Random Thoughts 6 October, 2020

I thing I saw that I wanted to share.

This was in a blog by an author I follow. I think it’s a useful set of reminders to contemplate when re-visiting many fictions I loved as a young adult.

Here are the things I once thought were funny.
Here are the things I once thought were acceptable.
Here are the things I didn’t realize were rooted in cruelty. 
Here are the things I once believed without question.

Sarah Gailey

I like it, but…but the last one made me sit down with myself for a bit. The fit was uncomfortable. So I wondered, why?

Then I realized. It’s because I can’t think of a single thing I believe without question.

Questioning things is kinda what I AM. If I know I believe a thing, I immediately, regularly, and deeply question it. A story I probably share too often is one about being nicknamed Socrates by the first out-group of peers I joined as a young adult. I got saddled with that moniker because I answered questions with questions as a knee-jerk level reflex (and also because I was willing to die on the hill of principle over any principle you could name, but that came down to challenging/questioning norms, so…same-same?)

Identifying my own beliefs is the trickier part for me. I have blind spots. HUGE ones. Don’t we all? (Yes. If you said no, that’s a huge fucking blind spot you should have someone help you examine. But I digress.) So my version of the above would go something like this:

These things were never funny
These things were never acceptable
These things were always rooted in cruelty
These things did not change. I did.
I know better.
I will keep learning.
I must.


Suburban wildlife count for the week

1 fox, 2 hawks, many woodpeckers, countless sparrows, owls heard but not seen, 1 raccoon, 1 skunk, and 3 nuthatches.

The last nuthatch was a feisty little thing who had zero fucks to give. When I came to fill the feeders, she sat on the fence upside down and glared at me until I finished, then scolded me for being in her way the whole time I was I changing out the birdbath water.

And today I learned that the sparrows absolutely recognize individual people and understand what we’re doing when we’re outside. The yard has been full of workers for 10 day now. The birds go about their business, unconcerned. I come outside to take pictures. They do not care. They lurk in the spruces, they hang in the bushes, they dust themselves in the lawn, they mutter birdy gossip to one another from their various hidey spots/

Unless I walk into the garage where the birdseed lives, that is.

OUTBURSTS OF CHEEPING!!!

FLUTTERING FLIGHTS OF EXCITEMENT!!!

ALL THE BIRDS APPEAR & LINE UP ON THE WIRES AND THE FENCE!!!

Followed shortly by every squirrel in the neighborhood.

It’s entertaining, that’s all I’m saying.

Sundry updates

1 Sharp Edge of Yesterday revisions and additions are complete through Book 3, which is about 2/3 of the total expected length. I’ll be contacting my wonderful alpha readers to give the latest bits a read through soon, to see if it’s all still working or if I should burn it all with fire.

2. I added ebook distribution to my Ingramspark account, so now you should be able to buy Rough Passages and all the Restoration series books in paperback or ebook, whichever you like, from any retailer who orders from Ingram Distribution. Support your trusty local independent bookstore AND get my wonderful stories in the format you prefer. Win-win.

3. I have achieved an unplanned Author Goal! I attracted a review troll. Someone one-starred both Controlled Descent and Flight Plan (so far) on Goodreads, but a check on the account indicates the individual ONLY one-stars books and doesn’t leave reviews, only ratings. No idea why or how they decided my books needed attention, but there it is. Achievement unlocked!

And here is a random cat from the internet, with attribution, because cats.

Photo by Ave Calvar Martinez on Pexels.com

Happy HAPPY author moments

This week in little-big writing wins:

Two separate readers sent me “I was thinking about your stories” emails. It’s impossible to overstate just how much energy that puts into my writing batteries. It’s humbling & thrilling all at once, that’s what it is.

Ingram sent me an invoice, which means someone bought paperbacks from a bookstore last month (YES MORE THAN ONE! SO AMAZE MUCH SQUEE)

Sharp Edge revisions have passed the 2/3 mark!

Someone picked up Flight Plan & Rough Passages for Kindle. Since Flight Plan is a follow-up title, it also means someone liked Controlled Descent enough to pick up the sequel. That’s a sweet boost to start off the month.

There’s only one week left in my downstairs office exile. I am immensely lucky that I can afford house repair in this year of chaos, and luckier yet to have a cozy place to retreat for the duration, but…BUT. I am really excited to get back to my real desk with my plants & plant lights & comfy “thinking couch” & stretching mat … and everything.

And here’s a happy cat picture from Pixabay, just because.

Random Thought Update 22.9.2020

It’s the equinox

Autumn is official here in the northern hemisphere, & I could not be happier. Crisp nights have already arrived, plant lights come out of storage (the better to ward off winter blahs later) potted herbs have retreated indoors to keep my office fragrant & humid, and new spooky decorations are on order.

Dream caught

A descriptive phrase has popped into my head independently several times now, always around the time of day it describes. I like it, but I don’t know where it came from, and it feels too specific to be a thing I thought up myself.

“the heavy stillness of a clear summer sunset”

Do you know the type of sunset I’m thinking about? It’s a late-season phenomenon, this brief, hushed pause between day and night, when the hot afternoon breezes disappear into shadow, the noisy, hustling cicadas go silent, and the black leaves on the trees hang motionless against the crystal sky, waiting for the earnest, randy crickets to begin their nightly serenade.

The twilight of a stormy evening is something else again, and in the early weeks of the season, darkness drops hard, windy and cold more often than not. It’s only in the heated tween-times cusp between summer and fall that I notice this particular kind of dusk.

Anyway. That was a thing going on in my head lately.

BRAIN WHY EVEN ARE YOU?

This is the way my brain works:

I’m sitting on the couch watching TV. Thought: ow, my back is achy. Must’ve pulled a muscle or something at work. I stop tuning out physical signals (the default setting is “ignore body”) and realize Trouble Hip is acting up. That creates pain issues from neck to feet. Whee, what fun.


I shift position to ease the strain on that joint. (carefully, right wrist is squishy lately, and it isn’t taped for support today) Result: hip pain is worse, not better. I definitely pulled or strained a thing. How? WHO KNOWS? Life. It’s a contact sport, and sometimes I get tackled on the blindside.


Shift again. (Careful of left elbow, the tendon is nearing overuse limits) Slight improvement in the hip/spine, but feet start to ache and Trouble Shoulder objects.


Two more position changes put me on the floor. Everything below the “safe to ignore” threshold, even Cranky Wrist. It’s a temporary solution, something’s sure to fall asleep from the hard-surface pressure, but I get to enjoy the rest of the show. (Fortitude. I’m 4 eps in, and I’m pretty sure it’s horror masquerading as murder mystery. I definitely want most of the morally bankrupt characters to die horribly.)

ANYway. Credits roll, and I turn off the TV.

Aaaaaand I finally recall the existence of painkillers. Were you wondering why I didn’t take some up at the start? Yeah. It’s a mystery to me, too. The pills work like fucking magic once I remember to take them, but the idea of taking ibuprofen or naproxen never pops into mind right off the line. Every single time, I’ll muddle along for hours just…ignoring…as hard as I can before “hey, take a pill!” occurs to me.

I learned a thing or three!

I’ma fan of words that carry sound, feel, and meaning in pleasant, useful & satisfying ways. Here are some new-to-me ones I ran across this week with links to definitions:

  1. tikkun olam
  2. omakase
  3. maft
  4. octothorpe
  5. manicule

Imma leave any further research to you, dear readers. I don’t want you to miss out on the joy of discovery I got to enjoy.

That’s all until later!