Sunday, April 30, 2006


My muse went on vacation. It did not ask for any time off. In fact, I was just getting back into my writing, when I noticed that my muse was gone. All the usual tricks have not brought it back yet. Usually if I listen to Les Miserables my muse makes a reappearance from wherever it happened to be relaxing. Not so these days. The muse just went awol. I really wish that I did not need a muse. But like most writers, I am plagued by the peculiar problems of a muse. When the muse is gone, I have writer's block. The only way to fix that is to, well, to sit around until my muse comes back. I'm a lot less ambitious when I have writer's block. I do not even feel like reading. I try watching dvds and that does not work either. I feel like I'm drifting around listlessly and I do not want to do anything. Stupid muse.

At least it does not wake me up at 4am every morning like Milton's muse did while he was writing Paradise Lost. That would suck. You know, I read some interviews by Brian Jacques (author of the Redwall series). He never has writer's block. I'm so jealous. I've never heard of a writer who never had writer's block! I guess his muse is happy most of the time. Must be because it gets a vacation every year when he goes on tour to do book signings. That's the problem. I need to start going on tour and doing book signings! Then I will not get writer's block. Oh yeah, first I need to get something published. And second, whatever I get published needs to be popular enough to warrant book signings. This could be a lengthy process. In the meantime, my stupid muse needs to come back from whatever tropical island it's hiding out on.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"We're Not As Bad As Them . . ."

The overdose of presidential approval ratings and polls has merited another rant from me. I'm sick and tired of bringing up my favorite news site to be confronted by the latest approval rating or poll on why Bush sucks. It's not because I think he's that great of a guy. I have respect for the President, but I do disagree with some of his decisions. Yet I digress (as usual). This is not about my opinion of the prez, it's about my opinion of poll headlline tactics.

Polls as headlines are, frankly, ridiculous. For one thing, all they mean is that some idiot got paid to call a bunch of people and ask them questions. How many people? I don't know. What group of people? I don't know. What, specifically, were the questions and did they force you to answer in a negative manner? I don't know. In essence, polls mean absolutely nothing!

More than this however, I am disappointed by the fact that polls should help the party which is not in power. Dems spend all their time pointing out why Republicans are worse than they are. That's not positive and it certainly does not make one think our country is in safe hands. Why would I want a bunch of un-constrctive naysayers in power rather than people with a few problems? I want to know what Dems can do that will be an improvement over Republicans. I want to hear an argument made instead of see a finger pointed.

Ah, but politics has been wrenched from the great minds of Aristotle and Plato and placed into the small, unimaginative brains of people, like our Congress, whose only desire is a fleeting sense of power.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Shell Shocked

Recently, I have read back over some of my earliest attempts at writing. Some of it is pretty bad, in fact, some of it is nearly blackmail worthy material. Fortunately, I'll not be going into politics anytime soon, so there's no longer any reason to blackmail me. While reading through this stuff I've come across some issues regarding myself that I really ought to flesh out a bit more. As usual, writing helps me to accomplish more when it comes to figuring things out, so I'm going to write for a while.

Several of my characters from older stories are much deeper and more dynamic than the characters I create now (in my NaNoWriMo novel, for example). These past characters have a consistency that recent ones lack. Some of them refuse to allow changes in their lives that would be unrealistic in that particular character. Others hide behind masks and refuse to allow their true motives to be seen. Yet their actions, and their disatisfication with life betray those motives. All in all, they are more realistic and specifically more human than the characters in my NaNo novel. They contain the strange contradictions that can be noted in every soul.

Why was I better at character portrayal when my writing, frankly, stank? I keep asking myself that. I think it is because I was more honest with myself at that time in my life. Because I let certain things bother me, instead of shoving them away and hiding behind the disguise that I'm okay with whatever. I think it is because I addressed problems in my life and tried to deal with the incongruities that would have harmed my faith in God.

Yeah, faith in God. That's a toughy. I tend to assume that I have a faith in God, and I do, but I forget to examine that faith. I have forgotten to examine that faith for years, I think. Going to college gave me a wonderful excuse. I had no time. It's not that I've become un-Christian. It's not that I could ever stop believing in the awesome God I believe in. It's just that I've failed to confront myself on the issue of examining my own thoughts and how they apply to that faith. I've ignored a minor problem until it became a big problem.

I feel like I'm inarticulate here. I can't fully explain what's bothering me. I just know that I've forgotten some very important things and that it was more because I chose to forget than anything else. I need to stop being the intellectual with all the answers and start realizing that I'm as weak as any other person. Yeah, it's difficult for me to face the fact that I do not have all the answers.

Strange how writing draws out important issues in me. It's not something I'm perfect at, and I know it. Writing forces me to think about deeper issues. I must face my own life and shortcomings in a more thematic way, so to speak. Because when you write, if you're really serious, a little bit of yourself goes into that writing. And then you see what you are and you realize that you cannot hide from yourself and your better judgement any longer.

I'm getting over the shell shocked part of all this and starting into the part where I put all this into perspective and kneel to pray.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Easter Post

I suppose that I am one of the few people who accidentally writes her own name when writing the word Easter and then has to go back and fix it (nearly every time). Such similar words! But, on with the post.

By the time I turned 18 I had been to 12 funerals. As of this date, I have been to 16. You know, I didn't realize this until I counted them all up and mentioned it to other people, but most my age have not known that many people who died. Some have known more. As the world grows darker and the horrors of war expand, many have known more. Death and sorrow are a major part of human existence. I sometimes think that I know this more than most, because I remember so much about the people who have gone out of my life. Some of them, like my aunt who died of cancer almost two years ago, I will see again (God willing). Others, I will most likely never see again. In some ways, it makes one feel special to know that those you knew are waiting for you on the other side. That some have made it through this trial that is life and come out in a place we can only begin to imagine with our finite minds. It is a comforting thought, that one that leads us to remember we will not always be without our loved ones.

But Jesus did not come to die so that we would not always be without the ones we care about. He came for such a different reason. And when I too enter the place He has prepared for me, it is not those I have known to go before me who I will be thinking of. I will think on God Himself, and all His infinite mercies. Sometimes, with my limited perspective, I forget that God's grace is the most important reality in my life. I forget that all this trying, striving and effort to live up to the laws of God should not be my focus. No, really, it shouldn't. The fact is that I can do nothing to make up for what God did for me. Suffering and dying is a human thing, yet Jesus suffered and died and then conquered death so that I would not have to face that human thing.

Easter is a time to put that into perspective. It is a time to focus once again on the awesome mercy that came down and walked among us. So once again, I take my eyes away from myself and my inner struggles and I remember that Jesus has already won the war, and I need not worry and fret anymore.

Those are my belated thoughts.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


My computer is back and so am I! Before I write a real post, I would like to post this article link. People always think that democracy, by definition, works and is good. In actuallity, it takes people who know what they're doing to make it work. I thought this article appropriately addressed that problem.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Out Sick

That is, I presume, the message my home computer (The Heart of Gold) meant for me the other day when it refused to boot up for the umpteenth time. On Saturday it goes for repairs. Do not expect to hear from me until next week.

My little friend of a computer has been such a pain these past six months or so. I can only hope this last set of repairs will fix what it needs.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Not Much of a Poster

I just don't have much energy for posting right now. Too many things going on in my home life. I also am in deep thought, which means I am spending minimal time on the internet.

In my absence, I would like to post another article I found to be insightful. Thomas Sowell has a good head on his shoulders. Some of what he says makes a lot of sense. And he is so far from politically correct, yet so able to be polite. It is refreshing.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tax Time

April is a month of allergy problems and taxation trauma. Taxes and why we hate them become very clear right around now. Here's an interesting opinon on the matter.

Why can't we just have a simple tax system? Like a flat tax? Is this the government's way of making us more compliant and nice. We won't start a revolution because we're so busy filling out our tax forms the idea won't occur to us. Maybe if we showed our tax forms to all the illegals in this country they'd get so freaked out that run back to where they came from. Yeah, that's a great idea.

Monday, April 03, 2006

"I Am Not A Number!"

Recently, Craig's buddy lent us his copy of "The Prisoner" on dvd. It's the entire one season of what can be called a rather campy, British television series. The first two episodes left me perplexed and confused. A few episodes later I started to understand the series. Now, I can only say that it is a thought provoking show, with some interesting insights and really hokey, evil weather balloon that chases the hero every chance it gets.

The premise of the show rests on the idea that once a person enters society he or she becomes a number. We're all just faces in a crowd to everyone else. The protagonist is a man who resigns from his office -- we're not sure what the office was, but it's high security -- then is kidnapped and placed in a village where his identity becomes "Number Six." The village is simply called "The Village" the streets are not named, and there is no way to tell where in the world it is located. Number 6 spends his time in The Village attempting to escape. He protests his anonymity to no avail. Whenever he makes an escape attempt, Rover, the giant weather balloon hunts him down and brings him back. The weather balloon was a last resort when the original, high-tech robot vanished during it's first underwater shooting excursion. However, other than the balloon, the show makes an interesting commentary on the postmodern (don't you hate that word?) world. It is a place where anonymity is given, and yet not given. Where we are all faceless numbers who have chosen to allow ourselves to be integrated into that system of faceless numbers, yet inside we still reject the way things are.

Like Number 6 most people want to escape the confines of society and go on to bigger and better things. That is why we dream when we are kids and often still dream when we reach adulthood. But we also hem ourselves in to the paraemeters society has set for us. It is our own efforts that keep us in our place, so to speak. Just as Number 6 learns when he discovers that the whole time he has been trying to escape he has been having himself put back into The Village (confusing, I know). We accept the roles society tells us we must play and many of the lies it feeds us as well.

I'm not talking about being a social deviant in an offensive way. I'm just talking about the fact that we control our dreams with fear and often refuse to try to make our lives better. It takes a special type of person to work within society and better it for the rest of us. Most are afraid to be that person or afraid to trust others. They might mock us or laugh at our dreams. Looking for support can become an obsession that pushes away all visions of grandeur.
The conventions of society, the fact that as humans we cannot open our hearts to others since they might hurt us or say something stupid. It is all in "The Prisoner."

Perhaps, those conventions and the manner in which they are ilustrated is the most intriguing and entertaining part of the show. The clothes that Number 6 is forced to wear, the stupid pin with his number on it that he continually tosses aside, his little house, the umbrellas that everyone carries, the fact that no one asks questions. All of these things represent examples of the strange requirements of society to which we all cling and ever will. For instance, to shake someone's hand, is, in itself a conformity with the way our society works. Even to look someone in the eye when we speak. No one ever stops to question the simple things like that. In fact, few pause to question larger things, like the meaning of life. Number 6 asks questions of everyone he meets and quickly learns that questions will get him nowhere but shunned. Why is it that people like that always bother us? The different ones, the ones who don't take to convention and tradition the way we do? Those types of people unsettle us: people who speak out and say things that we don't like to hear or phrase truths in such a way that we cannot ignore them.

But then, it's quite simple to go on and forget that the question was ever raised or the truth ever spoken. Quite easy.