It’s been quite a week, and if anyone in the US was paying attention, they must be as exhausted as I am. I was going to avoid commenting on the national embarrassment we hoped would be an honest election but, opps, I seem to have managed to do so already.
Okay, how about this. Our ever-gracious host Alli, in her invitation post asked a great question which derailed my plan for my own post enough that I wanted to respond in her comment section, then liked what I captured at her prompt enough to want to quote myself here. I hope you find it as anodyne as I intend it.
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Thanks again Alli for providing us with a place to just breath after this past week.
I would agree with what you wrote except I would have said that half of us seem to have voted as an act of hate. Mid-week I had to step away from election news completely because once again, our government is tolerating and funding blatant cheating that even when exposed will not be prosecuted because those in power agree with the results of the cheating.
Our systemic multi-tier system of justice has worn me out. Our biased media has worn me out. Most of all, all those who benefit by keeping us at each other’s throats have worn me out. I am friends and family with people on both sides of this mess and I resent what has been done to us, so I will first resist the planted urge to hate in response to what just happened to all of us.
How to be a force for improvement? I’ve thought long and hard about this and, regretfully, don’t have an answer other than to avoid adding my very-annoyed voice to the chaos unless directly invited to comment. Even with our coffee shares, I don’t sense many who seek my “wisdom” on the question so will most likely remain a quiet learner, prayer-er, and quietly work to bring peace and calm as opportunities appear.
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In other, less earth-shaking news, our weather is finally cooling and I welcome most of the implications.
We greatly need some rain, which cannot be too far off now.
My good friends, the backyard alligator lizards are getting ready for hibernation and I’ll miss dodging them as they recline in the sun on the aggregate path in our backyard where I walk often.
My not so cold-war with nature has left me again the victor in the struggle to save a favorite tree in our front yard from the local woodpecker hoard. Once again this year, we detected the subtle tap-tap-tap first from our wood panel encased smoke stack which echoed down to our living room and disturbed my wife and I as we were reading one day, then it escalated back to the tree where I could see one adding to the destruction of previous years by boring new holes in the largest vertical branches.
I also made a new discovery about this attack. The woodpeckers holes have filled the tree with hummingbirds. By watching closely, I could see them hovering near and sipping at the holes. Seriously? Why are they . . .? Ah, the tree sap must smell sweet to them and they are feasting. The woodpecker has to go.
But of course, the creature is not interested in my opinion of his trespassing and must be encouraged. He does not “scare” away, at least not for long so a disincentive is needed and my BB gun provided it.
Woodpeckers are small and BBs are low velocity projectiles in the spectrum of ballistic weaponry, so they’re not highly accurate, thus the bird is hard to actually hit. But hit him I did and he chirped in pain and spiraled down into the ivy at my feet where the humane hunter in me put him out of his misery as quickly as I could, given that the BB gun is not strong enough to kill.
I thought this to be a victory until the next day when a woodpecker reinforcement arrived and the fight continued for two more days until I was able to get off another accurate shot and ran off the wounded recruit, who, thankfully, has yet to return.
What I do have is plenty of dead new growth branches on the ground around the tree. These sickly sprouts are knocked down by any breeze and by looking up, it is easy to see the damage the woodpeckers did. Large areas of the canopy are now dead or dying. Sigh.
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I was also thinking more about publishing as a goal lately. I’m reading a book, “An Insider’s Guide to Publishing” by David Comfort, itself published in 2012 (thus 8+ years old now) which is essentially a writer’s guide to the recent history of book publishing and thinking out loud about what the economics of publishing is doing to everyone involved, especially publishers and writers. In short, both are being crushed by the desire to make a buck from a traditional industry which by any reasonable measure is dying.
Customer base is shrinking so publishers are less willing to take a risk on new, unpublished authors, and don’t miss this, regardless of the quality of the manuscript before them. Best sellers are notoriously hard to identify without making the huge investment of producing and publishers cannot afford to produce and sell anything other than a best seller, but too many of even their best choice volumes instead face-plant on seller shelves at a huge loss.
The situation seems to be better if you don’t write artistic stuff as both fiction and poetry are at the bottom , mud eating layer of the food chain.
If we want to write, fine, write self help, tutorials, user manuals, fee-to-read blogs or — wait for it; Indy Publishing, where the author does it all including funding editing and design, making print or post decisions, final production, marketing and dragging reviews from valued readers.
So far, this seems fraught with pain and risk with minimal time spent doing the part we love, writing and hearing nice things back from paying readers.
So, I’m going to progress my actual story production and pay attention to both traditional, kill-a-tree, publishing and how the Indy market matures.
Okay, I’m off to visit each of your coffee share so I’ll talk with you in a few. Thanks for stopping by.