Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2017

(Here’s a little trip into the Way Back Machine for you. I was digging through some old notes and came across this little gem. Written by my 14-year-old self many, many, many moons ago, I present it here, transcribed verbatim – bad punctuation and all – from the original freshman-in-high-school scrawl… – Cheri)

 

 

“This is Eggberthead Snuffington Worthless on location in Ireland. I am about to talk with one of the great megaliths here,” said the reporter, turning to a huge chuck of rock behind him, “Mr. Megalith…”

“Are you blind!?” screeched the rock, “I’m a Mrs.”

“Oh, I’m terribly sorry. Please excuse my mistake,” stammered the reporter, “Mrs. Megalith, I hear you are the oldest megalith to be found. Is this true?”

“No, it ain’t. My husband is 3,000 years older than I am.”

“Oh? Where is he?”

“Sent to some place by the name of Stonehenge. Prob’bly some singles place.”

“Stonehenge? It seems that by the time he was drug there he’d be worn away to nothing.”

“Good heavens, man! He went air-mail!”

“Air-mail?” asked the confused reporter.

“Carrier pterodactyl.”

“But pterodatyls are extinct.”

“Thank heavens for that! Those things damaged us megaliths worse than the elements.”

“They attacked you?”

“No, you ninny! We were the closest things they had to statues.”

“Oh,” the reporter paused. “What do you think of the ancient Celts?”

“Those freaky nuts with the long stringy hair streaking around for no good reason at all, drawing squiggly lines all over the place? The dummies should have put some clothes on; they were so cold they were blue!”

“But they painted themselves blue.”

“They didn’t need to paint themselves blue! They were blue as ice anyway. You know why they’re referred to as ‘ancient’?”

“Because there aren’t any more?”

“Right! They all died of pnemonia because they ran around without any clothes on!”

“Uh…, I hope you don’t mind if I change the subject, but what was your impression of the Vikings?”

“They played a good game Sunday. Zipped right past the Packers.”

“I don’t mean the football team, I mean the ancient Vikings.”

“Oh, those beasts. They were the rudest, most domineering, uncultered creeps I’ve ever met!” the megalith hissed. “They ran around ransacking everything, guzzling Coors beer as if it were going out of style and grabbing all the good-looking girls they could get their grubby paws on!”

“You had Coors beer back then?”

“Of course! We had Coors, Budweiser, Schlitz; all the biggies. You know, that may be why they were so mean. Half had hangovers and were mad at the other half for making all the noise.”

“Well, yes, that could be true,” said the reporter. “Uh… one final question. Did you have Halloween a million years ago?”

“We didn’t have Halloween perse. We had a night called the Night out of Time on the eve of the new year. A bunch of freakies ran around in sheets and weird-o masks screaming and moaning, and stealing food. If the people wouldn’t let them steal the food they would cast a spell on them. Usually scared them to death. It got to where I became so annoyed I finally just took it up to myself to do something about it.”

“What’d you do?”

“I fell over on a bunch of them when they came running by. Squished them all over the place.”

“And that stopped the Night out of Time?” the reporter questioned.

“Sure it did. The ones that were left were scared out of their guords and died of fright. The only reason we’ve got Halloween now is because they came back to haunt me. Everybody thought running around in sheets and masks was cool so they joined in,” the megalith answered. The reporter paused, gave a look of utter hopelessness and turned to the camera.

“You heard it folks. This has been Eggberthead Snuffington Worthless on location in Ireland.”

 

 

Megalith

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/shop/irish_genius.htm

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

This is how you peacefully protest:

 

Peaceful Protest montage

 

This is not:

 

Armed protesters

 

STOP THE HATE

 

 

Read Full Post »

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have dreamed of working for ourselves. We sit in our office cubicle, or other equally dismal assigned work space, and wonder what it would be like to not have to answer to that asshole of a boss anymore, or sit next to that whining hypochondriac, or deal with the petty power plays of the supply clerk over the next set of copy paper requests. We imagine how nice it would be to set our own schedule as we tool away at our dream job training unicorns to tap dance. Or maybe something equally a fantasy, like being a writer.
I certainly entertained those thoughts. And when the day came that my husband agreed I could give up the (fruitless two year, hundreds of resumes sent) job hunt and stay at home to give my writing a full-time chance, I was giddy with joy. FINALLY, I could live the life I wanted. All those stories that had been dancing around my head, all those characters demanding to be released, could actually see the light of day. No more alarms, no more power suits, no more office bullshit, and no more disorganized bosses. I stopped being a Certified Administrative Professional, and became a WRITER.
Yeah, you can stop laughing now…

 

lol-cat

I love the smell of folly first thing in the morning…

 

My grand plan was to get up every day when I felt like it, write for a few hours, have lunch, piddle around the housework, fix dinner for the hubby, and finish off the day with a few more hours of writing. I went and bought myself some spiffy writing software (Scrivener is awesome!)*, a cool electronic pad that captures hand-writing (Wacom is awesome!)*, and smooth heavy-bond paper for my fountain pens (Levenger is awesome!)*. I fussed over how my desk should be laid out, whether I should go for time or word count, listen to music or not, have the TV on or not, and about a bazillion other silly things that really didn’t matter but did because I’m a little obsessive/compulsive that way.

In the beginning, I actually did get some stuff accomplished. I (slowly) finished a novel and some short stories, made pretty regular entries here at this old dump of a blog, and did at least two articles a week for an on-line “news” site called Examiner.com, now defunct. I did that gig mainly to get myself back into writing shape, knowing I wouldn’t make a living off it, and left well before their fall. I have made queries and submissions for both the novel and stories, essentially to a large field of crickets, it seems, given the non-responses I’ve received. And I started a second novel. So, in the grand scheme of things, maybe it doesn’t seem all that bad.

Appearances are definitely deceiving.

That early enthusiasm soon fell victim to my own lack of urgency. When I don’t HAVE to get up at a certain time, I don’t. In fact, I’m very cat-like in that regard. I’ll take a nap just about anytime. And when I say nap, I mean at least four hours of unconsciousness cuddled with the actual cats in a cool, dark room. And being naturally a night person, night was when I was awake. I’d see my husband off to work in the morning and promptly head off to the vault for my day’s snooze.

And not being responsible to anyone else’s agenda, when I was awake I wasn’t nearly as productive as I could have been. Hey, look! There’s a game I haven’t played in a long time. Maybe I should make something out of this fabric I’ve had for the last twenty years. Wow, I sure do have a lot of books I need to read – better get started. It’s amazing how fast time disappears when you’re not accountable.

Then came a couple scary events involving hospitals, bill collectors, and mortgage companies. The depression seemed to envelope me whole and what little productivity I’d managed rapidly fell off into nothing. Soon it was mostly sleeping and computer games, because nothing really matters, least of all me. Hiding is what I seem to do best. It’s so easy to put things off when there are no hard deadlines, no people to be responsible to, and no requirements beyond feeding the cats and the husband. And that little dark cave in my mind that began as a refuge, slowly transformed into a prison…

 

Wearing all black

But only until they come up with something darker…

 

I follow several other writers – a couple best-selling/award winners, and a few crawling up the ranks – all of whom are further along their journeys than I. Somewhere along the line, I began dissecting their schedules (if they didn’t outright tell their readers). They all blog more frequently than I, and post on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram numerous times a week. They usually write, or are at least engaged in some aspect surrounding writing, like editing or marketing, everyday. The up-and-comers send out dozens of queries and/or submissions a month, while the established pen mavens have to figure out how to balance all those offers with their already tight schedules. They talk about having to pay the mortgage, dealing with children interrupting their writing time, and imposter syndrome. They are going through all the same issues I am, but they have managed to keep the keystrokes active. They press through even on those days when it seems that writing is more a chore and less the passion they thought it would be.

They do it because they HAVE to, not just because they want to. They are beholding to their families, their editors, their readers, and any number of others involved in the chain of production from inception to publication. Don’t get me wrong: they still love what they do. But like with any career, once it starts rolling, there are other people to think of, and you’d best not let them down.

And that’s what I finally realized I’ve done. This writing thing isn’t just about me. My husband is carrying the household expenses on his shoulders while I piss away my day killing zombies. My family and friends support me and offer encouragement, despite me sleeping curled up with the cats all afternoon. There are even people who aren’t any of the above that read this blog regularly – or at least as regularly as my erratic entries allow – and still follow me regardless.

And that’s why self-motivation is an oxymoron. It doesn’t exist for me. I don’t give a crap for myself, so it doesn’t matter if things get done or not. You can’t motivate someone who doesn’t care. But I’m not operating in a bubble. I know that now. And I just can’t stand to let others down.

So things are going to change. Even if it means using that damn alarm again…

 

 

*   Disclaimer: I have received no monetary sponsorship for these claims. I really do think they’re awesome and use them often!

Read Full Post »

There has been lots of talk over the last few years about cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, echo chambers, and the general tendency of humans to hear what they want to hear, not what is actually being said. While this is a problem as old as humans, these last few years has seen it grow to an unprecedented volume. Largely thanks to social media, the fires of misogyny, bigotry, racism, and religious fervor have flared to global conflagrations. If it’s one thing humans really love to do, it’s hate.

The recent kerfluffle over the new female Doctor Who is but a small example of the hate parade out there. Pick just about anything on the Internet, and you’ll find scathing comments below. Pink posts a perfectly innocent family picture, and is slammed for being a terrible mom who’s endangering her children. The Afghani all female robotics team makes history for their country, and they receive death threats. Even cute little kittens aren’t exempt. Kittens!?! Come on, people!

 

i-hate-everything-cat

Even that adorable fluff face…

 

I have to admit experiencing my own moments of “You’re stupid! Fuck you!” but I try to keep them to myself as much as possible. I was brought up with the if-you-can’t-say-anything-nice-don’t-say-anything-at-all philosophy. Though in later years I did learn how to offer constructive criticisms. You can’t be a decent artisan without that. But there’s nothing constructive about the vast majority of what goes flying over the interwebs. It’s just a vomit of anger for no apparent reason.

But there is a reason. The anger isn’t really about Dr. Who or Pink or kittens, it’s about change. The world is going through a maelstrom of change. Again, largely due to the inter-connectedness social media and the Internet offers. And most humans don’t do change all that well. We like our nice little comfortable bubbles of sameness. As long as we keep to the well-worn rut of routine, we can deal. We know what to expect and how to plan for it. Screw with that routine and we all fall apart.

Even the field of science fiction has experienced the pains of change. You’d think a group that pretty much epitomizes progressive thinking – you know, that whole new worlds, new peoples are cool thing – wouldn’t have such a problem. But there’s been a tiny group of grumpy white men (see Sad/Rabid Puppies) who have been railing against the SJW’s (social justice warriors) that have “taken over” THEIR science fiction. They view the inclusion of women, people of color, and LGBTQ issues in FICTION as a direct threat on them and their reign of control. They even went so far as to game the system for the Hugo awards a couple years ago, managing to get a goodly number of THEIR choices onto the ballots, at the expense of much more deserving writers. Thankfully, and to the credit of the majority of the voters, that year also saw the largest selection of “No Award” tallies ever seen at the Hugo’s.

Okay, guys. For one thing, it’s FICTION. ENTERTAINMENT. Don’t like anything that might threaten your delicate manhood? Don’t read/watch it. It’s not a life requirement. You want to live in a closed little bubble, while the rest of the world passes you by, you go right ahead. Since most of you can’t write worth a damn anyway, you’re not likely to get published beyond your vanity press, and you certainly won’t be missed.

 

Unicorn against idiots

I’m really going to be busy…

 

But what happens when a huge swath of the population at large has basically the same ideals? Change bad. Different wrong. And – even worse – disagreement equals attack, resistance equals persecution. The drama needle has swung off the scale and now even the tiniest difference between two people and their opinions becomes an apocalyptic battle of epic proportions.

Are we really that insecure? Are we so unsure of ourselves that we have to hate someone or something else to feel better about ourselves? We have to consider ourselves superior in ANY WAY just to make it through the day? Let’s think about that for a minute. What is hate? For me, hate is fear plus anger. Something scares us and we get angry and therefore we must hate it, because that’s better than running away. Only cowards run away and I’m certainly not a coward, right? Therefore, we must crush the object of our hate because that’s the only way to be safe.

So if the root cause of hate is fear, what are we afraid of? Or, more importantly, WHY are we afraid? Why is including more women – roughly half the entirety of the human race – both as creators and as characters in fiction so scary? Why are people of color – who actually comprise the majority in the world – too terrifying to be allowed equal representation? Why does it matter that the guy next door is having sex with another guy? Are you mad because you weren’t invited?

 

Fear is the enemy

Living your life in fear is no way to live.

 

We hate not because of a problem outside, but because of a problem inside, in our hearts and souls and minds. If you hate a young Afghani girl who wants to play with robots, then YOU are the problem, not her. But she’s a terrorist, you cry. She’s starting with robots and graduating to bombs! Congratulations. You’ve swallowed the cum of propaganda spewed by the fearful old white men who claim to run our country. Instead of thinking for yourself, you’ve followed the party line of hate, and there’s only one way that ends: in our destruction as a civilization.

And while there are those out there that just want to see the world burn, I’d bet most of us would rather that not happen. A hundred years ago, when it took days to walk to the next village, or months for a letter to wend its way to the New World from the old, it was easy to be isolated. And it made sense for local and state governments to have more autonomy over their territories, because they were right there, when the feds were weeks – even months – of travel away. But we’re not isolated anymore. Communication is virtually instantaneous. We can watch the protests in [obscure third-world country] in real-time from our couch in California. And we’re much more mobile, many of us commuting more in a day than our ancestors did in their lifetimes.

The world is not such a big place anymore. We can no longer be isolationist. We can no longer be separatists. We need more cooperation, not less; more integration, not less; more acceptance, not less.

And that means less hate, not more.

Read Full Post »

Hanging By A Thread

Stitch shenanigans of an embroidery artist

theinfill

the things that come to hand

Eli Glasman

Site of author Eli Glasman

Cinesnark

Movies with a bite.

Knite Writes

The Official Blog of Therin Knite

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

CURNBLOG

Movies, thoughts, thoughts about movies.

Skullventure!

Write, Explore, Adventure

The Jiggly Bits

...because life is funny.

Jack Flacco

THE OFFICIAL SITE

notewords

handwork, writing, life, music, books

Lora Lee's Centsations

Confessions of a Copperholic

Blue Windows

The word Blue brings many things to mind. The most obvious is the color- of sky and water. Some believe it to be calming and able to keep bad spirits away. Blue is also a state of mind, a sweet sort of sadness that may surface at any time. One may think of music, the sullen, soft sound of the blues. I am Blue - all of these things. Calm and peaceful, stormy, deeply emotional, sullen, sad and often sweet.

Kourtney Heintz's Journal

Believing In The Unbelievables: From Aspiring Writer to Published Author

The Better Man Project ™

a journey into the depths

WriteNow

For Aspiring Writers

%d bloggers like this: