There’s a moment when your consciousness detaches from the writing and starts to read and recognize – “Oh, that’s good, that’s sweet, that’s meaningful” – and that’s the moment of truth.
Either you pause and celebrate what you’ve just written or you double down – you say to yourself, “Shut up, Self, we’re writing here and nobody cares what you think at this moment.”
Maybe you do shut back up and keep writing, or maybe you start trying to outdo yourself and it turns out sounding like self-conscious slop, or maybe you stop and say, “Well, there it is, that’s the best I’m going to do today so I may as well stop.” Only one of those three choices is likely to produce more brilliance, but you have a chance of batting .333, which is mighty good baseball.
Sports make pretty good analogies. Babe Ruth’s strikeouts and Brett Favre’s interceptions are part of their stories of brilliant success. Ted Williams set a record by failing six out of 10 times – because the best hitters have always failed seven or eight of 10.
And the point being: You don’t get a hit every time you swing. You just keep swinging.
“Just – resting – my eyes … I’ll do it after I – rest – my – eyes –”
He slept, and when he awoke, he was a pod person. His soul had withered and died in the night.
And he lived unhappily ever after.
“What kind of a story is THAT?!”
“Well – it might be a real one. You know the old proverbs about folding your hands for a little sleep …”
“What proverbs are those?”
“Oh, look them up.”
“I think I’ll check my –”
“I’ll just take a minute –”
“What if somebody asked a –”
LEAVE IT ALONE.
“You don’t even know what I’m doing.”
CHECKING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA.
“Yes, but –”
STOP. DON’T. LEAVE IT ALONE.
“Why are you –”
Once upon a time, people feared we were becoming zombies because we sat in front of TV screens so much. But then we got little screens to carry in our pockets. And the zombification REALLY began.
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A nerdy science student is bitten by a radioactive spider. A scientist rescues a kid from a nuclear bomb test site but is irradiated by the explosion. A family tests a spaceship and flies through a gamma-ray cloud.
Scientists try something and it goes horribly wrong. It’s the quintessential superhero origin story. And supervillains, too, come to think. Continue reading “The trope of the horribly wrong”
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. What if you don’t like lemonade? Make lemon meringue pie.
Hey, what’s wrong with lemons anyway? I know, I know, it’s a metaphor, because lemons have a sour taste. What if you like sour? It makes things tangy, and tangy is good, right? What if when life hands you lemons, you think, “Oh boy! Lemons add zing to life. Lemon and lime together make a refreshing drink. Lemon has a lovely fresh aroma. Thank you so much for this lemon.”
The metaphor depends on the premise that a lemon is sour and unpleasant. If you happen to like lemons, so much the better. The whole point is sometimes life is out of your control, so make the best of it. You can’t control what life hands you, not all the time, but you have some measure of control over your reaction. When life hands you poop, look for the pony. When life hands you ick, look for the silver lining. And hope it’s not made of mercury.
Always what’s next …
It’s good to have a next, you know.
Finished is better than good – but good is important – so make it as good as you can, but don’t try so hard to make it good that you never finish. Projects get finished. Finish what you start. Fix it later, or live with the flaws, but finish.
And then move on to the next. It’s good to have a next.
If a black cat and a golden dog can lie down face to face and enjoy each other’s company, why oh why is it so hard for homo sapiens? We are the same species, for crying out loud.
Of all the stupid things that make me question whether humanity really is the most intelligent of the beasts, this is near the top.
“Top of the food chain” doesn’t necessarily translate to “smartest.”
Notes from a hotel room, on learning of the death of Rutger Hauer, who gave a memorable performance in the film Blade Runner …
What lesson did Roy Batty give us through the vessel of Rutger Hauer? Four years of life seems unfair – but how much life is a fair allotment? Continue reading “A smile that conquers rage”