Did’ja ever just … stop?

About a month ago, I did.

I just … stopped.

Stopped writing.

It was, and is, a most peculiar feeling. Nothing prompted it. I wasn’t burned out, or ill, had ‘writer’s block’, felt stressed, over-committed elsewhere, or anything that I could point to and say, ‘that’s why.’

In the movie ‘Forrest Gump’, there’s a part where Forrest is unable to process what he’s feeling and he starts to run, (the only thing he’s ‘good’ at) away from his home, down the driveway and along the street. He keeps running. Across the US, from one coast to the other, then he turns around and runs back across the country until he hits the other coast. He does this a couple’a times until one day he’s running along a deserted road in the middle of nowhere, and he just … stops.

Come to think of it, that’s what he does throughout the movie. He does a thing, until it’s done, then he stops.

That’s what happened. I was doing a thing, and then I … stopped.

And now …

And now … I’m starting again.

Isn’t that odd?

‘House of Cards’ … Mind Blown.

Remember a while back when I said I had a bit more to say about TV shows?  Here it is.

I glimpsed the promos for House of Cards in the sidebars of websites I visit, and although I admire Kevin Spacey from the time I came across ‘The Usual Suspects’ on late night TV, I wasn’t interested in another drama about fictional US politics, nor am I a big fan of the genre.

I had it on my TBW list for a time when I had nothing else to do (hah!) but I rarely thought twice about it … until one night … I was bored more than anything else and I thought, ‘what the Hades’, and ‘what have I got to lose?’

Don’t’cha hate it when you ask yourself that question and the Universe answers?

From the first scene of the first episode of Season 1 to the last scene filmed for Season 2, I was mesmerised. This was ‘The West Wing’ meets ‘Game of Thrones’. Excellent acting and direction, meets great writing, meets the fourth wall. If you’re into this type of drama, I recommend giving it a try.

The most amazing thing though was coming across this video of Kevin Spacey talking about giving the consumer, (TV viewer in this case) what they want, how they want it, and sit back and watch them voraciously consume it.

That resonated with me because it’s what our consumers (readers) want as well. They don’t give a tinkers cuss about the Big Five (Four, Three) versus Indie publishing, or any of the industry’s other battles, scandals, etc. (Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t pay attention to these things, in fact it behooves us to pay just as much attention to the business side of writing as we do to the creative side)

Readers want well written, engaging stories they can read on their cellphones, tablets, PC’s, (OK maybe I’m the only one who reads ebooks on my PC) listen to it via an audiobook, or read a print copy … and it’s up to us to give it to ‘em.

From Inertia to Creativity

To go from inertia to creativity is one of the hardest things an artist can do. I recently did a huge editing job. Because the text was full of technical details I had to play close attention to not only standard editing practices, but the demands of the technical writing too.

After I finished, my brain felt like it had been squeezed too tight for way too long, so I took a break from all sorts of writing except for an occasional comment on the blogs I follow.

I had some major computer hardware challenges during that time which is a strange sort of a way, was a bonus. I had a legitimate reason to take a break. (kinda sad that I felt I needed to legitimise my choice, but that’s another story for another time)

So, I’m staring at the pages of my Works In Progress on their shiny new Scrivener formats, (I’ve finally become comfortable enough with the program to migrate all my major works there) and I have no idea where to begin. I have no desire to begin. Inertia or ennui, I can’t decide which, has me firmly grasped in her tastefully polished claws.

I have story ideas so jammed up inside me, they’re beginning to tempt me to try a metaphorical enema to get ‘em moving.

But I have come to a decision. I shall write a blog post, the shortest form I write in, and I think I’ll call it, ‘From Inertia to Creativity’, and I’ll start it like this, … ‘To go from inertia to creativity is one of the hardest things an artist can do …’ :D

An elegant leg extension and gratuitous tummy fur

An elegant leg extension and gratuitous tummy fur

Size Matters

It all began with a loose power cable to my monitor. For no apparent reason my monitor would suddenly go dark. Heart-stopping the first time it happened, but after that I got used to it and adapted accordingly. It was one of those things where I’d give it a bit of a nudge and all was as it had been… for a while.

A gazillion more blank screens later and I knew the time had come.

Take the thing out the back and shoot it!

My new monitor arrived, all shiny and styrofoamed and plastic-wrapped to within an inch of its matte black finish.

We plugged it in … and … actually we couldn’t plug it in. My tower didn’t have the right doohickey for the monitor cable to plug into. Mrs Widds and I re-styrofoamed the monitor, (‘cos it was late and we ‘d had a long day) and put in a call to #1 Widder-son-in-Law who is our go-to bloke for all things tek-er-nickel when we can’t figure it out ourselves. (every household should have one)

We had our ‘D’oh!’ moment when he suggested we use the old monitor cable, ‘cos the new monitor had the correct doohickey for that cable … P.S. It’s the same keyboard in both pictures!

17" ... thanks for the memories

17″ … thanks for the memories

 

27" ... EMEGHERD!

27″ … EMEGHERD!

‘Identical’ Season 2, Episode 4 – A Sequence of Events. The Sum of all Parts

You can read all the previous episodes HERE, or from the ‘IDENTICAL’ page above, or select ‘Identical’ from the ‘Categories’ widget over there to the right. (they’re in the order I posted them so for the story to make sense you’ll have to start with the first entry at the bottom of the page)

***

What Has Gone Before:

In the Nicola Valley, British Columbia, Ciska, a ‘pentiment switcher’, Meg, who is from another pentiment, (a parallel reality) and Tamsin, a cop, gather to discuss what to do about the pentiments colliding.

Jane, a shadowy figure from Ciska’s past, and Silv, her tattooed minion crash the party, only to be interrupted by Mary Connelly, whose long held suspicions about Jane Lightsmith force her to act.

***   ***

All the players are in town, but the rules don’t make sense. Just exactly what is going on

S2 Ep4 - Final Cover Art

A Sequence of Events:

Mary … stepped further into the room and thumbed the safety off the device aimed squarely at Jane Lightsmith’s heart. If she had one.

Whatever Jane intended to do, and Mary knew it wasn’t a social call, Jane would need to make a quick exit. Mary’s device would neutralize her most obvious choice, to switch to another pentiment.

***

Tamsin … stared at Mary, momentarily stunned that she’d magically appeared at Ciska’s command, but like a true professional she focused on the strange object in Mary’s hand.

She lunged out of her chair and grappled with the weapon aimed at her mother who, for all their disagreements, she’d give her life to protect.

***

Jane Lightsmith …. recognized Mary’s device and knew she’d picked the right armor to wear. I’ll switch if and when I damn-well please, and no washed-up mis-bred reject is going to stop me with one of my own inventions.

Jane learned very early on never to travel unprepared or unarmed and always have a ‘plan B’.

She kicked Silv’s chair hard enough to propel her toward Mary, betting the distraction would give her time to activate the sound wave generator strapped under her armor.

***

Ciska … recognized the device from her sketches of a wave nullifier she’d tinkered with a few pentiments back. She wished her ‘sideways-seeing’ability focused a teensiest bit more on the details than the usual wide-screen ‘big picture’. She would’ve known about the device sooner, not when it was too late to do anything except duck and run for cover.

While Mary held everyone’s attention Ciska grabbed Meg’s arm and dragged them both down below table level. It offered little enough protection, but at least they were momentarily out of sight.

***

Silv … groaned, inward, where no-one would hear. The room held so much tension that despite or perhaps because of the buzz from her last toke, she felt as though a horde of spiders were trying to claw their way inside her skin.

Tamsin … dove across the edge of the kitchen table and tackled a woman Silv hardly recognized. She knew who it was of course, they saw each other almost every day at the cafe. Here in Meg’s house, Mary seemed to be surrounded by sharp-edged shards of light. Silv felt fairly sure she was tripping. Her teeth snapped together as something hit the back of her chair and kicked her into the mêlée.

***

Meg … landed on the floor with a thud and gasped for breath as Ciska fell on top of her. A blinding white light bounced off the back of her eyeballs. Ciska slid off her as sounds of fighting filtered into her seared brain.

***

Mary … saw Tamsin lunge at her from one direction just as Silv staggered against her from another. Her thumb jolted off the safety switch of the nullifier, and nudged another switch, a far more deadlier one, on.

Oh dear. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, I just wanted to give Ciska a fighting chance, and now no-one is going to get what they wanted.

The device ignited.

***

Tamsin … grabbed the weapon in Mary’s hands and forced them up into the air. For a moment their eyes met and she wondered why Mary looked so sad.

A blinding force of energy snapped through her like a barbed-wire whiplash.

***

Jane … raised her arm to shield her eyes from the silent blast of light. Someone snatched at ankles and dragged her from her chair. She kicked out, heard a satisfyingly pained expletive, and rolled toward a more strategic location. So much for electro-tech. Let’s try the old fashioned chemical kind.

 ***

Silv … screamed and danced around as though she were on fire. She burned all over. Her eyes stung. She breathed fire. She had to get away.

Suddenly everything went quiet, dark. All her pain stopped. She hunkered down on the floor, fearing more pain, waiting for instructions.

 ***

Ciska … swore in several long-dead languages as Jane’s very expensive boot-heel smacked into the side of her face. I should’ve grabbed her around the neck!

Her sideways-seeing ability swung into high gear as it often did when she’d been injured. She scuttled back under the table, flipped it on its edge and hoped the solid oak would be enough turn aside Jane’s intentions.

***   ***

The Sum of All Parts

Meg blinked away the spots before her eyes caused by the strange pulse of light that left her tingling all over, and peered over the edge of her great-great grandmothers table.

Her kitchen was in shambles. Chairs, and table, overturned. Tamsin and Mary lying still on the floor, Jane swinging what looked like an old-fashioned six-gun, and Silv, a gibbering heap between them.

She ducked back just as Ciska grabbed her. “Don’t think for a moment that Jane won’t kill you,” Ciska whispered. “Let me handle this.”

Meg shrugged her off. “Not in my house.” She stood up, drawing Jane’s attention. “Not in my house,” she said.

Jane nodded. “If you stay where you are, I won’t,” she agreed. “Get up Ciska. You look ridiculous crouching down like that. A bullet isn’t going to kill you. It will however, incapacitate and hurt you, a lot.”

Ciska stood looked at Meg. “But it’ll kill her.”

“I doubt it,” Jane speculated. “If she were killable, she would’ve died in that car crash. Which brings us back to our present anomalous predicament, doesn’t it? If you’ll excuse me I have to see what’s happened to Tamsin. Stay there,” she cautioned as Meg started forward. “Both of you.”

Jane walked to Silv and nudged her with her boot. “Get up. You’re not hurt, and you’re still in this pentiment. That’s what all that expensive ink was for. Help me with Tamsin.”

Ciska caught Meg as she started toward Tamsin. “Have you ever been shot?” she asked, “It really does hurt, a lot. I can ‘see’ that Tam’s still breathing.” Ciska released her. “We wait.”

Meg waited as Jane roughly rolled Mary’s body out of the way and examined her daughter. She stood still, as Silv picked Tamsin up, and groaning and cussing, carried her outside to her truck.

She watched as Jane contemplated Mary’s still body and kicked her once, very hard. “That’s for defying me, and,” she added as she walked out of the room, “For hurting my daughter.”

***   ***

Stay tuned for Season 2, Episode 5 of …

‘Identical’

Susieee Mac and the ‘Liebster’ Award

Enough about TV shows … well I do have one more post, but I’ll put a bit of a distance between here and then … and on to some fun stuff.

So, Susieee Mac, bless her little cotton socks, nominated me for a Liebster Award.

Liebster+award

***   ***

So, I sez to her, “Susieee,” I sez. “Wot am I supposed to do wif this?”
And she sez to me, “Answer me questions, and pass it on.”
“Simple,” I sez. “ But, I don’t do ‘pass-it-on’s.”
“S’aright,” she sez back at me. “Pass it on anyway.”

P.S. We was pretendin’ to be Pirates!


So I will. Anyone who wants to play, go ahead. These be the questions …

1 – What was the last thing that made you laugh?
2 – What’s the one thing that irks you?
3 – About how long do you think you can stand on one foot?
4 – Time yourself. How long did you actually stand on one foot?
5 – What would you want for your last meal?
6 – What’s something that you would not regret about having missed doing?
7 – What’s the one thing that scares you, but you do it anyway?
8 – What’s something funthat you would like to do right now?
9 – Would you rather be an eagle, crow, or a parakeet?
10 – If you could be a sitcom character, who would you be?
11 – Who rules – Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennett, or Jo March?

Herewith be my answers:

The last thing that made me laugh? Widdercat wanting to go out the front door and be let in through the back. Three times! Consecutively! She had to have a long snooze after that.

Something irksome? Article writing persons who rely on spellcheck. It’s pique, not peek or peak. (this is different from the odd typo, of which, as we all know, there will always be at least one!)

Thinking of standing on one foot? About 15 seconds.

Actually standing on one foot? 15 seconds – but my knees aren’t what they used to be. They used to be my elbows! (old joke)

Last meal? Mashed taters with green onion in them, turkey sausages from our local supplier (to die for, heh, heh,) Mrs Widder’s gravy made from the sausage juice, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and chardonnay Dijon mustard. A glass of our own zinfandel rosé wine, perhaps two.

Not on my bucket list? Bungee jumping – see previous comment about knees.

Tall cliff of scared-ness? Having my regular blood tests. I can watch until the needle right up until it actually goes into my arm, and immediately afterward, but to actually watch something thin and metallic slide into my person without any resistance? Nope, No. Not gonna happen. No way, no how!

Fun, Right now: I wrestled with this one for far too long. It was the ‘right now’ component that derailed me. But my eventual answer involved Mrs Widders … and to quote Forest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Feathered dinosaur descendant? Crow. Don’t take no s**t from nobody.

Sitcom character? Bea Arthur as Dorothy, from The Golden Girls. (Betty White better not die, ever!)

Who rulz? Jo March, of course.

***   ***

The Last Word:

You want your socks? Why don't you come and get them?

You want your socks?
Why don’t you come and get them?