Monday Peeve on Whatever Day Today Is

Pinging back at Paula.

I’m writing my book more than I ever have before. Actually getting somewhere. I’m also reading more. I’m reading a piece of historical fiction that is several things.

One, it’s in the same place and time period as mine.

Two, its characters are based on historical figures that appear in my book.

Three, it’s won a bunch of awards.

Four, it’s not very good. I mean reading it is painful.

And that’d be my peeve. I’m FB friends with the author and other writerly people we have in common and I feel like I can’t review this book honestly anywhere. All I can do is read it and, maybe, learn.

What’s the problem? One, the characters aren’t believable. They are believable enough as human beings. But they have particular occupations and I get the strong impression the author has no idea what kinds of people take up those occupations (they’re outside of polite society), what motivates them, what makes them tick. What makes these characters tick is the sort of shallow romance you get while pretending to romance in grade school. Oh, maybe it’s a Romance Novel. That’s not impossible. Augh.

Two, the writing really isn’t all that good. There is a lot of description and there is no lack of creative use of language. It just doesn’t work for me. A lot of the similes and like that are awkward and misplaced.

Three, not much tension. Things happen, some of them bad. But none of them are really very bad and all of them are easily resolved. None of them overlap. There’s actually no problem to solve that casts a shadow over the entire book. You’re really just following these people on their path, and while that’s legit, it doesn’t make you want to keep reading. I keep reading because I’m stubborn, I mean because I want to know what the author has happen. There’s nothing within the story itself that I care about.

As I said, they’re loosely based on real people, people I’ve researched and would like to write more than one book about, and I am therefore able to see that her research was very cursory … which is perfectly fine, since she’s writing about her own characters and not the historical ones. I just find all the distant parallels annoying. If you’re going to have parallels, either make them kind of accurate, or don’t have very many and instead come up with your own plot.

So, okay, the only proper thing to do is write my own book and get it out there and see if it’s bad too. Could be. Who knows.

And that’s a peeve for now. I have more.

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Monday Peeve Thing

I’m reluctant to get all peevish here. Depression is serious business and to put energy into something that isn’t consciously positive sounds like a bad idea. But Paula has this meme going and since it is about peeves it resonates somehow. So let me start off small.

Among the many ways the universe is showing me it loves me is the way I got a free car. It went like this. I suddenly felt the need to get rid of my pickup once I made one last haul and realized it was a) a gas hog and b) a very tangible reminder of The Relationship. That is the one that ended a year and a half ago and that I will be doing cleanup after for years to come.* Here I had this lightly-scarred silver pickup that carried countless reminders of art projects hauled all around the state, of art friends borrowing it to haul art projects all around the state, of events large and small we used it to haul artwork and arty handmade decorations to, etc. etc. etc. It had to go. And just like that, Mom didn’t need her little car any more and could sign it over to me.

About time, too, because the money I got from selling the truck made it possible for me to make a mortgage payment that was otherwise out of reach, and catch up on a couple other bills. Perfect timing.

So I have this car. It gets good mileage. And you know what cars have? They have clocks. How do you read the clock? The digits light up. Except when they don’t. And the little digits in my clock only light up sometimes. Sometimes I have a clock. Sometimes I don’t. So far I have correlated this behavior to nothing. No combination of dash light on / off, weather, radio use, time since activated, nothing. No, I haven’t performed an actual electronic troubleshoot, that will come in time, but meanwhile this on-again off-again clock is a little peeve of mine.

Pretty small one but hey.

Yeah, the theme is The Monday Peeve and today isn’t Monday but eh.

* – Relationship cleanup. LOTS of peeve material can come out of that. Hmm.

LXI

Birthday. I wrote this earlier in my journal:

I was driving down La Riviera towards Home Depot and a truck pulled into the left turn lane for the river access at Howe. He had our flag flying on his left quarter panel and the rebel flag on the right. I rolled my window down and as I drove by, pointed at him and gave him the finger. What’s funny is as I did so, I saw he was a tough looking dude, sun bronzed, shaven head, covered with tattoos. No question I wouldn’t say a fuckin thing if I wasn’t safely driving by.

Still, that shit pisses me off. We don’t need no god damn slave flag. Those fuckers broke away when they knew they were going to lose their pro-slavery votes in Washington and thus broke the rules in favor of keeping slaves. Fuck those motherfuckers. And fuck anyone who flies their battle flag a hundred fifty eight years later.

Side Note

My previous blog still exists. I had a thought this one would be for whatever I can create that is not basically just a self-absorbed post about Me. Short fiction, for ex. If I feel about writing about Me, turn it into a little story. However, I haven’t been making time for that. And Oliver Sudden I decided to write about Me, so here.

The picture is purely because I felt like adding a picture.

2019-07-11 08.28.21.

Estranged

“What are you reading now?” He reached across and grabbed my book. “The Stranger. By Albert … Kay-miss?”

I grabbed it back. “Yeah, what.”

“What’s it about?”

“I don’t know.”

The bus squealed over to the curb and rocked gently as people got on and off.

“You’re like halfway through.”

“A third.”

“And you don’t know what it’s about.”

“Why should I?”

“Because you’re reading it.”

The morning sunlight hit me in the face as the bus growled back into traffic.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” I said.

“What,” he said. “You’re not making any sense. You’re the one reading it. You’re supposed to know what it’s about.”

“Maybe I will when I’m finished with it.”

“Maybe?”

I shook my head and stared out the window. A woman and her dog were crossing the street.

* * *

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/06/13/thursday-inspiration-8/

Bubble Ribbon

https://lightmotifs.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/e8205792-fa49-4b6d-bfab-5ccf49786834-49505-00000e614f6b134c.jpg

Kin lit a cigarette and said, “Show me.”

I nodded at Joey. She turned off the lights. I heard Kin draw in a breath as if to object. I turned on my little LED lamp so he’d hold off and unlatched the lid on the bucket. Holding the lamp in one hand, I reached in with the other and grabbed the wand.

The guy Kin had brought with him shifted in his chair and said, “Now wait a—”

“Silence!” said Joey. She was one of those women with a voice men tended to obey. It was one of the two main reasons I hired her.

I was a little dubious grabbing the wand, but I had decided there was too much risk wearing the gloves. It would tip my hand, so to speak.

I whipped it out. It was just a kid’s bubble wand, made of plastic and with a big hoop at one end. The film held within the loop, and I shined my light on it. It was really very beautiful. The pure white light of the LEDs refracted into countless colors, swirling and flowing within the plane of the wand, held in that plane by surface tension. I moved it around to show off infinite patterns and allow gravity to pull on them and make them move.

“Ah, okay,” Kin said, clearly not convinced but willing to wait and see. He needed a performance art installation for some party he was throwing.

I moved it around, getting nearer to them, watching them watch me. I kept my body away from Joey’s line of sight. That is if she had a line of sight. Other than my light the room was completely dark.

“Wait,” said Kin. His timing was perfect.

Kin had many enemies. I worked for one of them. One of them owned a chemical factory. I did not work for that one. But his chemicals worked great. When I whipped the wand down over Kin’s head the acids started their work on his face immediately. I stepped back to grab the bucket and complete the job while Joey settled the other guy down with a shot from her little Colt 380.

A shot in the dark works fine if you have dead aim from sound alone. That was the other main reason I hired her.

* * *

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/thursday-inspiration-7/

FFFC16

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“The best part though, was when I was flying! I could really feel it! I was flying through the clouds and I was flying on the back of a swan! You know like that queen girl on the back of a dragon but it was me and I was on a swan!”

“Mmmm, that sounds wonderful. There’s really nothing like a good acid trip.”

“I know. Thank you so much for being my guide.” The girl smiled.

“You’re very welcome,” said the goose as she spread her wings. “Here, climb on, I’ll take you home.”

* * *

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #16