5-minute free association writing

21 June. The word is enlightened.  A perfect word for the solstice, in my not-so-humble opinion. Not that enlightenment and light have any direct relationship, but in the realm of nouns that connect on the concept level, yeah. Light.

Today is the day of longest light from my self-centered Northern Hemisphere perspective, and it marks the turn towards days of more light in the Southern Hemisphere. A theme of light either way.

I know, enlightened doesn’t mean light-light. It’s all about mindful awareness an increased awareness/understanding of the universe and even feeling a sense of oneness with everything. It’s seeing things as they are, (Or that’s what I have at the top of my head as its meaning. I didn’t look it up.)

But it’s considered a goal, a good thing, an aspiration. People are encouraged to aspire, to become enlightened.

But when I hear enlightened, contrarian I am, I wonder why we associate good things with light and darkness with ignorance, bad things, and even evil. Why can’t we feel at one with the dark of night as much as the light of day? Why is sight the only sense we associate with knowledge? Why can’t we seek comprehension by digging into the lightless, dense depths of spirit and thought, and soak ourselves in understanding?

Or something like that. Hey, I only had five minutes here.


word provided by Esther Olson

I’m making things happen

All about my latest author-ish doings.

The biggest project has been stalled for a while: getting all my Rough Passages tales into a print collection as had to wait while the In-House Final Approvals Department deat with some painful and frustrating health issues.  There’s been improvement of late, and the formatting review is moving again.  I’m hoping to reveal the cover in July and publish in August. Watch this space for excited gushing.

The other project, filed under self-indulgence:  publishing the oldest of my Restoration novels as a serial on Wattpad. I’ve been polishing the old prose and posting once a week, but I did a little arithmetic. If I don’t start posting at least twice a week, it will drag into the next decade.

Interested? You don’t need a Wattpad account to read it, but if you have one, you get to vote on each chapter. Votes provide me with vastly important “someone didn’t hate this” feedback, and they also give my tale more visibility. Visibility maybe gains me a reader or two. (An author can dream, can’t she?)  Oh, a LINK? Sure. That’d be useful. Here it is:  wattpad.com/story/110555072-downrigger

The OTHER other project:  honing my wordcrafting skills with free-writing. Yesterday’s five-minute warmup went almost 20 minutes because I got to pondering and enjoying the byroads. Here it is in its entirety, and at the bottom is a link to the blog where I’m posting the cute little things as I write them.


14 June. The word is forgiveness.

This is a tough one. Thinking of what to say, I mean, not forgiveness itself. I have a hard time holding a grudge even when given a bucket to put it in. I’m easy to rile up, too and maybe that’s part of it.

Forgiveness is a powerful healing force, and when I’m dishing it out I would rather err on the side of responsible, respectful generosity than withhold it and kill off something that really needed a dose of it. Which isn’t to say I don’t sulk, or never demand apologies or reparations. I can sulk like a champ, and I am usually embarassingly forthright about demanding redress for wrongs.

I just don’t ask for penance and then keep being angry. Bygones are gone.  I hae to work hard to stay angry when I’m wrong, even when I know I should hold onto it. I see others save up wrongs and slights all the time. It has to be like living in a cloud of smoke. . Maybe knowing how easy it is to do something harsh in the heat of the moment, makes it easier for me to forgiving those who trespass against me?

I dunno.  I know that odd phrase is always my go-to when pondering forgiveness. From the Lord’s Prayer. The way I learned it, it went, “Forgive us  our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  As an adult I recognize it’s not meant as a contingency–for those who believe in the Christian God, acceptance is not based on performance in the forgiveness arena or anywhere else–but the proximity of the two ideas does set a good example, which is a thing kids and adults can always use.

When it comes to fiction, especially screen fiction, I think forgiveness is often horribly mispresented. Characters shrug off betrayals quickly and on emotionally shaky grounds, and they dismiss hellacious wrongdoings for the slimmest of excuses–as long as the plot requires the characters to get along, or as long as they are both Good People, ( however good is defined in the plot.)

There’s a scene in a late season of Angel where one heroic character –for Good Reasons–badly wrongs the protagonist, resulting in an un-fixable loss. The scene showing their first meeting after The Badness starts off playing out the way such things usually do, with apologies made, and acceptance and understanding discussed…and then the wronged protagonist goes for the guy’s throat.

The scene sticks with me because I was braced for the usual disappointment of powerful pain being played for drama without consequences. It felt real in a way television rarely did at the time.

Forgiveness is a powerful force. Misrepresentation does it a disservice by making it appear trivial. And I think the way that distorts expectations might actually be dangerous.

But I’m already way over time, so I won’t be discussing it. Forgive me? I’ll leave that exercise to the reader.

Word provided by Maria Turner


Here’s the blog link:  https://dawnriggersden.wordpress.com

I’ll only be updating those 2-3x a week from now on, to give me more time for the Wattpad project.

Best for last, I am still working on Heartwood. That’s my heart’s project, pun fully intended, and it’s regaining momentum after the above-mentioned illness in the household. No, I wasn’t the one suffering, but I was the one shouldering all the sundry everythings and doing my share of worrying. And if the last two years have taught me anything, it’s that I am not a person who can dive into my own world as an escape stress and exhaustion in this one. I wish I was, but I am not.

So I work from where I am, and I am now carving out moments here and there and re-establishing a routine. Progress!

Huzzahs all around.


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 this page here.  Direct links:

Extraordinary books2read.com/u/4N19e6
Powerhouse books2read.com/u/3kZ1VW
Nightmares books2read.com/u/3yPExv
Lockdown books2read.com/u/3GM2Xn
Controlled Descent Amazon link (paperback, audio & Kindle)
Flight Plan Amazon link (paperback, audio & Kindle)

Science-fiction thrillers, science-fiction romance, and science fantasy, full length novels and shorter works. So many choices! 

The latest in things

The latest in updates.

Things viewed:

Wonder Woman. It did not disappoint. It thrilled, it pleased, it made me laugh…and a few million people are deep in the honeymoon phases of “I lurve this thing more than anything ever” so I will keep my assorted nit-picky “I wish this trope would DIE” grumbles to myself. I adore Gail Gadot and I thought her casting was a fab choice all along, so I get to say VINDICATED!!! with shoutycaps and extra exclamation points.

And I hope WW ends up with more movies than Superman and Batman combined.

Tammy. I do not know why I put this in my Netflix queue. I dd not hate it. Plenty of hists and some big misses. Not my kind of humor for the most part, and some bits of it actively offended, but…when Melissa McCarthy hits it, she knocks it out of the park. So.

Sense8. Season 2: I enjoyed…but.  SO MUCH BUTT. (sorry could not resist.) The writing went into a sadly predictable Wachowski Bros tailspin (all pretty, no plot, coincidences get capped by dei ex machina and are trumped by absurdities, while character contradictions breed like mice)  In short, I can see why it got cancelled. The expensive music rights for all the long, lingering Feelings Montages had to be adding up too. If they’d indulged in less Moody Prettiness and added more plot progression instead, the costs might have been justifiable, but no.

Gotta say, though– if it had been renewed,  I would have eventually hated it. The Asian Female Martial Artist Stereotype’s inability to remain clothed already had me ranting on Facebook, and it takes a lot to get me complaining about that trope.  I have SUPER-high tolerance for justifying nudity. BUT.  Sense8’s female nudity was heavily sexualized where the male nakedness was not, AND the flesh-baring was disappointingly far from equal-opportunity. One Super-Hot Gay Latin Movie Star and lots of butts in orgy scenes do not balance out the half-naked girl-fights and bad-girl seductions. And that was only one trope. There were more spinning out of control.

So, anyway, I loved the first season, I loved parts of the second one, and I wish they could have a few episodes to wrap up the plots that were nearly complete, but season 2 destroyed my faith in the writers’ ability to complete any story in a satisfactory way.  Ah, well. On to the next show. Here’s hoping Stranger Things gets its sophomore season right, and that Black Mirror can keep up its streak.

Things Read:

I have only three more Grace Burrowes books left to read, and then I will have to leave Regency/Victorian England and move to 1635 or 1636 or whatever year that alternate history series has reached. I need to pick a non-fiction read for June too.  Haven’t decided on a topic, so suggestions are welcomed.

Things Uncategorized:

  • I had on my caregiver hat for most of May (those life detours, they keep a-coming) so several author expectations got sidelined and/or postponed. The format review for Rough Passages collection is complete, and Powerhouse is nearly ready for audio release.  Designing new business cards, bookmarks and other swag is still on the to-do list. (I collected great ideas for beyond-bookmarks swag from the SFWA Nebulas conference! But that’s another post.)  Stay tuned for announcements, but don’t hold your breath.
  • Spouseman is healing up from the last round of repairs and gaining back stamina, so that means we’re getting garden-puttering done and walking regularly again. We are planning day trips and possibly even a Real Vacation ™ soonish. V exciting.
  • I have discovered the productivity app/role-playing game/community Habitica.com and am still loving it to pieces after several weeks, which bodes well for it becoming a favored tool in the life organization kit.
  • I have renewed my resolve to stop stressing over my inability to Produce At Speed. With that pressure removed, things are flowing again. I am simmering scenes for a new project on the back burner while I edge ever-so-slowly towards completing Heartwood.  The Habitica and Freedom apps are limitingtime lost online, and I’m keeping my brain energized by doing regular writing warm-ups and posting on the Other Things blog. (linked for the curious)

It’s summer, and the things, they keep happening. Expect pictures in future posts.

PS: my hair is still blue.


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

Quotes & story ideas & other miscellany

This blog has been languishing a bit. When my time isn’t disappearing down the side roads of  life detours, it gets sucked into wrap-up for the next paperback release (Rough Passages. COMING SOON! Woo!)  and cleanup work on the current WIP.

All the blogging-type energy has gone to writing five-minute  free association word riffs, and those get posted in the Other Things Blog. (Click HERE if you’re feeling brave.)

I can’t stand the idea of letting any creative space sit idle, though, so here:  have some random phrases gleaned from conversations during the Nebula Awards conference weekend. Presented without rhyme or reason and mostly without attribution to protect privacy.

These would make good story titles:

  • Barbie & Ken Doing The Kama Sutra In the Basement
  • A Big Cloud Of Foot Flakes
  • Going To the Aviary To Hug the Owls

And some phrases:

  • “One man’s dirty underwear is another man’s shooting star.”
    from Dr. Kjell Lindgren’s presentation about Life on the International Space Station.
  • “In war there are no winners, only widows.”
    not attributing because spoilers, but is that a great saying or what?
  • Ocean gyres
    that one might also make a good title.
  • “Fairy tales are all bone and no meat.”
    Seanan McGuire, during a panel on fairy tale themes in speculative fiction

More random notes from the conference will appear as time allows and the mood strikes.  Stay tuned, bookmark, follow the blog, whatever.

 


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 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

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