Saturday Bonus (or: Early Weekend Writing Report #5)

I’ve been sick the past couple of days — nothing more dire than a cold, but still enough to ruin my evenings — which is why Thursday’s post never did manage to make an appearance. I fell asleep in the loftice around 7 p.m. and then had weird dreams until 9 o’clock, when I finally got up from the floor, dislodging my cat. I was only up for an hour, which was just enough time to write a couple of sentences for Pine&Meyer and get ready for bed. Truly an evening for the ages.

Friday was similarly unproductive. Still, even picking away at it, I’m 1,151 words into chapter 6, which means I should be done with “On the Corner of Pine & Meyer” within the next quarter century. Have I mentioned that I’m never going to post an unfinished work again? Because I’m never going to post an unfinished work again.

Speaking of, I took a break today to write happy-toned-to-hide-the-seething-frustration poetry. There is nothing like 24/7 political commentary to really make you feel impotent, and with the news coming out of New York and Virginia this past week regarding the legalization (or attempted legalization) of infanticide, there’s nothing I can do about it but scream into my own echo chamber. In fact, I don’t ever intend for this blog to become political (I write to entertain, and, as Michael Jordan so brilliantly and succinctly put it regarding his refusal to mix business and politics: “Even Republicans buy shoes”), but there are some things so beyond the pale evil that I don’t think they even count as politics anymore. That, and there are advantages in writing a blog that is currently read by approximately two people, both of whom are related to me. Even then I want to be judicious, which is why whenever I talk about abortion, I always do it in bouncy rhyme:

Location, Location, Location

“Location!” cried the realtor, “Location, yes, location!
“Value isn’t in the house, its worth is in relation
“To waterfront, the park next door, the school district too,
“Your neighbors’ class, if shopping’s close, by scenic mountain view.
“Beware train tracks (you’ll hate the noise), or industry (that stink),
“Instead remodel, alter walls, or move the kitchen sink.
“The only thing you cannot change—that’s stuck for the duration—
“Is that adage oft retold: location, location, location!”

“Location!” chimed the doctor, pleased, “Location, yes, location!
“Value isn’t in the facts, your worth is in relation
“To if you’re in a woman’s womb or on the birthing table,
“Your mom and I’ll discuss it then—more so if you’re disabled—
“And if her mental health’s at risk, if wealth or class is low,
“Your noise and stink’s too much for her; I’m afraid you’ll have to go.
“But do not claim infanticide (what’s with this crass fixation?),
“Legally the defense rests thus: location, location, location!”

It’s not going in my poetry tab yet because there’s still something off. Some of that’s the off-syllable count in a couple of the lines, but there’s still something more vague at work: either some part of the message or some part of the feel of the whole flow that isn’t sitting like I want it to yet. Translation: it’s going to sit in my Poetry/Works_in_Progress folder for a couple of weeks (or even months) before I even look at it again. I’ll have a better idea of what it’s missing then. In the meantime, you get the unfinished product because it’s been awhile since I’ve produced anything that is–at least on the surface–completed.

[Third alternate title to today’s post: Andrea Breaks the Same Promise for the Fourth Time; Enjoy This Unfinished Work]

Add ’em up

While I’m busy not writing Chapter 4, have a fuzzy picture of an old poem:

One + One

My sister-in-law was good enough to take a picture of this five-year-old wedding present and email it to me so that I could fake new, fresh content without having to redraw it, though I did pull out ye olde Microsoft Paint to redo the text. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what I used for the original font, so it doesn’t quite fit in the box like it’s supposed to. Pay no attention to the uneven framing device, meant to hide that fact.

This is part of a series of poems on what I call “God math.” When 1 + 1 =1 and 3 = 1 and…well, actually, I’m suddenly realizing there are only two poems in the “series.” Still. I love apologetics, but sometimes you’ve just got to step back and admit that you’ll never rationalize everything. Naturally, structured rhyme schemes form the backbone of my response to the impossible.

I’ll be back to work on Pine & Meyer tomorrow. I made it through graduation at work and I’m officially out of excuses.

Another yearly redux

Merry Christmas Eve Day! It’s still dark where I am, but I can see the horizon starting to lighten into a more promising blue as we travel further into Montana. This half of the trip has been infinitely better than the first half, and if I didn’t have to go through Chicago to get here, I’d probably do it again.

I updated the art for “The Reason for the Season.” I always meant to have a real illustration around this poem, but it took Christmas coming around again to get me to do it. To read the full poem, go to thestoryfolder.com/poetry/the-reason-for-the-season/.

Yearly Redux (One of Many)

That Cat on Cackler's Lane

I tried to do a live action version of this poetry reading, but the cat wouldn't stay on my lap, even for dramatic purposes. She's currently sitting on the floor behind me, and every time I glance back at her to make sure she's not plotting my demise, her eyes crack open just enough to let me know that yes. Yes she is.

Posted by The Storyfolder on Monday, October 30, 2017

I tried to do a live action version of this poetry reading, but the cat wouldn’t stay on my lap, even for dramatic purposes. She’s currently sitting on the floor behind me, and every time I glance back at her to make sure she’s not plotting my demise, her eyes crack open just enough to let me know that yes. Yes she is.

For example, here’s a very old attempt at this poem. Over a year old, I think. At the very least that’s my mother and father’s basement, pre-construction.

 

And finally, I know I’m an evening early for the All Hallows, but I’m posting this one today because I’m hoping I’ll have a Reformation one for tomorrow. Even though the closer the clock ticks toward midnight, the less likely I am to finish before the deadline.

So much procrastinating, eventually so little time.

Fools, We

I wasn’t going to re-post this for awhile, if ever. And then last night happened.

We’ve got people howling for gun control before they’ve finished collecting the bodies from the square, opposing factions screaming back about ISIS while the conspiracy theorists shuffle along the underbelly of the comment forums, already sniveling about FBI cover-ups, and the mental illness brigade should be out in force soon. Some people see political opportunity as soon as it exposes its rotting underbelly, but goodness knows much of the ranting and raving is genuine. Blind, hopeless desperation scrabbles for a reason why, because it cannot be human nature; cannot look directly at man’s hunger for evil in case we accidentally spot it; cannot wonder if the things we feed the mad dog slavering in the pit of our souls might loose him from his chains. We suckle evil, and wonder why it grows bigger.

I’ve argued with myself about this poem over and over again, wondering when (or even if) I should post it. Not because the things in it aren’t worth saying, but because I don’t intend to set this site up as my soapbox. While my worldview is important to the undergirdings of my themes, character motivations, and world-building, I see myself first and foremost as a secular writer — or rather, a writer who writes secularly. I write to entertain. I don’t want anyone in the entertainment industry to explain their political beliefs to me, let alone try and sway my opinion, and I don’t intend to become the mirror, mirror version in some sort of evil Kirk dimension.

But today I post this anyways, as my one political poem. It’s Law without Gospel, and though I’ve uploaded it as a media file, that’s only to retain the structure for any smartphone users, not because it’s illustrated. I could visualize nothing but a mass of graves, which I couldn’t quite manage to integrate with such a long poem (literally: 12 size font on a 4″ x 21″ Clip Studio canvas). Also, I spent a good chunk of time on the internet hunting down statistics, and if you don’t want to be spoiled about the punchline (such as it is) of the poem, click on the following link before reading the rest of this post.

Fools, We

The breakdown of the numbers is based on a yearly approximation of 1.2 million abortions. According to the Guttmacher Institute (whose latest statistics are from 2014, because abortion reporting apparently takes several years to compile), altogether the states reported only 926,200 abortions for that year. If this number is correct and not underreported*, then it actually takes almost eleven and a half minutes to hit the 20 mark. My apologies for the hyperbole.

(https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/state-facts-about-abortion)


*Per the Guttmacher Institute website, as of Oct 1, 2017: “For the last four decades, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has partnered with the states to collect aggregate statistics on abortions in the United States. States are not required to submit abortion data to the CDC, but the overwhelming majority do.”

States that opt out: California, Maryland
Reporting from physician to state is voluntary: New Hampshire, New Jersey
Reporting form does not specifically include medication (nonsurgical) abortion: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, Tennessee

(https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/abortion-reporting-requirements)

But what if I don’t WANT to enter title here?

I’m running out of post title ideas.

Three days after promising more later, I’m sorry to say that all I have for you is another sloppily designed (at least graphics-wise) re-post. “Sticks and Stones” is back up under the poetry tab, and if it wasn’t so long I’d make another recitation video just because it’s fun to say out loud. You can recite it for yourself by jumping over here:

Sticks and Stones

As has been the case lately, I used my art program not to draw anything, but to slap together something that’s vaguely reminiscent of the words. I spent a grand total of forty minutes on this one, folks, and that includes reading through the poem five or six more times to make sure I was pleased with the minutiae of my word-choice. I changed a few things around, as always, and can officially never read the poem again. If I did, it would be beyond my self-control to stop from pulling up Word to fuss with the “while”s, “and”s, and “but”s. Presumably God will not allow me to be tempted beyond my ability, but I’m going to go ahead and assume that “not looking at it” is the way he has provided for my escape.*


*1 Corinthians 10:13

I congratulate, it seems remarkable idea to me is

My personal spam minx is only a few short compliments away from coaxing me into approving her comments. “I congratulate, it seems remarkable idea to me is” now officially ranks as my go-to commendation in any and all situations. Engaged? I congratulate, it seems remarkable idea to me is. Having a baby? I congratulate, it seems remarkable idea to me is. Bereaving the death of a loved one? I congratulate, it seems remarkable idea to me is. There is no end to the uses I have for this comment.

I have nothing of particular note to say, so have a piece of an idea I was working on the other day:

“What did you do?”

“I humiliated my CO in front of a superior. He blamed me for this assignment. Thought it was my fault he was passed over for promotion.”

Sanderson gave him a look. “Was it?”

Barnaby snorted, more disdainful than amused. “You don’t need to scuttle a sinking ship.”

“But you did scuttle it,” Sanderson clarified, grin starting to form around his mouth.

Barnaby coughed, trying to look less pleased with himself. “I did at that.”

I say “the other day” but that actually translates to “a couple months ago.” I should probably work on my focus.

Speaking of which, I’m not sure if I’m productive or lazy. A new poem, “Color this Land,” is the juxtaposition of trying to be both simultaneously.