Projection

The other day, I started a blog post about rhetoric that wound up all rambly and somewhat incoherent. I had been thinking about the endless discussion in the press about the “incursion” into the Capitol building on January 6. Or the “riot” that had taken place that day. Or the “insurrection” that had occurred. All these words mean different things and conjure up vastly different images than does “protest”. And of course, the media would have us believe that the burning and looting that occurred in numerous cities this past summer was nothing more than “mostly peaceful protests.” Because only a “riot” would include looting and burning and riots are bad. So, if you’re on the side of the rioters, you need them to be only protesting. Those guys riot, we’re just protesting.

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Book Review: The East Witch

Starting this week, I’m adding a weekly (maybe every two weeks) book review to the blog. I think I’m going to keep it on Tuesdays, but that will be determined by how other things get scheduled. The writing prompt responses for More Odds Than Ends are due (sorta) Tuesday evening, and I usually procrastinate enough that I don’t get them done until then. I expect that the majority of books I review will be in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, but giving that I am a politics and history geek, there may be some of those as well. All of my reviews are in the mode of “hey, I found this fun/interesting/enthralling and you might too.” So, if you agree or disagree, you can comment accordingly. Just keep it polite, thanks. We’ll see how this all goes.

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Dreaming

Heading into 2021 with more prompts, specifically Week 2 of 2021’s More Odds Than Ends writing prompts. Off we go again! January marks the start of my first full calendar year of being “retired.” I know that this will be a year of adventures for us and I’m looking forward to them. I’m also looking forward to getting out more books and stories along with blog posts and other projects. Last year’s prompts resulted in a series of scenes that will turn into a book. Hopefully, something similar will come from this year’s challenges.

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Expedition

A break from politics. It is Week One of 2021 for More Odds Than Ends. I do believe that I will need these prompts as much this year as I did last year, if not more so. Anyway…my prompt this week came from Leigh Kimmel: An archeological expedition to an ancient and much battered megastructure (ringworld? Dyson sphere?) that’s made out of some fundamental force of the universe (congealed time? cosmic string knitted into a fabric?). The archeologists are wowing over the intact sections, but the commander and pilot are looking at the partially destroyed areas and realize it’s battle damage. I’ve not really tried to write space opera or hard sci-fi, so I’m sure there are a lot of problems with this. But, the prompt challenge is meant to be just that, a challenge. So, here you go.

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Censorship

Yes, Twitter is censoring the President of the United States. Yes, Apple, Google, and Amazon are censoring and engaging in monopolistic business practices against Parler. This is what’s happening. If you said “Yay! Twitter banned Trump!” you are a proponent of censorship and an opponent of free speech. Yes, you are, no matter how fast you spin in circles to justify it.

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Strange days and dilemmas

Strange couple of days, to be understated about things. Protests at the Capitol building in DC ended with an unarmed Air Force vet, Ashli Babbitt, killed by an officer with the Capitol police. She’s been labeled a terrorist, but she was unarmed and the officer shot through a window at a target he couldn’t clearly see. Nerves? Most likely. But, this should be a “SAY HER NAME” moment and you know damn well it won’t be. Ashli Babbitt Ashli Babbitt Ashli Babbitt Ashli Babbitt Ashli Babbitt. I haven’t been on FB since yesterday and seriously doubt I’ll go on any time in the next 72 hours or so. I simply do not want to see the garbage that some will attempt to pass off as dialogue.

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Goblins in the garbage

I know I’ve said this before, but damn. I’ve been doing the prompt challenge at More Odds Than Ends for a year now. A whole year! I don’t think I really expected to last this long, but I’m pleasantly surprised with myself. So, I am happily setting off on year two of prompts and prompt challenges. My prompt this week, Week 53(!) came from Fiona Grey: The goblins got in the garbage again. Growing up I did a lot of camping and backpacking in the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino mountains. We always had to make sure our food and trash was secure from bears and other critters, and that’s what hit me when I read the prompt. I hope you enjoy this small adventure in camping.

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First Weekend

Sunday night of the first weekend of the new year. We did some things we’d talked about for this weekend. But then, didn’t get to others. So far, 2021 hasn’t been bad. Ha. I’ve been thinking about my approach to this year. This will be my first full year of “retirement.” How am I going to schedule myself? What do I need to do to make sure I’m writing or plotting or reading/researching or working on covers or something productive? For academic research I’ve used the Pomodoro method where you work for 25 minutes at a time, take a couple minute break and then another 25 minutes. Every four “pomodoros” you take a longer break (hour or so). This has worked in the past and I’ve done it a few times with the fiction writing. I think I will make sure I use this method every time I sit down to write.

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Stay Sane Inside Insanity

The title of this post comes from a line from Columbia in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and I think it encapsulates how I’ve tried to get through 2020. It is with relief and trepidation that I wave at 2020 in the rearview mirror. Relief that we made it through the year. Trepidation about what awaits. I know the external things (pandemic, lockdowns, general governmental crep) will ease somewhat. I say somewhat because I don’t believe that general governmental crep will ease all that much and in fact, will likely get a lot worse, at least at the federal level. But what will 2021 bring? I’m hoping for the best but (mentally at least) preparing for the worst.

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Refuge

Whoa. Week 52. A whole year’s worth of prompts. I think I missed two or three, but I’m still pretty impressed with myself. This is one of the weeks I missed sending in a prompt. But, I used one of the spares and came up with the bit below. I really don’t know where this came from since I haven’t fully explored some of the more interesting corners of my brain. I’m not sure I should, but then, it seems there is a goldmine of stories tucked away. Who knew? Not me. At least not me before this year. Many thanks to Cedar for creating this prompting page. It’s been a source of stability and fun in a strange year.

The spare prompt I chose was: The old man’s beard was soft and curly Spanish moss.

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