Motley Thoughts on a Rainy Day

After wrecking my knee once again, this time by gardening misadventure and not running, rain has provided a welcome reprieve and excuse. I’m chugging through desperate re-writes to get my novel out to a lovely group of beta readers and a couple of agents by the first week of June. Since I’ve established a hard deadline for myself, I have been busy cleaning windows, rearranging closets, volunteering a few extra hours, sewing on loose buttons, reading obscure texts, and listening to writing advice podcasts while sharpening garden tools. All in all, this… Read More

Imagine There’s No Politics

Of late, I’ve really loathed my writing on this blog. Despite this, I hit that Publish buttonĀ each time, a twitchy trigger finger serving my need to be read and to be heard. This need has thrown me off, as has the public discourse. I’ve been less thoughtful and about as reflective as Narcissus. I’ve been lacking in scope and imagination. Currently, I’m reading The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen about a double agent following the fall of Saigon. The author describes the final, brutal scenes of people fleeing, trying to catch the… Read More

A State of Readiness

I’m waiting at my daughter’s orchestra practice and one of the groups is playing the national anthem. Without fail, it brings tears to my eyes. Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light…It’s an odd patriotic twitch, much like praying to a god I don’t believe in when I’m scared. It’s reflexive indoctrination which serves religion and country well, keeping the machinery of industry and institution well-oiled. My practice of critical thinking, looking at as many perspectives as possible and making sure that I am cognizant of my own irrational… Read More

And Then I Said…Wait, What was I Talking About?

It’s unlikely I’ll come up with coherent blog posts for the next month. I’m running down the clock on my novel and frantically trying to get my shit together for a pitch conference next month. I finally dumped 10 drafts out of the blog pile and am just giving in to writing pithy, disjointed posts. It will be gratifying to short attention spans (mine included), but it’s not a long-term intent for the blog. Until then, LOOK – SQUIRRELS! ***** They said, they said Words mean a lot to me. I’m a… Read More

That Oxygen Mask: Self-Care When You Feel Like You’re Drowning

For some people, self-care is reflexive – a function of healthy esteem and respect. I am not one of those people. On a sinking ship, I’d lower the lifeboat and wait for everyone else to get in. It’s not altruism. It is that I tend to put myself low on the list of priorities. Everything and everyone else comes first. There are scenarios where this is lovely and heroic, but in most cases, it just means at some point I’m going to be drowning and I won’t understand how I got there…. Read More

Refuge

I’d forgotten what it was like to lose myself in a book and not the news. Admittedly the books I’m losing myself in lately have been Orwell’s 1984 and Gene Sharp’s The Methods of Nonviolent Action. But I’d forgotten about what grounds me. Last month, I did a clearing out of my books, donating or selling a third of my collection. As I looked at each book, it was like looking through a photo album. Remember when… Long wooden steps led down to the back alley from our apartment. I rarely walked… Read More

The Snowflake and the Fist

Since I live in Minnesota, I find the term “snowflake” to be an innately irritating and overused bit. They all look the same at the end of my shovel. It’s generally used against liberals or basically anyone who disagrees with the person using it. It’s used as a way to shut down opinions, to end the conversation – a way to show what a tough you are. Liberals do the same thing with the “check your privilege” childishness. It ends conversations. It is aggressive and condescending. Language matters and how we learn… Read More

The Marauder’s Map

It‘s 2am and I’m wide awake, as I have been many mornings in the last week. There is no end in sight to the destruction of the country I thought I knew. Moves are being taken in every quarter to quash protests, disenfranchise voters, eliminate safety nets, knock the legs out from under air and water safety, gift power to the already empowered. The baby, the bath water and any ethics are right out the window. The Doomsday Clock will likely click one minute closer to midnight. I keep thinking about history…. Read More

The Next Five

It’s been five years since I wrote my first blog post and I’m feeling a tad somber about that. Since then, I’ve written on a wide range of topics, mostly in regards to personal development and writing. I wrote an angry political post yesterday and it was a lesson as well, getting chided by a couple of commenters. I expended a lot of energy trying to be measured in reply and not devolve into personal attacks. I lay awake last night and decided it’s not worth it, so I am making a… Read More

My Country, Where Jerks Finish First

Well, here we are – the culmination of waling on each other for the last year and a half. The result of bickering, lying, name-calling, smearing, backstabbing, flip-flopping, and deception – that toxic dump we call politics. I’m not watching, listening to or getting whimsically drunk during the inauguration. Call me naive, but I don’t think jerks should be celebrated. But hooray for the peaceful transition of power. How long have awful people been winning and when did it become the norm? Day in and day out, I struggle with not being… Read More