An Era of Space in CrazyTown

I think everyone will agree with me that the year 2020 has been a nightmare from the start. Everyone I know has been begging for 2020 to be rebooted, and the world has become a CrazyTown. And with the latest crazy caused by some idiot cop, who in my opinion deserves to be behind bars, it was a breath of fresh air that 2020 finally saw some good news.

It's May 31, 2020 where I live, and I have just finished watching the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon capsule. It might be hard to believe, but I'm sitting here crying as I type this, and I'm not sure if I can fully explain why, but I'm going to do my darndest to try.

As far as I'm concerned, now 2020 has begun. Sure, it's nearly half over, but for the first time in 2020, I feel like hope is actually on the horizon and we can breathe again.

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Is the next generation really that disconnected?

There is no doubt about it: the world that I grew up in is gone. It was filled with kids having water fights in the streets, our house being the place where all the hoses seemed to converge. It was bikes and bells, and doing what we could to get the ball away from the dog. It was riding the Tonka toy fashioned to look like a Jeep down the driveway (mom rode that toy down the driveway too). And it was pen pals with snail mail and waiting for the postman to come.

Pay phone

Who remembers these? They used to be on every street corner. Now, you don't seem them at all. At least, that's the case in Christchurch, New Zealand.

You were at the mercy of whatever the TV networks decided to air. You didn’t like what was on, you either lumped it or read a book. Phone conversations were scratchy at best and, in some areas, party lines were still a thing. There were phone boxes on every street corner, and cash paid for everything.

The concept of cell phones didn’t exist in my youth. Car phones were for the rich only. The internet was this unheard-of thing, and modems required you to place the handset from the phone onto this chunky device with pulses and high-pitched noises going down the phone line.

Video calls and streaming your favorite show to a handheld device wirelessly was something seen only in science fiction. Genetic modification of human embryos was the source of freaky war storylines from Star Trek. Yet, here we are.

Science fiction has become science fact. (And yes, genetic modification of human embryos is now science fact.)

Yeah, the world I grew up in is definitely gone, but there will always be those who wish we could go back to the way things were. Their reasoning is often linked to some comment as to how out of touch with the rest of the world the next generation has become—how the next generation is so caught up in an internet world that they're missing the life in the local neighborhoods. In some aspects, I agree with them. But while I would love to cling to those go-outside aspects of the world that have vanished without me even noticing, there are other aspects of this new internet-based world that I have openly embraced and would never look back.

But these changes that I see in my world and in myself, was it really just technology that brought them on? Have we, as a society, really changed all that much?

Has our new level of technology brought about a level of disconnect between the generations that wasn't there before?

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Woman looking at what it means to be diverse.

Diversity to the point of exclusion?

They say that dreams are the subconscious's way of speaking to the conscious. It's our way of trying to nut out things that have been plaguing our minds.

I must have a lot of things plaguing my thoughts, because I actually recall many of the dreams that I have. Many of my story ideas have started as dreams. Over the years, I've developed ways to cling to those last images that hit me during the moments between REM sleep and waking. When I sit at the keyboard, I start writing and let the story develop.

However, when I sat down to write the other morning, it wasn't the dream itself that I wanted to write, but rather a commentary on the dream's subject matter. That commentary is this blog post.

My dream was about a woman who wanted to write diverse stories, complete with the erotic scenes, but was constantly persecuted for doing so. In her everyday life, she was forced to write many of her stories in secret, with her friends pounding on the door, demanding that she show them the latest works. But the moment she showed them, out came the judgments and the hatred. So, she was forced to hide what she truly wanted the world to see. It was sad, because her stories were filled with beauty and romance, and a world that was accepting of all—yet, that was not her real life.

I guess you can say that it was a nightmare within a dream, and in many ways, my subconscious was telling me to stop worrying about what might be the world reception to my stories and just share the buggers. Get my writing out there. But there is an underlying fear that goes deep into my psyche.

As I traversed the path from my bedroom to my computer, I knew exactly what had sparked that dream. And I knew that I had to speak up about how things have gotten so out of control on the public stage—terrifying as that thought might be.

There is a genuine fear that hangs over my head about being persecuted for the stories that I write. The world says that it wants diverse stories with diverse characters, but there are those who will publicly attack a writer for even attempting such a thing. At the same time, there are those who will go for the throat when a writer tries to stay under the radar, sticking to stories that rest in the comfort zone.

Yet, those of us who want to speak up about this duplicitous discrimination genuinely feel that we can't say anything at all—for fear of being lynched.

The fear is real, and by making my fear publicly known, I open myself up to attack. But I'm doing it anyway, because if I don't, my dream from the other night—the one where a female writer wrote her diverse stories in secret and never shared them with the world for fear of being persecuted for doing so—will reoccur again and again. I know how my brain works. My subconscious wants me to understand that I, as a writer, should feel confident to write whatever I want to write without the fear of attack—and other writers should feel that too.

I do need to apologize to my readers in advance. This post is long, but it needed to be said.

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Focusing on What I Can Control

Every year, at this time of the year, I sit down and examine my journey into the publishing industry. I look at the little goals that I had set for myself and how I progressed towards those goal. When I do this, it’s about reminding myself of what I have achieved, and not focusing on what I haven’t achieved.

It’s about celebrating the little wins, and sometimes, it’s about reminding myself of the things that are out of my control.

There are external factors involved at every step along my personal publication journey. I’m getting better at identifying what those external factors are and shaping my goals, so that when I do these annual reviews, I’m able to be proud of my accomplishments.

Last year, I had set six objectives. One, in particular, was fully out of my control, 100% reliant on others. The other five... Well, I need to learn to get a little bit more specific in my goal setting

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Two Birds, a Car and a Hippie

It might sound like that start of a really bad joke, and in some respects, what I'm about to tell you has its hilarious moments, but there are also moments when I question the sanity of some people—including my own sanity.

The past week has been filled with NaNoWriMo writing, complicated with near misses with not one, but two birds, and an interesting tirade from someone who clearly doesn't understand my sarcasm.

Where does one even begin?

Well, I guess it all started last week on Monday morning.

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