Listening to the playlist for the upcoming Hollow Shelter which got two additional tunes, one of which I’d never heard before watching The Batman last night.
Something in the Way by Nirvana.
When I heard it my mind I tuned the movie out for a moment as I thought “Wow, that would be cool for this upcoming book…”
In spite of having a dream about alligators I woke up feeling pretty good and ready to make what I consider progress writing.
I was washing them down a shower drain with a hose. Go figure.
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I didn’t just jump into the situation because I needed to consider the impact of intense heat on my ability to work on a novel.
Heat can be distracting.
We have no AC so these times of year when the heat goes up and the breeze disappears? Not fun.
At least this year I wasn’t forced to shut every window because of fire smoke from California, Oregon, Canada, and Western Washington blowing ash into the air.
I didn’t grow up having AC.
Or a dishwasher.
Oh wait – we did.
Aware of the parameters, I needed to consider my rhythm relative to the arc of increasing then decreasing heat and the likelihood I would be ready to put fingers to keyboard before it got distractingly hot.
Odds weren’t looking good.
I made the best of it which means What’s quick and easy?
Low hanging fruit
The White Board!
I hate lists and don’t technically need them other than to act as nags to get to stuff I’d rather not do.
At the top of the board?
Followed by The Store and Marketing – which I also detest.
It was so much easier working for a corporation that had a Marketing Department.
Then again, maybe not since 1/2 to 3/4 of my job was explaining to customers why their pie-in-the-sky slide whipping failed because it didn’t include the fine print.
At the bottom of the list is LOGO
How the heck do you create one that does justice to who you are?
Designing a web presence that encompasses all the facets of me is like trying to write a resume that includes life experiences on top of education and work experience that includes being quick enough to dodge male babies ready to get me when changing a diaper at 11.
At least his mom – my aunt – warned me.
I guess I could put that one in with the fact I had a rocket arm that put me in the outfield after I refused to play 1st yet could get the ball and get it to 3rd or home in time to get them out.
Where would that fit in corporate? Running to the copy machine and back? Tossing useless paperwork on a desk with enough force to cause a minor quake?
Been there done that useless Office Space gig
I’ve held a number of jobs throughout the years including working in HR before taking an administrative position that got my foot in the door and in line for becoming a technical consultant.
With being a tech writer a brilliant segue.
When my boss told me I only got a 2% raise in spite of an outstanding performance review and doing way more than what was in my job classification – because of my job classification? I asked her what I needed to do to change the classification so it reflected what I did.
So I would get appropriate compensation.
Years and a hell of a lot of hard work including – I kid you not – 80 hour workweeks – later – I succeeded.
How the heck do you get that translated into a website presence?
Ahhhhh the Dude…
So – at the top of the White Board…
As I wrote in the blog post for metatronsarmy.com I needed to sort a few things out before deciding how I would proceed with this part of the web presence.
Talked it over with someone the other night to make sure I wasn’t missing anything in my logic.
While that alone could have fulfilled my definition of having accomplished something I needed more.
This is me.
I added the two songs – of which the Nirvana one is one – then listened thinking maybe I would be inspired to get to Hollow Shelter.
Kind of knew better but it was worth a try…
And then I saw those orange sticky notes. Not ready to throw in the towel and work on that blog post I considered the chaos in front of me
Chaos I can easily sort out since it would only be chaos to the untrained – aka not a writer – eye.
Not ready to move on because I had unfinished business of a creative and thus esoteric nature I took time to have a conversation with a friend about lessons learned from emptying the damn basket.
That landed me in other people’s cesspits
As I was wrapping up the 15 minute conversation I smiled because I knew everything was as it should be.
Even if I could have done without the doo-doo bath.
The previous 24 hours showed me the creative process I’ve employed throughout my life – serious multi-tasking** combined with ignoring idiots – is working beautifully.
I’ll give two examples
I was 8
I was never a fan of cooked spinach.
I like it now.
One evening when I was in 3rd grade my mom served a side of it. I ate everything on the plate but the spinach. Dad was not impressed.
I didn’t care.
I looked at my mom and asked why she made it if she knew we didn’t like it.
She is not the idiot here. She told me it was nutritious and even Popeye liked it.
My younger brother’s answer
He was watching – likely taking notes what not to do
Smother everything in ketchup and swallow it down.
I didn’t like catsup at that point.
Yes I spelled it differently on purpose…
My dad started riding me about it. I told him “I eat tons of vegetables including lima beans and brussels sprouts.”
Wasn’t that good enough? I mean come on – brussels sprouts? LIMA BEANS?
“I won’t eat spinach and you can’t make me.”
Oooh challenging someone who hasn’t quite figured out I was dead serious.
Initially amused he quickly realized I was.
I wonder if it was my mom’s expression of “What are you going to do now and oh by the way I need to deal with this all the time” ?
I wasn’t going to eat that glop on the plate.
He tried guilt.
“There are kids starving somewhere…”
Having heard the same from nuns who stole my lunch money to give to kids in some other country when – my family was super poor – I needed that milk
Aka -I wasn’t impressed – and told him so.
After he quit yelling at my mom because the nuns were taking my lunch money to give it to something called pagan babies he pointed and told me to eat.
He then threatened to send me to my room.
Never threaten a creative
Picking up my glass of milk I said “With pleasure!” as I dumped it on my plate, stood up and went to my room where I proceeded to write a story.
Acting it out as – being a kid – I wasn’t afraid of playing house.
I don’t know if my dad was disgusted with me for not caring, for the fact guilt didn’t work when it probably had with him when he was in Catholic school, or that he couldn’t throttle me without risk of killing me
As he almost did with my mother once-upon-a-time
All I know is he yanked open the door and ordered me to leave the house and get lost somewhere he didn’t have to see me.
I was 26
I need to reiterate my path through life has been unconventional.
Something certain managers in the Corporate Black Hole years didn’t seem to grasp.
At one point along the path of working for a company that had 145K employees when I started and 39 when I quit a manager advised me to take a roll on a project.
A project I knew from a guy who was on it – a guy I was dating – was going up in flames.
I already had a job in California though I hadn’t yet enlightened him. Knowing not to burn bridges I smiled
Can’t say it wasn’t an evil smile
I told him that I was looking to the future
Hey – I had a life vest
I gave him a number of examples only some of which had been supplied by the guy I was dating – unbeknownst to the manager – as to why this project was the Titanic
He pointed to the door and yelled at me to get out
Which I did – to California
It was a huge promotion complete with increased responsibilities and – finally – compensation
Riding the Writing Waves
Aka as I was writing this afternoon
After lunch while listening to Nirvana
Feeling the energy going into the post I got the image of waves and my own self riding them
Bobbing in the Creative waters
Warm waters of love that won’t let you drown
Just another facet of my creative stamp on the world
** I grew up in a family where Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house involved at least 30 people
Usually 50 or more
Multiple generations not all of whom were family but all deserving of Highland Hospitality
My maternal grandpa’s words for “There’s always room for one more/there’s always someone worse off than you.”
I needed to keep on my toes to maintain all those conversations while holding babies – at 8 years of age – and helping 4 and 5 year-old younger cousins get food to give their parents a break while answering adult questions – including from people in from out of town who were 2 and 3 generations removed
I was told to respect them even if I had no idea who they were and thought they wore too much perfume/cologne and dressed funny.
Well, except for the ones who had the good sense to show up in a kilt.
Questions Questions – from Strangers
Was I doing well in school?
Was I obeying the nuns?
You’re kidding right?
How do you express that on a website?