The Writing Moment

Twenty-five percent through editing the third draft of “The Light of Memories”. It’s fun, and I think that’s because it can now be read mostly as a book and less than a work in progress. Small changes are the norm until — clunk, a section or chapter is encountered that needs such work that orange cones are deployed. I generally stop for the day when hitting those — there have been three — to think about what is wrong and how I might change it. I also continue refining the ending. Won’t know how well it fits now until I read through to it. Of course, the changes mean that there will be another editing and revision go-around before it’s turned over to the copy-editor.

Meanwhile, since I announced a new writing project will begin (yeah, it’s actually well underway at this point), several people have asked when the third book of the Life Lessons series with Studs will come out. I think I owe it to write number three.

I wanted to clarify my thinking about drafts. My first rough draft is labeled #1, but that’s a little misleading. My writing is an unplanned, iterative process. (There is a sort of map in my head, but heads can be so unreliable about this stuff.) So I don’t call those first efforts drafts, but iterations. Six iterations were pursued before the first rough draft was completed. It’s formally called a draft when a complete story — beginning, middle, and end — exists and can be read from one end to the other. With iterations, I often go down stubs to explore characters, concept, story, events, and settings. Some of these stubs don’t pan out. When that happens, a new iteration is initiated. Some stubs make it into the first draft but not infrequently are excised during the first editing and revision phase.

There’s always so much to read, write, edit, and do. Fortunately, it’s the life I’ve chosen.

Friday’s Theme Music

Ordinarily, I love this time of year. The air smells fresh after the winter scrub and temperatures are moderate. Blooms crack out of the ground and raise their heads, unfolding their colors. We’re still waiting for most of that. We’re on winter/spring seasaw, and winter has the better of spring on most days. High and low temperatures are ten to twelve degrees (F) below normal for this period. It’s 37 F now. Clouds are positioning on the western horizon.

Earth’s orbit still brings some reasons to rejoice, like sunshine. This time of year, it floods the master BR through the massive slider on the eastern side. Out in the dining room, sunshine steals in through the dining room southern windows and grows bolder. Back in the MBR, the sunshine fills the room and then slides south into the living room’s eastern windows. Finally rising above the trees and mountains, sunshine fills the living room’s eastern and southern windows, along with the dining room’s windows. Fabulous.

The blinds are raised. The floofs absolutely adore finding those huge stretches of sunshine. We have mixed flooring — bare hardwood, rugs, and then carpets. The floofs find their warmth intoxicating. They settle in spots. Synchronized grooming commences. Then, naps.

Today is March 31, 2023, March’s last day, and Friday. Winter storm watches and advisories are up for Ashlandia from tonight at 11 PM through Sunday night. Saturday through Tuesday calls for snow and rain. Up to 24 inches of accumulation, depending on your elevation and location. I think we’ll see some snow around my Ashlandia hood, but not much.

Watching and reading the political news in wake of the Nashville murders of six people and the D.C. debt ceiling talks and Jordan’s performance at his committee hearings, The Neurons punched up a 1972 Steely Dan song, “Only A Fool Would Say That”. Echoes my comments about what I was hearing and reading: only a fool would say that.

Stay pos., and enjoy whatever you can. I’m enjoying waffles and coffee, watching the floofs sleep in sunshine, and the build-up to shifting into the writing day. Kind of like getting ready for a championship game, with less commentary and commercials.

Have a better one. Here’s the music. Cheers

Thursday’s Wandering Thought

The phone rang. It was about a pie.

Not just any pie. Apparently Costco offered a pie which weighed almost five pounds. What? Peanut butter and chocolate, it sold out fast.

Friends had gone to an early doctor’s appointment. After that, they made it to Costco at its opening time. One rushed back to the pies. Only four of these remained.

They called his wife. Tell Mikey — their pet name for him — to come over and get a piece of pie. He needs to try it. He’d not heard of it but his wife convinced him to go. They cut him a large piece because the thought he had a big appetite. He ate part of the piece after dinner.

Yes, chocolate. A mousse, it seemed like. But also peanut butter. Both flavors were distinct. Good crust, too, but man was that bugger sweet.

As sweet was that his friends thought of him and wanted him to have a piece.

Very, very sweet.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Backed by a crackled blue and white sky, a plethora of sunshine baths us in Ashlandia. Temperature is 38 F on this penultimate March day, Thursday the 30th, 2023. Thursday the 30th sounds like some ruler or noble. “She is Thursday the 30th,” they whispered as she went by. “She’s not often seen.”

No rain is expected for today. Nor snow or high winds. Fingers crossed, knocked on wood. A winter warning is out for the second day of April. Lovely stars were out last night, glowing with faraway secrets.

Friends and I met for beers and discussions last night. While most of our discussion focused on newts, we also talked about the area’s weather. All agreed, it’s been pretty freaky in 2023. One noted, it started like 2020, a dry year, and then we had a late/early spring surge of precipitation. Our snowpack stands at 138% of average for this time of year. Reservoirs remain low but they’re normally filled by snow melt and runoff.

Meanwhile, Ashlandia snow is an intriguing phenomenon. I’m on the southern end, about 1800 feet, and we get heavy doses of snow but it usually keeps its visits short. Those on the northern end and lower levels see much less snow. One guy lives on the southern end but up at 2500 feet, and sees much more significant snow levels than the rest of the Ashlandians. Two people live further northwest, on the valley floor, and rarely see snow. We’re not talking about a large area, but it’s a valley surrounded by mountains.

I had a feline visitor in our front yard. Didn’t know the floof but they seemed well-fed and confident and appeared familiar with the neighborhood. They strode up the drive and walk, and then encountered Tucker, whereupon they skulked off, a stalking Tucker six feet behind. Once they left Tucker’s yard, Tucker sat and groomed in the sunshine, pleased with his victory.

Naturally, Les Neurons have flung a Thursday song into the morning mental music stream. This is a David Bowie song called “Thursday’s Child” from 1999. The song begins, “All of my life I’ve tried so hard,” which is something many of can probably relate, so I stayed to listen the first time I heard it. But I think this is one of those songs better served by watching a video. Looking in the mirror, reflecting on who you are now and who you were is something I have definitely done. The video’s end is the sharpest moment for me.

Stay pos. Have a refreshing Thursday. I’m having refreshing coffee, hot and black, unfettered by flavors except coffee. Here’s David with his song. Cheers

The Roger Moore Dream

I was given a DVD. “Review this. It’s your life.”

I don’t know who spoke to me. I took the disc and put it in a player and sat in a chair, feet on ottoman, remote in my hand. Surprise number one: I looked like a young Roger Moore.

Watching the video of a young child doing things outside in bright sunshine, I felt doubt. This isn’t my life, is it? Doubts increased when a blonde white woman in a red dress showed up. That’s not me. She was driving a red Lamborghini Urraco. Dream me drove a gray Urraco. She couldn’t be me, could she? My doubts began diminishing as a watched her driving around, walking around, attending classes, talking to people, all snippets, all while she wore various red dresses.

Another woman, Campbell, came on screen. Also white, brunette, she drove a white Urraco. White cars are not my preference, so it couldn’t be me, but she weirdly resembled me — she could be Roger Moore’s sister. Like the other, I witnessed her doing various activies always dressed in white but not always a dress. All of it was weirdly familiar, as if another person had been plugged into my life. These were dream memories, not RL memories.

Then I appeared in a dark gray Lamborghini Urraco, the car dream me drove. Okay, that is me, I was confident. But how could all of these be me when two are female? It has to be more about us than the cars. But the memories being shown were familiar. While I watched, I thought, the car represents my body. Why different colors, then? To present different aspects of myself? Sounded feasible but needed more research.

Stopping the video, I moved over to my desk and laptop, and searched for colors in dreams. A man came to the office door and said, “You need to finish the review. We have good things planned for you but you need to know yourself before we can go forward.”

I replied, “That sounds very new age-y.”

The man was short, white, black hat, black suit. “Finish your review. Get on it.”

I felt impelled to do as he said and rose, moving around the desk to continue.

Dream end.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

I raise the bedroom blinds a few minutes before seven to see how the day looks. I know it’s Wednesday but it looks like Tuesday. To be fair, Tuesday wasn’t a bad day, with some spring breaking through winter’s facade in the mid-afternoon, to treat us to what it should be for about six wonderful minutes. Then winter wind knifed in, mocking us, not yet.

So here with are with clouds. A sun is up there, we know, but the clouds front them. If we saw this sky from space, it’d be a little gray marble. Rain is expected this afternoon. 36 F now, up from 32, the weather minders say we’ll reach 50 F. Sunrise is after 7:30 PM.

Dreams have loaded up my mind. Out of that porridge, The Neurons decided the appropriate song is Queen, “Keep Yourself Alive”, 1973. It’s a recording of a live show with everyone alive, young, and in good health. Terrific performance.

Speaking of cats, Tucker, my b&w almost long-haired floof with crazy-head whiskers and ginormous paws, has a habit of laying down beside me in bed and then stroking my chin with claws. He came to us with one damaged eye so his depth perception is a little hinkie. Thus, the claws pluck my skin. Not as adorable as you might think when you’re half awake.

Stay positive and test negative. Friends just enduring a short but brutal COVID bout, reminding it that it’s still out there. We’re in the extreme minority when masking, which we still do in many public buildings. But you do you and I’ll do me. Here’s the tune, and look, coffee! Praise be.


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