What Was that Quote?

I’m writing a fic (hoping to finish the last 50k draft during NaNo) about a period after a failed grab for political power and civil war, where frightened people are reforming the areas that were thought most dangerous. So I am looking for thoughts for various advocates in the story. They want to keep what works, what is humane and effective, but don’t really have a body of thought or examples to guide them in what to do or how to do it. They’ve gone too many years without thinking about these things and nearly lost all rights after frightened people gave too much away.

I remembered a quote about needing a little revolution in some movie. Digging for the quote in my memory, I thought it was Lenin or some other Russian.

Well google is my friend when it comes to trivia. I was surprised the learn it was a quote from a letter from Jefferson to Madison:

“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccesful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government.” ― Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

That wasn’t exactly what I remembered some actor saying, but by this point I thought it was Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October..

Capt. Marko Ramius:
A little revolution now and then is a healthy thing, don’t you think?

That is a slight restatement of the same insight of Jefferson. Healthy as a thunderstorm is not a common metaphor, but storm winds do clear out dangerous fogs, bringing in fresh rain and new ideas. So the change serves the concept, even if it is a little ambivalent with it spoken by a Soviet defector.

Looking back in my story’s world, it’s easier to spot problems in the story’s setting, just like real life. But how can a republic be structured to balance effectiveness and freedom? Those in my fic are quite serious about keeping the good parts of the system, and hammering out important change is so much harder than ripping it all down. But ripping it all down whole hog can make for a far worse system, just ask those under Emperor Palpatine.

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Screeching Halt

Broken Incandescent Bulb

Broken Lightbulb by Kevin Galens, via Flickr

Yesterday started out as a good day. Before I finished washing when I got up I had a fun idea for a short fanfic for familiar characters as cast and crew for a pending disaster of a school musical. Picking setting, picking majors, and modifying canon background to fit an inner city university. I wrote a good intro, started and infodump… took a good look and screeched to a halt.

Oh, I had bits I wanted to include and the train wreck of the homemade production, but no character arcs. And no ideas. All I could come up with were the grind of a stage production. So I decided to let it wait… after I pruned the worst of the infodump.

I needed a day off my laborious combat chapter in another work, so I found an original short story I misplaced when my beta returned it.

It sucked. I’m not even sure much of it could be salvaged.

I’m not that enthused to fix it, but that will be another day. If I can fix it, that will give me a full series for Kindle.

At the end of the day I hadn’t finished anything, not even the musical one shot.

My consolation is that I had another idea that was even stronger, ten chapters and maybe more. I just wanted to do something lighter.

Where Have All the Ideas Gone?

damaged and worn clockface

il tempo si è fermato by Alessandro Prada, from Flickr under the Creative Commons 2.0 licensed attribution

Long time passes. I’m a champion procrastinator. Now many of the things I put off, like cleaning out my email and starting holiday cards early are not that big a deal, and finishing that needlepoint for the fair can wait. After all, I only started it in ’87 and I’ve picked up and dropped several hobbies since then. and an unfinished textile project just might make by top one hundred things I could be doing. It’s not that important. Other tasks are more stressful, like tracking down info for a new HMO, avoiding them gives me a small joy. I can put off writing for a looooonng time if I don’t have an idea. But finding nonfiction ideas is another task I can put off.

Right now, I was trying to recoup the idea for this blog I had during a bath earlier. It was perfect. The essence of the idea was pithy and had a snap. It had some relationship to the real world and humor without mean.

But it’s gone.

Soppy, soapy wash-cloths do not make for good record keeping. All that remains is just how shiny the idea was.

And an empty textbox…

A Lady Said It First

There’s a relevant quote that seems to have been forgotten as the wheel turns. Evelyn Beatrice Hall, a biographer steeped in Voltaire, wrote in her Friends of Voltaire:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

This summarized Voltaire’s beliefs, but he didn’t actually say it. Evelyn Hall was an active author and coauthor for about thirty years, but her work related to Voltaire and free speech seem to be her most influential. So much that her quote is attributed to him.

I don’t like what a lot of people say, but it’s not just the loathed neonazis who push their hatred onto others, but also those who think their good intentions make up for their virulent hate for those who don’t agree, like vaxxers and global warming.

It doesn’t.

The wheel keeps turning, never forget that. I regret all the damage and lives ruined because they forgot how to play well with others. If your ideas are that convincing, you don’t need to be spiteful. The wheel turns and those the old guard will change or pass. By being mean and petty, they are the bastards, the ends do not justify the means.
[inspired by Ethics Alarm report of crude counter protest

Summer Doldrums, redux

This year isn’t the health nightmare last year became, but I got thoroughly sidetracked back into fanfic again. This year has its own challenges, a home remodel stalled, sans materials and helpers, plus an employee issue that just won’t settle. I’ve also discovered that your GP retiring can make for a real mess in fining a new doctor if your HMO likes to count the same ten doctors four times when they brag of having five hundred. And neonatal were not marked as such.

Really, this year isn’t a nightmare.

Do you believe that?

I am close to finishing the one fanfic, and I want to shift that time to original fiction again. The other is only halfway through, tho most has been drafted. I haven’t decided if I will resume short fic or restart revising a novel. Also, do I want to do NaNo this year? It’s only a month, but I have too many unrevised NaNos already.

wiu?

Earlier this week those keys on my laptop keyboard started skipping. Sometimes for lower case, much more frequently for upper. But it doesn’t affect all the keys in the top row, doesn’t affect any other rows, doesn’t even affect the keys used most for a game. Qerw vs wiu.

this does make writing first person singular a challenge for essays, reader comments, and my fiction. Those things cover much of my time.

‘m running out of fixes: did the air/crumbs, check for keyboard updates, uninstall drivers, so it’s looking to be a hardware issue. replacing it and/or the laptop is not really possible.

Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone?

After last year’s surgery prep, my muse for original fiction went bye-bye. I went back to fanfic, where I could do character studies, or explore alternate possibilities. One fanfic is winding down, and the other is being posted quickly because of the many chapters on hold.

Early today I had an idea to handle a problem, but I was dealing with stinky dogs and then messy me so I had nothign to write it on.

Now all I have is the memory that I had an idea… and that reeks.