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.

 

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Listening for Hoofbeats

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Alexander Hamilton by Alonzo Chappel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve got a roiling case of the blahs today. It’s rainy and gray and we’ve had one major disaster after another, and I am starting to realize the cavalry isn’t coming. Any Cavalry.

Of course, that’s the point, that’s the idea of the targeting that Putin’s been doing across social media platforms, getting into the psyche of all, whether stoking the fires of hatred, of misogyny, of suspicion, of despair.

If anyone knows despair, it’s Russia. Ever read any Russian literature?

I rest my case.

So what can we prescribe to help us get through what is becoming the roughest of rough patches, what might extend to a global rough patch akin to sand paper? Well, my Russian literature joke kinda did it for me, I have to admit.

My needs aren’t great.

We will have gray. We will have blah that slides into something else, something darker. If we didn’t, under the current circumstances, we would be something less than human.

But.

It’s humor, even the slightest glimmer of humor that can see us through this, give us the strength until we don our armor and realize the one and only truth:

We are the cavalry.

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.

 

 

Dream a Little Dream

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Henri Rousseau, “The Dream” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Such strange dreams last night. Vivid and as solid as sitting here typing away. Only much much weirder.

Everything made sense while I was in the dream; nothing felt especially out-of-place, but when I woke up, the memory of something so polar opposite to my waking life felt jarring. Incongruent.

Which spellcheck still insists isn’t a word.

Dreams fascinate me, the way entire worlds are built, sturdy worlds with neighborhoods and streets and homes which feel familiar yet don’t. And yet from the moment we float up to consciousness, even before we’ve opened our eyes, they slip away from us, those visits to another place we’ll likely not see again.

It’s nice, as a writer, to have a built-in source of inspiration and ideas. You don’t even have to take your dreams word-for-word; sometimes just the mood or setting will spark something.

Meanwhile, I still find myself wondering how something that can seem so real could never exist at all.

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, Monday Always Monday

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By Zimmermanns (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

And back around again to Monday. New week, new need to cut my fingernails, as they’re now at the length of clacking against the keyboard and it’s driving me crazy and slowing me down.

No one wants slow typing fingers. Writers definitely don’t want slow typing fingers. If your ideas get too far out in front of you, they sometimes dissolve into mist and you can’t catch them. Ideas are a elusive.

I’m trying to cut down on caffeine again, and attempted to trick my brain with a half-caf. My brain is smarter than I thought. Or more caffeine dependent. Either way, upside is that another cup of coffee only brings me to one cup of coffee.

What’s that, hypothetical reader? Decaffeinated coffee still has some caffeine, which means that another cup of half-caf might mean more caffeine than a regular cup of coffee?

Spoilsport, I say to you, hypothetical reader. Spoilsport indeed.

While a week of peace and general calmness seems to be too much to ask in our alternative universe, I do wish all a week of good words, great ideas and smooth sailing, whatever your endeavors.

Unless you’re some kind of evil-plotter, in which case I wish you all those things only if your evil-plotting stays firmly in your manuscripts.

We are adrift right now in this vast sea of uncertainty. Good thing I brought a pen.

 

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.

When Alien Invasion Starts to Sound Good…

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

Hello Friday. My head is pounding, it’s raining again and this week hasn’t ended any better than it started. Don’t know what I was hoping for, really, beyond a tidal shift in the space-time continuum, setting us back on our real course.

Perhaps that was an out-of-proportion hope.

A friend sent me an article yesterday about a drunk man who claimed to be a time traveler from the year 2048, shifted back to warn us about an impending alien invasion. As a writer, I’m skeptical.

He claimed the aliens sent him here, but if the aliens are so awful that he needed to come warn us, why would they send him back to warn them about…them? Terrible plotting.

Then again, his blood alcohol level was sky-high so maybe the whole writing-while-intoxicated thing is a myth borne of very very discreet editors.

Frankly, the article left me with the well-worn more questions than answers. Apparently he asked for the “president of the town.” If our governmental structure has broken down that much by 2048, isn’t that the story?

Ugh. And we’re back to now.

So here’s hoping for an alien invasion? Here’s not hoping for an alien invasion? Here’s indifference to an alien invasion?

I have to admit my curiosity about other life forms from the far-reaches of the universe and the science they use to travel perhaps unwisely outweighs my fear of them.

But at the end of a week like this week, I prefer the possibilities of the absurd to the realities of the absurd.

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.

 

Now or Later

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This morning the coffeemaker needed cleaning. You know the coffeemaker. The one I got with high hopes of a freshly-ground future. The one that dashed those hopes with clumpy steamed coffee grounds and cement-clogged chutes.

That coffeemaker.

Like with most things in life, we’ve gotten along much, much better since I lowered my expectations, and now only use pre-ground coffee. Despite owning a perfectly good grinder I could use separately.

So I looked at its alternately-flashing lights, knowing that that was the signal for “replace the smell of freshly-brewed coffee with that of hot white vinegar,” and thought hmm. Do I do this now?

And I responded to myself with a yes.

Do it now, do it now. There are some tasks that, when put off, seem to gain bulk and dimension until they feel unreasonably difficult. But if you don’t stop to think, if you just shrug and get on with it, then it’s done.

Did going through the cleaning ritual really slow me down on my to-dos? I mean really? Does it take that much longer to get up and run the clean water through?

Here’s the thing. Had I delayed, I would have been thinking about it, that tiny task, in one corner of my mind. But now it’s done. Or mostly done, I think another round of water is in order, given that vinegary coffee isn’t exactly a gourmet delight.

We know we need to prioritize and organize, but when it seems like not doing something is going to bug you more and longer than just handling it would, do it now.

Vinegar through the coffeemaker is temporary. That nagging distraction is forever.

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.

Worry Fraught and That’s Just Fine

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Muir Beach Overlook, Marin County, California. By Frank Schulenburg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

That crawling feeling, that one that slinks its way behind everything, pops up with a droning sense of unease. You know what I’m talking about.

Worry.

Some people are worriers, and some people aren’t. You non-worriers, I salute you and the mind doors you must possess, each with its own lock and miles of file cabinets where each thought is put in its place. Beyond those doors, I picture the inside of your heads like a tropical beach, all drinks included, the view bright and clear as far as the mind’s eye can see.

Not so much for the worriers among us,

And now, with the far-reaches of the internet, I have so much more to worry about. People I’ve never met and will never meet on far-off islands, once lush paradises, now stripped bare by vicious hurricanes. The citizens of Mexico, tormented first by one earthquake and a tropical storm, and then by another earthquake.

I worry for strangers who could be the targets of police violence; I worry for disabled children who rely on Medicaid to live at home with their parents instead of in an institution. And that’s on top of the normal worry stuff, like what if I never have another creative idea in my life, and hey wait a minute, that’s a good idea for a story.

But what if I don’t finish what I’m working on because I get distracted with the new story?

And scene.

But I’m going to fill you in on what might be a mixed-blessing secret, my lovely fellow writers and my lovely fellow readers. I can’t confirm it, but I think worrying is one of our superpowers.

Why? Worry leads you down a trail of thoughts, and thinking is the mother source of inspiration. It also forms the wellspring of imagination, and without an imagination you cannot get lost in a book.

So the trick is to harness our worry for good, to take these fears and find a way to make them work for us. And we might make it to those mind-beaches yet.

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.