Friday Thoughts: A Varied Week

Things here at Chez Ornery went fairly smoothly this week. More good news, but again, full details will come next week, I promise. In the outside world, the political class who think they’re running the world are still engaging in stupid actions while at the same time (and this gives me hope) making it very clear to anyone who can stand up, see lightning, and hear thunder, that they’re corrupt, evil, and stupid. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore them and their continuing antics. Please maintain your attention, and call them out whenever you get the opportunity. More importantly, remember to call them out publicly. You need to call them out. In public. Often.

Calling out stupidity, inanity, and other ridiculous pronouncements of the political, social, and cultural elites is something I will be doing going forward. The musician Zuby pointed out on Instagram that he gets a lot of private messages telling him that the sender agrees with him. As Zuby notes, that’s great, but a private message does nothing to help change the situation. You and we need to also speak out. In public. Your assignment for next week: Find one stupid or inane comment or stance from a politician or culture-maven and point out the inanity and then make fun of it. Don’t get angry, that won’t do anything, but rather laugh and ask “why do they think anybody believes that?” If the individual(s) you’re with rear back and look/act/state that they’re offended, ask the same question of them: Why do you believe that? The answer, or attempted answer should be entertaining. Remember to laugh. It really throws them for a loop.

Away from politics (which I only dive into for about half an hour a day… just enough time to see what happened overnight, and find new things to make fun of), I am furiously reworking the fourth book in my Academic Magic series. Yes, it has meant ditching almost everything I’ve written up to this point (roughly 30k words), but I know that the final product will be so much better because of it. An author in one of the FB groups I’m in discussed his outlining process for a series and the books in that series, and uploaded the outline for his next book. This has been extremely helpful to me and I’m finally making honest-to-God headway with book 4 and even books 5 and 6! Whoo-hoo!

At LibertyCon last month, I was lucky enough to run into that author and told him how grateful I was that he had posted his process and the actual outline. He seemed happy that somebody had found it useful. That’s the thing I like best about this world of indie publishing that I’ve stumbled into: they firmly believe that a rising tide lifts all boats. I’ve yet to meet an author who isn’t willing to help out those of us who are still struggling to learn the craft. Of course, context is everything. You can’t waltz up to somebody and interrupt a conversation or a meal and expect them to drop everything for a one-on-one mentoring session right then and there. Yes, there are some folks who do seem to expect that, but fortunately they’re few and fairly far between. I’ve gotten good advice and info standing at their table talking, running into them at the bar, or hanging out in a quiet spot trying to catch my breath.

Because of this new outlining process, I’ve also started working on another series that’s been in my head, with some on paper, for a while now. And, like Academic Magic, this will mean ditching almost everything I’ve written so far. But not character sketches and backgrounds, so all that writing was not done in vain. I’m hoping to get book one of that series out before the end of the year. We’ll see.

This week has also been one for a bit (just a bit, mind you) of self-reflection. Because of these seemingly stalled projects, I’ve been beating myself up for not being able to move forward, and I’ve been haranguing myself for ever thinking I could do this writing thing. A friend reminded me that I’m creating whole worlds and stories just from the weirdness of my very own brain and that that is a mighty feat. I never looked at it from that angle, but when this individual tells you something like that, you’d be a fool to argue. I’m no fool (at least most of the time), so I’m taking her words to heart and plowing ahead.

Never retreat… never surrender.

In fluffier Chez Ornery news, Marshmallow, the small Destructor-in-Chief is busily destroying my necklaces, harassing her older brother, and learning new ways of climbing blinds and curtains. She is an incredibly adventurous and intelligent small, fluffy tornado-hurricane-earthquake combo of a kitty. I’m starting to think she’s not going to get much bigger than she is right now (just a bit over five pounds), but that’s okay. She doesn’t need to be bigger and more destructive. We’re good as is.

My preciousssss (No, I have no idea what she’s doing).

Summer is winding down. Most kids are back in school on August 7, which still seems insanely early to me. I am, as I have been for the last couple years, very grateful I no longer have to keep to the school-year calendar.

Still very hot here in Texas, but that’s nothing new (no matter what people try to tell you), but the A/C is new, and the pool is just a block away, so it’s all good.

I hope y’all have a great, and relaxing, weekend!

(Didja catch the Texas thing I did there… y’all? Didja? Didja? Hehehe).

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