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.


Thursday’s Theme Music

It’s your choice. Will you stay with what you have or will you trade it for what’s behind one of these three doors?

They’re going for door number three. Let’s see what’s behind door number one and two first.

Door number one is…Monday, May 1, 2028. So that would have been a small trip into the future for you. And door number two is…a slip to the past, Friday, August 16, 1996. Have you experienced that year yet?

Okay, let’s see what they won. Let’s open door number three. Good luck.

Today is Thursday, July 28, 2022. Today’s high temperature for Ashland in southern Oregon is 108 F or 42 C. 108 is pretty high and I’m dubious we’ll hit it. Only touched 103 F at my house yesterday. Right now it’s 74 F (23 C). Sunrise was at 6 AM exactly. Expect the daylight selection of our day to finish at fourteen hours and thirty-four minutes later.

The felines have been loving the heat. Go into a torpor in shade for the day. They don’t eat or move much during the high heat portion. Come night, they turn into homicidal psycho jungle cats (a phrase borrowed from Bill Watterson), prowling and pouncing, muttering and munching.

In news —

No, let’s skip the news portion. Speaking of 1996, The Neurons plucked a song out of that portion of the memory puzzle, I mean palace, and slotted it into the morning mental music stream. See, I was writing in my head as I went about feeding beasts and prepping my breakfast, following up on what was written yesterday, dipping into where I want to go today, addressing a character and what they’d believed and what they now believed, which meant they needed to do this — well, you know the chains. Out of that, The Neurons plucked “Stupid Girl” by Garbage. Took a long several minutes to get more than, “all you had you wasted,” but I could clearly hear the voice and supporting music for that slender segment. More would not come. Just as I drifted away with the attendant thought, it’ll come later, pop, The Neurons released more and the song and band were fully recalled. Yea, go neurons, go!

Stay positive and test negative, and so on. Three friends have announced they’re COVID free while another announced he just tested positive. So it goes. I’m going for coffee before it gets too warm. Here’s the tune. As a bonus, you get it performed on “The Late Show with David Letterman”. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

The rumor of a breeze circulated at ten o’clock last night. The temperature had plummeted to 91 F by then, still a little warm for opening the doors and windows to cool the house. Although we have central A/C, I dislike its effects on my sinuses, environment, and energy bill, and avoid using it as much as possible. I really wanted to open the doors and such, and it was hard to hear the insects and bugs’ tiny rapping and requests to come in and escape the heat. I eventually yielded at eleven, when it was 81 outside and 86 in the house. The air, still warm, barely stirred.

A few clouds and haze mar the sky’s true color today. This Wednesday, the final of July, 2022, the 27, for those seeking more, will reach 104 they say. We officially reached only 100 in Ashland yesterday, although my house said it was 103.5 as the high experienced. Sunset will be at 8:36 PM. Sunrise today was at 5:59 AM. It might be the last time for a sunrise before six in the morning, unless it happens again when we ‘fall back’ with the clock later this year.

“Janie’s Got A Gun” by Aerosmith (1989) inhabits the morning mental music stream. The song is about parents and others raping, abusing, and molesting children and Janie getting a gun to stop it. Rape was removed from the radio version. And yeah, it came up as a song as I read more sickening news of the world. Not going into it any further. Many people frequently promote an idea for using a gun to shoot and kill people with state permission as soon as their crime is discovered. I’m not for that for many reasons, among them being an orderly and intelligent system of justice. I know it fails often but throwing it out isn’t a solution; its shortcomings need to be addressed and fixed. That’s difficult in today’s political environment but I stand by the belief.

Stay positive and test negative. Wear masks and get vaxes as needed. Good luck and stay safe. Coffee? Why, thank you, I think I will.


Another Military Dream

This dream was different from the beginning. In my previous military dreams, I’m usually arriving and lost, or establishing order and structure. In this dream, I found myself finishing and leaving. The dream was mostly about me showing my replacement all the equipment and introducing him to our processes and procedures. In a parallel action, the colonel who was the commanding officer, was handing over command and moving on. This individual was a real-life person who later retired as a lieutenant general. We’d worked closely together during my final assignment. Now, in the dream, I ran into him. Both of us were in good moods. He was hungry. I told him that I could get him pizza, which he accepted.

It was very hectic, with much going on. I was constantly fielding questions, introducing people, and hurrying from point to point. During this, I saw a young airman watching. I grinned and waved to her, and then asked her what she was doing. She told me that she was watching me and that I just amazed her with my energy and authority. I laughed and joked that that was all surface appearance, that underneath it all, I was a quivering mess. She rejected that, telling me, “I know you, and you’re always like this, in control of everything and getting it all done.” The flattery pleased me.

Dream end.

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