Starting a WIP with New Goals

I have a new idea for a novel. I excitedly began compiling ideas, working through possibilities. Next came the plotting and research. Hours zipped by like minutes. I’ve now read tons of articles and guidelines pertaining to what and how to do what my protagonist would have already done and already known. I have multiple pages of notes and possibilities. Pages of the story written? None. LOL

I almost didn’t start a new WIP. I almost didn’t keep writing. I was so hung up on not having a solid moral or lesson to offer in our nation’s fragile state. I didn’t want to write something without power and significance. Didn’t want to present anything too relaxed. Afraid of writing something empty in a time when we need something solidified and strong and brave.

Then I remembered … I’ve read a lot of reality and the negativity multiplies. I want to write something I would want to read. What I want to read is not based in reality. I want magic and a definitive victory in the end. It needs to sweep away what’s actually going on and create a sense of fantastic otherness. Perhaps not specifically to forget what’s really going on, but in spite of it.

So I will. I will write a story that takes myself and my future reader away from it all – whatever it may be at the time. And that’s that. Reality may bleed into it, but that’s all. I will have no requirement of myself to make the world a better place with it. If it happens by chance through whatever escape I build –> bonus points.

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Are We Being Heard?

We’ve all been saying it. Some longer than others. Stand up – speak up – make your voices heard. A song keeps coming to mind … “say it loud, say it clear, you can listen as well as you hear.” Problem is, someone listening to the noise coming from our mouth is not the same as being understood. If we can make a difference, isn’t it our obligation as evolving beings to try?

When my husband and I first started out, our relationship deepened through natural processes. Our connection grew and life experiences expanded the bond. As years past, hurdles presented themselves – as they do for us all. Overcoming obstacles began to require actual work. Our marriage reached a point where someone or something had to give.

I’ve always been outspoken and opinionated. I was saying what I felt needed to be said – despite our differences in communication skill/technique/interest. We hit a wall. I made demands and issued an ultimatum. He gave up. We were on the verge of divorce.The root of the problems were different – separate – from what I voiced. Looking at it from only my personalized lens was not a solution.

I spoke based on my individual perception and expectation. It wasn’t until I considered his (very different – equally valid) perception, his side and grasped MY desire to make it work that things began to self correct. I wasn’t wrong – but neither was he. We both had to WORK and be considerate and grow in the relationship. It’s not a constant; it’s an ever changing interaction. Until I could share my side in a way HE could legitimately grasp, the message wasn’t getting through.

We want those with opposing views and stances to really listen. We want to be heard and understood and accepted. What we don’t want to see is the reality; not everyone is going to agree or understand or accept. There are times when we must bend or we will break. We have to work for what is important to us – if we want it to last. What some regularly forget is understanding doesn’t come through identical means.

When I see the disaster of our current government, I am naively appalled. I assumed there would be checks and balances in place to thwart these evils. What I’ve come to embrace as truth is this: those reacting defensively and brushing off the concerns of marginalized citizens – they aren’t hearing us.

What we need is for those in power to absorb the meaning behind the definitions. The implied truths. The literal realities opposing their comfortable alternatives.

I know how tired we are already. People want to pull away, shut it down – shut it out. Don’t want to see any more. Want to block out the bad and hide away in our safe spaces. Pretend it isn’t as dire as it seems.

I gave Twitter another shot after the election. A president who tweets so often, yeah – I need to be there – need to see. So I’m there – again. It’s serving its purpose. I am more connected to what is current. I see faster and more thoroughly. Twitter doesn’t play. There’s no hand holding. I like it – but … I’m starting to see what I see on Facebook.

People don’t want to see the harsh. They don’t want to lose the chill they’re trying to create. They aren’t interested in making new friends anymore than the people you meet in real life or other corners of the web. So, if you aren’t already famous or highly followed, good luck building those connections. Don’t lie to me, don’t be fake, but don’t say anything that will give me the feels or I’m out of here. That’s how it goes.

So I implore you, reader … If you have someone’s ear and they are resisting harsh truths – consider rewording. Consider giving some time to coming up with examples or alternative methods of delivering the same message. Attempt to frame the same message you’ve been previously offering in a new way. Don’t lie or scam – that’s not what I mean, but understand differences in perception impact absorption.

If they don’t get it – take the opportunity to TRY to find a way to help them see. If you have someone’s attention – if they are listening to you – do everything you can to make certain you are being heard. It may not mean the difference in whether your relationship or connection remains or strengthens, but it could help the rest of us in this community (humanity) if we make the effort to help others understand something/someone outside of themselves.

Let’s see if we can’t find ways to be Heard
by those who are listening.

The Hostile Takeover from Within

It’s finally, legitimately, irrefutably confirmed. Mr. Bigliest does, in fact, have the necessary gene to be a host. The report in my cold shaking hands is the proof. The throbbing in my temples and feeling of painful turbulence in the cockles of my core – that’s the anxiety I’d already known would replace the doubts.

My voice echoes into the empty spaces, thumb pressing the button to transmit, “confirmation received. Stage two initiated.”

The people on the receiving end of my message are not soldiers. Not one of them are trained for this. Some have weapons experience, but only as much as an average citizen. Some have high levels of secondary education. There are none among us who believed in conspiracy theories or cover-ups of alien arrival. We didn’t believe our nation’s drama could be connected to a planetary crisis. Our mental hurdles do not include hysteria, hearing voices, or any form of detachment with or confusion about reality.

Despite our seemingly average whole, we all recognized the wrongness. We’d picked up on this and that over the years. As most people did, we treated it as a difference of opinions. We accepted that our freedoms included the freedom to differ and disagree. As long as no one was causing a physical harm, we had no right to resist it. No cause of lawful entitlement to act or stand against. It wasn’t until Mr. Bigliest was placed in power that we realized: even something as simple as an evil opinion could not be tolerated.

When Watson first asked us to consider the possibility, we scoffed. Some laughed. Many faces twisted in annoyance – ready to banish Watson to the realm of everyone who wasn’t one of us.

No way could the cause be something as insane as an alien race infiltrating our government. The answer seemed simple – unchecked bias and bigotry. The allowance of those with hate and undeserved superiority complexes to gain power along with their amassing of wealth. A denial of the truth that our government’s very core supports, encourages, and upholds an imbalance causing harm and struggle to any and all who do not fall within a blindingly ignorant percentage.

Watson risked life and limb to submit a sample we could not refute. It wasn’t until after the demonstrations we learned just how far down the rabbit hole we’d go.

I looked into the microscope, knowing full well I had no experience to confirm or deny the normality of what I’d find. Watson was right, though. We didn’t have to know what we were looking for to understand. The neon mass pressed between the glass slides was evidence enough. To further our solitary mind, there was more to the demonstration.

Watson removed the slide from the metal grips, placed it into the metal bin next to the desk, and set it ablaze. Taking a brown paper sack from his bag, he checked the area around him to be certain none of us crossed into the space he asked us to remain outside of. Once certain we’d complied, he removed a mason jar from the sack. The anomalous glow from within it sealed our silence.

“No matter what happens next,” Watson said, “do not come closer.”

With gloved hands, he removed the lid from the jar. The peculiar light intensified as though contact with the air caused a change in its mass. Gelatinous ooze or not, the material began to rise. Tendrils reached upwards towards the opening and Watson moved with haste. He opened another sack I hadn’t noticed; it’s disturbing contents held just above the mouth of the jar.

Despite the desire to question why a lifeless rodent was being introduced into the equation, we did not speak. A noise I can only compare to stirring sticky noodles came first. We watched like wild eyed children at a magic show. The tendrils stretched and multiplied, each finding its way to the corpse with a frightening quickness. The ooze spread hastily, moving towards any orifice leading inside.

When it began to disappear into the animal’s body, Watson dropped it into the jar. Hands trembling noticeably, he twisted the lid as tight as he was able. Only then did he dare to breathe. His eyes bulged, sweat visible on his brow, “keep watching.”

Mere seconds was all it took for the mysterious glowing mass to be out of sight within the small creature’s form. The previously shallow body solidified and twitched. Tiny limbs sputtered and flexed. An appearance of what could be confused reanimation lasted less than a minute. A total of three minutes past before our silent observation turned to gags and dry heaves; at least one of us emptying stomach contents into the bin previously ablaze.

The mystery mass was once again the only thing in the jar. Its glow was brighter, fuller, and pulsing.

One member of our group, currently not consenting to being named, could no longer remain silent. They cleared their throat, voice booming, “It consumed it completely. How do we know it won’t pass through the glass? Where did you get this? It has to be destroyed. Does fire get rid of it completely? Give me the matches. I’ll do it.”

Watson was already reaching for the jar. It was soon clutched tightly between his gloved hands, “there’s more. Please, maintain your distance.”

He moved with urgency, putting the jar back in place. He called out to another of our group who’d remained in another room. They entered quickly, an adorable chimp clutching their neck. Tears poured freely from their eyes, the redness and swelling on their face making it clear it had been going on for some time. Their body began to shake uncontrollably with an increased force of overwhelming sadness – their lips pressing to the forehead of the chimp.

I hadn’t paid any attention to the cage. It was a non-issue. Something I didn’t realize or expect to be used for anything. An object unrelated to the matters at hand, simply taking up space. As the chimp’s arm wrapped around Watson’s neck and our sobbing associate ran from the room, my eyes locked onto the three foot prison to the right of the jar.

There was no way I could have known exactly what was about to happen, but to some extent – we knew – we’d just seen it. He was talking again, trying to explain what and why and how this was about to happen. Trouble was, my brain no longer understood my native tongue. There was noise coming from his mouth, but I could only interpret the physical motions. He put the chimp into the cage and removed the lid from the jar – placing it inside the cage with the innocent creature – and locking them both inside.

I imagine anyone who’d just watched the disappearance of the mouse would have a similar terror to my own. Watson was going to murder a living thing and for the sake of what? Our small group’s need to understand the toxicity and terror this glowing ooze presented? We got it – understood – no need for further harm. I was going to demand he save it. I would stop this madness then and there, before the tendrils could extend further – before the inquisitive creature could reach out to investigate and doom itself.

What if I couldn’t reach it before it touched it? What would happen once it finished with the chimp and all that remained was its freedom through the openings between the bars? How much non-organic material would it bypass before it reached one of us?

I was shouting as I lunged – past the point we were commanded not to cross – into the area I knew put me in immediate danger. I have no idea what I said or what I thought I could do. All I know is the pressure of arms and hands gripping at me, pulling me back and away from being able to have an impact. And before I could break free, it was too late.

My eyes locked with the chimp’s innocent windows to what felt like a soul. Those trusting, inquisitive, sweet eyes. My peripheral registered the glow spreading. Areas of soft brown fur, now coated with a writhing, gelatinous threat. I watched as its gaze changed, glossing over – emptying out, and my body thrust forward with dry heaves. It wasn’t going to consume the chimp. It had taken it over.

~

Today’s rambling, fictional short story brought to you by a frustrated need to create. I haven’t decided if this is stand alone or will be continued. I only know I had to run with the idea some of what’s happening these days must be due to alien overlords or some such nonsense. I’m posting before thoroughly editing – so there’s that, too.

Since I don’t have a fiction disclaimer elsewhere on this bloggy blog (feel free to sing along, Snoop Bloggy Bloooooog) … “This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.”

I am a Writer, damn it.

They (the ones who know, the ones who are certain, those we look to for insights) say to be a writer, you must write.

When the election results came in, I had help. My help was NaNoWriMo. I’d finally committed to participating in it. I said I would reach the word count goal and I would finish a novel. When the month ended, I’d reached my goal.

Despite being overcome with negative emotion, I’d done it. I finished the goal and went on during the month of December to finish the novel. The first draft was completed and I thought, “I can do this.”

It’s now the end of January and I’m writing nothing. My time on any device seems to always include an update about the state of our world. I vowed to myself to no longer keep my head in the clouds. I would stay alert, be aware, keep up to date. Become engaged when I’m needed. Act when necessary. Call my representatives. Resist. Protest.

Do you know what my upset and anger have gotten me? The death of my creativity. An end to dedicated writing times and/or days. I have no drive. I have no passion for the page. I keep searching for it. Absorbing, consuming, seeking out that spark. I’m left with emotional roller coasters and the overwhelming urge to hug and hold my people close. To snuggle and clutch and savor the company of the very few humans who make my life feel still worth living.

So how do people do it? How are fiction writers still writing?

I wonder if you’ve all got stories plotted and planned with amazing morals and life lessons our country desperately needs.

And here I sit … my idea about an orphaned witch with surprising untapped powers seeming ever-so unimportant. So I typed this little blurb in my shiny new blog – the same blog I’ve given no one and nothing a link to – just to say … this isn’t the final word. I will find my muse again. I will find the passion again. I will write. I am still a writer.

I’m just a writer interrupted for now.

#resist #downwithapathy #punchanazi

 

Sick of people blaming white people?

Dear white people,

Have you been having a lot of “not all” defenses lately?

Do you think too many people are generalizing and attacking things you relate to?

Tired of hearing intelligent entities blatantly attack you as a white person?

Feeling guilty, defensive, and/or ashamed?

If someone calls out whiteness or mentions white privilege, do you feel offended?

Read This.

Just because you don’t see something as an issue, doesn’t mean you are correct.Sometimes we believe things to be factual, when in fact – they are not. There is no such thing as an alternative fact. There is fact and there is fiction. It is easy to believe we know what we’re talking about even when we don’t.

A personal example: I wouldn’t let my children have drinks with caffeine in them for many years. I was taught it would stunt their growth. I blindly followed familial belief without doing my own research. I was wrong. I discovered scientific evidence (which was readily available all along – here is one of many links) which opposed my belief. I informed my children about the discovery of my error (yes – it is my responsibility as a parent and a human to admit when I am wrong) and overturned my ill-conceived rule.

Even if you have acknowledged truth about racism and white privilege in the United States of America. Even if you feel you do your part to combat the institutionalized unfairness and hatred in this country – Keep growing. Keep learning. Keep listening. Stand up.

Whiteness and white fragility being factual does not mean we are disgusting, worthless, hopeless beings. It simply means we grew up in the midst of an unbalanced, preexisting condition. You can’t be part of finding a solution to a problem if you aren’t aware there is a problem.

If people can’t admit the existence of white privilege and institutionalized racism, there will be no hope to change it. Uncomfortable? You should be. Don’t pull your head back into your turtle shell and hide from it. Extend those long, wrinkly turtle necks into the truth of the matter and stand the fuck up against it.

P. S. Don’t you dare think your words are needed by the people of color discussing this. They understand it far better than you can. Just listen and elevate their voices.

P. S. S. Do not expect (or even request) a person of color to educate you or help you understand. It is YOUR responsibility (if you truly feel you are a “good” person) to use the plethora of resources at your fingertips.

Sincerely,

A white person trying to be a better version of human.