To NaNoWriMo or to Not NaNoWriMo?

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NaNoWriMo 2017 Participant FlairThis flair should have a question mark right now. It’s decision day, all. Tomorrow marks the start of November, month of hoping to find a health insurance plan that won’t cost more than the national debt of a small country, and, of course, the beginning of NaNoWriMo. So the question remains: do I or don’t I?

It hasn’t gone well for me the past few years. Last year was going excellently, and then, well, we all know what happened nine days in. So do I try it?

I’m still not sure. I probably won’t know until tomorrow, until November dawns and I can tell definitively whether it’s time again.

Who’s in? Who’s out this year?

And who can believe it’s already November?

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Monday’s Epic Beating Around the Bush

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I’m a tardy blogger today. Not going to beat around the bush, which is a really weird expression when you think about it, and I’m going to have to look up its origins later.

But I digress.

I’ve been wrapped up in watching the fallout from this morning’s indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and the sudden announcement of a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, which made me think of the show “Webster.”

The ground is shifting, friends, and we can can watch the earth move in real time. There is no overstating the importance of these indictments. We have finally reached the bottom step of a steep, steep climb.

But at least we’re not still miles away from the stairs.

Oh, and I had to look up the beginnings of “beat around the bush,” because of course I did. It stems from hunting, when people would flush out birds or other game by circling their hiding places.

And apt choice of phrase indeed.

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.

Friday Check-In: October’s End

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By Acabashi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Remember the writing prompt the other day? Well, I’ve started my story, but it’s not finished yet, so I’ll share it at another point. Anyone else inspired by the prompt? Did you miss it? Check it out and see if it sparks something.

Meanwhile, I’m a bit foggy-headed today after a busy night of dreams where I lived an entirely different life. I was a police officer.

And there was  a llama.

Or at least in the dream I thought it was a llama, but now, awake I realize it must have been an alpaca. Like I said, busy dreams.

So getting up after a night on the job is tough, even if the night on the job took place entirely inside my head. My head-parts are tired.

How about you? How dd you get through the week? How’s your own writing going? Feel free to comment if you want to, no obligation required.

And somehow we’ve slid into the very end bits of October. The weather finally realized it’s time to get chilly, and a flat gray sky is practicing for November.

NaNoWriMo weather.

Anyone doing it? I’m not sure this year. If you have a good argument either way, I’d love to hear it.

That’s my nonsense for the week. Have a great weekend.

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.

 

 

The Work of Writing Six: Words

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 Hi writing friends, we need to have an uncomfortable heart-to-heart. Grab your hot mug of morning beverage, or your cool bottle of afternoon beverage or your chilled glass of evening beverage, scoot up a seat, and let’s chat.

As writers, we know words matter. I know I’m not alone in ruffling through my old, yellowed thesaurus, squinting into the distance at words that don’t feel quite right. But those words aren’t the words I mean.

We have an obligation as people who trade in words to choose them responsibly. What does this pithy, blanket statement mean? Let me share an example.

Right now, a New York Times opinion piece called “The Happy Hooker Conservatives” is flying of the shelves of Twitter. Effective phrase, right? You know exactly what the writer means by the headline, don’t you?

Except.

Here’s the problem. This headline normalizes and utilizes a demeaning view of women to make its point. The conservatives mentioned are morally tainted, it says. But how does it say that?

By making the assumption that a “Happy Hooker” is morally tainted. We’re not going to get into the views of sex work here, there are entire books on the subject, but isn’t there another way to get the point across without using a negative view of women as the baseline?

Our casual language is packed with words and phrases that originate in insult. Most of the time, we never stop to think about what else a word can mean or how it came to be.

As writers, it’s our job to think. And to choose better words.

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.

 

Writing Prompt: Photo

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So let’s do something different today. I’m going to write a story (in theory, we’ll see how it goes,) prompted by this photo I took and manipulated in Photoshop.

Please feel free to do the same, and leave the link in the comments! Let’s leave it open until Friday.

Everyone have your imaginations ready? Then on your marks, get set, make something up!

The Universe Adds Another Hammer

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Today it’s two hammers hammering away from somewhere unseen. It’s a lesson in life: Think something can’t get more annoying?

The universe adds another hammer.

I’m drinking my re-warmed coffee, contemplating the sogginess of the world right now, metaphorical and literal. There’s a lot of literal, and it makes me think of Ray Bradbury’s brilliant and heartbreaking story, “All Summer in a Day.”

Can’t help but wonder if a week like this one helped inspire it. If you are a writer who has never read Ray Bradbury, your education is incomplete. Though people always praise his ideas, don’t miss the clear, precise beauty of his prose.

He was an incredible talent.

But I digress.

This weekend at my photo seminar, we stood outside under emptying trees as heavy, round raindrops hammered in bursts on us, on fallen leaves, on cameras (though I shielded mine with my body), and learned that art can be found in the moments everyone wants to avoid.

In the emotions everyone wants to avoid. Yes, we’re back to “All Summer in a Day.”

Some days there will be a hammer. Some days there will be two hammers. Some days there will be three hammers.

Some days there will be no hammers.

But maybe in the rhythm of the hammers, we’ll hear a tune no one’s ever heard before, not a quite like that. And then we write it.

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.

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.