The One Rule for Writers!

 

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from Business Today. 

I skimmed an aggressively positive art-related how to blog correctly post, as you do. When you’re scrolling with a bored WTF am I doing with my life? air over on Twitter or elsewhere.

The social media sites that seem to be the wildly popular versus those who are not, with nobody-land, right there in the middle of those two extremes, being virtually uninhabited. It’s an either/or world when it comes to likes for a post across the social media global-sphere.

Whatever! Totes my goats!

So! 80 percent ‘helpful’ content for those who bother to ‘stop by’ for a visit and 20 percent SELL YOUR WARES. 80/20 which equals a hundred! 

So, here’s my advice for writers.

Do not follow my example, ever. There!!

Whew!

Whatever I do, writers and wannabe writers…you do the opposite. Glad I could help.

Ha ha ha, okay.

I should work up a list of writerly advice. So those that ‘stop by’ can chuckle, shake their heads or nod with wide-eyed wonder at my deep nearly unfathomable wisdom.

It’s an either-or world lately.

I must reflect that here…instead of writing a fifty page monologue with no paragraph breaks entitled, simply, “manifesto”.

Which would basically just be cuss words arranged in, hopefully, some new and startling formations, and which will end with ‘death to all enemies of unicorns’.

Because actually naming your enemy or enemies in revenge-minded cuss word-laced pages means I might have to start a GoFundMe page for a team of lawyers to get me off on the insanity plea.

All of which would make for the blog posts that the blogger who gave the rules for successful art blogging warned against!

Number one rule for writers from me? I guess it’s write. Yeah. Write stuff down. Send it off. Wait for the rejections. It’s a fun and fulfilling cycle that will turn you into a stellar human ‘bean’. Ha ha.

Always end on a happy, jokey note. Develop a heavy thick skin would be my other rule…or pretend to. You can sob in private, after all. You can pretend really hard in public.

That’s what adulting is, after all.

Oh– I have two books for sale. Two!

Oregon Gothic and House on Clark Boulevard.

I also might have Aftermath coming out soon. It’s been in editing for a while, so.

After that will probably be The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane. I’m reading through that now and it’s a hoot!  I’m not puking over how bad my own prose is! That’s always a plus plus plus! Cannibal bikers versus wily old ladies in Fallon, Nevada! It’s funny and a lot gross!

Groundhogging

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I remember February 2 as being my grandfather’s birthday. Now that you’re warm and fuzzy or perhaps full of rage because your grandfather happened to be a total bastard, or bastards, if you knew both…Where was I?

Groundhog.

The groundhog said it will be an early spring. A charming American tradition or rodent torture run amuck?

Punxsutawney Phil.

There’s a Bill Murray movie about this, where he’s caught in an endless loop until he learns to be a nice person.

Why did this tradition catch on with America? I have no idea. None.

Oh wait, I do have an idea: I think we think it’s cute and charming to have a giant rodent predict the ending of winter wrong most of the time. It feeds into some sort of anti-science, pro-magic sort of mindset. We like our air conditioning and computer-run cars, but evolution is a plot dreamed up by Al Gore to bilk the government out of hard-working tax payer bucks. Global warming is a hoax made up by the Chinese to turn everyone into commie social marxists. Wheee! Freedom!

[ note to self– must stop reading comments under science articles. Must stop reading comments under science articles!]

I’m sure others have done in-depth psychological essays on everything Groundhog Day. I won’t.

Writing? Art I writing-eth? Oh woe betides and sucketh much-eth moi!

I seem to have wandered into some sort of Lake of Ultimate Doubts. I’ve drowned, they’re performing CPR right now. Someone is. I hope they are. I don’t think they are.

Who are they???

I haven’t been writing lately. I find I can’t concentrate. That I write something for a bit, then read over it, go…OMG THIS SUCKS DEAD WHALES. Then I start over.

I repeat this pattern for days on end. Days. On. End.

It might be the epic bout of never-ending depression. It might be that I suck as a writer. It might be that damn groundhog. It might be invisible unicorns sent by the trickster gods of Narnia. At this point I am open to all suggestions and ideas.

I am trying to get submissions off. I am trying to rework old pieces, get them turned into better this or that. I might be making them worse. At this point, I DO NOT KNOW.

Welcome to Writer Has Massive Doubts, Episode One Billion, Two Hundred Six.

Is there a writer alive or very dead that hasn’t suffered like a groundhog forced to predict weather patterns for an entire country?? WELL?? IS THERE??

Prolly not!

Death Rattle Arts and Crafts

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Well, it’s almost here. Book fair in Nampa, Idaho, for the Death Rattle writer’s festival. I airily asked for booth space to sell my stack of unsold books. Then, I decided I needed posters to advertise I’m a REAL WRITER. So I’ve been obsessing over that. Redoing them. Discovering I had some green body glitter from way back that, yes, can be used accordingly. I’ve been using spray paint. 

I’ll also be reading a short piece called Vineheart and the Stolen Daughters, which is a quickie take on Rapunzel. 

My mood is low, and I almost want to bow out of this whole thing. Just hide in my room. I had a job interview, I botched it, I did something very wrong. I didn’t get a job I could do in my sleep half-dead with typhoid. With two degrees in that subject. I seem to have “loser” tattooed on my forehead…I know, you’re supposed to be positive all the damn time. Sorry. I’ll buck up. Write some zany review of a television show that’s been off the air for years. Yeah. It’s been raining. We needed it. 

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First draft efforts!!
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Placement of this and that.
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My Aftermath masterpiece! Nail polish, cheap supermarket watercolors and old magazine pictures, oh my. 

A Gown of Stars and Diamonds

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from Zazzle

Once upon a time, she wore a gown of stars and diamonds. She moved through the crowds, who called her names beneath their breath, like cunt and twat and bitch, and smiled to her face while calling her pretty and nice. She danced with no one, just herself, letting her skirts swirl out, taking the very middle of the floor.

That music is for everyone, someone muttered, others muttered that moments after. Until everyone said it but the one dancing.

She must be taught a lesson, that cunt, that twat, that bitch. She must be taught she doesn’t matter at all, that’s she’s to be looked at, that’s she’s to be divided into pieces for all to enjoy. That she doesn’t belong to herself. That she must dance in private or dance as we want her to.

The crowd surrounded her.

Her dress of stars and diamonds torn away, replaced with a dress of mud and thorns. They cut her tongue out so she would stop screaming. They cut off her hands so she would stop fighting. They cut off her legs so she could not run away. They removed her eyes so she could not mark their faces into her brain. They stuffed wads of cloth in each ear so she could not hear their voices to mark them into her brain. They removed her brain to make sure all others in their star and diamond dresses would know to take them off, and put on the dresses of mud and thorns.

And they did.

Help us teach her that final lesson, said the crowd to these women now wearing mud and thorns. Or you will be next. So the women in their approved mud, in their smiled upon thorns, helped carry off the severed arms and legs. They burned the tongue, stomped the eyeballs flat, stuffed more cloth into the ears, fried the brain with butter to serve to the hounds.

Through the years, only a few dared dance in the middle of that floor wearing the universe on her skin. The ghost of that first one rises to join them.

The women yet in mud and thorns look away, their anger tamped down like coals in a stone hearth. Come dance with us, speak the ones dancing.

Not yet, not yet, shhh, the rest say, longing like a taste of bitter almonds in their throats.

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from One World Education

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Manifesto!

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from the MacMillan dictionary

Now, I had a big long rant on the mangled orange hellbeast’s ACTUAL FUCKING TREASON that played across a stunned world stage for all to witness. Where hellbeast and Pootie held hands and skipped as they assured each other that no, the Russians had absolutely not interfered in America’s election process.

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Where even Fox News had dissenters on hellbeast! I know!! Hell got a tiny frost for a bit but it will wear off and things will continue as before, don’t even worry, darlings.

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I don’t know who made this but as a fan of Game of Thrones, I snickered a lot and then stopped snickering…yeah.

And the GOP expressed mild irritation over this…and they will fall in line as well, with Pencie actually proclaiming what a success that Helsinki Treason Summit/NATO blitzkreig was and that hellbeast…here, read it yourself.

Our @POTUS is now on his way home from a historic trip to Europe. And the truth is, over the last week, the world saw once again that President Trump stands without apology as the leader of the free world. Mike Pence

After you’re done vomiting…!!!

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My pet eggplant. Isn’t she pretty??

MANIFESTO TIME!

Let’s see.

Number one– I vow to speak up. I don’t need to explain this, right?

Number two— I’m drawing a blank. Oh, get a real job? Redo my resume? Oooh. That would involve…mmm.

Let’s see what’s available in my area. Let’s vow to do that.

Fuck this massive crushing chronic depression and my inability to be around other people for extended periods of time WITHOUT LOSING MY MARBLES.

No, really. I do. I go off the edge into Crazy as a Loon territory, I snarl and cry and shake and panic.

So. Customer service? No. Check out clerk? No. Oooh, waitress? Uh, no. Aide for group homes?

I’ve done that, I do have experience but budgets for those are long gone, and those jobs that used to be advertised all the time…seem to not exist anymore.

School aide? Those seem gone, too. [Kids don’t seem to trigger me as fast as grown ups do.] I could do the night shift at a group home. I’ve done that before.

What, use my degrees and teach? Yeah.

I either don’t have enough experience or am applying in the wrong area, as no one seems to think a playwright would have read Twain or Dickens or Toni Morrison. Or could discuss literary works with a class at college level or something.

Mm. I thought it was just me being a total loser not being able to land a gigantically fantastic, highly paid, totally no work at all involved, teaching gig at some college or university…nope.

Which doesn’t make me feel better as almost everyone I know is working at insurance companies or driving an ambulance while writing or acting or directing on the side…sigh. It’s not just me is no longer the giant comfort it used to be. Not that it ever was. [I know. Be positive and that will magically fix FUCKING EVERYTHING. I know!]

Number three-– I vow to write more. Novels, plays, etc.

No, nix that.

I have a pile of stuff and crap already.

Pretty up the stuff and crap to professional-looking levels [no typos and titles pages, hello.] and get  those sent out.

Which I have not been doing lately as I’m waiting for America to end and kinda concluded there’s no sense sending off Maybelle or excerpts from my cannibal bikers versus the old ladies novel if I have to try and make it to the Canadian border with only some beef jerky and a half-quart of dirty river water to sustain me.

Yes, I do see that future happening. Yes, I do.

Number four— I vow to get outside more. Oh wait.

It’s a thousand degrees here and there’s wildfires all over.

Okay, stand by my mini garden and admire it as I get a sunburn in that five minutes. Coo over my dill plant. Squee over my Greek oregano. Weep gently over how well my squash are producing. Water as needed. Tell the mini garden what a good boy it is, which confuses the dogs. Score!

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Good boy! What a good boy you are! Who’s a good boy?? YOU ARE!

Number five— I vow to be a better friend to the friends I still have.

I might be a near-hermit that makes that guy from the Misanthrope look friendly but I can still be a better friend. Or a better person or something. I just rolled my eyes so obviously, I either need to improve or just scrap this one.

Number six— I vow not to slap people on the left who get hung up on single issues and then refuse to vote or vote a third party or do a protest I’m not gonna vote at all number.

One of those slaps that’s actually a roundhouse that lands them in the ER, where they can’t pay their bills so that is all passed on to everyone else in ‘murica because fuck socialized medicine, it’s got the word ‘socialist’ in it. And that’s, like, bad, m’kay.

If it has a D by the name, you vote for it.

That tactic wins elections for the Republicans, as they vote for the R, regardless if that R is an actual Nazi screaming we need to round up the Jews and fire up the ovens, like, yesterday. Yes, there are actual Nazi-esque sorts running here in America for public office. Right Wing voters vote en masse no matter how stinky the candidate/s might be. They are well trained to do so. That’s how that works. Nobody notices that but me???[ Roy fucking Moore barely lost. Barely! Get it now, you idealistic fucktwats?]

Do I have to give up cussing? No? Thanks!

Number freaking seven— I must give up my Yahoo Answers persona. Did you expect something profound here?? Come on!

It’s an addiction at this point. I could be polishing my rough writing into smooth torpedoes of success and fame but no…I’m answering why atheists eat babies and if evolution is true, why are there still monkeys ‘questions’.

No, not kidding.

If you splash an atheist with holy water, will it cure them? That is an actual question there…see? You want to sneak over there and answer that one yourself.

I must wean myself from that rabbit’s hole of whackadoodles, religious nuts, atheist snarlers and those wide-eyed deer just caught in the too-bright headlights.

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I’ll end there.

Seven is more than enough for a Manifesto.

I didn’t vow to destroy the present government with an elaborate scheme of poison sugar cookies and fembots, so there’s that, at least. I know people who could build a fembot–I have friends who build robotics with high school students for competitions.

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from the World Transformed.

I bet a fembot or gynoid, would be no problem for those whiz kids. I can bake sugar cookies and…wow, I’m there.

I’m ready to…yeah. Holy guacamole.

Interesting times indeed we live in.

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Almost night, the moon casting a spooky spell over the spooky old locust tree…just the right touch for a manifesto post

 

The No-Snow Winter

 

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Molly and Jake. This is from last year’s Snowcalypse. See what I mean???

That damn groundhog. It’s lying. Punxsutawney Phil! You lying rodent bastard! Six more weeks of winter, huh? Winter never got started here! We didn’t even have that deep freeze cold that renders the pipes unable to bring water forth in the house. Where I have to lug in water from the only faucet outside that does not freeze in such weather and boil it on the stove to wash hair, dishes and underwear. Sometimes all at the same time. Ha ha ha. Ha.

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from Travel and Leisure. 2018. A rodent, the American flag scarf, shadow cast. 

I wish and pray and hope and sacrifice virgins to the local volcanoes and…zip, zilch, nada.

No snow, there is no snow. There’s spats of rain. There’s drizzles of rain now and then. It may seem weird that I’m complaining about an absence of frozen water.

Or whatever snow actually is. NASA probably lied to us about that, too, as well as hiding space aliens, using tax dollars to hide evidence of God and that whole moon landing thing. NASA and the UN are probably in cahoots. Cahoots!

Snow represents winter, it’s really that simple. When it’s winter, it should be snowing or snowy or snow-covered. I am a child of the four seasons trope. Summer is hot and winter has snow. Spring is when the snow melts and you finger the seed packets and maybe do some yard work as the dogs get muddy or pester you to throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball NOW NOW NOW. Fall is the smell of cinnamon and getting the blankets back on the bed because the nights have gotten nippy again.

Oh sure, every comfortable, comforting Americana notion about the seasons, sure, you betcha. I got em. I got em in a basket with a purple ribbon on it. In my head where such baskets full of seasonal Americana tropes live, breathe, fart, snore and drool.

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Ah! Trouble and Margot are both gone now, but Molly is still here. All three have noticed a mouse on the far side of the fence…

Am I ignoring, sort of, that political suckstorm wrecking my country right now? You bet your patooties I sorta am. It’s a new month and I, being a conscientious and commercial-minded blogger now…um, thought, hey, I should post something. And since I finished my rewrite [Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane] and have not yet latched onto a NEW BIG PROJECT THAT WILL BE UTTERLY IMPORTANT AND CHANGE THE ENTIRE FACE OF LITERATURE AS WE KNOW IT, well. Here we are.

Gentle ramblings about an American tradition involving a rodent and a longing for the traditional march of the seasons. Traditional if you live in a place that has four seasons, of course. I’m quite aware that other places don’t have four seasons. In case someone comments that I live in a bubble and should get out more.

 

 

Storms, Tuna Melts and Writing

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from Flickr

PART ONE: VOLCANOS AND VIRGINS

I am waiting for the snow. It’s been a rather warm January. Snow, now. Snow now! Allegedly, there’s a winter storm dancing toward my area, where it will spread snowflakes about as it does the bossa nova with the mountains, valleys and pockets of scrub, sagebrush-dotted expanses and riparian spots. I don’t want spring-like weather during my winter of discontent, dang it. How dare the weather gods omit winter weather for my area this year?? What’s that about? Do I need to find a virgin and a volcano?

There’s a volcano up the road a bit [ several, in fact. Mt. St Helens, Mt. Hood…] and I’m sure I can find a virgin on the local Boise Craigslist. It’s amazeballs what you can find on there if you’re really, really looking.

I “finished” Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane. Which did not go at all in the direction I thought it would.

Does writing ever go in the direction you think it should?

Oh my, every January post of mine has been about either cannibal bikers or some vague political rant. I haven’t been nice or positive!

I’m going back over my many words today. I think half of it is pretty okay and it doesn’t make me want to spork my eyes out with an actual spork while shrieking that I can’t write. That’s good, right? The second half, now…eh. Er. Maybe it’s ‘better’ than I think? Or far far worse?? Oh!

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Who are Fine Young Cannibals, Alex?

PART TWO: THE TUNA MELT CONTROVERSY

I treated myself, yesterday, to a tuna melt from the Starlite in Vale. It’s my weird craving. I hate fish and onions and yet…that sandwich is full of both fish and onions. I don’t get it, I don’t try to understand my fatal flaws in wanting a hot tuna sandwich full of onions. I haven’t had a tuna melt in ages, like, oh, years. [Did I ever mention how abysmally poor I am and that I’m about two inches from being an actual agoraphobic?] It was way spendy and I felt SO GUILTY all afternoon. And into the night. I should have spent that money on orphans and owl rescues.

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from Trip Advisor. The Starlite in Vale, Oregon

To eat tuna– that stuff that comes in the little cans, packed in oil or spring water, as a tuna fillet or chunk of tuna ordered at an eatery or taken home from some supermarket makes me openly gag– I have to doctor it up. I do mean kill that tuna taste. Lemon, sweet pickles, garlic…so that the few bits of fish mingling with glumps of mayo–

the grossest of the condiments; just gross, BRB, throwing up a bit–

doesn’t taste like tuna. At all. It tastes like sweet pickles. So why do I crave tuna melts?

Weird tangent. Okay.

Also, that tuna melt I ordered to go…was not that great. The at least two other tuna melts I’d ordered there, in years past, were good. Tasty. Tangy and oniony. Hot mayo. I think I have some issues and problems, oh my. Yep. Anyway. That sandwich I’d ordered and taken home did not…live up to my memory of how good the Starlite tuna melts are. Maybe I’m now cured of my tuna melt cravings. And will crave kale and cucumber sandwiches on GMO-free artisan bread baked by a collective of earth-loving vegans who keep tuna fish as pets, not food.

So. I will wait for snow, mourn that iffy tuna melt and read over my collection of words.

 
I have a full day ahead.

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