The Remains of the Day: Sitting By the Edge of the Wall

The last twenty-four hours have been strange and good ones.

First off, yesterday morning someone decided to leave a long, transphobic rant in the comments of yesterday’s blog post.  I gave it a quick read-through then sent it off to spam, since that would pretty much block that person from posting here under that email again, then blocked their their Google + account, which appeared to have been set up just to make their post.  About an hour after that happened I did some of my computer magic and discovered that (1) they were on my site for fifteen and a half minutes, (2) they posted from an iPhone, which is probably why they were on my site for so long, (3) the owner of the phone comes from a city in eastern West Virginia, and (4) their email had vanish.  Yes, you can run, but I will find you.

Then, walking home last night, I pulled a muscle in my left calf.  This is the same muscle that I tore teaching aerobics about twenty-five years ago, and it had started acting up on me yesterday morning as I got out of bed.  I’ve tried heat and ice on it, and today it’s in better shape though still sore.  So today I stick to flats throughout the day.

The good is that I opened boxed for a gift exchange I was in, and I scored a few nice things:

Behold the geeky stash!

Behold the geeky stash!

The mermaid socks I can’t wear because I have huge calves, so I’m giving them to the daughter of a friend who was also in the exchange as she watched a video of me opening my gifts and loved the sock.

Now I have a couple of cool wall hangings, a novel, a frelling bag–

Hodge Geektastic Exchange 0510201603

And more figurines for my limited desk space.

If you know your characters, from left to right it’s Sarah Manning and Helena from Orphan Black, Michonne from The Walking Dead, and behind Helena is Baby Groot who, I should point out, was hand made for me by my gifter.

Oh, and there was one other gift:  a pink oneies that was made special for me.

Pretty in Pink, yeah?

Pretty in Pink, yeah?

Yes, now I can stay warm–and I do mean warm, ’cause that’s fleece–during the winter when there is no one else to keep me warm.  And hope I don’t have to use the bathroom much cause getting into that is like putting on a space suit.

Now . . . what about writing?

Well, my calf isn’t the only thing hurting.  The last couple of days I’ve had considerable pain in the knuckles of my pinkie and ring fingers of my right hand, and it was hurting so much last night that I found it difficult to type.  I managed only a little better output than I had the evening before–about four hundred and sixty-six words this time–and it didn’t help that my left calf was killing me as well, which means I should have been sitting down with my feet propped up instead.  And I just remembered:  the battery on this computer lasts about four hour now, so I could have tried writing that way instead.  Okay, note to self:  try that tonight if you have to write.

What I did get out not only advancing things a little, but ends in a way that no one would ever expect . . .

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Kerry asked about visiting, Annie said yes, as she thought going to the wall was a good idea. Getting there wasn’t a problem: Kerry pulled his broom from Hammerspace and was airborne in about ten seconds, and Annie was alongside, floating into the air with aid from her Flight Gift. After the quick flight to Sunset they landed atop the wall and found a place to rest.

They did something there a few meters from Sunset Tower that they’d never done before: the sat upon the raised outer segment of the wall and dangled their legs over the edge of the fifteen meter high ledge. Annie watched Kerry carefully position himself so he wouldn’t tumble, realizing that his fear of heights hadn’t completely left him yet. She found that phobia a bit usual, as he didn’t have problem flying a couple of kilometers above the ground, but he was still shaky sitting at the top of a fifteen meters wall.

They sat quietly for about ten minutes, holding hands and watching the western light diminish as the sun vanished below the horizon. It was only when it seemed the gloom beneath their feet had become a tangible thing did Kerry speak. “What are you thinking about?”

She half-turned her head to her right. “I’m wondering about what you’re thinking.”

He chuckled. “Me, huh?”

“Yes.”

Kerry stared off to the west towards the town of Annisquam and the harbor beyond. “I just wonder if we’re going to get hit with any more strange stuff before we leave school?”

Annie carefully regarded the question. “While the past few months have been rather revealing and not a little unusual, I believe everything out of the ordinary has likely come to an end.”

“Yeah. Probably.” He released Annie’s hand and set his elbows against his thighs before leaving slightly forward. “You want to see if this Three Bindings thing is going to affect us, don’t you?”

“Naturally.” She swung her right leg up and under her left so she could turn and face Kerry. “You know me well enough that you shouldn’t even have to ask that question, my love.” Annie returned to sitting with her legs over the wall edge. “And I know you well enough to know you want to know if it’ll affect us as well.” She cranked her head around so she could see him clearly. “You should know better, Mr. Malibey.”

He laughed aloud as he turned towards Annie. “I do know better than that, Mrs. Malibey, it’s just—”

Kerry caught himself himself a few words later but couldn’t turn away from Annie, who stared back with a look of amazement on her face. She found her voice a few seconds after silence fell between them. “Well . . . that’s something I hadn’t expect to hear.”

 

And those last paragraphs will have me digging into the last novel, because that’s where this is going in a way:  back to the past.

All I have to do now is get through the day.

"Oh, man:  what sort of shit awaits beyond my door?  Be gentle, please."

“Oh, man: what sort of shit awaits beyond my door? Be gentle, please.”

Down in the Konro

Oi.  The horror, the horror . . . the horror of word count!  Well, it’s not that much of a horror, but sometimes it just drives you crazy enough that you want to go, “Hummmm . . . why am I doing this again?  I could be doing something worth while like cooking meth.  Or selling myself an S&M club.  Or hanging on Facebook making fun of people–oh, wait:  I do that now.”

You get the point.  Sometimes even the best person who’s doing this work wonders why they bother.  ‘Cause lets face it, if you ain’t a writer, you are mystified by this thing called, “Story Tellin’,” and it tends to bend your little mind.  (Notice I didn’t say, “Bendy Wendy,” because there’s no timey whimey involved.  Straight up cause and effect, ya understand?)

Unless you’re a “name author”, you’re toiling in obscurity.  And I do mean that:  friends almost never ask me what I’m working on, co-worker give less than a single shit about my stories, and even here at home, the family unit doesn’t ask about about anything beyond, “Are you still writing?”, or “How is your writing?”

To be honest, I get it easy on the family front.  A lot of people I know talk about how the Other Halves are in their shit a lot, arguing that they’re wasting their time with something that isn’t bringing in money, that they should be working on something worthwhile.  It’s always that little dig at the end that puts the cherry on the top of the You’re Disappointing Sundae, because if you aren’t living up the expectations of others, why then, you must be screwing around.

I got two words for these people, and they aren’t “Happy Birthday.”

Yes, what I do with this writing this involves doing something that isn’t bringing in money on the spot; it takes time that means I’m often away doing something that prevents me from doing something else; and it will involve being alone and misunderstood, because if you have months to spend putting words into a computer, and then fixing those words, and then fixing them some more before you send them off without any expectation of getting paid–then why can’t you do something useful?

Oh, piss on it:  Fuck You.  Got it?  Or as Pete Townsend told Abbie Hoffman at Woodstock, “Fuck off my fucking stage!”  Now, I’m not gonna hit anyone in the back of the head with a guitar, but you get the point.  You’re in my world now, Susie Sunshine, and tread carefully, because I will throw your ass in a story where your character is emasculated by insanely vicious chihuahuas, and I’ll love every second of the ongoing groin chewing.

Yes, I’m not generating money with my writing.  Yes, I might not ever generate any money with my writing, and the time will come when I’ll say, “The hell with it,” and stop.  And, yes:  this writing thing mean that I won’t have time for whatever stuff you–and you know who you are–think I should be doing.

I’ve been writing through issues that should block me.  I’ve had headaches that have been blinding enough to make it impossible to think.  I’ve heard bullshit from people that has set my teeth on edge to the point that I think my head is on sideways.

I’m still here; I’m still writing.

No, the payoff isn’t always Sunshine and Unicorns and Lady Fans who want to take us to their boudoirs so they can make us writhe like we’re possessed by demons.  Sometimes you make zip.  Sometimes you make a little, just enough to keep teasing you back to the computer.  If you do make bank on your work, you might clear $50 thousand after your expenses.  Might.

Chuck Wendig has laid out the smack for NaNo, not once but twice.  He talks about prep; he talks about number; he talks about doing it every damn day, ’cause that’s the only way you’re gonna get better.  But he lays out this little gem, and it’s worth repeating in its entity because it is too damn awesome (From 25 Motivational Thoughts for Writers, by Chuck Wendig, from Terrible Minds):

20.  How To Image The Haters

If there is one thing we have learned upon this old Internet of ours, it is: haters gonna hate. You will ever have disbelievers among your ranks, those who pop up like scowling gophers, boring holes through your well-being, your hopes, your dreams. It is very important not to prove the haters right. It is very important to know where to place the haters in rank of importance, which is to say, below telemarketers, below any television show on TLC, below crotch fungus and garbage fires and anal cankers. Imagine the haters herded into a pen. Eaten by the tigers of your own awesomeness. Then digested. Shat out. And burned with flamethrowers. The only power you should afford the haters is the power to eat curb.

 

I’m working on a story that requires a lot of work, a lot of research.  Last night I finished a chapter that wasn’t easy to write, because I found it hard to get into writing.  I ended the chapter, which involved my character being questioned with a police officer, with one of my characters saying she could stand a little more konro, which is a beef rib soup dish one finds in Makassar.

I screwed up that word “konro” maybe six or seven times, and only today got around to fixing it.  This after having looked it up maybe four or five times since Monday.  But I finally got it right because–I’m a writer.  And I’m writing.  This is what I do.

So word to the haters:  get off my tits.  I am me, you are you, and I’m not asking you to pen a novel.  I’m decided to do this insanity on my own, and if, per chance, you find it strange that I’m not down with what you think I should do, tough.

‘Cause if you’re not careful, one of my characters is gonna get dressed in her finest Lolita outfit, dig out those platform goth boots she loves so much, buckle them on, then find you and curb stomp your ass into the nearest hospital.

Only because, you know, I’m totally into non-violence.

But my characters aren’t.