The blog for The Solitaire Rose Experience. Yes, the blog revolution is utterly and completely over. However, I haven't figured that out yet, so I'll be listing articles, ideas, links, and other internet debris. Now, you can join in! And be mocked mercilessly!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

What I'm thinking about today

What I’m thinking about right now

-I have GOT to make sure I get into my bed, put the novel down and go to sleep at a decent time. I am SO tired on weekdays, simply because I don’t want to go to sleep until 6 hours before I have to be up to go to work.

-The training manual is huge. I wonder if it counts as a novel. It’s got more words than last year’s NaNo novel already.

-My friend Thommy just sent me the first 10 pages or so of the new movie he wants to shoot. It’s a cool idea, but it seems more like a skit than a movie…

-Right now. As I type. My Tivo is filling. I should get a 100 hour Tivo by the time the fall season starts. *sigh*

-I can’t say that the Cobra Starship album is any good, but I like listening to it. In fact, it’s not very good at all. Let me play it again, hold on.

-I read an article in the New Yorker about the French election and it struck me that the US is rapidly becoming just like France. Maybe the reason the right wing hates France so much is the Freudian principle of projection. They see all the things they hate about themselves (stubborn belief that their culture is superior and all others are garbage, failed colonization, poor long-term planning, contempt for international bodies and what the rest of the world thinks, fixation on the past and no thought to the future).

-I have never watched more than a couple of minutes of American Idol, but I feel bad for Sanjaya. He’s a 17 year old kid who is thrust on the national stage, told he’s amazingly untalented and that he is the downfall of An American Institution. If I was in that situation at 17, I’d end up in the hospital mumbling into a pillow and clutching a sock monkey.

-I still don’t want to write or say anything at length about the Virginia Tech shooting. I will point out that we have discovered the shooter was severely mentally ill, there were TONS of signs that he was severely mentally ill, and our system did nothing for him. And for the people who say that these kinds of killings are “Brand New”, thanks for proving to me that we have forgotten our history. Do some research…spree killings have been around as long as weapons have been around.

-One of my friends is going through a severe bout of bi-polar, so bad that I am worried that they may never come out of it. It’s painful to see them struggle to have rational thoughts when I know they are an intelligent, creative person under the mania.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Things I'm thinking about today

Things I am thinking about right now:

1. The big Training Manual presentation went well. Really well. Combine that with the other feedback I am getting, and this j0ob is a great fit for both me and the department I’m with. It’s been so long since I’ve felt like I’ve been good at my job that it’s a new, fresh feeling.
2. The novel stalled over the weekend, due to working a shift at the group home and some personal stuff. Back on it tonight, and will be done with the first chapter. Helen is a great character, and I love her dearly.
3. Just because I love a character in one of my novels doesn’t mean they get to live.
4. The school shooting today is a reminder that our mental health system blows, and I believe than in 100 years, people will look back on us, the same way we look back on Medieval barbers.
5. The Imus story has split along almost predictable lines. Right-wingers are using it to go after music they don’t like, left-wingers are using it to go after radio hosts they don’t like.
6. If Imus were in Central Illinois or Iowa instead of New York, no one would have said a damn thing.
7. Speaking of the shift I did over the weekend, I have decided that I will not be able to do the two job dance any more. I need two days off a week.
8. I’m not on AIM or other chat programs much any more. Not because I don’t like them, but because I have other things to do. And I like the fact that I have more to do in the real world instead of the cyber world.
9. I am enjoying blogging more now, however.
10. The inventor of a kind of soda with Anti-Oxidents will be a hell of a rich person.
11. Somewhere along the line, I became a person that other people see as calm and zen-like. People were telling me that a couple of years ago, but I’m now starting to accept it as who I am.
12. I was told Saturday night that I have a nice build and a great smile. And I didn’t say anything self-derogatory.
13. I find myself extraordinarily interested in other people lately and spent a lot of time asking what they think about things. I worry that I sound like James Lipton.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

LA TImes poll

One of the things that has been talked about almost incessantly in the shwodown between the White House and Congress over the funding bill is that EVERY pundit on TV has reminded us that the American people want Congress to "support the soldiers", and the last time there was a funding showdown, Congress lost and Bill Clinton became even more popular.

I maintain that everything is different now.

Not just because there is a growing section of the American people who just want to pull out of Iraq. Not just because Bill Clinton was already popular when he and Congress had their budget showdown. Not just becaiuse the showdown with Clinton was about funding for National Parks and Republican Senator's pet projects. Not just because Clinton was a MASTER of getting the American people on his side of an issue.

It's because when Bush throws one of his tantrums, most people now see it for what it is. Unfettered arrogance and an unwillingness to consider anything other than getting his way. Bush is probably the most profoundly uppopular President in recent memory (I'd wager he is more unpopular than Nixon was, polls notwithstanding) and when it comes to working with the public, he fails. The more he campaigned on his Social Security plan, the less popular it got. The more he pulls the Iraq/9-11 card (as he did two weeks ago infront of a backdrop of soldiers), the more people see it as sheer pandering.

But, there really hasn't been anything that says if he does refuse to even TALK to Congress about a pull-out in Iraq and tries to pull a power struggle, he'd lose. Here's the poll that hints he might, and the relevant question is about halfway down the page. It says that people favor witholding funding until Bush sets a deadline for troop withdrawl by 45% to 43%.

If I were working in the White House, this poll would be very bad news. Yes, there is only a 2% difference between the two sides, but Bush has shown that the more he pushes something, the less popular it becomes...and with FOX News's ratings falling faster than Don Imus's job prospects, the only Bully in Bush's Bully pulpit is Cheney threatening nuclear attack if they don't get their way.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Way to go, McCain, I'm sure a Medal of FFreedom is on the way

The latest massacre of Iraqi children came as 21 Shia market workers were ambushed, bound and shot dead north of the capital. The victims came from the Baghdad market visited the previous day by John McCain, the US presidential candidate, who said that an American security plan in the capital was starting to show signs of progress.

That's right, "Walnuts" McCain said that things were so great in Iraq that Americans could walk around some neighborhood unguarded, and the Military Commander in Iraq often drove around Baghdad in an unarmored Humvee. When reporters and soldiers questioned his sanity in making such a statement, he flew to Iraq and walked around.

With over 100 soldiers around him out of camera range. Wearing body armor. With two helicopter gunships guarding him. But, amazingly, he wasn't attacked. However, this happens a day later.

That's right, Walnuts, Iraq is perfectly safe and everything is going great. We should ALL praise Godly Bush for saving that country from a brutal dictator who was hung for ordering the death of 140 Iraqi civilians. Oddly enough, more than 140 Iraqi civilians have already died this week in the ongoing violence that we seem unable to stop.

But it's Clinton's fault. Or Congress's fault. Or 9/11 fault. Where are we currently placing the blame for the colossal screw ups in this war...I can't keep track any more.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The start of a new novel

I haven’t posted for a while…anyone miss me?

I started work on the 3rd zombie novel in what I want to pitch as a series (so, if anyone knows a decent publisher other than Gold Eagle for a horror/action series, I’d really like to know), and rather than do it full-out as a NaNoWriMo thing, I’m just going to write 1000 words a day until it’s done. I see it as about 75K, but since the plot outline is purposefully sketchy, it could be longer or shorter. Hard to say, really, since I’m only 2000 words in.

Unlike the other two novels, which were written as ensemble pieces, this one is being written from the perspective of a 20-ish woman who has been fairly isolated and sheltered since civilization fell and has to go through the process of learning not only how to be self-reliant after being taken care of by other people for the last 6 years or longer, I don’t have her background pre-zombie written up yet. I can tell I’m not going to like her at first, since I tend to have little patience for characters who can’t “rise to the occasion”. Most of my protagonists are capable people who have to overcome internal doubts and fears as they struggle to figure out how to survive, or are reluctant heroes whose struggle is to give up what they have for The Hero’s Journey.

Helen is going to be whiny, self-pitying, and clingy, and her journey is become a separate person who can stand on her own.

The plot will have her meeting up with the characters from the other two novels and seeing them as someone new, rather than someone who has been with them, so it will also give me a way to re-examine what I want as a long-term plan for the novel series character-wise. I’m also going to start planting plot points that wont’ pay off until later books, which is one of the things I like about series novels.

On top of all of that, I’m going to keep in with the social observation buried as horror plot like Romero did in “Dawn”, “Day” and “Land” of the dead, since that’s what draws me to the genre in the first place.

I need to finish posting the NaNo novel I did from last year as well. It’s all done, and went around 65K, but I quit putting it in the LJ I set up for it when I got behind in the writing in November. I’m wondering if I should post this one as well, or just e-mail to a few people so they can give me feedback. I’ll let You, constant reader, decide.

I also watched “Silent Movie” by Mel Brooks for the first time last night…and anyone who says it is a “satire” of silent movies doesn’t know the definition of satire. Most of the gags were just old Silent Movie gags that had been done by Buster Keaton, Charlie Chase or Harold Lloyd, and the few that were new were just bits he’d done in previous movies without sound. It was funny, and it had the wonderful spirit of an old Mack Sennet silent, but it wasn’t a satire like “Blazing Saddles” or :”Young Frankenstein” was.

There, I think that’s a scattered enough update. I could go on about the odd conversation I had with a cute blonde at the coffee house, but it’s just another reminder that since I’ve re-opened myself up to being a weirdness magnet, the odd experiences are starting to slowly come back.