Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Time warped

It occurred to me  the other day that I have no concept of time.

I don't mean that I am constantly late to events or appointments. I pride myself on being on time and often am early. I blame this on growing up in a family that was consistently late for everything. We just couldn't get it together. I learned to take a book with me if I went to anywhere so  I'd have something to read while waiting for my mom to pick me up.

What I lack is a sense of when things happened.

I told a friend Sunday that I had recently seen a mutual acquaintance.

"Oh, no, dear, you couldn't have," she said, looking worried. "He re-married and moved  away over a year ago."

Okay, then, not so recently.

Some people can tell you the exact hour and day and year of any event in their life. They are not just gifted, they are a little eerie. But most people can tell  you at least the year in which something of importance happened.

Not me.

I discovered when going through our wedding photos some 10 years after the ceremony that Jim and I had been celebrating our anniversary a week late.

I do remember my boys' birthdays. I remember the grandchildren's birthdays, although for eight years I remembered the wrong day for the youngest. 

I remember the day of the Big Snowfall, but only because it coincided with the first day of the 21st century.

You'd think I'd remember the year Hurricane Hugo struck, but I don't.

I don't remember what year I said "I quit" and retired.

Is this a dire defect? Should I take a remedial course or go into counseling?

Or should I just accept that my mental calendar has dates like "That was when I was working at the newspaper" or "We lived in Pennsylvania then."

I think exact dates are only important if you are writing an autobiography, which I don't plan to do. Or in your obituary.

In which case, someone else can look it up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Change of pace or mini-vacation?

Last week I took a hiatus from writing. I didn't have writer's block, and I wasn't stuck in the middle of my book not knowing which way to go.

Because I am trying to be more of a plotter than pantser, I did sit down before I started my current work in progress with a notebook and made an outline of my plot points and dove a little deeper into character arcs. Why was I sitting on the sofa with a notebook instead of sitting at the computer keyboard? I don't know, it just seemed right to do my thinking away from my desk.

So I knew what came next. I knew what had to happen to get from point A to point B (or at this stage, from point E to point F). I just didn't feel like sitting down and writing it.

I  needed  a break. We all need to put our work aside and do something different once in awhile or we get tired and cranky. That's why vacations were invented.

So I worked on a different project and spent my time uploading my books on Nook and Smashwords. This took some formatting and involved doing a virtual interview which you can read at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AnsonWriter  But at least now they are available in more than one virtual bookstore.

I am also doing a first read of Elbert Marshall's new book, the third in the trilogy, called "Who Slew Bonnie Blue?"  Like "Plotz" (which I helped co-write) and his solo sequel, "Nomad," the book is filled with quirky characters and a twisty plot, and I am enjoying seeing the story evolve.

But duty calls, and my editor at Astraea Press has let me know she is ready to send me the edits for "A Question of Boundaries." Vacation is over, but I am recharged and ready to get the book on the road to publication and work on the sequel.

Which I will do until our "real" vacation coming up this summer. Who works when there are beautiful mountains to view, family to catch up with, and a hot tub where I can do both at the same time?

Do you take your work with you on vacation? I used to, but now I try to leave it behind. Are there occasions when you just have to? Let us know, we'll commiserate.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Why I'm Not Voting -- A Political Rant

Today is primary election day and I'm not voting.

It's not just that we live in a predominantly Democratic county and I'm a registered Republican -- for now.

No Republicans are competing in the local races so I have no  one to vote for anyway. Ah, but I can vote in the state races, a friend informed me when I told her why I  hadn't shown up for early voting and wouldn't show up today, either.

I have no desire to vote for any candidate for the Senate or House. I am not convinced the Republican candidates really reflect my views. In fact, I don't think Congress reflects the views of any but the top 1% of the population.

More and more, money decides who will run, leaving our choices more and more limited. Like many others, I wonder what the Supreme Court was thinking when they decided a corporation could be viewed as a person, and therefore could contribute to candidates and political parties. If this is true, why are they allowed to take their companies overseas and avoid paying taxes like the rest of the people? Or contrarily, why aren't the people given the same tax breaks as the companies?

I hear the word oligarchy coming up a lot lately.I looked it up and it means a state run by a few people. Yep, and we know who those few companies people are.

I have decided to change my political affiliation for the simple reason I am embarrassed to admit it. Not voting is not the answer, and I will vote in the November election, when I actually have a limited choice.

But I don't think I am alone in thinking it is a futile exercise in choosing the lesser evil. We have seen how candidates full of hope and optimism are stymied by an inert, if not hostile, Congress. We know, if we bother to do a little fact-checking, that we are constantly lied to, tricked by false statistics, treated as idiots, ignored, and increasingly, thanks to the lowered standards of our public schools, dumbed down to the point that most voters don't have a clue anyway.

I don't like how this country is going. I don't like the increasing debt to China, the downgrading of our military when half the world hates us, the fact that the dollar is decreasing in value in the world market, that our infrastructure is crumbling, and that people refuse to accept higher taxes as the price for security and safety.

I often joke it is time to join the expatriates in Costa Rica, but it is beginning to sound less like a joke and more like an option.

The center cannot hold and when the people wake up and realize the elections are a farce meant to delude them into thinking they are actually participating in the government, things will not end well.

Conversely, if the people don't wake up and realize how powerless they have become, things will not end well.

God help us all.