Another Ken Said


Floofspirator (floofintion) – a feline or canine housepet that reaches secret agreement with the other housepets to do something against the house rules. (An involved feline is often labeled a catspirator.)

In use: “The video showed the floofspirators in action. The cat leaped onto the door handle. Hanging from it, the feline twisted the handle. The door popped open an inch. The lab nosed forward and shoved the door open. In an instant, the other dogs followed, and then the catspirator dropped from the handle and ran outside.”

Beyond Politics

Beyond politics (like Russia meddling, Brexit, immigration, Black Lives Matter, #Metoo, refugees, and votes of confidence), I’m trying to follow other stories. They’re mostly natural disasters.

I follow the fires out west, naturally. These directly affect me via the smoke polluting the air. I’ve notice a normalization trend emerging. Although the AQI is unhealthy today, people think, “It’s better than yesterday.” They also go without masks because they didn’t feel anything from their exposure yesterday, last week, and last month. Many don’t seem to understand the long-term impact of breathing air loaded with particulates.

I’m following the Puerto Rico recovery because they’re humans, American citizens, and they’re suffering. I’m following volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in several areas, and flooding in the U.S. and India. Our technology allows us to visit disaster scenes. I’m not certain that this is healthy.

I’m following the job situation and housing market in the U.S. Many don’t recall that the way that unemployment is tracked was changed under Dubya in the early years of this century. The change created a rosier view of the economic. Unemployment is declining, they claim, but then note that real wages are slipping for most Americans, and most Americans can no longer afford a home.

I’m following generational differences. The latest generation hasn’t been given a name yet (perhaps that’s their name, temporarily – the Nameless Generation, a reflection of how unknown they are beyond the basics), and we’re still discovering Gen Z’s trends and tendencies. It’s fascinating to see how they compare with the previous generations in their buying habits and preferences. I encounter Gen Z regularly because they’re usually the ones working in coffee shops and restaurants. They seem just like you and I, but this is also a college town, and most of them are white and come from middle-class to upper-middle-class families. I don’t think they’re necessarily representative of the rest, but I don’t know where to draw the line.

I’m following space developments (no, not the space force, thanks), and the discovery of water and exo-planets, etc. Naturally, I’m also following some cultural develops. Some cultural news seeps into my awareness without trying. It’s hard to avoid it, here in America. I’ve also been reading a lot of interviews with authors, and essays about writing. (I’ve also been contemplating other novels to write. I can’t help myself.)

What about you? What are you following?

Beta to First Draft

I miss writing like crazy every day. I’m editing and revising instead, trying to turn the beta iteration of the first novel in my Incomplete Stateseries into the first draft. My imagination is chaffing. It doesn’t like being shut down.

To say ‘It’s going well’ is so sloppy to the thinking, writing, and creative process that I eschew using it. What those three words mean is that I haven’t encountered any “OMG WHAT IS THIS CRAP?” moments. I’m enjoying reading the novel. Not many changes have been required, although there are some notes on potential changes to make later, depending on what happens in the next three books in the series. They’re waiting their turn.

Writing like crazy is the fun, addictive part. That’s what I like about writing, spin up the imagination and release it on hyperdrive. Every day, my muses and writing addiction attempt to trick me with the “Let’s write something else today” game. But I know me. This part is necessary. I was thinking last night, I have ten other unpublished novels that I wrote and completed as a first draft that I never did any more with because I prefer the writing-like-crazy excitement over the “Let’s edit and revise this mother into something presentable” stage where I now dwell.

So, yeah, this must be done. And yeah, I remind myself, I need to attend the business end of advertising and so on for the other novels published because they will not sell themselves.

Covers are done for the four books. Yes, I know, why are the covers done if you don’t have a first draft completed? It’s a carrot thing. Having the covers help me visualize the completed novels as something tangible. And I wanted to have covers, so nah-nah-nah, I made some. Yes, I made them.

Changed the first novel’s title too. Kyrios wasn’t working for me in the completed visualization process so the title became Four on Kyrios. Who knows what it’ll end up being? That title feels right for now but it felt right with the last title, didn’t it?

Time to edit like crazy. Just doesn’t have the same feel to it, does it?


Today’s Theme Music

“Two drifters off to see the world, there’s a lot of world to see.”

Today’s theme music is “Moon River” from Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Why not? Based on Truman Capote’s novella, the movie was released in 1961. The song came out the same year. I was five, so I don’t remember much of that, but Mom loved music and movies, and she exposed me to these things. After In Cold Blood came out, I read it and then read other Capote works, including Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

The song and movie are an emblem of the times. Johnny Mercer wrote the song’s lyrics, and Henry Mancini composed the music. Those are some big names in that business. George Pepard and Audrey Hepburn starred in the movie, which was directed by Blake Edwards. Pepard’s character was gay, gay in 1961, and the world didn’t come apart. Hell, Capote was gay. Yet, now, a zillion years later, some in the world want to turn back time, back to the way things were. Did they forget that gays existed back then?

(*snark alert* Yes, I know, they haven’t forgotten, but gays and the coloreds knew their place, then, didn’t they, in this white mythical world where everyone was happy as long as everyone was kept in their place.)

What the movie was and what it was supposed to be, like the novella, like our times, and our memories of those times, depends upon your baggage. I thought that song was perfect in many ways, romantic, hopeful, and smooth, tidying up an image and glossing over deeper struggles. The song and movie came out right before the explosions of the 1960s. When we think of it, we don’t think of the grace of Breakfast At Tiffany’s and “Moon River.” We’re more likely to remember riots, demonstrations, the civil rights movement, protests, and the expanding Vietnam War. Really, 1961 was still part of the fifties.

Many sang or recorded “Moon River” but Mom liked Andy Williams, so that’s the version that I know best.


That Damn Dream

Had another one of those damn depressing dreams again where I was in the military. I’d been out, now I was back in.

It was just in time for a military parade and change-of-command ceremony. We were dressing in our Class A, or what is also called our service dress uniforms. I was behind, behind in knowing what to do, where to go, and when to be there. My hair was shaggy and needed to be trimmed to mil standards. I was racing to get my uniform pressed and check on my fruit salad, and worrying that my uniform was still in reg. Then I didn’t know where to go. I was running behind and people were both giving me grief and being supportive.

But they were leaving because it was time to assemble until I was alone, still scrambling. I still had to much to do, racing through a shower, getting the uniform on, and then checking the hair on my neck. You can bet, on reflection, I found it ironic that I was back in the military for a change-of-command ceremony. Changes are needed, I’m telling myself, or you’ll be exposed!

So much anxiety in that dream, a perfect exposure of the imposter syndrome.


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