WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH, WRITERS GET TOUGHER
Monthly Tough-it-Out Corner for Insecure Writers
I like to think that we (Insecure) writers have a little extra ball of energy we hold in reserve for exactly that moment when the rest of our world is collapsing or about to do so.
Now seems a good time to remind ourselves that, however insecure we may feel about the work we continually produce—the writing we LOVE—if we continue to brave it out through any storm, the rough seas will eventually bring calm.
And we may live through it!
ENTER GRACE—Or in Aegaean terms, THREE GRACES, daughters of ZEUS and EURYNOME
In Hellenist mythology Three Goddesses called the Graces represented grace, charm and beauty. Other qualities associated with them—
Aglaia represented elegance, brightness and splendor.
Thalia embodied youth, beauty and good cheer.
Euphrosyne encouraged mirth and joyfulness.
The KHARITES were conceived in Greek mythology as goddesses who brought festive joy and enhanced mortals’ love of life though their refinement and gentleness. Gracefulness and beauty in social intercourse are attributed to them. They are usually seen in the service or attendance of other divinities, as real joy exists only in circles where the individual gives up his own self and makes it his main object to afford pleasure to others.
“The less beauty is ambitious to rule, the greater is its victory”
Qualities embodied in the Kharites. Graces, are that the less homage beauty or grace demands, the more freely is it given.
Interestingly, these same traits were imported en masse into the Christian ethic and named Hope, Faith and Charity—from Gk.KHARITES—Catholicism in particular emphasizing ‘charity’.
I mention these lovely beauties at this time as, in the midst of world events where ladies’ sovreignty is paramount, it may be our GRACE which will see us through the storm.
Moving Beyond the Masque to Face Reality
Also, coincidentally in traditional Roman Catholic calendar—still calculated by the Moon—we have only just emerged from the Fire Festival of Fat Tuesday—Mardi Gras—Festern’s E’en. We are now entering a time of human restriction—in Church timing 40 days of Lent—where our resources and resourcefulness will be called on.
We IWSG-ers know how to pull in our belts, don’t we? If our Cap’n.Alex can do it, so can we.
Therefore, Angels of Grace, Beauty, Patience, bless you—we are calling for just a little help from our friends. Thank you for being here.
©2017 Marian Youngblood
March 1, 2017 Posted by siderealview | ancient rites, art, belief, blogging, calendar customs, culture, fantasy, festivals, fiction, history, Muse, pre-Christian, ritual, seasonal, traditions, writing | Aglaia, Alex J Cavanaugh, angels, charity, Euphrosyne, Eurynome, faith, Festern's E'en, fire festival, grace, Greek mythology, insecure, IWSG, Kharites, Lent, Mardi Gras, masque, Thalia, Three Graces, Zeus | Leave a comment
MONTHLY MOAN CORNER FOR INSECURE WRITERS—
IWSGers and Others who Care to Join Us
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea—Robert A. Heinlein
TRICK OR TREAT—Ultimate Hallowe’en Trick
Smilodon is a very educated cat. He has been to the Library.
The chief librarian has even taken out an honorary library card for him.
“She is a wewwy kind lady—cataclysmically cat-fwendly. I knowz zat cuz she shared her sangwitch wit’ me,” he confided after his experience, licking his curvaciously-dentured lips at the reminisce. His saber tooth gleamed.
I asked for more information after he went missing last week, during a fairly heavy crowd of visitors driving by his beach-front yard.
Whether he was kidnapped—as he breathlessly claims—or his exuberance in someone’s back seat got him turfed out at the next stop—the town shopping plaza—may never be known. But it is reported that he was chased by a homeless dog from the bus stop, ran for the museum and library buildings, as nearest and safest and found a safe haven. One assumes. He is not sharing his scaredy-cat-ness ;(
“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly”
Kurt Vonnegut Cat’s Cradle
“It’s a very inconvenient habit of kittens,” Alice had once made the remark, “that, whatever you say to them they always purr.”
Ahhh—The Lib-erry—A Cat Port in a Storm
He draws breath between bouts of explanation, on his return to home ground.
“She is a wewwy nice Li-berrian. Wewwy nice,” he keeps muttering between gulps of tea, milk, ice water, while topping up on dry cat food.
“No, you can’t have tuna fish sandwiches every day,” I try to tell him when he gives me that Smilo smile. “Normal cats eat this.” I repeat.
“Li-berrians haz nicer stuffs”, he meows. But tucks in anyway, between purrs.
Even prehistoric cats knowz when to quit complaining and appreciate the status quo.
Cat Lives: One Down—Eight to Go
In short—or rather in human reportage—last week, unfortunately for him, because his demeanor is friendly—Smilo’s smile will even get to doglovers—as a pre-Hallowe’en prank he traveled all the way to Saunders Plaza in Trinidad, CA. He was dropped off, after the joke failed. In a blinding storm, he made his way to or was chased by a dog to The Li-berry where he sheltered from the lightning.
Depending on whose story you are listening to—the people at the bus stop or Smilodon’s own version, the dog was wewwy large. And not on a leash.
We won’t go into the leash part, because Smilo doesn’t have one either ;(
‘You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? Radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat’
Smilodon agrees with Mr Einstein totally. In his world, EVERYthing is cat-related.
And, now that he is a true blue intellectual—card-carrying, no less—his conversation has become incessant. I, like Einstein, Carroll and Heinlein, have no problem with that. But his brothers—and no doubt all his feline neighbors—are getting a little tired of the story.
Perhaps he should write a book.
All my fellow IWSGer cohorts in this group would surely agree.
Meanwhile, now that Celtic New Year—Samhainn—is upon us, the rest of the cat population is wiping brow, thanking lucky stars that they can get back to normal trick-or-treating.
©2016 Marian Youngblood
November 2, 2016 Posted by siderealview | authors, calendar customs, culture, fantasy, festivals, fiction, seasonal, writing | Alice in Wonderland, cat, Cat's Cradle, Einstein, Hallowe'en, Insecure Writers, IWSG, Kurt Vonnegut, Li-berry, library, lightning, nine lives, purrs, rain, Robert Heinlein, sabre-tooth tiger, Samhain, sandwich, Smilodon, storm, trick or treat, tuna fish sandwich | Leave a comment
MONTHLY INSECURE WRITERS’ SHARE-A-THON CORNER
WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF AVENUES OF ESCAPE, Don’t Panic*–
—the greatest motto in the galaxy— featured in the adventures of Douglas Adams’s Arthur Dent, the last human to hitch a ride off Earth, moments before it was destroyed—to make way for an interstellar bypass.
*Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 1979.
I think our revered leader, Alex Cavanaugh, would agree:
Fantasy—reading it or writing it—fills a certain hole in our psyche, a niche in our comfort zone. It gives us a reason to keep on going, even when the real world seems to have gone awry.
Groundhog Day and the 2016 Monkey Year
The Groundhog knows best. He—and the oriental Monkey who shares his calendar start date—figure if humans have generated global warming a.k.a. climate crisis and he sees his shadow on February 2nd—too much sun too soon—no wonder he goes back in his hole for another six weeks.
What the Monkey does is a whole ‘nuther story!
Metal Monkeys possesses character traits like curiosity, mischievousness, and cleverness. Forever playful, Monkeys are the masters of the practical joke.
For us as a culture, as this year unfolds, traits to prepare for—expect the unexpected.
Finding our Own Space
Forget the Primaries, Climate Crisis Summit, our involvement/warring with so many other countries, somewhere in there we are trying as individuals and collectively to halt our mad rush toward planet instability. Somewhere in the madness, we writers are supposed to find a place of calm—a refuge—usually littered with piles of loose papers and junk—but a haven nonetheless—where we can sit down, (metaphorically) put our feet up, drag the keyboard closer——
Many of us have previously admitted to being recluses—Myers-Briggs psychic make-up, above.
For me to allow the creative flow to come through, I have to have my filing system (kind-of) manageable and I crave a space where I won’t be barged in on by the (real) world.
Says a lot for our partners/spouses/spice that they put with us, doesn’t it?
I should have had more respect for the Groundhog. His timing was superb.
Happy New Writing Ideas, IWSGers.
Keep it coming.
©2016 Marian Youngblood
February 3, 2016 Posted by siderealview | ancient rites, authors, blogging, calendar customs, culture, fantasy, fiction, publishing, traditions, writing | 42, Alex J Cavanaugh, comfort zone, creative flow, Don't Panic, Douglas Adams, Groundhog Day, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Insecure Writers, IWSG, Metal Monkey, Myers-Briggs, refuge | Leave a comment
Monthly Insecure Writers’ Reassurance Corner
Is there Life for Writers—aka IWSGers—After Hallowe’en & Before Onset of the Festive Season?
For centuries humans have dreamed of inner worlds. Numerous writers, inspired themselves, have embedded the idea in our human subconscious. Those—like Tarzan’s creator Edgar Rice Burroughs (At the Earth’s Core, 1914), Edgar Allen Poe (The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, 1838) and, most famously, Jules Verne’s 1864 novel A Journey to the Centre of the Earth have been adapted for film, and are an integral part of our now Culture. They continue to inspire our own Inner Search.
Losing the human form brings the freedom to remember your self.
Losing the human form is like a spiral.
It gives you the freedom to remember.
This, in turn, makes you even freer.
A [spiritual] Warrior knows that he is waiting.
He knows also what he is waiting for.
And so while he waits, he feasts his eyes upon the world.
The ultimate accomplishment of a Warrior is joy.
Carlos Castaneda The Eagle’s Gift
I recall reading every one of the Castaneda series—Don Juan’s wisdom in small snacks—from Journey to Ixtlan through The Eagle’s Gift, and never once seeing a resolution to the cycle. It’s probably a good technique for retaining one’s readership! But recent love-hate guru Dallas Thompson—given his modesty of transmission and innocence of presentation—gets to the (spiritual) point in one book.
Dallas Thompson’s The Cosmic Manuscript lit a few media fires when it first came out in 2002. Since then, it has relaxed into a semi-oblivion of those who have read and those who refuse to read him.
Today I see butterflies dancing by my window, playing in the sunlight,
lilies in my garden, stars shining so bright in the sky, as I learn to usher
the Cosmic water. Meditation has helped me calm my mind and get in touch with the wonder of Celestial Creation – the colors, the light, the peace and the love. And I feel beautiful, I feel transformed as the darkness recedes. I do not really understand it all yet, but the discovery is so exciting. I feel like a new born baby – struggling to breathe, kicking, screaming – and yet so happy to be alive and play in the light. In your words like a celestial butterfly learning to fly, and dance to Eternities Tone
According to several meditation enthusiasts, Zen Buddhists, and Tibetan mystics, all these fancy accoutrements are useful for Life on Earth.
“If you have attained noble titles at your University, and have not in the process built a relationship with your Spirit, you are not complete”
Essentially we’re in for a shock when we show up at the Pearly Gates and they ask us if we’re ready to transfer to the Other Side. If you and your Spirit aren’t one by then, it will come as a bit of a surprise that your triple Ph.D. won’t wash.
Like a BoyScout: Be Prepared—or
How to Make Your Chosen Comfort Zone Comforting
For that eventuality, Dallas has a solution—prepare ahead of time! Get with the spiritual program before you need your arsenal of warrior gear.
Postscript for IWSGers—Sharing Insecurities Can Brighten Your Day 😉
Bottom line—According to the Cosmic Script, the more you share, the more comes your way. Or
The Better it Gets, the Better it Gets. Apply pressure on the Arm of the Muse, and she may grant us a ‘festive’ audience.
After all, when the Year starts winding down—when the clocks fall back—we writers know we have to hit the keyboard.
In other words—another deadline awaits.
November 4, 2015 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, calendar customs, culture, fantasy, festivals, fiction, publishing, seasonal, writing | Carlos Castaneda, Cherokee, comfort zone, Cosmic Manuscript, Dallas Thompson, death & regeneration, Don Juan, earthquake, El Niño, fantasy author, festive season, Hallowe'en, Hawaii, hollow Earth, inner worlds, Journey to Ixtlan, Jules Verne, Kahuna, NDE, Old Faithful, regeneration, subterranean magma chamber, Tarzan, Yellowstone | Leave a comment
INSECURE WRITERS’ MOANING MINNIE CORNER
I am clearly in the minority here, at least six hours behind schedule—plus the extra three hours all good (true) Californians steel themselves to be in the office by six a.m., because that’s 0900 hours New York City time— well, I’m well over that.
So, my abject apologies to our ever-indulgent, forgiving and forgetting—but also hugely talented when it comes to such sci-fi antics in the fantasy world—Ninja Captain Alex, who is ALWAYS on time.
When it happens in the “real” world, however, I’m not sure anyone on the East Coast feels suitably badly-done-by to send condolences. But I need something.
I am told it is a total communications blackout—Pacific Northwest-wide—emanating from a small C.M.E. alongside a man-made under-the-R.A.D.A.R. [i.e. undisclosed] microwave blast centered on our ozone layer over Nevada-Arizona, to induce RAIN. But it caused other disruptions. RAIN did not fall, guys of NOAA persuasion. We are still arid here.
Don’t get me started on weather manipulation and climate control…
More alarming—solar unrest is just revving up. There are more solar disruptions to come. Don’t blame me. Blame SpaceWeather, see sidebar right.
Oldies But Goodies Going in Style
According to studio release from the set of director Zach Braff’s remake of 1979 George Burns movie, Going in Style, the comedy presents Morgan Freeman, 78, Alan Arkin, 81, and Michael Caine as desperadoes. Braff, huge on laughs, has ‘Scrubs’ to his television credit. He’s cleverly persuaded Ann-Margret, 76, to perform as well.
Yeah-h-h for us oldies-but-goodies. UR not old, Alex 😉
“Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.”
Braff says Going In Style is about three seniors who lose their pension, because the company they worked for their entire lives sold overseas, and all of a sudden they have no money at all to live off, and they’re barely scraping by as it is.
‘And even though they’re older guys, they decide they’re going to try. They’re going to attempt to rob the very bank that’s withheld their pension money.’
Sometimes I wish life were as easy as robbing a bank—to get even.
But it isn’t easy to get even with a hurricane, floods in the basement, or a blanket communications blackout. SpaceWeather usually covers it: solar flares—CMEs—incoming.
May I send my fellow IWSGers a token solar flare—just so you know I’m late, but—like Baba Ram Dass—I’m still here.
Post-scriptum: Thanks to Alex for such a l-o-n-g list of links to us IWSG not-so-moaning-minnies on his new all singing dancing website, and for allowing me this time for ‘getting even’.*
*I so love your critique on Matt Damon’s The Martian. Evokes memories of Bruce Dern’s ‘Silent Running’, my fave sci-fi-realism fantasy.
When all around are losing theirs, give up.
©2015 Marian Youngblood
October 8, 2015 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, fantasy, fiction, rain, sun, volcanic, weather, writing | Alan Arkin, Alex J Cavanaugh, Ann-Margret, Arizona, Bermuda Triangle, Brooklyn, CME, communications blackout, coronal mass ejection, Going in Style, hand-written, hurricane Joaquin, IWSG, late posting, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Ram Dass, sci-fi movies, Silent Running, solar flare, spaceweather, Still Here, The Martian, Tromsø Norway, weather, Zach Braff | 4 Comments
MONTHLY INSECURE WRITERS’ CORNER
On most cultural issues, Californians lead the pack. Except, that is, in their heedless determination to withstand Earth tremors of any scale. They are getting what they wished for now—High tides to satisfy the most intense surfers—literally waves to die for.
Full Moon High Tides Reflect Earth Extremes
World attention has been understandably focused on volcanic mayhem in the Himalayan chain—larger than 7.8magnitude Richter quakes, with repeated aftershocks, causing tragic loss of life in Nepal. Then, without time for humans to regroup, several subsequent 7.6mag. shocks, shattering Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga and swathes of Tibet—devastating the Roof of the World.
Tidal effects on Oregon coast have increased too, in rhythm with the rest of the Pacific. Even Hawaii and precious Galapagos Islands on the Cocos Plate have not escaped volcanic broiling. Santorini, Etna and even Vesuvius have chimed in. There seems no end in sight.
Early drought and water hose bans have made June and the rest of this parched planet feel drier—less capable than ever before of withstanding subterranean cracking—and Fracking.
Without speaking back!
Unrelated to writer’s block? you wonder.
Silly Season—or Sell in May & Go Away
Back when there were Ninja Cap’n storytellers who created paper copies of triple best-sellers overnight—putting physical books on people’s shelves—yes—we knew what summer meant for us: Summertime business shuts up shop; people migrate. In writing—and in journalistic—circles, it’s called the “silly season”.
Now many writers—with paper dreams or even electronic ones 😉 —despair of ever finding an agent in summer—unknown, unobtainable, or elsewhere. So can you blame them at times for wanting to fly away themselves?
Maybe this summer we shall pay greater attention—keep our minds focused, senses honed, noses to the grindstone.
Funny how major shifts in our planetary home have a way of rearranging the braincells—systematizing the synapses.
More of a Moon than a Moan
astrological storm—more of a Moon than a moan. Maybe now is not the best time to mention a few archetypal cycles, coming back to haunt us—this very week in history.
Salem Witch Trials 1692
Mount Pinatubo erupted 1991 (and she’s at it again)
First AIDS virus recorded 1981
Watergate arrests 1972
Beginning of End of Cold War, June 1963—prelude to JFK Assassination, November
…On the Bright Side
In June 1963—five months before he was assassinated—U.S. President John F. Kennedy spoke on the podium of the newly-liberated Reichstag in an undivided Berlin. His famous “Ick bin ein Berliner” speech was heard by millions of Europeans, who already loved him for what he stood up for. His opening doors—and spectacular unveiling of East-West Hamburg/Potdam Autobahn* started the end of the Cold War.
Thanks and ahoy to Cap’n.Alex for indulging me in lost dreams of a better world. Otoh, if JFK could do it, we IWSGers can do it: weather this storm.
*What Americans—reputedly JFK himself—couldn’t quite handle: 1963 Bremen-Hamburg-Berlin Autobahn had and has to this day—no speed limit. The mind of frustrated U.S. roadster-wannabes boggles with vision of JFK’s phalanx of limos—he was heavily guarded, regardless of his youthful wind-in-hair image—driving sedately at max. 65m.p.h. from Air Force One to Berlin PotdamerPlatz—overtaken by, you-got-it, BMWs, Audis, Porsche and even Lamborghinis, Lotuses and Volkswagens streaming by like a sound-track: zoom—zoom—siren–squeal— zoom 😉
Happy summer. #IamWri†ing
©June 2015 Marian Youngblood
June 3, 2015 Posted by siderealview | ancient rites, authors, blogging, culture, earth changes, environment, fantasy, history, rain, seismic, volcanic, writing | Aleutians, Berlin, Cocos Plate, Cold War, craton, drought, earth movement, fracking, Galapagos, Gorda tectonic plate, high tide, John F. Kennedy, Juan da Fuca, Kangchenjunga, Mid-Atlantic ridge, Mt. Everest, Nepal, Pacific Ring of Fire, Salem Witch Trials 1692, Santorini, Saturn, seamount, snow, strawberry moon, surfer heaven, Tibet, volcano, water, water table artesian spring | 4 Comments
MONTHLY IWSG GET-TOGETHER
Spring has sprung
Da grass has riz
I wonder where da boidies iz—
Da boid iz on da wing—
Dat’s a funny t’ing
I t’ought da wing wuz on da boid—
Ain’t it absoid?
attributed c.1940 to Two Black Crows
While weather is usually a poor writing subject, we may be forgiven this month for waxing eloquent on continuing and (apparently) continuous freak weather circling the globe. If my writing suffers, blame the Cosmos, IWSGers. Or alternatively pleeeeze lay blame where it is due: at door of our long-suffering Cap’nAlex.
—And I am not forgetting all my [non-sci-fi but hugely scary] fellow insecure buddies here on the First Wednesday—we might hide our heads in metaphorical sand and write on.
There are, however, unforeseen dangers in the cosmic waters ahead.
SOLAR WIND INCOMING—Man All (Earthship) Decks
Last week’s coronal mass ejection was deflected by a freak shift in our father, Sol. This week’s CME is coming straight at us.
Because this coronal hole crosses the sun’s equator, the solar wind it spews is likely to hit Earth squarely this time—no misses. ETA: April 2nd or 3rd.
Italics and Earth Warning message are entirely those of SpaceWeather, but we might be prudent to prepare for a little more than pretty aurora ovals… just sayin’…Within the inner solar system, left, all fireball orbits intersect at a single point–Earth. Orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue)
And, in case we were wondering if life can throw any more at us, enJOY the magnificent total lunar eclipse, Saturday morning, April 4th, sky watchers in the USA can see a brief but beautiful occultation of the Moon. Totality will be visible from Mexico, western Canada, across the entire Pacific Ocean, Australia, Indonesia.
Earthship or Jefferson Airplane? Home is Best
When all around are losing theirs———I don’t have to repeat favorite poésie to my erudite IWSGers to capture the mood.
When in doubt, do what Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin said a long space-time ago—with Big Brother and Holding Company and many of us singing along— in a famous long-ago song:
Keep Your Head.
Thanks, as ever, Alex, for letting me “rabbit’ on. 🙂
Happy skywatching. Easter-Passover has never had it so good.
©April 2015 Marian Youngblood
April 1, 2015 Posted by siderealview | astrology, astronomy, authors, birds, blogging, earth changes, fantasy, fiction, weather, writing | Alex J Cavanaugh, CME coronal mass ejection, coronal hole, cosmic waters, crazy, decks, duck, Earthship, eclipses, equinox, fireballs, freak weather, galactic, Indonesia eclipse, IWSG, Leo full moon, Ninja, Pacific Ocean, sci-fi, Solar Wind, space captain, spring, survival, total lunar eclipse, white rabbit | 1 Comment
Insecure Writers’ Support Group [IWSG] Corner
So far, 2014 has been short on leisure.
Driving our Engines into the Ground
It’s not that we writers aren’t driven to distraction by our need to put graphite to tree pulp; extract or express some primeval desire hidden in the God-given Word; even one in our own God-driven engine-mind. I have known a fellow scribe who went into catatonia for a fortnight—today we call it ‘withdrawal’ or ‘having a bad hair day’—because she couldn’t find her high school propelling pencil.
Like losing a cell phone or iPod, our sudden disconnection fuels our dependency.
Change of season usually alters our work pattern, anyway. Deep inside, we must be akin to swallows, electromagnetically programmed to changing home base. Bureaucratic daylight manipulation makes it worse: disturbs our brain and sleep patterns, resulting in near-writer’s block.
Heaven forbid. I hope my mind hasn’t also flown the coop, along with my summer projects.
All Fall In
Needless to say, I’ve found the culprit: something I can blame. It’s easier to point a finger at retrograde Neptune, floundering in his own exalted sign of Pisces, or beg deathstar Pluto to release his vice-like grip on his fellow planet, Mars conjunct in restrictive structure-driven Capricorn! The ancient SeaGoat rises from the waters to vanquish all malingerers…
Under the Wire
We are, I do believe, supremely grateful for excess H20 which fell from the heavens just in time to save us from a fiery death by 2014 heatwave. Water saved us from our (continuing) careless treatment of our planetary home.
It’s mot for me to criticize. William McDonough’s Cradle to Cradle has shown us the way for a decade. We are still playing games with water. I merely add my comment—and gratitude. And pray that fewer hours of light may bring me time to relax, allow me to retreat into inner worlds.
And thanks Alex, as always, for doing what you do.
Dragon of the Stars, indeed. 🙂
©2014 Marian Youngblood
November 6, 2014 Posted by siderealview | astrology, authors, culture, earth changes, environment, fantasy, gardening, nature | Alex J Cavanaugh, Ascendant, autumn, blackberry, chase, Cradle, culprit, daylight savings time, exalted, fall, Insecure Writers, IWSG, Jupiter, McDonough, Neptune, Orion, Pisces, retreat, retrograde, Saturn, season, spacehunter, square, starhounds, timezone, Universal time, Uranus, weather map, weather pattern | Leave a comment
MONTHLY 1st WEDNESDAYS InsecureWritersSupportGroup CORNER
A baby cried, a world began.
“Heart action dropping!”
‘Here, Boss. Grab on. There, we got you.’
‘Is it a boy or a girl?’
‘Who cares, Johann—it’s a baby—one for all and all for one!’
An old world vanished and then there was none.
Robert Heinlein, I Will Fear No Evil, ©1970
Our revered leader, Alex Cavanaugh, would be proud of us minions in the writerly field— mini-minions, even, when it comes to major Sci-fi like current faves, Her, and Gravity—for even attempting to put together occasional works of fiction of the far-out genre. My own passion is cyber-warp-time-differential stuff, with a dishy captain at the helm, of course!
So it will come as only a mild surprise to him that this month I cannot—rather will not—raise my head above the parapet—of other #Iamwriting labors—to complain.
The weather outside is too wonderful, the view of the ocean—when I have the sense to raise my sights and gaze—to die for; and life in general is giving me abundance.Will my Wunderkinder colleagues therefore forgive me for not moaning this time around?
It’s June, after all. Let’s relax and enjoy life a little.
If I have to squeeze in a tweak of intellect in an otherwise cerebrally-challenged month, I might suggest that both Her, the cyber-cross-human sex movie with dishy Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson as the cyborg; and blockbuster Sci-fi future classic Gravity with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, are gorgeous to look at, but Her is technically based on several previous scripts: Robert Heinlein’s, top; with the lovely Samantha created from the ancient Greek-Sanskrit myth-legend of Persas, that imported Persian harlot vampire who emerged from the ocean and devoured her lovers.
But who’s doing heavy research when the scenes are so vivid and sensually surreal? 🙂
When our hero—and Alex’s—Robert Heinlein—use the vampire lady in his seminal—and imho under-read classic, top, I Will Fear NO Evil, his words are more relevant today than 40 years ago.
So, all that leaves me is to say thank you to our planetary host, and our mentors-in-spirit—Wells, Heinlein and Bradbury, RIP—and, of course, the legendary PERSAS for her guest appearance. And may we all continue to have mythological creatures from the deep to inspire our writing.
©2014 Marian Youngblood
June 4, 2014 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, calendar customs, culture, fantasy, fiction, Muse, novel, publishing, writing | Alex J Cavanaugh, creature, deep, George Clooney, Heinlein, HG Wells, IWSG, Joaquin Phoenix, myth, mythological, ocean, Persas, Ray Bradbury, Samantha, Sandra Bullock, Scarlett Johansson, vampire | 4 Comments
Counter to tradition, it seems, February now dawns either with (American) Groundhog Day, or Scots-Irish Candlemas, as the Oriental calendar churns into the Year of the Horse. All are based in the same ancient calendrical rhythms of the new moon, devised before there were Superbowls and Sales Season. This year, 2014, I have been slow to add input to the monthly Cavanaugh Insecure Writers’ Support Group—IWSG—so when my seven-year-old granddaughter chided me for not doing my homework—and setting me a harder test to make me focus and do better—class time turned into blogging, and we helped each other through.
In the Islands, it was believed that on the eve of Là Fhéill Bhrìghde (Feast of Bride), the Old Woman of Winter, the Cailleach, journeys to the magical isle, in whose woods lie the miraculous Well of Youth. At the first glimmer of dawn, she drinks the water that bubbles in a crevice of a rock, and is transformed into Bride, the fair maid whose white wand turns the bare earth green again.
On Bride’s Eve in the Islands young girls made a female figure from a sheaf of corn, kept in reverence from the previous year’s harvest—the clyack sheaf. They decorated it with colored shells and sparkling crystals, together with snowdrops and primroses and other early spring flowers and greenery. An especially bright shell, symbol of emerging life, or a crystal was placed over its heart, and called ‘Bride’s guiding star’. They dressed themselves in their own finery and carried their effigy through the village on Bride’s Feast Day, February 2nd, to invoke the light.
My monthly moan has therefore miraculously morphed into a friendly shrug of resignation: I bow completely to the orderly mind of Ms. Rose, whose class made me refocus on my writing priorities for the year 2014.
How the Dragon Got its Name
First rule: let the story tell itself; make it exciting and don’t worry about spelling. It’s the first draft.
Second draft is the time to worry about spelling. It’s called an ‘edit’.
Ms. Rose gave an example of her first draft, left—with excitement building from the first sentence. She has allowed me to publish it here for IWSG followers. While we discussed the spelling of dragon, Ms. Rose felt Jagin was a good name for him anyway, as it sounded more authentic. So first draft below:
How the jagin got its nameThe jagin was looking at the moon but he remembered its name it was moonlight he
love it one night the jagin turned in to stone and they tried to help it but
the jagin tot [talked]
it said go to the well she said
and wish me back
I hope I live she said
and I hope you make it she said
but where is it they said
it is the main lands she said
ok then they went
but she wanted to hope but she could’t hope so she stayed home but there
was no one there she was sad so she flew off sum somewhere one they came
back she was gone.
Ms. Rose’s Class Assignment Groundhog Day, February 2014
Discussion followed, because in school it had been explained that Chinese New Year, in Chinatown—unlike American Groundhog Day—went on for a week, with dragons paraded in the streets. So while this was now the Year of the Horse, dragons were always important in mythology and welcome at any time, as an excuse for a party. Groundhogs were important too, because they came out on the first new moon day of February, and if they saw their shadow (sun shining), they would go back into their holes for another six weeks of winter. Ms. Rose explained that many animals were important in ancient times, and that it was not unusual to have a horse, a dragon, a groundhog, and an outgoing snake all mixed up in one celebration. This made the story more exciting.
Ms. Rose apologizes that she has other commitments during the year. This is therefore a guest appearance for this month’s IWSG blog. We hope you enjoy it as much as we had fun preparing.
p.s. Thanks to our ever-indulgent leader Alex J. Cavanaugh—Robert Heinlein reincarnate—whose brilliant CassaFire is having a special right now… don’t say I didn’t tell them, Alex!
© 2014 Marian Youngblood and ©Ms.Rose
February 3, 2014 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, calendar customs, fantasy, festivals, fiction, writing | Chinese New Year, dragon, Groundhog Day, HeinleinRobert, IWSG, Jagin, moon, moonlight, Ms. Rose's blog, new moon, Rose, Year of the Horse | 2 Comments
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