MONTHLY INSECURE WRITERS’ SUPPORT GROUP CORNER
Optimism as an Excuse for Delaying
“If we try to ‘save everything,’ we risk saving nothing of consequence. We’re already spread too thin, and losing ground every day”
Corporate ‘optimism’ of Dan Ashe, Director U.S. Fish & Game/Wildlife Service
One of the most facile excuses we have heard recently for the U.S. Government’s NOT upholding the Endangered Species Act.
Created in 1973 as Richard Nixon’s sole claim to humanitarianism on his exit from office, the Endangered Species Act is about to expire. And big business—along with its allies in the huntin’-shootin’-fishin’ aka “sports” community are just going to let it happen.
Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dan Ashe told a small Defenders of Wildlife group that he sees a “giant clash” between those who favor conservation and those who favor economic development; he believes that conservationists “must accept a world with fewer wolves, salmon, and spotted owls.” The Director of the U.S. agency fully responsible for protecting the nation’s biodiversity went on to say that, in the name of compromise, we must accept “a world with less biodiversity.”
We already live in a world with “fewer wolves, salmon and spotted owls!” Humans used to be able to live in balance with nature, as part of nature. We’ve allowed ourselves to behave in ways that suggest we are above nature—where we have the right to decide which species deserve to survive.
During the current Obama Administration, anti-conservationists have launched no fewer than 100 attacks on the Endangered Species Act. Often hidden, attached as riders to must-pass legislation such as authorization bills for U.S. Dept. of Defense, appropriations bills for Dept. of Interior and other Federal agencies, nearly half of the bills prohibit protection of individual species, such as the grey wolf or the Northern long-eared bat.
The Endangered Species Act is also being dismantled from within. At critical leadership positions, U.S. Administration has chosen individuals uncommitted to preserving biodiversity.
Optimism as an Excuse for Decimating World Resources
It starts at the top. The Director of the Fish and Wildlife Agency, it appears, has the view, that we must live with less biodiversity. He states—
“Hellen Keller once said, ‘Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.’ The Fish and Wildlife Service, and the work we do, will continue to embody that spirit.
“That’s why we’re working hard to ensure that our organization is fit and capable to meet the challenges in front of us. And why we’re building and strengthening partnership-driven conservation efforts across the nation.”
Dan Ashe, Director, U.S. Federal Fish & Wildlife Agency
Helen Keller’s sentiments are laudable, but she was blind. So, it seems, are certain ‘partnerships’ chosen by U.S. government agencies to represent endangered creatures, once protected. Now no more.
Logging companies, careless in their custodianship of irreplaceable first-growth forest, are hungry to pick up scraps from the contested Klamath River watershed sell-off, in the wind-down to dam removal in 2020.
Green Diamond (so-called) Resource Company is one of these ‘custodians’. Touting in its conservation literature to hikers its success in saving the endangered California Spotted Owl from extinction merely two years ago, it is now implementing clear-felling in the bird’s target habitat of Humboldt County at the very moment its representative Endangered Species Act is becoming null and void.In continuing to allow economic gain to dictate our future action—or inaction in the case of the Endangered Species Act—we the people appear to condone our political/business leaders’ attitude.
Is it not time to stop this blindness? Instead, to use our combined intelligence/compassion and search for a future where we may begin to see the Earth—our only home—recover?
Apologies to my fellow IWSGers—under our Space-Cap’n.Alex‘s superb guidance—along with his co-hosts—if I seem to bang on incessantly at the same drum. But we writers have always known we had finite resources—worked our way to make the best use of them—as the plight of the planet is dear to us, too. It is our only home. There is no Planet-B.
So, Dan Ashe and his fellow sportsman Neal Ewald notwithstanding, we need all the help we can get from the writers, creative people, those with a voice.
Thanks for listening and if you feel motivated, be my guest and speak up for us all.
And Happy Bealltainn!
©2016 Marian Youngblood
May 4, 2016 Posted by siderealview | authors, birds, blogging, culture, environment, nature, weather, writing | Alex J Cavanaugh, beating drum, bikers, blind, California Spotted Owl, clear-fellling, Dan Ashe, Endangered Species Act (1973), Environmental Protection Agency, extinctions, forest trails, gray wolf, Hellen Keller, hikers, Humboldt Co., IWSG, Klamath River, Neal Ewald, old growth, redwood, Redwood Groves, regeneration, resources, Richard Nixon, salmon, spotted owl, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Agecy | Leave a comment
INSECURE WRITERS’ MONTHLY SHARING CORNER or
EMPATHIZING with the UNSUNG aka Fishermen
Crab Fisherman’s Lament 1991-1992 & 2015-2016
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the hall
all the fishermen sat at the Conference Call.
Their boats, they were nestled all snug in the Bay,
in hopes that tomorrow would be opening day.
Bud with his checkbook and Vince with his pen
were just sitting down—they had done it again.
They had to come up with some new kind of story
“Well you know guys we’ve got way too much inventory.
“The most we could possibly pay you’s a buck.
“If you want more than that, well, you’re just out of luck.”
In all of the ports there arose such a clatter
people jumped out of bed to see what was the matter.
“All right guys, calm down now, you’ve vented your spleen.
Perhaps we could gove you a dollar fifteen.”
“Enough of this bullshit—we’ve had it to here—
“We’re not goin’ fishing, we’re not setting the gear.”
and we all settled down for a long season’s wait.
In Fort Bragg and Eureka, ‘Come hell or bad weather’
Crescent City and Brookings ‘We’re stickin’ together’
And even in Trinidad, Port Orford, too.
But we just didn’t count on that bad Newport crew—
“We’re not sittin’ around, nah, we’re setting the gear,
“The rest of you go stick a squid in your ear.”
Well, the wind it was calm, and the ocean was placid,
But then came those fatal words: domoic acid.
For some weird sort of chemical found in the guts,
They’re closing the season. Those guys must be nuts.”
We ranted and raved, but ’twas to no avail
‘cos the Feds and the bureaucrats always prevail.
After twenty-some odd days, we finally did go.
And over both shoulders some crabs we did throw.
But there weren’t too many—at a pretty poor price.
For a lot of us Holidays weren’t all that nice.
Well you knew things got screwed up. Now you know the reason.
So ‘tight lines’ to all—and maybe next season.
Tim Harkins F/V Maria Concetta, Trinidad, CA
Empty Marinas, Oceangoing on Hold
Government procrastination is only one aspect. Final pay-out—if any—of compensation to the fishing fleet is mostly eaten up in overwintering expenses, without income. Crew members are not covered by Fish & Game authority or Federal handouts. Generosity to deck hands depends solely on captains who have themselves reached near-crisis point.
In an election year, farmers with drought problems—e.g. Salinas CA last year—Chualar Crop Circle at left—and misfortunes of our Pacific hands-on fishing fleet in small coastal ports—may seem like small potatoes. Not high priority television news.
Business, Balance Sheets and the Biosphere
Tonight, however, and for two more evenings in the run-up to Earth Day and Earth Week—April 20— Humboldt State university-influenced Arcata Playhouse will feature a presentation and film screening by EPIC of TREE-SIT: THE ART OF RESISTANCE followed by discussion with HSU environmentalists who may have found a way forward amid conflict with business, balance sheets and the Biosphere.
Survival of the human race may not be on our minds as writers who document or fantasize our way on to people’s reading list. But previous reminders by our ocean, our farming hinterland, our rising temperatures—80ºF today in NoCal—have been persistent—witness 2015 as hottest year on record.
And there’s more to come. I’m sure even our fearless leader, Alex, and his sci-fi acolytes would find a way to squeeze our plight into readable form, so we can pull out the stops together—even while we struggle with April A-to-Z challenge, we writers might make a difference.
It’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Getting through this together.
©2016 Marian Youngblood
April 6, 2016 Posted by siderealview | culture, environment, ocean, seasonal, traditions, weather, writing | A-to-Z challenge, Alex J Cavanaugh, biosphere, breadbasket, Cape Mendocino, Chualar, crab season, Crescent City CA, crop circles, domoic acid, federal compensation, fishing, Fort Bragg CA, HSU, Humboldt State University, IWSG, Newport OR, ocean polluters, Pacific ports, Salinas | 2 Comments
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’ MIRACLE MANIFESTATION CORNER or
Sounding One’s Own Trumpet
What in the world is happening? you may ask.
Is it a bird, a plane, a super cloud?
No, Batman. It’s called ignoring/misleading public/human condition, in the final horse race to the political gate.
Bread and Circuses—Fodder for U.S. ‘uninformed’ Masses
Political press liken both parties’ cavalier attitude to the American Constitution to Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Do American politicians still remotely believe the public is listening to their rhetoric?
We in Ninja Cap’n.Alex‘s IWSGers stalwart group of writers know when it’s time to throw in the towel—allow Nature to take over the reins.. After all, we are INSECURE. And it’s summer—festival season. This is no time for intellectual—or intellect-less mind games. Carpe diem—seize the (day) moment. Time to look to the skies and aim heavenward—or hole up and w-r-i-t-e—or even go into permanent meditational mode: achieve mental freedom of Nirvana—or something even more (insecurely) celestial.
What Did You Do in the War, Daddy
Every Gun made
Every Warship launched
Every Rocket fired
signifies a Theft from the Hungry not fed, the Cold not clothed, and the Homeless left unhoused
Dwight D.Eisenhower, U.S. President 1953-61
Analogies with the Roman Colisseum are not totally inappropriate, in 2015-2016 election fever. The so-called uninformed public is now—courtesy of the Internet and the Cloud—hugely well-informed. Where gladiators and gore, pythons and phalluses were customary fodder for ignorant pre-Christian masses, two thousand years down the line, we’d hope we might have learned a little sophistry in leading humanity along a more enlightened path.
Music—Food of Love—Live Transmission
Music heals and regenerates human cells. With recent research confirming what Galileo discovered about acoustics, when he devised the first western scale.
Summer music festivals, it seems, are not just mindless, letting off steam—they are, since the times of Lughnasadh, Bacchanalia, Lupercalia and Saturnalia, an essential release mechanism for the human psyche from the shackles of (cold, winter, drudgery) ‘responsibility’.
Trumpet High-notes Only a Dog Could Hear
As a bandleader, his virtuoso arrangements and seminal trumpet playing earned him the moniker Satchelmouth. Among other predominately black musicians like Duke Ellington and fellow horn player Cat Anderson, we have him to thank for freedom expressed through music, preserved for posterity in this digital age. Louis and Cat were reputed to reach high notes only a dog could hear.
Whatever your summer addiction—in this group, it HAS to be writing-related—even the hardest taskmaster will allow you a little time off. Thanks, Taskmaster Alex.
©2015 Marian Youngblood
August 5, 2015 Posted by siderealview | ancient rites, art, Ascension, astrology, astronomy, blogging, calendar customs, consciousness, culture, festivals, music, nature, publishing, ritual, seasonal, sun, volcanic, weather, writing | Andromeda, August, bandleader, bread and circuses, Burning Man, Cat Anderson, douglas fir, Dwight D. Eisenhower, freedom, full moon, galaxy, Glorious Twelfth, hailstones, jamboree, Jeb Bush, lammas, live music, Louis Armstrong, Lughnasadh, Milky Way, music festival, National Parks, New Orleans jazz, Nirvana, Oregon Jamboree, Perseid Meteors, Reggae-on-the-River, Roman Empire, Thich-nhat-hanh, Trinity River Jamboree | Leave a comment
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
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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