”The Cat’s Cradle” Is On Hiatus!

Greetings to my readers!

In June 2011, I ventured online with my brand new author website The Cat’s Cradle on Blogspot. In March 2013, I moved my site and all its contents to WordPress. And now, in June 2021, almost ten years to the day since my first entry, The Cat’s Cradle is going on hiatus.

The last two years I’ve been struggling to keep up with it, to come up with fresh ideas in the face of little to no engagement with my work even as I continued to write. The pandemic only worsened the downward spiral so that I haven’t written anything at all that I didn’t have to. So rather than continue to force myself to churn out sub-par content, I’m going to take a break. I don’t know how long it will be. I don’t think this will be a permanent thing. There may be sporadic updates if my writing picks up again, but the bi-weekly posts are a thing of the past for now.

What will still be active on The Cat’s Cradle?

  • I’m still operating as a freelance editor, the details of which you can find on my Editing Services page.
  • I plan on working through my backlog of Audio Editions, getting those recorded and uploaded. Keep an eye on my Audio Editions page for updates.
  • Any stories or articles I write for other online publications will be posted and linked on my Articles & Publications page.

What else will I be doing?

  • I’m on Twitter @kvclements, so be sure to follow me there for any posts, updates, or other randomness. On Sundays between 3pm-4pm EST I’ve been posting my #weekendreads, which consists of the book I’m reading, the beverage I’m drinking, and the candle I’m burning over the weekend.
  • My ancillary site Second Unit Reviews will still be active, although I only post there when the mood strikes me. So if you are interested in my thoughts and reviews of books, films, television shows, video games, etc, please follow me there!
  • I don’t know how active I will be with writing, considering how little I want anything to do with it at the moment. (Chronic acute stress and depression will do that.) However, I am trying to make my health and well-being a priority so that I can return to a state that will let me return to writing.
  • If I do any writing for things like Camp NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, that journey will be posted daily during that event on LeNoWriCha (the Legendary Novel Writing Challenge).

Part of me is disappointed in myself for taking this hiatus. It feels a little like a failure to not keep going after so much time and investment. But at the same time… hey, I maintained a regular blog for 10 years! How many folks can say that? Times change, life circumstances change, and, as Gabriela Pereira says in DIY MFA, it’s time for me to “honor my reality.”

Thank you all for reading, and I will see you again when the page turns.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

 

Glimmers

Sorry for the long silence on The Cat’s Cradle. It’s been really hard to do anything even remotely creative and the months of February and March are both long and tedious. Winter draws fitfully to a close while Spring teases and flirts with us, giving tantalizing glimpses of warmth and sunlight.

I’ve been on new antidepressants for about two weeks now. So far no major side effects aside from a little nausea the first few days. But in those two weeks it’s been warm enough for me to take some limited walks, and I’ve actually managed to establish a morning routine. It doesn’t include writing yet, but it’s still a step in the right direction. Provided this horrific ritual of Daylight Savings Time doesn’t blow it all to hell, which it felt like today. (My internal clock and circadian rhythm are very sensitive to time changes and DST messes me up for at least a week, whether it’s “adding” and hour or “taking” one away.) Seriously, this is the dumbest, most useless ritual ever that does no good and a great deal of harm… SO WHY ARE WE STILL DOING IT?! (Fortunately, there seems to be increasing support to make DST permanent so we wouldn’t have to change our clocks back in the fall and then forward again in the spring.)

So, routine. I kind of have one, at least for the morning. I’m actually getting out of bed rather than collapsing back into it after feeding the cats. I’m getting basic chores done a little more regularly, although most of those hadn’t slipped too badly thanks to my reliance on listening to podcasts, YouTube videos, and audiobooks to get through the day. I’ve been reading at least one book a week, usually two, and established a nice Sunday tradition of Tea Time with a Candle, Beverage, and Book, which you can see on my Twitter feed if you’re interested. Sundays are my super-chillax day, so nothing gets done and I do my best not to feel guilty about it and remind myself that self-care is not selfish.

While I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch new movies or TV shows (even ones that I do want to see), I have been playing through Diablo III: Reaper of Souls as the female Monk. (I’ve already beaten it as the female Wizard, but after seeing the trailer for Diablo II: Resurrected, in addition to the announcement of Diablo IV, I really wanted to play.) There’s something very therapeutic and cathartic about punching demons to death with your fists.

Part of me desperately wants to be writing right now, but a far larger part of me is either too scared or too depressed to make the attempt. I’ll still try to poke at projects and do a little work on things, but it’s sporadic and probably will be for a while. I don’t like it, but that is my current reality and it will take small, cumulative changes and improvements to become creative and productive again.

Comparing Beliefs

Audio Edition Coming Soon!

(click image for source)

Belief is a funny thing. It’s a word that gets tossed around in a lot of discussions, debates, and outright arguments without ever being properly defined. Granted, the idea of belief is a slippery concept to begin with, especially since it is so easily personalized and adapted to fit almost any mindset. In onset of the holiday season, combined with my recent read of The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe and rewatching Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather, got me thinking about the nature of belief and its place in stories.

As someone who is trying to be a good skeptic and humanist, I’ve developed a weird, slightly uncomfortable relationship with stories about the importance of belief. I read and watch a lot of stories that emphasize how important it is to believe in something fantastic, even if there doesn’t seem to be a good reason or at least nothing solid. Thanks to films like Toy Story, I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt for not playing with my Barbies, dinosaurs, Hot Wheels cars, and My Little Ponies anymore, but I still won’t donate them. I feel like I’d be giving up on them, or that they would feel sad (never mind the fact that they’d probably prefer to be played with!) Dream a Little Dream by Piers Anthony and the film version of The Neverending Story feature worlds and characters whose very existence depends on being believed in by real people, especially children. If that belief fails, they don’t just die… they cease to exist. Being forgotten is worse than death. For someone with a highly active imagination, I think stories like this compounded a bunch of my weird neuroses (which thankfully got used to fuel writing rather than sending me to the loony bin. Although that could still happen…)

Continue reading “Comparing Beliefs”

False Dichotomies

Click HERE for the Audio Edition!

 

Greetings to everyone from the end of National Novel Writing Month!  Wow, it’s really hard to believe that a month has gone by and, for once, I actually have an almost complete rough draft of a novel.  It still needs work and some scenes, but I think I’ll be able to progress to the editing stage this December and January.  And I’m actually looking forward to it!  My creativity has come back, I’m eager to work, and I’ve been writing over 2,000 words a day more often than not.  Which, like, never happens.  So, I’m really pleased with my progress and hope to have a finished product to show for my effort sooner rather than later.  (Then I’ll go back to Ravens and Roses, I promise.)

Now, on to a topic that has been percolating in the back of my mind for some time:  false dichotomies.

Continue reading “False Dichotomies”