Books, Creative writing, lit, Literature, Making No Sense of the World, writing

Holy Mother of Goats

Dance, little monkey, dance for your food.

I am so weary of the publishing process. You’d think you could just send the work, have it read, then receive an answer. It’s a book, so the words are all there, right?

No. You have to prepare it. Cover letters where you have to be a salesman, telling the potential publisher how much they should want to print your book because of this reason or the other. “I’ve been published by so-and-so, and reviewed favorably by this critic. I’ve worked with this other writer, and…” Jesus Mary and Joseph. Can’t we cut the crap? You want me to convince you you’ll make money on this book? How the fuck am I supposed to know that? Same way you know: we don’t! It’s a fucking gamble, you capitalistic stooge.

You just read the damn book. If you enjoy it, maybe someone else will. Maybe not.

It’s maddening. I have to be unrestricted and violently honest with myself and the readers in my writing, because readers can detect falsity instinctually. Fiction isn’t a lie, it’s a complex metaphor.

Then, after the years of self honesty it takes to push that vision from your mind onto paper, you’re supposed to suddenly change everything and be your own narcissistic salesman?

Or you could get an agent. That’s their game, after all. But you still have to convince them to try to be your advocate. So it’s the same song and dance.

I’m a fucking writer. If I was into marketing, do you think for a moment I would be doing novels? No. I’d be making a lot more money in advertising. So why on earth do you expect a writer to sell you their words?! Just take the fucking book, read it, decide, get back to me. It doesn’t have to be this interactive. It’s not an essay, it’s a yes or no test. You’re either going to publish it or you’re not.

It’s absurd. The reader requires honesty of heart in their books. Otherwise, it doesn’t reach them. Yet you won’t even look at the book itself unless the writer can convince you with lies?

I have confidence that I’ve written a good book. Evidence that I actually fucking sent it to you. I can’t guarantee people are going to like it. I’ve done my part already. I shouldn’t have to sell it to you. Do you want me to personally print all the copies, too? How about cutting down the trees to make the paper? Just how much does a writer have to do outside of his occupation?

If I wanted to be a lumberjack, I wouldn’t have written a book.

Jumping Jehoshaphat.

Your frustrated friend,
Eddy.

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Art, Creative writing, Human Spirit, Literature, Passion, writing

The Price of a Soul

They’ll tell you that your art is pointless. Not directly. They never try to shit on you directly. That would reveal the selfishness that motivates them. The “I gave up my soul, so you have to, too. So I can prove to myself that it wasn’t just my own surrender. That everyone has to.”

No, they’ll tell you how important it is to have money, security, success. To provide for others. And those things can definitely be important. To some people, those things give them meaning. But the people who find meaning in those things are usually not the ones who try to beat dreams out of you. Usually those people support you. Because they are fulfilled, so they don’t need to bully others into being like them to reassure them that they didn’t have a choice.

If you have a song in your heart, play music. If you have words, write. If you have vision, paint. If you want to share it, there are so very many people who need it. It’s your soul. Don’t let the cold bitterness of others make you less than you feel. They demand that you prove them right. Prove them wrong.

That’s where great art comes from. If you find it’s more a hobby than a calling, and other things are more important to you, there’s a beauty in that, too, and it’s worth pursuing.

But if you have that art in your veins, in your breath, enough that you will endure degradation and hardship just to get closer to that expression of your inner voice…

Do not give up. If your art is who you are, when you give up on one, you give up on the other. This world desperately needs more artists. It doesn’t lack unfulfilled employees. Don’t let them remake you in their image.

Imagine. Show us what only you can express. I look forward to the experience you’ll show us. Don’t let it die in obscurity.

Your friend,
Edgar.

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depression, nightmares, Passion

It Doesn’t Sleep

It doesn’t sleep.

It creeps in the corners, waiting for the dark to come. It creeps on silent legs to push you below the surface, gently, so you don’t know until you’re struggling for breath. No laughter, no malice, you see its monstrous face stare blankly, its weightless, hollow claws holding you just beyond hope, an inch away from breathing. You struggle a few more times in futility, then grow still and drift into nothingness.

You wake the next morning and repeat. No bruises on your neck where talons marked you. The wound is deeper. Too deep to be visible. It grows deeper every day.

– Ed

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Books, Creative writing, Making No Sense of the World, time

Timepeace

I took the batteries out of my analog clock. The ticking was unbearable at times. Like the heartbeat of a monster sitting in the dark beside your bed.

I was given the engraved desk clock at an old job as an anniversary gift. A handsome dark wood casing with brass accents and Roman numerals. and my name on it. Now it sits mute behind the globe of Mars that sits on my counter. A thing that troubled me hidden behind a thing that comforts me. But it’s still there. And the ticking continues.

No, not from the clock. The cold of the winter seeps under my house and cools my heater ducts. As they cool and as they warm, the ducts click rhythmically with expansion and contraction. The monster possessing a new object, but the same monster. Time.

It won’t give us the space to breathe, but expects us to achieve. It demands our servitude, all while reminding us it will only give us enough of itself to serve it, never enough to serve ourselves. And one day, when it finds us no longer useful, it will kill us.

I always thought it rather macabre that a traditional gift from an employer is a timepiece. A reminder of what they’ve taken from you that they can never return to you.

The novels are done for now, so there’s a break. It’s not that bad working on my passion, but it is a very emotionally draining process to put all of the things in your soul, even the things you run from, into a story and live in it for the years it takes to get it done. Especially when you have never figured out how to recharge.

Can’t take too long, though. Time is finite. and I have more left to write than that which I’ve written. Though it does some good to vent thought without planning or structure as I do here. I’m sure I’ll find the energy soon to write the sequel trilogy.

Thanks for your attention

Your babbling friend,
Ed

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Community, Current events, Government and industry, Human Spirit, Making No Sense of the World, philosophy, Poverty, rationality

Robot Horses

I remember a cartoon series I rather liked where the horses were artificial intelligence robots. A very cool concept.

Let’s explore it for a moment.

What do horses do? The heavy, mindless work. Plow, carry soldiers, pull wagons. The thankless work that gets the duties done. Who wins the accolades? The people who use the strength of the horses. Robot horses, in those books, had more strength, but were still a means to an end. And their owners won the spoils of victory.

Imagine those horses had the same intellectual potential as their “owners.” Artificial intelligence horses. And one day, the horses decided to band together to tell the riders that they’re nothing without the horses.

We have a tendency to look at the place where power sits and forget the source of that power.

Rich people are only looked favorably on because they ride high on the backs of the more powerful who lift them up.

Kick the rider off, the horse can still do everything the horse could do before, and better.

The system has elevated the rider who does no work over the horse who bares the burden of the rider.

If the horses start to think, the riders are rendered useless.

The rich contribute nothing and covet money pathologically. Yet they’ve convinced us that we need them when we’re doing all the work.

Just mentally meandering

Yours in friendship,

Edgar.

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Community, Covid-19, Current events, Holidays, Human Spirit, Making No Sense of the World, Parents, philosophy, war

Fatigue

It has been a long, trying time. Relentless and cruel. Not just 2020, though this year has been the crescendo.

I’ve been able to cope better than most of my acquaintances because I have grown somewhat accustomed to many of the things that they are afraid of or are experiencing. That’s nothing to be proud of. it’s just an observation.

The worst part of it for me is that they are going through what I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I always found solace in being able to speak to others and keep them from feeling as I do through my words and experience. But always doing so honestly.

They come to me now, fatigued, asking for encouragement that this horror is going to pass.

It will. But not soon. Yes, the sun will rise eventually on those who survive, and this great hardship will be behind those who survive it. But they’ll carry with them the weight of the experience forever. No touch of starlight can shine away those scars.

People will be happy again, but often it has been my experience that those who have fought through a hardship this long lasting are rendered unable to fully heal from it. There’s no comfort I can give with honesty. This will scar deeply.

It’s easier to comfort my friends with children. Parents can be truthfully told that their hardships are for the world their children will enjoy. Yet most of my friends are of a mind that the world has grown too dark and difficult for them to bring a life into. I can’t say I disagree.

It’s easier, though, to justify suffering so your pain will build a better future for those who come after you if you already know those people and love them. It’s hard to tell people that their scars will never heal and offer only the comfort that some unknown stranger will someday benefit from their strength to carry on.

There’s still so much darkness ahead of us. Every victory won is a battle won, and we lose so much it seems pyrrhic. Especially when the war is so far from done.

Everyone just wants to celebrate. To declare victory and have a party. They ask me, in not so many words, for permission to relax and drop their guard. But doing so will prolong this struggle and make victory costlier to achieve.

We’re all exhausted. We all want to go back to normal. How do I tell them that there is no going back? The only way to beat this enemy is to be relentless. As it is relentless. How do I inspire them to press onward when the goal is still so far away, and they only want to rest, even if that means giving up. They don’t know how dark the road of surrender is.

Geronimo said: I should never have surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last.

No matter how hard and cruel and exhausting the fight is, we can’t give up. Because if we do relent before the war against this virus is won–if we surrender–we will suffer even more and for very much longer.

We can win. It won’t be perfect. We’ll still have lost the people we lost. But victory is a matter of endurance. That is a comfort.

Crawling forward is better than submission.

Do it for him.

Do it for her.

It’s important.

Because the fight isn’t over until you say “it’s over.” Until then, you haven’t been defeated.

Babbling incoherently,

Your friend,

Eddy.

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depression, Hope, Human Spirit, Kindness, love, Making No Sense of the World, Melancholy, philosophy

Beauty

Beauty isn’t love. It’s honesty.

I’ve sought for beauty my whole life. I found it in ugliness. In the unrelenting pain of life. In those who look up from the mud and the blood and the filth and see the stars.

I seek the hurt. It breaks me up, but I want to know their stories. Details are insignificant. Feelings are paramount. You don’t really understand anyone until you see the stars they cry to; the bruises nobody can kiss away; the screaming silence of their pain.

It hurts because it has to. It’s absolutely necessary to embrace. Suicide happens because we’re so blocked that nobody reaches out and listens to the horrific screams and tears and hurt.

Beauty is honesty. We’ve forgotten that. Twisted in cycles of cruelty and selfishness, we’ve let so many people who are just like us cry tears that only starlight sees.

We ask if we like them. Instead of asking if we’re like them.

It’s a travesty. It’s cruel. It’s petty. They feel with the same depth as you do.

I want to hear their stories. Don’t you?

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