Monday – Three Things

  1. $.49. That was our electric bill for last month (May, 2020, for the calendar impaired): forty-nine cents. To break it down, we used $14.99 worth of electricity, and we were paid $14.50 for our solar panel energy. The rest of the bill wasn’t as good. Twenty-six and change for water. We had a wet June this year, so our water use was about half of what it was for the same time last year, even though we planted a garden this year and skipped it last year. Our utilities (gas is on separate bill), then, were about twenty-seven dollars. The one hundred dollar monthly bill’s remainder, about seventy-two dollars, were taxes and fees. Yeah, it’s a regular rant; I can’t save much on my monthly city bill because most of it is taxes and fees.
  2. WordPress Editor. I’ve returned to the ‘classic’ WP editor. Didn’t like the new stuff. Found it intrusive, counter-intuitive, and irritating. It was a change I didn’t want. And that’s okay, as I went back to the old way. No one’s rights or safety was threatened by my move back to how it was.
  3. I can’t keep up. My muses tell me the story too fast for my mind, and waaayyy too fast for my fingers. They don’t tell it in order and they’re always filling in the gaps. I get excited by what they’re telling me and their implications, and jump up to pace off my excitement. It’s a fun road that I follow, that struggle to write.

Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Why It Takes So Long

After writing yesterday and while preparing to write today, I was reflecting about why writing is so hard for me, and why it takes so long.

The other morning — Thursday, I think, not really important, though — a muse laid a scene out for me. It was a revelatory moment for the novel in progress.

Whoa. Excitement jumped me like Olympians taking the hurdles. Great scene. I saw it all.

First, though, I saw it with characters that didn’t exist yet. Of all the confounded characters who’d already arrived, this was a new batch, in a new setting. Okay, cool, no problem. I saw how the scene and characters (and their baggage) fit into the novel. I could deal.

I began writing. Well, new characters need some kind of understanding about their traits, principles, and back story. So I mulled that while writing. More details to the general novel were discovered. The bible was updated with these new characters and the setting. All of it was a stimulating exercise.

Meanwhile, I kept writing. Things the muse hadn’t shown me before were revealed. I dealt with those details and kept going, exploring this new territory. I’d write some, go off, do chores or take a walk, come back and write, eat, go off, etc., repeat.

This morning, I thought, alright, I’m almost in sight of the revelation. The original scene still hung like a jewel before me, beckoning on. As I approached it, though, I put it all on pause to look.

Damn, thirteen new characters (five of them fleshed out as more than minor characters), their relationships, and three new facets of perspective via history and organizations. Four chapters, five thousand words. That doesn’t include the bible stuff.

All that to get to one scene.

Which is how the whole fiction writing thing works for me. See something, invent something plausible to explain how it fits, wedge it in there, and begin connecting it to the other stuff.

But that it takes so long, and why writing is hard work for me.

Got a fresh cuppa coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s stream music arrived in my head because, what if?

The what if game is always a small diversion. The rules are to ask yourself to imagine how your existence would be different if you made a different decision, followed another path, or handled something in some other way than what you did.

What if you had gone to college?

What if you’d taken that job?

What if you’d married that person?

From that, in trickled Rob Thomas singing Matchbox Twenty’s song, “Real World”. It asks those questions about being in charge, or a superhero, among other things.

And it all has a direct link to writing yesterday. A big portion of my writing process is playing what if? It’s intriguing as part of the process because I’ll think that through, applying different ideas, possibilities, and outcomes, but when I sit down and write, it’s something completely different.

And that’s why writing entertains me.

Here’s the music.

The Military Exercise Dream

A heavy night of dreaming was endured last night. I’ve noticed my dreams have a cycle that parallels my other cycles. Observing it fascinates me. Within that cycle, then, I wonder if my military theme also works in a cycle within a cycle. I’m beginning to believe it does. Now I’ll watch for evidence while doubting that I, the observer, can objectively and dispassionately observe what’s happening to myself. It’s that kind of morning.

In the military exercise dream last night, I was part of the command staff. We were preparing for an exercise to test readiness. I was command and control IRL, and typically was the Battle Staff Exec (which I liked to state as the B.S. Exec), coordinating the Battle Staff response. But in the dream, I was given a folder. The commander said, “You’re in charge of communications.”

NBD, but I was surprised. The B.S. began walking through scenarios. Security went through a succession of possibilities about terrorist actions. I thought some possibilities were being overlooked and spoke up. Yeah, that was agreed.

Then it was my turn. As I began talking, the decision was made to move. We’d been in the commander’s conference room; now we moved to the actual battle staff. I took my place at the podium and tried to employ order so I could resume my briefing but small interruptions kept taking place. I kept beginning, “Communications will be an important part,” and then an interruption would ensue, humorously ironic, right?

Which summarizes the dream and my current issue. Writing at home instead of at a coffee shop has been been fraught with interruptions. That’s why (and how) I’d developed my writing process, to separate me from my home and its interruptions. So this dream seems like a manifestation of my daily writing problems while sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diversity Fail

Saw an article today: “Friends Creator Marta Kauffman Tearfully Says She ‘Didn’t Do Enough’ for Diversity”.

No kidding, right? Black characters were few on that show. Past that, though, I thought, now there’s a timely sitcom: “Diversity Fail”. It would be about all the ways that diversity fails, and would feature a diverse cast, not just of races, but sexual identities and genders, sexual preferences and fluidity, and religion. It’d be a broad, rambling show focused on one person struggling to grasp it all without offending everyone. I’m thinking it’s more like “Fleabag” than “Friends”, though.

Got to stop thinking about it. It’s a distraction to the novel in progress. I’m already distracting myself with side stories trying to understand my characters. Gotta get more coffee. Then it’s back to writing like crazy, at least for a while longer.

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