June 5, 2015: Mind games, pop culture, and diversity

Truth: “Being able to separate your thoughts from your sense of self is one of the most useful things you can do.”

Every time my life seems grim, it’s because I’ve let my thoughts take the wheel. My mind is a jerk. My self is pretty rad, and the conflict between those two is what drives me forward on the good days. The jerk in my mind gives the rest of me something to resist, making me stronger. And it took me way too long to realize that.

I still haven’t read the book Jurassic Park is based on, but I might have to after reading this.

A solid article on Caitlyn Jenner and the problem with treating individuals — especially those with atypical levels of wealth and influence —  as spokespeople for diverse groups.

Good article: “You are deprived of the time, sleep and energy you need to see past the place into which you have been plunged. You lose your bearings, your attachments to the world you inhabited before, and become immersed in the culture that surrounds you.”

I watched episode one of Sense8 and had a lot of trouble following it. If it doesn’t get coherent quick, it’s going to lose me. AV Club had some words on it.

I’m going to write a lot of bad fiction

I can know at a high, intellectual level that if I keep at something, it’ll eventually pay off. My non-fiction writing improved tangibly the more I wrote, and now people actually pay money for it. By now, I’ve written well over a half million words.

But what I really want to do is write fiction, and I’ve written less than 50,000 words of that. I know from non-fiction writing that all the problems I have, like coming up with ideas, ease of reading, interestingness, and a billion other things will improve with practice.

And I’m having the same trouble convincing myself of it. What ultimately got me past that for non-fiction was college. I had to get a certain number of words written by a certain time, and the habit stuck after graduation. Most of my non-fiction improvement came from just not caring about the output. I wrote, edited, and published, and paid no mind to feedback. I generally knew what I got wrong, and did better on the next one.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to try to finish off and publish at least one 5000 word story a week, then publish it through Smashwords. My reasoning is that Smashwords will let me publish to most retailers for $0.00, unlike Amazon, so no one can fuss if they don’t like it. Just like all the now-deleted blogs I wrote my half million words on.

What I’m reading: June 3, 2015

What’s the most ignorant thing a person can say and still be a viable candidate in the Republican primary? Mike Huckabee is trying to find out.

Meanwhile, this school principal is having a go at finding the optimum level of institutional homophobia.

Every year starting in 1979, murders in Miami set a record (349 in 1979; 569 in 1980; 621 in 1981). Fifty percent were drug-related; 25 percent died from machine-gun fire; 15 percent were public executions. The Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office rented a refrigerated trailer from Burger King to handle the overflow of corpses.

Cadaver it your way.

James Earl Jones liked to troll truckers with his Vader voice.

I will not sully my imagination by verifying the etymology on this.

Fulton County, home to Atlanta, will stay open late if the SCOTUS rules in favor of marriage equality. Hopefully surrounding counties will do the same. The editor of the main paper for Barrow County (where I live) came out in favor of equality and wasn’t run out of town (and runs similarly accepting opinion pieces), so that seems to be a good sign. And when public officials in Barrow have said bigoted things, they don’t keep their jobs.

The three best things in the world: kittens, foxes, and cuddling.