Madame Death

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Tooth & Nail

When did things become so beige?
Everyone seems to be ok with vanilla, beige, banal, homogenized and normcore, it seems to be everywhere now.

And when did “book publishing day” turn into a Wedding Day event? I only ask because the book pre-order ritual has turned into the book industry’s very own version of the Wedding Registry.

I am still slogging my way through 1885, and like everyone else, I have been preoccupied and keeping an eye on the news, but I am only allowing myself 3 hours of doom-scrolling and then I shut it off.

Because of Covid-19, the internet has turned into our main source of connecting with one another, which can be a blessing but unfortunately, it is also detrimental for any type of creativity to sustain itself, especially writing.

Recently, I found myself craving a sort of anonymous virtual artificial creative working companionship to keep me company...

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The Big Dark

As I watch this dystopian nightmare play out on my devices, everything feels like real-life Black Mirror.

First, the weather report:
It is really really dark here on the Oregon Coast. I see a few of my neighbors lights on, otherwise it is quiet and very dark.

The Big Dark has officially arrived.

The rainy season is here. As soon as it gets dark outside I am ready to get to work. Bonus if there is a windy rainstorm.

On the Oregon Coast, there are a few different shades of dark.

  • Summer Twilight Dark
  • Autumn Midnight Dark
  • Winter Black Hole Dark <- - - - we are here
  • Spring Grey/Gray Dark

I heard an owl hooting - and much to my extreme delight, I just heard a response. A call and response, they are communicating in a language that is millions of years old.

Right now, I am currently in my element that works best for my mental health and creative output. The summer hell-scape...

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Bill Lee

“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on. ”
― William S. Burroughs

“Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.”
― William S. Burroughs

“Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.”
― William S. Burroughs

“I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it.”
― William S. Burroughs

“The first and most important thing an individual can do is to become an individual again, decontrol himself, train himself as to what is going on and win back as much independent ground for himself as possible.”
― William S. Burroughs

“When you stop growing you start dying.”
― William S. Burroughs

“There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business.”
― William S. Burroughs

“Never do business with a religious...

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Mostly Here

I have a million words I have to go through and cut.
On a good day, I can cut 2000 words, and then on another good day, I cut only a paragraph but wrote 1500 words.

This is all the research I did over the past 15 years and putting it all in one cohesive order, which requires a lot of cutting because I find doubles and triples of the same thing and need to cut it.

I work on Scrivner and am working simultaneously between three books, the first one is the big one, the other two are desserts.

When I am working, I listen to a particular type of music, I don’t know who the artists are, or the names of the songs, I just like how it sounds. Apple Tunes made me aware that I guess I like gay disco and afrobeat, ska, with a dash of Arabic dance music. And dank techno that sometimes veers dangerously close to chill hop.

What I like is music that has an interesting beat and bass, but not...

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Clean Slate

I try to stay off of the news cycles but sometimes I get sucked in for an entire day or two. I don’t live in a vacuum, I just don’t like to become fully immersed in everything happening all at once. It is too intense. It will drive me crazy. I marvel at those who live online 24/7 especially on Twitter. I try to keep my news onscreen time to a minimum, it feels healthier. But this week, it was totally worth it.

Today I am back on it. Right now I just finished 1882 and am heading into 1883. Ahhhhh so close I can taste it but still so far away. I started the book in the 1720s and am pretty chuffed I am now this far.

1910ish is about where this one will end and Book 2 will pick up from there, same topic but more Industry type stuff with lots and lots of photos of never before seen items from my collection.

Right now its 1:00 a.m., I got up around 11:30 p.m., ate breakfast, had a cup of...

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Early Ripe, Early Rotten

These twilight Autumn days turning into nights into days into nights, there are no weekends because every night is Friday night.
It feels like there is a suspended tension wire buzzing that doesn’t sleep.
I keep Disappearing in my head 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881 etc
For now, it is an escape. I like it there, I can control the narrative.

I am looking outside my 2020 Window:
The American Civil War 1861-1865
The Flu Pandemic 1918-1919
The Great Depression 1930s
The American Dust-Bowl 1930s
The Rise of Fascism/Nazism 1930s
The McCarthy Era 1950s

We are living in interesting times and I have never felt so grateful to be alive.

Music: Tierra Azul (Nordlight Remix) by Vibrasphere

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Like Flesh, Like Knife

I am currently working on 1877. It feels good to be in a new decade, especially after spending nearly a year working on just the Civil War years.

When I briefly lived in Tennessee for 13 months and then Florida for another 2 months, I can say from first hand experience they were still fighting the war. The Civil War Re-enactors had become an American art form.

I had the privilege of watching the re-enactment of the Battle of Franklin at Carnton. It was as authentic as anything I had ever seen in my life. It was better than any Ted talk. We were given the opportunity to step back in time and watch the Union army just mow down huge swaths of the Confederate Army - and it was all executed on their turf. It was a devastating blow.

From the Carnton website:
“The majority of the combat occurred in the dark and at close quarters. The Battle of Franklin lasted barely five hours and led to...

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Where Flies are Born

I took a few days off of working on the book to ink posters and today I am back at it.

The main working date for the book starts around the beginning of 1800 and ends around 1910-ish, but there are moments when it does venture into the 1700s.

I thought about putting the 1700s section in chronological order, but it is only a few paragraphs and is only used more as an introduction of the topic before that topic Itself becomes much more prominent in the rest of the book. So about a hundred plus years.

I am currently on the second draft and today I will be heading into 1875. That is how close I am and then the third draft! Third draft is the one I have been waiting for, the cutting, the bludgeoning, the re-arranging again and again and again.

It feels like I am finally able to put all those 15 years of research and writing into one long chronological story. It has been an odd journey...

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Unquiet Undark Undone

My husband and I have been in self-quarantine since February, and in October, it will be eight months. My husband plays music to help keep himself grounded, and me, I feel compelled to write. From the moment I get up and after I eat, I am at my writing desk until it is time to go to bed. So, about 15 sometimes 17 hours.

A lot of it is just keeping track of where everything is and where everything needs to go, there is just so much here. Moving photos around in my two clouds to line up with what is on my Scrivner has been a challenge, it is like a map of my book and sometimes I think, oh fuck. Where did I put that? So a lot of my time is not necessarily writing, just a lot of moving blocks of type around and matching up my cloud with what is happening on my Scrivner.

Today I am in a section where I am dealing with not one but five historical events that all occur within the same...

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The Between-Times

I feel like I am sitting in an airlock chamber waiting for the mothership to land and then we can emerge. What will be there waiting for us in the After-Times? As of this writing, I have been under self-quarantine since February.

I read about the Virus in January but it was on March 10, 2020 when I realized things were no longer the same. I took a marking pen and wrote that date on my writing desk, to remind myself that this date is far, far more devastating than 9/11 ever was.

On March 10, I actually felt like the Universe had shifted and we were now experiencing a brand new paradigm. The same thing happened when Windows 5 first went on sale, and the moment everyone had access to their own personal computer, the world changed forever.

Add social media run by nefarious companies into the mix and what we have is a Grade A dystopian nightmare. I wake up every day and I still can’t...

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