Escape Through Writing. Yes Even Now

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By August Müller (1836–1885) (Auktionshaus Bergmann) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The world is a little overwhelming right now. If you’re not finding it overwhelming, you’re likely a superhero, a super villain, or really, really good at ignoring reality.

Kudos.

But the rest of us need a little respite. Those of you for whom it’s all respite feel free to share your secrets, but I warn you, radioactive material from outer space with power-enhancing abilities is kinda tough to come by these days. I mean if you think laser sharks have a waiting list…

But I digress.

And that’s the point. If we don’t digress here and there with all that’s happening right now, we will shatter into dust so fine it doesn’t even sparkle. Who wants to be non-sparkle dust?

Not me. That’s who.

For those of us who write, disappearing into a world of our own making can be an incredible relief. It can also feel like an expensive luxury when every bit of news feels so important, every new affront and danger needs to be spread spread spread. But it’s not a luxury.

It’s not an indulgence. Writing is work, it is always work, but just because that work comes with an enjoyable side, it doesn’t turn it sinful.

Now, more than ever, we need to allow ourselves the room to express our ideas. We need to give ourselves permission.

Deal? Great.

Now I just have to take my own advice.

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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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.

 

#AtoZChallenge: Zip

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Zebu By Marco Schmidt (Own work (own foto)) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to zip on over to Fiction Can Be Fun, my short story, “Zinnia Goes to You Know Where” is now live! It’s a quirky, silly read, as you might expect.

Well, April just zipped by, didn’t it? It’s strange doing a post on a Sunday, but here we are, at the outer edge of April. I’ll do a reflections post, of course, but today I’m amazed at how quickly the month went.

And tomorrow starts May, where I’ll be #MAYkingItWork with any other intrepid writers who want to zip over their unfinished pile, pick something, and commit to it for the month of May. I mean commit to it like I’m committed to the title #MAYkingItWork.

(I’m very committed.)

So you probably want to zip off to your Sunday plans (which I hope include reading the story!) and I want to thank you for spending April with me. Hopefully you’ll keep hanging around.

Have a dusty, unfinished manuscript you need to work on? Join us in May for #MAYkingItWork! Commit to a project and commiserate with us!

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!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

I’m Polyauthorous and I’m Proud

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RadioKirk, Wikimedia Commons

RadioKirk, Wikimedia Commons

OK, first things first. You know that neat little widget which is supposed to update my word count when I change it on the NaNoWriMo site? Well, it doesn’t. It just stays on the same number it was when I put it up. So either I’ll have to figure it out (any WordPressers resolve this issue?) or let it go.

Hmm, changing the widget seems to have worked, but we’ll see after I update today.

Now, on to that title. You may remember how I said that I had two ideas, and I thought I might try to work on both? Seems a little crazy, right?

Well, I did.

I think it’s possible to love more than one manuscript at a time. And here’s the thing. They’re different in tone, different in subject matter, and they (probably) occur in two different worlds.

It wasn’t nearly as difficult to switch as I thought it might be, I did the bulk of my writing on one (2200 words) and then, much later, added 1000 to the project I started on November 1.

Sidebar. To resolve all future confusion (I’ll be honest here, I mean my future confusion), we’ll call the project I started on day 1 WIP A, and the one I started on day 2 WIP B. Cool? Cool.

So yesterday WIP B was the one that drew my attention, the one that I sank into more readily. Today may be the opposite, and I’m going to give myself the freedom for that. When the going gets tough, the two-WIP way of life may become questionable, and we’ll cross that bridge and all the other assorted cliches.

But I’ll tell you this: NaNoWriMo is doing its job, because I am back to getting words on a page, and that is battle number one.

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!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

 

No, I probably won’t blog about NaNoWriMo EVERY day

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Monkey-typingBut heck, it’s still new, it’s Day 2, and I have writing to do.

The first two were unintentional, but it just seemed wasteful not to finish it out.

Anyway, with a little bit of, hmm, how should I put this, uh, I think the word is procrastination? Maybe? I finally got myself settled, sat down and wrote. And the floodgates opened.

Not so much on the project I finally chose — something entirely new, by the way — though I hit 2030 words. But it felt like working out after a long, long hiatus, where the breathlessness is oppressive and your muscles won’t follow your brain.

I actually had to take a breather during my word sprints.

But before I went to bed, the seeds of something else planted themselves, and like bamboo, sprouted quickly. I know I have the tendency to be distracted by something new and shiny, but this morning I was drawn to the second project.

So here’s what I figure. NaNoWriMo is really about putting in the motivation to write. So if I put words into a fiction project (as opposed to a fictional project. I swear these WsIP exist!) I am going to take those words and put them in my wordy bank.

I suspect that one project will end up being more compelling than the other, but we’ll see! How’s your NaNo going?

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!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

So. Yeah. NaNoWriMo Day 1

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Well, I’m on that NanWriMo train. Or probably more accurately,  looking at this year’s badge, spaceship. My current word count?

0.

Haven’t decided yet what I’m writing. I have some old works-in-progress to finish, and I can’t help but think that getting them done would be, what we call in the writing game, a good thing.

But there’s always that allure of a fresh, new, uncharted story, one with just an amorphous beginning and a million possibilities to get to the end. It’s responsibility or frivolity, finishing versus starting.

One of the magical things about NaNo is that it instantly shifts writing to a priority.  There is no “I should” or “why don’t I.” You have to get your words in, that’s the point. So to what project do I give that priority?

I even posted a twitter poll to get an outside eye.

It landed 50/50. Note to self: never do a poll with two options again.

It’s pretty symbolic of my approach to writing lately, spending so much time thinking about what I should be getting done that the words don’t hit the page. NaNo puts an end to that.

As soon as I begin.

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!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

Memories of Rain

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20160819_104703I used to love the rain. But that was many years ago, you see, before the skies stayed dark.

Before.

The knocking of the drops against the window wasn’t yet a constant patter, a patter we don’t even hear anymore. Well, a patter you probably don’t hear anymore, but I do, I do because I remember a time when a sunny day was just as likely as a rainy one.

Or even more so.

As I said, that was long, long ago.

There came about The Change, and though you know it, so convenient from your side of history, packaged and neat with a beginning and an end, we didn’t see it looming over us, inevitable, a hulking arbiter of what would never be again.

Maybe I’m lucky to be old. To have had my youth when there were birds and bright flowers, and the sun was as certain as your galoshes. I wonder, sometimes, if it misses us, up there, on the other side of these endless clouds.

That’s silly, isn’t it?

The sun? Missing specks like us? Because what are we but the dust of the universe, floating on all this water, awash in all this water. Around us, only the water.

I can see I’ve lost you, that look in your eye, that quick glance to your phone. And you’re right, I’m nothing but an old woman, plopped here by the one on the shift before you, left to stare at the drops rolling down. Always the drops rolling down.

If we knew, we could have stopped it, The Change. We could have handed you something else entirely. Instead we’ve given you mud and muck and gray skies.

What’s that? Oh yes, I understand, you have to finish your rounds. You’ve been very patient and kind, listening to me. You’re right, of course.

You can never miss what you never had.

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!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!