Category Archives: Noodling

Buffet Paralysis

Choice is good; too much choice leaves me paralyzed. Not talking about dating again, though I could be, but that’s too boring. I’m talking about social media generally ~ there is simply too damn much of it now. When we had only Usenet (BITGOD), supplemented by our frantic, gossipy, occasionally flirtatious backchanneling emails, that already took up way too much free time, especially for those of us trying to do Serious Writing. Gawd forbid if we had Real Jobs too, yipes.

Then came, what, some other drippy sites, then blergging, then faceblop, which isn’t just one thing now, but has spawned into a devilmass of special groups to soak up every fucking minute of the day. Yes, you can turn off all those notifications, and I have. Also, there’s twatter and instapeep and group chats on messenger… and this doesn’t even touch actual news sites and e-magazines we might want to read and a constant flow of shows to watch via Prime or ‘Flix or whatever thing plus books on Kindle all piled up and regular books too and it’s all driving me insane. Good for you if you have a handle on all this shit. Yay you.

I’m paralyzed by this. I feel if I neglect Facebook and chats, then friendships will fade, especially with people I don’t see in meatspace. If I give up Twitter, then I won’t have a “presence” to promote the books I never write anyway. Instagram is no big deal to spend less or no time on, but it takes up the least time in the first place, so that doesn’t help much. I already don’t read as much as I’d like to, for a writer. I don’t actually watch many movies at home and no TV shows now that Game of Thrones is done for a while. I’ve been writing nothing this summer, nothing at all.

Summer’s almost over and I’m really bummed about my lack of progress. I have a few new poems this year, that’s it. No inspiration for a new novel and only a few more ideas for poems. BITGOD I used to feel I had plenty of time to myself, plenty of time to write, even time to exercise after work, and I have that same amount of time now… I just have to stop letting the internet steal it. September is always a good time for me to make a fresh start. Perpetual student here.

~*~

PS: Don’t bother looking up BITGOD since I just invented it. Use your noodle. 🙂

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Wordy-Go-Round

The prompt the otter day was carousel, a lovely word, but I had nothing. Twice before I poasted pomes with carousel and I was tapped out. Years ago I took relevant pics, but I had no time to hunt them down. For whatever reason, the word bounced around in my brainpain throughout the day. Maybe it was the associated music, plus the colorful horsies. Idk. I couldn’t stop thinking about carousels… then I remembered an old Mad Men episode where Don Draper was demonstrating a photo carousel. That was a very moving ep, as I recall. I loved that show until it JTS’d, which for me was around the time he left his wife and she married that creepy politician. Things just got too crazy after that. Plus didn’t it take them over a year to come up with a new season at some point? I lost interest.

Anyway. Thinking about Don Draper naturally led me to the word carouse, which I decided must be related to carousel. Well, isn’t it obvious? But that isn’t the case at all! In fact, I had totally the wrong idea about carouse, which is shocking after all my years of romance novel reading. I assumed it meant a wild night of partying and causing trouble in the streets, being loud, probably making obscene suggestions to women, etc. But no. It basically means a drinking spree. You can be doing the partying, but that’s secondary to the drinking.

v.
1550s, from Middle French carousser “drink, quaff, swill,” from German gar aus “quite out,” from gar austrinken ; trink garaus “to drink up entirely.” Frequently also as an adverb in early English usage ( to drink carouse).

Huh. Well, anyway. I looked up carousel too, which was as expected. I didn’t know the origin though, which is interesting.

n.
“merry-go-round,” 1670s, earlier “playful tournament of knights in chariots or on horseback” (1640s), from French carrousel “a tilting match,” from Italian carusiello, possibly from carro “chariot,” from Latin carrus (see car ).

These quotes are from dictionary-dot-com.

Carousel cake

Twelve Years Gone By

Please excuse my lack of bloggery… I was busy attending my daughter’s wedding. ❤

I seem to be out of writing mode, which will change shortly as I’ve rejoined a great prompt group that meets weekly, plus September always motivates me. I’m a student at heart. New school year, crisp notebook, let’s go!

But in the meantime, I wanted to say something, so I decided to turn to my trusty old Ultrablog archives. Apparently I said nothing 10 years ago (hard to believe), so I went back 12 (I don’t like elevens). Twelve years ago I was married, had two children living with me, and for some bizarre reason went to see the Dukes of Hazzard movie.

Now, if you had asked me point-blank an hour ago, Paula, did you ever see the Dukes of Hazzard movie? I would have said no and I would have probably even denied knowing there existed a Dukes of Hazzard movie. But archives do not lie! And if Google Drive says I saw a movie, then I saw it. I suppose in the scheme of things that forgetting the Dukes is no great loss. I hope I don’t forget anything important however, such as a subthread from Game of Thrones.

I said I liked the movie except for Burt Reynolds being miscast as Boss Hogg. I also said the TV Roscoe was funnier and I was disappointed that “Boots” played over the credits at the end and we didn’t get to see the sexy car wash scene. I have no idea what I meant by that. The Nancy Sinatra song? Wha? I suppose I could look all that up, but someone will know, so I’m not going to bother.

I really miss when my online writing friends blogged instead of blopped on Facebook. FB is junk food for writers ~ and not even the good junk food like tacos or Oreos, but the worst junk food like those skinny yucky pretzels. You can sit there for hours and eat a million of them and you’ll never be satisfied, only thirstier and thirstier.

Pretzels

More Than This

The first time I heard Roxy Music was at Stacey’s apartment in downtown Chicago, in the spring of 1983. I was a classic rock girl and Bryan Ferry was club music. I didn’t go to clubs; I listened to the Beatles and Stones alone at home. Actually, nothing has changed… but that’s beside the point. I don’t remember why we went to Stacey’s either. We were both taking a computer class and broke for lunch or something. She lived nearby. What I do remember is that she turned on the stereo and fired up her bong. It was the first time I’d seen a bong too. I lived a very sheltered life, in the middle of Chicago. I declined her offer of smoke, but I did get intoxicated with Roxy Music and bought an album soon after.

The only reason I’m even bringing this up is because I was listening to RM’s greatest hits the otter day in my car and I thought, holy shit, I’ve been telling peeps the wrong thing all these years. I always say I moved to California because my parents said they’d buy me a car, which they did say, but that’s not why I left ~ I left because my heart was broken.

Stacey and I were talking about men that day, of course, and I confessed I had a crush on Mark, who was also in our class. Mark and I regularly created outrageous fictions about adventures we had together and no one really knew what was going on between us (nothing), and the rest of the class thought we were very entertaining. Sometimes I would create my own individual stories for Mark, so he wouldn’t think I was such a boring boring. He had his own individual stories for me as well that I didn’t know what to make of ~ they were wild and crazy, occasionally verging on the sad.

Eventually we became lovers, in the summer, though I knew it wouldn’t last. My heart broke the first time we were together, as it always does when I know something will fail, and I floated off into that strange limbo of soaring dreams mixed with crushing despair. It’s a potent drug. I never turn something like that down; I simply wait for it to disappear because I know it will. Each time might be the last, so each time is incredibly wonderful, like I imagine it might feel to be on X, though I never have been. What writer would turn this down? How many chances do you have to experience this in your life? You wouldn’t be able to describe it otherwise. I might have only had the once… but as luck would have it, it’s happened a few more times.

Our relationship ended mundanely ~ I had to work, and Mark wanted to go camping. He asked me to go with him, and I couldn’t, so he took another girl. That was in August and I kept working as my parents planned their move out West. I vaguely said I might stay and find a place with a friend, but I made no plans. My job consisted of formatting disks, all day long. I sat at a reception desk and did that, crying silently.

In September, my mother said, you’re not really staying in Chicago, are you? My father said he’d buy me a car if I moved with them. It sounds amusing to say I left for a car, but I would have left in any case. Chicago is nothing but a big frozen heartbreak; that’s why I’ve never gone back, not once. I like to leave places that remind me of bad times; I like to throw everything away. If I can’t, I gather it all together for an emotional bonfire and a story is born. Sometimes the story lies dormant for several decades, apparently.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Dormant

November Is Coming

Some of you are probably going huh, wut, November? It’s the middle of the summer!

Confused

But a few of you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

November is coming.

And I’ve spent couple years faffing about writing poetry, NTTAWWT. Poetry is nice and all. Sometimes you just need to write poetry for a while… well, I do anyway. But then you get tired of creating adorable appetizers and delectable desserts and you want to make the main course again… you need to tell a story.

At some point in the near future, I’ll be organizing the poetry I wrote over the past few years, together with some relevant material from the distant past, into a new themed e-book available for purchase. I may also have one or more of my works narrated into an audio book and see how that goes. Dunno if I’ll do that with a poetry book or one of the romance novels; need to look into the whole dealio first, but it seems like a neat idea.

Aside from all that, however, the story drum is beginning to beat, faintly now, but slowly and steadily growing louder. Tell a story, beginning to end. So, savor my whimsical poasts and musings on social media for the moment. Soon it’ll be time to get serious again.

November is coming.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Savor

Windsong

I can’t seem to forget you…
Your Windsong stays on my mind.

Remember that commercial for the Prince Matchabelli perfume from 1980? I thought about it tonight when I unexpectedly ran across someone online from years ago and remembered him, but he had no memory of me at all. It was so vivid for me too, that connection we had during a time that was intense and painful for both of us, about a decade ago, and yet… it clearly meant nothing to him. Nothing at all. He apologized for failing to remember me, but it’s happened before, many times.

When I messaged this man, I was so… buoyant. I think that’s a good word for the emotion I felt earlier today. I had to shop at Target, and the whole time I was a bit floaty, thinking to myself how wonderful it would be to chat with someone who knew me from the time before… before the divorce, before my mother was gone. Why this is important to me, I don’t know. But it is. And so for a couple hours I felt light and happy, certain that my life would take a new direction as the man and I renewed our friendship.

I came home, put my stuff away, fed my kitty, fed the feral kitties (all three were around tonight!), got a snack, logged back on, and after a little while a message arrived. The man did not remember me. Oh well. Then that old commercial jingle popped into my head and I wondered if it would be possible to find it on YouTube. Of course… first hit.

Tick Tock

It’s after 9pm and I’ve accomplished nothing tonight.

Well, that’s not precisely true. I spent time calling and emailing peeps in attempts to fix mistakes and figure out confuzzling stuff. But there’s so much more. I feel completely stressed out by all the things. I haven’t written any poetry lately, though I’ve scribbled down ideas when I’ve thought of them. That’s not the same though, a couple words here and there. You lose the mood, the feeling, the gestalt of the piece.

I didn’t do much over the long weekend because I didn’t feel well. But that’s not really true either. I cleaned a bunch, hung out with friends, watched fireworks, crossed a lot of items off my list. I keep adding stuff to the list though! I’ve been reading a good book (Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life), but I wasted some hours watching bad movies too. 😦

It seems as though all these electronic time-savers just gobble up more and more time. I long for the days of the checkbook and pencil ~ I am officially old now. So many of my hours are eaten up by “helpful” technology, a sparkly illusion of convenience. No, I’m not giving any of it up or asking for advice; I’m just complaining, right here on my laptop connected to the internet. It’s what I do.

I have a million tabs open up there… mostly poetry sites I want to check out, maybe to submit stuff, or to get ideas, or whatever. They’ve been open for days, maybe a week. But I’m not looking at them tonight ~ I’m too tired now. W10 wants to update again, but I can’t let it cuz I’d have to close the tabs. These tabs, and the whole North Korea problem… it’s all making me very anxious.

Happy belated 4th (USA readers), day late, dollar short.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Illusion

Fireworks

In Which I Force Myself to Pay Attention

Some days I get down in the grumps and wonder why X keeps happening. Depending on the day/month/year, X could be any number of things. Which is why we’re using X…

I remember once thinking that I was really unlucky with tires and got way more flats than other people. Maybe there was something weird about the way I drove, like I was a nail magnet or something? When I mentioned that to the tire guy, he said, oh, everyone thinks they’re unluckier than normal about their tires. That was pretty funny. I haven’t had a flat since (now I will since I wrote this).

There are days I think I’m in horrible pain all the time, like this morning (when I was in horrible pain from a migraine with stabby neck throbs and nausea), but that’s not true. It just seems true when I’m suffering… and then when I’m not, I forget to notice. Why? Because though I have chronic pain, it’s actually normal for me not to be in horrible pain ~ there’s a difference, and it’s important to acknowledge this. I need to notice the times I feel OK, like now, and remember them.

I’ve said I’m a magnet for certain types of people, but I’ve noticed others saying the same thing. You know the types we mean ~ the drama royals, the narcissists, the nutcases. If you’re not one of these, and even if you are, you’ve surely encountered them. After a few instances, we announce, “I must be a magnet for them!” Well, no. But our interactions with the “types” are so much more vivid than our interactions with ordinary folks that we focus our attention on the types. Hence we decide we’re a magnet. If I force myself to recall more interactions, it turns out that I’ve had many more with ordinary people than with the types. They just aren’t as memorable.

At the risk of sounding a little bit woo, I need to focus my attention more on things that bring me pleasure (writing, good health, organizing plans, etc.) and less on things that make me unhappy (flat tires, horrible pain, the “types,” etc.) It’s just common sense.

Next up: crystals and aromatherapy.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Magnet

Regarding Yelling

I’ve become very spoiled lately, living alone and leading such a quiet life, despite having a very vocal kitteh. The more time passes, the more I find I can’t tolerate any loudness. Perhaps it has something to do with the tinnitus (as discussed); or perhaps it’s just that I’m in the habit of indulging my own preferences only… and they run to the white noise varieties. During my childhood, my parents argued frequently and were in the habit of yelling at each other to the point where it seemed that violence was imminent (though it rarely ever came to that), and this was often scary for a little kid, though one does get used to things. However, one also gets used to the absence of such.

Nothing gets me in a bad mood faster than sustained bursts of noise. I find I’m unable to focus on anything else. Raised, angry voices literally make me cringe in fear, even if they have nothing to do with me. Saturday afternoon a group of young men appeared to be having an argument in the parking lot of my apartment complex, and I was scared to go out to my car. It was silly, but I began to worry they’d start physically fighting, even though there was no sign of this. I thought it could happen. They were nowhere near my car, but even so, I stayed inside for a while until they quieted down, and I was slightly late for my meeting ~ because I was afraid of nothing really.

Ironically, my meeting was in a public place, and it was loud there too, which eventually put me in a grumpy mood for a while until the crowd thinned out and the noise volume lowered. Geez, I’m such a crabby old lady now. Guess what? IDGAF about that. I like what I like… and more importantly, I dislike what I dislike.

Crabby-Single-Female

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Cringe

Stuck in the Meddle with You

I don’t like to meddle, or even give advice really. I don’t know anything! But most people lurve to give advice… omg how they will tell you what you should do if you give them half a chance. Even if you don’t ask, they’ll tell you. Even if you obviously have it way more together than they do, they won’t hesitate to explain how you could do better. That’s just the way people are, or at least the ones I’ve encountered. I guess that’s a topic for another poast ~ the kinds of people who gravitate toward me. Yes.

But we’re here today to discuss meddling, since that’s the WOTD.

I’ve tried so hard to stay out of other people’s stuffs and yet… and yet… I know so much about other people’s stuffs. How did this happen? Why do people confide in me so often? It’s one of the biggest ironies of my life. Probably because I don’t meddle or even judge really. Why would I judge anyone, since I’ve made so many mistakes? I just sit there and listen, wondering why I’m so trusted, which is probably why. Weird!

It’s hard not to feel like you’ve meddled, even when you’ve only listened and agreed with what the person wanted to do all along. My standard “advice” is just hey don’t do what I’ve done, which is silly really since I’m not that bad off, I suppose. Sort of. Depending on your definitions. Whatever!

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Meddle