Month: July 2008

Viagra, Birth Control and Rabindranath Tagore

Not long ago Senator John McCain fumbled a bit when responding to a reporter’s question concerning health care, meds, and funding. Basically, she asked what the Senator thought about Viagra being covered by health insurance when birth control wasn’t. After a pretty lengthy pause, you might say a pregnant pause, he basically said he would have to investigate the subject a bit because he didn’t know the facts.

Balls.

I’ve no interest in hovering above my little electronic soapbox and ranting this way and that, but I’m losing my mind this year listening to politicians. At what point does the insanity stop? Since I began this post about a week and half ago (apologies for the delay) it’s been an endless supply of things that make my head hurt.

How difficult would it have been for Senator McCain to simply say that for Viagra to be covered by health insurance while birth control isn’t doesn’t make any sense? If he was feeling semi-witty he could have said that it was nuts. I suppose when you’re afraid of alienating the religious right, a group that has already made it clear they’re not overly jazzed about the Republican nominee, it’s more difficult than you might think.

I was listening to NPR on the way home a few days ago and another reporter was covering voters in New Mexico, a state some say could become relatively important in the upcoming election. Interviewed were Democrats who said they would refuse to vote this year because Senator Clinton wasn’t the nominee and Republicans who would probably vote but didn’t like or respect Senator McCain because he had the gall to work and make compromises with Democrats.  

How is this happening? How and when did we simply wave goodbye to rationality?

Where The Mind is Without Fear 
by Rabindranath Tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Introduction, Part Two

While I’ve spent the last couple of days sifting through possibilities for the focus of this Blog, I’m no closer to establishing a firm, central theme.

So be it.

If the purpose is to grow as a writer, to learn new things, to possibly teach a thing or two to others, a central theme might not be as important as it initially seemed. In fact, with time and work the “central theme” might evolve naturally.   

Dig it.

So, and forgive me for being ridiculously optimistic for a moment, if there’s a topic, idea, theory, or anything at all you’d like to see this post give a little attention, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me. I’d love to oblige.

Introduction, Part One

Early morning, July 4th

2008

 

I don’t know if this is common, but quite often when writing fiction I start with an image. Almost always my stories begin once I see or hear about or imagine a single moment. One story began with a woman crying on a patio, a glass of wine in her hand; another with a man walking slowly down a sidewalk, leaning heavily on a cane and grimacing at a couple he passed. Sometimes they’re real moments – something that catches my eye as I’m sitting at a bar or having coffee on a patio. Sometimes they’re nothing more than the visual commentary that happens from time to time during a conversation. And sometimes they just appear, clear and bright in my mind and I dig through my saddlebag so I can jot down the details before they slip away.  

 

One image still tumbling about yet to find a story to hold it is an older woman, elegant, lovely, and sitting at a table sipping something cool from a tumbler. She’s wearing a crisp, light, summer dress and chats with a group of other women, laughing and nodding. Only when you look down past the hem of her dress do you see a colorful tattoo wrapped around her ankle. I can’t wait to find out what her story is.

 

Clearly, writing in a marketing department is a different story. It’s a process that doesn’t come naturally to me, so it’s often much more of a challenge than my fiction. It’s also really gratifying when I do it well. When a campaign I wrote generates X amount of sales it’s rewarding. It also lets me know I won’t need to find another bartending gig for at least the next few weeks so that doesn’t stink, either.

 

But a Blog… it’s something that’s tossed and turned in my mind for years and I’ve always come up with one reason or another not to begin. Not enough time, not enough energy, not a clue what to write about. One, after another, after another.

 

Enough.

 

If I’m going to grow as a writer it’s time to let go of excuses and actually make growth a priority. To quit talking and thinking and postponing and just write. What on Earth I’m going to write about is still a bit up in the air, but that’s for next time. Now that I’ve started I’m actually pretty jazzed to find out what that’ll be, too. Until then, happy birthday, America.