Thursday, August 31, 2023

the g%^d*&^ essay is done

 So - I've been writing an essay to enter into a contest. 

And it's done. 

I spent hours making sure margins and indentations & word counts were according to contest rules.

And things that needed to be italicized or quote marked or underlined - were.

Now, I'm free to pursue the next writing adventure.

But first - I need to visit the ocean and see what Idalia has done.

And along the way, I need to find some breakable things to throw.

I used to have a friend Sonja from Albuquerque. We've lost touch. At the time we were both wiccans.

When she cast circles and wanted to build energy she would stomp her cans for recycle.

I don't drink soda or beer so I don't have cans to stomp.

Thus the search for things to break.

If I can get close enough I will post pics of post-Idalia Indian Rocks Beach, Florida.

Meanwhile here's the song I will be listening to in my car.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Changing My Writing Focus

 After some wine and some meditation – I made a decision. Instead of my primary focus being on novel writing with other writing being secondary – I’m going to reverse my focus – sort of. Actually novel writing is not even going to be secondary – it’s going to be put on the shelf and given no energy until the new year.

Then I can reassess. Do I want to pick novel writing back up or keep it on the shelf until I stop working at a job?

Really there was no decision to make – because once I had the thought it resonated completely throughout the entire part of me that is devoted to writing.

I have struggled for a long time now with creating worlds and staying in them long enough to finish an entire novel. It just doesn’t happen in my life as it is.

And, yes, due to the most recent light shed on a corner of my psyche that was formerly in darkness –

that being that my grandfather used to put his hand on my wavy hair and say “such a pretty little girl” (vomit) on his path towards sexually abusing me at 6 & 7

and all these years since I react with fear and suspicion anytime someone sees me and thinks I am anything related to pretty –

part of why I don’t finish novels and get published and be successful down that path is because – I would have to be seen.

I can’t have that. Or I couldn’t – past tense.

A writer can be successful sticking with short stories, poetry and essays though. And I can finish those. And enjoy the process. And I don’t have the same reservations about reading them for critique. Which means I can continue in Pinellas Writers.

Also – I am loving the thing I started of a collage – poem combo.

I have to find sources of material for collages, though.

Anyway – enough. I am decided.

Pinellas Writers you’re not going to be rid of me after all.

I like to finish with a song. This has nothing to do with the content above. It is a random earworm stuck in my brain lately. Who knows why...

Dusty Springfield - Son Of A Preacherman



Monday, August 14, 2023

From my novel in progress: main character Emily Dickenson Traveler, beat poet

Emily performing at a slam...

“The title of this poem is “It Ain’t All Good,” she said. She shifted back and forth on her feet, shrugged her shoulders, ran her thumb and index finger over her mustache and launched in.

 “Look at how he’s dressed,” a man from the audience in a cliché corduroy jacket with tweed patches at the elbows had the nerve to criticize.

Emily shook her head vigorously. “Starting again. I’m MD. This poem is It Ain’t All Good.”

“Old folks rocking on the porch always say

Creek’s a risin’ better get out the way

What do they know?

Do they know the glaciers are about to flow?

Do they know the polar bears have nowhere to go?

Surfers float on their boards and preach

There’s plastic in the ocean – clean the beach

What do they practice?

Do they practice zero-waste tactics?

Do they practice what they preach or is it just an angry speech?”


Tweed patches in the audience yelled, “I could watch the news for this shit.”


“You need to check yourself,” a deep voice growled.


Emily peered out into the darkness. One of the Traveler Zealots from the grocery store was threatening tweed patches. “Check yourself or I’ll check you.”


“Why are you defending this loser? His poem stinks and he sounds like a girl.”


“That’s cause she is a girl and she’s the voice of the divine. Now shut up and sit down,” threatening man said.


Time to finish this and get the hell out of dodge, Emily thought.


“Do they practice what they preach or is it just an angry speech?

Politicians shouting from the podium claim

Everybody else is wrong –remember my name

Why do they polarize?

Do they polarize because it’s easy to demonize?

Do they polarize us deliberately to hide their lies?


Confederate flag waving bigots holler

I deserve a better life than people of color

What do they fear?

Do they fear a world they can’t domineer?

Do they fear their white privileges will disappear?”


“A’int nothing wrong with the confederate flag, bitch.” Emily eyes searched the room covertly while she continued performing. This heckler was proudly pulling the front of his shirt apart to reveal an Aryan brotherhood tattoo.


Really time to go!


Many Facebook-ers spread misinformation

Evil ones bully from a safe location

What do they need?

Do they need the truth hidden so they can succeed?

Do they need to hurt others and watch them bleed?


“Me, too” victims finally given a voice

“You wronged me. You didn’t give me a choice.”

Why do they broadcast?

Do they broadcast so their abusers will be outcast?

Do they broadcast to move society forward and fast?”


Sugar Diamond stood from a seat at one of the tables close to the stage. “Oh my god, you’re criticizing  me, too victims.” Nate stayed in his seat beside her, looking disgusted but not saying anything.


Why tonight? Why the hell did he have to come with her tonight?


Someone from the audience yelled, “She’s not criticizing them. She’s explaining them. Let her finish.”


“Yeah sit your ignorant ass down. Go on MD.”


Emily had never stopped. She was determined to finish and escape the Blackbird Lounge.


“Hippies on the street corner smoking pot

Say –it’s all good man –no – it’s not

Another person of color just got shot

A gay man was bashed in the parking lot

Book burning fires lit white hot

History rewritten from a white man’s yacht

Lying about the past so they get off scot


But we a’int gonna let them be

Are we?


Things can change when truth is spoken

We can fix what we have broken



We can slow down climate change

Scientists will tell us how

Part of that means cleaning the ocean

We can do it now”



There were still random hecklers in the audience shouting periodically but Emily ignored them, determine to finish before all hell broke loose.


 “Condemn racists and rapists

Deny lying gossips and bullies

Veto greed and all its allies

Ignore people who split us


Be kind to the needy ones

Respect the different ones

Be civil when we disagree

I think we can all agree

It’s time


That's why I wrote this beat poem

I wanted it to be an upbeat poem

But reality beat up my poem

With all that it brought up

That we need to beat

We cannot retreat

We have to defeat




As the old folk's rocking on the porch say

We means you and me

Not they

Let’s start today”

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Virgin River: Get a New Plot - Secrets and Lies - BORING


Robyn Carr wrote the books behind the Netflix series Virgin River. There are 4 seasons out so far and a 5th season coming out soon.

It has a cast of familiar actors that I enjoy watching.

The characters for the most part are likable.

I have binge watched more than once.

I am currently binge watching again in anticipation of season 5.

It has always annoyed me how often the plot is driven by secrets and lies. This watch through it is particularly annoying.  

If a character reveals something to another character either on purpose or by accident – you can predict 100% the next words are going to be – but you can’t tell anyone – I don’t want anyone to know or I don’t want anyone to know yet or I don’t want character x to know.

It is almost as if that is the author’s only plot driver.

I am not sure I will finish the 4th season re-watch in which case I won’t bother to watch the 5th season at all.

The show does have beautiful scenery and a killer soundtrack, though.

In fact – after this I may have to reread a Jennifer Crusie book titled Tell Me Lies, which is about the destructive roles of secrets and lies in a small town. It is excellent. I have read it many times and will re-read it again, for sure.

Towards the end of Tell Me Lies, main characters Maddie and CL are driving in his convertible while Maddie strips to seduce him as they listen to Springsteen's song Born To Run: