Infodump

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I almost didn’t post a chapter today. I wrote one yesterday and decided that it was a big, fat infodump. I hate reading them, but I find myself writing them all too often.

People don’t like information. A while ago, I said that I started a blog about expertise and elitism and didn’t post it. I’ve decided that it is time. Just one word about it is that I wrote it as the Covid crisis began, so there are some dates in it that are irrelevant now.

It’s confusing, isn’t it. They trot out the experts, but not for too long.

Experts give too much information; they give the facts, ones that those in power don’t want to hear. The world depends on experts, but they don’t want to hear them. Our leaders want soundbites, they want to calm the markets, but they foment hysteria.

Don’t test anyone, it will raise our numbers. Don’t let them in. Don’t go there. Don’t take any chances, or don’t take the chances we don’t want you to take. Don’t go to conferences, don’t go to sports events, but by all means come to my needless election rally, and don’t forget to wear the hat. It will protect you from all evils, just like it has protected me.

Don’t listen to them. I’ll make you safe, and while I’m at it, I’ve promised more tax cuts. This is the perfect time for them.  I’ll put more money in your pockets, even those of you who aren’t affected. It’s an election year and my big fat pockets are open to all of you.

Don’t look. Nothing to see here.

Forget about climate change, we’ll drill for more oil. That will make up for it. Experts schmexperts. Why care for ecology when the stock market is dipping? Gotta keep the fat cats fat, so they can give you more money.

Wait! They’re giving me more money? I’ll believe it when I see it.

People don’t go to the opera or the symphony because it is elitist. It’s so expensive that ordinary people can’t afford it.

Oh, really?

Lakers vs. Nets tomorrow night (Mar 18?):

Lowest ticket $84, Highest ticket $827

Chicago Symphony, Mar. 20:

Lowest ticket $46, Highest ticket $210 (not including discount schemes)

But why see one of the best orchestras in the world when you can see LeBron play? Why sit and hope the Lakers win when you can get a winning concert every week? There are no losers.

Why listen to a concert of classical music? I don’t understand it.

When was the last time you went to one? If you went to more, then there would be a better chance of understanding it. Did you understand basketball the first time you saw it? Do you get culturally uplifted at a Lakers game? Do you get goosebumps?

But Blake Shelton tickets start at $26, you say.

Those are about half a mile away. All you are hearing is the sound system. The highest ones (that are still available) are $187 and they aren’t even on the main floor.

There isn’t a sound system in Symphony Hall, at least not for a CSO concert. You are hearing the real thing, and you can hear a pin drop from the back row. Is that elitist?

We label things we don’t understand as elitist. Did you ever attempt to understand it? At the beginning of the 1900’s opera was the most common music listened to (on disk), and remained high on the list for a few decades. Why don’t we listen to it now?

It’s old music.

Not all of it, and in fact if you haven’t heard it before, it is new to you.

But isn’t it a whole bunch of hysterical acrobatic singing?

I wouldn’t say hysterical. You might think that some new opera’s are, but the more you learn the history, the repertory, the more you understand it. What is acrobatic or hysterical about this?

It’s from the mid 1980’s. Let’s talk about it. The style/genre is minimalism, which is a repetitive style with simple content, not unlike popular music. This is a very beautiful opera, both in action and melody, yet it is tragic. It is about the fall of Egyptian civilization. The singing (in ancient Egyptian) is very unusual here, the man is a countertenor, the highest male voice (think Bee Gee’s but exquisitely trained), and the woman is a contralto, the lowest female voice (a highly-trained Nina Simone). The man often sings above the woman, giving it a completely ethereal quality, unlike something you would hear in popular music. This is a fantastic student production. Can you imagine what it would be like if they were pros? Sublime.

But there is no action.

Correction. There is little action. The words go by very slowly, therefore so does the action. How different is that from going to a Blake Shelton concert? There is no action. He stands there and sings. He might tap his foot, play a guitar, or sway a little. No action, though. Just words.

Something like this?

It’s an excerpt from an opera. No action, but, lot’s of action. It’s funny as hell. Watch all of this one, if you watch any of these. Hysterical, yes, hysterically funny? You bet. It’s modern opera.

Here is one more short excerpt from an amazing opera:

Her lover has just died, and she is singing about her love for him or possibly for God (not clear). She is about to commit herself to a convent in grief for him. This is about as dramatic as it gets without any real action.

Except for maybe Poulenc’s Dialogue of the Carmelites, when all the nuns have their heads chopped off at the end. I can’t not cry at the end. A YouTube video doesn’t do it justice.

Don’t even think about going through a car wash during that scene, if it is on the radio. I did. I bawled (and it was in French. I couldn’t understand a word).

Fffffffffoooounk. A head rolls away.

Not elitism. Sheer beauty. High art.

Still betoweled

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What am I doing?

I’m still wearing those towels and drinking a brew.

I’m a few days ahead on ‘RM, but I’m pretty unmotivated right now. I published my anthology and am still waiting for my first sale of any sort. Well, I ordered one for myself at the author’s rate. I suppose I could have ordered one at the full rate, just to make my numbers exist.

I told you so.

Somewhere in my brain that phrase lingers. People don’t buy your books, not unless you have a major publisher, or unless you are willing to prostitute yourself. As I have said before, I value my privacy, and in fact my job depends on it. Unless I’m selling thousands of copies, I won’t be able to quit that job, and I probably won’t sell thousands of copies until I quit that job, if then.

Promotion, marketing … a face. I suppose I could do a little of the first two, but that last one, I can’t. Now now. Sell a few copies. It’s called vanity publishing.

I’m vain. I thought I could sell a book.

Hey Anne! I’d buy it! Where are you now? I know it isn’t a novel, but I’m hardly going to serialize a novel … well, I’m doing just that. Obviously, I would give it a couple or three major rewrites before I published it. That’s why The Cult of Hahn isn’t going up in this space or at TCoA. For what it’s worth, I probably won’t consider publishing it until my followers number in the thousands, which probably means never. I’ve been working on it over a decade, and there is (at present) no motivation to finish it.

Right now, I will have to live with the dozen or so that read ‘Round Midnight each day for self-confirmation. That said, I don’t need the affirmation, I just need to write, and do it regularly. Maybe someone will discover my 8-10 novel-length forays into relevance after I’m gone.

Right now, I am not relevant as a writer.

Perhaps, I’m not relevant altogether. Maybe I am just kidding myself. Yes, there are a handful of people out there in WordPress-land and in the WritersCafe that have time for me and tell me as much. I do appreciate it very much.

Right now, I’ve decided to leave the new writing to ‘Round Midnight and re-post a series from my early WritersCafe days on EJO, and blog my personal thoughts here. I posted that series when I had some relevance on the WC. I really was one of the top 5 writers there in their ranking system when at any time you looked, there would be over 500 writers logged on. The place itself has lost its relevance. At this moment, there are 18 writers logged on. So, I’m irrelevant in an irrelevant venue. At one time, I had nearly 500 followers there, now many of the 280 that I have left haven’t logged on in a decade. Anyway, it is called My Seven Deadly Sins, and most of the chapters were well-received on the WC. I’ve put them in a different order here. Not sure why, maybe to hide the one that people didn’t like. I’m not sure I do now, but I’m leaving it as is, because I am past that now.

Time to finish my brew and make some dinner.

What possessed me?

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Yesterday. All my troubles seemed so far away.

And yesterday’s missive was supposed to be about nipples. I bet you didn’t see that coming. I noticed in the picture (err, yesterday’s pic) that she is actually pulling her top down, so that her nipples show through it.

Maybe that wasn’t the intention, but it was certainly the result. To be honest, that sentiment reared its head in A Bump in the Night over on EJO. Even there, it is so veiled that you probably didn’t catch it. It’s a subject that seems so taboo that I often can’t type the word.

Nipple, nipple, nipple, nipple, nipple, nipple, nipple, nipple, nipple.

I bet you can’t guess how many mistakes I made while typing that. I used to type 60 WPM on a typewriter (with 3 errors or less) – you know, one of those ancient things. Do they even bother to measure typing speed when you apply for an admin job now? Inching over the 60 WPM mark meant significantly higher hourly pay.

Anyway, it is so taboo that if a nipple is too proud on television they blur it out, at least in the US. Those liberal Europeans seem to be able to resist perversion when they see them. (Well, not if you talk to a conservative here. You are so depraved!)

I just finished Monday’s ‘Round Midnight chapter – I’ve switched to calling them chapters, since I’m now over 110,000 words. I ran into a little bit of a continuity problem this week. I misunderstood when The Late Show is recorded. I thought that Thursday and Friday were live and the others were taped as live. Well, I was wrong. All of them are taped as live in the early evening, and Thursday and Friday’s shows are both taped on Thursday. Well, at least before the CIVOD-19 thing began. As you may have noticed, the story is in an alternate universe where it doesn’t happen. It meant a significant rewrite before it went live.

I miss all that because I watch it the next day on YouTube.

I also had an continuity issue with Planet Ezzie, when I said that Ezzie/Gaia never learned the name of her daughter. She actually named her Kyra in the chapter she was born, and discussed her again in the next chapter. I decided that I preferred Phoebe, since the Phoebe is one of the daughters of the Greek goddess Gaia. I went back and altered those sections. I’ve also gone back and put together the 3 Ezzie stories in a single volume. I think that’s around 96,000 words. It would need some serious revision if I ever decide to publish it. I’m not sure it qualifies as a blogovella anymore. It’s a … blovel.

No, that doesn’t really work. A Nog? Hmm. I guess I can count that in my canon of unpublished novels now.

Maybe I’ll just sit down and read a magazine now.

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Of course, now that we don’t leave the safety of our own homes, there is no need to get dressed anymore. Just a bath sheet, a hand towel, a cuppa, and a magazine. No need for furniture or a carpet. Looks comfy. Erm.

That’s life.

(That’s what people say.)

 

Bumbersplinkins

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Foolsbottom splorker this fine day, hot outside cold in. Holding onto a warm beverage for leverage against insanity. Parlez vous auf Deutsch sprechen a l’Italiano megiggleschpoot.

Out damn spot! I’ve lost the plot and in a spot of bother, rather. I’m still waiting for the thunderstorm that never came. Pianissimo in a fresh breeze, dry droplets, invisible flashes of lightnight, dark sun, sultry afternoon. Lawn mowed. Chipmunks steal the seeds from hungry birds, red-wings chatter at anyone who dares come near.

Sing a song of half sense in a block of tween dream fantasy porn, blabberpooble, better than anti-bladder puddle.

I’m in a muddle.

She walks the dog past my window. Oh no! Don’t pee there! Shouldn’t have said anything. That one takes her boyfriend out for a run, no fun if you are social distancing, can’t read lips through that mask.

Donk!

Or should I say danke?

Tak.

Overcast

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It is sunny today, and there are people out walking and running. I had my last meeting of the semester, so now I’m free, free as a bird, free as a bird in a tree. I’ll stop there. You get the picture.

I’m not free. Few of us are. We are stuck at home. They have supposedly opened up businesses in my state, but we are still supposed to remain at home. I was reading a poem today, Philip Wardlow’s Skin Hunger, and that really hit home. I’m cut off from my friends, my family, my home-away-from-home, almost everyone.

It was sunny, now suddenly it is overcast.

Has my mood clouded it over? One sits at home thinking about all the things one can do, but there is so much choice, one doesn’t know where to begin, or why to bother anyway. I could finish any number of projects, like my fantasy novel, painting the bedroom, weeding the garden, practicing, running …

No, I’ve haven’t dared go out yet.

I still have the finishing touches to put on yesterday’s project, and I’ll do that once I finish with this. I’ve already written Thursday’s ‘Round Midnight, and I might write another later, if I feel moved. It seems to move so slowly, but the plot is less important than the writing itself. I don’t want to lose that scatterbrained effect, and I know it isn’t as present as it was at the beginning, but the story has gotten darker, and I need to reflect that. For those keeping score, I’m now up to 106,000 words.

Instead, I’m here, participating in a pastime that won’t earn me anything, checking up on the bleakness that is my KDP sales report, and still awaiting the arrival of my hard copy. It would be nice to see at least one download. It’s interesting, at the current pricing I make the same amount for a download as I do for the hard copy at 4 times the price.

To be honest, I don’t own a Kindle. I still like the touch and weight of a real book. Like the touch of a real friend, and the caress of real skin.

 

Off piste

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I had a great idea for a title: Off piste, pissed off. But I couldn’t justify it today. (There is still time.)

I didn’t do any creative writing. I concentrated on my profession, and did something that I have considered doing, but hadn’t gotten around to. I spent all day doing something that should have taken me more.

I was focused.

I skipped breakfast altogether, and only realized it around noon, so I ate lunch. It’s almost dinner time now, and I haven’t left my chair, except to go out and feed the birds while I was printing something. I just finished a draft, and I’ll edit it tomorrow, then I’ll send it around and see if something comes of it.

It’s just something I thought of in the shower a couple of days ago, and it may come to absolutely nothing.

I do my best thinking in the shower. Maybe I should stay there all day.

It’s a cold rainy day outside, so there wasn’t anything better to do.

Maybe I’ll think a little about Cassie for a little while before I have to cook. (I don’t know what I’m making yet.)

Twenties, schmenties

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I’m back onto ‘Round Midnight, and I’m up to 103,300 words.

Why am I obsessing about the word count?

Ignoring the fact that I’m a little OCD to begin with, I have for years wandered the writing forums online and even one real literary conference with real people, where I met an agent who really liked my work, but nothing ever came of it. He wasn’t really the right genre for me. I also had a one-on-one with a successful science fiction writer, who also liked what I was doing. I came very close to finding an agent (a different one) at that time, but it didn’t work out.

What does that have to do with my word count?

Through all this wandering everyone talked about 100,000 words as being the sweet spot, and for that I assumed they meant for a first novel, since a number of novels that I have read are well over 1000 pages, which is about 250,000-300,000 words.

I’m not sure I have that much staying power, and I’m not sure the architecture of my writing style can withstand that length.

I started an EJO piece today, but abandoned it after a few words. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind.

I read (and didn’t comment on, to my eternal shame) someone else’s blog this morning. One of its premises was that our twenties is when we humans generally experiment, be that creatively or recreationally (as in drugs). Did I? Probably not. If anything I’ve become more experimental as I’ve aged. I didn’t even start writing until I hit 40. Well, the poems I wrote at 20 were awful. Let’s ignore those. They weren’t experimental. I was doing other things in my twenties that I thought at the time were experimental, but looking back, no they weren’t. I experimented sexually a little bit, but only really within accepted norms.

When I started writing, I wrote to prove a point. I had written some bad magical realism, science fiction, and a little bit of “eh” poetry, but it wasn’t until I joined the WritersCafe.org in 2005 that I decided on a purpose. There were some serious writers there at the time (before their crash) and I wanted to be one of them, the rarefied few. I made some friends and had a small following, but I wanted more than that. I needed to find a niche. There were a lot of people writing what they called erotica, and what I called porn. My mission was to transform the place, to turn that porn into literature. Then the crash happened and all the good writers left, to be replaced by juvenile EMO and more porn. The erotica writers stayed, and many became friends. My evangelism began with my reviews, trying to turn them away from describing the sexual act itself to describing the sensory perceptions, often rewriting poorly written passages for them into beautiful, sensual prose.

They didn’t appreciate that.

There were a few that got it and respected me for what I was doing, but I soon found that my 500+ word reviews weren’t appreciated by all. Also, I was a short story writer who also wrote some poetry. They loved my poetry and ignored my prose. No overt sexual acts, one of them said. Personally, I’ve found that the most sensual writers don’t have sexual acts. They might refer to them, but the acts take place off the page. Sometimes I got crude, but only for effect. That’s when the Hot Tub series began. Oddly, some found bathing in a jacuzzi filled with cum beyond propriety, the same people who wrote intimate sex acts in great detail. (10. In Come if you are interested.) I have since reposted them all in EJO.

Part of that series was devoted to stream of consciousness writing. Some was downright manic. My favorite was the first one (1. Sex and Beckett), which puzzled many of my devoted readers, but brought a few more into the fold. “I don’t read erotica, but I love this!” I persevered. I got through about 25 of them, some not as manic, some more planned. I gave up on them for a while, and gave up on the WC, since it seemed like a ghost town, unless you were writing vampire stories. (That was when Twilight hit it big.)

That’s around the time I started my own Cult of Anne, my own forum, but hardly anyone joined and I was shouting in an empty room. I had posted some chapters of The Cult of Hahn on WC and I thought the pun was cool. I started the first Ezzie series there.  I kept moving to successive bulletin board formats, and they all kept closing down their free services. I also joined SF Chronicles (Chrons) and wrote original fantasy stuff there. While I got on, I never really fit in. Oddly, I was too experimental and “adult”. Coincidentally, that successful writer that I met was a member, but didn’t contribute much. I still visit from time to time, but I’m not into orcs and elves.

During this time I started Haiku Planet on WordPress. I wrote a lot of haiku there, and then longer poetry. I couldn’t justify calling it that anymore, so I closed down my other forums and renamed it The Cult of Anne, now its permanent home. While writing Ezzie, she wrote about writing a novella, and that is when I started EJO, that novella. I was writing two at once.

It seemed that the more chances I took in my writing, the more interested people were. I finished the first Ezzie series, and her novella and my sites languished for a while.

I thought that maybe I had said all that I had to say.

Then I went back to my WP roots: a haiku a day, back where it all started. Occasionally, I needed to write other things, and that broke up the flow. Some of it went to EJO, and I started a plain old blog here at Annema. I could write anything I wanted, occasionally riffing into poetry, but usually talking about my life and what I was doing.

I started a new Ezzie series on TCoA, and finished after only 30 episodes. The format had stopped working for me, but I persisted and posted a few chapters of incomplete novels, as well as some more poetry. I was forcing it, though. Around that time, I was lucky in that I was able to publish a few stories, some as Anne Martin some under another name, a couple of poems, some fantasy, some sci-fi.

Where is this going, and what does it have to do with experimentation?

That’s also around the time I started writing Hot Tub episodes again. Rather than sticking to rigid rules, anything was allowed. It spawned another Ezzie series (Planet Ezzie), which I must admit, went way out there. But I was comfortable with it, and I moved the Hot Tub episodes to EJO, and for a while I was writing an Ezzie, a haiku, a Hot Tub, and a blog every day. Eventually, I started really weird poetry, even some gibberish to the mix. The crazier it got, them more people liked it.

The more I liked it.

Ezzie, however, had outlived her usefulness, and I had to kill her off, permanently. I languished again without her as a crutch. Then I started ‘Round Midnight. It was supposed to be a little zany, a little stream of consciousness, slip in some poetry, lyrics quotes, quotes from plays (mostly Shakespeare). It wasn’t supposed to last long. Then it inherited a little of the Ezzie universe, and now I’m up to 115 episodes and there is no real end in sight. It seems to be writing itself. It gets wacky at times and experimental.

In my fifties, I’m finding myself at the most experimental and most creative point in my writing career. It’s unsuccessful professionally, but how do you measure success? By the number of publications, likes, followers, or the satisfaction of having written probably well over a million words of fiction, and a huge volume of poetry? And at least a handful of people read me almost every day.

Twenties, schmenties.

Nerding out again? Get a life!

It’s official, my word count on ‘Round Midnight has passed 100,000 words. It’s a novel, or at least novel length. Not only that, I’ve turned in my grades. I have one virtual meeting with my division head, and I’m done for the summer. I still don’t know if my freelance work is on or off.

Probably, my first task is to clean up the debris in my office. Class papers, assignment proofs, textbooks, it’s just too rampant to keep up with sometimes. It’s all a balancing act.

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No, I won’t be doing that.

I only just now realized how tired I am. It’s so hard to focus on writing. I might start running again. Tomorrow? Well, it’s shopping day … online shopping that is. I’ll do it first thing and then maybe take a slow short run.

I actually have a running mask somewhere, but I can’t find it. Maybe I’ll have another look.

Maybe, I’ll just play some funky music and have a boogie instead.

I’m happy to say that my listening has expanded to include the new Tower of Power album, Step Up. They’re more funky in concert. I actually did hear them once live in Copenhagen. By accident.

How do you go to a concert by accident, Anne?

I was actually at a different concert in the Tivoli gardens, followed by a reception. During the reception, I could hear some music. They were making a lot of noise – we were in the foyer of the concert hall that is there, on the opposite end of the gardens. Walking back to the bus stop, I started recognizing the music, and then they closed with one of their classics from Back to Oakland. I can’t remember which one. It might have been Time Will Tell, a strange song to use as their final encore … well, they might have done a short burst of Oakland Stroke after it. Anyway, it was a great way to end the evening. I didn’t know they were still playing at the time. Now, I’m back in touch.

You would be surprised how many classic bands are touring (again or still), and some are even recording. I was never one to go rock concerts. Jazz, yes. Classical, definitely, but usually only new music, although I’m back in a city with a decent professional orchestra, so when they are playing, I go to the concerts I’m interested in.

 

I think I know that violin. Isn’t it the “Guitar” Stradavarius? Joshua Bell used to play it. I don’t know. The f-holes don’t look like a Strad. These are parallel to the outer body where I think on the original “guitar” Strad, they are parallel to the strings. Those are cool-looking headphones (so I had to put up the photo), but I bet they don’t sound as good as my Sennheisers.

I told you I was a bit geeky.

I don’t use headphones that often. They’re too good to take out of the house. I have an old pair of Sonys for that. They sound good, too, but they are ancient, vintage 1985, maybe, and I can’t find the 1/4″ adapter, but I usually use them with my phone or my iPod.

You have an iPod?

Yes. Somewhere. The sound is really good, even with the Apple earbuds, better than most phones, but a phone is more convenient. Actually, that old Toshiba 7″ tablet that I bricked? It had fabulous sound, better than the newer HP one, which has a little bit of static from its hard disk.

OK, Anne, that’s enough nerding out.

But I told you I was a little OCD. OK, I’ll stop … but … no. I’ll stop.

A musician must have good kit. That’s all I’m saying.

 

 

‘Like’ envy, like envy, like ordinary

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Sometimes I wonder if I should look at others’ WP sites.

I see sites that look sort of ordinary, full of ordinary articles, full of ordinary nothing. Some have ordinary writing or poetry. Generally, I don’t follow them. I don’t follow that many people altogether.

Frankly, I don’t know how many people I follow, but if I follow you, your writing speaks to me at some level.

There are so many out there that ‘like’ or “follow’ just to get my attention. They like one of my ‘RM chapters or an EJO rant, and they ‘like’ me. That’s awesome, and by liking my writing they tell me I’m awesome, at least that’s what the email says when I get it. Then I look at their page, and I do look at them, and it’s … well, I can usually tell from their name … IRateHikingBoots … or something like that (I made that up), and they are just a site that sells hiking boots trying to get my attention.

I do not buy boots from a random WordPress site.

Then I look and see that they have 15,327 followers. Where am I? I have three sites, and the highest is a shade over 250. I suspect that whenever I post one of these posts, I lose a few. If they aren’t legitimate followers, I don’t mind. I just wonder how some of these people do it. They post rubbish and have thousands of followers.

Of course, I am trying to post what might be termed as serious literature, or experimental poetry, or like here, just a journal of wherever my mind wanders to. I understand that people don’t want to read 1300 word chapters, although that is my most popular site. That maybe due to the 200 haiku that live there, too. I am never more popular than when I’m writing in bite-sized chunks.

Should I start interrupting my story with haiku commercials?

Doesn’t that destroy the flow? Wouldn’t that make those who read them almost every day more prone to missing an episode? Nobody comments on them anyway.

I was reading a blog from one of my followers today, someone with a lot of followers herself. It was talking about when she first started writing. She wrote and showed it to family. They loved it and encouraged her. My family doesn’t understand my ‘official’ creative outlet, so they are surely not going to understand what I do here. I don’t even tell the ones closest to me that my blogs exist, and it explains why I have always written under a pseudonym. It gives me a freedom to write whatever I want to.

But it means that I don’t get that positive reinforcement that only a family can give. In fact, only a handful of people that know me personally know about this site. This is all about a dialog with people, and if that isn’t happening, why do I do this? Don’t get me wrong, I love the two people who do respond and engage. I would rather have two people to engage with occasionally, than 1000 that write “Great Post!” or just tap the “like” button. I have more regular dialogues on the WritersCafe.org, but I hate that Norton keeps flagging it as a malicious site. It makes me a little nervous. It is full of spammers and idiots, but there are a few devoted friends there. A couple of them frequent this space, too, but they tend to leave the dialogue for that place.

What am I saying here?

Do I want to leave? No. I need somewhere to let this … whatever it is … out. I would just like to make a few more friends, hang out, branch out from this lonely home office, from which I watch life run and walk by my window all day.

Call me in the morning

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Take two aspirin …

I’ve been sleeping on my side with one arm (the lower one) over my head a lot lately. It makes my body ache, or more specifically, my shoulder.

Long ago at music camp, I used to play a lot of softball. I was very good. A switch hitter, even. I had a habit of popping up when I batted right-handed, so I tried switching sides, less power, but more accuracy. It fooled them, since I still hit like a right-handed pull hitter. I hit more home runs on that side through placement than I did on the other through power.

One day, the last game of the summer, I felt something pull, perhaps tear, in my shoulder, batting left-handed, hitting a homer. Next time up, I switched to my natural side and ripped something in that shoulder hitting a triple. It was a music camp in the middle of nowhere, so I didn’t have them looked at. I wrecked both my shoulders in one game. Playing my horn was difficult for the next week, but I survived.

The result of it, though, was that over the past 30 or so years my shoulders have been susceptible to the slightest tweak, and have been an ongoing source of aches and pains. My sinuses dictate that I sleep on my side, so I have been a very restless sleeper. (I snore like a train, sleeping on my back.)

Hence, today my shoulders ache, and that has progressed to a headache, and the afore-said two aspirin, or Tylenol, actually.

I’m at the end of my rough patch, just 4 final projects to grade. I don’t really need to look at them. I know they are all A’s, but I need to give them comments. Then there is another student that is missing, presumed quarantined.

I have some admin work to catch up on, and a little freelance job, and then I can spend the summer doing my own work, and preparing for a possible Fall of online teaching. That is, unless the big freelance job is back on.

‘RM is up over 96K words, still leaving me with the mechanics of an ending to figure out. I don’t want to kill her off. That’s taking the easy way out. I’m about to work on Wednesday’s episode, so maybe things will start progressing. I’ve also taken a brief look at my Annethology. I just need to insert some poetry between stories. I was using longer poems, but I’m starting to think that I should use some haiku. We’ll see how that goes. I need to write some new poetry, too.

I also need to get some long-needed rest.