First, I’m alive. Sorry about the lateness of this thing, but we were running some unavoidable errands, and sending younger son to visit with adoptive nephew and niece with whom he has a mutual adoration society.
I came home and shortly after this arrived:
Which suddenly explains why Greebo has been getting the covers off me in the middle of the night, then trying to herd me to the writing chair. Yeah. I thought he was being silly. Apparently there’s more going on here than I guessed.
And btw, this is why Baen is different and special. I could go wholly indie, I could. I’d probably make more money. But Baen is family. Because only family jokes like this.
And from this: I’ve been mildly ill, as I’ve mentioned with a stomach “thing.” I thought I was all right yesterday, but apparently not, as I was acting disoriented and it turned out I still had a fever. I’m better today. I think it’s the same stomach bug that has recurred over the last two months, getting increasingly weaker, which is why I hate stomach bugs. They often do that.
Anyway, this part wasn’t fun, and it’s been dark and dreary, and sometimes it’s difficult to write on when you don’t feel well. (Of COURSE.)
But today is a beautiful day and we were out driving and went to Pete’s for brunch, and son is getting to see the littles (and give their parents a little break, maybe) and I just figured out how to use The Affair of the Poisons in Monster Hunter Guardian. And I got a new book on the battle of Cannae which I’ve started realizing can apply in a space opera.
And my editor is awesome, even if she bribes my cat.
Which brings me to why I’m going to move away from mystery-reading for a while and probably towards romance until MHI is done, then to science fiction.
I realized this morning I didn’t feel like reading any of the mysteries I’d downloaded, and it hit me why. It’s all dust and despondency.
Look, sure, mysteries are about death, but does everything else need to be grey. Does it need to be “no one clean and no one happy, ever?”
Two bits that made me go “Pfui” stand out. A character talking about his marriage of 20 some years says (in authorial voice that obviously thinks she’s saying universal truths) “I guess marriage is mostly boredom and avoiding each other.”
Uh? What? Sure, there are periods of both in a long lasting union, but they’re not even close to the majority of the time, much less ALL the time.
AND talking of WWI: “He’d promised himself if he survived that battle, he’d never enter a church again. He was done with believing in God”
Sure thing. Look, I know a lot of people who have made that type of promise but it’s never in that direction. For heavens sake the saying is not “There’s only atheists in the trenches.”
Also, what does Himself or the church have to do with WWI? What sense does any of that make, except to signal how “smart” the writer is not to believe?
Nothing is ever total dross, just like nothing is ever total sunshine and rainbows. There’s both laughter and tears, and sometimes very humanely, there’s both at once. And there’s always hope and the ability to improve things.
Why would you want to convince people that there isn’t? Unless you’re aware of the barrenness of your life and spirit and want to drag everyone down with you.
Despondency is neither profound, original nor “clever.” It’s just despondency. And there’s a reason despair is a sin.
As for me and mine, I choose hope.