Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Ahh, September

September, a time of new beginnings. Back to school. Vacation's over. New shoes, new winter coat, new pens/pencils/notebooks. New routines. Starting again.

September, a time of letting go. Summer's heat wisps away, a little at a time. You hardly notice. Then the furnace kicks on. You look up and around and see things like this and this.




September holds nothing back. It teases you with a little summer yet hints at winter. "Look up, look around, look at me," it urges. And so we do.

It's a transition time--as I have said a few times, from "yang time" to "yin time," from publishing and submitting and revising and writing about writing to a more inward-focused time, when (if you're lucky) you can do the actual writing itself. What's coming is time for research, and dreaming, and the delightful frustration of new drafts.

Ahh. Welcome, September.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Solving Problems

I forgot about a load of laundry--left it in the washing machine (ostensibly clean) overnight. Mid-morning, when I remembered it, the load stank in that sour way of wet things in an enclosed space.

A problem to solve. Which I have. So far. (When I wear the t-shirts that were part of that load, I'll have a better idea of how effective my solution was.)

In other news, one of my characters threatens to disappear into the ether of digital manuscript pages. He needs to be a little more charismatic. Even if only to himself.

A problem to solve. Not something to despair over, no matter how real this person is (to me) and how thoroughly he lacks charisma.

Taking a break for much of August, as much as I was able to, has turned out to be a good choice, especially after ten days in Saskatchewan working in-depth on this novel.

Perspective, I believe it's called.

I may wander away from social media even more as summer wanes and autumn arrives, the better to keep solving problems that inevitably arise.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

On Liking Things

I don't like my pen. It blotches. The ink gets all over my fingers, even after I've given it time to dry. It's a pain in the neck to use. I don't like my pen.

I really wanted to like this pen. It came in a cool package with pens of various colours. I like using coloured pens--green, red, or this purple--during the day. I had high hopes for this pen. I wondered if my hopes for this pen were too high. Was I seduced by hype around this pen? I tried to like it, really I did.


See? SEE? It blotches. I'm even using a pen-wiper. Yes, using a pen-wiper makes me feel a little like Jo March, but that's not enough to offset the problematic aspects of requiring a separate place to wipe your pen's nib periodically.

But I don't have to justify not liking the pen. I don't like it. I don't have to like it. I (gasp) don't even have to use it up. (Those whose parents also never got over their Depression-era childhoods will understand the radical nature of this statement.) So I might channel my inner rebel-child and not keep using it

I appreciate that someone made this pen. I am grateful to live in a world that includes ballpoint pens, and people who make them, and an economy in which I am able to buy ballpoint pens and paper, and a life in which I get to use pens and paper regularly.

And yet. I don't like this pen. I don't have to force myself to try to like it. I don't have to find value in it. I can just sit here not liking this pen. And that's OK. We don't have to like the same things. I will buy a different kind of pen next time. You can continue to love this brand of pen, if you wish.

Note: "Not liking" can also apply to other things, like books, essays, short stories, poems, or artwork.