Floofball (floofinition) – 1. A collective term for pets playing with balls or games with pets involving balls. 2. An affectionate term for a silly pet.

In use: “The floofballs loved a good game of floofball, taking turns chasing and wrestling with balls that people rolled across the floor.”


Another Writing Update

Editing and revising continues on Book Three of Incomplete States, a novel titled, Six (with Seven). 

While remaining ambivalent about the title, I’m feeling more attached to it as I edit. I’m ambivalent about it because I conjure negative reactions from others about the title. I imagine that it will sour some because it’s different (gasp). But reading, editing, and revising the book has brought me closer to the title. I understand why that title came to me, and why it works. I also swung back toward ignoring and dismissing the naysayers, which basically goes along the lines, “Fuck you.” I like to think that they’ll be so in love with the series by the third book that they won’t care about the title.

See? I can be an dewy-eyed optimist.

Editing and revising Six (with Seven) hasn’t been all coffee and cookies. One chapter obviously needed major reconstruction. I struggled to fix it for several days. Then, one morning, I opened it and realized, the chapter didn’t work because everything had evolved away from it. It’d been an early, exploratory chapter. Now, it didn’t fit.

It still took some time to cut it. I liked the characters and the writing. It was damn prettified. I also worried that I was cutting it out of expediency. The muses didn’t agree, so I cut it. I saved it…just in case.

Once that chapter was removed, everything else fit together like fine tongue-and-groove construction. I loped through several chapters a day. It’s a fine thing to enjoy what you’ve written.

Enough patting myself on the back. Coffee has been downed, but this is free refills Friday. Time to write edit like crazy, at least one more time.

Whine #7,635,499,117,006

Sometimes I think, TGFC. Yes, thank God for coffee, a.k.a., thank God for caffeine. Coffee helps me cope when the friggin’ world seems determined to be the pebble in my shoe.

First, the wildfire smoke has returned. Grrr. Yes, the smoke isn’t as bad as the actual fire, nor the many accidents, disasters and true nightmares that others are enduring, you know, like being a refugee without a home — or country, any longer — or being torn away from your family and sent to another place, or raped or shot. I’m far from starving or being financially insecure. That’s why this is a whine.

Second, the bloody Internet connection is sooo…damnnn…slooowww…tooo…day….

I was at home first experiencing this. What the hell? Who knows, at that point. But now, in the coffee shop, it’s OMG time. Task Manager and all the security apps said there’s nothing wrong here. I tend to blame Google Chrome. Hasn’t been working right since that update.

Again, not big stuff, first world complaints.

Which took me back to Dr. Dinardo’s post, “Shifting From Anxiety to Excitement”. Her salient point:

Did you know that fear and excitement share the same set of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, glutamate, and acetylcholine.

  • Opposite emotions. Identical neurotransmitters.
  • Same neural activity. Different cognitive appraisal.

And the best way to shift from performance anxiety to excitement is to say one sentence on repeat.

Her information can be applied to multiple situations. It’s about changing your  reactions, right? So, as I walked, I worked on changing from feeling negative toward something on the spectrum’s positive side. While doing that, I thought about how Dr. Dinardo’s point is directed toward the first world. Her focus is on helping her students. The lessons can be applied to others (like me), but imagining myself leaving one of the world’s war-torn, disease-ravaged countries without any idea of where I’m going, it would be difficult for me to try to change my cognitive appraisal to be more upbeat.

It’s not a slam against Dr. Dinardo (although some might think, that sure read like a slam). It’s a slam against the world and the many ways that suffering is forced upon others, how slowly change takes place, and how impermanent it often seems. It’s a slam against people who think, let’s go back twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred years, to when times were simpler and life was easier. I consider that simplistic, narrow, and short-sighted, perhaps as simplistic, narrow, and short-sighted as my whining about the wildfire smoke and a slow Internet.

Yes, I understand that I’m simplifying cognitive appraisal and its mechanism. Hey, I’m only on my second cuppa. I’d need one or two more cups of coffee to go into it more thoughtfully.

I’ve read — and I’m dubious about projecting these things — that climate change will eventually affect our coffee supply. I’m dubious because projections are based on the known, and there often turns out to be many things that aren’t known that affect the projections. I’m also hopeful that a woman or man will arise, unite us, and say, “Enough with this shit. It’s time for a change,” and manage to rally everyone around them to change the world for the better for all, and save coffee.

It’s probably a naive hope. Meanwhile, I have coffee, time, a secure place, and a working computer. I’ll take advantage of the here and now, at least how it applies to me.

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