Take Backs

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Up on Bullycreek Road, Westfall, Oregon

Carrot dangles.

Oh we’re going with your bit of writing! We LOVES IT, PRECIOUS. Here’s some promises and possible money paid TO YOU for YOUR WRITING.

Excitement! My writing in a short film. And hey, can use the money, frankly. Cause I’m poor and money is a distant dream most of the time.

And then? Radio silence. Silence. Seven days of waiting for them to get back to me. Waiting.

Still waiting as I go about my soul-crushing, car-destroying temp job. Yeah, I had another bad tire yesterday. Fuck. Knock it off, car gods. Enough. Leave me alone. Go bother someone in a Mercedes or one of those Land Rover tanks.

And then, ah, message from film makers!!! Squee!!!

Wait, what? What now? You’re…going with someone else.

Hey, you’re still a good writer, but we’re totally going with someone else and hey, forgot to mention we were still in the ‘still looking at shit’ stage of our process.

Okay, I’m fine with rejection. Sort of. It stings. Mm. Who really enjoys being told their work is not acceptable or not right for blah dee blurgh or just not a good fit or…?

Are there actually people who love getting such messages or form letters or pat croonings about how they should keep writing? Followed by links to give money to the very thing that just rejected you often times or launch party for all the writers but you that are in whatever.

Are you kidding or high, editors? Don’t do this. I think there are entire wings of the internet dedicated to bashing just this.

What I’m having a problem with here, OTHER THAN THE REJECTION, is that this team made it seem this was a done deal. Not that it was in the initial stages and other works were being considered yet. It felt…dishonest. If that makes sense.

If you’re gonna dangle a carrot, make it a vague carrot, my lovelies.

Just a simple: Hey, we liked your X, are considering it, along with other pieces, for our project. We’ll let you know.

[And then never contact me again, if you go another way. Hey hey!]

To sum up this bitch session—DO NOT DANGLE THE CARROT if you wanna go another way or might go another way or there’s the possibility of going another way.

Just don’t.

It just ruined my entire night. I felt like crap after an already crappy day.

I admit that freely here. That’s life, sure. But…yanking the rug out like that just seemed careless and cruel. Writers already labor often times with little or no reward for their life long efforts.

Just…don’t dangle carrots promising a job or a bit piece that earns you a little cash or might give you a bit of a boost. Don’t dangle that carrot then offer the carrot elsewhere if there’s the possibility that it’s not a done deal. Thanks. That’s all. 

Just don’t. It’s just salt thrown on often open festering wounds.

Damn. I am gloomy this morn.

Oh, so next post I will talk about MY NEW NOVEL.

Aftermath: Boise, Idaho.

Ooooh!!!

Coyote Ranch Roads, Oregon Style

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This is just the hay field down the road from me but…look at that!  

 

I took some pictures on my travels today and yesterday.

On the way back to MadeUpTownNameHere, a young coyote trotted onto the highway. I saw it in plenty of time to slow down. The youngster got confused. It zagged. It zigged. No traffic but me. The wild canine finally darted off to safety and an afternoon snack of gopher or mouse. 

I spent most of my time today looking for unmarked roads, hoping it was the right road. Dirt road ranch roads leading out into the sagebrush through actual herds of cattle, at times. As we have range cattle here in Eastern Oregon. Bovines that just wander about and there’s no fences. Well, not really. I think I managed to find both roads I needed to find. I did stop and ask. I had one nice gentleman draw me a map and the very lovely lady told me exactly what I needed to hear about the…I can’t do details. Because. I work for the Census and…hey, squirrel! Or coyote! 

I also had to go back up into the hills, but in the other direction from my morning’s jaunt. It was actually good. I discovered a possible new rock haven! I pulled over, on this tiny narrow rutted, oh so rutted, dirt path and oh my. Obsidian chunks. Squee!!! It’s about the same distance as driving up to the Owyhees. And there ain’t no people up where I was today, outside of Eastpour. [Made up name!] It’s just a rutted crappy road and rocks. A stream. Rocks. 

So, some pics. Have a lovely weekend. Read something good! I’m going to have a cup of wine. A cup of it. Impulse purchase– cheap ass bottle of wine. That last picture is on the backside of my home town. Just sagebrush and sky, ladies and germs. Sagebrush and sky. 

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Impressive rock formations in Eastern Oregon
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Dead center– a giant hawk. I could not get closer than this with my phone camera

 

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It almost looks like a castle. 

To Post or Not to Post

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The Yakima River. Not sure who took this or what year this is. Washington State.

Hi again. Double post. Sorrynotsorry whatever. 

I always hesitate about posting some long rambling ranty rant that goes in every direction at once. Most of the time I don’t post those. Thank me with chocolate. I’ll also take your spare change or that coupon that’s stuck to your garbage can for two for one cans of creamed corn at the Piggly-Wiggly. That would mean a road trip for me, but I will accept out of date Piggly-Wiggly coupons because I didn’t post some unreadable screed on postmodern-retro tropes in feminist Marxist socialist anarchist subgenres of indie films that start with the letter J. 

However, sometimes I need to clear the writing pipes. 

As I’ve been uncharacteristically not writing at all lately, any sort of attempting to write seems a triumph. An actual triumph over my lackluster, nearly dead and gone to hell already spirit. 

So yeah, posting the occasional heavy-handed scream against the evils of the universe is gonna happen. Along with updates on my cat and my garden and the state of my sludge-slapped brain. What else, I ask ya, is a blog fer??? 

I am also trying to force myself to just write something, anything. To get back into practice. It’s very hard to concentrate. I have projects I need to get done that in years past I’d have whipped out,  many times over. I was oddly very productive once upon a time. It’s galling now. 

So yeah. Trying not to care how unpopular and unseen my writing is. I expected so much more by the time I hit this age and I can’t seem to slap myself into working toward fixing that at all right now. Just want to sleep. 

Just wanna sleep. 

 

afterward: thank you as always for reading my stuff. I appreciate it. 

 

 

 

 

July Hash Post

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Storm about to hit plus the old locust tree. June 2020 pic. That’s a corn field behind it. 

The fireworks and dog and pony show are now over until next year. That’s Fourth of July to those not in ‘murica. I did not attend my family’s gathering. I have actually been trying to follow guidelines about public safety and not helping spread this pandemic about as hard and fast as possible. I guess I hate ‘freedumb’. I guess I hates it really damn hard or sumpin. Wear a mask, love the devil! That’s America right now!

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A Jimmy Johns employee makes a noose out of dough cause…BLM is the real problem here, obviously. Just head-exploding…yeah. 

Okay. Before I just start typing every cuss word every invented and calling upon Satan to curse my own with pus-filled painful boils for their MAGA-filled bullshit cunty cunt…Okay. Okay. See what I mean? Just a screaming unintelligible stream of consciousness filthy river that I hope will drown the world in a river of actual liquid feces infected with exploding small pox so we can be done with all this. Amen.

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is there an American equivalent of Ms. Salt? 

Ahem.

My mood has traveled to a low point in the life highway. Eh. What’s new. Except the sheer awfulness that is America right now seems to be a permanent stain on whatever composition is actually me. It’s tiring and stultifying.

The hits never stop; they pound relentlessly against the already torn fabric of this country and the world itself. Fraud. Lies. Greed. More lies. More damned lies. Mountains of lies. Victim playing while causing even more damage. Temper tantrums because the likes aren’t high enough from the press. Ratings are bad, temper tantrums, we all get punished.

Daddy isn’t happy! You earned that broken bone, America! Why do you make Orange Daddy hit you??? That black eye is YOUR FAULT FOR MAKING DADDY MAD AT YOU

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Oh. Here we go. Bear with me a bit. I apologize if I mangle this.

I’d go into the J.K. Rowling brohouha but others have done it so much better, so much more elegantly, with far more understanding that I do of this terf issue. I had no idea what a terf was until lately. TERF– trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

That’s a head scratcher. Why would you exclude entire groups from feminism? What would be the point and…? Oh, prejudice and ignorance and a host of some other stuff and things, got it. 

I will also state that trans people are people, the end.

Someone identifying as another gender or being gender-fluid or anything in between that—please understand I am not an expert in this and sorry if I state things wrong or badly—has no effect on me, my life or anything to do with me. It doesn’t detract from me or subtract from me that someone else is not like me or doesn’t identify in a way that I understand right off the bat. It might take me a moment to wrangle out details, word meanings, words used, terminology, etc. But I will try and understand, read up, listen up, catch up. It’s not my struggle, but it doesn’t mean it’s not real for others going through all this in some way or another.

Sometimes I don’t instantly receive all the changed anything to do with this issue of transgenderism and gender in general…I have to catch up, read up, watch something. I try to listen, instead of offering opinions and getting testy and defensive. I also, frankly, become afraid of SAYING OR WRITING THE WRONG THING about trans people or marginalized folks.

Because I know I have misconceptions, prejudices, wrong takes, hasty assumptions all just waitin’ to brand me a big ole idiot with poo for brains. I, like others, have no real need to be embarrassed or shamed, like, ever.

But.

How can you learn anything if you don’t venture into the unknown field of New Ideas and New Notions and Brand New Stuff That’s Scary At First To Explore. You might even get bogged down in It’s Always Been This Way Swamp. Ugh, amirite?

There is more than one way to be a woman, far more than Rowling and others in her camp cling to. You can only be a woman if you menstruate…? Um, no. Geez. That’s so obvious it shouldn’t even be offered forth as a reason to deny people basic rights and/or try to legislate them out of existence.

I understand Rowling’s essay, quotes from it, have been used as part of legislators trying to get laws passed against trans people. So, her views are actively and actually hurting people. I am not okay with that.

I am not okay with that!

Yes, read all the Harry Potter books. I did notice some troubling stuff. The 50’s perfect family conservative vibe, for one. The house elves…ick. The goblins…yikes, or was it just me who wondered why the goblins resembled the hoary stereotypes of Jews that people still vomit up to this day?

And Dumbledore being gay…after the last book was out and selling in the billions. It’s…yeah. Was it said in any of the books? No. Suddenly there’s a hot and heavy affair between Dumbledore and Grindelwald that wasn’t written about in any of the books? I…mm. Why not just be open from the start, write this side of Dumbledore into the story from the get-go? Why pretend it was there all along when it so clearly was not?

The females of this world get short thrift as well. They’re either stereotypical moms, like Mrs. Weasely or hard-nosed grim types, like McGonnagal, or shrill shrews, like most of the other female characters or love interests with no real layers to them, like Cho Chang or even Ginny Weasely. Hermione is the scolding, annoying rule keeper to the two boys being rule breaking adventurous risk-takers. Which is the backbone of Western literature, after all. Sigh.

I am all over the map here, with lots of profanity thrown in. Woot woot.

I am also not writing. I just. My brain seems very empty. Tumbleweeds don’t even bother blowing past the sad line of fences leaning here and there inside my skull. I should be almost done with the current rewrite of a film…This about the worst actual case of Don’t Wanna I’ve had. I just don’t see the point anymore in writing for love or money. Mostly love cause nobody gives a piece of toast about anything I string together; that might be the acute depression mumbling. Might be.

I seem to be waiting for the awful other shoe to drop here in my country. So I can adjust and get on with resisting in the correct way. As those that I’m protesting against have decreed are the correct ways to protest! So they don’t get upset or have to think or have to do anything at all, really but totally ignore my protesting. And then nothing changes and we all go on as before until another forty years has passed and there’s a need for protesting and…

Woot. However, things do change. They do. It just seems to take generations for actual change to register. Plant a tree today. Be buried a long time before that tree gets cut down to make way for more condos. It’s kinda like that.

Hopeful note!

I have a mini green pumpkin growin’ away. It’s so cute! I want to give it kisses and talk to it like I talk to puppies. Hey there, cutie pie! Oh you’re so cute! How are you so cute!? Baby pumpkin breath…No. No, that’s a garden too far.

June Hello

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Hello, June.

Sorry. My country has imploded/exploded. I’ve scrapped several posts.

I keep hearing this feels very much like 1968. I keep hearing this time it’s gonna change, it’s gonna be different. I am actually full of some small hope that our obviously racist craptastic framework of a system will indeed be broken down, scrapped altogether and rewritten, reworked with justice and freedom for all. Or at least not so obviously racist, so overtly racist and…

This is how society changes, after all. Tiny little steps forward, upset in-power folks dragging us all backwards, more tiny steps forward, maybe even a riot or a revolution and changes, changes, changes, going backwards; oooh is that a dictator we have now? protests protests revolution changes.

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It’s all messy and frustrating and exhilarating.

Even here, in my tiny red corner of a somewhat blue state, Oregon…there are protests being staged. Has hell frozen over? Is the devil skating over the lakes of fire even now??? Hope seems to be growing that this, too, can change.

I seem not able to write much at the present. I am waiting, perhaps, for that climactic moment when my nation decides if it wishes to be a dictatorship or not. That’s pretty grim but if I can’t be honest here, then why post a blog at all?

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Boise protests. A ‘boogaloo’ counter-protesting Black Lives Matter.

Well, my quick jumble of vague notions. My garden is doing well. My raspberry plant thrives. My cat, Jaws, is living her best life, I tell ya.

I’ll try to post more but I find I drift along, and that time seems to reduce the days to the same day over and over. Sort of like Groundhog Day but not as funny. However, there are rodents.

Oh yes, a brief but violent storm blew over two trees and the old barn. But no real damage. Ten seconds, seventy an hour mile winds. Dang.

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I don’t know who took this pic or who the woman is but yeah…Yep. 

Zooey

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Zooey, played by Jane Levy. Mitch, Peter Gallagher. Zooey’s Extraordinary Playlist, NBC

I thought I was prepared for the finale of Zooey’s Extraordinary Playlist, the singing show. Where the manic pixie girl watches/hears people singing songs while dancing; usually about their inner thoughts. If you don’t know this show, it’s fine. This is not a review of it nor do you need to have an intimate knowledge of the minutia associated with this series.

The gut-wrenching heart of this show is Zooey’s dad dying. He has PSP, he’s non-verbal, he’s sliding slowly toward the grave. Or not so slowly, as the disease seems determined to ravish him, as diseases do. Odd choice for a generally happy idea show. To have the dad be robbed of movement and voice, and have this so darkly reflect in the lives of the characters. And how honest this show was about, well mostly, about what it’s like to have someone you love dying day by day by day. How fucking hard that is.

Where you clean up after them. Where you find yourself giving shots. Doing meds. Changing bedding right after an accident. Where you check tubes to make sure they’re not blocked. Where you hope the biggest hopes ever at the slightest uptick of progress. Maybe death won’t have to be faced so soon.

So, the finale of Zooey.

I sat there, watching. I thought it would be cutesy or they’d try something lighthearted or not so goddamn real.

That’s what this episode, despite all the singing and dancing and frothy who will Zooey choose man collection…got so right. How unreal, floaty, numbing and confusing death is when it arrives. Even when expected. Even when death sits on our couch to wait with us. It’s still a wrenching shock, a cry against something so ghastly unfair. It’s not welcome, it’s not that welcome friend at all.

I wept. I don’t mean the sniffing and tears of an ordinary sad or even that episode where something lovely happens, that longed for couple gets together or whatever. I mean weeping. Wrenched from me. This was like looking down at my mother, in the ICU, hooked to machines. How it wasn’t her anymore. It wasn’t her. That meat and bone and skin was not my mother. Where she was, she was not present in that round cool place in the heart of Boise, Idaho.

And knowing she had been gone a while before that fateful last day of hers. That I had missed her going. That I had spent more than a year of my life trying to keep her alive. That the cancer eating her up won. Won such a decisive victory. That I was the one who decided when the machines got turned off. That I had to make such a decision at all. 

And my anger, my confusion, my utter blood-soaked pain. I heard no music. I didn’t get a sign she was ‘okay now’. I didn’t get the last words that told me…she knew her horrible daughter had done her best. I didn’t get to tell her.

So many things.

One thing the Zooey finale got wrong was how neat and tidy death seems. That the transition from life to death is such a tidy affair. It was hinted, by the caretaker to the dad, that death is messy, awful, terrible. An actual truth. They’d done the episode picking out plots and coffins. This family seems made of money so there’s nothing about the sheer cost of death itself.

Just a few thoughts on a show I’ve enjoyed thoroughly. It broke into my inner little sanctum, and I relieved those moments waiting to hear my mother had died. How that still seems as fresh as a bouquet of funeral daisies.  

Dreamless

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An old-fashioned Valentine’s Day postcard

I haven’t posted for a bit. So here’s a quickie. I’ve been eyeing the DC craptastic craparama of crap and oh dear. Oh my. 

So here’s a ‘pome’! About love! Happy almost Valentine’s Day!!

 

LET ME SLEEP DREAMLESS

Let me sleep dreamless
with no notion that you ever existed.
No world where you tied your shoes
with the dog trying to lick your cheek.
Erase yourself.
Erase yourself from me.
That would be a kindness
of immense practicality right now.

 

 

 

 

My two books are available on Amazon. Oregon Gothic, short stories. House on Clark Boulevard, novel.

And hopefully soon, my Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane will make its debut. Cannibal bikers versus elderly sisters during the end of the world– no, wait. It’s funny and absurd more than grim, gross and the Road-ish. 

Dark Honey

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The Shasta Cola bubbles a bit, not like Coke does, but good enough. I add a splash of Dark Honey Seagram’s whiskey to it. I used to drink like the proverbial fiend. Oh yes, I did.

I don’t care but I do, if people read the novel I plan to post here in its gaudy, raw entirety. I’m trying to give myself future projects and such to keep myself going a bit longer. A reason to give a damn about enduring a few more days. I am drifting and it’s better if I am busy. Isn’t that true for everyone? If you’re busy, you don’t notice things. How trite and how true at the same time, as most observations are.

The taste in the Navel Academy Cup, brought from Annapolis, MD, is rather sweet. Low-rent cola and booze I found on sale around Christmas. Every now and then you want an adult beverage. I do, anyway. I used to go to bars to get one or several.

Dive bars, even. Scary dirty dive bars full of scary dirty people who turned out to just be tired folks wondering if they had enough for another drink. Laughing with friends or playing pool with a buddy or doing the same things you do in bright lit bars full of artisan beers and huckleberry hard cider by the pint. I haven’t been out for ages. Yes, I was once one to just go to a bar by myself. Usually on a karaoke night. I used to sing.

I used to sing.

Reminds me I haven’t been on a stage since last August. I miss performing. Reminds me further of all the truly abysmal choices I made that brought me here. To a tiny room and a stray cat. And a bottle of whiskey. I have that, at least. That’s something!

But that’s bitterness. Or honesty. I can’t tell which anymore. The two seem to blend so seamlessly anymore.

Just make it through the day. That’s all I have to do.

Yes, it’s always bad in my head. Some days far worse, of course, than other days. Just finish the Owyhee novel. Goal for this spring. Work on screenplay. Goal for this spring. Make it through each day. Goal for this day.

Cheers.

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Evil Bubbles

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So, perusing, from a safe distance, the American political brouhaha taking place. That a president can and should seek foreign ‘help’ in going after political rivals when seeking re-election. That is, I believe, the base of Cheetolini’s lawyer’s ‘arguments’. Or that it’s all to investigate Hunter Biden, son of presidential candidate hopeful Joe Biden…cause corruption rumble rumble grumble rumble.

Madeline Peltz–Alan Dershowitz has repeatedly cited Harvard professor Nikolas Bowie’s scholarship to support his argument that abuse of power is not a crime.

You are welcome to go argue that on various battlefields across social media. It’s nonsense, sure. A president isn’t a king…anyway.

I’ve started and abandoned many a post about American’s descent into actual WTFery. Many others far more urbane, sophisticated and wordsmith-ish than I have tackled the various HOLY SHIT WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING WHERE IS THE WHISKEY AND ICE CREAM moments that have overwhelmingly overlapped like evil bubbles.

Yeah, evil bubbles.

Cheetolini was impeached by the House. Now the Senate gets to decide what or if anything happens after that. He doesn’t stop being impeached if the Senate caves and tries to rush this through. Where senators snipe at each other for a couple days without any witnesses or evidence of any kind examined or so forth. Which is what McConnell wants instead of…oh, letting witnesses and evidence exonerate his orange baby.

It’s almost like Cheetolini is, um, guilty. That Cheetolini had admitted to strong-arming Ukraine and others for info on political rivals and made quid pro quo a public business dealing of his…yep. Yep.

My eyeballs and earballs must be, like, lyin’ to me.

And we have the major players arraigned like characters in a weird reality show.

Big Congress featuring Nasty Nancy, Adam Schitt and the Turtle Man!

See them argue over coffee and witnesses and what reality is, tra la!

Tune in for White Male Rage fits that would embarrass toddlers in the candy section of a grocery store.

Watch speechifying to end all speechifying!

Who will get voted off the island??

How hard will Nasty Nancy bitchslap the boys?

Follow us on social media! Hashtag impeachment gaslit catfishing shouty shouters who shout.

Brought to you by the Koch Brothers and Sinclair Media.

I have to turn to satire and feeble jabs. I also actually called my senators. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. Twice now. To put in my four cents toward calling witnesses to testify. Namely John fucking Bolton. How can you have a trial without evidence, witnesses or…? Yeah, that’s not a trial, that’s an actual farce. 

I could snarl onward with real despair and eyes so wide they hurt for days on end but hey…considering doing chapter blog posts for my Jordan Valley novel. That way I’d finish it. I mapped out about ten or so chapters. I notice others do this with their novels or projects.

The kitten, to end this Evil Bubble blurb, is doing well. Healing up. It’s been raining constantly or I’d let her go outside. She really wants to go outside. Like. Totally. She is fixed now, with shots. Jaws, spring seems early so you could be outside chasing the local birds [oh dear!] real super soon.

All right, January. Let’s hope February leans toward less batshittery from the Senate and all that. I doubt it will. But hey, I can always start and then abandon political rants by the boatload. Yay!

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Jaws is judging you. Yes, she is.

 

Activities with Rocks

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Early attempts at painting rocks

I wrote a scathing diatribe on the political hellscape that is ‘murica lately. Instead, to welcome yet another interminable month in this interminable slog of a life, I’ll write about rocks.  I’ll mention two novels that will hit sometime that could be any time, really. And something of mine that got included in a literary journal.

Rocks? Wha?

Military parade with a bloated price tag. Tanks. Money to pay for this culled from the national parks and veteran’s programs. With ticket prices, VIP seats! Sumbitch! Kids in cages. But hey, Nike pulled the Betsy Ross flag design and PEOPLE LOST THEIR MINDS CAUSE FREEDOM AND RIGHTS AND HONORING THE TROOPS OR…or…or…mm. Is that blood leaking from my ears? 

Yeah, I’m painting rocks. Badly. But it’s been a long time since I’ve painted anything. It seems a lot of people I know have turned to artsy crafty stuff to deal with…the drumbeats that celebrate the end of my country. With those supporting this screaming that we should get over it. With a ‘snowflake’ thrown in there.

I have friends also painting mandalas on rocks, leaving them places. Or writing some inspirational on a pebble, leaving it where others can find it and hopefully get inspired.

I do have a reason for why I’m slapping cheap paint on free rocks.

Last year, I went to the Death Rattle writer’s conference in Nampa, Idaho. I tried to sell some books. I was ill prepared. I didn’t have the fancy bank transaction app on my knock off Chinese-made phone. Where you can take people’s credit cards, run a transaction. Cause I didn’t even know that existed…I’m woefully behind the tech times. I’m also not up with how to sell your shit in these ultra-modern times. So. Learning experience.

I did get out of the house and mingle with others. Plus right there!

So I will attempt another attempt at a booth. You don’t have to pay a fee. Just apply for a spot. It’s held in a small alley by a bar. You sit there and try to smile and look inviting and friendly. Everyone seems to know everyone else. They’re all old friends or at least nodding acquaintances. But this time, for my wares, I intend to offer some art.

This takes place in October so I have the long hot summer to create. Or try to create something I can display without cringing.

I’ll also make some salt clay somethings. I was thinking pendants. One of a kind, small, tasteful, pretty. As I would love something like that and would scrape pennies out of the cup holders in the car to get one. I could also do some Christmas ornaments or even Halloween ornaments. I do write a lot of horror fiction. And it is my fave holiday.

If I focus on this rather pleasant problem, I do not focus on the crud coating my brain or the GODDAMN FUCKERY THAT IS CHEETOLINI and all that. At least, not entirely.

Also, I find other friends painting rocks or quilting. I noticed that Seth Andrews, who does the Thinking Atheist podcast, among other endeavors, got hooked on the Great British Baking Show. He’s been baking. I know tons of folks who love that show and then try to bake. Like, oh, me. Me, I’m one of those. 

 I am also hooked on baking competition shows.  I find baking so oddly fulfilling. I take raw ingredients, produce something roughly like what I saw. I’ve even managed to produce loaves of bread. I’ve moved from just schlupping the dough into a heated up giant cast iron pot into cutting the lump of dough in half, then placing that into bread pans.

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I made this!

I’ve graduated to seeing what I can shape the dough into. Can I braid it or…turn it into something actually pretty or French Bakery-esque?

Yeah, no, not yet. But I haven’t been baking bread for that long and it takes a lot of flour. And yeast. It seems like a lot of people need comfort and an outlet to deal with reality lately. That everyone seems to have picked up some sort of art hobby or baking or throwing away all their stuff in some sort of supercleanse or life enema. I wonder why.  I don’t. That was sarcasm. I don’t wonder why at all.

Rocks.

I feel like I’ve got an actual plan here, planning for a booth space I might not even get. But it’s a long-range plan. Longer than “make it through day.”

Ah, a flash fiction piece of mine, By Starlight By Starlight My Dear, is included in the latest edition of A Door is a Jar literary magazine. I had entered an earlier version of this same one that got soundly rejected, with actual criticism sent my way. I rewrote it. It got better. A Door is a Jar accepted it and there ya go.

Oh, so I think I have two books in editing right now. Alice in Oregonlandia, the not at all anticipated sequel to my dead on arrival House on Clark Boulevard. I kid, I kid! You’re supposed to Always Be Closing. That line from the Mamet play, Glengarry Glen Ross.

It takes up about ten years after the end of House. Alice gets a turn. The fall out of Nancy’s time in that house. Alice discovering a few truths about herself. How Art steps up as dad and caregiver.

Aftermath, which is my take on…wait for it…zombies. I know. I know. But!! It follows Hannah as she finds herself in a world run by zombies, after killing herself because she was trapped in a dead end space by zombies. Hannah tries to navigate her way through a vastly changed world, where zombies run everything and have all the political, economic and actual power. Set in Boise, Idaho, because, frankly, it’s an hour down the road from me. I had great fun writing this. Isn’t that the point of all this?

Thank you to everyone who bothers to read these. I appreciate it. I can be a tedious bore with my depression and endless string of failures. My tiny advances that give me a tiny bit of hope that maybe I should keep writing. That maybe today I can find whatever courage or gumption it takes to just keep plugging on.

Plug on, you dull bit of coal. My shout out to Pink Floyd…

 

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Available in A Door is a Jar, latest issue.
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Miz Bridge and Molly the Chocolate Lab.