Time Out

Hi there, peeps.

Assuming, I know.

Since the illustrious 45’s unexpected coup in November of last year, I’ve been lax writing in this little blog. Actually, I’ve been lax since whatever month/year it was that Agent B and I parted company and I feel bad about that, like I’m letting myself and my (dwindling) audience down.

I know I’ve stated in the past that I created this blog primarily to give voice to the process–process, and product–of writing. And yet, time and again, I’ve scrapped a writing-based topic to accommodate billowing angst relative to Trump et al. Every time I write a post about that man, my guilt-bag gets a little heavier. It’s getting harder and harder to drag that thing around.

See, that’s what happens when a writer abandons her goal, especially a goal so publically stated.

One would assume the author of a writing blog would actually be, you know, writing. But my writing muse has been visiting me with alarming irregularity, and my WIP’s wordcount has suffered mightily in her absence, lurching forward in fits and starts when it moves at all. Same goes for queries sent out relative to ALBERT and CHERRY.

I can blame this unpleasant impasse on the unfortunate fact that I don’t have an agent anymore. Or, that my country may or may not be going down the tubes. Or, that my family has dealt with challenges of late and often finds itself floundering in an emotional maelstrom. Then again, aren’t we all?

But the truth is, Inertia has been an enticement I can’t resist, and Guilt–that freeloader–has been more than happy to come along for the ride.

Yesterday’s emails coughed up another rejection for CHERRY. On the scale of one to FUCK YOU, this rejection was up in the OUCH, DAMMIT category. I’d found an indie publisher I thought would be a really good fit, sent the editor my query, synopsis, and the first 10,000 words. She liked what she saw and requested the full and then, yesterday . . . suffice to say that particular love-fest didn’t last. She provided feedback; I shall spare you the gory details. I responded with a short but sweet thank-you because I’m a professional writer and that’s what professional writers do, never mind the fact that I have yet to make a dime from my writing.

See, that’s the point. Unless I keep writing and querying, I will be be stuck in the same boat I’ve been in. Nothing changes when nothing changes. Yesterday, I was disappointed, sure. But then I thought, Write something, goddammit. I pulled up my WIP, got down to business and by seven p.m. yesterday, I’d passed that elusive 60,000-word mark, which is a significant milestone for me. My goal for SOULLESS is 72K-words, which means I have fewer than 12K to go.

I won’t get there by sitting on my ass.

This little blog has served me well, in large part to those of you who’ve read this blog, shared your own stories, offered suggestions and support. Truly, I can’t thank you enough for that. I hope in some small way I’ve returned the favor; hope, too, that down the road, this journey can continue.

For now, I’m taking a little detour. I hope you guys will be there when I get back, but I won’t blame you if you won’t; after all, you have your own lives to live, your own novels to write, your own daily crappola to slog through and try to figure out. You don’t need me to be bending your ears and anyway, I haven’t lately, not to any great extent. Heck, you may not even realize I’ve gone.

Which means I might be back before you know it.

xoxo kk

 

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Yes, Virginia, There is a Monster in the White House

 

 

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Scary Monster in the White House.
Papa says, ‘If you see it on CNN it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Scary Monster in the White House?

VIRGINIA O’HANLON.
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s or especially, the current POTUS’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Truth and knowledge. Alas, VIRGINIA, both have been sorely tested of late.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Monster in the White House. He exists as certainly as hate and fear exist, and you know that they abound and test your faith in humanity. Alas! how wonderful would be the world if there were no Monster in the White House. It would be as lovely, as hopeful and inspiring, as if there were no WARS or WHITE SUPREMACISTS  or TERRORISTS, FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC. There would be childlike faith then–hope, charity and tolerance then–to make tolerable this existence. Instead, we have no enjoyment, no measure of good sense nor common decency. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world has all but been extinguished.

Not believe in that Monster in the White House! You might as well not believe in the evil that marched in Charlottesville to the drums of hate and oppression! You might get your papa to hire men to watch CNN’s broadcast of press conferences held by the Monster, in the Whit House or at his hate-filled rallies, but even if they did not see the Monster, nor CATCH HIS TWEETS, what would that prove? Far too many Americans see what they want to see, but that is no sign that there is no Scary Monster in the White House. The most real things in the world are those that neither innocent children nor foolish adults, nor Republicans who care more about reelection than they do about the Preservation of Democracy, can see. Did you ever see that pussy-grabbing video? Have you yourself witnessed the Monster making fun of that disabled reporter, or inciting violence at his rallies, or lying to the American public time and time again? Perhaps not, but that’s no proof that those things never happened. They did happen, and they happen still. Nobody can conceive or imagine the damage that man has wrought that there are unseen and unseeable in this country, and in the world.

You may tear apart the Monster’s mind and heart to see what makes the ugly noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith and love and truth can push aside that curtain and view and picture the sickness which lies beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing less real and abiding.

No Scary Monster in the White House! Dear God! he lives, and every day he lives and breathes and vomits his lies and ugly rhetoric, another piece of our collective hope is ripped asunder . A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he and those like him will do their best destroy all is decent and honorable, and break the hearts of children.

 

Scary

It was funny. Until it wasn’t.

The other day, I happened to catch The President’s Show on Comedy Central, which included a skit in which Veep Mike Pence learns about ethics . . . or not.
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLUEs4zmBHw). The three ‘guests’ who seek to answer Pence’s ethics-based questions slowly come to the realization that their host isn’t the beleaguered wingman he appears to be; that instead, Pence is a shrewd and calculating player in it for the long haul; willing to bide his time until the Trump presidency implodes and he can assume the role he’s secretly coveted all this time.

Truth is, should the Trump presidency topple, the man who would take his place is more of a threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness than Trump could ever be. Where Trump is a loose cannon shooting off his mouth wildly and in all directions, Pence is the proverbial Voice of Reason. Where Trump is egotistical, rash, uneducated in the ways of government, Pence is pious, thoughtful, politically savvy. Where Trump’s over-the-top persona is tough to swallow–even for some within his own party–Pence is well-regarded and highly respected by his peers. Where Trump’s agenda is all over the place, Pence’s agenda is firmly entrenched in policies driven by an unwavering faith in God and Country.

Pence is Calm to Trump’s Chaos.

Prior to last year’s election, the website ontheissues.org (a non-partisan, non-profit organization providing information to voters about candidates) posted each candidate’s stance on numerous topics. Reading through Mike Pence’s page (http://www.ontheissues.org/Mike_Pence.htm ), one begins to see a pattern of deeply rooted values and beliefs that promote religious dogma over individual rights and freedoms; big business over environment; military might over social services; the rich’s interests over those of the poor. His votes reflect his views on gays, women, the environment, the poor, immigrants: Pence is “anti-” all these things. He has been, for a long time.

The current administration is one of the worst, on so many levels. I still find it extremely difficult to accept that a man like Trump–a man who swore he could shoot somebody on the street and still get votes, who bragged about grabbing women by the you-know-what, who openly mocked a disabled reporter, who lies without blinking and incites hatred without remorse–could be elected as 45th President of the United States. That’s crazy. But the thought that a man like Pence is one step away from being number 46?

That’s scary as shit, you guys.

Laughing Time is OVER

Seriously.

I just read my last post and I take it back.

Every time I think to myself, This is the last straw, Trump et al throw another blinded eye into the toxic, roiling cauldron that is 45’s presidency. Case in point? Today’s declaration that transgender people will be banned from serving in the military ‘in any capacity’ (http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-announces-ban-transgender-people-serving-military-n786621).

REALLY? Seriously, how much more can we take? Scratch that–how much more is this country willing to take? I actually thought this was the deal breaker:

Unbelievable, right? But nope. Remember this?

Or maybe, this?

Surely by now, our eyes have been opened to the reality of the situation: We’ve elected a pathological liar, a sick misogynist, an egomaniacal buffoon and, as a result, this country is under assault. Dangerous times, folks. We’re slipping ever closer to that place we never believed we could go.

Welcome to The UN-united Fascist States of America.

Alas, nothing that man does or says, or has done or has said,  has been unconscionable enough to be the deal-breaker here. Which means the American people have to take matters into their own hands now. I’m not suggesting violence (although I have imagined kicking that fucker square in the gold-plated, albeit tiny, Trump family jewels). No, what I’m suggesting (read: praying fervently for) is that we, the people–at least, those of us who still have a fucking brain in our heads and a g.d. mouth on our mugs–SPEAK UP. To our elected representatives. Our neighbors. Our families. That we pledge to STAND AGAINST and VOTE OUT those who still, even now, support that crazy fucker, his minions, and his policies. That we REMAIN VIGILANT and DO NOT STOP, unless or until that man is GONE, OUT, HISTORY.

Those CAPS reminds me of a joke. He’s in office. Our country is under siege. This ain’t funny no moh.

 

POLY (Many) + TICKS (Blood Sucking Parasites) = We need to &@%$#@!%?! LAUGH!

Okay, so what would you rather read right now: Exhibit A…

 

…more than one quarter of the Administration’s appointees so far to environmental, energy, and natural resource management agencies have close ties to the fossil-fuel industry.

http://time.com/4756797/environment-donald-trump-100-days/

…or Exhibit B…

Image result for hilarious business signs

I vote B. I think we could all use some kinda funny right now with everything that’s going on. Republican Senators just drafted a new version of TrumpCare, giving major tax savings to the rich and the Royal Shaft to the rest of us. A congressional candidate who body slammed a reporter got elected into office the very next day. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ4ircmvYXE ) Trump’s EPA director is hell-bent of reversing the Obama administration’s anti-fossil fuel strategy. Trump signed a bill in April that could scrap National Monuments. The U.S. is pulling out of the Paris Accord. Then there’s this:

betsy.jpg

Sometimes, I think humor is the only thing that can make this political clusterf**k palatable and the snarkier, the better. When Ben Carson stated on Sirius XM Radio that poverty was a ‘state of mind,’ Star Truck alumnus George Takei tweeted, “You know what else is a state of mind? Always being a blithering idiot.” True dat, George. We need all the snark we can get, with something like 3 years, 6 months, 29 days, 11 hours and 4 minutes left of Trump et al, according to TickCounter.com , so let’s try to make the most of it, shall we?

As a proud American, I’m doing my part right now. I googled ‘hilarious business signs’ for some funny, so enjoy. Just remember to keep your expectations low (so as not to shock the system), and try not to think too hard about reality right now.

You know what they say about expectations and reality…

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Lovely.

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Funny Business Signs 18

Funny Business Signs 20

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Image result for hilarious business signs

🙂

 

 

Tell Me

Of course, Mr. Wilder, I know you’re being facetious right now . . . or rather, your Wonkalicious suave and scary self is being facetious. But if you really want to know how original and creative I am, I’ll do my best to tell it to you straight.

(See, when Gene Wilder talks, I listen. As amazing as his Wonka persona was, it didn’t hold a candle to the man. Talk about original and creative…)

I used to think originality and creativity were my two strong suits, especially where writing is concerned. Of late, though, no so much. Case in point? This blog, which–barring a few sporadic posts–has been ‘on hold’ for more than a few months now. I could chalk that up to a lot of things, not the least of which is Donald J., who may be dragging us into a war with North Korea even as we speak. There have also been some issues closer to home which aren’t going away; then again, that’s life in the big city, and I’m certainly not the only one “dealing with stuff.”

There is also the tiny, lasting niggle relative to parting company with my agent, which transpired over a year ago and which–one would think–I’d have “gotten over” long before now. Apparently, not so much. Apparently, that Little Blip on the Radar Screen of Life affected me a tad more than I care to admit.

Regardless of the reason, I’m in what you might call a “funk”. And no matter how many times I’ve dragged myself out of whatever this funk is, I find myself slipping right back into it.  And every time I do, I lose a little bit more of myself.  As a writer, I mean. Which is more than a tad troublesome, considering the fact that I think of myself as a writer, and if I’m not, you know, writing. . .

Which brings me, round-aboutly, back to originality and creativity or rather, my apparent lack thereof. Sliding into a funk is hardly an original past-time, and lamenting a loss of creativity whilst doing squat to change things is not only counterproductive to the cause, but offensive . . . to any writer dealing with anything more challenging than what I’m dealing with. Believe me, there are a lot worse things a writer can be facing than the piddly-ass stuff I’m facing right now.

Speaking of offensive behavior, Miss Manners had something to say about that:

Offensive behavior is an ineffective way to make one’s own case.

Of course, some people make their cases by doing just that. 45 unfortunately comes to mind. On the lighter side, Zero Mostel. Groucho Marx. Gene Wilder? He was playing the part, “like an accident waiting to happen,” which is exactly the way he planned to play it, and which he executed brilliantly and to our utter delight, time and time again. Mr. Wilder’s creativity and originality made him who he was, and neither time, nor the unfortunate circumstances of his last years, diminished his magnificence, nor our admiration for it.

And yet, how much of that originality and creativity did he cultivate, and how much was inherent to him? I have to believe he was born that way, as we all are to some extent. Each of us has our share of the universe’s creative juices flowing through our veins. Each of us harbors at least one or two original thoughts. We all have our dreams, as well as trials and tribulations. Sometimes we find ourselves so caught up in the latter that we forget the former, stray off course, lose our way . . . which is where I am now, I think. And I’ve been here too long.

Gene Wilder once said, Time is a precious thing. Never waste it. Truth time, Mr. Wilder: that’s what I’ve been doing.

 

 

 

 

 

Words Matter

Words are powerful things. They hold sway, they have consequences and hence, it would behoove us, the American people, to choose our words wisely.

Alas, the American people don’t appear to be too keen on thoughtful rumination of late. Present company included. Whatever this writer was doing for the last two months, it sure as hell wasn’t that. After Trump took office, this writer found herself mired in political muck, and soon actual writing gave way to hastily composed, emotionally-wrought tweets, which–in theory, anyway–should have reduced her burgeoning angst by giving voice to it.

[Sidebar: Maybe that’s what Trump–]  

Nah.

Long story short, that didn’t happen. At best, the bovine-esque chewing and rechewing of unsavory cud was a mindless endeavor yeilding little nutritional value. At worse, the glowing ball of angst in the pit of my stomach resulted in belched vitriol that left a particularly nasty taste in my mouth.

Fast forward two months. I am happy to report that I’ve managed to remove myself (somewhat) from that perpetual unpleasantness. I couldn’t have done it without help from some very honest and forthright writing buddies, who basically told me it was high time I pulled my thumb out of my ass and get back to the business of querying/writing.

Querying first. Two weeks ago, I reworked my EFFIN’ ALBERT query, finally coming up with a version I actually liked; a version significantly different from my last (which had garnered me exactly one full request, summarily rejected). I’ve sent my new version to maybe ten agents thus far, garnering five quick rejections. Five more to go, and it only takes one page request to make this camper happy.

As an added bonus, while researching agents for ALBERT, I stumbled upon a smattering of agents/indie publishers who seemed like a good fit for CHERRY. We’ll see what happens there.

As for writing, my WIP remains in a holding pattern of 53,000 words, but the time will come . . . and when it does, SOULLESS will be waiting.

Before I close, a final word about tweets. A few months ago, I came across a Twitter feed called  #1linewed, a once-a-week sounding board for writers. #1linewed is a chance for writers to put snippets of their stuff ‘out there’ for others to read and enjoy.  For me, #1linewed is both inspirational and validating, especially when I find myself struggling to find the words. . .

. . .which brings this post full circle. Words matter, folks. Now, more than ever, we need to remember that.