Linda G. Hill

Life in progress


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#JusJoJan 2018, the 22nd – Liberty

People take such liberties these days, don’t they? Yeah, I know I sound like I’m going into a “back in my day” rant, but it really does seem to me that the meaning of “free speech” has somehow gotten skewed. Free speech means that one is free to say whatever they want, yeah. We have the legal right to speak, as long as it’s not to falsely malign or spread hate. But it’s a legal right, not a moral one.

Used to be that people were polite. Then again, it used to be that people spoke face to face, or at least over the phone. These kids with their technology, they hide behind their screens in their dark little basement rooms and say whatever they want and damn the consequences. It ain’t right, I tell ya! It just ain’t right.

Such liberties.

This old-folk rant, courtesy of my birthday, is brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word “liberty,” provided by Capt Jill! Thank you so much, Jill! She hadn’t posted for the prompt yet at the publishing of this post, but you can find her blog by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.


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#JusJoJan 2018, the 16th – Contemplation

As a writer, I spend a lot of time contemplating the stories that form in my head. At my worst, during my most creative spells, my mind blocks out everything going on around me. I become consumed, beyond contemplation, in my own world. I get to the point where I’m not telling the stories anymore, rather the stories are telling me what is and isn’t true. I’m not imagining; I’m listening.

So it’s rather a shock when my beta readers tell me I should take out a scene because it makes them uncomfortable. I don’t blame the readers; I appreciate their input and I understand their discomfort. But I’ve lost two betas at the same spot in the second book in my series, “The Great Dagmaru,” in the last week, and that makes me wonder if they’re not right. My guilty conscience for making people uncomfortable is warring with the writer in me who says the scene in question IS part of the story. It’s what happened. So changing it or removing it comes to the same result: compromising the story’s truth.

I have a feeling that if I leave the scene in, it’s either going to make or break my entire series. The readers who realized it needed to be in there enjoyed it (or tolerated it) because it made them feel uncomfortable – it’s what it’s meant to do. Those who hated it may end up hating me. Should I be hoping at this point that it will push enough buttons, whether positive or negative, to make the book go viral? On the other hand, maybe it’s not all that bad, in the hands of the right audience. Speaking of which, note to all the readers who thought The Magician’s Curse should have been categorized as “Young Adult”: the second book will prove to be distinctly “Adult.”

Stay true to your story and publish without fear, says most of me: Write to please people with a story fit for Hollywood, the part of me that wants to bow to the more sensitive readers says.

Lots to contemplate. Opinions are welcome.

This contemplative and rather undecided post is brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word “contemplation,” provided by Cheryl! Thank you so much, Cheryl! You can find Cheryl’s JusJoJan post by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.

 


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#JusJoJan 2018, the 12th – Aggravate

Things are going from bad to worse with my mother, and smoking is once again the culprit. For those of you who missed it, I wrote a post in November (click here for that post) about my mother’s tendency to fall and break bones when she went outside for a cigarette at the retirement residence where she lives. Before I discovered that she was falling because she was sitting on the seat of her walker and taking the brakes off before she stood up, the nurses took her smokes away from her, which necessitated that she ask for one so someone would know she was going out. She got a walker without a seat, and she got her cigarettes back. It was all fine and dandy until last week.

They caught her smoking in her room. They took her cigarettes away, and this time they’re not giving them back. She can still smoke any time she wants, she just has to get one on her way out the door. Not a big deal, right? Not if you don’t know my mother.

When she was caught, she apparently didn’t know she was doing anything wrong. The nurse that called me said she walked into my mum’s room and asked politely for her cigarettes. My mother handed them over willingly. Her senile dementia is, of course, the reason it is now a problem.

Now, she:

  1. Has forgotten that she smoked in her room.
  2. Says they’re accusing her of smoking in her room because they can smell smoke on her jacket.
  3. Says they shouldn’t have gone into her room when she wasn’t there and taken her cigarettes.
  4. Says the nurse who said she was smoking in her room is a liar.
  5. Phones me 10 times a day to ask me if I have something to do with the fact that her cigarettes are with the nurses.
  6. Phones me 10 times a day to ask me where her cigarettes are.
  7. Complains to the nurses 20 times a day that she should be able to have her cigarettes back because she doesn’t smoke in her room.
  8. Complains to the management that the nurses are lying and she wants her cigarettes back.

All this finally came to a head two days ago when the management called me, clearly aggravated, to say that when someone with dementia gets to the point that their forgetfulness causes them anxiety, it’s necessary to start considering a nursing home.

Perhaps there’s someone out there who can verify that this is a fact, perhaps they’re just getting tired of answering the same questions 20 times a day. All I know is if my mother goes into a nursing home, there will be no more smoking, and she’s only going to go downhill that much faster.

I don’t know what to do. Explaining things to her–even if she understands, which she usually doesn’t–has no lasting effect. I feel like putting her into a home is tantamount to condemning her.

Aren’t I cheerful today?

The above paragraphs of moroseness are brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word “aggravate,” provided by Fandango! Thank you so much, Fandango! You can find Fandango’s JusJoJan post by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.


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#JusJoJan 2018, the 7th – Indelible

I don’t remember if it was in response to a comment or just his general opinion, but I once wrote a letter to the husband of a friend, explaining why I had tattoos. This was years ago now, so I also can’t recall what, exactly, was in the letter, but apparently the writing of it made an indelible impression on me.

I can, however, tell you what made me get my tattoos. My first was a rose on my ankle, which reminded me of my father. Roses were his favourite flower. The dragon on my chest is close to an image I was obsessed with as a young teen. I drew it everywhere. My butterfly on the back of my neck was for the emergence of my life as a mother. I’ve had two more since I wrote the letter, but those three are the ones I have the most connection with. The memories that required me to have an indelible mark placed upon me, so that I’d never forget.

Strangely, I find my tattoos comforting. They are a guarantee that as long as I can still see, I’ll know that I had a life worth writing the story of on my skin.

This rather introspective post was brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word “indelible,” provided by Ruth! Thank you so much, Ruth! You can find Ruth’s JusJoJan post by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.


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#JusJoJan 2018, the 5th – Memories

It seems to me that memories are like family recipes. They might be passed down religiously, but in time they morph into what fits, depending on the recollections–or the ingredients–at hand.

To me, the saddest thing in life is that our memories of loved ones, of relatives who have passed on, fade. Perhaps that’s what makes them so precious.

Shibuya, Tokyo, December 2015

 

This post is brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word, “memories,” provided by Cage Dunn! Thank you so much, Cage! You can find Cage’s blog by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.


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#JusJoJan 2018, the 2nd – Boisterous

I’ve never been boisterous. Such activity exhausts me, even watching it. Which doesn’t mean I’m not often on-the-go, but you won’t find me jumping around.

I purposely chose the calmest dog in the litter. This is him being boisterous beside me.

Lack of boisterousness, it seems to me, is taking on a new face in the world. I imagine at one point it meant walking slowly for miles to get to school (uphill both ways, of course), or steadily working on whatever needed to get done. In present times there is no need, often, to leave our homes to get the things we want. More people than in decades are working and learning at home–I was going to say more than in history, but it’s like somehow we’re going back to the same scenario when people were home-taught by their parents and worked the land. Only now we’re stationary, working and learning at home from long distances. Human interaction, like the old days when farmers rarely saw anyone outside their families, is slowly reverting to minimal, but for different reasons and by different means.

Wow. That took a rather un-boisterous philosophical turn, didn’t it? Something to think about.

This post is brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word, “boisterous,” provided by Dan! Thank you so much, my friend! You can find Dan’s JusJoJan post by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.


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#SoCS – Make Me

There are times when motivation to see results is enough to get me to do the things I need to do, like dishes, or cooking for my kids so they don’t starve (okay, most of that is complaining, but whatever), or writing something so other people can read it. But other times, procrastination has a louder voice in my head. Facebook taunts me to see what the next thing on my newsfeed will be, and all the while procrastination is screaming, “Make me! Make me sweep the floor!” like an errant toddler.

Because really, procrastination is like a stubborn child. Think about it. It does what IT wants to do, not what’s gotta be done. It only cares about itself. It’s greedy and doesn’t like to share us with its grown-up counterpart, Responsibility.

It’s no wonder we need nice, shiny things to keep us motivated a lot of the time. In our everyday lives, when all is well and we’re stuck in our daily routines, something shiny is what we look forward to. To reach for. It’s no wonder I get more writing done during NaNoWriMo, what with that lovely graph to reach the top of. Something you might be able to relate to as a blogger, if you’re not an author, is the stats page. Who doesn’t want to get to the next level? Get more views than the year before? (Yes, I know some of you don’t pay attention to stats. Weirdos.) Goals. We all need goals. Otherwise, life is static.

So I’m off to do something I’m supposed to do. And not feed the screaming toddler. (Procrastination–I don’t mean my kids.)

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you by the letters “S,” “O,” and “C,” and by the Procrastination Television Network. Come and play! Everything’s A-OK! 😉 https://lindaghill.com/2017/09/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-917/ Click the link and join in!