Yesterday, I spent some time outside just before a storm. It felt like dusk, even though it was actually mid-afternoon. It’s a eerie feeling, to know it’s day but feel like it’s evening. I have a lot of nightmares about the sky suddenly going dark in the middle of the day – apocalyptic sorts of dreams.
We don’t get a lot of humidity in Colorado. Humidity is a reminder that there’s something that surrounds us, something that holds us down, something that works over and beyond any human intervention. It reminds me that there are so many layers that exist around us, of air and atmosphere that we normally don’t notice or think about.
There are things that surround us that we can’t control.
In my line of work, I think a lot about depth. The phrase ‘deep dive’ comes up a lot, and I always imagine myself in a submarine, exploring strange coral and old shipwrecks.
But this isn’t about what I do for a living. This is about what I do to live. I think music is where I find the most depth. Music is where I live out all the feelings I normally bury. It’s where I can go when I need to have a conversation with myself.
When I first heard this song ‘My Old Green Shirt, Coffee, and Cigarettes’, I felt rather breathless after listening to it. It’s by a pianist named Sergio Díaz de Rojas from Valencia, Spain, and there’s a video for it…
I went to the Botanical gardens a few weeks ago. Mainly I was there to get some work done, and the gardens are a nice place to read or write. But I remembered, while I was there, an assignment that a teacher once had us to called Word Gardens.
As an independent editor/beta reader, I see a lot of writers fall into the message trap – they have something they want to say, something they feel is important, and they’re very passionate about it.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this – in fact, even if you’re a pantser (vs a plotter), you should be able to articulate what the core of your story is about. There may be more than one theme or message or question that you’re exploring, or there may be just one central message or theme.
The problem I see, especially with newer writers, is that they sometimes focus on the message instead of the story.
There’s a thing I found on Reddit. It’s been referenced in a few forums I tend to frequent because it just so beautifully describes the dynamic between enablers and abusers. The title of the post is “Don’t Rock the Boat,” and it’s a reflection on that phrase, and what it is that people are really saying when they use it.
I wish I knew who to credit this to, because it so well-articulates how abusers/people who behave badly don’t always act alone or in a void. There are often people around them who are aware of their bad behavior, but make it their duty to be the stabilizing presence. It also reflects on how “boat stabilizers,” as this author terms enablers, come into existence – often, it can be within a family environment where there are multiple family members who work together to try to minimize the rocking caused by one person.
It’s an eerie day in Colorado as we greeted the arrival of our second bomb cyclone. The day started rainy, gray, and foggy with an impending sense of doom and eventually turned to a heavy wet snow which is much more appropriate for a bleak midwinter than an early spring. The gloomy weather hanging over my home seems the appropriate time to reflect on events that occurred on March 26, 2018 on the northern coast of California, sometime in the early hours of the morning.
This is a story about abuse, neglect, and murder, and it’s been eating at me for quite some time. I had to collect my thoughts, and the point of posting them is to call attention to this case, to these kids, to what they experienced and why they experienced it, and to the forces that intertwined to create a situation in which they never got the help they desperately needed and were desperately seeking.
TW: Tough subject matter ahead. Read at your own discretion.