“Hey, how we doing on time?”

stop sign

Time’s Up

Walking down the stairs, arms up for balance

A song in my head, a smile on my face

Turning corners with practiced grace

Nearing the second-floor landing,

I hear a ruckus

Could you describe the ruckus, sir?

Internal laughter plays, with a touch of curiosity

Three people near the elevator, talking

A young child refusing to relinquish a kiss

A mother is insisting, kiss the man on the cheek.

An old man coaxing the child for unearned affection

Pause

The old man looks my way with a hint of surprise

Quickly covered with hate

You don’t belong here, his evil eyes say

Caught you, old man

Old hollow man

Pinging so hard on my KKK-dar

Staring me down in search of my fear

Smiling, I shake my head

Caught you, old man

Old hollow man

Stealing freedom from a young child

Her mother, your accomplice

The child said no

I heard

The hollow old man with one foot in the grave

Taking innocence while stinking of hate

Soon, time is going to eat you up

Shit you out as dust

Nothing to me, hollow old man

I only share energy with the child you robbed

I visualize a protective aura of light

Surrounding her to restore her stolen power

Erasing the stink of the hollow old man

Just as I reach the ground floor

What?  No mail today?

Oh, that’s right

The time came for another hollow old man

Laughing, I turn around and climb the stairs


   		   	

“I like to go in fresh.”

walking in the snow

Fresh

Little changes, one at a time.

Blessed balance is finally mine.

Herbal teas are fortifying.

Choosing to hope over silent crying.

 

I listen to voices of gentle strangers.

Love inclusively, boldly, no danger.

Healing, teaching, celebrating unfurled.

Joy, despite the world.

 

Observing, experiencing, laughing, I absorb.

Different, new, forgotten, ignored.

I’m alone but in good company.

Connected, yet free to be me.

 

Rejecting destruction, I will create.

Can’t know the future, but I can wait.

No need to copy, no one to impress.

I’ll build a new dream, and abandon the stress.

 

Don’t want riches, don’t care about fame.

Don’t need anyone to remember my name.

Rather music, art, novels, and deep belly laughter.

Good times with friends, and the memories after.

 

Have what I need, and it’s enough.

Don’t want to be owned by excess stuff.

Can’t build me up or silence my fears.

Won’t make me stronger, or shed fewer tears.

 

Little changes, one at a time.

Embracing reality; existence is no crime.

Lots to offer, love and hope to share.

People matter to me; for them, I care.

“Elaine is writing a sitcom!”

Raven flying

I’m so glad it’s finally cooled off.  I love fall and winter.  I finished watching season 7 of Game of Thrones.  I’m so pleased with what HBO has created.  The season was short, but so much happened.  I purchased the seasons on Bluray because I don’t have HBO, but I plan on subscribing before season 8 begins, now that I’ve seen what they can do.

I wrote a short story about a scientist who created a contagious airborne agent that caused mass infertility, (tentatively) titled, The Politician.  She released it in a few international airports, then followed it’s spread across the world on 24-hour news channels.  It took seven years before world governments publicly acknowledged its existence.  She was then chosen to lead an international team to work on a cure.  😂

My inner mad-scientist often cackled while writing.  The Republicans in America initially blamed environmentalists for creating it.  The US Congress armed task forces to round up environmentalists (without bothering with things like evidence or due process.)  After the sanctioned murder of several such citizens, the scientist released a manifesto calling for an end to patriarchal rule in exchange for a cure.  HPV

Sadly, Congress refused to do anything but spend more tax dollars on locating the agents’ creator rather than adopting term limits and other suggested changes that would interfere with their ability to wield excessive power over everyone else in America.  Soon, everyone with ovaries was suspect in the eyes of law enforcement.  It became even more dangerous to exist as a woman; the opposite of what the scientist wanted.  The world population began to decline due to an increase in mass suicides and no new births.

writing and editingAfter a few decades with no cure in sight, and the murder of women at an all-time high, the future of the human race is in question.  Then I realized it’s too long to be a short story.  I tried to edit with a heavy hand, but it caused even the main characters to lose dimension and relatability.  So I decided it’s a novel.  Heh.

I continued to follow a group who set up an underground thinktank to develop an approach to end the crisis without more bloodshed.  They assisted people in fleeing the United States and tried to communicate with the scientist.  Their main concern was in preserving humanity by building a world where nobody had the power to interfere in the lives of others; where law applied to everyone equally, including those chosen to create and enforce them.

I’m about 400 pages in now.  I’m not sure I want to finish and submit it for publication yet.  I’ll keep working on it and see how I feel when it’s complete.  My band is coming over later to watch a Sheryl Crow live concert on DVD.  Yay.  Only 25 days until the Fleetwood Mac concert.  Uber-yay.  😆  I’m off to practice drumming.  ✌🏽💜

“Ah. Catalog writer’s block?”

Once upon a time...

I’m living in my head in no small degree of late.  I’m not stuck, I’m in fascination overload.  I love it here.  I’m learning so much so quickly.  I feel almost like The Lawnmower Man, (before the madness.)  I understand humans more profoundly than before.  I’m giving my mind some breathing room to process my third reading of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, (ASOIAF.)  I’m on season 2 of the HBO series.  (I need to pick up the pace.) 😉

In the meantime, I’m reading the Xenogenesis trilogy by Octavia E. Butler.  I haven’t read the final book, yet.  When I do, it will mean I’ve read all she published.  It occurred to me the stories I’m reading now are clarifying and expanding the wisdom I’ve acquired from the other epic series I’m studying, (Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss, The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, and ASOIAF.)

Octavia E. Butler

Octavia E. Butler’s voice reaches me easily, much to my delight.  (She’s who I’ve chosen as my ((imaginary)) writing mentor.)  I love reading books by authors whose voices require no internal translation.  John Scalzi, Stephen King, John Irving, Ernest Cline, Peter F. Hamilton, and J. K. Rowling are some favorites with this skill.  I also appreciate imagined dialects that can enhance the otherness of a world.  George R. R. Martin used neglected words to help shape his world.  Brilliant, eh?

I’m sad Octavia E. Butler died young, (58.)  I would have done whatever reasonable to meet her, otherwise.  I’m serious about her being my mentor.  When I first discovered her novels, I was initially a bit upset.  I didn’t want to read about enduring slavery.  (I avoid horror because it horrifies me.)  But the novel claimed to be science fiction, so I stuck with it.  I survived but was understandably sure Octavia E. Butler’s books weren’t for me.

Then the thinking about it began.  What I read wouldn’t leave me alone.  I realized I wasn’t ready to dismiss an author that managed to climb inside my mind and rearrange the furniture.  Despite the fact it hurt me to read about humans embracing their darkest, most vile impulses.  It scares the shit out of me to acknowledge the human capacity for evil.  I’m a human.

I can’t be a tree.  It’s outside my control.  I can only be a human pretending to be a tree.  My mind forgets and returns to human thoughts.  My perception remains that of a black woman from South Dakota.  My roots are invisible, and I barely believe in them.  It feels as silly as pretending to be a tree.  So I faced my fears and processed what the book taught me.  What I discovered astonished me and prompted my journey of reading her entire catalog.

Octavia E. Butler

I don’t have the words to define what I’m gaining from reading Octavia E. Butler’s books.  Healing comes pretty close.  I’m still grokking.  And growing, and forgiving, and understanding.  I’m a unicorn magnet.  😁  I added two more podcasts:  The Read and The Friendzone.  I love, love, love them.  Aside from catching up on ‘Thrones, and my We Bare Bears obsession, I’m over TV.  I prefer podcasts.  (Plus, I have a massive girl crush on Chrissle.)

I wrote a letter to Octavia E. Butler, yesterday.  I told her all about the story I’m creating and asked for advice on how to begin.  (I know she’s dead, I’m not sending it! 😂)  It was a long letter.  In fact, it was a short story in need of a rewrite or ten.  (!!!)  See?  She’s a fabulous mentor.  (Please imagine an emoji taking a bow.  Thank you.)  🙃

In my mind, all these epic tales are a single story with varied voices and perspectives.  They’re crucial pieces of the map I use to navigate life.  They’re teaching me how to heal from PTSD, how to cope with chronic depression and anxiety, and why humans are worthy of my love and attention.  They’re convincing me I can survive and reminding me I have reserves no matter how spent I feel.  They’re helping me forget I can’t be a tree.  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.  ✌🏽

“The carpet cleaning is just a means for them to get into your apartment.”

Treason.

I’m disgusted by the Americans who continue to support treason. Law applies to all or none. If you think you’re safe as houses while this continues, you’re setting yourself up for a horrible surprise. I’m looking forward to seeing Beyoncè perform live next month. After that, I’ll keep looking forward to seeing Fleetwood Mac a few months later. Assuming we’re not all dead or dying from a nuclear tantrum, that is.

I completed NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare) training while serving in the Army. I know enough to be alarmed by the recent chemical attacks in the UK. I know exactly how to react to such tactics based on this knowledge. Do you? Russia denies everything, per usual, while gleefully celebrating yet another victory against the daft Americans who surrendered their free will to Fox News.

Boris and Natasha

But, hey. At least 45 is white, huh? And he’s a Christian because Fox News said so. A white, allegedly Christian man with lots of money (do you truly know how he got it?) can commit treason, and you’re okay with it because he promised to overturn Roe vs. Wade? And he encourages you to hate loudly and boldly, and you love that shit, don’t you? Just as much as you hate me when I notice and point it out, eh?

There are a thousand clichè’s to describe how history repeats itself. What comes around, goes around, etc. Lay in the bed you made. That one seems fitting on many levels. Much of writing for others to read entails creating a story that uses symbolism to relate wisdom. I mean the underlying tale that’s rearranged, recast and reworded over and over by author after author.

The unspoken motivation for writing in the first place is what I’m referring to here: To cause the reader to feel, think, and experience your creation. To draw on that to which we can relate, then share a perspective. As a voracious reader, I treasure this bond. I love seeing the world through the eyes of another. As a writer, I’m finding myself reluctant to share. I recognize now it involves a slight level of trust.

The state of America affects me in ways I never considered before. I’m saddened by how quickly I’m becoming anti-theist. Presently, the word Christian is meaningless. A transparent shield of lies.  I’m embarrassed by how naive I was.  And disgusted. Wolves in sheep’s clothing don’t seem to understand why I respond like they’re a wolf.  Maybe I should copy.  If I pretend to believe hard enough, perhaps I can be a tree.  We’ll see.