Youngblood Blog

Writing weblog, local, topical, personal, spiritual

Taking the Summer (S)Train—Leaving July to its Own Fine Madness

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
R.I.P. SweetSpirit

1959783_859329230761341_1448992354_nFifteen 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.

Media-eye-view of the World

Media-eye-view of the World

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.

Vedic Ganesh holds tonight's July 1st Full Moon between his Tusks, shines Light of Clarity into Waters of our Soul

Vedic Ganesh holds tonight’s July 1st Full Moon between his Tusks, shines Light of Clarity into Waters of our Soul

A clustering of Native American Tribal Full Moons—Algonquin, Chickasaw, Okanagan/Cherokee, Choctaw, Lakota, Hupa, Yurok, Chumash, Hawaiian, Lucayan, Modoc and Tsurai—share similar Devic angelic view

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.

“Yet, from it all I have learned that there is no religious revelation more satisfying than the hard-won food of simple understanding.”

Om, Omega, Oversoul

VERSOUL: that Unity within which every man’s Being is contained and made one with all other; that common heart

ALTERNATIVE ALPHABET
A is 4 ‘orses
Beefor Mutton
C For Th Highlanders
Deef or Dumb
Eve or Adam
F for Vescence
Geoffery Farnol
H for Scratch
Ivor Novello
Jefferson Airplane*
Kay Fr-ancis
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 ???

At anchor in Dundee, HMS Discovery, flagship of Robert Falcon Scott's tragic Antarctic expedition, 1910—symbol of Brit fortitude/failure against all odds

At anchor in Dundee, HMS Discovery, flagship of Robert Falcon Scott’s tragic Antarctic expedition, 1910—symbol of Brit fortitude/failure against all odds


Q fer the ‘tippenies’ (cheap tuppenny seats Saturday matinée local cinema)
Rfur Askey
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

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July 1, 2015 Posted by | art, astrology, astronomy, authors, blogging, culture, festivals, fiction, Muse, New Age, novel, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Social Networking: Pause before Entry…

Monthly IWSG Linky-thingie
As some of you know, I failed to support our fearless leader–and several of his extremely potent|writerly| minions during the April A-Z marathon, for reasons of edit-mania. Now, at least, I can bring my head up for air (edits complete, MS returned to publisher for ?more edits?) and take a look around. But we know that the Universe never likes to see a busy person unbusy, and so, almost as soon as I divested one multi-POV project, another surfaced.

Most of us respond to call for help... ...p.s. so you don't all have nightmares: a kindly passerby DID raise the drain brander, and rescued four pairs of webbed feet from the tumbling waters...

The point is: I have never been able to turn down a genuine request for help; and because the project involves writing and publishing, I am/was drawn in irrevocably; isn’t it always the way? So perhaps my friend will forgive me if I share here some of her misgivings; and who knows, some of you may be able to help her decide.

My friend is a fellow Scot exiled in Japan where she founded, teaches and supports an energy healing center: with its main adherents coming to a peaceful country setting to learn how to heal themselves, and returning home equipped to continue the process. Alongside this laudable enterprise, she mistressminds an indy publishing house, with titles simultaneously appearing in both English and Japanese.

I am not exaggerating when I say their output is prolific, but, probably–honestly–not world-shattering, when compared with the Big Five. But I think I am preaching to the congregation when I say that most people reading this are big supporters of Indy Publishers because, as writers, we believe we have gone it alone for so long; along come brave-new-worlders bringing publishing to a more human level (less hype, more oomph); and we are delighted that the indy field is opening out to include more individuals–like us. It seems not only logical, but the most writer-friendly way to go.

What is the problem, you ask?

Well, maybe not a problem, but my friend has–in the eighteen years she has been running the initiative–never dipped into social media. I know; you think that’s funny. But that is seriously the position where she now finds herself.

I immediately thought of Alex’s great innovation: the IWSG; but then realized she is probably too shy to plunge in straight off; so I hinted that getting her own personal blog out there was a priority; because currently, she runs production, classes, editing and publishing under the corporate banner, mystically calling herself CEO–that’s her acronym for Chief Energy Officer!! And she’s doing that. But she believes her social media skills are nil. In fact, I believe she could knock the socks off any of us venturing to publish in the Japanese market, but that’s not the point.

Social media has, after all, the ability to link up personalities from pretty diverse backgrounds...

Trying to look with fresh eyes at what we–in the West–consider the norm: bloghops, blogtours, Alex’s amazing 150-blogs-a-day visits [we forgive you for taking time for yourself, Alex; you deserve it; we’ll still be here when you come back]; I realized it can’t be easy to plunge in on the Facebook, Twitter, Google+, what-have-you circuit. So, while she doesn’t know I’m writing this, I feel sure that when she discovers the multitude of diverse author/publishers in our IWSGroup, she might forgive me for whispering the word around.

I felt rather daunted myself when I first signed on with Alex–did you know that you guys are almost ninety-percent Blogger bloggers? repetition intentional, as I am a WordPress person, and linky-lists between the two are non-user-friendly. I’m not complaining; it is what it is. But it did make me look through the eyes of a child at the world we now take so for granted. Many of us have caught the blogging bug and communications craze and mastered the art (sortof) in under a decade. And, some of us are really in an age bracket where we didn’t think we could… but that tale for another time…

I believe it's her move...

I told her some of us are NOT on Facebook, don’t tweet, and succeed in being prolific, only after hours of a dedicated cave-like existence, or a week of sleepless nights. I hope she got the idea. She signed on for G+ but not FB; LinkedIn, but not MySpace (I wasn’t advocating that she did!). And I feel sure she will fit right in here, when/if she finally finds out I told you all this behind her back.

That said, may I wish all my fellow bloggers on Alex’s growing and ever-fruitful linky-list a brilliant month of May and happy warm-up for great ideas in the summer of 2012.
@2012May Marian Youngblood

May 2, 2012 Posted by | authors, blogging, publishing, writing | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Love and NaNo: Many-Splendored Things?

National November Writing Month

NaNo is half way there; am I boring you?

November continues to be NaNo month; but blogging about writing a minimum of 1650 words a day, in order to get one’s Muse to kick in and write the rest, is a little tiring for others not participating.

So I thought I’d do a little tangential reading about other authors: in particular those first-timers who hit it with an amazing débût work and then go on to clean up on Amazon.

I’m thinking of one particularly fortunate author, Laura Schaefer from Madison, Wisconsin, who got her start as a contributor to the University of Wisconsin’s student paper The Daily Cardinal and went on to write regularly for The Princeton Review and Match.com. Laura lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she can usually be found dancing the lindy hop or book signing her second novel for young readers, The Teashop Girls.

Love is a many-splendored thing …according to Laura in her first book: Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2005). And she’s come up with some quite surprising facts about love. If you need proof of this, there follow 25 funny little statistics about love. Study them, scratch your head over them, and share them with someone you fancy.

1. Men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer than those who don’t.

2. People are more likely to tilt their heads to the right when kissing instead of the left (65 percent of people go to the right).

3. When it comes to doing the deed early in the relationship, 78 percent of women would decline an intimate rendezvous if they had not shaved their legs or underarms.

4. Feminist women are more likely than other females to be in a romantic relationship.

5. Two-thirds of people report that they fall in love with someone they’ve known for some time versus someone that they just met.

6. There’s a reason why office romances occur: The single biggest predictor of love is proximity.

7. Falling in love can induce a calming effect on the body and mind and raises levels of nerve growth factor for about a year, which helps to restore the nervous system and improves the lover’s memory.

serotonin acts as a happiness trigger

External stimulation of the synapses can trigger happiness or fear

8. Love can also exert the same stress on your body as deep fear. You see the same physiological responses — pupil dilation, sweaty palms, and increased heart rate.

9. Brain scans show that people who view photos of a beloved experience an activation of the caudate — the part of the brain involving cravings.

10. The women of the Tiwi tribe in the South Pacific are married at birth.

11. The “Love Detector” service from Korean cell phone operator KTF uses technology that is supposed to analyze voice patterns to see if a lover is speaking honestly and with affection. Users later receive an analysis of the conversation delivered through text message that breaks down the amount of affection, surprise, concentration and honesty of the other speaker.

12. Eleven percent of women have gone online and done research on a person they were dating or were about to meet, versus seven percent of men.

love song from an Egyptian tomb

Love song from a 4,300-year old Egyptian tomb of the Sixth Dynasty

13. Couples’ personalities converge over time to make partners more similar.

14. The oldest known love song was written 4,300 years ago and comes from an Egyptian tomb of the Sixth Dynasty. Others were found in modern Iraq between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

Maximillian of Austria

Archduke Maximillian gave diamonds

15. The tradition of the diamond engagement ring comes from Archduke Maximillian of Austria who, in the 17th century, gave a diamond ring to his fiancée, Mary of Burgundy.

16. Forty-three percent of women prefer their partners never sign “love” to a card unless they are ready for commitment.

17. People who are newly in love produce decreased levels of the hormone serotonin — as low as levels seen in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to feel obsessed when you’re smitten.

serotonin, a neurotransmitter and 'happiness hormone'

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter as well as a happiness hormone

18. Philadelphia International Airport finished as the No. 1 best airport for making a love connection, according to an online survey.

19. According to mathematical theory, we should date a dozen people before choosing a long-term partner; that provides the best chance that you’ll make a love match.

20. A man’s beard grows fastest when he anticipates sex.

21. Every Valentine’s Day, Verona, the Italian city where Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet took place, receives around 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.

22. When we get dumped, for a period of time we love the person who rejected us even more, says Dr. Helen Fisher of Rutgers University and author of Why We Love. The brain regions that lit up when we were in a happy union continue to be active.

23. Familiarity breeds comfort and closeness … and romance.

24. One in five long-term love relationships began with one or both partners being involved with others.

25. OK, this one may not surprise you, but we had to share it: Having a romantic relationship makes both genders happier. The stronger the commitment, the greater the happiness!

Laura Schaefer is the author of Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor. If you want to read her blog, click here.

And, oh yes, thanks to Amazon, not only for making available some amazing books, but for being the sponsor of NaNoWriMo [Sorry, had to bring it up; it’s becoming an obsession] lol PBAWS_LOGO_127px

November 16, 2009 Posted by | authors, consciousness, culture, Muse, novel, publishing, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grammar Train derailed; or 31 rules to write by

Grammar train derailed

Grammar train derailed

If you believe you and the writing Muse are in tune, then you probably don’t need to check this list.

But for some of us, schooled in the ancient art of grammar, punctuation, dependent clauses, appropriate use of the subjunctive, gerunds versus gerundives and all that old stuff, it is refreshing to see the rules haven’t changed, but that some of us choose to break them. Especially those of us writing novels which we hope to publish. Sigh.

Dialogue or no dialogue.

Character building; adverb-death; all those helpful suggestions provided by the Masters will not guarantee you a publisher, editor or even an agent. But it’s worth it to keep on trying.

Don’t get lost in demanding that Americans return to English. Actually it is we who branched out to create less-predictable verbage; authentic American is truly Shakespearean.

Or bury yourself fighting for spelling worldwide to be standardized. It’s a battle you won’t win.

When all else fails, this list is worth remembering.
And keep your tongue firmly in your cheek.

1. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.

4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat).

6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.

7. Be more or less specific.

8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

10. No sentence fragments.

11. Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.

12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

14. One should NEVER generalize.

15. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

16. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

17. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

18. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

19. The passive voice is to be ignored.

20. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.

21. Never use a big word when a diminutive would suffice.

22. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

23. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.

24. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.’ Also ‘Carpe diem’. [If you have to look it up, good for you].

25. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.

26. Puns are for children, not groan readers.

27. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

28. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

29. Who needs rhetorical questions?

30. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

And the last one…

31. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Sent to me by my FB friend and fellow blogger Rayna Iyer (Coffee Rings Everywhere) from Mumbai, who has just begun her first full-length novel. Wish her well. It’s the way to go!
http://coffeeringseverywhere.blogspot.com/2009/10/grammer-police.html

Which of these rules do you follow? Which ones do you break?

Oh yes – Adverb Death: a must if you hope to break into agentdom! and the hallowed precincts of the publishing world: She mutters with feeling.

October 27, 2009 Posted by | Muse, publishing, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment