Friday, August 30, 2013

Peer Pressure (Fiction Friday One, revised)

There is peer pressure when you're a teen, but there is also a fair bit as one gets...older. We won't get into how old. And it isn't pressure as much as thinking "well, if they can do that so can I> The "they" in this situation are two friends of mine. I haven't asked if I can link to their blogs, but I will. And if I can add a link I'll do a second post with that info.

Link because yes, their blogs are interesting, but mainly they have both been brave enough to start posting fictional work. Fictional Friday, as they are calling it. I too want to be a writer. Yes, I'm writing right now. Don't be a smart ass. I want to be a REAL writer.

So I have been reading what they've written and dang my friends be smart. I am not thinking "if they can write, so can I" because, well, that wouldn't make any sense. What I am thinking is "if they can be brave enough to put what they are working on out there, so can I". My first entry is short, but if I put it off until I have a whole chapter blogs will be a thing of the past and I'll be six feet underground. I'd rather try the now instead of ending up with the never. So here we go, however brief, my first Fictional Friday entry:

Everyone dreams. Or at least they used to, and it mattered. Perhaps I should start this whole tale with “once upon a time”.

Once upon a time everyone dreamed. They remembered their dreams, they talked about their dreams and it mattered. Not in the needing-a-good-night’s-rest sense of the word but rather in a world – with-end sense of the word. This may seem an extreme statement to you, but I can assure you that the real flesh and blood world we live in only exists as it does because the not so flesh and blood world of dreams exists. Symbiosis, and most humans aren’t even aware that this is how our world works.

There are doorways between the two. Some people go there when they dream, but – so far – very few from the world of dreams and nightmares have made the journey here. And the reason it is only a few is because there are guardians out there standing watch, protecting us. Gatekeepers. This was a surprise to me too, but I can tell you that as fewer and fewer people dream, and work on remembering their dreams, the harder it is to keep the doors from being breached. And if the doors become open on both sides then every creature ever dreamt of – including those that haunt our nightmares – will come pouring through; they hunger to be real. And that would be both the beginning and end of everything.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Frankly Tired of Frank.

I finished reading a book last week (the name of which I’ve forgotten, as I have finished several more in the interim) that had a main character who was fond of saying “Frank by name, Frank by nature”.

The other characters got tired of the saying because he used it too often. I got tired of it because it reminded me of real life. Not, as one might think, because I know Franks who are too Frank. I’ve only known two: one, no longer with us was a friend’s father. At least for the time I knew him, he was a kind and quiet man. Never really understood the marriage but given that I was a teenager at the time all I really thought was “hmmm. I’d be murderous married to her”.

I now know a number of couples where I wonder why one nice partner is married to someone I wouldn’t even consider rooming with for a week. I think about the oddness of it more than I did as a teen, but for the most part I just go with what a wise friend once told me (hey, Hildy, how goes it?): you don’t know everything that goes on in a marriage. True enough. And just because something wouldn’t work for me doesn’t mean it can’t work for someone else. Even if I want to run and shake sense into someone about to jump into one of the “but why on EARTH would you marry HER” situations. Not my situation, not my marriage.

Boy, I sure can digress, yes? The other Frank is alive and well and I think in all the years I’ve known him I’ve heard one solitary harsh comment from him.

All of which brings me to the point of today’s post: telling someone that you “don’t play games” or “say it like it is” or that “I may be brash but I’m honest” has become the secret preamble code for “I’m a dick, and I don’t care whose feelings I hurt, or what harm I do with what I’m about to say”. I, for one, am tired of it.

Not playing games when you speak means you don’t lie, it isn’t a license to tell someone that they need to lose weight, (not to hurt your feelings or anything but have you noticed you’re fat?) and walk away having done a good deed. You haven’t done anything good at all. Fat people know they’re fat. Smokers know smoking isn’t healthy. No one gets “over” a mental illness by being told (I heard this just the other day, truly) to “pull yourself together and get on with life”.

I know this isn’t new. I know that we’re all tired of things like “nothing personal, but” followed by something extremely personal. It just seems like “telling it like it is” has become a statement that people utter with pride. And I’m bewildered.