Albinos and galaxies, and everything in between…

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Mornin’ all.

We had a wicked awesome day of sunshine the other day. I felt like running around in my skivvies and soaking up the rays. I didn’t, because…well.

Thinking about it now, though, the snow bankings are high enough that I probably wouldn’t even have been seen. Damn! Missed opportunity.

The kiddies have next week off. Around here they don’t get a two week long spring break. Instead, schools divide it, giving one week off in February and another one off in April. The eldest was saying how much he’s looking forward to a break.

They’ve had like four snow days and five or six two-hour delays this winter. Add it up, that is an EXTRA vacation on its own. He “needs a break”…from what?!

My guy gets a break, too, the first block of 5 days off in a row for years. His boss decided he wasn’t kidding when he said he needed a vacation, so all my men will be here all week. Huzzah!

…and…crap.

I want them home. I want them off. I want them all to be able to chill and relax. But. BUT. Muh schedule.

When I planned out my writing shit, I forgot to include having five extra people hanging around. It hit me yesterday that I was probably being very ambitious to think I could get editing and cover art done amidst all the added hubbub. So I thought to myself, “Self, we should bang out that cover art. At least get the rough mock up done, since that’s the think-y concentrate-y part.”

I’m redoing cover art for a book that’s going to get a face lift and a fresh edit to justify a shiny new price tag. It’s a classic sci-fi. No boobs, no sexploits, no hidden vampires or scandalous alien probings. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things, mind you. That’s just not what this book is. The cover should reflect that.

I’ve been boning up on old fashioned sci-fi covers on my Google Overlord’s vast and honorable website to get some inspiration. The thing is, while I love the old art and think it’s totally cool, I’m not so sure that style would grab the average modern eye. I’m thinking I need to find the line between old and new.

Internet research done, I put on music. I played the song I’m currently unhealthily obsessed with about a dozen times. (You’re welcome, Sia. At least 100 of those view counts on YouTube are from me.) Normally a musical obsession will get me in the creative spirit. As moving as “Chandelier” is, it gave me nuthin’.

That’s right. As good as my intentions were to buckle down and get the job done, I came smack up against a creative wall.

I wandered away from the computer and caught up on laundry. I figured if I moved away from the daunting screen, I might be struck with *glitter* IDEAS *rainbows*. While I now have clean socks, and I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing, there wasn’t the glitter rainbow moment of inspiration I hoped for.

The screen still loomed.

I went out and cleaned my fridge. I cleaned my fridge when I wasn’t even expecting company. That’s the level of desperation we’re dealing with here, folks. I even threw out that one pickle slice that’s been bobbing in the yellowy brine in the back corner of the fridge for damn near a year. I didn’t have to do that. That pickle slice wasn’t hurting anyone. It was just floating in a little jar, keeping to itself, minding its own business. What kind of monster am I??

My procrastination has collateral damage.

And for what? Did that inspire? Did that Machiavellian muscle-flexing clear the mind and open the channels of creativity? No. No it did not. The wall is still there, the mind is still blocked, and that poor, harmless pickle is now going to spend an eternity entombed in a block of town refuse.

I was hoping having a morning coffee with you would work some of it out. So far I haven’t been struck with inspiration. Maybe if I look at the news and choose a story to babble about for awhile? That kind of distraction can really get the creative juices flowing.

*Author’s note: I promise to never again use the term “creative juices” in anything but an ironic or joking manner. It wasn’t until I wrote it out just there that I realized how icky it sounds. Apologies.*

Let’s see what we’ve got today. Hm. There’s a Hubble pic of one galaxy colliding into another. That’s pretty spectacular. The article says that astronomers have named the entwined mass of mind-boggling destruction: “Arp 248.”

Well. That’s a let down, eh? I’d have chosen something like Galacto Destructarius. Or The Smashtroid 2000. The Star Clusterfuck. Something with pop or pizzazz. Nope. Arp 248 it is.

You know, for folks who study untold magnificence on a daily basis, astronomers sure are an unimaginative lot.

Hey, you ever look up at a star and wonder what it’s really called? Not what the shockingly stiff stiffs at the human-run labs decided to name it. What’s it’s really called by the folks that rely on it for their climate. The only star we’ve had the legitimate privilege to name is the Sun, and frankly, we kind of blew that one. The rest, though, we can only offer a temporary human nickname until we get there and have a real introduction.

If you’ve never looked up at the night sky and wondered what aliens call Sirius, you will now. You’re welcome.

Albino children in Tanzania are being abducted, dissected, and sold for rituals. 70 over the past ten years have suffered this fate because local “witchdoctors” believe the limbs of people who are afflicted with albinism contain magical properties. The government is up in arms…

*gives serious consideration to removing the unintended pun*

*knows full well she should*

*leaves it in and decides to take the karmic hit*

…and is urging locals to stop cutting up albino babies. It’s a horrible practice, and it’s good that someone is calling attention to the problem. It won’t be fixed if people don’t know about it. I read the article, then scrolled to the end of the article and looked at the user comments sections.

“Bethie!”

I know, I know. You’ve lectured me plenty of times and I keep putting myself through the agony. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. Maybe it’s my karmic retribution for making horrible puns about situations that are not at all funny?

Anyway, I already read them, so you can stop looking at me in disappointment. This is an actual comment after this article that described horrible atrocities committed against innocent little babies:

“NOTE: Does anyone else find it interesting that African inbreeding causes black people to turn into white people.”

What?? Just…WHAT??!!

Lest you think that was a lone voice of whatever that was, at last look, there were NINE “likes” on this post. Nine other people somehow agree with that brain diarrhea.

The Tanzanian “witchdoctors” should not IN ANY WAY cut up ANYONE, albino or otherwise! That’s horrible!!! They should stop. They should stop now. And if they won’t end the practice on their own, they should be FORCED to stop immediately. But in 2015, anyone with access to the internet who can read about this utterly ghastly practice and walk away with some bizarre image of rampant African inbreeding is incomprehensible to me. In a way, that level of racism is almost even more unforgivable.

Meanwhile in America, the Huffington Post had a piece this morning exposing the seemingly unjust battery life of an iPhone. The crux of the article seems to be that iPhone battery life has not really improved with the newer models, the author’s tone challenging and defiant. You sure blew this one wide open, Huff Po. Way to stick it to Apple. Woodward and Bernstein would be so proud.

Oops, sorry. Looks like I got a bit of sarcasm on your screen. Lemme get that for ya.

*spray spray* *wipe wipe* *squeeeeeeeegy* *squeak*

I really hate the Huffington Post. They are a prime example of the worst side of reporting. How about you take your head out of your ass, be grateful you have enough resources to buy and iPhone in the first place, and try to champion a real cause for once, Fluff Ho??

Gug.

The comments after the article didn’t blame inbreeding in Africa for the morally outrageous issue of battery life, though. I guess that’s something.

I’ve gotta be honest here. These stories aren’t really inspirational. Maybe I’m not destined to create cover art today. Maybe I’m supposed to spend my day in a tortured state of ennui, suffering for my art.

That’s it! I haven’t had a fit of angst over it all yet. A true artist needs to really go through something before they can create. Maybe I just need to allow myself some time to wallow in a pit of self pity and loathing before I can be inspired.

“Maybe you’re just making excuses to play that new video game, Bethie.”

What? What’s that? Sorry, can’t hear you over my tangled web of internal struggle.

“I SAID…”

Guess we better finish this up! Gotta go moan and gripe about how no one could possibly understand the depths of my turmoil.

“….I can hear you opening the wrapper, you know.”

K, bye!

Thus concludes the Morning Musing for Friday, February 20, 2015. I won’t be blogging next week, and potentially the week after, depending on how quickly I can beat these zomb…I mean…how long it takes for creative inspiration to strike. Hope everyone has a better end of the month than the kick in the ass that was the beginning, and I’ll be back to welcome March with open arms.