Conundrum

There it is, the bolt informing you that, holy shit, it’s almost December. December begins this Saturday. 

If you’re like me — and I hope you’re not — you’re agog with amazement that November is almost empty. Hell, 2018 has almost spent its calendar, and here I am, still dragging myself forward.

But, you know, take the positive, I am moving forward. It doesn’t go as fast or smoothly as desired, dreamed, or hoped for, but I keep creeping forward.

What will the end of November mean? Well, in some ways, it means a re-assessment. It means, for me, an agnostic in America, enduring the holidays, which sometimes means enjoying myself, respecting others’ beliefs and traditions, and otherwise, doing what I do, except there’s more food and music.

Likewise, the end of the year means some searching, but I search almost every day, looking for truth, hope, justice, luck, love, something to eat, answers for puzzling questions, etc. So, really, nothing, but because of where I live and who I am, everything.

Yes, it’s a conundrum. It’s a good word, conundrum.

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Phlooommm

I don’t know what was up with the gingerbun this morning, a.k.a., the orange feline floof known as Papi, but also called Meep (in appreciation of the meeping sound he uses for a meow).

I’d fed him and let him out of the house. An hour later, I checked on him to see if he wanted in. He wasn’t around the back door. As I headed for the front door, I thought I heard a thump – perhaps the sound of a cat whacking the door with his paw – at the back door, so I reversed course. Yes, there he sat, waiting for the door to open.

So, you know, I did.

Phlooommm, a bright orange streak galloped past me. In wonder, I turned and watched him make a circuit of the living room, dining room, and kitchen, come back to me, and stop, looking up at me with his tail standing tall. I swear he was grinning. As I closed the door, I said, “Aren’t you in high spirits?”

Phlooommm, Papi bolted away, leaping up onto dining room chairs and off, sprinting past Tucker, the house lord, spinning on the hardwood floor, and then racing back to me to slam to a grinning halt in front of me again.

“Are you hungry?” I asked.

Yes, he replied, tail up, rubbing against my leg. Then, phlooommm, he flashed away.

A Summit of Positive Energy

I awoke early, but stayed in bed. The muses were already up, and were in a dictating mood.

They were working on the next novel in the Incomplete States series. The Final Time is the sixth book in the series, which is about five more than I’d planned.

Apparently, while I’d been sleeping, I’d been thinking over the novel’s concept challenges. While doing that, my muses engaged with my subconscious. Net results were that they’d figure out the issues and objections bugging me yesterday, and had created action and dialogue.

After staying in bed, I heard the muses out, and then got up, went into my office, a.k.a. the snug, powered up and typed. It wasn’t a lot, ten free-flowing pages, about eighteen hundred words that must now be edited, but that manner of spontaneous writing inspires me. It’s the best kind of writing, because it seems like it’s a writing zone. The book seems powerfully tangible. The process leaves me breathless and energized with excitement.

There’s always a caveat to this. Just as I have a few days in a dark trough roughly once a month, I also crest a summit of positive energy once a month. I endure the dark trough. It ain’t fun. During that time, I feel bitter. Drenched with self-pity, I despise myself and the world. Sometimes, when it’s really dark, I wonder WTF do I ever write? What is the point of this crap? Why do I put myself through it? Surely it’d be easier not to be a struggling writer, but someone who lives the retired life, traveling, puttering around the house, going to the gym three mornings a week, taking in movies, and so on. That appears to be what my retired friends do. It sounds appealing when I’m sunk in the dark trough.

But this summit? Man, it’s a joy. I accept it and run with it. Sometimes, though, that positive energy gets carried away, and the promises that I make during this time are difficult to fulfill when I crash into the trough. And again, that’s my life.

The trick with the mood extremes is to write no matter what I’m feeling or experienced, and accept that what I write may be great or terrible in either state, but it must be edited later.

Okay, got my coffee. Time to edit and write like crazy, you know, at least one more time.

Dipping

I love dipping. Not snuff. No. Tried it once, didn’t like it. I like dipping cookies, doughnuts, and toast into tea, hot chocolate, or chocolate milk, and coffee. I also dip buffalo wings into sauces, and chips and crackers into dips. I’ve dipped things in beer, like pretzels, but I’ve not been impressed with the results. That’s life. And of course, I’ve skinny-dipped. I really liked doing that, especially the time I did it in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Sicily.

Some materials are better for dipping into coffee or tea than others. Doughnuts make for damn fine dipping, IMO. Today’s cookie, a gluten-free, vegan, GMO-free, locally baked chocolate ship affair, is a little dry. Not ideal, because that dryness contributes to the dipping drawback. Dipping a cookie into my coffee, I’m aware that some is crumbling into the coffee. This produces a bottom situation called dipping dredge. That’s the soaked stuff that remains when the beverage is almost gone.

I’m not a fan of the dipping dredge. However, I’m not one to leave coffee behind. Thus, all I can do is suck it up.

Literally.

Cornufloofpia

Cornufloofpia (floofinition) – a curved, hollow goat’s horn or similarly shaped receptacle (such as a horn-shaped basket) that is overflowing with a sleeping housepet.

In use: “She’d begun a project to make a classic Thanksgiving cornucopia, but after putting the horn-shaped basket out and going for more supplies, she returned to discover her dog had wedged herself partially into it, turning it into a cornufloofpia overflowing with floof.”

The Games and Winning Dreams

What sensational dreams last night. I dreamed I was playing games, just a flow of games – video, pinball, baseball, volleyball, football. None of this was organized. Although an adult male, I ran from game to game with childish enthusiasm, played and won. And as I played and won, I realized a big board, like an arena scoreboard, showed my growing point totals. My points were rising so quickly and to such levels, everyone else was getting excited. Then, others started coming by and telling me, “Your big payout is coming. You’re going to win a big price.” My wife joined me, and was so happy and expectant. As for me? I was all grin as I played and won again, again and again, never losing.

Such a buoyant dream, full of positive energy. It was awesome.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Today’s song streamed into my head after I thought of another song.

The other song was “Sara Smile”, by Hall and Oates, which I thought of after meeting a friend’s daughter named Sarah. After thinking about it while walking, I remembered “She’s Gone” by the same duo.

“She’s Gone” (1974) came out during a period of struggle in my relationship with my girlfriend. I’d graduated high school and she was traveling Europe with a nun. I felt lost, and ended up enlisting in the military, upsetting just about everyone I knew. That’s life, right? “She’s Gone” appealed to my sense of loss, frustration, searching, and self-pity. I particularly enjoyed the lyrics, “Think I’ll spend eternity in the city. Let the carbon and monoxide choke my thoughts away, yeah.”

What a time. Hormones, you know? Etc.

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