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Some Psyches Are a Bit Passive-Aggressive. Just Saying.

addtext_com_MDAyMDIwNjI1MjU1A confession: Though it may appear that I only write on this blog every month or so, this is untrue. The truth is, I write a lot—I mean, a lot—that I end up not using. (Much like my manuscripts.)

Let me share the titles of some of the drafts in my folder:

Please Don’t Reset the Year Until I Get to a Save Point. — In which I feel really bad about David Bowie and Alan Rickman dying within a week of each other, but I accomplished a Major (and overdue) Thing and I really don’t want to have to do it again, because it was hard the first time.

My Word for 2016 is ‘Badass.’ — Pretty much what it says it is.

Death and Taxes — As in, the only two things in life that are certain. (This was kind of a downer.)

OMGSTARWARS! — Too many feels to contain. Too many spoilers to post.

All I Want to Do is Keep a Schedule, So Why Do I Need All These Stickers and Colored Pens? — In which I type the word “Planner” into the Pinterest search bar and get sucked into a Filofax-LifePlanner-Hobinachi-SmashJournal Wormhole. (I found out I really like just a Moleskine and a pen. Maybe I color code it a little. Okay, a lot.)

It’s Not You, WordPress, It’s Me. Is blogger’s block a thing? What if I’m only brilliant 140 characters at a time? I have a master’s degree in communication! Social Media shouldn’t be this hard! *sobs into couch cushions*

 

Yeah, I’m totally making this harder than it should be. Don’t try this at home.

No, really. Don’t. I have years and years of training.

Why would anyone write things and then throw them out?  Especially, you know, a professional writer. Well, I’ll tell you. Here’s a sample conversation in my head.

addtext_com_MjM1NzM2MjE1NTk1Me: La la la, I’m so happy to be writing a blog post today. I hope people enjoy reading it.

(Metaphorical) Devil on my shoulder: Oh honey, no. There was a school shooting today, so you’d better post something Important and Profound.

Me: Man, that makes me angry and sad. I’d much rather post about how much I love colored pens.

Devil: Hmmm. Better not post anything. Then we can go get a cherry lime slush from Sonic.

Me: Mmmm… Sonic.

The devil on my shoulder is kind of a passive-agressive asshole.

And then there’s this:

(Metaphorical) Angel on my shoulder: You know what Every Single Writing Article ever says: you’re not a Real Writer if you don’t write every day.

Me: But I didn’t write yesterday.

(Metaphorical) Devil on my shoulder: Then you must not be a Real Writer.

Me: Okay, then. I’m going to sit here and stare at this blank screen until I’ve writtten something.

*stare*

*stare*

Me: Maybe I’ll be inspired if I look at Pinterest for awhile.

Angel: DO NOT TOUCH THAT TRACKPAD, YOUNG LADY.

Me: *touches trackpad*

Devil: You know, if you were a real writer, you would have written 10 pages by now. Just look at all those Real Writers posting their word counts on The Twitter.

Angel: Do NOT even THINK about clicking over to— DAMMIT!

Me: Wow. Those are some Real Writers.

Devil: Yep. And you haven’t written anything in two days now.

Me: I must not be a Real Writer.

Devil: My work here is done. Let’s go to Sonic.

This isn’t just a writer thing.  I know I’m not the only one who thinks “Welp, I’ve blown my calorie count for the day, so I might as well have this ice cream sundae.”

(It occurs to me that I might be a little hungry as I’m writing this.)

ANYWAY…

I’m not any crazier than the next person (in this regard)–we all have an inner passive-agressive asshole. (It gets it’s script from all the outer passive-agressive assholes we’ve met in our lives). But we don’t have to listen.

(I just cut a lot of metaphor about volume dials and car radios on bumpy roads. You’re welcome.)

So, I’ve managed to post a blog before January is over. (*makes checkmark in turquoise for social media task*) And I even I managed to work it around to a takeaway point.

My work here is done. And Sonic is open for another 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Four Calling Birds

I’ll bet you thought Christmas was over. Psych! Today is the fourth of the twelve days of the liturgical season of Christmas, which means that as far as Christian Christmas is concerned, I am not actually late with my Christmas cards. Or presents. Whatever.

This is actually my favorite time of the season, because the blitzkrieg of Christmas Shopping commercials has ceased, I still have my little Christmas rosemary tree decorated, everyone is in a pretty good mood because the shopping pressure is over and they’re spending their holiday gift money and the mood is generally one of hope for good things in the new year. Plus, you don’t have to worry about offending anyone with “Happy New Year” because it applies to everyone. (Except for the Chinese, I suppose.)

And I don’t have to worry about Santa Claus breaking into my house  for another year. *shudder*

I guess this is why I’m able to create such a separation in my mind between American Secular “Christmas” and what I commemorate as a Christian. They don’t even really fall on the same days if you’re being pedantic technical about it.

But what I really want to say is that whatever you celebrate (even if it’s just the fact you won’t have to hear “Jingle Bells” for another nine months), I wish you joy of it. In the longest nights of midwinter, one thing we all share is faith that the dark will get lighter, and a new year brings the hope of peace on Earth to people of good will.

And lots and lots of poultry.

Calling Birds Stamp 1977

Stamp Issued in 1977

In which I tackle Serious Issues

Two CommandmentsIf this blog seems a little untimely, it’s because I’ve been working on it for a bit, trying to decide what I want to post. For the TL;DR, scroll to the bottom.

I don’t generally blog about Issues—not seriously, anyway. I really just want to talk about Chris Hemsworth in the movie about the Essex, or these cool new pens I got for my planner.  And yet all this Serious Issue $#*! keeps happening. It’s crazy and tragic and infuriating and frustrating and heartbreaking. And I have a lot of feels and some vehement opinions on these Serious Issues, but I have no solutions. (Well, I do, but most of them involve mind control, where I can just send out rays to the chips in everybody’s heads and say “Okay, nobody kill anybody else. Oh, and read more books.”)

I was watching Highlander the other day, and you know at the end, where he gets the prize, and the Silvercup sign blows up, and he’s all like “I see everything! I know what everybody’s thinking. And I’m going to use it to help people understand one another and bring about World Peace.” I was like, “Good luck with that unless the prize came with a mind control ray in the box.”

Sivercup-Studios

 

Sidebar: On my first trip to NYC, when the taxi was crossing the Queensboro Bridge, I was all like OMG THAT”S WHERE CONNOR MCLEOD FOUGHT THE KURGEN, and my friends were like, “We don’t know you.”

 

So, I spent a couple of hours, or three, writing a long rant manifesto essay on fear (and mind control) and believe it or not, this is the short version.

Our climate has become divisive and angry and filled with fear.

Some of it fear of change, like the pushback that has come in the form of #notallmen and #alllivesmatter. But some of it is artificially enhanced, the pot of our paranoia stirred by people and institutions that have a lot to gain from us being afraid of each other.

Fear closes minds to compromise, to acceptance, and to the love we’re supposed to have for one another.

Fear is it makes us selfish, and it isolates us. We think only of ourselves. We don’t cooperate, because we’re afraid the other person is going to pull one over on us, or somehow come out better in the deal.

Fear makes us easy to manipulate. That’s the true mind control.

It’s a scary world. Americans fear a terrorist act, and they’re frustrated because they don’t see leadership with a decisive strategy for dealing with it. (That’s what CNN says, not me, whose solutions all rely on science fiction. Or magic.) But the odds are far greater that you should worry about a firearms related incident. (About 33,000 people in American die from gun violence each year.*)

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.” It’s so simple. It’s in the Old and New Testament, it’s in the Qur’aan, and it’s not even a matter of faith, just of decency and coexistence.

So, here’s my point. The world is full of far more decent individuals than horrible ones… until fear gets involved. We need to pay attention to who is trying to stir that fear into hate or injustice. When bigots and blowhards tell you that we need a wall to keep the Mexican rapists and criminals out, or that we need to ban all Muslims from coming into the U.S., or that Jews are responsible for the economic depression in post-war Germany, they are flat out fear-mongering, and its inflammatory and dangerous.

So, don’t let anyone tell you to fear your neighbor because she wears a headscarf or he has dark skin. Don’t let anyone say that if we give medical care to the poor they’re going to turn into lazy hoodlums.

And for God’s sake, don’t let anyone tell you that “Happy Holidays” is an attack on Christianity. (I feel like Christ is okay with not making a large percentage of the population feel like second class citizens in their own country.)

Don’t let anyone use fear to control you, or to drive a wedge between you and your fellow human being.

This is probably the most political you’ll ever hear me, unless something awful happens, like Lord Voldemort 2.0 getting the Republican nomination. Because honestly, my whole political platform boils down to this:

Be Excellent to Each Other

 

*According to the Center for Disease Control.

Edited 9am because I can’t number.

 

And Texas is slang for “crazy.”

So, in Norway, when something is completely nuts, it’s Texas. As in, “der var helt texas,” or, “that’s totally texas.” (Yes, lower case. Because it’s an adjective. Duh.)

I don't know what's in this picture, but apparently it's pretty awesomely out of control.

I don’t know what’s in this picture, but apparently it’s pretty awesomely out of control.

Now, mind you, a situation can be totally texas, but not a person. Which is an interesting (and oddly logical) distinction. Here’s the tumbler post that brought this to the attention of Texas Monthly:

texas-norway

Clearly someone in Norway has once been to a meeting of our state legislature.

I’ll just cite the Texas Monthly article that cites and example of a fisherman telling the local news about the rare sverdfisk he caught in Northern Norway. (Oh hey! THAT’S what that picture is about) “I heard a loud noise from the bay, but I did not know where it came from right away. Thirty seconds to a minute later it jumped out in the fjord. I got to see some of it before I took up the camera,” he says and continues: “It was totally texas!”

Maybe this isn’t as funny to people who aren’t from Texas. It’s just so random and yet so utterly perfect. The logic goes “Texas” (the state) = “the Wild West” = “totally bonkers.” Which about sums things up, from Austin hipsters to big trucks to Texas Longhorn football games, and yes, even blowhards. Everything is bigger (and nuttier) in Texas.

det var helt texas gothic

Maytag Neptune Unleashes Kraken in Laundry Room. News at Eleven.

Go home, Washing Machine. You're Drunk.

Image from reddit. I presume it came from somewhere else first. #memeappropriation

My day so far:

  • Feed and take care of Business with my dog.
  • Pour coffee, open news feed.
  • Mom and her dog come downstairs. Feed and take care of Business w/both dogs.
  • Warm up coffee, reopen sleeping news feed.
  • Mom starts laundry.
  • Ungodly noise from washer.
  • Bang around on washer. Seems to still be working?
  • Cross fingers
  • Ungodly noise continues.
  • Throw out first coffee. Pour fresh mug.
  • Give up on news, open work email.
  • Ungodly noise continues.
  • Open WIP file. Put on headphones and white noise.
  • Ungodly noise stops. So does washing machine.
  • Look up error code online. Curse.
  • Look up service manual online–Maytag has discontinued washer and does not keep that SM online. Curse.
  • Google “Washing Machine Repair.”
  • Look up bank balance.
  • Curse.
  • Explain to Mom she will have to go to Laundromat.
  • Explain Laundromats have improved since 1975.
  • Open WIP file. Put on headphones and white noise.
  • Stop and look up Laundromat with excellent Yelp Reviews.
  • Open WIP file.
  • Stop and look up directions to Laundromat with excellent Yelp reviews.
  • Open WIP file.
  • Stop and tote Mom!laundry to Mom!car. Instruct her not to try and carry into laundromat all in at once so as not to hurt herself.
  • Realize Mom will ignore me.
  • Realize there’s nothing I can do about it.
  • Open WIP file.
  • Sit in quiet, peaceful house and stare at screen.
  • Stare some more.
  • Blog about this like it’s important.

The thing about setting up house is that because you get most of your appliances at the same time, they will inevitable start needing repair about the same time.

That’s the only Profound Truth I have for you this morning.

There will be blog.

I sat down at the desk today with one goal: get caught up on all the Internet stuff I’ve let slide while dealing with stuff IRL, as it were. So this was supposed to be a long post telling you all about…

1) The giant inflatable Santa that forced me to reroute my commute to the coffee shop.

IMG_0617(Can we just stop for a moment to appreciate that this monster is bigger than that house? And y’all wonder why Santa Claus gives me nightmares.)

2) Going Xmas shopping with the lovely Sally Hamilton.
IMG_0613

(I totally bought that stuffed Pascal, btw. He’s my new totem animal.)

Pascal from Disney's Tangled

3) How my heater (and half my electricity) went out on the coldest freaking day of the year, forcing me to build my first (on purpose) fire since Girl Scouts.

IMG_0620

It’s nice to know I have at least one useful skill that will keep me from being booted out of the compound after the zombie apocalypse.

4) Or how I spent New Years Eve huddled under five quilts and two dogs, eating all the food in the fridge before it went bad.Penny Undercover

5) My new and slightly embarrassing addiction to Rainbow Honey nail polish. Because my addiction to lip gloss isn’t girly enough.
IMG_0632

Instead I have to tell you about how I have managed to lose my freaking domain names, at least for the moment. Neither readrosemary.com or rosemaryclementmoore.com go to my webpage (aka this blog) right now. (The gist is, I let them lapse (oops) because heater repairs are expensive (ouch) and someone grabbed them both up on the day they became available (grr). What anyone is going to do with rosemaryclementmoore.com, I don’t know. But I suspect the answer is “sell them back to me at a profit.” Little do they know I’m a poor writer with a poor invalid Mother, who spends my holidays huddled by a log fire for warmth (and s’mores).

ANYWAY.  My email address (rosemary at readrosemary dot com) will still get to me. And if you follow or bookmark this page, the address will remain the same as well. I’ll get it sorted.

That will teach me to stay off the Internet for too long!

pascal

Relative Time and Space

TARDISI suspect I live in the TARDIS.  Sometimes I’ll be home and working (or whatever) and lose all sense of time and relative dimension in space. Well, in time anyway. One minute it’s the middle of July, the next its…. Wait. It’s July now, right? RIGHT?

There were fireworks the other night, so it must be July. Or maybe it’s November and I’ve teleported to Britain for Guy Fawkes day.

You know it’s bad when you have to put “Get out of house one hour a day” on your to do list. Or your MOM says things like, “Don’t you want to go out and get some… well, anything?” So I’m trying to go out someplace where there are other people, even if all I do is sit at my table in a cafe and doing the same thing I would be doing at home–drinking too much coffee and pounding inspired drivel onto the keyboard. Or making Pinterest boards for my latest project. That’s work, right?

I’ve actually got a few outings coming up.

This Saturday (June 12, 10am-12pm; click here for details)  I’m teaching at the Yellow Rose RWA chapter in Colleyville. I’m teaching my “Pitch” class in person–the one that I teach online, but with more hand gestures and those weird expressions I make when I talk.

On August 9th at 3pm (click here for details) I’ll be at an author event/booksigning with Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre at the Firewheel Barnes and Noble in Garland, Texas. Rachel, Ann, and I will be doing a question and answer thing before signing, so it’s a great time to come and have fun with us.

Saturday August 16 from 1 – 4pm I’ll be at the Author Roundup at the Fort Worth Public Library (Central Branch). Here’s what the website says: Celebrate local, published authors of books for children and teens. Attend a panel discussion that will teach you to read critically and write confidently. Book signing to follow; authors’ books for sale at program. (All ages)

And the big one runs for 6 weeks. Go to the previous entry to find out more about the DFW Teen Writer’s Workshop, a writing workshop for, um, teens.

That’s what’s up. That and writing and stuff. Yay!