A Purposeful Post Redux

I’ve poked at keeping my thoughts online for not less than ten years, and through some tumultuous happenings, I’ve been bumped off the turnip wagon a fair number of times.  I’ve been debating preserving my old writings from older versions of my site, or just starting anew.  On the one hand, it provides me (and you) with a record of my old thoughts.  And my old writing styles (shudder).  On the other, there’s something to be said for an entirely fresh start.  I will have to continue to mull it over.

In the by and by, I want to talk about chickens instead.  Largely because I’ve been obsessed with them.  Almost as obsessed as I’ve been with okra.  Did you know that there is a gene among certain breeds of chicken that causes hyperpigmentation of the wee feathered things, the end result being an entirely black bird?  A few months ago, I learned of such a thing, and of course that suggested a story.  It always suggests a story.  So.  Black chickens.  A hen yard.  And a witch.  More than one witch.  And that’s all I’ve got to say about that…  mainly because I’m sitting on the idea like a broody hen, trying to hatch it.  I’m still not sure which way it’s growing.

If you are interested, one such breed is the Ayam Cemani.  Silkies and Kadaknaths also have this trait (though silkies are more often known to be white little poof-balls).  Bodies.  Even bird bodies.  They’re just weird.

(Incidentally, I decided to preserve the old blogs.  Expect the posts from 2016 & early 2017 one by one as transfer the markdown files individually)

A Theory of Energy

You may have noticed that my “About” page no longer states that I update Thursdays and Sundays. An even better sign of what’s afoot is the fact that I’ve followed through with this change, and have only been updating in Thursdays. The reason is simple. I haven’t had enough energy. 

Energy is a limited resource. Now, I’m not talking about some airy-fairy notion of crystals or magick or etheric vibrations, but instead the hard concepts if time, focus, and the all important fuel, glucose. The stuff your brain burns directly whenever you make a decision or work on a problem. No, I haven’t had enough of that stuff lately.

And I could tell you about all the things that have attached wicks to my little ball of wax, brightly consuming all my parrafin: the paring down of my stuff, the getting ready for a move that might not happen, the fighting off of inner demons, the climbing out of wells… but going into greater depth feels like it would just be an excuse.

I don’t need to make an excuse. I need to monitor what I’m spending energy on. I need to be careful with my focus, and gentle with myself. I need address the needs at hand, which are to work at my craft and make sure I’m at a certain level of okay-ness.

Which brings me to the real heart of the issue: how do you divert your energy? Because every day, I see the signs of people around me becoming less and less well due to how they focus their efforts, spending far too much time on things which are social “obligations” or unreasonable standards they’ve set for themselves, and not nourishing their creativity, not nourishing their bodies, and trying to simply power through their days because they somehow “should.” Instead, breathe. Eat. Tuck away unplanned time. Take an hour just to daydream. Take a nap. You can’t live your whole life in fight or flight readiness if you want it to be longer than short.

In other words, spend some of your energy on you. That’s a piece of advice it’s about time I took to heart.

Lit Bit: User Error Is Not a Technical Difficulty

I didn’t post my Lit Bit last Sunday, though it was finished. I had thought I’d had it all ready to go, posting scheduled and everything set. Nope. I forgot to hit the “publish” button when I saved it and set the schedule. Silly bird.

Instead, I will save it for next post, but give you this timely writing-related announcement! My short story, “Suburban Pixies,” is set for publication in Daily Science Fiction on Tuesday, July 3rd! That means if you are subscribed to DSF (it’s free), it will arrive in your inbox on July 3rd. If you are not subscribed, you will be able to see it one week later, on July 10th, when it goes live on their website.

Now that my egregious failure in simple internet usage has been exposed and addressed, I will now return you to the regularly scheduled posting routine.

Lit Bit Sundays: Installment the First

I’ve been wanting to write more about writing.  Part of this is stems from a healthy dose of self-analysis, but a larger part of this comes of a desire to share my love and passion for words by dissecting them, rolling around in them, and holding up the real gems I’ve come across.  I want to set Sundays aside (it’s somebody’s day of rest, yeah?) to talk craft, analysis, to workshop, and to recommend good stuff.  I want your recommendations, thoughts, and critiques in return.  While the rest of the blog is made of tall tales, memoir, and personal essay— all that stuff that gets composted into creative non-fiction— once a week I want to take out my toy trucks and Transformers and play with you.  Caveat: I get first dibs on the Xena action figures.

Next week, I want to talk poetry, and people’s introductions to it.  After that?  Well, what do you want to talk about?

Dots on the Horizon

They’re getting closer. These goals of mine. I’m working on a poetry chapbook to release in a month. I’m scared I will do nothing with it, that it will sit there unsold when I release it digitally. But then I stop and think, wait a second, wait a second… that doesn’t matter. This is an adventure. I’m going to learn something here. Then I get really excited. I’m really pretty damned excited.

Promises, Promises

I’ve missed writing. It feels like there’s a hole, when I’m not stringing beads on a thread each week, like I’m burying observations down deep, drowning them like kittens. It may be a a tiny outlet to write here, but it’s still an outlet. They’re still words. They’re still mine. Or maybe they’re not: little birds seeking the sky, and I’ve let the latch go rusty on their cage.

The Unfortunates

Really, the only unfortunate parties here are my data. I mistreated them so. You, see, my hard drive failed. Honestly, it was to be expected. I can’t complain. It served me long and well, since 2002. A 40 gig drive, it was little and fierce, uncomplaining as it held safe all my files, photos to save games. It valiantly called forth the information to render exotic locations for me to explore, from the foyadas of Vvardenfell to the lively desolace of the Capitol Wasteland; from the bustling streets of Tarant to the red rock desert of Durotar. All of these places were just a mouse-click away, thanks to the efforts of my late little C drive, Gamgee. May he rest in peace.

Where does that leave me? With my tales and verse all backed up, I’ve lost only images, music, and my progress in pixelated universes. It’s strange how relieving that word “only” is. Game worlds can be retrod. Pictures, well, new ones can be taken. Music hurts more, but much of it can be re-ripped from my CDs kept safe and pristine. My words, though– those are priceless to me, no matter how bad, rough, or crude. Blocky text and poor grammar can be reworked, but the spark of a particular phrase, once extinguished, is gone forever. In my writing folder are the clumsy typings of a little girl, kept not as a precious memory, but as rich ugly ore from which I still draw, smelting, refining, forging something new. To know that my work, my “real” work, is safe… that gives me a little room to be flippant.

The internet, my old friend, presents a slightly different problem. Without a box from which to access it, I’m stealing net time from gracious friends. For now, I’m in limbo… little as it matters this weekend. I won’t need to be internetting from Necronomicon. You can, however, expect delighted ramblings upon my return.

Hermitage

Last week was a week of recovery for me, a sorting of self. I had meant to post here, but then found myself taking solace in aloneness. It was a needed thing. I am better for it.

That leaves the fact that I missed a week of posting. I have done this in the past, and previously just let the week slip. I do not believe I will be doing that anymore. I think there is greater value in “making up” the posts I missed. With only one post a week, I don’t think this task will be difficult. From this time onward, every time I miss a post, you can expect two the next week.

Also, the editing bug has been gnawing at me. I want to comb through old posts and correct grammar and spelling where I carelessly misused them. To that end, I will do so, because with most of the posts here, timeliness was not the issue, but instead my concerns are flow, cadence, and idea. Misspellings trip up a person in creative pieces like these. It seems dishonest, though, at least in the medium of a blog, to correct such errors after the fact. I am going to compromise. I am going to correct, but I will include an end note which names the type of correction and the date of the correction. No serious edits will occur, only typos will be fixed thus. Previously, I snuck them in when they really REALLY got to bothering me.

As it stands, then, expect a little more later in the week. I have a post to make up.