A Little Less Talk
Sometimes, on good days, I think about stuff. On great days, I write.
This weekend was the 2016 WV Book Festival. Wonderful event. The staff really outdid themselves again this year. There were wonderful seminars for Creating Vibrant Characters with WVU Press/Vandalia Press and If You Want to Write for Kids! Writing Workshop, with Sarah Sullivan. Both were full of information and rivaled the wonderful workshops from last year.
After the 2015 evening with Neil Gaiman, I worried that this year's speaker wouldn't be quite as entertaining. I was very wrong. Though Erik Larson is from a completely different genre, his take on writing and his personal experience was invaluable for anyone interested in writing, or, where my husband is concerned, anyone involved with a crazy person who stalks authors regularly. Larson's use of humor was abundant, his knowledge and skill clear to even the most casual of his fans. (Plus, he liked my tweet you guys ZOMG...). There was one thing he said though, that really hit me: when you stop writing for the day, leave off in the middle of a paragraph, or even a sentence. Let your brain work on it for you while you're sleeping. When you come back in the morning, you'll have it all neatly worked out and be able to begin with fervor.
Although my goal was to spend all of my morning on day two in seminars, I got hungry. So after spending too much money at the book fair and marketplace (Tara Tyler and Ashley Chappell, I blame you), I went to lunch and wrote. I'd left off mid-paragraph the night before and holy hells it worked! I finished two chapters before going to listen to the hilarious Maggie Stiefvater at 1:30. If I'm being honest, I'd never actually heard of her before. I was just curious about the title listed on the program, "An Average Work Day." I'm certainly thankful I went. She was engaging, funny, and refreshingly real with her audience, sharing personal stories and giving them a glimpse into how she does what she does. I'll definitely be giving her a read based on this alone. Plus, she reinforced what I've been doing lately: plot it out before you even open the page. Let it be fully formed in your mind before you write the first word.
The final part of my day was spent with the amazing Patrick Rothfuss. His approach to the importance of reading and how it fosters empathy between people was an interesting and insightful view. He took something that seems mundane and made it fresh. Plus, I'm pretty sure he started a cult: Hail The Book!
For the love of all that is good and pure in this world, November 9th, come quickly. That's right, I said the 9th. Not the 8th, when we all have to do our civic duty and vote for one of the impossibly awful candidates who we've determined to be the best we can get. I want the day after election day to come quickly and shine its glorious light on us, so that we can finally be done with this sh*t storm of an election.
I wanted Bernie. Still do. I keep trying to convince myself that there is still a candidate worth voting for, but I just can't buy into it. The three main reasons I've been told repeatedly that I should vote for Hillary are::
1. She's a woman. I'm a woman. Ipso facto, I should vote her.
Let's be real: my vagina has nothing to do with my vote. AND IT SHOULDN'T! Anything related to a person's genitalia (the size of Trump's "hands")and how that qualifies them for the presidency should immediately be dismissed.
2. She's the closest to my values.
Eh, except that my values don't really include dishonesty, a barrage of lies, and a general shadiness that I can't quite pinpoint. "But Shelly," they say, "just because she rubs you the wrong way doesn't mean she isn't qualified." I'll give you that one. She's spent her life in politics, and at some point, I believe she probably did it because she wanted to make a difference. But after years in said politics, it seems unlikely that she hasn't been swayed by the negative aspects in her rise to power. Sure, she isn't a racist bigot like her opponent, but that should really be a given when you're talking about someone who is going to be POTUS.
3. We need to make sure Trump doesn't get in office.
Well, this one I can almost stand behind. The thought of that man in office terrifies me. As someone who has experienced sexual assault, specifically being, as he so eloquently put it, "grabbed by the p*ssy," I can't accept his words as "locker room talk." He says they are just words, but these words are powerful and damaging, and give permission for other men to do the same. I don't believe that he intends for his words to do that, because if I thought he meant to make those actions permissible for all, I'd rather go hide in a hole somewhere and wait to die than to experience Trump's America.
His callous words aren't the only reason my disdain for him seems to grow stronger each day. His experience in the business world would be valuable, but his inexperience in every other facet of government makes him laughable. The rest of the world probably thinks Ashton Kutcher has somehow rigged the election and they're being Punk'd. Were I not living in this strange world where my neighbors, coworkers, and family are actually voting for the man, I'd feel that way as well.
There's plenty of argument for 3rd party candidates in this election, but we all know they won't win. So we are left with these two people and told to vote for the "lesser of two evils." As I've stated before, I don't feel like I should have to vote for evil. I want to vote for someone I can trust to do the right thing, even when its hard. I don't trust either of them to do the right thing.
Where does that leave me and the others who feel like I do? Stuck between a rock and a hard place, waiting for it all to be over.