What are we forgetting?

In the hullabaloo about the issues we seem to be fighting about far too often, we should make a greater effort to remember what has been best about our culture in the US. Yes, we’ve made bad decisions and even horrible ones, but we’ve also done some great things.  We are obsessing about the wrongs, which never fixes anything. Too many cheer about the edgy non-heroes, cheer about the heroes who fall, and go on rampages because the older heroes have warts.

Broken Incandescent Bulb

Broken Lightbulb by Kevin Galens — Used under Creative Commons

Heroes are not cardboard or two dimensional. At their best they transcend the current situation and lead in a better direction. And some make deliberate actions that ruin any legacy.  It’s not just of fair to judge them too harshly from another era, as people in future eras will judge you as harshly for your inhumanity. No one likes Carrie Nation, even if she accomplished things.

We all need to list what works about the Great American Experiment, which is having a terrible self induced turbulence. Everyone’s list will differ, but I’d like to see other’s lists.  Mine are today: Enthusiastic, boisterous, not hide-bound, Trying new philosophies, new religions, new traditions even if they sometimes get rejected.  Land of opportunity that even a newly retired Kentucky Colonel can start a new business and finally find success. A land where every minority has equal rights with other groups, A place where empathy for a pig may run amuck and harshest criticism may fall on cowardice in a crisis. A place that looks to a cooperative future, but still gets far too caught up in mob hysteria and riots forgetting old lessons.

Remember. Most of these crises happened before. How did we forget?

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It’s kind of Block…

I’m working on a little serial story, well actually I have several in different stages. But this one story is kind of stuck. I didn’t think much of it for a while, as I swap working on different stories depending on what interests my muse that day. And a slightly darker one was more interesting for a week or three.

The problem one was an epistolary coming if age, and its conclusion. I stopped writing midscene where the writing character is commenting in the letter that they should have been warned by the humor in the other character’s eyes.

I cannot remember what the joker was going to say.

Oh, I know roughly what the rest of the story is going to be: adventure embarrassing for the lead and then a happy thing they were not expecting.  But the joke was to tie into an issue from earlier chapters.  It ties what is about to happen into earlier events and the lead’s flaw. This bit of dialogue is important. It sets up the climax of the story.

But I just cannot remember the punchline for the dialogue.

Some Tropes should be banned…

Banned for five, maybe ten years. The weepy, helpless, female who waves her arms around, getting in the way.   Damsels in distress have gotten worse in some recent stories.  I’m reaching the point I want them to just do ONE thing to preserve their own lives instead of passive cringing.  OR, I want to help the villain in such a way there is no man-angst for failure… *scream*

Nano Scorecard

swirlsof neon light

NaNo whirlwind 2017, original neon whirlwind by Creativity103 without change, used under Creative Common 2.0

Well, NaNoWriMo 2017 is over, and I’ve caught up on a little sleep. Between Thanksgiving and an HMO issue, this year was unusually challenging. Oh, I put out 51k of writing, but focus was an issue. The words flew out at times, but too many of those were were ideas that belonged in side stories or a much darker and bleak story.

Health issues during Nano cannot be ignored and don’t care that I am on a deadline.

I wrote a very nice scene for my lead and a character they never met because they died five years ago. Writing was easy that day. I heard a song on the radio and wanted oh so badly to write a songfic, but that would break plausibility so badly, I might as well have written a chapter from Hogwarts. But once the muse grabbed me, the I could not go back to my sketchy outline or notes. So my 51k was fractured, and today I attempted to see how much of my intended story got written and where it ended up.

Identifiable chunks of the 51k:

  • Original story intended +20k. On the good side I got through a section I’d been having problems with for months and have snippets that will be easily expnded later.
  • side story +5k. This feeds my fondness for redemption arcs and gradual/non-miracle change.
  • coming of age story +4k
  • Just plain breaks something A +5k  Might be salvageable for main story but is perhaps six months later in story-line.
  • Just plain breaks something B +2k  Cannot use, as there’s no vampires or staffs of resurrection. I did write a nice insight of a major character so that bit will be recycled.
  • Just plain breaks something C 11k. An AU of the original story. This one has some plot conflict that only needs minor revisions to serve as part of the original story’s climax. It also made a nice character dev event that got similar request from an early reader. That bit will be nearly perfect for the original as well.

For the last three I need to link these snippets into the original’s notes so I don’t forget them. Let’s see, that’s about 47k of my Nano efforts. The rest is notes, ideas, babbling that could not be salvageed into actual prose.

Next year I am not letting other stories jump on my muse.

NaNo ghost

I’m busy pruning back my activity to give me enough time for typing. I’m hoping to finish the story I wrote 50k of last November. I’d written further but kept stalling when I hit combat or other problematic scenes.

Restarting where I’d stopped wasn’t helping on the first, but I decided to start skipping forward. I can write summaries for the parts I’m stuck on and still write thousands of words to continue the story…

Maybe I can get a ghost writer for combat?