We had read that Sri Lanka boast the “Most Scenic Railroad in the World.” Much to our taxi driver’s chagrin, we couldn’t miss out on that experience. So, after a breakfast involving a carefully presented three course meal on china custom printed with the hotel’s logo at the Noratake factory down t
I could put up pictures of places I’ve been without me in them and without explanation for years and not repeat myself. Take that, recent Facebook diversion!
By “here” I’m not waxing philosophical, I mean with this writing gig. Thing is, this is probably the first thing I’ve written since the Coronavirus pandemic started looking serious. I’m forcing myself to not here and now render any opinions on anything to do with COVID 19. I have rendered some opinions on my Facebook page, if you want to see some, but even there, not too many. That’s not what I’m about.
I do have a project in process. It’s a rewrite from scratch, in a different voice, and in such a telling that not one paragraph does not involve some sort of action. Not body movements, but actual action, as in somebody is effing doing something. It’s a good story. I’ve known that all along, and it’s looking pretty easy to read after the rewrite, but it’s been weeks since I did anything. It was the sixth of March, in fact, which is, hmmm, let’s see, carry the 14, gloss over the six, um, 24 days ago. I have slow periods, but this is getting close to a record outside of the fall holidays, when I mostly just take time off. This whole shelter in place, pandemic, folks are going to die thing is just too absorbing, I guess.
Then there’s the bathroom floor. We’re putting in a floor made of pennies in our master bath. It’s gonna look great, and it’s getting near the point where all the pennies are installed (but there are always problems.) That, too, has been quite absorbing. Yesterday we put our bed back into the master bedroom, on top of the lovely new rug, and it is nice and comfortable compared to the temporary bed we’ve been sleeping on. Physical work reminds me of my advancing age, because half a day is the absolute limit, and it’s better to stop at three hours or so, because otherwise I actually feel ill from overwork. I’d be ashamed of myself, but, hey, I’m seventy years old, kid, gimme a break!
I hope that shortly (this week if I’m lucky) I’ll be able to convince myself to get back to work on my rewrite. (It isn’t writers’ block, it’s pandemic.) If so, I’ll let you know. I hope so, because it really is a good story, and it deserves to be told.
Thank you for reading, you joyous funmuffin, you!
“Where are you going?” The man peeking his head out from under the black, nagahide tuk-tuk roof already knows where I’m going. I’m sure his wife told him to come fetch me just this morning. The problem is, you see, I’m already claimed. “OOooooh,” I say, kn
It’s been ten days since our last post. Mostly, this is because I don’t know what to say. With the Covid19 problem spreading across the world, things are both frozen in time and also changing for us in our little anchorage several times a day. At first, Andrew and I were both monitoring the VHF
We’ve been in the Maldives for a week now. In many ways, it has been a pleasure. The water is crystal clear and turquoise blue over the patch of white sand in which our anchor rests. The local people have been safety conscious, but also generous – making sure
What? You thought it was pronounced “paradigims?”
A paradigm, pronounced just like what is pictured above (for non-north americans, those coins are worth ten cents, and are called “dimes.” There are two of them — a pair) is an excellent example of something, and that something can be a football league, or how a society is organized and operates. As it happens, every so often (about once in everybody’s lifetime, in fact) a free society needs to reorganize and develop new paradigms to live by. Prior to the depression/World War Two, nobody liked the idea of consumerism, moving to the suburbs, commuting to work. After those events, that’s how we’ve lived for the past 80 years or more. It worked great for a while. Some of the other paradigms we’ve lived by include the idea that, to a “good” person, minority citizens need help; to a “bad” citizen, minority citizens are inherently inferior. Also, growth is good for its own sake. Bigger is better, and so is faster and further. Moving around a lot is the way to live is another. There are oodles of paradigms by which we all attempt to make our way through life. But the paradigms that work so damned well when they’re first developed turn into big negatives when they’re used past their expiration date, so to speak. And that’s where we are.
The conservative among us can see this perfectly well. And it frightens them. That’s why they say that they want to “Make America Great Again.” After all, when America was truly ruling the world, those paradigms were how we were living. Makes sense that they’d work again, if we can only get back to them. But, there is a problem with that idea.
It won’t work.
Commuting is a major cause of ill health, in more ways than one. The car ads present a world that cannot exist. No matter what you do, you will never be able to cheerfully park right in front of the country club and leisurely stroll in. You will never have the twisty mountain road to yourself. You will never be able to do a damned thing to avoid that nasty-ass commute you’re stuck with every damned day.
Those minorities are not minorities any more. There are more “non-white” children in the US than “white” kids. Nothing can be done to reverse that. In some places, such as where I live, “white” people are no longer a majority of the population. (This causes, um, nothing, actually, except that you need to be polite to everybody regardless of how they look.)
And our use of burning fuels to power all of our stuff is resulting in a shift in worldwide climate that will make continuing to use the old paradigms impossible in the first place. These are examples; there are plenty of other things that aren’t working properly anymore, but these should be enough to show what I mean. Short story is that it’s time for new paradigms, new approaches to how we live and relate to each other. I have a feeling that one of the new paradigms (for the US, not for most of the advanced world) will be that health care is a right. (No arguments in this forum, please. That’s what Twitter is for, after all, and I’m just stating what I think will happen, not registering an opinion.) For another, we will need to find alternate sources of energy that don’t involve burning things. (Again, no arguments here, please.) And we will no doubt learn to live in an actual multi-cultural country, not just one that pays lip service to the concept. And there will be more, much more, that I can’t begin to see from where we are today.
The new paradigms will seem to create a world that is ever so much better than the one that came before. There will be what you might call “Nouveau Archie Bunkers” who pine for the mid-twentieth century, but most people will be happier. Until, in a few decades, whatever these new paradigms are start to malfunction for reasons I couldn’t begin to guess, and we end up back at the end of the world as we know it.
That is exactly where we are today, and, in the words of Michael Stipes, I Feel Fine!
Leslie told me it would happen. “Give it a few days, Little Cat, and you’ll get used to this.” “A few days?” I think, and suddenly I fear this will be our lives forever. “Three days, Kitty, just give it three days and you will be happy again.” Leslie over promised and under deli
Back aboard Sonrisa, I wrap myself around Andrew’s feet, curl my tail around Sonrisa’s mast and intermittently growl at Leslie when I feel the grouchies coming on. They say I’m a “good Kitty” and I think I am. I just had a moment, that is all. I’m glad they didn’t’ leave me out there in the jun
There is more to that picture, of course, but I don’t reveal everything. When I way “Now, What?” I refer to how confusing some thing have become lately. Not politics, nothing from Washington has surprised me lately, but with the way life as a writer and a resident of my neighborhood has been churning.
I received the email notifying me that it’s time to renew my RWA membership this week. I can’t do it until they demonstrate that they’ve once again become a stable platform for advocacy and promotion of people writing romance. (Please don’t call them ‘bodice rippers,’ although there is this subgenre of erotica that, ahem.) They were always seemingly a rock of stability in an ever evolving world of publishing, but various developments have shaken that view considerably. For a more comprehensive view of how things developed in the organization, I invite you to read Nora Roberts’ Blog Post on the matter. I am still a member of SCBWI, but now each time I see something from them I flash onto the RWA scandal, and even though SCBWI doesn’t deserve it, I’m sorta off on the idea of large writers’ groups. Sorry, world. I’ll get better, I’m sure.
In my neighborhood we have been plagued the past six months or so with waves of homeless people sleeping in the wash (Flamingo Wash, the one that goes through the parking garage of that hotel you’ve heard about) and, in some cases, contributing to thefts, vandalism, noise, and of course, that stuff all humans make that most of us flush away. I’m not Pollyannaish enough to think that a neighborhood should all be clean and “nice.” In fact, I kind of dislike the concept of “nice,” especially when applied to language. But, that said, even though our house is fairly secure, a lot of neighbors are rather upset because their house isn’t so much secure, or they are Pollyanna enough to think nobody is going to drive off with their car if they warm it up out front, or both. (There is no need to warm up a car built since the mid-1970s, if not earlier. When I lived in Minnesota, you’d take off as soon as you could get that sucker into gear.) While my sympathies vary somewhat with the circumstances surrounding each incident, I do not appreciate having my neighbors all upset over what is in fact a wide-spread social issue. Which means that action must be taken on local, county, state, and national levels if we want a peaceful neighborhood into the future.
There is a neighborhood group working with the county and Metro (the Las Vegas Police Department, headed by our elected Sheriff) to come up with solutions. And I’m pretty sure that there are solutions, but they all involve changes in behaviors and attitude not just amongst the homeless, but amongst the neighbors as well. Sigh.
I guess I have only to wait to find out, huh?
We have been some busy-bodies for the last three weeks. We were feeling a real crunch trying to get everything ready before we cast off across the Indian Ocean this year. Watermaker repairs, new life raft, provisioning, these are just a few of the items we had to get taken care of last minute to b