Just heard on CBC news that the US government considers churches and gun shops to be ‘essential services’ …
… words … fail …
Just heard on CBC news that the US government considers churches and gun shops to be ‘essential services’ …
… words … fail …
Yesterday I wrote this …
Yes, it is a plague, only we don’t call it that anymore do we? Far too many dire associations.
But aren’t times dire?
As more and more of the world, the global connectivity, shuts down, more countries shut their doors, and any ‘official’ number of cases need to be multiplied by a factor of ten to come anywhere near a realistic number, the word ‘dire’ comes more and more to mind.
… and that’s as far as I got.
I was planning on deconstructing the concept, and bring out the ‘hope’ in the title of this post, but one minute I was sitting at my computer writing, and the next I was sitting in the glorious sunshine in our backyard (sunshine at last!) sobbing my heart out.
I broke, no lasting damage done, but I broke.
And it’s not that I haven’t been looking after myself both physically and emotionally, but it wasn’t enough without something to empty my full-to-the-brim-with-emotions, heart.
Sometimes you have to sit in the sunshine and cry, big diaphragm-ache-inducing tears.
At some point it will happen to you too, if it hasn’t already, and that’s a good thing. We can’t go around feeling like an exposed and raw nerve forever.
Chuck Wendig wrote in his latest post, ‘…We’re all in mourning from the death of normalcy…’ In his wonderful Chuck Wendig way, he spells it out so clearly, that he’s feeling, ‘… definitely, absolutely, unfuckwithably not okay…’ Go read the whole piece, it’s worth it.
After yesterday my chest doesn’t feel as though it’s going to crack under the strain. I’ve been weeping on and off since then, at the oddest things, so that I smile as I weep. (I’ll be OK, just not quite yet)
Point in case, cats and dominos …
What has actually changed in our lives?
The virus has still been out in the world since at least early January. Panic-buying toilet paper is still a thing. People are still dying, sadly. Others are still recovering, an impressive 80-88% of them, and some are not even feeling ill.
World governments will probably/hopefully now institute the measures that needed to have been in place from the beginning.
This virus still remains something that we as a species have never been exposed to before, but as climatic regions continue to be in flux there will be a great many things we will encounter that will challenge us equally. The impact of those challenges will depend on how we choose to engage with them.
So, for this one, don’t breathe on more people than necessary and don’t let ’em breathe on you. Do the social distancing tango and wash your hands regularly. Check on your neighbours, from a distance, and make sure they’re doing OK. Nothing fancy, just a ‘Hi, how are you doing?’ will suffice.
Many thanks to Dr John Campbell for his daily, factual, no-nonsense, updates.
Stay informed, and stay safe, my friends.
This is Dr Campbell’s latest video.
I know! Wild, huh?
It wasn’t anything special, a ‘soft SF’ – meaning a story set in a science-fictionalised universe, but focusing on the characters and not so much on technology, or ‘hard SF’. (a broad description of the two terms but accurate enough for my purpose) – but I enjoyed it … and that got me to thinking.
Since my ‘unmotivation singularity’ epiph, (which is the past-tense-adjective-dangling-participle-with-a-side-order-of-curds-and-whey-broken-motivator, of ‘epiphany’) I’ve been focused on The Wunder-Lusters stuff, and Corvid-19-proofing our home/lives as much as I can. It’s not that I expect to catch the virus, or die if I do, it’s more that I don’t trust my species not to act like chooks with their heads cut off in the coming few months and thereby spreading the little greeblies far further, and swifter, than they otherwise might get.
One human = perfectly sane (relatively speaking) … a gaggle of humans = a fear-filled, out-of-control mob. Not always, of course, but far more often throughout our bloodied history than probably any of us are comfortable acknowledging.
Anyway, back to my epiph … because I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reading words on a page, all lined up in a comprehendable (t’is too a real word … now) and pleasing-to-the eye, order, I felt the stirrings of a desire to get back to my own comprehendable, and pleasing-to-the eye, ordering of words upon a page.
So come Monday there shall be great loin-girding here upon Widder Island, and writing of my books shall recommence!
And for those of you who missed out on the truly spectacular magnificence that was The Far Side, fear not, for his Eternal Magnificence, Gary Larson, has consented to bring back his Good Works and display them online … every day … for free.
My favourite one ever, (I’m eagerly waiting for it to show up in the daily selection) is of a bunch of animals, including a giraffe, riding along in a convertible. (just go with it) The animal driving sees a low clearance bridge ahead and yells to the others, “Duck!” … The giraffe looks up, and, of course, says, “Where?” An old joke but in Gary’s hands, a work of art.
Go forth, oh Fallen Acolytes, and rejoice again! … seriously, if you love slightly twisty, frequently insanely twisty, yet brilliant ‘toons, go check out The Far Side.
I loved you, perhaps more than I should,
But never held back my praises.
After long years of service to kith and to kin,
Your fate now, is pushing up daisies.
Alas good friend, sturdy and true,
Of stout and ample girth.
Your brittle exterior and mottled interior,
Shall soon return to the earth.
T’was not by malice that brought you undone,
Nor the cruel hand of fate, serendip.
But a flaw, long hidden, a crack in your side,
Opened you up from handle to lip.
And now that you’re broken, no matter how hard I try,
Not with glue nor duct tape can you be mended.
Like egg-shells and snowflakes adrift in the void,
This incarnation of yours, is now ended.
Which isn’t to say you’ll not live again,
After all, we’re all made of celestial stuff.
So Bon Voyage, my companion, honest and true,
Time to rest, you’ll be reborn, soon enough.
My computer is too old and too slow to open up Shotcut – my video editing software of choice. (after exhaustive researchings across the eleventy-gazillion dimensions of the interwebz) This I discovered after installing and uninstalling the software, successfully I might add, eleventy-gazillion times in a futile effort to get the damn thing to open.
Apparently my computer doesn’t ‘do’ 64 bits.(I have no idea what 64 bits is except that its double the humble 34 bits that are currently residing somewhere inside its hard-drive)
Mrs Widds computer, which is eleventy-gazillion generations younger than mine, was successful in both installing and opening the software!
“Eureka!” I hear you cheer … “No,” I riposte.
Mrs Widds computer, heretofore refuseth-ed to commune with my iPhone, (generation 5s – I know, I know, there’s a theme going on here) upon which I have extensively trained myself to take videos with. (Not having an actual dedicated video camera to do the deed with, I foolishly believed that because my phone successfully uploaded videos to my computer, it would be able to do unto Mrs Widds computer the same thing too)
I herewith tender my resignation to the Wednesday the 26th’s Center of Operations for the night!!!
So there …
… and I’m going to sleep until it’s tomorrow, and start all over again.
(I’m nowhere as cute as this little baby fox … which if memory serves me right, is one of Chuck Wendig’s family of foxes from last year, who raised their kits near his house, and he took many, many, way-too-cyoot photos of the younglings)
I’ve been through some evolutions in my life. Some of ’em I’ve mentioned in passing on my ‘About Me’ page, and a whole lot more of ’em are in ‘Prelude’ (which is half shaman-y Journeys and half autobiography) but, apart from two highlights, (my motorcycle accident, and emigrating here to Canada from Australia) nothing comes close to what I, (along with Mrs Widds, of course) am about to undertake.
Our story begins in the back-yard of a cottage, on an island, in the middle of a lake.
(Note to self: remember that line for when Hollywood comes a-knocking to make a star-studded movie … no, a star-studded movie franchise, outta this!)
So, The Wunder-Lusters …
For the new kids in town, and I seem to get about half a dozen new subscribers every week, and for some unknowable reason, even more when I go through ‘dry spells’ where I don’t publish anything, (like the gap that was half of January and February) The Wunder-Lusters will be the name of our YouTube channel where we’ll be documenting our adventures … going from our little cottage, (on an island, in the middle of a lake) to living in our travel-trailer full-time, exploring the length and breadth of British Columbia, nay, the length and breadth of Canada, (we’ll see how far we get) whilst keeping a weather-eye out for our forever home, our Sanctuary.
That’s the big picture. The smaller picture is … smaller … so, we return to our back-yard.
It’s a small back-yard and at this time of the year the very tall fir-trees along our southern fence line leave their shadows across it all day long. Because we’re going to make some fairly significant modifications to our (8M/25′) trailer so that two women, who like their spaaaace, can live in it full-time and not kill each other, we needed a place to work that was protected from the elements.
We have a patio attached to the house that’s just a roof, so we covered the three exposed sides with plastic. (unfortunately we rent so we can’t do any major, nor obvious, nor permanent, renovations)
We knocked together a minimalist framework …
Then we duct-taped the edges of our plastic sheeting and stapled the lot to the framework, creating wide doors, for the goings-ins and the coming-outs of various projects in various states of completion …
The patio has always had a few leaks so Mrs Widds scooted up the ladder onto the roof and took care of the ones we could find, but like typos, there’s always one that escapes even the sternest scrutiny.
Our next task was to create a workbench … out of … well, we didn’t have enough bits of timber left, but luckily I found this underneath a pile of junk a previous tenant had left behind …
Once the frame had dried out – this was during the four months of rain we had from November 2019 to … now really, (with assorted sunny bits of late) we plonked it down on a couple of bookshelves we ‘liberated’ from my books, threw a slab of plywood on top, and voilá …
And that’s where we’re currently at.
Our first official project involves this interesting little sketch I made. Lets see if you can guess what it is …
In the meantime – I continue to learn about the making of, and editing, videos, whilst being regularly startled at how broad my Aussie accent is. Just goes to show, you can take the woman out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the woman, even after nearly sixteen years … mind you, I also occasionally shift to a strange hybrid English accent as well, sometimes in the same sentence.
Before I get to the Wunder-Lusters info post, I decided it’s about time I mentioned this bloke from England, John Campbell. He posts daily informed, well-researched, NON-sensationalist/alarmist, updates on the SARS-CoV-2 (virus)/COVID-19 (disease) outbreak that’s currently poised to be called a pandemic. (given that there are confirmed cases in at least 30 countries – according to the interactive info-graphic from Johns Hopkins University as of today, 20th February 2020)
Here’s a LINK to the infographic.
John is the best source of across-the-board information I’ve come across. He makes things easy to comprehend without dumbing-down or, as I mentioned, sensationalising, the information. Here’s his update for today …
He has lots of other really fascinating health/medical stuff too … I now understand the biological mechanics of how a fever actually works. If nothing else he’s a great research resource for those of us who find doing our research almost, almost, the best thing about being a writer.
So…. barring unforeseen circumstances, Wunder-Lusters is indeed, next.
Sounds like a great title for a science fiction story, doesn’t it?
But first, a picture of some blue sky… because I haven’t seen any for far too long, and there might not be any tomorrow …
We’re actually between two rain-storms dropping enormous amounts of rain on already sodden ground. Landslides and flooding abound … Interesting Times.
Back to this singularity …
Good old Vernor Vinge, (he of the great ‘Vernor’s Law’ (for writers) which states that ‘all scenes need to accomplish at least 2 of 3 things: 1 – Provide background information, 2 – Develop the Characters, and 3 – Advance the plot’) first popularised the concept of ‘the singularity’ in a 1993 essay, (definitely worth a read if you’re interested in such things) wherein he posited that it signaled the end of the human or ‘Anthropocene’ era where human interaction with technology advances far enough that what we currently understand as ‘being human’ will cease to exist. (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of it)
My singularity was a little less … hmm .. grandiloquent. I have been singularly unmotivated to do anything, writing, blogging (just look at the last date I posted anything here) working on the Wunder-Lusters, cook, clean, or, on occasions, get out of bed.
I’m blaming it on the weather. Rain, to be precise. Four months of unrelenting rain, broken only by momentary spells of not-rain.
See that photo of the Winter Tree at the top of this post? All that green stuff isn’t just grass, it’s grass sitting on top of ankle deep mud just waiting to suck down the unwary into it’s watery, sludgy depths.
As much as my intellect understands that living through extreme weather events is now an irreversible fact, my ability to engage with their subtler consequences dug in its heels and refused to budge.
My world became smaller and smaller, old habits, old expectations, based on decades, generations even, of ‘knowing’ what the weather was supposed to be like at this time of year, clung to me even as they were being scoured away by abrasive realities.
It didn’t help, of course, that what we’re planning to do with the Wunder-Lusters will turn just about every single aspect of our lives upside down as well. There was some serious digging in of heels there, let me tell you.
So there I was, circling the drain of ennui, inertia, and false expectations. Slowly, inexorably moving toward that point, that unmotivation singularity, where I’d … well, to put it bluntly, disappear up my own bum.
I didn’t, thankfully. And it wasn’t as though I was struck by some magical mystical bolt of cosmic goo, or a great revelation lit up the inside of my skull.
It was just… a moment, in time … that stayed with me for no longer that a single breath … and then, I was on the other side.
Upon re-reading, I see that I’ve confabulated my past and present tenses (bad writer) but really, it’s the singularity’s fault.
P,S, I’ll be waffling on, with more detail, about what we’re up to with the Wunder-Lusters in my next post.
Whirlwinds of ice crystals racing each other along the snow-covered road…
Shoveling the driveway clear and salting the footpath. Crisp whiteness, icicle cold air to breathe …
A halcyon time, seven days long …
… and now?
… it’s raining … again.