C-mail, a.k.a. cat-mail (Catfinition): a secure, private open source means by which felines communicate via scents and postures.


I Believe

A majority of them believe that whites suffer the most discrimination in America. They believe that Christians suffer the most persecution. They believe that Mexicans are rapists and killers, and Obamacare is destroying the economy and eroding freedom. They believe the mainstream press is spreading false news against Trump. Some believe that former President Obama is running a shadow government. Or it might be Hillary, who they call Killary, because they believe she has had so many people killed. They believe that Congress passed an act that awarded veterans of the CSA the same status as US war veterans. They miss the part of the amendment where it states, “For the purpose of this section,” which was about paying pensions, and nothing more. They believe Planned Parenthood was harvesting babies, and that all that Planned Parenthood does is abortions. They believe that a wall will protect them and Trump will save the country.

They are Trump supporters. All those things that they say they believe in interviews, social media posts, and through polls, have been established as false. They believe that the science that predicted the eclipse and its path is being faked when it comes to global warming. It’s part of a huge conspiracy to destroy the United States.

They believe he’s “draining the swamp”

I believe they’ll continue believing these myths and lies. They’ll believe we, the critics, are undermining the POTUS with our criticism. They’ll believe it’s treasonous, that the critics, like me, are liars and obstructionists, as he claims, even though they had no qualms about accusing President Obama of being born elsewhere or hating America. They don’t see the hypocrisy. Hypocrisy and irony often escapes them.

They’ll believe protesters must be shut up, for the good of the nation. They believe that the protesters against the current administration are poor losers. They don’t see the irony in their protests to keep the monuments to the war they lost, the war they fought to keep others enslaved. Because there, too, they have convinced themselves that the rebels who seceded from the Union were heroes defending America and the Constitution. They’ve convinced themselves, it was not about slavery.

They’ll believe that it’ll be for the greater good of the nation to build camps and imprison or restrict “trouble-makers.” They’ll be convinced that this is part of protecting free speech. They’ll believe that the prisoners are treated well, but even so, they deserve to be locked up. It’s their own fault. Why are they protesting these laws if they’ve done nothing wrong?

They’ll believe that if the press stops spreading the myth of climate-change and global-warming, we’ll no longer see the effects, because that was all made-up and exaggerated by the lying press (or Democrats, or scientists). They’ll believe it until the waters are rushing in through their doors.

And when, finally, the truth comes to them because the shit’s hitting them in the face, and they’re standing in the cratered ruins, they’ll say, “I didn’t know. I didn’t know what was going on in those camps. I didn’t know that all this was going on. How could we know? We trusted our leader. He was the government, and we trusted him. How could we know that he was lying?

“How could we know?”

We heard the same thing from Germans after World War II. “How could we know?”

We heard the same thing when Dubya started the war in Iraq. “How could we know?” Many of them still believe that Dubya protected America from terrorism, that the attacks of 9/11 were to be blamed on someone else, no matter when it happened. When, eventually, the results of the WMD Inspections came out, when Dubya finally came out and said, “No, Suddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11,” they said, “How could we know? He fooled us all.”

No. He did not fool us all.

That’s what I believe.

Today’s Theme Music

Here we go. Reference to what is a classic in your personal realm of taste is different from others. Age, era, and where and when you grew up all count into it, right? Other factor play into it. The net, what’s classic in my personal universe is foreign to you, and the reverse applies.

But this is a classic for me. It often streams into my head in conjunction with my muse. Muse might be properly plural here. I have multiple voices in my head. They all might belong to one muse, who likes doing other voices, or an army of muses. I don’t know. I sometimes wonder, when you die, what happens to the voices in your head, like your muses? I believe they go find someone else to reside in.

Here is my classic, a song for my muse. Several have covered it, but the classic for me is Santana, in nineteen seventy. I remember listening it on my little AM/FM clock radio, “with stereo.” Then I had it on vinyl, open reel, cassette tape, and CD.

Here is “Black Magic Woman.”

Today’s Theme Music

Do you have daily theme music, or music that highlights an activity?

My daily theme music is often a reflection of a momentary lapse of reason, or a thought in the nick of time. Themes vary through the day, though, mirroring moods and events. Sometimes I find myself with the themes from the television series “Mission Impossible” or “Sanford and Son” in my head.

The smoke levels dropped today. The A.Q.I. remains listed as unhealthy, but it seems much clearer and more comfortable. The air temp was a comfortable seventy-six F under partly cloudy skies. That allowed me to walk in comfort.

I wrote in my head as I walked around town (actually designing the Epitomy, the starship serving as base in “Black Dust”). Bonnie Tyler’s song, “Holding Out For A Hero,” accompanied my thoughts. The song was in a movie you might have seen, “Footloose,” in nineteen eighty-four, but it’s been used for multiple campaigns. Bonnie puts a lot into singing the song, which was written by the talented Dean Pritchford.

I could use a hero this year, not just in my novels, but in life. Maybe I just place an ad: “Wanted: principled individual to save the world.”



Today’s Theme Music

“There’s something wrong with the world today.”

When Aerosmith sang that in nineteen ninety-three, I think fuckin’ A, there’s a lot wrong with the world today. I don’t think we’ve advanced much since ’93. It feels like we’re sliding down a steep hill. It’s getting steeper, and we’re picking up speed. I can’t see the bottom, and I don’t know what’s down there, and all these things scare the hell out of me. The Doomsday Clock stayed at three minutes until midnight until twenty seventeen. Now it’s been moved to two and half minutes before midnight.



For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.” In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is two and a half minutes to midnight, the Clock is ticking, global danger looms. Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink. If they do not, wise citizens must step forward and lead the way.  See the full statement from the Science and Security Board on the 2017 time of the Doomsday Clock.


Don’t know why it matters to me; I’m sixty-one. How long until death? Yes, but isn’t it the quality of life until death that matters? And do I not want to think the world became better while I was in it, and maybe helped make it a little, teeny-tiny bit better?

Here’s Aerosmith, with “Livin’ On the Edge.”

The Air, the Fitbit, the Writing, the Dreams

Our outdoor air sucks. Need more?

Smoke from wildfires is filling our air. The Air Quality Index leaped to one hundred fifteen last night. DANGEROUS. It hasn’t been hot, only into the nineties. We open the house at night to cool it off, and then close the blinds and windows during the day. Opening the windows last night sent us into coughing fits as wet smoke smells wafted in. Eventually, we donned masks.

Today isn’t as bad. The A.Q.I. is in the fifties, and officially, moderate. Visibility remains down. It’s like a white-out beyond a a few hundred feet.

All this wildfire smoke has reduced my Fitbit activities. Walking is way down, to five miles a day average. It’s not as critical as many other issues resulting from wildfires. None of the fires are directly affecting our community. We feel for all those being evacuated in those areas, and appreciate the firefighters’ efforts. If this stuff is terrible for me, a guy in his early sixties who considers himself in good health, those with emphysema and other respiratory issues must be deeply suffering.

I took to the Orson Scott Card method for visualizing and organizing the novel in progress. O.S.C. talked about just drawing places, like a city, and then adding details. With each detail and area added or defined, entertain questions about why those areas and details exist. I’ve done this exercise before, with excellent results. I wasn’t disappointed this time.

I had been editing the novel’s first draft. Halfway through that process, I perceived a problem. A new ‘greater arc’ was required as the solution. I could be wrong, but this is how I decided to address the issue. It’s essentially an epic. I like epics. Bigger is better.

This was decided over a four day period. Then, after deciding it was necessary, I went on a reading sprint. I finished reading two novels, and read two others, in five days. I also read fiction stories and news articles online. This reading stimulated my writing juices and invigorated my writing dreams. I found myself re-committed to who I was, and what I was doing. It’s a matter of taking a deep breath, turning on the computer, and putting the ass in chair, and the fingers on a keyboard.

This new arc takes place on a planet where technology fails. An outpost is established using outdated technology. Suddenly, it’s like living in a frontier castle. I loved that difference in direction from my usual challenges of visualizing the far future and other intelligent races.

I drew the outpost on my computer, and brainstormed about how the lack of technology affects them, and solutions and work-arounds. The team living in the outpost are hunting for people, but can’t use their suits or vehicles. They fall back to horses. Having horses adds more problems and dimensions.

So do the powerful windstorms endured on the planet. That’s why the outpost becomes a castle; something stout enough to survive the windstorms are necessary. That’s the iceberg view of all the scenes, problems, and challenges realized. I don’t want to give away more. Drawing and brainstorming in this manner was a catalyst to my imagination. I scrambled to capture ideas an create an event timeline. It resulted in *shudder* an outline. 

As an organic writer, the outline overwhelmed me. Suddenly, there it all was, this part of the novel mapped out in all its complications and key events. I could imagine, see, and hear them. Writing them was required. It’s daunting for an organic pantser. I decided I would scramble to write key scenes and moments, and patch them together with bridge and pivot scenes, and build the story in layers, much like I used to do when oil painting, or writing a business case, or analyzing data.

I think that whatever opened my creative floodgates also turned the dream valves to full open. I had six remembered dreams last night. Friends from my past were featured. My wife also made an appearance. Of course, maybe it was the eclipse opening the dream and creativity gates. Who can say?

Trying to capture details this morning diverted personal resources already earmarked for other activities. I resorted to dream summaries. The dreams were wild. Once again, my muses were prominently featured. They were attempting to guide and assist me in different manners. Sorting the chaos was a fascinating exercise.

Having your muses show up in my dreams injects high confidence levels. I felt empowered and emboldened when I awaken. Yet, being me, the confidence evaporates to more normal levels by midday. Having your muses and some higher beings populate your dreams and offer encouragement has a good thing. I’m certainly not going to kick them out.

Time to write like crazy, at least one more time. How about you, writers? Have you seen increased creativity? Maybe it is the eclipse.

Or maybe it’s the coffee.

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