Coming up on the 2nd year

In August it will have been 2 years since I started Starshine. As I pointed out in previous entries, the political upheaval since last year has been a major detractor from my drive for writing. Like a deer caught in headlights, I’ve been unable to look away from the implications of developments in the U.S. and abroad. I still find it difficult, but I am slowly resigning myself to the fact that this brand of corruption is just different (more obtuse) than the brands before it. I’m slowly resigning myself to the fact that there are no heroes for justice that will move in and fix things. It’s an uncomfortable resignation, to say the very least, because it is what the corrupt want and expect – and that bugs me something fierce.

There are a great many other factors in my stymied writing effort, none so negative. Work, my relationship, my kids, my house, dogs, and the various other elements to life. I’ve been turning inwards towards spirituality, to my spirit and self, after many years of largely ignoring it. From that, perspective has shifted and a new balance has begun to emerge. And from that, my native interest in storytelling has resurfaced as a focus. Writing is, above all else, the creation of worlds and as such, creation of a temporary escape from this one. There is a draw there that has been rekindled. I hope to foster the flame in the days and months ahead and finish Starshine.

At this point, the story remains at about the halfway mark, at a little over 100 pages. I promised myself it would not grow and ramble like System Seven did. So far it’s fairly tight, plot nimble, and character rich – certainly by comparison. So: an improvement. The other key improvement I want for Starshine is time to completion. S7 took over ten years. I want Starshine in less than three. And the next novel in one.

Onward, ho…

 

 

Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto.

RAY BRADBURY

Just the Beginning

And I thought it was bad in October of last year when the corrupt Democrats cheated Bernie Sanders of the chance of becoming president. The surprise election of Donald Trump and the ensuing gorging on America by the greediest men on planet Earth makes October look like a stubbed toe by comparison. The world on fire feeling from October was premonitory – Trump’s poised to help kick off WW3 and the military-industrial complex is simply creaming their jeans over it. And this is just the beginning.

But I digress. If writing was hard before, it’s more so now and that’s not just a convenient excuse, it’s my reality. I’m seriously having to try hard to disassociate myself from the goings-on of our madmen-staffed government in an attempt to engage my imagination in the work of writing. That’s not easy when I tend to care about right and wrong and the future world of my kids and grandkids – hell, everyone’s kids and their futures. Seeing the wasted opportunity by those in power is soul-killing. The opportunity to make the entire world a better place – to heal using social and economic policies that actually make sense – is just not on their calendar. I think that’s because kindness, compassion, and humanity is not in their DNA. They are of a breed of animal devoid of such traits. It is not debatable – the proof is in their actions and policies. Yes, that is opinion but its a damn strongly merited one.

I’m writing Starshine and finding it hard to not want to incorporate today’s bizarre takeover of America in the story. It’s like I want to address all this and have justice actually prevail. I want to remedy real life with fiction and yikes, does that set off alarms. I mean, what do people do in real life now? They flip over to Facebook, turn on Netflix, or dive elsewhere into the internet to be entertained. They remedy the ills wrought from facing real life by engaging in fictions or at least things superficial. It actually kind of bothers me to read the news then look at what people are doing/posting on Facebook. The contrast is so harsh and vivid that I instantly think of Facebook as a form of brainwashing and feel resentment at everyone for burying their heads in its sand. Yet, here I am, trying to invent a fictional world, wanting to stick our real life problems in it and have those problems solved… creating a happy-ish ending. How escapist is that?

And that dilemma is just part of the inner landscape that my creative mind paints for me tonight. Off topic? I’m certainly not getting my story written. If this sounds like a rehashed version of October’s post, that’s because it’s the same environment, just amplified. I can’t stand corruption. I believe too strongly in doing the right thing and am tweaked when I see others doing the wrong thing and getting away with it.

So, wish me luck with the disassociation effort – it will be a requirement in actually finishing Starshine.

Most of us, no matter what we say, are walking in the dark, whistling in the dark. Nobody knows what is going to happen to him from one moment to the next, or how one will bear it. This is irreducible. And it’s true of everybody. Now, it is true that the nature of society is to create, among its citizens, an illusion of safety; but it is also absolutely true that the safety is always necessarily an illusion. Artists are here to disturb the peace.

JAMES BALDWIN