Religion is Funny.

Screamingly, hysterically, mordantly, disgustingly funny.

I want to be clear here. This is not me laughing at any one religion in particular. All religions are beautiful, in one way or another. All religions are horrific, in one way or another. And ALL religions, bar none, are freaking funny as hell. In one way or another.

Take the Khlysts. Not sure offhand if they’re still around, but they were a religious sect formed in Russia a couple of centuries ago. They believed in asceticism (I’m cool with that) and were rumored to be into flagellation (less cool with that) and “ecstatic rituals” which occasionally turned into orgies (overrated).

Their main thing seemed to be that salvation could only be gained by total repentence, which in itself is not unusual or original. However, they took it a little further by saying that salvation is easier to achieve if you’ve truly transgressed, i.e., been a complete asshat.

In other words, . ‘Sin in order that you may obtain forgiveness’.*

I LOVE IT!!!

There is absolutely no limit to what humans will believe, what we will make ourselves believe. No limit.

Really, all you can do is laugh, at all of us.

Write on.

 

*C.L. Sulzberger, in his book The Fall of Eagles

 

 

 

 

 

Death Sucks

Dying is something I’ve always been afraid of. The thought just freaks my ass out. Not heaven, hell, reincarnation, whatever. What freaks me out is nonexistence. Not coming back.

Dude, it’s not just summer vacation, you’re just flat out gone. FOREVER. Can’t hack it.

I’ve always said that Death is going to have to drag me out kicking and screaming, clutching at the rug, furniture, and doorjambs, trying for just a few more minutes. I still, pretty much, feel that way.

However.

I am starting to get why people get resigned to it as they get older. Maybe not happy, but just, eh, whatever. It’s because everyone they grew up with is dead already, so why the hell stick around?

Not just family, mom, dad, siblings, etc. Not just friends they grew up with, the people they hung with forfreakingever. But the people that made up the background of their lives. The guy down the street they really hated. The schoolteacher who gave them a C minus in history.  That really nice lady who used to give them caramel apples when they trick-or-treated at Halloween.

And then there’s the layer beyond them. Actors, writers, musicians, politicians. People who’ve just always been there. Hell, when Elvis died, how many people just said “Fuck it!”

It’s just freaking weird to think of an old friend, neighbor or nemesis and realize there’s a blank space where they used to be. Is everything they were gone, too? All the things they said, what they did, what they loved, hated, is that gone? Is all that just nothing? Isn’t that weird? And wrong?

I mean, Harlan Ellison just died! Harlan Freaking Ellison! He was part of my life for the last forty-odd years in one way or another, and now he’s just gone? What the hell! David Bowie, gone. Robert Parker, gone. Michael Jackson, gone. Sue Grafton, gone. Bam, bam, bam, the hits just keep on coming. All these empty damned spaces.

I’m not religious. I’m not an atheist. I just don’t know. I’d like there to be more after this, whatever the hell it is. Cause seriously, this whole death thing?

Major suckage.

 

First Draft Suckage

The important thing with writing is not to let yourself get discouraged by first draft suckage.

Tell the editor in your head to fuck off, and let the words flow. Doesn’t matter if it’s the worst drivel to be put on paper in the history of the world. The important thing is that you’re writing.

Write, write, write.

Then, when you’ve finally finished puking up that first draft — EDIT.  Rip that puppy to shreds. Make it better. Work through as many drafts as you need to until you’ve got it where you want it to be.

Then work on it some more.

Writing’s not easy. Fun, yes, but not easy. However, it is a hell of a lot better than not writing.

Not writing is the true suckage.

Unbridled Happiness, Joy and FUCK YES!

I write. A lot. But I’ve only ever printed out about half of it. The rest of it has been stored on the site where I post it.

But Leigh Ann, you say, what if technology fails and you no longer have access to the Web? What if all your wondrous words are lost to the winds of time. (heh)

Well, you don’t need to worry. My words are now SAFE.

I know, I know. But I’m a child of the paper age. It’s not real for me unless I can hold it in my hands. I can’t tell you just how much pleasure it gives me to look at my bookshelves and see all of my hard work sitting there. If I never write another word (HA!), at least I have that.

What – The – Hell?!!!?

The human subconscious is a freaking weirdo.

I have my share of messed up dreams. I can usually figure out where they came from, but I have no clue where tonight’s horror show originated. I just know I’m not even going to approach sleep again until I get a little awake time first. So here I am.

How, exactly, does one get from a dream about taking a cat to the vet for some weird illness to a dream about the cat’s illness turning into an horrific, Stephen King-type of melting disease that is communicable to humans? And then I have to dream through the progress of the disease on the poor freaking cats and THEN watch some hapless nurse get infected. And on top of that, there’s some idiot doctor refusing to put the cats down because their suffering doesn’t matter as much as the information gleaned from the disease.

What the hell? I don’t read those kind of books, or watch those kind of films. Haven’t for years. Why put myself through that kind of horror? So for me to dream this bullshit is totally out of the blue. Dinosaurs, yes. Vampires, okay. No biggie. But flesh-eating diseases and suffering felines? Seriously, dude, what the hell?

I don’t want to be up all night. But neither do I want to revisit that freak show. So I am now going to listen to Nero Wolfe solve a murder. Nero Wolfe always wins. There is always — if not a happy ending — justice. That works for me.

And no more melting cats. Please.

Moving – Yet Again

Moving is never easy, especially when you’re getting older. I had hoped that we’d be staying in the Austin area, but it is not to be.

We are looking at relocating to the Pacific Northwest, Washington State, specifically. Next summer. There are several different reasons, but one of the biggest is the heat. Slash humidity. It’s brutal. Not Vegas brutal, granted, but difficult all the same. I love OR and WA, lived there where I was a kid and a few years as an adult. It’s beautiful and, as long as I stay out of the mountains, won’t have to worry about huge amounts of soul-crushing snow. Heh.

Anyway, we’re thinking about Port Angeles. My youngest son and his wife live not too far away. It’s near the water and not too big. It has a community theatre, dog park, an inside swimming pool with therapy classes. Looks good.

So now it’s just a question of weeding our possessions before we move instead of after. Luckily I’ll still be able to work for the same company. I work at home and I can join their virtual team. Thank God. I loathe job hunting.

I don’t regret Austin, at all. It was what we needed at the time . We have a lovely house with a nice big fenced yard, and the move got me my job, which I hope to hang on to until retirement. But it’s time to move on.

Addicted

When I’m sad, or depressed, or whatever, there is one thing that never fails to pull me back from the brink of “kill me now”.

Books.

Not just reading them, but writing them, reading about them, reading about authors, hanging out with writers and other readers online.

It’s a thing.

And yes, I spend too much money on books, but tough. At least it’s not crack cocaine. Or chocolate.

Stupidity is a Hard Habit to Break

Every once in a while a memory will rear up and smack me in the face and I’ll be “OMG, I can’t believe I did that/didn’t do that/said that/didn’t speak up/whatever the hell it was I did/didn’t do.

Yeah, I know, there’s nothing we can do about stuff we did in the past, but man, I really wish I didn’t have so much stupid to regret.

And yes, I also know we can’t live in the past, we have to move forward.

Blah, blah, freaking blah.

I don’t want to constantly beat myself up for all the crap I’ve pulled in the past, but I don’t want to forget about it either. Forgetting about it just makes it more likely I’ll do it again. After all, a lot of stupid shit we do happens not with malice aforethought, but just because we’re not paying attention.

Yesterday I was thinking about how life is a work in progress and all we can do is keep working, keep trying to be better. For some reason a book I read years ago came to mind. Can’t remember the name offhand, but one of the plot lines involved a group of women who voluntarily had their tongues cut out as a form of protest against violence against women.

I thought to myself, well, yeah, I could always cut my tongue out. That’s one way of not saying stupid shit. But then I thought, yeah, but if you keep the stupid shit in your head, you stay stupid forever! At least if you say it out loud, there’s a chance you’ll realize just how insanely stupid it is, and then you can work on deleting it from your brain pan!

Anyway, random thoughts. And a pretty clear view of just how my brain works. Scary, isn’t it?

Oh, and the book was ‘The World According to Garp.’ Thank you, Google.