You’re not the boss of me

I know where it’s coming from. It’s the backlash of political hate mongering from both sides of the isle. It’s a community’s way of reminding us of the truly important things in life. The sentiment is in the right place. I’m just not crazy about the delivery.

Like many control freaks, I don’t like being told what to do, especially by a faceless meme that is spouting the obvious and covering my Facebook page with shared hallmark-like pros that are both ubiquitous and unnecessary.

To get to the point, I’m glad, Facebook Community, that you appreciate your child, parent, grandparent, civil servant, clergyman, neighbor, pet, and pen pal. Good for you. In many of those cases, I feel the same way. But commanding that I share said meme to prove my feelings is a bit bossy, and frankly, none of your business.

Maybe I have good reason not to like my cousins. Maybe they were snotty little ingrates who picked on me. Maybe my mother is a guilt-wielding shrew who reminds me regularly how I stole her youth and ruined her plumbing. You don’t know, Facebook Machine.

And that’s my point. The sentiment is just generalized mush that’s super easy to skim over, say “sure, that sounds nice,” and hit “share” without a second thought. And I’m not having it. I won’t share, and you can’t make me.

If you want me to share something, take some actual time out of your internet surfing day and ¬†tell me about your uncle, nephew, day care lady, or hamster, and give examples to illustrate what makes them so gosh darn special. That would be worth my time. You might even get that ever sought after “amen” that you’ve been looking for. You never know. So ends this gripe.

In the wee wee hours of the morning

Perhaps it’s the lack of outside stimuli that lends itself to clearer thinking. Or maybe it’s just good old fashioned insomnia. Either way, I do get some of my better plot ideas as I lay in bed in the middle of the night.

As summer draws to a close, retailers are chomping at the bit to remind us of fall with halloween decorations crowding out the back to school sales and we’re all cringing at the impending onslaught of pumpkin flavored foods.

For me, it’s a time to consider revisions of previous editions to my books, and of course, try my damnedest to finish my current book, Book 6 Woman in the Wind. My life has really gotten in the way of this book, in an incredibly good way, I grant you. But I know it needs to get done.

Maybe my brain is starting to feel the pressure now too. Usually it’s not so motivated. But as I begin to return to a normalcy in much of my life, I feel my characters calling to me again.

I went to Door County, Wisconsin this summer on a family vacation of sorts. Since I have chosen to place the 6th book in that location, it was crucial that I make a return trip to my favorite haunts, and add some new ones. It was a fruitful journey. I wrote a major climax to the book while I was there, full of my usual twists and surprises.

As I feel out the backstories of this book’s characters, my recurring characters are becoming more rounded, which is always good. There are, however, decisions that still have to be made. I still haven’t decided where Bernice and Evan will end up.

Part of me really wants to shift gears with the main characters and perhaps let other people get kidnapped, shot at, blown up, and generally navigate life threatening situations for a while. Darlene and Cameron are awfully stable at the moment. Maybe they could use some excitement. Maybe in Book 7, it’ll be time to bring the mayhem back to the backwoods of northwest Wisconsin.

This is what I think about when sleep eludes me for whatever reason. If I’m lucky, dawn will be approaching, and I can just get up and start the day. Or maybe it’s only 3:30 a.m and I have to get up to pee. Either way, progress is progress.

A comment on the state of mankind

I feel that, in our need to maintain our sense of self in a world of globalization and population explosion, we human beings are losing our sense of empathy and replacing it with self-righteous narcissism. If a person can’t or won’t try to see the world from another’s perspective, they will fail to understand anything but what they believe to be true. Belief is not reality.

Empathy is not the same as pity. All of us want to be understood, no matter who we are and how bright or bleak our lives may be. To understand why a person says or does something that goes against our beliefs, we must learn their motivation, their background, their environment, their goals. To gloss over another’s opinion as simply wrong sells both parties short.

Sometimes, it’s very frightening to delve into the mind of someone whom we fear or possibly hate. But the sad truth is all of us are equipped with the same giant brains, so very capable of being very conscientious and very malicious. The brain is a vast dense jungle of neurons, chemicals, hormones, all waiting for some event to trigger a reaction, prompt a response to the outside stimuli that feeds it, dictates its processes, molds its reality.

There are those scientists out there that still hold to the theory that evil is genetic. I’ve born witness like to rest of you to the media soup that proves time and time again that awful acts know no genealogy.

To me, it will always come down to this. If you fail to perceive the notion of others, you fail to understand them. In doing so, your perception of the world will be narrow minded and deluded by the beliefs that bring you comfort at the expense of others. Unfortunately, we are all compelled to this state. It takes a courageous act of will to be otherwise.