Friday, February 10, 2017

Writing In a Winter Wonderland

It's cold outside here in New England; the temperature barely got into the double digits today, and there's snow on the way for the next three days. The house is warm, but the attic, where I do most of my writing, is not. Not so much anyway.

And yet here I am writing, because my outline is coming together, and I'm feeling good about the general flow of the story, and—cold fingers be damned—I am clicking away at my old ergonomic Dell keyboard (even though I write on a Mac) to try to keep that flow going as long as it will before I lose the energy or am forced to go off to bed.

And even that won't stop the writing, for when I am at a point like this, I do a lot of writing in my sleep. Not good writing necessarily (and definitely not good sleep), but writing nevertheless. And despite what it does to my sleep, the dreams will usually propel me into another day when I am champing at the bit to get to the keyboard.

There are usually things in the way. Work, snow, making dinner, more snow, shopping. More snow (I'm not exaggerating; multiple storms this week). It impinges on my keyboard time, but I am writing all the while. It is frustrating, sometimes, to have a great idea for a scene or a plot point or some dialogue and not be able to write it down. At least not without inconveniencing my family (I usually note these things using my phone, but taking a smart phone out when you're shoveling snow in 10-degree weather is a great way to kill the battery).

But the story and the people who populate it continue to fascinate me, and so when I do sit down at the keyboard, the words pour out, and it's slowly forming into a story. When it's done, I hope that you and your kids will find it as exciting as I do.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Worse Than I'd Feared

Well, Donald Trump has been President Of the United States for a couple of weeks now, and the world hasn't come to an end. But it's not as if Trump isn't giving it a good effort. It's not just that he's issued a series of executive orders of questionable quality and legality. It's the fact that the first two weeks of his presidency are as much of a circus as the campaign was. And that's scary.

Again, keep in mind that I'm not some cry-baby liberal who thinks that Hillary should have been president. Because I don't, actually, think that Hillary Clinton would have made a good president. But at least she had some experience holding her tongue.

As much as I think that Hillary is too tied up with the financial sector, and that she's a bit hawkish for my tastes (given the history of American military intervention in, say, the last 100 years), I don't think she would have insulted the Prime Minister of Australia. Or the President of Mexico. I don't think she would have rushed headlong into a ban on travel from seven predominately-Muslim countries without some facts to back it up.

And while I think she is beholden to powerful banking interests, I don't think she's so self-serving as to exclude countries from that ban, from which actual terrorists are known to have come, on the basis of having business interests in those countries. Trump might deny that this is the case, but the coincidence makes no sense outside of that context.

Nor do I think that Hillary Clinton would have spent time during an important fence-mending speech to the CIA talking about the numbers in the election. Or commemorated the Holocaust without once referencing Jewish victims. Or talked about Black History Month without actually knowing who Fredrick Douglass was.

Clinton, in other words, for all her faults, has a filter. Trump has none. It's not that we've never had a president with an ego this big. I think that LBJ might still beat out Trump for ego. But even LBJ didn't air his ego and his temper in public. Even that crude Texan knew what to keep away from the eyes of the world.

In addition, the "dealmaker" that Trump think he is hasn't done much on the deal-making front yet. He's bossed people around and tried to throw around the weight of his office, but he hasn't made any moves to work with anyone on getting anything accomplished. And from what I've heard about his pre-presidential business life, I think that's pretty much what we can expect from Trump.

And, of course, the worst thing is that he refuses to do what is necessary to ensure that what he does in office is seen to be for the good of the nation (and the world) instead of for the self-enrichment of Donald J. Trump and his family. By not divesting his massive holdings—or even divulging them—he makes every policy decision suspect.

And that last problem is, I think, reason enough to have had enough of President Trump. Even after only a couple of weeks.