The Loops

The characters have become weary and cynical near the end of the Incomplete States series. I wonder how much they influence me and the converse. It’s an interesting loop on its own.

But of course I taste what they feel. It’s necessary. Regardless of my process, whether it’s all deeply in me and I’m mining the story, or it’s being fed to me or channeled through me from some other existence, as it sometimes feels (thanks to the power of focus and imagination), I taste the words, and they affect me.

Balancing the scales, writing and progress continues, and I’m enjoying it. It’s an empowering experience. (The end is nigh!) Thinking about it, it’s almost the opposite of the Doom Loop. It’s the Success Loop. (Weird that as long as I’ve heard of the Doom Loop, I’ve never thought about the Success Loop. I looked it up, confirming, yes, such a creature exists – of course.)

Like the Doom Loop, the Success Loop is a spiral. But where the Doom Loop takes you down (because you expect less, so you try less, etc.), the Success Loop lifts you up. You’re building on what you’ve achieved, adding success. As success is added, success is expected, so you work harder for that success. You learn to know and love the taste and feel of success, and the power and confidence that it generates.

The Success Loop is often a strong but fragile thing in a writer. Like a spider web, it has impressive strength for what it is, but like a web, it’s easily broken. If I’m an average writer and others are like me, we worry about not having enough talent, skill, luck, drive, energy, or time to be the writer that we think we can be, that we want to be. We’re always worried that we’ll fall short.

That’s not bad. Those worries anger and inflame me, often encouraging me, try harder, work harder, and do not give up. 

The characters have become grittier as I come to the end. “I want to reach the end,” they tell themselves and one another. “This must be ended.” And they push, and push, thinking that they can succeed.

In this case, I know more than them. I know the ending. It’s been written. All of this action is the final bridge to what will be, what already is. What they do now will not affect their ending.

I think that with such confidence, knowing how I’m tricking myself. These are written words. They’re subject to change. Especially once editing and revising begins.

As a final loop, I wonder, has my ending been written? Is what I’m trying to write and achieve all for nothing because my destiny is established and sealed, and nothing will change it?

Maybe, but perhaps not. Perhaps there multiple loops.

Maybe I’ll leap onto one of those.

It’s been a good day of writing like crazy, once again. I’m hungry, the coffee is gone, and, man, my butt feels sore.

Time to go on to other things.

For now.

An Inconclusive Dream

First, my sister-in-law was visiting my wife and me. She was upset and came to talk to us.

I can’t describe where we were at. My observations were limited to a very close personal point-of-view. There seemed to be a place in black and white, and seemed like it was night, but we were inside, so I’m not certain of much beyond those basics.

I don’t know what upset my sister-in-law, either, nor why she came to us. All of that is hazy. My wife and I were tired and got into bed to go to sleep, and my sister-in-law got into bed, too.

None of us could sleep. First, one of my cats (the ginger fellow) came in, walked up to my head and looked at my face. I tried pulling my covers over my head so that I could sleep.

Then, I heard voices. After listening and failing to identify who it was or where they originated, I got up and started talking about them. My wife said that she heard them, too. I went to find the source and discovered my nephew. He’s my wife’s other sister’s son. Sitting cross-legged on a bed,  he was engaged in a noisy phone conversation on speaker.

I went back and reported that and then left for downstairs. Downstairs was daylight. Part of it was a gas station, but there was also a junk yard, and other things that I couldn’t make out. The gas station owner turned out to be my lawyer. I was being tried for something. I don’t know the charges. He and I walked around, supposedly to talk about the case, but neither of us were interested in it. He thought I was going to be convicted, and I unconcerned. Strolling around, we were under lights, but outside, but remained daylight. Others were there. They distracted the gas station owner/lawyer, a big old white male with short brown hair dressed in blue overalls. He drifted off to talk to them.

Sitting down, I gazed around the pile of junk. It was mostly old cars, tires, pieces of fencing, and a few appliances. Across the way, I saw a Studebaker Hawk. Rusted and faded, it had lost its side windows and wheels, but was otherwise intact. When the lawyer/GSO returned, I pointed it out for confirmation that’s what I was seeing. Yes, he answered, and then launched into a meandering story about how it came there that I couldn’t hear or understand.

He went away ago. Turning, I discovered a red Ferrari Testarossa Spyder go-cart. I wanted to know if it ran, and what it used for an engine, whether it was electric or gas-powered. I put these questions to the lawyer/GSO when he came back.


“Sure,” he said, with a good ol’ boy laugh while scratching himself. “It runs.”

“Can we start it?” I asked.

The laywer/GSO looked around and said (I think), “Let me see if I can find him.”

My wife came down. I told her about the Studebaker and the Ferrari, showing her the latter, telling her that I was waiting to see if it can be started.

The dream ended on that note.


Floofematics (catfinition) – the abstract science of trying to balance what you do for your cat(s) and what they do for you.

In use: “Tired of cleaning up hairballs, answering summons to give them treats and catnip, and cleaning potatoes out of the litter box, he sat down with a glass of wine to review the floofematics of the arrangement.”

Monday’s Theme Music

This song, “Heatwave”, performed by Martha and the Vandellas, came out in July, 1963. I’d just turned seven, so I’ve known this song almost all of my life. It’s a terrific song, full of energy, pop, and harmonies, with some fat sax thrown in. Many other excellent covers have since been offered, but I’ll stay with the original, thanks.

Clap along, clap along.


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