Taking the Day off

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Taking the day off. Well, kind of. I intend to be writing, just not blog posts.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently reading back where I come from in genre and style.  For me that’s space opera.

It’s weird to say, but in the years of writing to market, or at least writing to publishing houses (you didn’t sell directly to people) it’s easy to forget why you start doing this thing, and what you want to do… what the lamp burning inside your soul is, and what feeds it, versus what just keeps it sort of burning.

I’m starting to have some clarity.  I get the impression this is a road, though.

Meanwhile I write, building a rope of words back to sanity and health.  Keep me in your prayers, your thoughts.

This writing things is not as safe as it looks. Not inside.

58 responses to “Taking the Day off

  1. As most sane people do to insulate themselves from nonsense, you don’t provide a direct connection for private conversation. So I ask this of you on your public forum.
    I have written and published one (1) book, which is on the subject of evolution as analyzed from the empirical, objective viewpoint used by all engineers, as opposed to the subjective, appeal to authority viewpoint typical of evolution industry practitioners.

    I would very much value your opinion of it, and even a review of it. If you don’t wish to, I understand. And thanks for considering it.

  2. It would seem that one benefit of working independently is that you would no longer need “write to publishing houses.” It probably requires some re-wiring of mental patterns to stop doing so, but you can now write to the market you choose rather than to the market some publisher thinks it knows how to reach.

    Certainly this blog is not written to any market any publisher would pursue.

    I look forward to reading your results.

  3. Writing what feeds your soul is good for you. Getting back to what you first loved is important for your health. Take what time you need and write what you want. The only person you have to please with your writing is you.

  4. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    How Dare You Take A Day Off Without Permission!

    ::Hears Growls From A Powerful Female Dragon::

    Of course, you have permission… now that I think about it. 😀

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Day off permission form has not be filled out and notarized. *Is buried by avalanche of filled out and notarized superior forms clearly authorizing multiple days off, as often as needed.*

      Close examination of dates and such reveals that they have been filled out a very long time, and are still in force.

  5. I’m starting to suspect that the Great Author nudges (kicks?) us toward the stories we need, both as writers and as readers. Although why He thinks I need to spend this much time with a talking lemur… I probably do not want to know. Becuase the following came up when I was looking for something for a friend’s new sprog.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VXZW97D/ref=dp_cr_wdg_tit_nw_mr

  6. Sending you good thoughts. For some reason my stories end up with goats in them. Take that as you will. I have no idea why.

    • It is their Heaven ordained reward for helping save the Reagan Library from Fires resulting from Progressive policies:

      A Herd Of Goats Saved The Reagan Presidential Library From A Raging Wildfire
      Firefighters worked through the day Wednesday, trying to save the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library alongside hundreds of homes, farms, and businesses, from the “Easy Fire” that raged across Simi Valley, California, torching more than a thousand acres.

      It turns out, though, that the more than 700 personnel fighting the blaze had a hand from some hairy fire abatement professionals: a herd of hungry goats.

      That’s right: a herd of goats may have helped save the Reagan Presidential Library.

      CNN reports that a “herd of as many as 500 goats” was given the run of a hillside, conveniently located between the fire and the Library, earlier this year. The goats ate all of the available vegetation in their grazing zone, creating a natural firebreak, and depriving the fast-moving Simi Valley wildfire of fuel.

      [SNIP]

      “We actually worked with the Ventura county fire department in May and they bring out hundreds of goats to our property,” Melissa Giller, Reagan Presidential Library spokeswoman, told a local news outlet. “The goats eat all of the brush around the entire property, creating a fire perimeter.”

      “One of the firefighters mentioned that they do believe the goats’ fire line helped them fight this fire,” she added. “They just proved today how useful they really are.”

      Although the goats provided an assist, of course, more than 700 firefighters were called in to contain the Easy Fire located to the north and west of Los Angeles, California, which burned nearly 2,000 acres on Wednesday and threatned 6,500 structures before it was partially contained. …

      • Obviously an Invasive Species interfering with Gaia’s plan for her …..
        I can’t finish that statement even sarcastically, my internal CPU keeps locking up.

        • Especially if you know that the National Forest Service used to use sheep and goats for firebreaks and to graze areas that really do need grazing for health. They don’t do it in CA anymore, because a Hollywood type got upset about it and she and her friends wrote to their Congresscritters, and so on and so forth. *SIGH*

      • Saw someone complaining about the price tag of $1,000 an acre– when the guy delivered five hundred freaking goats.

        And it got done FAST, so…. yeah, $13,000 in emergency fire prevention, GOOD deal.

        • I read that goats grazing saved the Reagan Library from fire. (Dems just TERRIBLY upset by that.)

          • OK, I started at the bottom and worked my way up. Done beat me to it.

          • I heard about that and marveled; I cannot conceive of conservatives acting similarly over a comparable escape f a Democrat presidential library.

            Okay, we might find humour in destruction of the Obama library in a race riot, or the Clinton library going bankrupt and forced to re-open the first floor as a strip club, but we’d not rend our clothing and howl in anguish over their failure to be destroyed.

  7. Christopher M. Chupik

    Sanity? With us around?

    All kidding aside, take care. We’ll try not to run too amuck.

  8. Nothing worth doing is safe, and very little is as safe as it looks from the outside…or nobody would do anything.

  9. To paraphrase a rather well known movie; “If you write it, people will read”.

  10. Writing makes me . . . centered is probably the best term, with happy a close second. But then, I always write whatever I want. I highly recommend it.

  11. If I don’t write, stories leak through. That’s not good.

  12. “This writing things is not as safe as it looks. Not inside.”

    Yes, that is for sure. That’s why writing the “approved” story lines (eg. the kind they teach at the Clarion workshop) is never going to be a thing for me. I can’t have that in my brain, I have to live in here with it.

    Even my Bad Guys do all their Bad Guy stuff off somewhere else. The heroes of the story do clean-up and prevent recurrence. I figure that’s plenty of action for a merry band who’s taken over the world by accident and are leaving it ruthlessly alone.

  13. Space Opera is a lot harder to write than people realize.

    By definition, Space Opera demands that the heroes do Great Deeds, affecting the overarching plot in a major fashion. They are Arch-Heroes, engaged in Heroic Single Combat with the forces of evil. This makes the struggle personal, the storytelling intimate.

    The problem lies in coming up with a situation that makes Heroic Single Combat the only viable option. Instead of the heroes hanging back in their command ship and directing the fighting of millions of expendable minions. Which is far more common, usually more believable, and a lot less dramatic.

    The great master of the genre was Doc Smith. Who repays study. He was a much more skilled storyteller than he was ever credited with…much of his technique was like a Japanese painting, with a single line inferring a lot of information.

    • The more I learn about the history of literary criticism (and it’s mostly by osmosis), the more I am inclined to conclude that very little that was admired by contemporary critics lasts beyond its era.

      What do we remember from the Victorian Era? Kipling (who was lionized, but fell from favor), Sherlock Holmes, Dracula…

      Oh, there are exceptions, but in every era there have been Great Works, widely acclaimed by the tastemakers of the day, that have vanished with scant trace .

      • Sturgeon’s law at work. Although somedays I wonder if Sturgeon wasn’t excessively optimistic.

    • The opening line of Doc’s Second Stage Lensmen:
      – – –
      Stop, youth!” the voice of Mentor the Arisian thundered silently, deep within the Lensman’s brain.
      – – –

      A single line — and you’re dragged into the story, with no way out.

      (And, very much IMHO, the stories work best in the original four novel form it was in Astounding, not the six volumes it turned into for book publication.)

    • > great master

      Don’t forget Edmond Hamilton!

  14. A prayer for sanity? Tall order, these days. Oh, not so much for Himself, but he gave us free will, with all the troubles that causes. It’s the free bit that, like all things called “free,” ain’t. To be free of will is to be responsible for all that we do.

    But when I pray for sanity (daily, sometimes moment-by-moment), and I do ask for it for us all, each and every one, it is for the clarity of thought to pinpoint the things that are important, the will and determination to see my tasks done, and the wisdom to know when to set one task aside. For sanity’s sake, of course.

    So Lord, give us a bonus to all the san checks in the coming days. Remind us that we are merely human, but being human we may aspire to greatness. Give us the patience and grace to accept what may come our way. Help us remember to eat and sleep in a timely manner, as I know we may become wayward in this *grin*. Look after every soul, great and small. Amen.

    • Sanity? Over-rated and less useful than many suppose. My prayer is for perspective, for according things their proper importance.

      Learning from History helps with that. As bad as things now seem, would anybody rather be at Corregidor, May 7, 1942? Or Gettysburg, June 30, 1863? Philadelphia in September 26, 1777? Constantinople on May 29, 1453?

      This coming year may see us lose, but that won’t mean we’re defeated. It may see us win, but that won’t make us victorious. Until the onset of the Last Battle, all gains and losses are but temporary, leaving our remnant to fight another day.

      • To quote Scaramouche, “He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.”

        One other, less commonly cited but timely quote: “The idea of equality is a by-product of the sentiment of envy. Since it must always prove beyond human power to raise the inferior mass to a superior stratum, apostles of equality must ever be inferiors seeking to reduce their betters to their level.”
        published 1921

  15. I should be following your example instead of posting 🙂

  16. Well Gosh Darn it. If nobody else will give you a day of, I hereby declare Sarah Hoyt Day to be whatever day of the year she chooses to be unstressed, pampered, loaf about the house in whatever attire she desires, and commune with only those who give her positive vibes! (Yes, that does require she leave the TV and radio off, and not look at the daily news.)

    • The great risk of taking a day off is that one’s absence will go unnoticed — r worse, that what will be noticed is how much more smoothly things went in your absence.

      • You are one mean marsupial. 😀

      • Well, at least a dozen people notice when Sarah is incommunicado.
        And I haven’t heard of anyone’s day going smoothly in those instances.
        So I think her risk level is low.

      • “Him showin’ up is like three good men leavin’.” Another regional favorite, usually muttered under the breath is, “He’s called Blister, ‘cuz he only shows up after the work’s all done.”

      • Which is why Generally Accepted Auditing Standards says it’s a red flag if your “person who controls the money / keeps the books” never takes one.

  17. *backs slowly out of third and a half floor library* Um, not to cast aspersions on other people’s labors, but will the person who re-arranged the books by color instead of title please come back? The _Necornomicon Cookbook_ just attacked a copy of _Twilight_, and it’s not pretty.

    • I’ll be rooting for the Necronomicon Cookbook thank you. All those sparkly pages will soon be just a memory.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Two thoughts.

      1) Couldn’t happen to a better book.

      2) Who put that cookbook (and its ilk) in the same library as regular books (Twilight is bad but not on the extreme level of evil as the cookbook).

      • Twilight is pretty fricking evil…I think an invasion of old ones and their toe chomping pets is far superior to a collection of angsty permanently teen aged shiny vampires. Vlad would have thrown himself on a rosewood stake at a crossroads at midnight if he had known where vampires were going.

    • The aardvark has a better idea: ban that person from the library for keeps.

  18. The Bible offers assistance in that prayer for sanity. In Philippians 4:4-8 (ESV) we find:

    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

    And in 2 Timothy 1:7 (again ESV) we find:

    for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

    Make of those what you will. And God bless you in your writings.

  19. There’s a big red sign labeled, TURN HERE. Unfortunately, I’m holding it in my hands…