The kids had school cancelled again today. That makes 7 cancellations, 5 two-hour delays, 11 vacation days, and an early release since December 9. So they've had, in six weeks, six regular days of school, and one of those was an early-release Wednesday. That's one normal day per week for the last six weeks.
So I haven't been in the flow for writing, and I think it might have some relation to the lack of school. This has been a most delightfully exciting winter, and I love it, but it also gives us cabin fever and cranky children who would much rather whine at you than let you run off and dream of plot lines.
But the snow! And the cold! The drifts, and the ice storms! Wow. I must have some strange weather gene, because this is taking up such a huge part of my mental space. Other people freak out about presidential elections or what have you, and I just fixate on the weather.
But it's like a story I read with Merlin as winter…. He caused people to die, but he was just nature. Not evil, really. The drama of nature is something I can handle. The drama of fiction is generally OK. But the negative drama of the real world kills me, so I tend to pretend it's not there. Because there's not much to do about it and it makes all my life miserable.
I prefer just following local news. There's good, there's bad, but it's all on a scale that can be processed. I think about how people a few decades ago didn't have to deal with all the tragedy of the world constantly being thrust into their attention all the time…
I want to write down thoughts in a place where no one from my real life sees…. But I want the illusion of talking to someone. But I also don't want anyone to feel obligated to read it. So I’m going to post here for awhile, instead of my real blog…. Just to say things that maybe would be harder to say.
Not that I'm at all anonymous. I've always wanted to make a point of being myself on the internet and not hiding who I am. But sometimes lately I think that a bad idea, because I find myself interested in things other people might not find acceptable.
And see, here I just stopped myself from writing down an internal conversation, because it's not anonymous enough. I'd change my name, but I also want to be known as me to people I know. I'm so torn.
I've been trying out Tumblr for a few weeks now. My first knowledge of Tumblr was years ago, when I'd look at my Flickr stats and see referrals from Tumblr. People were posting my LEGO photos to Tumblr without telling me, and some of them would be decently popular. I always wished they'd told me. I know that I set up the licensing to allow non-profit uses, but it'd still be polite to say, “Hey, I thought your design was cool, so I posted it to Tumblr and you can find it here”. But no one does that. Not usually for articles either…. Like I found one recently in wired.com about coolest LEGO builders or something. That's a pretty sweet recognition, actually. But no one tells you about it.
Anyway, I saw a post on Tumblr about people stealing art, posting others’ art without permission, and how it causes some people legal trouble. I certainly don't have legal trouble, but I felt sympathetic anyway.
Something else strange about Tumblr is that it seems to blur the lines between a TV show and the actors who were in it. I've always felt very uncomfortable prying into an actor's life; it's none of my business. I like to think it's the character I love, not the actor playing that character. But on Tumblr you see a post with photos from the show…then photos from behind-the-scenes…then photos from photo shoots and then you're on to photos of the person in public, nothing to do with the show at all, and I suddenly feel like a stalker. Ever since I was little and fell in love with st:tng, I felt really strongly that just because you liked a character, it didn't mean that you should like the actor playing that character, or that you had any right to try to know more about them, or what have you. But Tumblr makes it easy and tempting, and I feel irritated after the fact.
It's also a way to use up a lot of time that could probably be spent doing other stuff. And I don't really understand how people talk to each other. I guess you add comments on a post, if you want? Is this where I show my old age? I still have a baby. I can't be that old. :-)
So I've started writing two stories that are not cute and not adorable and it's so hard. I love reading about hurt/comfort and emotional pain and all that, but when I try to write it, it feels so self-indulgent, somehow. I want to, though. If I am going to write for the enjoyment of it, and not for the goal of being clever, I really should learn to write things I like to read.
Maybe it's hard because it exposes some inner part of myself that I would rather other people not know about? Probably. Growing up, if my sister got sick or hurt, I'd get jealous. She'd get attention, and there's just all that romance about being sick. But I knew that was wrong, that I should be happy to be healthy (and I was really healthy). But when you are sick or injured, you do get attention. And in the stories people write, you can get love and all sorts of other amazing things.
It's totally indulgent. But people like to read it. Fiction doesn't have to be about the way you are in real life…. It's often great because it's completely not about your real life.
When I was little I thought of stories in my head all the time, but would never write them down or tell my mom about them when she asked, because they were totally self-indulgent, and therefore embarrassing. But I imagine lots of writers wouldn't let a little thing like embarrassment slow them down, right? I love the stories that pack that emotional punch, so why wouldn't it be OK for me to write them, too?
Time to return to talk life… I had an hour away from the kids, because my husband rocks. I usually take a bath, turn on the bubbles so that it's loud and I can't hear any children crying/whining/fighting/yelling, and write on my phone. The jet bubbles are much more useful for the illusion of being elsewhere than they are for any actual massaging purposes.
Of course, my phone tends to make horrible mistakes when I'm typing. Hopefully there aren't too many!