I have followed Keith’s magisterially mature and dignified blog for some time now and have consistently been impressed by his ability to deliver a strong point in restrained tones.
I, therefore, am passing details of this recent post to all my American followers. To those in other nations share this that your American followers make take up the cause to win their nation back from hysteria, excess, bigotry and incompetence.
The following is a variation of a letter I forwarded to my US legislators. Please feel free to adapt and use. ************** Seeing the parade of diplomats and senior staff members testifying under oath regarding their consistent concerns over the president’s abuse of power is telling. They are exhibiting political courage with the knowledge they […]
Jerry Mabbott is a professional comic with a wry sense of the absurd. This is a fine example of his work.
Check out his blog for CHUCKLES
Recently, someone told me to check my ego at the door. Now I can’t remember which door where I checked it. Is it possible for someone to steal it?
It’s awful being without my ego. I’m unable to brag, judge others and act as though I’m superior to everyone around me! How will I ever get by? I should be able to find it fairly easy because it’s so huge.￼￼ many tell me just just remembered that it’s too big and I need therapy. Wait! I ￼just remembered. It’s in her office.
I promise to be more humble after I get it back. The real question for me is where does it go? I mean, where in the body does the egoreside? I’ve heard that it is in part of the brain and also I’ve heard that it is in the heart. Looks like I’ll have to have brain surgery…
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(Should be played throughout the post for the full esoteric and joyous effect)
Oh joy of joys!
Let there be singing and dancing in the streets
and the villages, for thanks be to
I can now communicate on WordPress without fear of being a Non-Person. For Google did lifteth the scales from my eyes and did show unto me that was a false prophet whose browser was filled with much evil miasma and thought crimes
Ahhhh Goodly Blessed Programmer of Google Chrome
How wonderful of you to care for me so.
For all I needed to so was sign a long and obtuse document put together by the caring lawyers
of Great Google and download a whole slew of necessary stuff
I am so very, very happy
Join with me ye Word Press
and sing praises wondrous to
If you are in this state of mind……….
“I do like my computer, I trust Microsoft to do the very best for me with its upgrades and I think that every site especially Word Press, FaceBook , Yahoo, Google, and Amazon to name but a few have me, my mental welfare and my experiences and a trouble free way of working uppermost in their minds.
I am content that in the future I will trust everything they do.”
- Do not use your Computer very much.
- Need to check the contents of those new vitamin pills you are taking.
- Should stop using your device for a day or two and let the subliminal messages wear off.
- Could ask a good friend or near relative to use theirs on your behalf and not to pay attention to the language they use when doing so.
- Might consider relocating to a log cabin, remote cottage or abandoned lighthouse and living a simpler life.
Failing this you should ask someone to empty of bucket of ice-cold water over you so you come to your senses enabling you to do like the rest of us….. scream, swear and threaten physical violence
upon the computer systems and sites sundered & various.
And never forget there is always the good old, dependable
Whatever inane and puerile image WP is feeding you at the head of this post, it should be……..
Anyway to the business at hand.
Losing the plot
No, I do not actually mean the reaction you get when you have another rejection letter
Or if you’ve been having one too many relaxing quaffs of your favourite beverage
Or maybe just confused by the entire day (as we do)
OR an observation on WP’s various bits of nonsense and failure to take care of our blogs
(It’s the end of the World as we know it…..)
No, I am referring to those occasions when in the midst of a writing project you notice that you have become so immersed in the characters, their surroundings, or something to do with the interactions of the aforementioned that the plot had sort of drifted away…
So you start out with a plot yes? And naturally you need to have characters (even if it is only a chair in an dusty long forgotten room- well you could). Your characters would have a narrative and a setting. And away you went….
and the next thing you know is you all you want to do is create conversations or descriptions because your characters are so darn interesting, and anyway you do so like the landscapes or environments you have created and people should know about them because they are….. well….. y’know, you think they should, it enhances the plot…..
Oh ………….. Yes
Somewhere along the way the reason why everyone was there has sort of got shoved into a corner. There was something important going on, you were sure of it…. well it was important when the narrative started out, bbbbbbut!
……. it’s not half as interesting as the simmering possible romance between those two characters who started out as supports or minor protagonists to the central character(s). They had been separately hired to make a team to hunt that central character; one being the detective sort and the other being the assassin sort, It’s a great deal of fun to write them bantering over clues as to where the central character might be and each being critical about the other’s profession,…and….like….WOW! It does seem to work rather well as a sort of rom-com done by the Coen Brothers. And gosh…….
They are rather cute together.
Oh yeah….that central character…..
Now where did I leave them with the secret thingamajig with, the….what was the important stuff? Oh yeahhhh, and what did the important stuff have to do with anything?
…..maybe it just does not seem as interesting as it was when you started off??
OK, not to worry. Time has not been wasted. You are not a bad writer (I will deduct credits from anyone who says they are). You are not to throw the whole thing away. You have all those words, instances, scenes, dialogue, and so forth. The whole business just needs another look to
Let us, for the sake of argument take the above example and give the situation you are in some thought.
Maybe is it possible the original Plot is just not for you. Sure it is not a bad idea, we know it is has been done before, but there can always be lots of variations. Now there is the clue for you. The variation.
Since you have been naturally drawing to the pair of hunters, these could have been the princiapl characters which were lurking about in the back of your mind as you thought of the original outline. However as we are all prone to outside influences (oh yes we are), you may have been unconsciously drawn to the standard set up. So all you need to do is take a very deep breath, do not destroy what you have created, keep that in a separate folder (clerical or computer) and start again but bear in mind those two hunters will become the central folk. At this juncture I am making a sweeping assumption in that your work is ending up on some sort of computer record, in which case I would give you one of my adages:
In Ctrl+C followed by Ctrl +V I trust….. It is actually the only durn bit of Word I do trust. I shift whole chapters about like that, while keeping in an eye on continuity and time flow though I also cheat, since I write fantasy where Time is not wholly linear as we perceive (isn’t he just such a smooth operator?)
So back you go, to re-working this and gently pushing the previous main character and the reason for why they are being pursued a little into the background and concentrate on that couple, because you are working so well with that. Yes, we know that anyone who says they enjoy all of thier writing is going to get looked at sideways by other writers, but you should have some fun in the aforementioned process….otherwise it will not work.
(Aside: If anyone does want to use the above outline for a project….go ahead…have fun)
The other possibility open to you is to set your shoulders to the wheel and steer the plot back on course:
With a few ‘hard a port’ ‘hard a starboard’ tweaks with the realisation that when it comes to your FIRST re-write you will have to do some early amending to make the process smoother.
It should always be borne it mind that the first draft is always ‘Not a Finished’ product (some folk use the technical term ‘crap’). I like to think of it as a room where you have been putting stuff to be reorganised:
Thus you should not worry too much about the plot being slightly askew. Once you have completed the draft you will have the benefit of an allegorical 20/20 hindsight and during your first re-write can steer your course with more certainity, clarity and conductivity [ The word flowed smoothly with the preceding two and on examination of the definition which although referring to matters electrical did have a certain resonance when viewed via the prism of writing – well I thought so].
In short plots like the rest of the writing process can be flexible items there to be adjusted or melded as you see fit as your work progresses.
Thus be of good cheer and strive on.
Thought for the day:
To Word Press’s Computer Systems
OK….I will address in due time your reason for putting up inane and unwarranted pictures above my posts.
But will you stop telling me to log in to reply to some posts when I am already logged in and with others making me Anonymous.
Small wonder I don’t pay for your services anymore.
Y’know you are starting to make Microsoft Word look like a model of symplicity and user-friendliness
Lots of Bad Words……
And now to get my own personally selected image and not some puerile commercially generated mish-mosh………..
If you are in that mood where things are taken very seriously or in the literal, as we all do from time to time. Then you might not want to read this:
Often The Sardonic does not travel very well on paper (or the electronic version) as it often needs inflections of voice, expressions of face and hand gestures to let folks in on the act…
This is one of these posts I consider a public service, allowing the readers who are also writers and going through a desert patch to think:
‘Oh. Not just me then,’
‘Wow. Glad I’m not like that. It can’t be so bad then,’
‘Phew! Note to self. Must avoid doing this’
‘Yeh. It happens,’
I’m in a sulk. I shouldn’t be in a sulk.
All the rules integration intakes have been screened for comprehensive effective digestion and in consequence complete assimilation. My fatalistic mode has been checked and is fully operational. My realistic perception is working at maximum range all directions visual, temporal and esoterical. My hard truth review status is still supplying the correct and continually painful feedback. All four are in complete interface and co-ordination. All possible solutions and attendant stratagems have been produced and evaluated. There is, therefore, nothing to complain about.
Still in a sulk though
Practically speaking, that is.
The problem is, of course the Irrational. I shouldn’t be too hard on the Irrational, after all if it was not for The Irrational I would not be writing. After all, what is the point of sitting in one’s room rattling out narratives in defiantly independent mode and at times deliberately cutting oneself off from the outside literature on the basis it might interfere with your own work. How does that work? Uh? No….wait a minute….I ‘ve read that back to myself and it is certainly, without a doubt, quite and unarguably Irrational.
Now I lost the thread of the post due to a smallish soliloquy on justification…..Ah me.
Anyway, back to engaging the Hard Truth Review, just to get this done.
Sulk crept up…
So there I was, like a week ago, rummaging through the Audio Book online catalogue to see ‘wot was wot’ for the next purchase (Aside, I have become a dreadfully lazy and fidgety reader of paper and electronic equivalents, I need to listen as I rummage around doing chores and so forth).
‘You need to catch up on the Fantasy/Sci-Fi’ I told myself ‘Get yourself a breath of bracing and refreshing outlooks, see what’s going on down’ Oh dear that did not go well. It is possible being 68 and male has something to do with it. Not getting recognition by means magical certainly caused a huff to break out (I shall not include titles nor author’s names; offence will be caused to innocent readers) But a sample of the remarks went:
‘Not another unstoppable horde!’
‘A cruel king/baron/emperor? Well when you overthrow him in Book 5 set up a socialistic republic!’
‘Ok. Like who goes 60 million light years just to attack Earth and its piddly colonies?’
‘(Bad Word)! That’s my (bad word) ing plot! Awww (bad word) + (other bad words)’
‘Don’t get involved kiddos. Open up a tavern and fishmongers- it’ll be different’
And of course the very forlorn, self-pitying and irrational.
‘Why not me?????’
I stuck with some on my wish list, checked some of the reviews, which are usually very short and then ambled over to Amazon. Read one by someone who liked a certain book very much, immediately took a dislike to the book, the author (usually a favourite of mine) and the reviewer, vowed not to read the stupid book, as it was obvious every was only liking it because of ‘the name’. Indulged my sulk even more
Went to my fall-back search for history books as they can be a good source of inspiration, what with writing fantasy with political and military bits. I hadn’t realised exquisiteness of the sulk mode.
‘Read better books than that on the subject. What the (bad word) do they know?’
‘Not going to read any book by someone who writes well of (redacted)’
‘Yeah. Yeah. But they didn’t win that war. So who gives a (bad word)!’
‘Oh (bad word) not another conspiracy book about Pearl Harbour/ Kennedy/ LBJ (more bad words)!’
‘You can’t write about the German-Russian Front of WWII in a book that only takes 8 hours to narrate!’
‘Well there’s no point reading that since Trump got elected (more bad words)!’
‘Who gives a (bad word) about another book on Hitler?’
And so on….
As I was obviously determined to be insufferable and was just looking for reasons to be offended but was possessed of two credits to use on audio books I veered off into genres quite uncommon to me. Looked for something that was longer than 10 hours to listen to, did not involve serial killers, miserable self-absorbed jerks, some personality’s idea of humour or a cover that bears their grinning or alleged self-mocking face.
Found books with uncomplicated people, with ordinary problems (or maybe a modest government stitch-up without body count) which were resolved to a tidy and feel-good way and was thus satisfied.
At least they got me out of most of my sulk (but not the important bit)
I am still currently insisting being irrational about why I am not a success, despite all the reasoning arguments to the contrary. I have told myself I am being, aside from irrational, immature, unrealistic, self-pitying and a royal pain to myself and everyone else and shouldn’t be writing this post. I should be doing more marketing
I must dash off and get my own double copy available on Kindle
(and then I use more bad words).
And am therefore in an excellent to mood to write just as I durn well please, since….So What!
Oooooh…..The Sulk has gone away
Any comments on marketing should be referred to another more mature and better informed site.
This post has been made possible by diligent years of training at and study of the challenging art of being grumpy with a sense of humour and perspective .
This should not be tried at home without the necessary tutelage and supervision in the early stages. Nor practised on widely used social media forums where high rates of mean spirited idiocy by folk devoid of any sense of humour will of course be encountered
and are a waste of an intelligent person’s time.
Let us therefore end on a soothing note
And I must be on my way……….
97,430 words out since I left port to discover the ending of Volume III of the Precipice Dominions.
The evasive yet talked of landfall is definitely out there, all the evidence in my possession points to its existences, however there is ever the problem of the uncharted vastness in reaching those shores. And yet I must journey on, ever summoned by the soft siren song calling out across the distances.
There have been storms of continuity and places in which I suffered the fear of forever becalmed and the dread of a work unfinished. Sometimes I lost sight of those porpoises of plot and was left wondering if they had felt me not worth their sport, fleeting away to seek brighter and far more entertaining climes.
I walk the decks assailed by doubts as whether the journey is worth the effort and will there be any interest in my discovery? For out there on the enormity of the imagination are many such voyagers intent on reaching other and maybe more wonderous places.
Yet there can be no turning back, for I owe much to be joyous crew of characters whose constant chatter, antics and small amusing mutinies do keep my spirts ever focused on the dawn where lies beckoning the journey’s end.
Blow then fayre winds of inspiration and send me onwards, ever onwards.
Here is a blog which is well worth a visit to remind us all in our relatively comfortable ‘west’ what we might take for granted has to be hard won in other parts of the world.
Today is a birthday as The Human Lens celebrates its 8th year in the virtual wordpress blogging sphere.
Time flies by so fast and there were occasions I felt that I had to give up blogging due to time constraints and being caught up in life. But nothing to keep me from my blogging passion and writing activism. Here is a short recap of the blog achievements during these years:
758 posts focusing the various topics of and around human rights, feminism, religion, race, gender, conflicts, women and children rights etc.
The total number of subscribers are 369 who come from Asia, Africa, Europe, Americas and Australia.
In 2015, The Human Lens became the media partner of the non profit organization, North-South Initiative – Malaysia, read here more.
The blog started off with three categories and graudally built up with time to grow into seven thematic areas:
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