Writing from multiple personal points of view as I like to do is a fascinating exercise. Each character has a different interior voice and private agenda. Less than putting them on, I marinate in them.

It’s engaging to explore them as their personalities emerge and these voices and agendas become stronger. The longer I marinate (write from their POV), the move they develop.

I have broad strokes about each. Kanrin is quiet, patient, and thoughtful. He likes to wait for more information before saying anything, and is careful about what he says. Richard is verbal, veers toward narcissism, and often becomes petulant, childish, and jealous, characteristics that make him unpredictable. Pram has less complexity and is action oriented. Not being able to act drives irritation and anger in him, facets that the others know about him, which cause them to worry about Pram and distrust him. (He knows it, and that angers him more.) Handley is younger and more mellow, with simpler needs, and Brett is a weary, older human who just wants to have a beer, chill out, and let the universe pass by.

Then we have Philea.

Philea is a scientist. Today’s writing unexpectedly took me through Philea’s thinking about chi-particles, qubits, unitary transformation, and quantum superpositions. Philea, a character that I supposedly created, is far more intelligent than me. I struggle to follow her thinking and put it into words.

I say I supposedly created Philea because it’s possible that she exists elsewhere (in another time or dimension), and what I’m writing as fiction is being channeled from another life elsewhere. That’s one possibility; another is that I’m just crazy. A third is that I have created Philea, and trying to think like her forces me into deeper focus and thinking, which can be done for a short period, but is ultimately unsustainable for me.

I’m agnostic about which of these are the truth. Perhaps they all are, in that I created her, which actually generated another universe of existence (sound familiar?), which then evolved, and is now feeding my thinking from her through a channel from that universe. Pondering it is fun, challenging, and harrowing.

Philea’s thinking has worn me out. Enough writing like crazy for today.


Retrofloof (catfinition) – a time-traveling cat who insists on living in the past.

In use:

Lady, the little gray tabby with a tawny belly, was a retrofloof, disappearing as suddenly as she’d arrived, with as little explanation to it.

He didn’t worry; another retrofloof would soon show up. Other people thought retrofloofs were strays, but he knew that cats liked time-traveling, and preferred (from his experience and perspective, at least) to go into the past to relive their past lives.

How did he know the cats traveled into the past? They’d informed him that it was what they did. Not all who disappeared were retrofloofs, of course; some were alterfloofs, choosing to live in alternative dimensions. But Lady, she had told him, was a retrofloof.


Bad Writer

Yes, that’s me; I’m a bad writer.

I indulge myself when I write. My characters take long journeys of exploration. Thousands of words are spent as they kick around space, time, and memories, plot and vacillate over moral decisions and relationships, renege on their promises to themselves and others, and forget shit. Good writers (and editors, and hell, probably readers) will ask, “Well, what’s the point of all of that?”

Well, the point is, I enjoy it. It’s probably unhealthy, but my characters live alternative lives on my behalf doing all this. They help me engage in hyperbole. None of the characters are good or evil. Good and evil is a sliding scale, pushed around by situation, relevance, and perspective. That doesn’t mean they like what they’re doing; they often regret it. Hard choices are imposed on them. They forget what they learn, and are forced to learn it again, or learn their lesson, but can’t apply their lessons learned. Sometimes, it feels like they’re addicted to errors.

The characters are probably too much like me, regretting decisions and ruing choices, frustrated that they can’t control their lives, that their dreams are pushed aside by others’ agendas. Some of my characters are bitter and angry about it; others are blasé or fatalistic. Apathy sets in on some, but some forge ahead with determination, racing along even after it turns out they’ve made a bad decision. “Follow me,” they gleefully urge. Hundreds of pages later, they ask, “Where am I? What happened?”

It’s hell keeping up with them. Some days, they’ll like a drunken dysfunctional family gathering. Other times, they’re as boring and tedious as an later afternoon office meeting where everyone is waiting to leave so they can get on with other things.

I love keeping up with them and the laborious labyrinths of their lives as they struggle to find how much they can trust one another and cope with mysteries, betrayals, and setbacks, and find new goals as old goals are overcome by events.

Yes, I’m a bad writer, writing to mend my life and peer past the horizons imposed by reality. It’s probably not healthy, and I won’t bet any money that I’ll win awards or become wealthy, or critically successful, but I do have a helluva good time doing it.

Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Humor Breaks

I confess: I like goofy humor. I’m a Benny Hill fan. Parody, slapstick, and innuendo makes me laugh. Monty Python’s “Argument Room” remains one of my favorite skits. The silliness on “Red Dwarf” cracks me up.

You’ve been warned.

My wife and I have been enjoying this short video, “I’m About to Whip Somebody’s Ass.”


It’s been around for a while. Its rise to my attention prompted me to remember the ones I’ve seen over the years that I’ve most enjoyed. (Well, to my recollection. I probably forgot a few.)

One of the first from long ago was this parody of James Blunt’s song, “You’re Beautiful.” I found the parody inspirational, and tempting. Yes, I was always tempted to sit in my cubicle nude after hearing this.



Then there was “Alan! Alan!”

All of these were passed on or shared with me, and I’ve passed these on and shared them before. Are there any that you particularly enjoy sharing or passing on?

Wednesday’s Theme Music

I must have heard this somewhere recently. As is my norm, my stream picked it up and added it to the mental jukebox and it randomly popped up today.

Fiona Apple’s “Shadowboxer” is lazy, slurred, and haunting to me. I attribute my impression to the beat, lyrics (and material), and the volume’s slow rise, as if she’s been thinking aloud about a relationship and is reaching a conclusion. It’s a song that goes well with dimly lit rooms and a glass of wine at a weary day’s end.

Here she is, from way back in the last century (1996).


The Sniff Test

Have you ever been about to eat something when your cat comes up to smell it, so you let them sniff it, and they draw back with a dismayed look, and then seem to look disappointed that you’re still going to eat this food that smells bad to them?

No? Is it just me, then?


Floofing (catfinition) – slang for when a cat curls up against the curve of a human body to sleep.

In use: “The big Maine Coon loved floofing with her, and she enjoyed it, too, running her hand over his furry belly as the thrum of his purr vibrated against her torso.”

Tuesday’s Theme Music

A fraction of this song got trapped in an eddy of my mind stream. “Who is this?” I kept asking myself, but could only remember some words, and none of it seemed connected to a place and time in my life.

Not fully recalling it bugged me so I did searched until it was resolved. (I’m peculiar that way.) The song is “Ordinary World,” performed by Duran Duran. That’s what kept me confused. As a Duran Duran song, it’s not associated with anything else of their music that I’ve heard. It came out in 1992, so I was back in America, stationed at Onizuka Air Station and living in Mountain View.

The lines that kept going through my head this morning were,

And I don’t cry for yesterday
There’s an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

h/t azlyrics.com

The Memory

Billy got hit by a truck, he says.

He thinks, a truck hit Billy, but he doesn’t say anything. The other is still speaking in slow, backwoods twangs and drawls.

Boy, do I remember that day. We were standing on one side of the road, by the school entrance. Billy was on the other side. He saw us and got this big grin. One of them big-ass coal trucks was hauling ass toward us, but Billy started running across the road. It was all so fast, I didn’t even have time to shout or think. The truck driver slammed on his brakes. The tires locked up in screaming smoke, and the brakes were grinding and squealing in what seemed like forever. I swear to God, I saw Billy turn and look at the truck at the last second, like he’d just realized it was there. Then the truck took Billy down the road.

His shoe flew off. I saw it fly away, like a damn bird. It landed off the side of the road. Then the truck was stopped, and it was all quiet for, I don’t know, it seemed like forever, but it wasn’t. Then someone shouted, Billy, and we all started running for the truck.

His blue eyes get still and wide, staring far off across time and space. Man, I remember that day like it was yesterday, he says.

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