Monday Can Be a Little Bit of a Jerk

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Hello all and welcome to Monday, as welcome as a Monday can make a person feel, anyway. Since the regime change, I’ve stumbled into many a Monday breath held for brighter things in the week, but with a persistent rain outside and accusations of a freshly-minted widow lying about a very uncomforting “condolence call,” no breath is being held this morning.

Short shallow ones only.

Feel free to subtly hyperventilate along with me. What’s that, hypothetical reader? Have I tried breathing into a paper bag? Well, hypothetical reader, if you can tell me how to get my soul to do that, I’ll get right on it. This is metaphorical hyperventilation.

So after a weekend largely away from a keyboard of any kind, out in nature, taking photographs in a really fantastic photography seminar (don’t worry, this image isn’t one of the best, but it’s pretty and I like the scale), we’re back together again, me and my words, staring at one another, deciding where to go next. Although, to be honest, the words aren’t so helpful when it comes down to it.

For some reason, they expect me to keep doing all the work.

So I will snuggle down in the gloom and let my imagination take me somewhere brighter. Hopefully. Imaginations can be fickle like that.

And maybe I’ll check out my photos from the weekend. I’m only human.

I assume.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

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Stop Making It Weird, Time.

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By Joost J. Bakker from IJmuiden [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

These days, a week feels like it lasts six months. Must have to do with the time distortion that got us to this alternative timeline. Maybe it really is six months in old-timey time.

How would we know?

After an exhausting day of technical difficulties, including a DVR that didn’t record a show apparently simply because it didn’t feel like it, I’ve arrived at Friday, probably worse for the wear.

Probably. Who can tell these days? Seriously. Who.

So here we are, the back end of a week of lower where you just don’t want to contemplate what “lowest” might mean. These days are strange days.

I have no words of wisdom for you today. No pithiness, and you know how I love pithiness. We’ve watched the unthinkable become routine, rinse and repeat, ever spiraling down.Yet the days flip through the week like an alarm clock with little boards.

And here we still are.

For now.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Technical Issue #78636, Hit Publish Without a Title.

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So many technical difficulties today, the kind that don’t want to be resolved so you have to kind of whack at them until they hobble off, defeated. On top of that, the hammering hasn’t stopped. I mean it’s stopped since yesterday, but it started again.

You get it.

Earlier today I was thinking about typewriters and our nostalgic obsession with them. The idea of fingers flying as the keys clack, the solid thud against the…paper rolly thingy; the ding of the end of the row hitting return.

Or so I was promised by all of my black-and-white movies from the 1940s with plucky secretaries dressed by Edith Head who are smarter than their handsome high waisted suit-wearing bosses who never mind at all.

Of course, the men are always the bosses. But I digress.

Apparently I’m not the only one annoyed by the hammering, as I just heard a yell, or maybe that was the hammerer with a momentary lapse in aim. Who’s to know.

Well, the person who yelled, but whatever.

Luckily my imagination doesn’t suffer from the same technical issues as the equipment required to move anything it comes up with outside of my head, so at least there’s that.

Maybe I should get a typewriter.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

Tuning in by Tuning Out

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Das dynamische Standbild Hammering Man an der Mainzer Landstraße in Frankfurt am Main, 2005 geknipst. By No machine-readable author provided. Ruediger Nassauer assumed (based on copyright claims). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Hammering and drilling, drilling and hammering. It’s a day of indistinct noise, and in some ways, it’s much like life at the moment, synchronizing with the constant hammering of our democracy into dust. Even if you don’t look, you can hear it.

Robert Mueller can’t possibly work fast enough.

It’s the drumbeat to my day, the unexpected horrors unfolding at a rate that would be alarming if it hadn’t become usual. What a terrible thing to get used to.

Meanwhile, NaNoWriMo looms just around the corner and I wonder if I’m going to give it another shot after a few unsuccessful years. Last year I was roaring along, right until November 9, when the world we knew ended and we were thrust into this terribly-written alternative reality.

I mean terribly written. I really don’t understand most of the characters’ choices, and at until we get some backstory that would persuade us, the viewers, that they have valid motivations to refuse remove this unstable person who seems to want to end the world, my disbelief will remain unsuspended.

So what do you do? You ignore the hammering and get on with it. Or you incorporate the hammering into your work. Hammering is our reality now.

I’m working really hard to avoid a regrettable pun about being nailed.

I almost did it. Almost. But I digress.

Distractions appear, distractions evolve. There will always be distractions.

But I think we can agree that some distractions are more distractiony than others. The end of the world, the end of society as we know it, well that’s definitely one of them.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

 

What We, as Writers, Must Do Now

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So I think we can all agree that life is rather surreal at the moment. For example, just saw that Guinness Book of World Records record holder for the Shortest White House Employment in the History of Ever as he Was Fired Before His Start Date (not a real record) Anthony Scaramucci put up a poll so people could vote on how many Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

Spoiler alert, it’s approximately 6 million and not up for debate.

And yet, there we are. He also posted about a Halloween costume where you could dress your child up like tragic Holocaust child victim Anne Frank. Fun, right?

Once again, this guy had a job, however briefly, in the White House. This is where we are now, a world with plot points so ludicrous and villains so beyond on-the-nose, editors everywhere are probably in chronic pain and not sure why.

How, as a writer, do you top reality when reality is coming together like the drunkest story ever told that shouldn’t be?

It’s a tough question, and I don’t really have the answer. But I do wonder if we should be listening to writer Neal Stephenson and focus on brighter futures, no matter our genre. What we need now is hope, positivity. We, as writers, have an obligation to imagine a world where this sinking ship is righted.

So fingers to keyboards, my fellow writers. We have a society to save.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

#WomenBoycottTwitter, the Aftermath

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Moça com Livro,, José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

So after #WomenBoycottTwitter, I discovered that some women of color felt excluded or unsupported by other women and feminists given that the silencing of women of color hadn’t triggered a boycott. I can’t and won’t presume to speak for anyone else, so please feel free to look into the issue.

Unfortunately, because I was boycotting Twitter, I only found out about the objections after I returned, so I couldn’t consider them when deciding whether to boycott.

Intersectionality — or examining multiple and overlapping issues of race, gender, class, religion and other such markers — is much more complex than the normal light fare of this blog, but the competing pressures and assumptions that others must handle daily should always merit consideration. Really, isn’t that the essence of empathy?

So I unreservedly apologize to anyone I excluded by my protest. While that certainly wasn’t my intention, you know what they say about intentions.

And then things got a little more complicated today. It seems that Rose McGowan tweeted something racist, and elevated what might have been an oversight of ignorance to something even worse. Again, I can speak for no one but myself, so feel free to catch up on the details.

But I want to share a little something with you. I’ve noticed whenever I feel that someone expressing a feeling of exclusion or hurt is being “picky,” it’s a defense mechanism. Something someone is saying has hit directly in a space I need to examine.

That’s uncomfortable. It’s always uncomfortable. Growth is uncomfortable.

Biggest clue you’ve hit one of those spots? You want to respond with “not all…” If you want to say “not all,” then I’m sorry to break it to you, it definitely includes you.

There’s some good news here, though. You know what else that “not all” means?

You don’t want it to include you.

So take a second the next time you feel that resistance. Think about why it makes you pause, why you want to exclude yourself. No one’s a perfect feminist; no one’s born innately able to understand the plight of others.

But that’s OK. That’s what growth is for, if we take our opportunities.

#WomenBoycottTwitter Because Our Voices Matter

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By Ron Clausen (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

So today #WomenBoycottTwitter, and I don’t know if it’s more painful for us or Twitter. I may or may not have a problem relating to tweeting, reading tweets, liking tweets, retweeting tweets. You know, the whole tweeting experience.

On the plus side, my productivity will likely set world records.

In case you missed it, actor Rose McGowan, a harsh critic of Harvey Weinstein and “alleged” rape victim of his–given all that is emerging about the former Weinstein Company head, I have no reason to doubt McGowan, but as far as I know, he was never charged or convicted–was banned from Twitter for a time. Twitter claimed she wasn’t banned for speaking out and naming names (and she named names), but for tweeting a private phone number, allegedly violating the terms of service.

The thing is, though, donald trump (not a typo, I don’t capitalize his name), self-proclaimed sexual abuser of women who just goes ahead and grabs them as he said on tape, also tweeted out a phone number. He’s threatened nuclear war. He’s harassed individuals like ESPN reporter Jemele Hill, possibly resulting in her suspension from her job. He’s blamed Puerto Rico for the aftermath of his lackadaisical hurricane response and threatened to let it stew in the mess he made as people die, literally die, of completely preventable causes.

Yet he’s never been suspended from Twitter.

Some people claimed that McGowan’s suspension was purely automatic, triggered by the number of reports. But then why haven’t reports automatically triggered trump’s suspension?

So here I am today, Twitterless, thanks to Twitter’s uneven application of its rules. White supremacists, nazis, really, can spew their hatred on the platform. Bots can influence elections and the tech company pretends it can’t tell the difference between a bot and a human. Women like Leslie Jones can be harassed off of the platform and it takes huge outcry for her tormentors to be removed.

Rose McGowan can be silenced for speaking out about sexual abuse.

I don’t know how many women are with me today. I don’t know if Twitter will notice our absence. Maybe men will greatly enjoy being the only voices in the room.

But our voices matter. Women matter, even if, in the current climate, we’re constantly being told that we don’t. It’s because we matter, because we can be so loud and so strong that they’re telling us, as they did Hillary Clinton, to shut up and go away.

Be careful what you wish for, money-making entities relying on us to set your advertising prices.

We’re not going to be quiet anymore. Our voices will be heard.

But it’s our choice where we share them. And for today, it’s not on Twitter.