The Glory Illusion of War

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“War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.”

— from the song War by Edwin Starr

There is a slightly frightening tendency to glorify war and battle. It’s a big part of fantasy and science fiction; we’re always waiting for the big battle between good and evil at the end. But what happens when we carry this thinking over into the real world? This us-versus-them mentality, the idea that we are the brave warriors fighting the good fight, is especially attractive if we perceive ourselves as the little Rebellion fighting against the giant evil Empire, or as Peeta and Katniss resisting the malicious Games of the Capital, or as the Alliance of Men and Elves standing against the destructive might of Sauron. Everyone loves the underdog.

That’s fine in fiction. I have nothing against battles in stories and frankly I enjoy them. Halo would be pretty boring without the Flood or the Covenant to fight. It’s when this mentality leaks into real life interactions that it concerns me. If you look at the language being passed around the internet these days, especially when it comes to politics, you’ll find buzzwords like “war,” “soldier,” “fight,” and “rebellion.” Even as the world becomes a safer place overall, the language has become far more violent and polarized. You’re either with us or against us; there is no in between.
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2015: The Year in Review

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Okay, seriously, who keeps making off with all this time?  Feels like the year just got started and we’re already on the cusp of 2016!  (And from what I’ve heard, this sense of time distortion only gets worse… ugh.)

I am definitely in a better place at the end of 2015 than I was last year.  Many of my 2014 goals have been reached, and it feels like I’ve got a better handle on life in general, which is a massive relief!  I want to give a huge thank-you to all of my friends, readers, subscribers, and followers.  You make this all worth-while.

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Updates On The Fly

Greetings all!

My apologies, but the Audio Editions of The Cat’s Cradle, including #ThrowbackThursday, must be put on hold for a while.  I’ve (finally) started taking anti-depressants, and a pernicious side effect is not being able to read text, any kind of text, for more than a half hour without getting a nasty headache.  (Sometimes I can’t even manage five minutes.  So far painkillers don’t touch it.)  And even though I am ecstatic about the arrival of spring, the changing season wreaks havoc on my sinuses.  I tend to be out of commission for a week or two, trying to keep my head from exploding.

As a result, I must be very careful with my time, and finishing Ravens and Roses is more important to me than anything else.  So, it may be a while before I write another substantial blog entry or record an Audio Edition.  Depending on whether or not this side effect diminishes, I may not do another month of LeNoWriCha for a while either.

The upside is, having a limited amount of time to write has really focused my attention.  A scene that has been eluding me for over a year has finally been written!  (I knew what needed to happen, I just… hadn’t bothered to actually write out the scene.)  Less really can be more.  I am more motivated to do things, so I feel like life is starting the long, slow slog towards improvement.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  Stay awesome, read often, and keep writing!

Losing Faith

How do you restore faith once it’s been lost?

I don’t know about you, but I’m a writer who is full of self-doubt that only gets worse the older I get.  Rather cynical for a girl of 24, but there it is.

I’ve known for almost two decades that I was going to be a writer.  I’ve always known that I would have to be in a creative or artistic field; my brain isn’t suited for business or anything that deals with a lot of people.  (Oddly enough, I can handle being a librarian, mostly because I love books so much.  But that’s about the only “normal” job I can hold and not go crazy or totally mess up.)  Writing is really my only talent.  I know this.  And yet, I still have doubts about becoming a successful writer.

When I was younger, I really didn’t have plan about how I was going to become a published author…but I didn’t feel I needed one.  I knew what I could do, what I wanted to do, and all I had to do was do it.  I didn’t have any doubts about my eventual success.  And yet, now I believe that it’s highly unlikely that I will ever achieve publication of any kind.  I don’t even know if I’m capable of finishing anything anymore.  For at least six months, that thought has paralyzed me.  My depression was in full swing and only getting worse.  I’d managed to stem the tide with anime, but that wasn’t enough anymore.  I was losing my writing, my faith in writing, and I didn’t know how to stop it.

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Handling Dry Spells

Every writer goes through dry spells.  Some people call this phenomenon “writer’s block,” but I think writer’s block and dry spells are two different things.  Writer’s block is when you are working on a story and keep hitting a brick wall.  You have a scene you need to write, or an assignment to finish and you just sit and stare blankly at the screen.  You want to write, but the words just don’t come.

In contrast, I think of a dry spell as a time when your very creativity dries up.  It’s not that you don’t know what to write or how to write it, but rather you don’t even feel like writing.

Personally, I find dry spells far more terrifying than writer’s block.

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