Tag Archives: stupidity

Writing, an Adventure in Itself

TyperwriterAs a writer, in particular a freelance writer, one has to occasionally turn a blind eye to certain things. Editors making changes to your work you don’t agree with, being paid far less than you think you are worth for certain jobs… etc. But you also get to do something you love – write. Because honestly, who would choose to be a writer if they didn’t love to write. It’s a trade-off. But how do you really get into the writing process? And how do you deal with those little things I mentioned?

As with most creative work, I think it would a fair assessment to say that a lot of people give up after a few attempts at becoming a writer. You get maybe one or two stories/articles published, and then there’s a dry spell, and you go looking for a 9 to 5 job again, and never come back. But then… some of us are stupid crazy enough to keep writing… The ones who end up crazy, broke, or both. So again, how do you deal with this? Drinking is an option, though your liver might decide it doesn’t want to continue its lease at the end of the year… And of course there’s smoking. But are there healthier ways?

I don’t know, tell me if you find one please.

Furthermore, what’s the point of dwelling on it? If you fail, no big deal, lots of people fail. If you succeed, you’re lucky. Just go for it, right? But how do you balance striving for your dream… and starving? At what point do you say “This wall of whiskey bottles and peanut butter jars can be my fortress of solitude no longer?” Well, if you really love it, you don’t. And they find you full of whiskey, with peanut butter smeared all over your face in a frenzied attempt to stave off the purple weasels living in your underwear (which you aren’t wearing).  Or you say “The hell with it, I’m going to sell my soul and get this published…” and make a few bucks off of an article you really only spent 10 minutes on Wikipedia researching. But hey, it sounds good, and they’re willing to give you 25 cents a word for it… right?

Will Write For Food

So really, how do you take away all the bullshit and get to what you really want to do, get paid to write? You don’t. I guess that’s the sad bottom line. You deal with it, or you find something else. Because in the end, if you actually want to make money doing this… you deal with it. And you hope that one day you’ll be lucky enough to be half as rich and famous as Stephen King. But until then, you deal with it to pay the bills.

So what’s the point of this rant? I’m not sure. Part self-motivation to stick with it. Part inspiration for you, my loyal reader (note the singular – hi mom). And maybe part explanation. I write because I love it. I write because there’s nothing else I can think of doing and still be happy. Perhaps I write because there is a problem in my brain… either way I know I’m nuts, but this is what I want to do. And by Cthulhu… it’s what I’m going to do.


Flight of the Bumbling Idiots…

A 747 FlyingSo, originally I was going to say “screw it” today and post some creative work that I’ve had sitting around for a while. A bit of a cheat, but part of the goal of this site is to have an open avenue for creativity as well… But then I read this – “Pregnant Flyer Says TSA Confiscated her Insulin” and I remembered that I’ll be flying the lovely skys in about a month. Now… I’ve never been a fan of TSA, or their safety practices, which are ever-encroaching upon a violation of human rights… And before any of you who don’t know me too well start up with “if you don’t like it, don’t fly” nonsense… think about this first.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

I’ve said this for a while, and have always stood by it, and encouraged other people to at least consider it, if not agree with it. This is one of the principles that our country was founded on, and as much as I think our country has gone down the shitter in some ways since then… but that’s another story for another day. When we allow organizations like the TSA to control our every move in travel, we lose that essential liberty. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for not dying in a fiery explosion. But forcing a 95-year-old woman who has cancer to remover her Depends? Yeah, that’s going so far over the line you can’t even see the line any more. And of course, they are always up for a good excuse to fondle women

Why should we have to put up with this? Why should pregnant woman be forced to subject themselves to potentially harmful body scans, even when they ask for a pat down? Why should I have to carefully go through my suitcase and carry-on and make sure that, A: everything I’m taking is “legal.” B: Nothing I don’t mind potentially losing is in my suitcase. And C: Even the things that are within TSA regulations aren’t suspicious looking. Of course… in most cases I probably shouldn’t fly anyway considering I’m the type of person likely to do this…

XKCD Bag Check

"But you know I could just snap the earpiece off my glasses if I wanted to stab someone..."

The security measures here have reached the point where, honestly, I’d prefer to not fly. Sometimes it really just isn’t an option though. With gas prices what they are, it’s actually cheaper for me to fly to California than to drive there (which is where I’m going in early September). And, I’m poor… so obviously I have to pick the cheapest route. And taking Amtrak is almost twice as expensive, and there isn’t even a station in San Fransisco. So that’s not an option. When the most convenient, and usually cheapest way to travel is the most violating… I call that bad business. Are we going to get people to boycott flying? No, and I would never even suggest it. But can we try to change things? Yes. And some people are already trying… The Bill of RightsCheck out Ban Strong Hands, a satire site dedicated to mocking the TSA’s ineffectual operations and bring the “actual” security risks to light. They also strongly stress banning people with strong hands from flying. Because, you know… strangulation can be an effective way to kill someone.

There is also a blog over on MSNBC called Overhead Bin dedicated to news reports on TSA transgressions and the ridiculous things they subject flyers to. I mean, hell, let’s not forget the MIT student who was arrestedfor having an LED display with exposed wiring on her shirt (for a school project). She was even informed that she “was lucky she followed instructions, because deadly force would have been used.” And of course some media picked it up as “MIT student arrested at Logan in bomb scare” (note that the Boing Boing article’s use of this headline is mocking the other one). Remind me not to wear this shirt Crista got me for Valentine’s Day.

Travel, in any form, can be stressful, or pleasant. And I vote it should always be pleasant. So let’s make sure the TSA, and our government, know how we feel.