Taken for Granted

As I showered today, enjoying fresh hot water, I thought about all the moments leading to that one. I looked back toward Ashland becoming a town and the settlers coming together with a decision to establish a water system. They created dams and cisterns, and channeled water to pipes for homes to tap off them.

Imagine all of that, the thinking and conversations that were held about the idea, and the decisions that had to be made. Someone paid for it, someone oversaw the work, and others did the work.

Then expand, look at our modern areas with their drainage, sewage, and water supplies. The trails, paths, sidewalks, streets, and roads that were built, expanding into higheways, and then augmented with interstate expressways. Look at the driveways, parking spots, parking garages, and gas stations. Look at the new charging stations for electric cars. Look beyond to the communication lines, from telegraphs and telephones to antennas, and cable television and Internet connections to satellite feeds and cell towers.

It is amazing stuff that I take for granted, this infrastructure that I use with little thought, and it’s such a small, small fragment of the entire development that we call civilization. Shame that we have the potential to destroy all of this thought and work by careless thought and activity.

Especially when you consider the more amazing planet upon which all of this is built.

The Walls

Thinking about what I’m doing in my writing and thinking, and writing and posting to understand what I’m thinking and writing.

See, I had to leave my characters behind and scale the walls once again. First I did it while I was walking, but once I glimpsed the territory, I needed to map it out on paper.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the walls. I’ve never heard other writers use the expression as I use it. The walls establish the characters’ limits of knowledge. They’re different for each character — all remember, realize, experience, or know different aspects than others.

Beyond the walls are the other events taking place that will affect the characters. How much is happening and what you, the writer, decides to share, depends on the story you’re telling. For examples, walls are frequently employed in sitcoms. One character establishes some half-ass fact or understanding predicated on misheard or overheard information, or glimpse something and make a wrong assumption, initiating a chain of misguided decisions. We, the audience, knows what’s going on beyond the wall. That sets up the humor.

We see the walls in the Jason Bourne movie franchise, where many walls are employed, torn down, or penetrated. Secrecy, security, dirty histories, and personal agendas establish and maintain the walls.

In this series that I’m writing, I use multiple walls. A huge part of what’s going on is happening beyond the walls. It’s stuff that wasn’t told to the characters or the readers. Now, though, the characters are storming the walls. They’re planning to tear them down, so I need to go see what’s happening on the other side. To get to that point, I pulled out pen and notebook. I resort to this methodology when I’m going my craziest. Pen and paper is less permanent, and more fluid and malleable. Typewritten words on screen or paper demands grammar, punctuation, and spelling be followed from years of conditioning. The notebook and pen shouts, “Scribble fight!” And off I go.

Got my coffee, and in position. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.



Purrprietary (catfinition) – a cat’s claim of ownership by sitting or laying on it and purring.

In use: “He’d bought the laptop for his planned writing career, but as soon as he set it up and turned it on, Pepper, his Siamese cat – positioned herself on the keyboard and purred, establishing her purrprietary claim.”

Thursday’s Theme Music

Well, this was a weird stream. I was reading about the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election campaign for president when I came across the term crossfire hurricane. The FBI used it as a code name for the investigation. The Wayback Machine immediately fired up a stream from a 1969 Rolling Stones hit called “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. The first line that I remembered went, “I was born in a crossfire hurricane.”

I think the song’s beginning is terrific. One, two.


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