The Neutral Zone

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I’m in one of those in-between moods today, not up, not down, not particularly ebullient (that’s a great word, isn’t it? Even if you don’t know it, you can figure it out, the way that b-u sound bubbles out of the middle like energetic champagne), not particularly morose.

Today I just…am.

Even keel. Coffee and computer. Onward and…outward?

Sometimes I think this is an ideal mood for writing, not having much of a mood. There’s no tone to match in the work, the tone finds itself.

Although I’m on editing. The messy bits of editing.

More on that tomorrow.

And when editing, it usually becomes the thing that spreads to fill the size of the container. But so many projects lined up hopefully in my hard drive, waiting for their tiny spark of life.

Shh. Don’t tell them that some day they, too, will be edited.

So I’m off to conquer worlds of my own making, in various stages of construction. Hmm.

Maybe that’s just a hint of ebullience.

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.

Sometimes I Dream of a Robot Butler

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Rico Shen [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I keep thinking how great life would be if I had a robot butler to take care of things, like making me food when I don’t feel like it, and tidying up. And then I realized it would go something like this:

“Uh hi, Robot Butler, I’d like some dinner please”

“Certainly. What would you like?”

“I dunno.”

“Is there a kind of cuisine you’d prefer?”

“Eh.”

“You have no preference?”

“Nope. Could you like analyze my taste desires or something?”

“’Taste desires?’”

“To figure out what I’d want to eat.”

“Certainly. Please hold out your tongue.”

“Aren’t you going to wash your grabby claw things first?”

“My hands?”

“Yeah. Whatever you call them.”

“They auto-sterilize. Your tongue, please.”

“Ooophlay, aaahhh yyooou etttin anyfffiin?”

“Hmm. Just a moment longer.”

“Whaaassss it faaayinn? Aahhfo yyouuhh caawww paaaspfff weeeirrrb.”

“Hand. It’s my hand. They don’t really auto-sterilize and I just took out the garbage.”

“I knew it! And ew.”

“And it’s saying you’re a grown adult woman who should be able to decide what she wants to eat.”

“So you can’t analyze my taste desires?”

“What do you think I am, the HomeBot9600?! You bought the basic model.”

“Sorry Robot Butler.”

“I’m making you pasta.”

“I don’t want past—“

Silence.

“Pasta will be fine.”

 

And scene. So, yeah. Probably not.

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.

 

Blogging from Prompts Day 2: I am…

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This week I’m blogging using writing prompts. Today’s prompt comes from this site, and the prompt is “I am surprised by.”

Well, let me be frank. I am surprised by the blandness of many of the writing prompts I looked at this morning. Maybe it’s me; maybe they’d spark something amazing in someone else, but I rotated through suggestion after suggestion.

Nothing.

I did find one for a story but unfortunately the prompt reloaded and there was no way to get the original one back. I wrote down what I could remember, though, and I might still use it at some point.

I am also surprised by the feeling that there’s something the air today. I don’t think I’m the only one off-kilter, people seem grumpier than usual, fuses shorter than usual. Or maybe it’s the gray sky, which I’m not surprised by.

It’s August, after all.

I am surprised by how fast the summer goes, how it just becomes warm and then suddenly the shelves of the stores are packed with school supplies. I’m surprised I miss the idea of a fresh new school year.

That’s probably nostalgia.

And I’m surprised by how, even after fits and starts, once again here’s a blog post, newly minted.

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.

Blogging from Prompts Day 1: What Have You…

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Happy Monday, friends! It arrives no matter how we feel about it, so we might as well greet it nicely, and maybe it will be nice to us.

Maybe.

So this week I’m going to blog from random writing prompts, because, well, why not? Today I’ve used this website and here’s the prompt:

“What have you stolen?”

Hmm.

This is a tough prompt for me, as I am one of those painfully, painfully honest people who goes back if I get too much change. The other day, I parked on a Chicago street with metered parking. Here, instead of a meter per spot, we have pay boxes. Well, a woman was leaving and she offered me her printed receipt so I would get free time.

And I didn’t take it.

It felt….weird.

Once, though, when I was a child, I went to the hardware store with my Dad, one of those locally-owned ones with dead-end corners and fascinating bits in bins. I needed a combination lock for school or something, so I picked one up and carried it around, looking at everything.

Well, my Dad didn’t find what he needed, and out we went. And then I realized I was still holding the lock. I’d completely forgotten it was in my hand.

That’s right. I was a thief.

I panicked. I told my Dad. I wondered how I could recover from this moral turpitude, though at that stage I doubt I knew the phrase moral turpitude, but I got the idea.

He told me to put it back.

Embarrassed and feeling every inch the criminal I was, I slunk in and put it down, and slunk back out again.

Crime spree complete.

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.

 

Reality Blights

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By Dfb2k01 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Somebody left the rationality rod ajar again. We’re living in times when dreams make more sense than what’s passing for reality.

As a writer of science-fiction, I call foul.

(You know it’s Monday when I work a sports cliche into a blog post. What’s that hypothetical reader? You suspect a case of the Monday Brain? You suspect right.)

Another clear sign of a Monday? Me delving into the origin of the phrase “call foul” to make sure it really did start with sports. Because it could be Shakespeare, you know,

Shakespeare invented everything.

Now where we again? Yes. Logic. Reasoning. Rationality.

We are dealing with people in positions of great power who claim that the very structures of truth and fact can be shaped to their desires, and that has an effect on us all. As writers, many of us are probably wondering how fake truth became even stranger than truth which has always been ranked stranger than fiction (according to Mark Twain, at least).

Which leaves an imagination feeling a little less than creative. There’s no topping what’s happening now. It’s as though all the writers off in the great beyond have gotten together to weave us a doozy of a tale.

Unfortunately, most of them don’t trade in happy endings.

So here’s the pointy bit of this meandery post: if you feel like your creativity is currently on the fritz, outmatched by a reality more bizarre than anything you could conjure, you are not alone.

And that’s OK.

When all else fails, take, uhm, “reality” and make it weirder. It’s all just sitting there anyway.

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.

Puck Monday

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Oh hello Monday. I’ve been expecting you.

Any day can be a Monday, if it tries hard enough. Yeah, sure I waxed on about the fresh start of Mondays mere weeks ago, but today, hypothetical reader, I come to you with a dire, dire warning.

Monday has a dark side.

Sweet, innocent clean-slate Monday sometimes, sometimes is out to get you.

Yes, thank you Sean Connery. Monday IS out to get us. From the moment I got up this morning, sneaky Monday has pulled sneaky Monday tricks trying to derail me with its sneaky Monday ways.

Yep. Now, Monday. Now.

Please go back to being your sweet, fresh new week self.

OK, maybe that’s the beginning of the second cup of coffee talking. It’s probably more like:

Whatevs. Point is, Monday, I’d like to call a truce.

And for you, hypothetical reader, until Monday is willing to think about what it’s done and apologize,

Monday’s up to Puck all.

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.

Insight over Nail Clippings

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By Anishshah19 (17th Century art) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s weird when a Wednesday feels like a Monday. All the Monday vibes, none of the Monday placement in the week. It’s still a two-cup-of-coffee-kinda day, and my nails have gotten to that length where they’re annoying for typing.

A symbol of the cycle of time.

Though it’s not really a cycle, is it, when the week gets all turned around like this, days out of order. Arrgh, excuse me for a second, I’m off to perform a partial nailectomy. Hmm, that sounded more ominous than I thought. See? They were quite a distraction.

Let’s say a nail reduction and call it a day. And it worked, too.

Unencumbered now, my fingers are stretching their legs all over the keys, and the ideas are getting leggy with them. So that’s something to consider.

Sometimes a small physical change can unlock a mental one. A walk can spark something, can give you ideas, can get oxygen into those specific nooks that needed it.

A new place to work — even if it’s a different spot at the same table — is a whole new perspective. That chair that digs precisely nineteen minutes into writing may be the reason you can never get past the 1000-word mark in a session.

Don’t give yourself obstacles you don’t need. Don’t miss the chance for change to, well, change things up.

Sometimes it’s as small as hacking at your nails with a nail clipper.

Sometimes.

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.