The Writing Moment

He and the muses were kicking around what to do at this juncture in the novel. Four hundred pages in, it’s a critical point. Lot of reveals to be brought to the story. He needs to get it done but doesn’t want to rush or force it. He’s mindful, too, yeah, this is the first draft. He’s still learning the story. Don’t overthink things.

He ended up spending time over the last four days editing and revising, working his way through the first two hundred pages while his mind dances with approaches to what comes next. Trust yourself, he urges himself. Don’t get cocky, he reminds himself, but also don’t get depressed, and don’t fail into a trap of overanalyzing what you’re doing. Write what you want to read.

He really enjoyed most of the story but then, he felt severe disappointment with one stretch. Why, that’s absolute crap, he told himself. It was not what he wanted to read. He wouldn’t read it. It needed to be treated like a deep infection.

That understanding came but also fertilized recognition that a new approach was needed for this aspect. Weirdly, he felt optimistic that he had a grip on it.

Or maybe not weirdly. He’s a writer, and that’s what they do, always believing, I got this.

Good for Something

My home weather station claims the air outside is now over 112 F. Alexas says it’s 108 F in Ashland, as does Accuweather on the net. It’s a good time to be not outside.

The heat is good for something as long as you’re protected and a person of leisure, as I claim I am. Just finished reading The Killer Angels, All Systems Red: the Murderbot Diaries, which is the first book of the Murderbot Diaries, and Suspect by Robert Crais.

The 1974 historical novel by Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels, interested me for three reasons. One, it won the Pulitzer Prize. Secondly, Joss Whedon said that this was the novel which inspired a seriously entertaining and short-lived series, “Firefly” and its subsequent movie, Serenity. The browncoats among you will understand. Third, The Killer Angels is about the Battle of Gettysburg, and I knew little about that battle. In truth, I know little about most battles. Battles aren’t things which I’ve studied.

It was a gripping novel, full of powerful scenes and descriptions, lively with emotions and the complexities that a battle during the American Civil War needs to have. Much of the POV was Lee and Longstreet’s perspectives, along with Chamberlain, but others were portrayed. It’s a well-written book. How much is true? I vetted a great deal, but you know how it can be when dealing with history.

After that, All Systems Red: the Murderbot Diaries was a fast, quick, easy read. Martha Wells created an entertaining, pitch-perfect character and delivered a delicious setting and plot, all quite deftly, seamlessly accomplished. It won high awards and deep praise, and deservedly so. I’ve added volumes two and three to my library hold list.

Then, whoa. If you’re going to read Suspect by Robert Crais, brace yourself for a fast-paced and tense experience. This is the first Robert Crais novel which I’ve read, and I’m going to search for more. Hold on, though, if you decide to read it. Kind of like reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Seybold, this is not a light read. It’s gritty and intense. Prepare to pause for some deep breaths.

With those three completed, the sum of my week’s novel reading, I turn now to Blood Grove by Walter Mosley. I know what to expect from him and believe that my run of reading entertainment will continue.

Stay safe, y’all. Cheers


Floofnimical (floofinition) – An animal who seems hostile or malevolent.

In use: “Many animals, when first encountering humans, seem floofnimical — especially if sick or injued — but people find a steady, patient diet of soft words, healthy food, and some space for the animal to relax often causes a one eighty in the animal.”

When Good Advice Goes Bad #amwriting

It’s easy to get lost in all the rules and advice. The best piece is probably still, write what you want to read.

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

The craft of writing involves learning the rules of grammar, developing a broader vocabulary, learning how to develop characters, build worlds etc., etc. Most of us don’t have the money to embark on an MFA program in writing. Instead, we educate ourselves as well as we can.

Jack Kerouak on writing LIRF07252022Even if you have an MFA degree, you could spend a lifetime learning the craft and never learn all there is to know about the subject. We join writing groups, buy books, and most importantly, read. We analyze what we have read and figure out what we liked or disliked about it. Then, we try to apply what we learned to our work.

Most writing advice is good because it reinforces what we need to know about the craft, and simple sayings are easy to remember. They encourage us to write lean, descriptive prose and craft engaging conversations.

The same advice can…

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It’s Alive

Three AM?

An insistence buzzing breaks my sleepwall. As consciousness is dragged forward, so comes awareness that this noise is arriving from the Fitbit on my wrist. Yes, I’m one of those who sleep with a bit on my wrist. Use it to wake up, check time, a quick splash of illumination when necessary, and such matters. But why at whatever broiling dark thirty hour was it going off?

Don’t know. Checked the digitalware and found it cycling through its functions. Perhaps it’d gone crazy from heat or being with me. It’s a Charge 2, an old device that’s not even supported any longer. I’ve worn the bugger for years, going through fasteners and bands.

A smart person would have plucked that sucker off their wrist and gone back to sleep. But I ignored it, leaving it on my wrist, as it came up and buzzed every three seconds, announcing, “Notification” like it was telling me nukes were inbound or fire was consuming the house. Eventually, no surprise, all those notifications sucked the life right out of it. It was totally dead when Tucker awoke me for Sixes, his affectionate term for a six AM feeding. He was meowing, “Get up, get up, time for sixes.” I put the FB on a charger. My wife started her day shortly later. I told her about the Fitbit and asked her to wake me when she left for her exercise class because I was going back to bed.

“It’s probably dead,” she said. “You probably need a new one. It is old.” Then she promised to wake me.

The final exchange left me wondering about electronic lifespans among devices and their ratio compared to human years. It probably varies to some degree between, say, microwave ovens and iPhones. I decided, without real reason except how often and quickly our tech marvels expire, that one human year equals ten digital years. Your ten-year-old electronic device is 100 in digital years. JMO.

When I checked on the Fitbit an hour later, it was fully charged and alive. My dashboard showed no data lost except for about two dark hours.

All’s well, then, though, looking at it, I could use a new band. This one looks fifty years old. Makes sense. I bought it four years ago.

Worth Repeating

In other news, those high gas prices — you know, the ones that everyone says President Biden caused — are killing the fossil fuel companies.

That’s snark, ya know.

$2,245.62 a second: ExxonMobil scores enormous profit on record gas prices

Corporations will be corporations. They’re formed to make money, no matter what the fuck is going on around them. We need some kind of governor for their greed.

Of course, this is CNN reporting what they ‘claimed’ the companies reported, so it’s probably fake news, right?


Friday’s Theme Music

The door is thrown open, and there it is. Everyone walks in, looking and whispering in awed tones. Friday, revamped and new, was open to the public. Speculation about what to expect from this new Friday had been traveling mouth to ear for months. Now that it was here…well, first, they were excited. Then they were deflated.

Officially, Friday was July 29, 2022. “It’s just like yesterday,” one woman was heard to complain. “Hot and miserable. I waited all week for this?”

The heat is the thing in our area. Currently, 8:30 AM, it’s 26 C. Yesterday, Thursday, reached 106 F at my house, according to my ancient home weather system, with the forecast calling for a high of 108 F. The car claimed it was 111 F at one point. Today’s forecast says the high will be 110 F. Tomorrow, it’s expected to cool off to 107 F, and then drop back below 100 by Monday. We keep our eyes on the skies as thunderboomer clouds build, checking apps for reports of lightning strikes and fire. Knock on wood, we’ve been spared, and the fires have been found and put out fast.

Sunrise came after six this morning, 6:01, and sunset will be at 8:34 PM.

I have “Cold As Ice” by Foreigner in the morning mental music stream. This 1977 song is a deliberate choice as I pursue a ‘mind over environment’ angle for handling the day.

Hope your weather is good, and your day’s experience is great. I know with so much going on that those hopes aren’t always achievable, but let’s make the effort to believe and try to improve our lives. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and vax as needed. Coffee? What, it’s 80 F outside right now. What are you waiting for? Pour.


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