Monday Fire

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So it’s Monday, and the real world has already intruded, igniting that anger fire deep inside. I’m upset for same-sex couples who can be the target of self-righteous bigotry, thanks to the Supreme Court.

I have no problem with people living as they wish to live (if it’s truly how they wish to live, but that’s a whole other set of issues generally pertaining to women in highly religious environments) but I do have a problem with intruding on other people’s quality of life. Why do so many people derive such joy by making other people miserable?

It’s a mystery I’ll never solve.

It’s a beautiful day today, but despite a yoga practice focusing on “bliss,” I’m very unsettled. Maybe it’s too much coffee this morning; maybe it’s too much of this country crumbling like a soggy cliff into a churning, warming sea.

I need to snap back into worlds of my own making, I have so much editing to do and it’s slow, slow going, word by painstaking word. It takes the concentration that’s seething elsewhere.

But such is life. The world continues to turn, even if it feels like it’s wobbling on its axis. The times are what they are, we can only do so much to control or change that.

Onward.

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

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 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.

Writing is, uhh

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Today is gray, and fall-y (I think) and tinged with wind and rain. And I’m stuck on a level on a game on my phone, which sounds way less productive than it is.

What’s that, hypothetical reader? You don’t by the spin? Why, I’ll have you know, hypothetical reader, that playing strategy games is good for building the strategy muscles in your brainular area. It’s science. Studies have shown it or whatever.

Fine, yes, I’ll concede. I’m trying to loosen the blockages in the old writing zones. Sometimes it helps to do something slightly mindless that requires just enough thought to trick your brain into thinking it’s not thinking about the thing you need to think about at all.

How’s it working, you ask, hypothetical reader? Hmm. I think I’d rather not say.

I’ve got so much work to do for my sketch comedy class, and I have my regular writing that has been neglected, mainly because the sketch comedy is such a challenge for me, it takes up a good part of my resources. And I hate to point this out, and I suggest the squeamish among us avert your eyes, but NaNoWriMo is juuuuuuuuust around the corner.

Yes, hypothetical reader. Yikes indeed. Thank you for your empathy. And your probably similar moment of uh-oh at the thought of November lurking not-so-far away

So wish me luck. What’s that, hypothetical reader? On the writing? Oh, no. On the level. I have some cookies to explode. I think. I’m really not sure what this game is about.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

Maddening Migraine

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I am prone to migraines, and after a good stretch without a serious one, I’ve got a doozy today. Sensitivity to light, dizziness, tingling in my fingers and toes, and that’s aside from the headache itself. Good times.

But I really wanted to get a blog post up. I got back to my blog last week, and then my writing class and homework took my attention, and a strong start kind of fizzled. So headache or no headache, I’m posting today.

It may not be my most compelling work, so please bear with me.

The thing is with my migraines, it’s as though someone turns on a damper in my head, and all of my free-flowing thoughts, all of my access to interesting language and interesting structure, all of the little bits that come together and make something out of words are slowed. It’s like thinking through tar.

Some things help. Sleep, primarily. Tylenol, and, believe it or not, sugar. If you also get migraines, I cannot recommend anything more than I can getting some kind of very sugary candy (or honey, or even, in a pinch, actual sugar). Which explains why, as I am typing this, I am eating chewy Jolly Ranchers. They’re my current headache go-to, but I change it up.

Overall, though, I hate the way a headache can roll in, take over my head, and make writing seem so impossible, so unlikely. I hate the way it takes my productivity hostage, putting even the most mundane tasks at the end of a very long, very treacherous hallway.

Looks like I got there, at least with this blog post. Take that, migraine.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

Seizingish the Day

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So the drillers are back. And back with a vengeance: they’re literally right outside my window. I can hear them talking, rapid Spanish flowing between bouts of drilling. It’s an earplug-and-airplane-runway-director-person kind of a day.

I could go out somewhere, do something relaxing and/or fun, just to get away from the noise, but today I have things I have to do, and writing I want to write. And not homework writing, either. Yes, it was that homework that kept me from my blog yesterday, and now I have a whole almost week until more is due. Yay.

That homework is hard, and I don’t appear to be that good at it. Not as yay.

But that’s enough griping about an entirely voluntary situation. Some of my classmates opted not to do the assignment at all, which I guess is one way to deal with a challenge that feels, when you try it on, much like a sandpaper cardigan lined with flat jokes, but I just took out the old bicycle pump and tried to patch the holes.

Oh, hello, hypothetical reader. What’s that? You lost the thread of that metaphor about halfway in? Why, hypothetical reader, I’m surprised at you.  It’s as clear as a dewdrop’s reflection on a rolling fog.

Anyway, right now I’m hearing nothing, but I can’t tell if it’s my layered sound proofing or that they’ve stopped. Either way, it’s quiet right now, and I’ll take it.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

O is for Oh (No)

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Well, I’ve got to admit it. My brain is soup. Gooey, liquidy soup. The drilling has been particularly bad (though I’m in a lull right now, better enjoy it for the moment) and I think the vibrations are actually affecting the makeup and texture of my thinker.

What’s that, hypothetical reader? You don’t think that’s anatomically possible, and you think that my theory is based on too many late-night B movies? Well, I’ll have you know that I watch my B movies in the light of day like a civilized person.

Anywho, I do have my system down, with the earplugs and the headphones, though today I haven’t yet gone to the headphones. And the silence is still holding for some reason. But the trick is to not relax into it. The second I relax into it, it rears up again, seemingly even louder than before. And here’s the hammering. Although preferable to the drilling, I’d say.

See? Not to worry, the noise is back in full swing. Or full drill, as the case may be.

Yes, I admit I close my eyes and imagine a strong wind, one enough to be convincing but not dangerous. Though one could argue with these guys, it’s a fine distinction. Last year I watched their platform swaying in a wide arc, the men on it calmly continuing their work until it actually started to twist a bit. I watched them descend with the phone in my hand, afraid for a very unhappy ending.

But they made it down, safe and sound.

The noise is one of those things to which you adjust, like the pebble in your shoe you can’t get out, so you kind of step around it. Although it feels like my soupy brain is paying the price.

At least there will be the weekend break. Until Monday.

Oh no.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

C is for Constant (Noise)

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I seem to be on a parenthetical kick lately, if you call two in a row a kick. I think it’s kick-like.

There are men working on the facade of my building. Yesterday was a gorgeous, beautiful, silent respite as there were thunderstorms predicted, and metal platforms aren’t exactly the best place to be when lightning decides to make an appearance.

Today it is only cloudy, so it’s the sound of drills permeating the air, with their platform directly outside of my window. Not that I’m looking at it, since the blinds are closed. As I didn’t really want to be eye-to-eye with the guys (they’re all guys, it appears) doing the work.

Ooh, there’s another one. That one’s closer. I think they might break through my wall at any second. That would be kind of awkward. I put in some earplugs, but it’s not making a dent in the sound. Yikes.

Constant noise is exhausting, and I have to wonder if it works like one of those exercise platforms that jiggles you into shape. Allegedly. Maybe all of this sound going though me is the world’s least effort-intensive workout.

Well, least effort-intensive for everywhere but my ears.

I think I may have to go music/noise cancelling headphones over earplugs today, or better yet, get the heck out of here. It’s going to be a long, long construction season.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

There’s Nothing Quite Like Quiet

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For months and months I’ve been bombarded with noise. There was construction outside; there’s someone in the building I am convinced has a stack of 2x4s and a hobby of pounding row of after row of pointless nails.

But not today.

Today it is quiet. There’s barely a hum of traffic, there haven’t been any sirens at all, and the sky is a a heavy gray blanket suggesting sleep more than anything else.

After getting used to a racket that would subside only long enough to remind me how annoying it was when it started again, the silence has a different feel, a whole new texture to it. It’s almost distracting itself, that emptiness of air.

I will try to take in that silence. To bask in it. To make use of it. Soon enough, it will be noisy again, noisy enough to crowd out thoughts, to crowd out focus.

But for now, this moment is quiet and still. And I’ll take it.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Taking Control of Distractions

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Well, the batteries died in the noise cancelling headphones, and though I have other batteries of all sizes and descriptions, I do not have any more triple A’s. My kingdom for a triple A, (such that it is. Actually, I need three of them. And my kingdom is probably worth exactly that amount, so it’s a fair exchange rate).

I’ve been grappling with the issue of distractions this year, mainly because I’ve been grappling with distractions this year, and I’ve learned how draining constant, loud, uncontrollable noise can be, as it seems part of your brain is always busy taking it in. I’ve also learned methods to cope, like the earplugs, currently snugly situated in my ears, the noise cancelling headphones, which would be much more helpful if the batteries were still on this side of the mortal veil, and good, old fashioned determination to live true to the venerated, ancient saying: “La la la, I can’t hear you.”

We can’t control our environment all the time, no matter what science fiction told us should be happening in the year 2014. Sometimes you have to just find a way to deal with it. The distractions aren’t what’s important; it’s the work. And one way or another, its got to get done.

Sometimes you just have to do it with ridiculous bits of florescent orange foam in your ears.

Have a minute? Watch this video.

Rather read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Editing Slow-Down

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Well, between the drilling–punctuated today with some enthusiastic hammering–and the migraine that’s been going since last week, my editing roll has stopped rolling. Which is a shame.

But when you are trying to type and you cannot remember how to spell “hire,” and instead, are stuck on “higher,” it’s probably an indication that editing won’t be as effective as you might have hoped. With the insistent noise today, I’m not sure it’s going to clear. Though it has to clear. I have things that must be done today.

A day of cool, perfect silence would be ideal, but cool, perfect silence is a rare commodity lately. Cool I have, as the temperatures have turned toward the decidedly fall-y, but perfect silence?

Not so much.

So I will pop my acetaminophen, and look forward toward their lunch break. I mean, these guys have to eat lunch, right?

As for the editing, we’ll see how it goes. Keep your pencils crossed for me.

Have a minute? Watch this video.

Rather read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!