Daily Self-Check

Why does that particular thing make me angry? Am I totally in the right to speak up about it? What’s the most effective way to speak up about it? Recently I listened to a Ted Talk in which a psychotherapist stated being diplomatic is essentially putting lying into practice, that diplomacy is in fact the cause of war, not the cure. Scale back the definition of war for just a second — think of war, not in global terms, but as the opposite of daily peace. What if biting my tongue when faced with a verbally abusive, uninformed, asshole right out in public daylight is the wrong move? What if the correct self-check is not to remain quiet, but just give a thoughtful, non-combative response?

I’ve been called rude by a lot of people through the years. Generally that name calling has come on the heels of me stating out right, “you’re not going to speak to me that way. Let’s take a minute to figure out what the real problem is.”

This is rude.

I maintain that it would be rude, ignorant, and doing real harm if I allow a person to believe they can behave abusively just because they’re having a shitty day. Humans are emotional animals. Quite often we get caught up in our emotions, act on them, then the recipient of that action does the same, and so on, and so on. Who’s left to burrow down to the origin of the problem and figure out what actually happened? Who’s even got time for that kind of work.

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I Finally Did Something With That Thing

So, I set up an Instagram account two years ago …

Today seemed a good day to start playing with it. Most of the photographs at kathygeneration are taken with my favorite toy, a Nikon D3400, but when in a pinch I pull out the handy dandy Galaxy S8. There are plans in the works to do writerly/photographic collaborations. Stay tuned.

New Publication At Underfoot Poetry

It’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure of saying this, y’all: My work is being shown in an online lit mag!  Thanks to a friendly nudge from a fellow poet, I submitted work to the “Confession” feature happening over at Underfoot Poetry. Have a read through of the site when you get a chance, there’s poetry by the indomitable Robert Okaji as well as poets I’m just getting acquainted with.

The folks at Underfoot were kind enough to also share links to my ebooks that can be found at your choice of Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Most people I’ve bumped into over the years are aware of my poetic bumblings, but few have read my fiction. (Don’t be afraid! It’s only $1.99!).

So, you’re welcome for all the reading recommendations. Enjoy

Poetry Relaunch & New Fiction

Thanks to the help of a writerly friend I was able to relaunch my two poetry collections via Draft2Digital which makes the books available on several venues, including Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Amazon, and Scribd. In all formats the poetry collections view best on tablets/e-readers rather than smaller devices, but I can’t really fuss about the disappointments of this learning process because it’s all been too fun.

In addition to the poetry collections, I’ve added the short story Whiskey-Niner-Kilo and a peek at my upcoming novella, The Reaping. Follow the links below for modestly priced reading! I hope y’all enjoy.

Books available on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

Reading, Writing, Listening

I’ve often mentioned my fondness for nonfiction audio books read by their authors—still loving to indulge in authors’ voices at every opportunity. This week I have Charles Krauthammer’s Things That Matter to finish. Throughout the introduction I might have shouted WOW three or more times. Krauthammer was a journalist, psychiatrist, “non conservative commentator”, proponent of conservation, conversation, and oftentimes the one talking head glad to choose thoughtfulness over bullshit while his peers and coworkers went on bouncing in the muck.

On Kindle I’ve got two digital library books underway and a Prime Read standing by. Tana French’s In the Woods was mentioned by a lecturer I listened to a few weeks ago (on video that can be found in the really fun For Writers archives over at thecenterforfiction.org.).It’s crime/mystery novel set in Ireland and I adore the first person narrator.

The second library book is Charles Bukowski On Writing , a collection of Bukowski’s bitchy whining tirades about writing composed, submitted, rejected and published. It is raw and punchy and so very Bukowski, thus far. I’m only half way through.

The Prime Read is A Merciful Death, by Kendra Eliot. The title and description grabbed me, we’ll see how it goes.  Meanwhile, all my traipses through available audio treasures have yielded a find: The Writerly Podcast, with Danielle Trussoni and Walter Kirn. Go have a listen, you won’t regret it.

(Yeah, I’m reading a mean old poet, lots of crime fiction and listening to writers talk about writing, art, and politics. Bet you can’t guess what I’m writing.)

 

When I Finally Figure Out The Obvious

  1. Much like a body in motion stays in motion, a writing writer writes. Momentum is everything and then some.
  2. Be like the puppy—enjoy food, approach everything like an exciting new adventure, and show great deference to the people who’ll pet you often while insisting that you are both good and pretty.
  3. Truth is, other people know stuff. Listen.

The Road of Learning. And Learning.

In the way way back, back when LiveJournal was my schnizzel, there was a game that came around every year … June 2oth, I think. It went something like this: A commotion outside wakes you, so you take a peek out the window. It’s the Zombie Apocalypse! Oh no! Your mission is to journal throughout the entire day about what you see, what you do, how do you handle this dire set of circumstances OMG WHO IS GOING TO DIE NEXT.

Of course, I find out about this FUN game that first time a an hour before it ends because I was out all day running relatives to the airport, etc. That’s okay though because the game I totally missed gave me a great idea:

My name is Holly and I have a bizarre story to tell …

I diddled with the story here and there, then put it away because it needed to be a novel and I kept shouting at it you’re a short story, and it would say no, novel, and so on. Took it out of the drawer in 2015 thinking maybe I could actually write the novel, but I sucked at writing novels so back it went. Last month I decided to stop sucking at writing novels. Novels are now going to be my schnizzel.

And since the decision has been made, I downloaded Scrivener once Word began to drive me to murder, now Scrivener has me scared to death I’m going to click the wrong clicky, and if I dare veer off to write by hand I doze off.

Uh …

Tonight no dishes will get done, not one floor will get swept, not one plant watered, or hubby conversed with because I’ve got to go show Scrivener who’s boss.

Expert Advice Aside, Maybe I Should Just Go Take A Nap Soon

Time and I haven’t been on friendly terms for a while now. I yell a lot, but I don’t think it matters. May 2018 snuck up on me, now it’s whizzing by. Pollen is clogging up this town. I’m very sleepy.

Since January I have indulged in audio books on writing by writers. Now I’m on to interviews of authors, podcasts by authors, and I have to say, these have been incredibly inspiring. Natalie Goldberg, Ann Lamott, Stephen King, to name a few, have been in my ear since the mid-December ’17, explaining to me how I can’t continue to call myself a writer if I’m not actually writing. Being a writer requires a few late nights.

So, I’ve been writing because I just don’t want to let these folks down. Is that it?

James Scott Bell convinced me e-book publishing is a thing that is happening (I think he tried to nudge me a couple of years ago, too, but the memory is foggy). Joanna Penn convinced me I should make more writing friends and lay off the coffee (I haven’t made great strides in doing either, yet), and all those poems stacked in my desk drawer made me promise to let them out.

The poems are out. So far the coolest results after deciding on Kindle Direct Publishing are: dear old friends now have my poems on their Kindle devices, and my name is searchable in the Amazon browser bar!

I’m so excited for the day that I’ll get notification that a review has posted! (Yes, I’m dealing with that.)

Since the poems have been loosed from my desk drawer, I have been racking up some fiction word count (not fictional … ). As usual I’m also racking up household chores, nightly meals, yard work, day job, and puppy training hours. It’s a good thing they don’t have more comfortable chairs at the day job. These allergies make me snore something fierce.

At home, I’ve got to stay awake, because I’m halfway finished with this novel I’ve been wanting to write since 2009. Will I put exclusively in e-book format? Haven’t decided yet.

Writing friends, are you there? Just click the follow button. Okay? I’ll eventually get this blogging thing going on. Maybe. Meanwhile, do you have any experience writing e-book reviews?

Ramshackle Houses & Southern Parables, and No Voice of Her Own Available on Kindle

I Don’t Know What To Call This

Obsessing over weather is beyond ridiculous when you think about it. Yet, here I am. In the past week we’ve traveled through a finicky springtime at breakneck speed to land in some weird version of summertime. Prehistoric moths are fluttering around the swamp that’s supposed to be a backyard, and the backdoor has swollen so badly there’s no shutting it. But the afternoon light is pretty.

Meanwhile, I’ve put together the cover art for a short story that will be uploaded to Kindle this weekend. As for categorizing it, I’ll have to go with speculative fiction. Hopefully people will read and the reading will get them excited about my debut novel, that should be available in June—it also might fall under the spec umbrella.

For the big debut, I’m hoping to convince some very talented friends of mine to let me hire them to dress it up pretty and profesh. The poetry collections and the short story cover art were easy, because it all comes from my own photographs and doodles. The novel will be a bit trickier.

That’s all for updates at the moment. If you find yourself in need of some poetry this weekend, don’t forget I’ve got a free download available thru 5/7, as well as my autobiographical debut poetry collection for a very modest price! Just go here.

May the 4th be with you!