I’m sure it’s absolutely normal for rain to dissolve concrete…

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Mornin’ all.

“Myriad” is a weird word. It’s a thesaurian swap-out for such great words as “multitude” and “horde”. As a noun, it’s used the same way.

A myriad of scarabs scuttered with haste over the rapidly decaying carcass.

Nice word.

However, when it’s used as an adjective, things sound awkward.

There were myriad calculations to be done in order to determine the origin of the alleged alien communication.

See what I mean? You take away the “of”, and that just doesn’t sound right. You don’t take away the “of” from “multitude” unless you spiff up the word.

There were multitudinous calculations…

Doesn’t that sound so much better?

Why do we “multitudinous” but not “myriadinous?” Doesn’t “myriadinous” just sound impressive?

Today shall be a great day of feasting. Myriadinous meats and multitudinous meads shall be consumed by princes and paupers alike!

Why is this not a thing?

Two a.m. thoughts, folks.

Odd night of sleep. I woke up at 2, wide awake. Eyes popped open, brain kicked into gear, and there was not one single comfortable position in my bed. Apparently my mind NEEDED to assess “myriad”. Clearly I couldn’t rest until I had come to terms with the bad side of a good word and reconciled my appreciation in spite of the flaws. When I finally did drift back to sleep, I had a rapid succession of swiftly morphing dreams.

It was like…

…hm. Well, perhaps a drug binge maybe, though I’m not really sure what those feel like. The closest I ever got to anything worse than weed was when doctors shot me with something during the child birth hell of my first kid. The world was blurry, the voices were fuzzy, and I’m fairly certain I took a swing at my mum when her breathing coaching was different than what was going on in my head. If I did, sorry, Mum. Blame whatever it was the doctors shot in my ass.

I just considered whether it was like flipping through tv channels, and no, that’s not right, either. When you flip from channel to channel, there is no in-between. You’re either watching some ridiculous lady try and sell you a kuh-wall-ity Diamel necklace, or listening to some boring dude drone on about finances, or trying to keep up with a riveting telenovela even though your grasp on Spanish is rudimentary at best.

What? Oh come on. Don’t act like you haven’t been there.

Last night wasn’t like flipping channels. There weren’t clear breaks between scenes. One dream would start, then something in the dream itself would be a catalyst to morph the rest into a different dream. In your mind, picture a family barbecue. Auntie Phyllis brings you a hamburger, but as she hands it over, you look at the plate and find that it’s a squirming alien baby. Alarmed, you look up to find that you’re no longer at a family BBQ, but in a delivery room trying desperately to save the offspring of a poor alien that crashed to Earth. Phyllis is gone, replaced by Dr. Carson who is begging you to perform CPR. You look back down, ready to bring the limp alien fetus to your mouth to try and find some orifice you can blow into, only to discover that you’re holding a wrench at the top of a huge building, trying to fix an antenna and save the world…

There must have been fifty short stories in the span of about an hour. Imagine the ones I can’t remember! What a trip.

Instead of waking up tired and groggy this morning, I got up feeling rejuvenated in spite of the brevity of my sleep.

I don’t know if you’re a creative person. I am, and I don’t think that’s any mystery, or something to feign coyness over. I like to make things. The quality is up for debate and personal taste, but I do, in fact, make many things. I like to have weird ideas and bring them to life. I do it in writing, sure, but also crafts, art, music… I just like to take the tangled knitting bag of yarn that is my brain and make something real out of it all.

As anyone who is creative can tell you, sometimes you reach into your knitting bag and find nothing to work with. You pull and pull, hoping to find an interesting snarl or a funky-looking tangle that’ll spark an idea, but all you get is straight, brown, boring yarn.

To anyone who is of a creative mind, this brown, neatly sorted yarn is the kiss of death. If a creative individual can’t create, they feel stifled, stranded, and strangled. Every day without a spark feels beige; like they got up, put on sensible shoes, drove their tan Hondas at a reasonable speed to get to their 9-5 inside a cubicle maze with other beige-y folks who spent the morning staring at the loudly ticking clock looking forward to the watery coffee and stale bran muffins in the break room, the brightest moment in their monotonously lethargic day.

Any day without a creative idea feels so barren and bleak that the anticipation of a stale bran muffin is the highlight.

Pathetic.

So when I have a dream series like last night, no matter what it took to get my brain there, it feels wonderful. It puts a pep in my step and makes my fingers twitch to type, or paint, or burrow into clay, or… It feels like a day of possibility.

No wait! I can do better.

It feels like a day of myriadinous possibilities.

It’s raining, too, so that means I’ll actually get a good chunk of time to work on projects. On my grown up “To Do Before Autumn” list are a bunch of outdoor chores. Boo. Boring. I need to pour a cement stair (just one…it crumbled during a rain burst. The other two in the case are fine. Yeah…I don’t know, either.), mow, trim bushes, prep the apple field…

“Don’t you mean orchard, Bethie?”

Only on days where I want to sound uppity. Those are also the days when I talk of the acreage of my berry patches (er, maybe 1/15th of an acre?) and my vineyard (wild grapes that popped up outta nowhere to cling to my falling down redneck garage). On THOSE days I’ll go on about my orchard.

There are only three trees, though, so anyone who knows me in real life would roll their eyes if I waxed too eloquent. The trees were never properly trimmed and trained when they were young, so they’re far too tall to belong to a proper orchard. I’d say they’re easily thirty feet high. Not exactly idea for pickin’. There are two McIntosh trees and one Cortland, and sometimes they grow respectable sized apples. Sometimes, they grow jack shit. Last year between the three, they grew one. One apple reached ripeness. And a worm got to it first.

This year, the super high branches are positively laden with the biggest apples I’ve ever seen on the trees in the 12 years we’ve lived here. It’s a bumper crop.

….waaaaaayyyyy above my head.

Way up high in the apple tree,

Two little apples smiled at me.

I shook the tree as hard as I could,

Down came the apples; mmm were they good!

My mother used to say that little poem for us. I always remember it when I stare up, up, up into the impossibly high branches trying to figure out how in the hell to get those apples that taunt me.

*sidenote: You know, thinking about that poem now, maybe those apples just wanted to be friendly? “Oh, look! A person! Hello, friend! Here’s a smile to brighten your day!” And then what did the person do? “Are those apples…SMILING at me?! Oh NO they di’int! I’ll show those little bastards! NO ONE smiles at ME and gets away with it!” And then he eats them. He eats them for spreading sunshine and kindness. *sniff* The world is an unjust place.*

I’ve tried everything from using a crossbow to shoot a rope over the branches so I can shake the apples loose, to extending grabby-claws on the end of poles to try and pluck the fruit individually. Getting the apples has become a “thing” here. This year, my man thinks I should weld together a grappling hook. The teens want to pepper the trees with BBs, and can’t understand why I think that’s a monumentally bad idea.

See, I don’t have a tree shaker. I could hire one, but there’s no way it could safely get to the trees. A ladder is positively out of the question. I have too much mass, and as much as I’ve begged my molecules to go quantum, I can’t get said mass to ignore gravity.

Pfft. Traitorous slave to physics.

No matter what I come up with, I’ve got to clear the grass out there. Apples are turning red, and soon the tree will start dropping perfectly good fruit. I’ll cut the grass, maybe set up some tarps, and gather the dropped fruit every morning before Nature can send hordes of animals and bugs to feast. Those apples will be bruised from the fall, but they’ll make great applesauce to freeze. Nothing is better on a cold evening than warming up some homemade applesauce to pour over pork chops. Applesauce cake. Applesauce donuts. Applesauce…applesauce. No need to muck it up. Applesauce is delicious on its own. *sighs thinking about autumn food*

I don’t just want applesauce, though. I also want apples for snacking, so I have to get some before they fall. I will create an apple contraption, and I most certainly will tell you all about it, no matter how much of a failure it is (and let’s face it, we’re all secretly hoping I end up with a few apple-sized lumps on my head because that makes for a much better read than if everything goes to plan). That will be a different story I tell on a different day.

Today is for painting. Today is for writing. Today is for listening to music that inspires, and hearing words written by other creators that will twist and gnarl the strands of yarn in my own head until the threads twine into something beautiful and moving. Or maybe something ugly, yet equally moving.

This burst will not last. This wave of rejuvenating creativity will peter out as it always does. There will be a day in the not so distant future when I wake up to a beige world and stuff my feet into sensible shoes, my eyes and ears hungrily seeking another muse as I go about the drudgery of everyday life.

But today, I sit here stretching my unbound bare feet in the thick, fluffy carpet, surrounded by a world of greens freshened by the shining drops of life that fall from the roiling, riotous clouds.

Today there is no beige.

Thus concludes a Morning Musing for Tuesday, August 4, 2015. I’m off to dip my brush in paint and see what happens. I hope you all have an equally verdant day.

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.