Writing is a Journey, not a Destination

Writing is a Journey, not a Destination

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Monday, February 8, 2016


I read a book review, went to find the book, and - sure enough - the ebook price is $9.99.

I can't pay $9.99 for an ebook. I can't. I have 300 page print books in my library with $2.95 stamped on the cover. Yes, they were purchased in the 70's, but that's where my values are.

When I like a book, I will buy a print copy. The zombie apocalypse won't see me lacking in good reading material (thank you, Dale, for the heads' up). I won't know if I like a book unless I read it first, and that's what ebooks are for. They're the sample to decide if that story is worth $15-$20 more dollars and valuable space in my 823 square foot house. If it isn't, I only spent $2.99 to find out. That's $2.99 you the author wouldn't have had from me if you'd priced your book at $9.99.

You might say the library is where I should read books first, but I haven't stepped into our library since they installed metal detectors. If I can't bring my machete, I'm not going in. Zombies can appear anywhere, people. ANYWHERE. Call yourselves scholars, she mumbles.

The most I ever paid for an ebook was $8.99, and it was Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind. I resented it deeply. Yes, I bought a print copy, and I didn't bother with an ebook for the next one.

If I ever charge $9.99 for an ebook, you have my permission to call me out for a hypocrite, and any other nasty name you care to level my way. If I won't pay it, I won't ask you to pay it, either.

Applaud the jellyfish.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Stretching and Zombie Skulls

I resumed Classical Stretch this morning.

I had to quit during my extended bout of vertigo that started over Christmas. Couldn't handle most movement for over a month. The funny thing was, during that month, my back didn't hurt. At all. Which was a tremendous blessing because I don't know how I could have lain completely still to combat the motion sickness while my back screamed at me for lying completely still.

However, my back was so pain-free, I started wondering if the stretching was causing the pain. I mean, I stretched for three months and had extreme back-pain all that time.

I needn't have worried. About a week ago, the back started hurting again, enough to wake me up at night, and follow me to work during the day, despite oils and aspirin. I'm starting to wonder if I should see a doctor. I mean, what are the symptoms of bone cancer?

TT: A co-worker asked why I thought it was cancer. "I always go worst-case scenario first," I assured her. She rolled her eyes and suggested I might start with a chiropractor.

The part that hurts doesn't even seem to have a specific name. I've looked really hard. The whole muscle is called the latissimus dorsi, but only the part that sits between that dimple in the middle of the backside and the top of my hips hurts. How does that part even get stretched?

Anyway, I have to do something physical. There is no point going into The Swamp when it's frozen, and that's where I work out my stress. For the first time, I'm wishing I had a set of weights.

TT: I did go out last night and spend 10 minutes hacking at the tree stump with my new-to-me mattock, thinking about zombie skulls (and a couple of not-yet-zombie skulls) with each chop. Have I mentioned people frustrate me?

I'm sad about how much flexibility I've lost in 6 weeks, but that's OK. I'm in this for the long haul. Like life.

Push button. Receive bacon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

An Inconvenient Life

I'm having one of those Elijah moments, when the stress has ebbed, and I'm really, really tired, irritable and depressed. I should be happy and grateful for the lag, but I'm not. I know what's coming, I know how little time I have to do things that need to be done yet keep getting pushed to the back-burner, and it annoys me.

I'm not a Type A personality, no matter what the folks at my day job think. If I were, I would have 10-15 books written at this point, and most of them published in the last three years. I try to live my work life cheerfully and efficiently, and I succeed for the most part.

Have you ever noticed how inconvenient it is to do the right thing? I use "right" here in a broad, non-religious sense. I could as easily say the "nice" thing. The paper is almost used up. The nice thing to do is refill it, but that's inconvenient, so leave it to the next guy, who has just as much work to do as you do. The nice thing is to let that car that's been signaling for a mile pull in front of you, but that could mean you miss the light and then you would miss the first 5 minutes of How I Met Your Mother, and that just can't be allowed to happen, so screw "nice." The nice thing is to pull that worm out of that puddle, but God forbid you get your hands wet and/or dirty. There are other worms. That one can drown.

People, in general, suck. Adam and Eve chose self over others, and their children have been doing it ever since. Even the first church couldn't sustain selfless giving past the first generation of believers.

I have a guiding rule about interpersonal relationships: be nice. It becomes increasingly hard to live that rule in a society of hypocrites that shoot off at the mouth about how we should all be taking care of each other yet have no problem cheating on taxes, or texting while driving, or stealing anything that isn't tied to someone's back. Don't see the problem? Then you're part of it.

However, your actions don't trump my choice. I will be nice, and you can all go to Hell in your handbaskets.

Push button. Receive bacon.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Step Away

Somewhere in this blog I've mentioned the Gillhams, Bill and Anabel, of Lifetime Ministries. Can't find the post at the moment, but I will eventually.

Bill Gillham was a psychologist and minister, and made a career out of teaching that there is no "Old Man" after salvation, so the fight isn't between the New Man and the Old Man but between the New Man and Sin, "Sin" being an exterior personification of evil, much as Wisdom is personified in Proverbs. I'm not going to do justice to a lifetime ministry in one blurb, so I'll leave it at that.

On one of his videos, he said we always talk about Heaven being "up there" or "away yonder," but what if Heaven starts an inch above the ground? What if we walk through Heaven every single day, but we can't perceive it because we're still in our unresurrected skin suits? Would it make a difference to imagine yourself moving through Heaven as you move through your day?

Randy Alcorn makes the argument that this physical world will be resurrected, too, so we are, in effect, occupying the space Heaven will eventually occupy. I suspect Heaven is already here, but phase-shifted.

Anyway, it makes a difference to me to imagine Heaven around me all the time. I find peace in the thought that no matter what step I take, I'm stepping into Jesus, like Michael J. Fox's character in The Frighteners steps into ghosts. Only not ectoplasm-y.

I am a creature of moods, like Rosamund in The Lost Princess. Sometimes they shake me in their teeth, and all I can do is clamp my jaws shut and wait for the next mood. I've been there a few days, but I'm coming 'round. Heaven is a step away, after all. Why should I be moody?

Push button. Receive bacon.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I've Been Reading

The first month of 2016 has been a bit much at work. Three people left us for new jobs, The Powers That Be have rearranged other jobs, and I am training four people on four different "desks" (sets of job duties). I've never done this kind of training before, and my students are varied in skill sets and aptitude. Fortunately, they are all adults willing to try, and that is half the battle.

My hourly mantra, both spoken and prayed, is "we will get through this," and the proof of my enforced confidence is... we are. Everyone is learning, and adapting, and gaining competence, and the world is settling into a calmer pattern.

In the past, this kind of brain fry would involve Farmville clicking for hours in the evening, but I gave that up as being not only unhelpful but demonstrably harmful.

Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer kept coming to mind - the tale of a woman driven to be The Best in whatever difficult, prestigious career she could find - so I read that this weekend, and was relieved to discover I still love the book.

TT: Sometimes my younger-self feelings don't match my older-self worldview anymore, and I've lost some favorite enjoyments as a result.

I've moved to Killashandra, and will finish off with Crystal Line eventually. It's been nice to turn off the electronics - except for the blanket - crack the spine of an old scifi novel, and remember why I love Anne's style. Add some Benedryl and Bayer back and body aspirin, and I've even managed to sleep through the night two nights in a row. It's a miracle.

Push button. Receive bacon.