What do you do when you lose your mind?

I’ve lost my flash drive. Well it’s not exactly lost, it’s more like I left it somewhere accidentally, and now that I’ve looked for it, I realize where it is. It is excruciating to think that I am away from it. I feel my mental capacity to be calm and sane and rational are slowly slipping into the land of the lost. Along with my flash drive. That my information is somewhere I cannot reach makes me think about investing in a cloud or two. Almost. Still not sure about that technology yet.

Thinking about information and access to it got me thinking about in what age did I grow up? What was between the Iron Age and the Information Age in which we now reside? Was it just called the Modern Age? What was so Modern about it–television? I can’t remember my life without the ability to get information whenever I want it. What can I say about THAT age?

“Fifty shades of Writer Frustration”

In another of my LinkedIn Writer Groups, Rebecca Byfield led a discussion (titled “50 Shades of Writer Frustration”) about fan fiction, with reference to Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. It actually got me thinking about fan fiction, because I’d never really delved into that subject before.  I hadn’t realized the 50 shades series was “spawn” from the Twilight series which explains a lot. I just saw these books come out of nowhere to be wildly popular and wondered why.

Without endorsing (AT ALL) either series, or fan fiction, I did have some thoughts I’d like to share. Rebecca’s questions were

“I was wondering what you, as authors and writers yourself, think of the concept of fan fiction being tweaked and re-released as original works? Do you think it is smart business or lazy writing? Have you ever borrowed from popular fiction to by-pass the creativity stage of your plot lines?”

My answer:

I think I said something in earlier comments […] but I did want to give my opinion on your last 2 questions at the end.

–Yes, it’s smart business and it’s lazy writing (to an extent). But if you think of it in very general terms, as many have said here and everywhere else, “there’s nothing new under the sun.”

It’s smart business, because you’re putting your spin on what works. You’ve already got something that’s selling, why not keep the established audience “fed” with what they hunger?
It’s lazy writing to me, because you already have character development, and some generic plot lines covered. Part of the fun for me is imagining how the character will react in a certain situation: is she right or left-handed? what’s her favorite color? And yes, that’s mind work. [But also fun work]

I’ve never borrowed “to bypass the creativity stage”. But you cannot help as a good writer (because you are a good reader), to realize that something you might have read will actually work for your story. Again, there’s nothing new. Just a different perspective–yours.

What do you think about fan fiction?

Creative Writing Career. . .unfulfilled? Do we open the “Stable Job” door?

In one of my LinkedIn groups, someone proposed this question for discussion:

Money-wise, is it worth quitting a secure job to do creative writing as a full-time career?
I’m currently in retail, which is fine in terms of money & job security but not job satisfaction, especially for a highly creative mind. I know I want to do creative writing as a career, but I want to be sure there’s a reasonable chance I won’t turn out like the stereotypical cash-strapped writer.
What would you suggest?

It really got me thinking about my full-time career and my dream career, and how disparate they are.  I answered thusly:

I’m in the same predicament you’re in Mohammed (well for the most part. My second job is actually very fulfilling).

[With] every spare moment I get, I write. I have a calendar where I jot down the length of time I have written or actively engaged in writing, and I try to make my goal of 60 minutes every day.

I say that, because I discourage against quitting a stable job for creative writing if you don’t already have that writing presence; especially if your job is what you depend on to eat, pay the rent and other bills, have health insurance, etc. A creative writing career is like a singing career, it’s very hard to have a highly successful one. But if you don’t practice (get that time in every day), you will never have that career.

But it’s not impossible! And if it’s your dream, never give up on it! I also suggest you try to get a few small projects that would build a portfolio, OR take some classes where your full-time job can lean more toward writing. You’re in retail now, perhaps a marketing job will open up at your company or a communications position? Anything is possible.

Are any writers out there not yet writers by trade? Does it frustrate you? I  get a little miffed when I see a piece of creative writing that’s not done very well become a best seller, or become extremely popular. Especially when I’m struggling to put all of my education and writing talent on display and getting nowhere. But that’s another rant for another day.

Eating chicken and political statements

I do not eat when I want to show support for an idea. I eat when I am hungry. So, sorry Chick-Fil-A, not today.
I’m a writer, I don’t need to eat to express my views.

And I don’t like divisive politics. Being for or against gay marriage really should not be a political issue. Mike Huckabee (R) having a Chick-Fil-A Day to me is just as destructive politically as the Democrats making support of gay marriage part of their platform. This just reeks of politics and does nothing to help move our country forward. Just drop the shenanigans, and eat when you need food. Or when you want to win a pie-eating contest. And then only eat pie.

Ears and other body parts

Since John Mayer said that his penis is a Nazi, my ear became “Anti-Mayer”. Instead of getting his latest CD, I downloaded Colbie Caillat’s instead. It’s like listening to early Mayer without all the drama that comes with him.
I highly recommend her music for those former Mayer fans.

Idiocy

Idiocy is instead of going in a straight, well-defined path to an end goal, taking a curvy obscure, dangerous roundabout to the exact same end goal.

Do you agree?

Anger and Krispy Kremes

It wells up from inside you like a burning lava rock that you formed somehow between your stomach and your liver and fueled by your thoughts.  How does anger do that? It springs up fully  potent, amazingly fierce, ready to be unleashed from its birthplace to spread its heat onto other (possibly unsuspecting) human prey.

I had just left the grocery store after returning a movie when I felt it. It threw me off guard, because the feeling was so intense.  Then unconscious thought suddenly became conscious; I was thinking about how this movie paralleled my social life, and how I was mad at a man for going back on his word.

Thought fueled my anger, and the heavy burning sensation in my stomach spread all over me. It felt like I was being infected by something so hot that my skin started to itch. I kept driving, where I wasn’t sure.  But as I drove the flame burned out, and I was left with a dull ache in my gut.

Anger turned to misery–the lava rock near my stomach cooled, and I just felt a big rock sitting there, heavy and cumbersome.  What could ease this depressing heavy feeling? I turned into the parking lot of a Krispy Kreme donut shop.

Who knew how crowded Krispy Kremes could get on a Saturday night? The parking lot was full, and cars streamed out of the drive thru line onto the side street.  I felt the frustration of a driver from the side street, trying to get around the hungry (or just depressed) patrons hankering for a doughnut.  He honked his horn for several minutes, but no one moved. It was an unusual scene; I couldn’t help but laugh.  Krispy Kreme crowded on a Saturday night? Don’t you have real things to do, family in the van? Don’t you have a club to get to, ladies in tight pants?

And then I thought why did I let that guy make me feel that way? The heat of anger rarely consumes others like it does your own heart. I thought about the lone driver honking his horn to “scare” someone into moving out of his way. It’s almost never contagious, if the thing you’re angry about is only your concern. It’s just too hard and too pointless to sustain.  Happiness is so much easier to feel than anger. Especially when you’re minutes from a few hot Krispy Kremes.