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
INSECURE WRITERS’ MONTHLY ESCAPE CORNER
Refuge even in the Stormiest Weather
June too soon
July stand by
August come it must
October all over
Bahamian Hurricane Rhyme—now outdated by Global Warming
Hurricane warnings are in effect for Haiti, eastern Cuba, the southeastern Bahamas—including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay and Ragged Island; also central Bahamas—Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Cat Island.
Hurricane watches continue for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cuban province of Camaguey, which have now been extended to include the northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama and New Providence.
Cape Hatteras and Interests in the Capital
Washington D.C. is not unaware of the strategic importance of monitoring a strong category 5 storm headed to Cape Hatteras and Maryland.
Hurricane Betsy was famous in Nassau for similar treatment of humans in September 1965.
Both storms were unprecedented for their time—technically late season—in the ‘all over’ category of the poem, top. Now hurricanes are known to form in April and extend through November.
Along with unseasonal—but much welcomed—thunder, lightning and RAIN.
On the other side of the world, and on the other edge of the Pacific, Fukushima officials strive hopelessly to reinstall the damaged ice wall they built of sea ice to shut in radiation leakage. But September 2nd, thanks to tornado Lionrock, Japan’s tenth typhoon, the ice wall was again breached, with leakage of contaminated soil and fluids once more soaking through into northern Pacific waters.
Why are we not surprised to hear it’s heading our way?
Realtime Storms and CassaStorm
We IWSGers might sometimes be forgiven for burying our heads in the sand—digging deep into the recesses of our past, future or fantasy selves.
I am tempted to suggest that these earthly storms may even have been fantasized into reality by the fantastical script of our Ninja leader Alex’s CassaStorm—which, I am told, has just gone viral 😉 Congrats Alex.
May we all weather this storm, to write again tomorrow.
©2016 Marian Youngblood
October 5, 2016 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, culture, environment, publishing, rain, seasonal, writing | Bahamas, Cape Hatteras, climate change, Cuba, Fukushima, global warming, Haiti, Hurricane Betsy, hurricane Hazel, Hurricane Matthew, hurricane rhyme, ice wall, Insecure Writers, IWSG, Lionrock, low pressure, Nassau, nuclear radiation, rain, storm season, Turks & Caicos, Typhoon Lionrock, weather | 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 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
Insecure Writers’ Support Group [IWSG] Corner
So far, 2014 has been short on leisure.
Driving our Engines into the Ground
It’s not that we writers aren’t driven to distraction by our need to put graphite to tree pulp; extract or express some primeval desire hidden in the God-given Word; even one in our own God-driven engine-mind. I have known a fellow scribe who went into catatonia for a fortnight—today we call it ‘withdrawal’ or ‘having a bad hair day’—because she couldn’t find her high school propelling pencil.
Like losing a cell phone or iPod, our sudden disconnection fuels our dependency.
Change of season usually alters our work pattern, anyway. Deep inside, we must be akin to swallows, electromagnetically programmed to changing home base. Bureaucratic daylight manipulation makes it worse: disturbs our brain and sleep patterns, resulting in near-writer’s block.
Heaven forbid. I hope my mind hasn’t also flown the coop, along with my summer projects.
All Fall In
Needless to say, I’ve found the culprit: something I can blame. It’s easier to point a finger at retrograde Neptune, floundering in his own exalted sign of Pisces, or beg deathstar Pluto to release his vice-like grip on his fellow planet, Mars conjunct in restrictive structure-driven Capricorn! The ancient SeaGoat rises from the waters to vanquish all malingerers…
Under the Wire
We are, I do believe, supremely grateful for excess H20 which fell from the heavens just in time to save us from a fiery death by 2014 heatwave. Water saved us from our (continuing) careless treatment of our planetary home.
It’s mot for me to criticize. William McDonough’s Cradle to Cradle has shown us the way for a decade. We are still playing games with water. I merely add my comment—and gratitude. And pray that fewer hours of light may bring me time to relax, allow me to retreat into inner worlds.
And thanks Alex, as always, for doing what you do.
Dragon of the Stars, indeed. 🙂
©2014 Marian Youngblood
November 6, 2014 Posted by siderealview | astrology, authors, culture, earth changes, environment, fantasy, gardening, nature | Alex J Cavanaugh, Ascendant, autumn, blackberry, chase, Cradle, culprit, daylight savings time, exalted, fall, Insecure Writers, IWSG, Jupiter, McDonough, Neptune, Orion, Pisces, retreat, retrograde, Saturn, season, spacehunter, square, starhounds, timezone, Universal time, Uranus, weather map, weather pattern | Leave a comment
Monthly IWSG Corner
It seems we were right.
Not only does his third book have pre-release rave reviews, but he himself has decided to continue his backup team of support writers—us, the IWSG-moaning-minnies—who celebrate our two-year anniversary today.
His little monthly group has kept insecure writers writing—which is the whole point—but the fact that the site is to be jazzed up, amplified and opened up to more writers is the greatest news. He has put it together with the help of a team of fellow writerly bloggers, Joy Campbell, Michelle Wallace, Joylene Nowell Butler Susan Gourley/Kelley, L. Diane Wolfe, and Lynda Young, and hopes that it will turn into a center for writers, with tips, encouragement, support and links.
“My goal isn’t for the site to be just a database—I want it to be THE database of writing databases, with links to places like Elizabeth’s Writer’s Knowledge Database, Query Tracker, and WriteOnCon, plus tons of other links and listings of resources. It will also feature a weekly informative post or two, plus house the main list for the IWSG.”
Alex J. Cavanaugh
They aim for an October launch.
What synchronicity, Alex, just when the rest of us had thought our Muse had abandoned us…my token IWSG moan for this month…:(
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US
_________i love y____________i love yo
______i love you♥i l_______i love you♥i lov
____i love you♥i love y___i love you♥i love y
___i love you♥i love you♥i love you_______i lo
__i love you♥i love you♥i love you_________i lo
_i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i l_______i lo
_i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i love ______i
i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥__i l
i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i l_i
i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i lov
i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i lov
_i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i l
__i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i
____i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i love yo
______i love you♥i love you♥i love you♥i lo
_________i love you♥i love you♥i love yo
____________i love you♥i love you♥i l
______________i love you♥i love yo
_________________i love you♥i
___________________i love yo
May great good fortune go with the launch of CassaStorm, and here’s to loads more years of IWSGing.
©2013 Marian Youngblood
September 4, 2013 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, fiction, novel, popular, writing | Alex J Cavanaugh, anniversary, blogging, CassaStorm, Insecure Writers, IWSG, sci-fi, writers' database | 4 Comments
Monthly IWSG Corner
“I’m Late, I’m Late
For a Very Important Date…
No Time to say ‘Hello’; Goodbye.
I’m Late, I’m Late, I’m Late”
White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland
Put it down to being on another planet for the last month—California is another time zone—but truly it can also be a whole ‘nother world… 🙂
And, apologies to our Ninja captain Alex for transposing the first Wednesday of the month and attempting to re-create it as faux. I couldn’t miss you guys altogether. It’s just that my schedules and my life have taken a slight detour in the interim…
Mostly, sorry for being absent—moving house-life-continents can be rather demanding 😦
and, for similar reasons, for this month’s brief contribution. It’s not really a moan at all—more a hi to all of you/Alex’s brave stalwarts out there —including his new lady co-hosts !! wow !! Livia and Tasha. Thanks to you all for still keeping us with the pen on the page; the book launch in sharp focus, the literary nose to the grindstone…
New Meaning to the Word ‘Wireless’
To be honest, the last month has been an exercise in experiencing and cherishing the wonder of electronic connection. Most of us don’t give it a second thought, unless there is a solar X-flare surge in our local electricitiy supply or a city power outage: usually, grateful for our cozy office or window view and a computer… we stress instead about not communicating with our Muse… or other lovely literary languishing.
But without internet—or wi-fi in some form—the Western World, our current little chats, frivolous interplay and supportive commentary—wouldn’t have a platform; wouldn’t exist on any plane whatsoever.
Basic intercontinental travel is only half the issue: we have all probably experienced the vagueries of wi-fi in big airports: the smaller the airport, the less likelihood of a reliable connection. Been there, done that. Now, several weeks, and a hinterland later, I am graced with sporadic wireless when the Universe—and the current 2000-foot mountain range—allow.
Like General MacArthur: I shall return; but in the meantime, guys, thanks for listening, hang in there, pray for no more solar X-flares, and other delights the Universe might throw at us in the rest of 2012 … and enjoy the season and the runup to Solstice 2012.
Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh, Walt Disney.
©2012 Marian Youngblood
December 6, 2012 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, culture, Muse, popular, writing | Alex J Cavanaugh, Insecure Writers, IWSG, Ninja captain, power outage, solar X-flare, solstice 2012, wi-fi | 6 Comments
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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