Dirty Bombs and Distractions

I haven’t written much about politics lately, because inevitably any post ends in a stream of invectives. So, so blue. It’s become quite clear that horrible people get more attention than decent people. Liars get more press than truth-tellers. Diatribes and conspiracy-laden memes get more likes than reasoned arguments. It’s clear that short blurts and bumper sticker sentiments resonate more with people than logical and balanced discussions. And I’m no better. I can’t read the news without feeling the hostility rising. I’ve found myself streaming too much television for escape from the… Read More

American Hostage: A Foothold Situation

This post will be moderated per The Green Study comment policy. There is a moment in each day now when I imagine the decimation of my country. I grew up with the idea that America represented ethics and values that I could get behind. I didn’t always agree with politicians or administrations, but I respected that it was an honorable thing to serve this country. My eyes watered hearing The Star-Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful. I put my hand on my heart and believed that there was something of which we… Read More

Lex Talionis Unleashed: The Art of the Escalation

Lately, as the airwaves and data bytes have been poisoned with yet another presidential online freak out, I’ve been reading the comments from various sources. People say things like if you get hit, you hit back harder and he’s just fighting fire with fire. It’s emblematic of any toxic relationship I’ve ever had – from a friend or family member or romantic partner. It’s that person who overreacts to any slight, who doesn’t speak to you for days or even years after you disagree with them. It’s the one you laugh nervously… Read More

We Are All Unreliable Narrators

The last couple week of blogging hiatus were ostensibly for wrapping up edits on the novel. Life happened, as it usually does, which means my work-in-progress is still in progress. Still, good work is being done and I’m pleased with that. Part of the challenge of writing fictional characters is understanding that what they see and experience might be entirely different from what actually happens or what another character experiences. It becomes about perception. I think about this a lot in my own life – the weird dichotomy of feeling one is… Read More

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