This week on my Ms. Creant blog, I show how our social media walls can reveal a great deal about what we are feeling.
First thing this morning my neighbor sent a text to inform me the Internet is still down, but they claim to be working on it. Apparently a major cable was cut last evening leaving our entire area without service.
Thanks for the update., I thought to myself as I ran my morning self-diagnostics to see if I was fully functional before getting out of bed. I worked out yesterday so you never know. Out of HABIT I turned on my computer anyway and headed to the coffee-maker.
As I stood in the kitchen waiting for The Nectar Of Awakening (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL), I pondered the importance of the Internet to him because he is a well-to-do guy who loves his toys. His home is run by Google and he likes his fully-automated lifestyle, and I don’t think he likes it when I speak of the potential for abuse of the users privacy. He only has his phone now. All that is good in his life has perished. Perhaps this is why he sent this out of character early text which woke me from some badly needed sleep.
Coffee in hand, I sat down on the couch and drank the entire over-sized first mug while staring blankly at the Windows start up screen. The only thought I can recall during this semi-conscious period was: They chose a nice shade of blue.
What will I do this morning? Maybe go for a walk? Too cold. Read? Eyes still too sleepy and brain not receptive to input. Write something? There it is. But what? We’ll wing it.
Anyone who reads my crap knows of my contempt for the Internet and my fervent belief that it is a mind control weapon employed against the oblivious masses in the final stages of our enslavement. Yet, it has also become a part of my ROUTINE to have my coffee while scrolling twitter and chatting with online friends.
It was not always this way. I remember having a satisfying life before all this book writing nonsense took over.
I RATIONALIZED this CHANGE IN MY BEHAVIOR by TELLING MYSELF this was necessary to launch and promote my book. I further RATIONALIZED I should continue promoting my work beyond the one year period I had originally planned for as there were still occasional requests for interviews and the like coming in. I continued my RATIONALIZATION to stay on social media because we were entering the peak selling season. That’s no time to quit. My latest RATIONALIZATION, after almost four years since I first appeared on social media, is I now have a handful of people whose words and thoughts I enjoy. It would be wrong to abandon them.
A flaw in my thinking just made itself known on mug three. I am PROJECTING my character traits onto them; people I have never met. I ass-u-me they share my values: morality; ethics; scruples; sense of decency etc., when in truth, I really have little hard evidence to support the mental picture of them I have created in my mind. It is hard enough to discover the TRUE NATURE of people we meet in real life, without compounding the problem by believing what we see or are told through an electronic medium.
Recent─all too public events─began with provocative hurtful posts which I could have been spared from seeing. I retaliated. That was wrong. The enraged are not in touch with rational thought. Things escalated from there into a tangled mess of unimagined proportions. If you witnessed any of it, my apologies. I now have first-hand knowledge of the gossips, spies, stalkers, trolls, and double agents we have all heard about when chatting about facebook dramas.
I am disgusted on many levels by many things, but mostly for allowing myself to be temporarily lowered into The Pit Of The Petty (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL) where the worst parts of humanity reside.
I am only guilty of the first two. I plead temporary insanity. I have and continue to work hard to be fully conscious and self-aware, and I pride myself on my ability to stay grounded in reality. This heightens your powers of perception so you can see things for what they are, and not how you would like them to be. However, this trait will not be considered endearing to anyone who lives in a fantasy world of imagined futures. Normally, I am so good at this people have called me a mind reader, or suggested I have them under surveillance, or even that I can predict the future. In truth, once you have really explored WHO YOU ARE and wrestled your demons into submission─with only occasional escape attempts─you are given a gift of heightened sensitivity which is composed mostly of sympathy, empathy, and compassion. Some call this being loving or caring; I just call them good people.
Humans like to think of themselves as complex creatures when in fact most human behavior is transparent and predictable to the few of us who bother to know ourselves. Once you know the best and worst you are capable of, and even though your self-control can slip at times, you can make shockingly accurate assessments of people as well as predictions of behavior and consequences.
To the superficial and narcissistic, life will always be a mysterious sequence of tragic events. They create petty RATIONALIZATIONS of their abhorrent behavior with statements like: “The heart wants what the heart wants.” or “We are only human.” or “They told me to do it.”. . .
Every single one of the seven billion souls on this planet are capable of moving beyond this most basic form of existence. I sincerely hope the readers of this will be some of those who do.
This was the second time I became embroiled in a facebook drama. There won’t be a third. Farewell facebook friends and followers. It was quite an experience which I can no longer RATIONALIZE.
Keep in touch by email if you like.
Physicists are directed by mathematics which seemingly contain a logical consistency within the formulae. They then attempt to prove their theoretical ideas. Lately, they have had some successes.
For the last 5500 years since Mesopotamia, the most brilliant minds pitched the wealthiest people around, usually kings and religious leaders, and played on their FEARS; promising them answers to impossible questions in return for MONEY.
Paranoid governments fear the other inhabitants of Earth and will pay anything to the person who can offer SECURITY. I guaranty if you can show you are close to being able to put an energy shield over the USA, you will quickly have incredible amounts of money raining down on your head.
It is summer, and with this season comes the clicking of flip-flops. A young girl who could actually run in hers inspired this writer to attempt to motivate the scientific community to make a serious study of this bizarre phenomenon.
Early man learned that foot protection meant he could hunt and gather in places where others feared injury. He could walk on jagged rocks, and fish in coral shallows just by wrapping his feet in the skins of the animals he hunted.
He learned successful hunting strategies:
Women were probably once equal to their mates thousands of years ago when humans were migrating to warmer climates following their food supply. They most likely went hunting and gathering with their mate for mutual advantage. Simply, a pair could hunt better than an individual.
That would all come later.
(This is also about how some academics spin a tale; often on the flimsiest early evidence.)
In most cases, the men of the time did notice that their mate could not lift as big a stone as they could. There were other differences too. The biggest being that for about three moons, after three seasons together, her belly swelled causing her to not want to travel or hunt until she produced a new little hunter. These new hunters were too noisy to take hunting until many moons had passed.
On some hunting trips, Oog would also notice his hunting partner was looking for prey where he would not think to look. She would stop to smell the prey often near brightly coloured flowers. She would stop and watch brightly coloured flying insects to learn their secrets. She would stop and listen to noises made by a brightly coloured bird. Oog knew SHE WAS INDEED IN TOUCH WITH POWERFUL MAGIC which was beyond his understanding.
Oog would hunt alone most of the time now, and was not travelling as far as they once did prior to the little hunters. He would arrive back at the cave to find that his hunting partner had been busy. There were hides covering the ground in the cave and she would make him take off his foot-wrappings before he could walk on them—especially when it had been raining. She had brought the brightly coloured flowers into the cave to attract prey so that Oog would not have to travel so far to find food. SHE WAS WISE so he complied with her wishes.
One particular day in Oog’s memory, he returned to the cave to find his hunting partner wearing something other than foot-wrappings on her feet. She had scraped fallen tree branches on rocks until she had made two small wooden planks the size of her feet. Then she had taken the tip of her spear and spun it until she had made two holes in each plank. Finally she tied strips of hide through the holes creating a loop that was just big enough for her big toe. As she walked they slapped the bottom of her feet and made a clacking sound that was surely designed to ward off dangerous animals. Why else would she have gone to all this trouble? With the top of her feet exposed they were not warm, but now she could walk over the sharpest coral for hours without cutting through the new foot protectors. Oog decided this was why she did it, and IT WAS A GOOD THING.
A short time later, she had applied the juices of a plant to her wooden foot protectors making them brightly coloured so her feet would be camouflaged when she hunted in the fields of flowers she spent so much time in. Oog thought he must be the most fortunate hunter of all time to have a hunting partner AS SMART AS HIS. He asked her to make him a pair.
Some moons later she presented him with a set of his own. He put them on and immediately noticed that stepping on a small stone no longer hurt his foot. He squeezed her affectionately as SHE OBVIOUSLY CARED SO MUCH ABOUT HIM that she was trying to take his pain away.
He could not wait to go hunting with them on his feet.
At the earliest light, Oog put on his footwear and attempted to run after the prey in the flowery field. After only his second stride, the wooden plank of his right foot caught a tree root which tripped him up and caused him to fall hard to the ground.
His big toe was bleeding.
Undaunted, and shaking off the pain in his big toe, Oog began to stalk the prey much more slowly being careful not to make the clacking sound associated with his new foot protection. He sneaked up on many prey birds that day, and had the most successful hunt ever. His amazing hunting partner had forced him to become a stealthier hunter, and it had worked. Oog was beaming with pride in his hunt, and IN HIS SELECTION OF A SUCH AN AMAZING MATE. It was at that instant a sabre-toothed tiger attacked and killed him. It seems the killer cat had been following the blood trail from his injured big toe.
Oog’s widowed hunting partner would soon find another mate to wear the flip-flops, named Ugg. He would later die at the base of a cliff after losing his footing on some loose stones and falling to his death.
Years later, some tribesmen in a hunting party would stumble across Ugg’s skeletonized remains and remove his unusual footwear. The flip-flops were well-preserved by the colour applied to the wood. The hunting party, upon returning to the village, would present them to their tribal chief who would wear them proudly. His warriors would have their mates make them some as well, to emulate and honour their great chief.
They began to lose many battles after that, and they knew not why. Eventually, all the warriors were gone and the victors took the women of the village as slaves and mates. These women knew how to make flip-flops, and they did not like their conquerors.
Skip ahead 40,000 years to our modern times.
Women continue to love them, and some men still attempt to use them—especially now that they come with bottle openers built into their soles.
The flip-flop related fatalities continue as well.
Today, thanks to fashion magazines, yearly changes to seasonal colours drive up the quantity of flip-flops you will find stored throughout your house. Your mate will tell you some needed replacing because of wear while others were needed to keep up with colour trends, but the collection can grow by as much as ten pairs per year and rarely are any parted with.
Similarly, flats, pumps, runners, boots, and the close relative to the flip-flop: the sandal, all apparently require the same upgrading and storage process to await their eventual return to fashionability.
Statistics indicate the average woman owns 21 pairs of footwear. I guess I know above average women. A study also shows women also usually own 9 pairs of shoes that were purchased for a singular occasion, and these too must be stored for years as a keepsake to remember the event.
From the data collected we can establish the following:
We must stop this threat.
My book talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics—even physics, as well as HOW WOMEN CAN BE YOUR UNDOING.
Have a good flip-flop-free week.
I have absolutely no idea if the formula says anything at all, but would it not be amazing if in the moment I was writing this the universe spoke to me. I just took a Fourier equation and plugged in the numbers 21 and 9 and then added a well known sorority.
They can wrestle with one page and then type those two magic words: THE END. For any writer who is trying to produce a book, it is a far greater undertaking.
I took about a year just researching and making notes. It took about a month to assemble those notes into a very rough chapter outline. I wrote early versions of the Preface and Introduction to use a compass to keep me from straying too far off course which was necessary, as any of my readers know, because I love to travel tangential lines to see where they lead.
Thoughts come faster than fingers can type. You must have a pen and paper near you at all times for that moment of clarity when it arrives. There were sticky notes everywhere.
I wrote all the basic Ms. Creant stories next, and then placed them in those rough chapters with related notes. To begin the writing of those chapters, I only needed to put the notes into sentence form; building on thoughts and ideas as I went. You never stare at a blank page this way, but it will add a huge amount of editing time at the end.
After three years I had five chapters completed, but stalled there as another Ms. Creant came into my life. A couple of years later, she was gone and I had another story to add. I got back to writing the book. In one massive push over a three month period in the fall of 2014, I completed the last three chapters of what I now call “the First Edition” and wrote the two magic words: The End.
I poured a single malt scotch and lit a Cuban cigar because that is what my influences would have done, and then sat back to bask in the afterglow of this tremendous accomplishment. The feeling is akin to having the best sex of your life, but the feeling stays with you for weeks instead of hours. You wear a silly grin all the time. You pat yourself on the back, A LOT!
I took three days off and just watched a favorite TV series; seven years of it; full time.
The word count was just over 51,000 words at that point in time. The editing began. With every pass through your work you will add to it, improve it, and make it longer. As a nonfiction book, Ms. Creant required a Reference and Index. By the time I had the First Edition e-book completed, the word count had reached 60,000 words. The Second Edition which I thought would be in print, had an extra chapter with an “alternate ending”. It sat at 65,000 words. The Third Edition added another chapter and I expanded on a number of ideas throughout, creating a new word count in the 80,000 range. I nervously sent the manuscript off to an editor, and what came back made me realize I had to take my writing more seriously. Another two chapters with at least twenty proofreads to this point and I sent it off to the publisher with a word count topping 100,000. There are still two rounds of revisions remaining in the coming weeks prior to the September release. Nonfiction writers should plan a week just to get a handle on the most basic Index. I took a nine page article and practiced on it before screwing with 100,000 words.
As I wrote my first book, I thought it was good enough to get me an agent who would work hard to get me a publisher. This publishing company would produce a well distributed book that would attract the attention of a publicist who would get me on the Times Best Seller List. This would of course lead to a guest spot on The Daily Show which would garner to attention of a producer who would get me a television or film screen-writing deal. All this attention would have managers clamoring to my door who would arrange speaking engagements at major universities leading to a fellowship with an honorary degree, landing me a tenured professor position.
This was “the dream”.
Here is the reality:
When I had completed three chapters, I decided to fire out a Query Letter to the top agents in New York to shake the proverbial tree to see what fell out. In a word: nothing. Stock but polite rejection letters came back from most of the over twenty agencies I pitched. They did not even ask for so much as an Outline nor were they curious enough to ask for some chapters. In some future blog after the book is published, I will explain why. For now we will just say the publishing business is a tough business for first time authors.
Query 1: 395 words
Query 2: 416 words
Overview: 747 words
Marketing Platform: 1611 words
Competitive Title Analysis: 1290 words
Chapter Outline: 1004 words
Author Info: 499 words
Agents mailing list: 421 words
Publishers mailing list: 989 words
Facebook: 1000 words per week (easy).
WordPress: 25,000 words / year (estimated).
Twitter: 5500 words / year (estimated).
6 miscellaneous sites 6000 words / year (estimated).
Website: 4788 words (and counting).
TOTAL: Over 100,000 words since writing the book.
I set out to be an author but have become:
I now resent all things which keep me from writing; especially when I am “on a roll”, including the seemingly endless maintenance of my middle-aged body. It is common for me to have two sinks full of dirty, but rinsed dishes (I am not a cave man.), as well as a herd of dust bunnies roaming the floors. I tend to neglect showering because it is hard to make notes in there. Shaving is the first thing to go, and the brushing of teeth drops to once a day on occasion. This does not go on for long as life and the biz will force you to make yourself presentable to go outside again. Perhaps it is for the best.