Vascular Access

ERdrawersHippie told me to write. I wrote. On muscle relaxants and pain killers. He laughed while taking care of me. He made fun. He told others. He video taped me.

And then Jersey said put it online.

Sooo… still jacked up on meds, I’ve decided to think about that. Three short stories, written while under the influence, sans any lucid editing. I’ll offer it as a pdf chapbook type download for $5.00 (oh shit, self-publishing!) and the proceeds will go to either my medical bills, a good lawyer, or bail.

Whatcha think? Ohhh… a question, and it’s not even Thursday! Would you buy it? Would you like to see what happened after the video the Hippie went and posted on facebook? “Vascular Access: A writer’s journey through pain management” bwahahahahaha uh oh. Meds are kicking in… time to write!

Due North

moralcompassAs is the case with many blog entries lately, this was spurred by a chat in the garage. It’s a place of deep conversations and highly emotional rants and gigglefests of pure speculation. Last night it ranged from religion to the gas station and back again.

Apparently, I have “an extremely high moral compass.” Seems if you want to give back the incorrect change the clerk gave you, or any of the other things listed to me, you have a high moral compass. But the conversation turned, and it wasn’t about the compass anymore. It was about the points on the compass. Or rather, who they point to.

Fine, I have a high moral compass. Blame my mom, I do for almost everything anyway. I’m comfortable with it. It’s kept me out of trouble on countless occasions, including a few I clearly remember wishing it didn’t exist for. But it’s MY moral compass. It’s what points me north or south, right or wrong. It’s there to keep me straight, not judge others. And it has shocked me (a few times in the past) to find out that “fear of my judgement” because of my “high moral compass” is possible. Really? This is me. Everyone talks to me, tells me secrets, confides—because above all else, I’m loyal. And shouldn’t that loyalty automatically mean I won’t judge? It’s not my place to judge—it’s my place to love.

Oh wait… Thursday… there should be a question. Sorry, I got all rambly there. I could do a whole blog on judging, which turned into it’s own conversation and moved locations and oy… Hmmm… Ok, how about this:

Do you have a compass? Nah, that’s a given, even if it’s a little broken one, you’ve still got one. Ok, how about: Where’d you get it from? Does your moral compass come from your upbringing? Your faith? Your experiences? Your desires to be a certain way? How did you come to the morals that you hold yourself by?

I guess I answered before I asked this week. I got them from my mom, but also from experiences. There are certain things I will never ever evah do, because they were done to me. They hurt on a level that can never be properly expressed and I would never want to a.) be responsible for making someone feel like that, b.) sink to the level of those that did it to me. My compass is part mom, part me—but sorry, no pink elephant. I personally don’t think an invisible entity threatening my afterlife is a good enough reason to behave in this life. I live the way I do because before I die, I have to live… with myself.

Medium Rare

happymealRemember when Happy Meal’s® came in a box? Yeah, this blog has nothing to do with that, or Happy Meals, or even McDonald’s. Just the Big Mac.

Or rather, what the Big Mac signifies.

The Big Mac is the best (while your mileage may vary™  just play along) of the junk food available. I think we can agree that it’s basically the polar opposite of a Filet Mignon. And thus we enter metaphorland!

You see, a certain Hippie I know what going off on a rant when I got home yesterday, regarding the industry and it’s love of everything written horribly. A friend of ours was told to “dummy down” a manuscript because, while it was great, it wouldn’t sell like this. Between that and an article he read, he went on and on about bad paranormal romance doing better than well written fiction, fifth grade reading level writing, talentless schmucks getting book deals, etc. He spoke of selling out to the buyers and tossing art to the side.

I was crushed.

I asked, “Do you write for the story or the money, and don’t lie because I know the answer.” He didn’t lie. He said story, “But what good is the story if it’s never sold to be read?”

Oh yes, this spun us off into a whole rant/debate thing. A part of me giggled. Ahhh the good old days—when we were just friends arguing over industry and other nonsense at cons and such. It was playful banter. It was venting frustrations. It was… it was anything but a serious argument.

Then it turned serious.

Not in that we were actually arguing. Oddly, we don’t do that, or at least haven’t yet. This turned serious in that it wasn’t playful. The glint in his eye became an angry monkey that threatened to throttle the muse and force it to kick out crap just to get published.

Yeah, you read that right. “Just to get published.” Which of course, turned into me having a fit about not giving your stuff away, not self-publishing, and asking how purposely writing crap wasn’t just as bad as those two evils.

If you follow my twitter, you may have seen me post what he said next,. “It’s the difference between Big Macs and Filet Mignon… but the ones writing Big Macs can afford the filet, on an island somewhere.” I tried to come back with something snappy—how you want to be remembered for art and craft and all that silliness. (See, now you know I was hot, because I actually used the word “craft”). His response, also on twitter, was low… because it was true, “We’ve been to Poe’s house… have you seen Dan Brown’s?”

Of course, as our house is not just a family but a tribe, and several of the natives were watching the festivities, I turned to them with hope. One is in 8th grade, the other in 11th. “What was the last book you read?” First they answered with books they had to read for school. “No, no… the last book you read for fun.” I was met with blank stares. Then they finally piped up with titles and the following clarifiers which broke my soul. “In 5th grade.” “In 8th grade.”

Does anyone read anymore?!! My mother does. I’m betting most people reading this blog do. But what happened to the reading public? Not only have they been drastically reduced to the minority over the years, but they’re accepting crappy Big Macs instead of requesting, nay demanding, Filet mignon.

I will not sell out. I will not sell out. I will not sell out. I will not give my stuff away, because my mentors told me not to. I will not self-publish, because my mentors told me not to. And I will not write Big Macs.

I like my Filet mignon. Medium rare please.

So tell me, oh loyal audience of mine. What were the last 3 books you read? Genre only? Nonfiction? Do you read the paper? What do you read and how do you like it served—with a side of fries, or garlic mashed potatoes?

Sure, a beach book has it’s place and time, but all the time? Replacing the fireplace cuddle books? No, I just can’t accept that! And this debate is far from over… throughout the rest of the night it came up, at random, with venom, and is sure to be fueled by a dueling blog and more banter today. So help me, kind audience. Help me help the Hippie remember. Listen to the mentors. Do as they say, not as they do. Don’t give your stuff away. Don’t self-publish. And for the love of all things holy, don’t write garbage on purpose! Write good fiction… and if the editor is willing to pay you money to “dummy it down,” deal with it then.

Down with Big Mac writing! Long live beautiful meat™!

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