Friday, July 10, 2020

Wearing a mask means you care--not wearing one means you don't #COVID19

Masks are mandatory in many states. Not wearing a mask is a crime, and it says you don't care about humanity. It says you don't care if people die, and that's what they are doing by the thousands. As of right now, we are on the verge of 133,000 deaths in America. That's about double the deaths in Vietnam--it took less than five months.

A mask is a piece of cloth on your face.

It's not hard. No one is infringing on your rights. You give up your rights all the time even when you buy an app or join Facebook (no your stuff isn't private or your property there). It's called the social contract. Sure you could live in a state of freedom if you want to be beaten or shot to death with no consequences. Wait a minute? That already happens!

Whenever I see people without masks, I call them out. "Where's your mask?" It's a fair question because we are talking about peoples' lives. That still matters, right?

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Friday, February 14, 2020

Where do your ideas come form? #amwriting

Now that my work has started to appear in print publications I'm no longer a hack (or so I think). Consequently, now I get that cliched question: where do your ideas come from? No precise answer exists for this question, so my general answer is: everywhere and nowhere.

Everywhere
Everything seen, heard, or thought can inspire ideas. I don't recall who said it, but there are no original thoughts. That's true. And there are no new stories, quite frankly. Everything is recycled. For example, how many stories are the "hero's journey"? Hero starts out somewhere (home). He or she is tested. Hero wins and returns home victorious and changed. Lord of the Rings is a good example of this.

Typically I blend fiction I've read and some real life occurrences. Usually my characters are an amalgamation of fiction and multiple people, but not you, dear reader.

So my ideas that occur on an active level are normally loosely planned. Not so in the nowhere category.

Nowhere
When I begin writing, things pour into my head like I'm sitting in a movie theatre watching. On the good days, I have no idea where anything is coming from, and I frantically try and type everything I can as best as possible until the vague vision goes away. This is imperative because it will go away and never come back, like one of those illusive dreams you long for seconds after you wake up.

My best ideas have seemingly fallen out of the sky, and I say, "Oh...shit, I better write this down." My latest story came out beautifully, and I still can't believe it came out so well. It fused somewhere in the ether after two thoughts, years apart, met each other in my mind while I was running, I believe. I'm working on a novel based on that story, but I wonder: how am I ever going to come up with a story like that again?

So much more can be said, and I've likely not given you a clearer idea than when I started. Quite frankly, I really don't know where the ideas come from, but I do know if I read, write, and observe there will be more ideas.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Writers write #amwriting

Writers keep writing no matter what. It may not feel good. Your words may trip over each other (or seem to), and your ideas may feel garbled. But you must write as much as possible even if it is only for a little while each day. That's hard to do, especially if you are a busy lawyer like me. But I make some time each day, even if it is only for twenty minutes. Writing acts as a release, but you also improve when you do it. As most writers will tell you, very few writers are born, but almost all of them are made.

I don't know about you, but I get sick of hearing from people, who "want to write." As Stephen King says, "Writers write." It's that simple and that difficult. If you don't write, you aren't a writer. You are just a talker kind of like that person who says they want to go to law school. They don't.

Writers also read a lot. I've found this doesn't just mean reading a physical book because I listen to close to sixty audio books a year. That's a lot, and I think it helps me hear how words sound and visualize paragraphs. I get more of a sense of rhythm, pace, and when to do what.

My advice to other writers is easy: write, even if it's just a little.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Avoid the witches and pigs #inktober2019

You can't avoid all unpleasantness in life, but I've learned to avoid the witches and the pigs. It works. It is the path to happiness.
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Monday, October 21, 2019

People are reading fewer books these days--that's a problem #amreading

This is my observation, and it could be wrong. I do see less people carrying books than I used to. That could be because I am not around academic environments as much or it could be because people are reading their devices more. Maybe they are reading books on their devices. I'm not sure.

Borders closed over a decade ago. Great bookstore.

Barnes & Noble faces more and more financial challenges and will likely fail in the next few years.

Independent book stores are on the rise, but for how long? Used bookstores appear to be on the rise, too.

Maybe everything is shifting toward Amazon. Perhaps that will encourage more people to read because of the ease in purchasing books. But browsing in bookstores in person will be over or greatly curtailed. That's how I've found some of my favorite books.

Or online retailers will kill bookstores altogether, and we will see a sharp reading decline. Hopefully not.

I should also mention libraries are being shut down and defunded. That's probably because someone in government doesn't want you to read. Ideas are dangerous so some.

Regardless, books are having a harder time. This isn't a coincidence, but I will leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions as to why.