Sunday, January 6, 2013


Today is my last day in "holiday" mode.
I kick off the official return to reality tomorrow with a dental appointment -- a cleaning, which supposedly will kick start all the root canals and other necessities I require for a painless smile made of my sparkly natural teeth.

I woke up this morning feeling more buoyant than I have in months. That's because I gained holiday weight and haven't done my Pilates in two weeks. Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's back to work I go. Experience tells me I'll be feeling better in two days. It's always a challenge to get back in the saddle, but once there, the view is so much nicer.

My writing plans have changed. About two months ago I decided to return to the novel I began years ago -- The Scarf Dance. Laying aside all other projects, my focus returns to the book I always wanted to write and plan to finish.

So, I am officially checking in.

On another note, I have noticed yet again, a shift in the English language, as the dumbing down continues.

Remember when some idiot once said "irregardless" and suddenly the entire world was saying it?

It took years to correct this -- but, by and large, irregardless was beaten back into the dust bin.

Lately, however, language misuse is the order of the day. In recent weeks, I have heard media and lay citizens say the following:

more clear
more plain
more light
more lovely

...well, you get the drift.

I suppose people think greater (more great?) emphasis lies with the adjective, "more."

If you are reading this, please say greater, clearer, plainer, lighter, lovelier. Please?

It's one thing to have a character in a novel or play etc. speak anyway he likes -- quite another for the writer to misuse language.

My mother used to tease me. She'd put a Band-Aid on a scraped knee and ask, "Is this 'more better'?"
It was a giggle moment meant to evoke child-like boo-boos. It certainly wasn't intended for OED consideration.

Friday, January 4, 2013

To Live In Interesting Times

I sat for days drumming my fingernails on my desk, wondering when I would jump back into my blog. The 'when' became fashionably late --  not really what I aspire to be, but there it is.

As to how to re-start this moribund journey, I have to begin on a serious note.

So, I'll address the heading ...interesting times. Chinese curse or no, there is nothing quite as antsy as our world in this current climate. My American cousins seem to be in a state of decline, despair, moral lassitude. Guns and Jesus. Ideology ahead of public service and the common good, total absence of empathy. A shining example of how not to practice a democracy.
It is positively heart-breaking--and nauseating.

There was a time when I might have said it's not everyone's fault. We said it after George W. Bush was jockeyed into the presidency by the Supreme Court. We knew not everyone had voted for the best look-a-like to Alfred E. Neuman on the planet. And people went around wearing T-shirts proclaiming their innocence; they wrung their hands, beat their breasts.
It lasted until the second election, when he handily swept in, and by then one had to say, "you are what you elect, you deserve what you get."
There were and are the "deniers" -- I am not a Republican, I am a Libertarian. Yeah, right. It's still the same 'I got mine, you get yours' mentality. It's still about this fake notion of government of all the people, by all people,  and for all the people means socialism.

You have your NRA morons -- "see, there's good guys and bad guys..." who think they are talking to kids in kindergarten, which is ridiculous, because kids in kindergarten are getting riddled with bullets and are too busy dying to hear those Saturday morning cartoons.

You have people in need of disaster relief who aren't getting it because:

a) they live outside the Bible Belt
b) a Republican governor had the nerve to praise the black Democrat, the president of the country

Through all of this drama and horror, the "supposed" words of Edmund Burke echo quite clearly: "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

And nothing is exactly what most folks are doing. In fact, today, they praised John Boehner out of one side of their mouths, after decrying his evil (there really is no other word for it) yesterday when he stopped Congress from passing an overdue bill that would have meant restoration to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Boehner was re-elected as Speaker of the House. It's a game of agendas, politics above the people. It is not the America I was raised on.

The lack of empathy and compassion, the Republican resolute steeliness of allegiance to Grover Norquist's dirty little pledge reminds me of the killer, Adam Lanza. One can easily extrapolate that the injurious people in Congress are as crazy, misguided, willful, single-minded, paranoid, non-empathetic, in need of medication as Lanza. He was, after all, a son of America.
And right now, alas, America is nuts.

...there's yet another story about how teenage boys in Ohio raped a girl, filmed it, bragged, boasted, texted, videotaped etc. and how other kids stood idly by.

People are aghast -- how could this happen? Why do kids stand by and laugh? Why would anyone?

Because our current culture is akin to a hard crust of rot that has affixed itself to our skin, like shingles.

I don't understand why people are surprised. It's quite simple, really. Denial. Lies. Selfishness. Greed. No moral compass. Rush Limbaugh. Ann Coulter. Michele Bachmann, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck. To name but a scant few. They feed into immoral resolve, callous disregard for life and truth.

So...we live in interesting times.

The world and the days in it spin fast and no one can be sure that the sun will rise in the east, or set in the west. Icebergs melt, tornadoes billow, hurricanes blow sooner than later.

Anger lurks where danger treads, and it is hard some days to forget that love and laughter and creativity also exist. But, they do.

Is writing relevant to anything? Are our novels or memoirs or plays worth tackling? Is anyone going to read what we write?

Yes. Always yes. And maybe now more than ever.