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 CATCH-UP CORNER or
Even Scatty Writers Plan Ahead
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by”
With a whole *two month* chunk already bitten out of my twelve month schedule, planning ahead doesn’t always do the trick for me. But in a group of writers, where advice and help are freely given and nobody (hopefully) takes offense—our Insecure Writers Support Group I was thinking of specifically—there seems no place to cower in fear. We’re all encouraged to step up to the plate and at least try. With the third month of my year already begun, I’d better think of something.
Insecure Writers stick to the Grand Plan
Insecure Writers Support Group now has its own website, thanks to our Ninja Cap’n Alex who is always ahead of the game—comes of being constantly immersed in “future speak” and (successful) Space trilogies, ahem.
While 2016 may bring major change to us all—February has already broken historical temperature records worldwide—it’s sometimes comforting to believe we might all already be on a trajectory which could end on one of Alex’s famed remote star systems.
First we have the cyclical calendar anomaly—leap year adding a mandatory day to February or we’d all land back in the Middle Ages.
Then there is the four-year culmination of super-athletes preparing for Olympic Games in Hispanic Heaven—Rio de Janeiro. You thought the Super Bowl was huge, set for the first time in the brand new Levi stadium, south of San Francisco. Brazil will pull out all the stops for August. They’ve already had a mammoth Carnival—their Fat Tuesday equivalent of Mardi Gras. This year they’re speaking of its continuing right through Easter—the German Oster of my title.
Meantime loads of attention will be focused next week—particularly in sea-level-rising Indonesia—where they will have an uninterrupted total solar eclipse March 9th, that will effectively black out the entire Pacific Ocean—for a moment of cosmic time—four minutes totality at zenith. Sadly it reaches mainland U.S. at dusk, and therefore we miss it. But writers in Alaska will be fortunate to see it as partial.
Only by cosmic accident do we hear that Alaska is importing snow for its famous dog-sled Iditarod race
The Irish Input
Amid all these cosmic happenings, does it seem a little tame of me to mention the second annual Dublin Writers’ Conference June 24-26, 2016? Judging by last year’s sell-out crowd—it has some kind of Irish spell it casts on us pen-wielders, because when we get together, all kinds of literary explosions are possible. My rationale for bringing up the June date now is that many U.S. IWSGer travelers make plans for Europe months ahead of time when airline deals can still be made. Just sayin’.
St Patrick’s Day, March 17th, will be here in two weeks to remind us!
Dublin was home to James Joyce and still holds the treasured Book of Kells at Trinity College.
Meantime the plethora of Space movies which began with Ridley Scott’s The Martian, continues in remakes—don’t you adore Superman vs. Batman?—and as yet unreleased alien adventures even Mr Spock might show emotion for.
March came in like a Lion in my part of the world. Weather patterns influenced by a strong El Niño produced the hottest February since historical records began.
Climate will no doubt be the focus for 2016, if we can all think simple earth thoughts in between our rages and/or love affair with our Muse. Whichever takes root in our consciousness, I suspect we IWSGers will still find a bolt hole here—along with a phalanx of other Insecure companions.
May we survive the Ides of March, the heat of Equinox and the onset of an early spring with typical writerly calm. It is, after all, our metier, our trade, and it should remind us that, even if/when our world changes beyond recognition, our Muse, our inner writerly urge will still be there to pick up the pieces…
…And put them down on the next available sheet of paper 😉 No wonder writers alone understand writers. How boring we can seem to the rest of humanity.
All the more reason to keep it coming.
©2016 Marian Youngblood
March 2, 2016 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, calendar customs, festivals, fiction, Muse, publishing, weather, writing | Alaska, Alex J Cavanaugh, Book of Kells, Carnival, Dublin Writers' Conference, Easter, Iditarod sled race, Indonesia eclipse, IWSG, leap year, Mardi Gras, Martian, Olympic Games, retrograde, Rio de Janeiro, total solar eclipse, Trinity College Dublin, world temperatures | 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’ ENCLAVE—
IWSGers Speak up for the Planet
Mostly, thanks to our prolific host and Ninja Cap’n, Alex, for allowing us crazies free rein on his excellent forum. It opens writerly doors, and allows us to vent, when things go wrong. May we all survive—nay, plunge into—this year and follow our dreams. 2015 saw many changes in awareness of common responsibility for our country’s finite resources, both nation-wide and internationally, bringing accord which would have been impossible a decade ago. Politicians are—with careful research—actually clearing desks, allocating reserve funds to deal with the atmosphere-environment.
It is no longer an ‘issue’. Climate has become real time—Western nations’ new goal—to do good by the planet, our only home.
But don’t hold your breath.
Rattle in Seattle as Farewell to Old Ways
West Coast shakes over New Year ranged from Mag.4.7 in Seattle through M.6.2 Nevada/Utah border, to M.4.1 off Ferndale, CA. Judging by whale movement—on late migration south delayed by warm northern waters—quakes and movement are happening on the coastal plate, where the Gorda fault fissures to join its subterranean sisters under (human habitat) the land. Several landslides along the coastal Scenic Drive route north of the Eel and Mad Rivers—in Humboldt County—have made travel ‘difficult’—official sources.
Once again we realize our Earth Mama is shaking her feathers—a little ruffled by now with all the oil extraction and fossil burning we’ve been up to.
Lieber kleiner blauer Stern [Pale Blue Dot auf Deutsch]
Menschen habt ihn endlich gern
Tut ihm nun nichts mehr zu Leide
Nicht den Bergen, nicht der Heide
Nicht den Wiesen, Mooren, Flüssen
Nicht den Wäldern, Vögeln, Fischen
Liebt den kleinen blauen Stern
Pflegt und schütz ihn
Habt ihn gern
Snakes, ants, beetles, redwoods and humans—we all travel the Milky Way together and share the planet’s blessings
John Muir, founder of Sierra Club
Latest round of seismic unrest included quakes in Oklahoma, causing power outages, and widespread flooding damage in Mississippi basin.
In Pacific NW, several dormant volcanoes shook over New Year, alongside multiple larger (Richter Mag.4.2 or more) earthquakes rippling along faults extending N-S along West coast United States. Authorities remain vigilant, with such heavy movement currently underway.
If Mama is shaking us, what is it we’ve done to get her so annoyed?
Well, let’s take breathable air, for a start—yes, we decimated Earth’s fossil trees—so, what are we doing about it?
Headwaters Forest—Tragedy of 1990s
“Standing among these ancient trees, a thousand years old perhaps, I am humbled by how long it takes to restore these forests. As I take one last look up into the stratosphere of canopy before heading back into the glaring light of second-growth, I wonder at the rôle of restoration in recreating the beauty I see before me. I think it will be a very long time before our forest will be what it once was”
David LaFever, Bureau Land Management Ecologist, after 2001 restoration attempt
Headwaters Forest was purchased in 1999 by State and Federal government agencies, and put under permanent protection. Clear-felling practice was legally reduced to a 20-40-acre maximum.
The logging industry finally sat up and paid attention. Its own resource was decimated; salmon runs and ecosystems had suffered in a mindless race for economic gain, with only table scraps left, in the view of Humboldt State University forest scientist Steve Sillett. ‘The challenge now is to improve management on the 95% of redwood landscape (felled) that is just starting into regrowth.’
Old Growth Sequoia Groves
Old-growth redwood forests are structurally diverse, with a range of tree sizes, reiterated tree trunks—high tree and stand biomass—and with complex canopies. Headwaters old-growth is characterized by a mixture of redwood (Sequoia sempervirens, 50-70% of overstory) and Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga Menziesii, 30-47%) with a density of 70-80 trees per acre. Conversely, unthinned second-growth stands are dominated by Douglas Fir (60-80%), with density of over a thousand trees per acre.
Forestry attitudes are changing too. Heavy Caterpillar earthmoving tractors, that caused such erosion—skid trails—with consequent pollution to streams and spawning pools, are being replaced by smaller, lighter shovel loaders on tracks that leave the forest floor intact. State law now enforces a mandatory buffer zone of trees now, along streams and rivers.
Finally the salmon and other native fish are returning.
Forestry business mantra is that they are ‘on target to create new forests’ (in one hundred years), like the ones protected in the Redwoods National and State Parks, begun by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1875-92. He and John Muir should by now roaring with delighted laughter in their (redwood) coffins.
At the time Headwaters was established in 1999, 60% of the area had been logged. In some areas, forests were only beginning to regrow from clear-cut harvests of the 1980s and 1990s. Inheriting unnatural second-growth forests dominated by Douglas Fir, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began restoration thinning in 2004. Goal of restoration was to accelerate forest development towards old-growth conditions, and restore a more natural species mix to each area—by cutting Douglas Fir and leaving Redwood and other less common species. From 2004 to 2013, BLM thinned 1,600 acres—approximately 21% of Headwaters Forest Reserve.
Thinning Understory in Attempt to Mimic Old Growth
In 2014, BLM began a second round of thinning with an idea of introducing more ‘spatial complexity’, to mimic conditions found in old-growth forests within Headwaters. BLM workers created a mosaic of tree density across second-growth stands, by building off recent restoration work completed in Redwood National and State Parks. They also completed their research project in partnership with Humboldt State University. Their report, published 2013: “Modeling Young Stand Development towards the Old-growth Reference Condition in Evergreen Mixed-Conifer Stands at Headwaters Forest Reserve, California”.
‘This study helped us understand the conditions in old-growth stands and allowed us to model trajectories towards old-growth under various restoration scenarios’
BLM ecologist D.laFever
Life without trees—lack of breathable air—would be a scenario more appropriate to Star Trek, CassaStar, or in our sci-fi leader*, Alex’s new ‘geek stuff’. But we breathe on, thanks to the lungs of the planet—threatened, decimated—broken but unbowed.
*If Alex can branch out into short stories—’geek stuff’—I can face the bureaucracy with a little non-fiction of my own—lol. Thanks, Alex and fellow IWSGers for listening.
©2016 Marian Youngblood
January 6, 2016 Posted by siderealview | authors, birds, blogging, consciousness, culture, earth changes, energy, environment, fiction, nature, rain, seasonal, seismic, trees, volcanic, weather, writing | BLM, California State Parks, ecologist, Epiphany, forestry, grove, Headwaters Forest, HSU, Humboldt Co., IWSG, John Muir, Klamath, lumber mills, Mad River, National Parks, native species, old growth, Pacific NW, polluted streams, rattle in Seattle, redwood, Redwoods, river purity, salmon, sci-fi, Sequoia sempervirens, sequoiadendron, Sierra Club, Star Trek, TCLT, Teddy Roosevelt, timber industry, understory, water table, watershed, whale migration | Leave a comment
MONTHLY INSECURE WRITERS’ SAFETY ZONE or
What I Should’ve Done B4 All This Holiday Madness—IWSG CatchUp Corner
*parapet, ‘protecting the breast’—from Latin
pectus-i (m) breast, chest
paries-etis (m) wall, rampart, bulwark
All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came.
~John F. Kennedy, Newport speech before America’s Cup Races, September 1962
Trouble of the World
‘There is so much going on–so much that could make a person just want to run away.
‘Our lives on this Earth are relatively short, so we shouldn’t get too overwhelmed by all the troubles we face while here’
Thank you, wise ole Bird, Arlee, for putting some of our anxiety into perspective. We writers tend to be head-down anyway—well below parapet level—and it takes some “venting” by a fellow scribe—wot knowzzz—to keep a calm ‘sough’. That was good old Rabbie Burns‘s word for the windchill factor
“November chill blaws loud wi’ angry sough”
We might also try looking at the way our world appears to be fighting back, after all the trouble and toil we’ve levied at her.
Some of my generation believe we still have a chance to right the ‘wrongs’ we initiated. Our attitude to confronting our errors—from nuclear power to trashing earth’s resources—has made us cautious, nay, appreciative of finding the best in what’s left. This (antiquated?) belief may not go down well with the Millennials—a generation who inherited our mistakes, but who prefer to smile and slide on through—but, as even they know, this is the only home we’ve got. So why not pull together on a few issues?
Weather—the great Leveler
While December traditionally finds a way of leveling—wind, rain, hail and snow being not particularly creature-friendly—it can be a gift of time for us scribblers. Above or below the parapet, we can wield a computer (or ice-pick) to hack out a story. No pun intended. Sometimes that’s just what we have to do.
So to all my fellow moaning Minnies in our tight little IWSG corner, keeping head down can be a VERY GOOD THING.
We may have to leave the concept of climate control for another season—when life begins anew and buds start to bud again…and we catch a whiff of w-a-r-m…
But meantime, why not allow our ever-fertile Muse to raise her head above the bulwarks. We might be surprised by her dexterity.
p.s. Ninja Cap’n: my preference is for Dragons
“When a dragon offers you a helmet and a parachute, put them on. “
©2015 Marian Youngblood
December 2, 2015 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, consciousness, fiction, publishing, seasonal, weather, winter, writing | Alex J Cavanaugh, Arlee Bird, bulwark, calm sough, climate control, December, hail, holiday madness, ice-pick, IWSG, JFK, Mahalia Jackson, ocean analogy, parapet, Paris climate summit 2015, Robert F. Kennedy jr., seafaring, snow, Trouble of the World | 2 Comments
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‘ CRY~~LeavME.BE~~
or Leaving on the Next Train
“From all I’ve learned, there’s no religious revelation more satisfying than hard-won food of simple understanding—no liberation compares with seeing oneself as the illusions/delusions of the Age we live in.”
Terence McKenna b. November 16, 1946, Paonia, CO. d. April 03, 2000, San Rafael, CA
Fifteen years after the death of ‘Altered Statesman’—colleague and ethnobotanist partner in triumvirate of Berkeley LSD scientists—of whom only Baba Ram Dass survives, Terence McKenna progressed Timothy Leary’s ‘sixties psychedelic débût by experiencing 15 years as an Amazon Ayahuasca Shaman.
Finally he planted his own Hawaiian paradise, where his life cycle terminated.
Living in a Time-Wobble
McKenna was convinced that Western society lives in a kind of a time-wobble. With fantasy worlds available via Internet and Cell 24/7, we have essentially relinquished control over what our subconscious has already (collectively) devised for us.
“Time and our consciousness are speeding up. We are being drawn closer to the Attractor at the End of Time”
He called this our Eschaton.Add to such real human identity crisis the madness of July, revved up by today’s SuperMedia as three continents celebrate historical nationalism—French Bastille Day, U.S. Independence fireworks, Vedic Purva Ashadha.
If we are already in the thrall of a winking blinking (fantasy-internet-Muse) light at the end of a metaphorical Tunnel, the only antidote for these Cosmic surprises is laughter.
Thunder Moon Jupiter-Venus Conjunction
Before we get to the funnies, however, let’s take a quick look at how indigenous cultures in the Americas call on ancestral Spirits, to aid them through each Moon’s wax-wane cycle.
January: Wolf Moon (end December) Old Moon
February: Snow Moon, Hunger Moon
March: Worm Moon, Crow Moon, Sap Moon, Lenten Moon
April: Seed Moon, Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Goose Egg Moon, Fish Moon
May: Milk Moon, Flower Moon, Corn-Planting Moon
June: Mead Moon, Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, Thunder Moon
July: Hay Moon, Buck Moon, Thunder Moon
August: Corn Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon, Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon
September: Harvest Moon, Full Corn Moon
October: Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, Sanguine Moon
November: Beaver Moon, Frosty Moon
December: Oak Moon, Cold Moon, Long Nights’ Moon
Alternate Avenues through Muse Moodswings
When all else fails, #Humor never fails to do the trick. Even the saddest, most died-in-the-wool ‘LeaveMeAlone~I’m going away to eat Worms’ Muse-abandoned writer—the Mole—cannot fail to pause—if only for a blogging millisecond—and let out a chuckle.
If this apology for a monthly moan will suffice, dear Reader, and dear Cap’n-@our-Ninja-helm, Alex J. Cavanaugh 😉
then let me regale you with an Alternative Alphabet, conceived somewhere along those truly ephemeral airwaves our war-torn parents/grandparents constructed to amuse themselves, after a hard day’s work.
In their precious evenings, RADIO sprang to life. All kinds of fantasies might be fulfilled, all sounds and frequencies attempted.
Fantastical ‘Forties Fantasies over the R.A.D.I.O
For my sins, I grew up in a ‘Forties household, shielded from The Woah by a protective parent who—child polio victim, unable to serve—made all broadcasts [aka News] top priority. It became evening entertainment for the whole family—as there was only one radio!
Among a plethora of sounds emanating from the small walnut-cased glowing-dial box in the corner of the sitting room, after homework was done, we were allowed to hear a few tidbits.
One of these—probably altered beyond reasonable comprehension, to any but a native Scot—a rare glimpse into a smattering of hilarious popular culture of the time, a mingled brew—indiscriminate. But it has to make you laugh.
Give me this. You will at least allow yourself a giggle.
And, with all the crazies going on out there—Full Moon tonight, Jupiter and Venus in close conjunction, solar flares mixed in with Fourth of July weekend yet to come—you know it’s the best medicine~lol
‘FORTIES FORTITUDE: Adversity Kindling the Common Heart
Ralph Waldo Emerson got it right.
VERSOUL: that Unity within which every man’s Being is contained and made one with all other; that common heart
“Yet, from it all I have learned that there is no religious revelation more satisfying than the hard-won food of simple understanding.”
A is 4 ‘orses
C For Th Highlanders
Deef or Dumb
Eve or Adam
F for Vescence
H for Scratch
L for Leather
M for a Pie (Dundee accent, pie=peh)
N for a Pint (probably home brew: post-War booze was in short supply)
O fer the Sea to Skye
P fer Sninks ???
Q fer the ‘tippenies’ (cheap tuppenny seats Saturday matinée local cinema)
S for Williams
Tea for Two
U for me
V for Victory—this WAS the ‘Forties
W for Quits
X for Breakfast
Y for No?
Z for the Abbulance [nasal voice]
*[inserted by TimeMaster Alien, ‘cos.I can’t remember 1940s’ original]
I dare some Elder from the Olde Countree of Great Memory NOT to remember at least some of these [North-of-the-Border] Vaudeville gems.
©2015 Marian Youngblood
July 1, 2015 Posted by siderealview | art, astrology, astronomy, authors, blogging, culture, festivals, fiction, Muse, New Age, novel, writing | Alex J Cavanaugh, altered statesman, Antarctic, Aurora Borealis, authors, Bastille, blogging, calendar, Cherokee, Choctaw, consciousness, Eschaton, fireworks, Ganesh, Hoopa, IWSG, Lakota, Modoc, Okanagan, Terence McKenna, Thunder Moon, time wobble, timewarp, TimeWaveZero, Tsurai, Vedic, Yurok | 1 Comment
MONTHLY IWSG CORNER: Art as an Alternative to Pacify the Muse
Miraculously, we can sometimes soothe the savage breast—unfortunately standard accoutrement of our battle-ax Muse masquerading as our Ninja Captain Alex—to take a break. Or better still: think laterally—move sideways.
While ART covers a multitude of creative activities these days, it is truly refreshing sometimes to ignore the harridan shouting in your left ear; set down the pen. And take a look around.
Left Hemisphere—Literate, Analytical Right Hemisphere—Color, Number, Spatial
We are surrounded by Art—from simplest woven baskets to multi-faceted jewelry to cave painting c.2015. Yet writers prefer to keep nose to grindstone, in the fond belief that we may never need to explore that other hemisphere.
Artists, I am told, spend half their time trying to work out where their filing system is—any filing system—because they are continually having to feel their way through a “mess of space”, according to one art therapist.
Hanging out in our Right Hemisphere is good for us.As luck would have it, my local art venue—Westhaven Center for the Arts—aren’t I fortunate?—just opened its Membership Show. It runs through June 30th, 2015.
What is inspiring to a cranky writer with an even crankier Muse at her elbow, is that many artists admit their Muse is just as difficult to please.
Pen Mightier than the Sword
The pen, traditionally, allowed Man to elevate himself from prehistoric tattooing through medieval wars to a philosophical level of wisdom. Surprisingly, the paintbrush, the weaver’s loom, the gouache splash are far more effective therapy, according to art gurus.
None of the above may be much consolation, mid-writer’s block.
But there is something about an eclectic mix of art in Northern Humboldt that I wish Alex and all you Back Easters could hop over here and see. If nothing else, getting out of our rut—and ignoring Muse-girl for twenty-four hours—is sure-fire way of getting her back in harness.
©2015 Marian Youngblood
May 6, 2015 Posted by siderealview | art, authors, blogging, culture, fiction, Muse, popular, publishing, writing | Alex J Cavanaugh, art, art as therapy, Art Muse, body art, Dee Hemingway, gouache, Humboldt, Insecure Writers, IWSG, left hemisphere, literate, Muse-on-strke, music, right hemisphere, spacial, tatoo, therapy, Toni Magyar, Westhaven Center Arts | Leave a comment
Lots of writers use a nom de plume to distinguish between their personae – it’s the way publishing works. Blogs, too. What choice, what abundance: we can be guided by all our Muses and still retain our integrity (who doubts it?)if we are prone to take one persona more seriously than another. For this blog I become this particular blogger because the material is time-sensitive; the research is all coming together now and our way forward is mapped. That said, it’s up to us whether we take the information and run with it.
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