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.

 

 

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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.

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.

 

We Know

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Thomas Buttersworth [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a heavy week. Even the sky feels heavy, as if it knows. We don’t have to talk about why it’s a heavy week.

Because we know.

Each morning the sun rises, whether we see it or not, onward this planet goes in its over-sized celestial waltz, and we can’t help but wonder what used-to-be-shocks await us. Merriam-Webster’s word of the day was “agita.”

It knows.

So for now we bear the weight, we resist against the weight, because it’s all that we can do. We can try to ignore the weight, to pretend it doesn’t exist, but we’ll find ourselves bending under it, the risk of snapping ever-greater with each added brick.

But we, the writers, must imagine the lightness when the weight is gone, that extra buoyancy that will feel like floating when it’s finally lifted. The artists among us must visualize that airy future and give us each a tiny piece of a weightless tomorrow.

We must continue to tell the tale of how things can be different, how they were different, how they will be different again. This weight is not forever.

We know.

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.