Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Penny Lane


This is number 5 in a science fiction series I started. Here are the links to the previous ones if you wish to catch up. This is completely made up as I go and started on a suggestion from a chat. Comments welcome. 



  Georgia crouched down to pick up a piece of fruit she nudged off the table. "Now," she whispered into her com.
  Though she knew what would happen, the force of the blast left her ears ringing. Several people bumped past her before she managed to get under the table. 
  The electromagnetic pulse knocked out lights and cameras, but not life support. Those areas had protections and safeguards to prevent disruption.  After this, she though, even Penny Lane would be secured with redundant systems, space station operations would see to that. 
    The market took up the center of deck nine. The gang confined the disruption near the Chentry section. They hoped to blame the whole operation on anti Chentry separatists.
  Market goers began to bump and jostle in their panic to escape the darkness. Georgia scurried from her hiding place, feeling for the edge of stall tables. The scents of fresh cut fish, guided her to the left and down two tables. 
  She knew security officer Jones sat and had coffee with his cousin every morning at 10. As she rounded the corner she heard his gruff voice bellowing, "Stay calm!"
  The panic in his own voice only served to upset more people. "He's doing my job for me," thought Georgia. As she moved closer she bumped into a table of hissing insects. As she reached out to steady it, she felt a tentacle slither under her fingers.. 
  Shuddering she snatched her hand away and began wailing to attract Jones to her. As he neared she grabbed a passerby and body checked them into a small group she heard milling about. 
  She ducked under the bread table across from the now fighting crowd and listened as officer Jones tried to stop the chaos she created. 
  Georgia reached up and grabbed a loaf to nibble on while she waited. The  pungeont flavor of the sourdough took her back to the first time she went to a Penny Lane. 
  Benhi had just handed her a phone that served as ID. She turned it over in her hands and checked to see her face staring out at her. 
  "You'll have to learn how to use it before you go out. You don't want to be fumbling with it when asked," said the Chentry."At least you can read, that's a step up from most people who live on the street."
  Georgia clicked through the menus and noticed that she had a few credits on balance. Benhi told her that she'd earn more as time went on. She smiled to herself at the new found personhood, though it did make her feel a bit dizzy.
  Early the next morning she dressed in her brown overalls and black shoes and headed to the market. Benhi wanted her to run an errand for him. She needed a few things for herself  as well. The Chentry don't have hair so Benhi neglected to buy her a comb. She made do with her fingers, but she needed to learn proper grooming.
  They decided that she would start out as a low level worker and build her ID as time went on. She needed time to adjust to having an address.
  In the past, she avoided the market during the day. Though it proved excellent nighttime scrounging grounds.
  Now that she could browse and even buy a few items, Georgia savored the pungent aromas of fresh local delicacies. One stall  piled fish around all four sides. Three aproned dark haired men stood around the center table gutting and skinning  items for customers too lazy to do it themselves. She eyed the chum bucket and thought about the times when she'd found fish heads to eat after the market closed.
  She kept to the edge as she glanced at bread and fruit and guessed at a couple of items where more Chentry stood waiting their turn. Vats of dark liquid roiled with living thing waving tentacles out the top. Cages of hissing insects protested with piercing chirps when the clerks grabbed one out to sell.
  Georgia lurked past the minstrel strumming a lyre. He thrusted his chin at her hoping for a tip, but she didn't know how to do it so she scurried past. He turned to look for easier pickings.
  An argument between a pair of stall owners ensued near where Georgia stood. She looked for a place to hide , but realized that no one else was paying any attention to the loud voices. She forced herself to hold a passive expression and moved away.
  Lost in the excitement of the new experience Georgia realized she missed the alarm on her phone. When she found Drax in the electronics section, He yelled at her for being late. 
  "You think I have all day? Now you wait for me." With that the brown skinned man sat and began watching something on his phone. 
  Georgia watched him a moment then looked down at his wares. Old useless junk, she reasoned. Nothing on his table shone with the gleam of modern tech. 
  She decided to try a bluff and see how he would react. "I guess Benhi will have to take his business to someone else. Someone who delivers." She turned to walk away. 
  He stood and glared at her frowning a moment, then shrugged and smiled. "Any friend of Benhi's" he trialed off. Taking the package from him, she gave him the stern look she always got in the orphanage. His smile faded as she turned away and hurried back to her mentor. 
  Back at the space station, lights began flashing about and crowds  filled lit corridors. She slid in near Jones just as the gang gave her the all clear. 
  After the market cleanup, the security chief picked her up when he saw the video of her ducking down before the blast. He used this as an excuse to debrief her. She feigned complete ignorance. She didn't know what they were exchanging, only that they needed her to keep Jones occupied. She did report on some minor gang activity and they agreed that nothing would be done. 
  Her cover more secure, Georgia rose within the ranks of the gang and kept her under cover status with the chief. Soon she began using both resources to trace the people responsible for killing her mentor. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

HELP!

Doh! While working on the fiction piece I cut and pasted the whole thing, then I cleared the page. Before I pasted back, I forgot I had the story cut and pasted and copied something else.

It's gone, but it's okay I remember what I did and how. I just need to redo it.

Slap my forehead and sigh. It really is okay. I read where Garrison Keeler lost the first draft to Prairie home Companion and had to start all over. At least I have part of it saved. in a draft.

I had hoped to post the fiction today, it's going to be delayed. I bet I'll be happier with it too. I do so love writing it. It's a neat little universe that wandered into my brain.

Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

You Oughtta Know

I want to do something exciting with the fiction story here on this blog. Nothing comes when I sit to write it out. I have another slow bit, where my main character transitions from street rat to citizen, but it's quiet and boring. 

I just had an idea. Not SUPER exciting but I think it'll be cool. 

What is that about my mind, that I go to complain about something and I solve my own problem. It's way cool. Funny ole noggin I got. 

I'll write it up and post later.

Maybe complaint has a value in life too. People tell you not to complain about stuff and I think maybe the rightness of that depends on who you are complaining to about what. "Waiter, please take away this cup it has lipstick on it and I am not wearing any," would be completely appropriate. Please, involving the manager if said waiter says something rude to you. 

Complaining to your dinner guest, probably doesn't help anything. And it might spoil the mood. 

So much of life is like that. Martha Beck writes that we can't expect the person who hurt us to help us solve the pain. They have their own problems and asking them to fix something they broke, is like expecting them to change personalities on our schedule. Ask someone else for help. 

People do change, but in their own time and for their own reasons. Our influence on those changes has much more to do with them than us. 

My best therapy person told me to use "When you.. I feel.. I would prefer..." As example of me to my husband; "When you went to the store I felt abandoned. I would prefer you let me know when you are leaving." I try and use it as much as I can. 

Start thinking when you are complaining to effect change and when you are just making noises. Start asking yourself if nothing is changing, who would be a more appropriate person to talk to about it. 

What do you have to complain about? What steps do you take to change what's going on? Do you ask yourself what benefit you get out of what is happening? Can you get the benefit in ways you like better? 

Keep kind comments coming.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Do You Know


Woke up early to see my man off to training for his new job. We spend a lot of time together  and though it will be a shock to be apart for a few days, it'll give me a chance to sort out what's going on inside my head.

I've been bugging my chat friends about what I should do with myself. It's not that I expect them to have a solution, but I find often the conversation sparks something and helps out. There's also this thing about getting a different perspective.

It seems I have to do a lot of thinking and talking in the gap between acting on my goals. A whole bunch of "hurry up and wait," permeates my life right now.

Murry had to jump through a bunch of hoops for his new job. A lot of driving to a town about 90 minutes away. He's driving a truck so they needed him to pass a medical check. Had to see a specialist about an issue, but it was nothing to worry over. Just delays, delays.

With him working, I'll be on my own a lot more. That's okay, I enjoy my own company. I might get a job too. I could do something to fill my time. It's not as easy for me to find work as it is for a person with closer to 20/20 vision.

I heard a lecture on working for the disabled. We don't often get "starter" jobs like other people. We can't just walk into a fast food joint and start flipping burgers.

The closest I came to that starter job was when I answered the switchboard in high school. I did like it. I got a couple of babysitting jobs from doing that. I liked school, but I liked working more. It was easier and less stress.

As an adult, I've mostly worked for myself. Not on my own, but with a husband/partner. Now I write, which is a self employment thing too.

I guess I want to be creative with words and pictures. Writing, frustratingly has a lot of rejection associated with it. I spoke to a "life coach" a couple of years ago. She said that I don't have to be a "rejection handler." Get Murry to deal with the rejection. I could just be the writer. That hasn't worked out as yet.

Yesterday, I showed the fiction on this blog to someone and they were begging me to write more. She told me it was frustrating to want to know more and not have it available. That's a huge motivational ego boost.

I got an idea what to do with the story, so I think next post will be another installment. Writing fiction draws me into that universe. I start seeing scenes play out between the text. Same thing happens when I read other people's good fiction.

Yeah, I am in a writer place. Now to work on profiting from my talents.

Kind comments encouraged.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Beautiful

Someone made a joke about dying from cancer and someone else found that offensive. I let it slide because I think we need to confront big scary things with humor.

When I had cancer last year, I asked people to make me laugh. The big scary procedures deeply freaked me out. I sat and shook and cried myself to sleep. Real, raw deep emotions welled up and I let them roam free. I find it helps me.

My way may not be for everyone. Whatever works for you, do it that way.

I wonder if people thought I was mentally challenged when I went to my CAT scan in kitty ears and a kitty tshirt? Or maybe they thought that when I was wearing pajamas and a robe standing outside the pharmacy? I care that they think I'm not smart, but not enough to take off the kitty ears.

Some things I feel deeper about than others. I want to be thought of as smart, knowledgeable and kind. I have given up wishing to be thought beautiful, fashionable or like other people.

Maybe given up is wrong. I care less about beauty, fashion or "fitting in." I try and live my values.

What things do you care most about when being judged by other people?  Do you respond in ways that are consistent with your views or do you bow to social pressure to conform? I totally get that urge. I conform sometimes. Just to avoid the hassle.

I wonder if one should do the hassle more and more? Get yourself used to it so that the world doesn't run you over and challenge you quite so much. Maybe that's why I keep confronting issues. Maybe it teaches me how to live my values and keep myself mentally fit.

Kind comments encouraged.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beautiful Day

A friend posted on Facebook about how she felt injured by troll comments. I wrote about being called ugly in Hall of Ugliness. This got me to thinking about how we feel about insults.

Some of us were raised by family that thought nothing of "teasing" with words. It hurt deeply to be called a "brat" as an adult. And I've written before that my sisters and mom called me and my brother black sheep. He wasn't there to hear it, but I'm sure he got similar things when he was around.

These kinds of experiences install trigger buttons in our psyche. People will tell you that you're giving your power away by reacting to people who push these buttons. Though I do want you to be aware there is some truth in that, it's only a small part of what's going on.

I'm angry that I have to work so hard to overcome what was done to me. It's not fair. People like my mom should be suffering and sensitive and in pain for the problems they caused.

No, I don't really think that. I think that unkind people need MORE kindness. Accident or intentional, I'm the one with the broken psyche and I am the one that has to go through a process to recover.

I am on the constant hunt for the trigger buttons and their connection. I challenge those thoughts and put the "more facts" along side the trigger.

For me, I cannot seem to erase the buttons entirely, but I try and change the reaction. Instead of feeling bad for being ugly, I flash past feeling like I am ugly to thinking about the times when people have said I was pretty. I pump up the weight and balance the argument.

Murry's comments get more weight than any other. I trust him to be a positive influence on me. In our 14 years, we've spent no more than a couple weeks apart. He's never said a thing to assault my character.

My daddy admired my smarts and valued my ability to sort through my problems. Again, he never used words as weapons.

Neither Murry nor my dad act perfect. They have flaws that I am aware of and sometimes irritated me. I live in a real world with real people around me. Here's the thing; if ya can't say somethin nice, then ya aint supposed to say nothin at all. - Thumper.

We are all an imperfect creation made up of our experiences. Learn how to turn those buttons and triggers into armor and draw bridges. Deflect arbitrary insults into the designer thought sections of your mind. Pull up the bridge whenever the insults get to be too much.

You don't have to end friendships if someone has a bad day and says something rude. Just let them stew in their pain for a while. When YOU can handle it, try and sort it. Turn off the internet for a day. Screen your calls.

Sometimes friendships DO need to end and give yourself time to grieve over that. I give people lots of chances and ask them outright to stop doing things that hurt me. If they can't or wont, I know I gave them lots of chances.

I work very hard at not doing what I learned. I work very hard at deciding to have peace in my heart for everyone who caused me harm. I believe deeply in what John Bradshaw says, "Your parents are either sick or doing the best that they can." I believe this of everyone.

Notice when an insult hurts deeply. Set about finding the wires to that trigger and paralleling them with wires to good thoughts. Let yourself know it's okay to be offended and insulted but turn it into a powerful force for good. Make lemonade.

Kind comments encouraged.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Stuck in the Middle with You


It seems to me that most people just want to live their own lives. They just want to get up, do work that they enjoy, come home and drink a beer. Though my choice would be root beer.

I want to live in a place where the "community" stuff just works. I want smooth, well maintained roads, an honest police force, strong well trained firefighters and education that teaches kids how to use the tools of knowledge.

I care about my progressive ideals, yet I don't want to concentrate on those that put me in constant opposition. Seems to me the most courageous thing to do is choose the middle. Choose to open up to the desires of the people who may not have time for research on all aspects of a political point.

I want to know what the center thinks and wants. I want to know how to have a real middle of the road conversation. I want to be part of the middle and share in the pleasures of the latest popular tv show.

How can we agree to disagree on the fringe stuff and find common ground on the basics? How can we gain representative for that which needs doing and let the edges worry over the big questions? Who will speak for us?

What do you want, middle people? And how can we gidder done?

Kind comments encouraged.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Counting Falling Stars

For a couple of days I've contemplated what to write about next. I know I've written about topics like this idea before. Though a quick search didn't turn up the exact previous post.

Telling my story over and over, seems to substantially lessen its impact. I've mentioned that I have started to see the value of confession. Not as a telling of one's own sins, though that I feel has value. What I'm talking about is confessing one's flaws installed by outsiders.

I feel that they're weirdly the same thing. It feels like a recounting of facts. A kind of "for the record" acknowledgement of what happened. I've come to realize that so much of what one views as reality ha as much to do with perception and perspective.

I don't know much of the motives of people who hurt me. My perception that some of their actions were "crazy" comes from other people's reactions to my story.

While it's true I do have some ego tied up in what happened to me, I've come to realize that understanding it builds me up more than it tears me down. With each "confession," I learn a little more about the power I have inside. You'll have to ask my husband if I tell the stories less the more I sort through their value.

I think of it as counting falling stars. Though much of the material burns up in my "atmosphere of examination," some of it just grazes and doesn't fall. It comes back in some other guise and sparks another fiery event.

Although my experiences come down like meteors  I can choose how I react to them. I choose to recount the story. I speak what I saw and consider adapting my version if I hear a different perspective that seems valid. Many family members refuse to speak with me and I try and be understanding.

How do you count your falling stars? If you don't, and it works for you, I''m glad. Confessing what made me, me, seems to improve my life.

Kind comments welcome!