday will come. It may be called Tuesday, but you’ll still have one.

Everyone else? Yes? Good.

Sometimes, when it is a Monday, it’s tough to get started. No traction, no momentum. Maybe you killed it on Friday; I think I killed it on Friday. I killed it on Saturday, too. But then I had Sunday, and laziness ensued. So much laziness.

Laziness is really comfy, isn’t it? I mean, it’s like a fluffy cocoon of marshmallow and rainbow dust. But I realized something.

Even when I’m lazy, my brain isn’t always lazy.

I’ve had several manuscripts going, and by going, I mean started and not much happening with them. But yesterday, ideas for one started to grow, and I realized I just hadn’t met the stimulus yet to drive the story. I needed the spark, the thing I see and think, “what if?”

For me, that can be a very circuitous path, winding and unreliable. Two very different things will arrive in my brain at the same time, and suddenly the bridge between them emerges from the mist.

Much less poetically, sometimes story ideas aren’t ripe yet. Sometimes the plot doesn’t yet exist. It doesn’t mean it never will.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

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A Bloggery Update and Other Such Nonsense

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I’ve been a bad little blogger, though come April’s A to Z Blogging Challenge, you’ll probably get tired of my constant updates. For those who don’t know, the A to Z Blogging Challenge has you blogging the alphabet six days a week through April, and visiting a ton of blogs. It’s really a blast, and some of the commenters you see around here are friends from last year!

The reason I’ve been so absent is it turns out we are remounting “Me Inside Me,” the comedy show we had earlier this year at the Second City Training Center at the conclusion of our writing program. Well, we’re sort of remounting it; there will be a ton of new material. As of right now we’re slated to run Saturday nights in May at Donny’s Skybox Theater.

Crazy.

So there has been a lot of work in that direction, enough to be a little blog neglectful. Sorry about that, but I’ll get the balance going. Eventually. I guess.

And I’m hoping to give a little more attention to the manuscripts that have gotten sadly neglected. Does that sound like considering Camp NaNoWriMo to anyone? That would be foolhardy, right? Right?

Hmm.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

Authenticity Feeds Storytelling

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So this article about Lilly Wachowski coming out as transgender got me thinking about authenticity in creativity. As you might or might not know, Lilly’s sister, Lana, has been out for years. The Wachowskis brought us the culturally iconic “Matrix” series; gorgeously expansive “Cloud Atlas,” and, most recently, the Netflix Original series “Sense8.”

If you haven’t watched “Sense8,” go do it now. I’ll totally wait for you. It’s an amazing combination of character and taut storytelling, with a core of stark humanity. In other words, it’s really, really good.

Lilly’s “announcement” — she reported she was coerced to come out — had me thinking about what made Sense8 so remarkable. It wasn’t complicated.

It was honesty.

Honesty about human relationships and human frailties; honesty about our strengths and weaknesses; honesty about our fantasy versions of ourselves. It is a show about the universality of the human spirit, no matter the form in which it finds itself.

I can’t pretend to know where Lilly Wachowski was in her personal journey when she and her sister co-created the show with J. Michael Straczynski. But there is a level of authenticity that resounds throughout the work. Is that, perhaps, because Lilly and Lana were embracing their most authentic selves?

As writers, we are the work and the work is us. We can try to distance ourselves from it, and often the longer it sits, the more remote it feels. Once we are out of the creativity bubble, sometimes the work seems like its own entity, sprung from something completely distinct from ourselves.

But when we are creating, we are our own boundaries. We are own limits, and we are our own truths. If we don’t fully accept ourselves with truth, how can we convey truth on the page?

I think the extraordinarily talented Wachowski sisters will have more incredible stories for us in the future, in some part because they are living their truth. And I believe we, as writers can learn from them. Authenticity in life leads to authenticity in your work.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

May My To-Do List Bring Me Back to Earth

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I’m slow to post today. I’ve had one of those mornings where realizing I need to get something done leads me to realizing that I need to get something else done, which then leads to internet research, which likely eventually will lead to internet shopping, because who doesn’t like internet shopping and what was I supposed to be doing in the first place?

Oh yes, right, writing.

I have found that the best way to ground myself on those days — these days — where I’m in the to-do flutter is the good old-fashioned list. There’s something about writing it down, and then something even better about crossing it off.

Who doesn’t love crossing off a completed task? It’s like a penular pat on the back. And we all know those are awesome.

Of course part of my problem is that I am currently in the midst of doing that laundry of life, the stuff that always needs doing no matter how often you do it. Including laundry. Though that just needs to be put away, which, as we all know, takes all of about 15 minutes, but seems like the kind of task you need to strap on the heavy pack for.

Oh how I wish I was one of those people for whom cleaning was a hobby. Or a joy. I should talk to Aunty Ida about a slight tweak. Or maybe I shouldn’t, you may or may not know how those turn out (but generally not so well).

There we go. Now all I have to do is go write “blog post” on my list, so that I can cross it off. Look at me, a bundle of efficiency.

Whoo-hoo.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

So About that Humana Dental Plan…

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So you might recall my adventure in cancelling dental insurance. After a whole lot of back-and-forth, it seemed that the policy was finally cancelled. I didn’t have the payment debited on the 1st, and I just got the cancellation notice in the mail.

Hurrah!

But before I got the cancellation notice, I got something else. A bill for the paltry $37 the policy was supposed to cover. So I paid premiums for two months and got what for the money?

Absolutely nothing. Zero dollars. Nothing was covered. What, exactly, did I pay for with the premiums?

I read the documentation when I applied for the policy. I scrutinized it. There was nothing that led me to believe that it would cover nothing. I thought maybe the coverage wouldn’t be great, but if you pay for something and get absolutely nothing in return, isn’t that a…scam?

Luckily there will be no more money heading down that money pit. On the other hand, it seems awfully misleading to take money and then provide absolutely nothing in exchange for that money. It’s not even as though the bill itself was reduced; I literally got nothing for those premiums.

So I’d pretty much suggest not getting a Humana Dental plan. You know, unless you like giving your money away and getting nothing in return.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!