Serious Talk about Being Serious

I’m making a list of all the Random Internet Life Experts whose advice is based on the bitter chestnut, “no one will take you seriously unless you take yourself seriously first,” so I can fictionally murder them in my next book.

I may have to engineer some kind of mass extinction event.

First, it’s a violation of simple logic. I can take myself seriously. Others can take me seriously. To connect the one with the other requires a fallacy of composition. There is no conjunction. Second, seriousness as an internal attitude does not show.  Third, the whole idea of seriousness is a moving target to which Xeno’s postulate applies in spades. It’s an unwinnable race with ridiculous rules.

Seriousness depends on who’s doing the measuring and what metrics they’re using. I can be as “serious” about my craft as any artist in history, but how do I prove that to others? Only by actions others can measure.  So to take my art seriously myself, I must meet a given observer’s standards? Wait. That means taking myself seriously means I am trying to affect other people’s opinions of my seriousness? What? Circular logic is circular.

A certain accent, a particular hair style, even presence or absence of body art can lead to immediate dismissal as Not A Serious__________________ <fill the blank with profession.>  The next circle of serious: subject matter. Am I taking my art seriously if I choose to write humor?  What about romance? Answer that one, and the question become how much time is spent on The Discipline. What’s enough? Jump that hoop, and the subject of finances comes up.

Soooooo…yeah. Not a single damned one of those things has anything to do with how serious my dedication to creating art actually is.

Appearances show. I can aim for a conservative, middle-of-the-road, and “business-like” behavior and clothing to impress those who have those cultural blinkers. As for the rest?  I can work my fingers to the bone and stress myself to a standstill so I can demonstrate to others I am taking myself seriously according to someone else’s measure of discipline.

Or you know, I can “take myself seriously” in ways (possibly) no one else would accept as “serious enough.”

Wearing certain clothes, earning a certain amount, acting in specific ways, or conforming to certain expectations will not make me more or less serious. They only make me more or less sub-culturally acceptable. On a sliding scale. One that varies person to person, place to place.

Nope.  Ain’t got the time for that nonsense. I don’t to prove I have to take myself seriously to anyone but myself.

No matter what it looks like from the outside.


Not tired of my words yet? My published works are available on Amazon and all the other usual online retailers, or you can take free peeks at them on my website on this page 

Science-fiction thrillers, science-fiction romance, and science fantasy, full length novels and shorter works. So many choices! Here be direct links to the published stories that have escaped the confines of Amazon. 

Extraordinary books2read.com/u/4N19e6
Powerhouse books2read.com/u/3kZ1VW
Nightmares books2read.com/u/3yPExv
Lockdown books2read.com/u/3GM2Xn

Dreams & other things

A friend on Facebook brought up the topic of weird anxiety dreams a while back. It made me think about how much I enjoy the heck out of my dreams even when they’re full of awful occurrences. Here’s the most recent memorable addition to the collection.

This ramble through the wilds of my subconscious took me to one of my regular locations: a HUGE university campus that grows and changes depending on how recently I’ve visited my alma mater and other factors in my life I haven’t pinned down yet. I’m always new on campus, I’m always clueless about where anything is, and I never know anyone. Signs and maps are ubiquitous though, and I do a lot of research.

In this dream I’m supposed to assist with a medical procedure in one building, but I get trapped by a doctor who doesn’t like me in a classroom building on the other side. So I come up with a clever escape plan involving a cat and a clock (details were vague, but I am *sure* it would work and it does.)

Then I have to thread my way through all the back paths on the campus I don’t know yet to get back to my new dorm to change clothes so I can properly help with the Important procedure (the nature of the medical issue was never made clear/important to me, nor did I ever grasp the specific need for new clothes. I just know I need them. )

And of course I keep getting lost in weird places like a grotto with pine trees and glowing mushrooms. And I steal a bicycle at some point, one with multi-colored glittery streamers on the handlebars. (Important detail)  Also, there was rain, but not on me. All this made perfect sense.

On the advice of the mushrooms I find my way nearly back, but I have to dodge through a food fight in the dining hall to get to the right quad. I get out the door to find that the whole place is unrecognizable because some frat boys have covered all the buildings in big colorful building wraps like bouncy houses designed to look like psychedelic replicas of Roman landmarks.  ( my dream university does not have fraternities or sororities, by the way. Yet there are frat boys.)

And they’re doing it all  for some big unnamed festival so everyone on campus is out and about celebrating and getting in my way.  Given I don’t even know the names of all the buildings or the normal layout, I have no chance of ever finding my dorm in that mess.

Even in my dream I was thinking, “okay, but this is beyond absurd,” and I was persuading one of the frat boys to reveal which building was mine when I woke up.

Objectively I would expect that dream to be jam-packed with dread and worry, but it wasn’t. It was honestly a good bit of fun.

That’s all for now.


Not tired of my words yet? My published works are available on Amazon and all the other usual online retailers, or you can take free peeks at them on my website on this page 

Science-fiction thrillers, science-fiction romance, and science fantasy, full length novels and shorter works. So many choices! Here be direct links to the published stories that have escaped the confines of Amazon. 

Extraordinary books2read.com/u/4N19e6
Powerhouse books2read.com/u/3kZ1VW
Nightmares books2read.com/u/3yPExv
Lockdown books2read.com/u/3GM2Xn

The things & nothing but the things

Short and simple. Doings & opinions.

Books:

Still working on the Grace Burrowes ouvre, because I heart it.  I’ll be at this a while at roughly 3-5 books a week. She’s written a lot.

The Soul of an Octopus. More non-fiction for the year!!! Both the book itself and my continuing a non-fiction book completion streak are worthy of multiple exclamation points (in all defiance of Proper Grammar)  What’s the book about? Cephalopods, the Universe & Everything. But mostly cephalopods. Lots of fascinating facts beautifully wrapped in the personal story of the author’s relationship with several octopuses on exhibit at the Boston Aquarium.

Movies:

Edge of Tomorrow. Entirely decent action SF saddled with a baffling name and trailers that didn’t do it justice. If I had to pitch it, I would call it Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers by way of Full Metal Jacket, but it’s too complex to lend itself to soundbites or easy explanations or anything except saying, “No, seriously, it’s damned good stuff.” It got a little too “hey, kids, let’s-MEGASIZE-the-action” near the end, and the inevitable hetero pair=romance issue wasn’t handled adroitly, but it also didn’t devolve into gooey absurdity. And it had a damned fine ending. So, then. TL;DR review: I liked it.

Yellow Submarine. One of my workmates is a huge Beatles fan. We got to talking, I decided I had to re-view the movie. So trippy. I’d forgotten how trippy.  Forever fab.

Genius. A movie about the editor Max Perkins and his protege Thomas Wolfe in the 1920’s and 30’s, not the series about Albert Einstein. Very romantic look at “How Publishing Used To Work”  Beyond that it was not memorable despite solid performances by Colin Firth and Jude Law.

Warcraft. A somewhat murky animated fantasy epic. The animation nearly climbed out of  the Uncanny Valley and nailed some great action scenes. I’m sure it was fabulous fun for its target market  (World of Warcraft players, past players, and readers of the novels to name a few groups.)  Okay by me.

Guardians of the Galaxy. Had to prep for Volume 2, didn’t I? Still haven’t seen the second one. Maybe next week. Something tells me it’s going to be a round a while.

The Help. I was underwhelmed. Yes, important topics and historical period handled in a fine dramatic fashion. Yes, phenomenal performances, all the awards definitely deserved. And yet…I would have preferred lots MORE about the people whose stories the protagonist was trying to tell and less of the racist white folk caricatures. I know, I’m oversimplifying, but for me the presence of racist straw figures easily defeated by spunky defiance and clever opposition detracted from the power of the story.

Television:

Not much.  Feud ended beautifully, but it’s over, other shows are on mid-season break, and I don’t have the cable channels I need to watch American Gods or Handmaid’s Tale or other shows I can’t recall at the moment. The important thing is that I’m spending more time on creating and less on consuming things that don’t inspire creating. So hopefully it’s an everyone-wins scenario.

On the other fronts:

There was travel to Seattle to visit Spouseman’s mom and other relatives, hence the picture of Mt Rainier adorning this post.  Physically exhausting for him, stressful and emotionally draining for us both, and yet wonderful and invigorating and tremendously needful for both of us. SpouseMom is in her middling nineties, so…yeah. Good to visit and hug and listen to family stories.

My hair is short again and also blue. No longer blue enough to stain towels, clothes or pillowcases, but still a deep, vibrant shade I love spotting in windows as I walk past.

I have a new audio for one of my not-new novellas, and I’m working on that print edition of my story collection. BECAUSE PRINT LIVES!

The dryer died and I fixed it, the stove died, and we’re getting a new one. Given the ages of our other appliances, I really must stop referring to them as the “new” ones and bump up the saving for inevitable breakage. Hard to believe, but come Memorial Day, we’ll have been 20 years in our first little house.

Upcoming: a trip to Pittsburgh for the SFWA conference and much learning about writing and publishing stuff. And hanging out with friends.

That’s all there be for now.


Not tired of my words yet? My published works are available on Amazon and all the other usual online retailers, or you can take free peeks at them on my website on this page 

Science-fiction thrillers, science-fiction romance, and science fantasy, full length novels and shorter works…so many choices! Here be direct links to the published stories that have escaped the confines of Amazon. 

Extraordinary books2read.com/u/4N19e6
Powerhouse books2read.com/u/3kZ1VW
Nightmares books2read.com/u/3yPExv
Lockdown books2read.com/u/3GM2Xn

 

MASSIVE SFF Paperback Giveaway

s a gibson

SAGtitleWin 52 Science Fiction & Fantasy Paperback Novels

This May a giveaway contest runs where entrants have the chance to win prizes including fifty paperback books. Also, each person will receive two free ebooks just for entering. Additionally, the winner will receive 2 Amazon gift cards, they can share with friends. Enter now: http://dreamingrobotpress.com/giveaways/massive-sff-paperback-giveaway/

50 authors of Science Fiction and Fantasy have combined to build a package of books to send out to one lucky winner. Each entrant to the giveaway enters their email address, which will be shared with the authors in contest. Contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada, and each person, who enters, receive two free ebooks. Within a week after entry.

Some books included in the paperback package are Asante’s Gullah Journey, The Chronicles of Aurion, Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings, Configured, Before the Luck Runs Out, Teeth of the Gods, Maliha Anderson 1-3 (one volume), and many more!

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Quick Cat Update

Before I get to the feline details, I am ecstatic to report good news about my very own superhero Spouseman.  He’s checked off one full year since surgery, and got a thumbs-up on the first checkup test since the radiation regimen. So we’re moving into the “Dealing With All the Side Issues ” phase of recovery after cancer treatment. Building up stamina, testing new physical limits, designing new workouts in the Danger Room…okay, I might be making up that last bit. Or not.

Let’s talk about the cat.

Our grumpy old fur-baby Scootercat has been struggling with “idiopathic digestive issues” for nearly a year. That’s a fancy way of saying  “the poor cat’s insides are wearing out.” It translates to ten months of watching the cat vomit up food, hair, and/o bloody phlegm on a daily basis–sometimes three or more times a day.

We still don’t know what caused the upset or what made it last so long, but we do know he didn’t have any bacterial infections, urinary crystals, tumors, esophageal strictures, or bowel obstructions. He just horked up whatever he ingested and then some.

Ruling out horrible conditions was all well and good, but knowledge didn’t keep food inside the cat or clean up the disastrous results of rejection. And anyone who says animals don’t understand cause and effect has never watched a sick pet contemplate his food dish with equal parts desperation and disgust. Poor Scooter started grumbling at his food while he ate, as if warning it to stay down this time.

I am relieved to report Le Petit Chat Noir is finally feeling better. He still has arthritis and gets anxious when he can’t find us because he’s too deaf to hear us moving and too blind to see us across the room, but he’s eating like a high school athlete and is back to yakking at birds from window sills and chasing his nemesis the iPad reflection along the walls.

What miracle cure did the trick? No idea. Various remedies were applied as suggested by Reliable Veterinary Experts.  After multiple unsuccessful attempts we landed on a boring sensitive-stomach food Scooter could keep down, then added tuna flakes to encourage extra feeding.

Indulging the little monster’s love of being scrubbed with a wire brush after meals seems to help too. I think it distracts him long enough for the food to get from his stomach into his short little carnivore’s gut.

In any case, here be more photos of our happy, elderly feline.



Not tired of my words yet? My published works are available on Amazon and all the other usual online retailers, or you can take free peeks at them on my website on this page 

Science-fiction thrillers, science-fiction romance, and science fantasy, full length novels and shorter works. So many choices! Here be direct links to the published stories that have escaped the confines of Amazon. 

Extraordinary books2read.com/u/4N19e6
Powerhouse books2read.com/u/3kZ1VW
Nightmares books2read.com/u/3yPExv
Lockdown books2read.com/u/3GM2Xn