Friday, April 7, 2017

Fifty Shades of Cray-Cray

I haven't posted an anti-Trump rant in over a month. This one is way past due. To those of you who still support him, you might want to skip this post. It's not going to be pretty.

Yep, he's cray-cray. And for those who can't figure out
the author's name, "T.M." is for "Two Middle"

Some people think he was sent by God. Some of them are actually pastors, so they have no excuse for making such a claim. They should know better. Yes, Saul of Tarsus did kill Christians before his conversion to the Apostle Paul--but when it happened, he changed so profoundly it was clear to see God's hand at work in his life. Those used by God have been broken, damaged people--that's how everyone knew it was God working through them. Trump, on the other hand, has broken most, if not all seven deadly sins and shows no sign of having changed at all.

Some think he's the antichrist. I must admit, I've entertained this possibility. I did think the antichrist would be smarter, though. He's supposed to be a master manipulator. Okay, Trump seems to have manipulated a lot of people into buying his load of crap, including some I've always considered to be intelligent people. I can't quite figure that out. It's not as if he's an unknown, a white knight riding out of nowhere with claims of being able to save the world, fooling people with his charm and good deeds. And it's not like he's changed--he's still the same old blowhard he's always been, bragging about himself at every opportunity and spending too much time trying to convince himself and the rest of the world that he won the 2016 election by a landslide (he didn't) and that he would have won the popular vote, had it not been for illegal votes cast (he just can't stand to lose, which just might be this country's downfall).

This guy is no savior. He's no champion of the people. He got elected because people were desperate for change. In that respect, both parties failed us. The Democrats gave us the candidate they wanted us to have, who was part of the problem we had with our political system, not a possible solution. They may indeed have been hacked by the Russians, but their hands aren't clean, either. They manipulated things on their end without any help. The Republicans couldn't come up with anybody who could beat Trump in the primaries, which says a lot about the state of their party, too--or had the hacking to win him the election already begun?

Trump may not be a career politician, but he's no outsider, either. He's one of those billionaires who owns the politicians. Like any seasoned politician/snake oil salesman, he told the desperate people what they needed to hear, and used them to rise to power. He's still playing them, while he and his family and cronies use our treasury as their personal ATM. He spends all of his time tweeting nonsense or playing golf, much like Nero was supposed to have fiddled while Rome burned. Nero lived lavishly and behaved inappropriately. He executed his opponents. A Trump role model?

During the 2016 campaign, Trump suggested throwing Hillary Clinton in prison if he were elected. The taxpayers are picking up the tab for his frequent trips to play golf in Florida, Secret Service protection for his children when they travel on Trump family business, and most recently, one hundred Secret Service agents protecting the Trump extended family vacationing in Aspen. Yet he says the government can't afford to cover social programs like school lunches and Meals on Wheels. Healthcare for all is too expensive, he says. He thinks the office he holds makes him above the law. Sounds familiar.... 

In the end, the people who gave him their unconditional support will be the biggest losers. I predict they'll turn on him, and may even try to do away with him. To them, I say don't. He's not worth prison, execution. Anyway, it can't be done without a silver bullet.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Decisions, Decisions...Maybe I Should Just Flip a Coin!

I grew up on a farm, and I'd love to live on one again--with more animals than people around, no kids hitting my front door with their soccer ball, no noisy neighbors, little traffic. But apartment living is much more practical at this point in my life for a number of reasons--for one, I can't drive. Intractable epilepsy makes having a driver's license impossible, along with a number of other activities most people take for granted. Two, arthritis--not only can I not drive, most days I find walking requires a monumental effort. You should see me trying to get off my couch! A small place, easy to keep up with on the cleaning front, makes much more sense. So while I yearn for the solitude of farm life and a good place to set up a telescope and do some serious stargazing, I settle for noisy neighbors and the frequent wail of police sirens. I'm a little fed up with people coming in while we're not home, though. Collin and I both work at home, so we're here 95% of the time. Can't they come while we're here? The day we came home to find our shoe rack rearranged and a strange device on the wall behind our TV, we bought a security camera so we could see what's going on in here while we're out. (It's cool. We can watch what's happening at home from Collin's phone.)


As I grow older, it's also more difficult to read. Cataracts and glaucoma are a nasty combination. Fortunately, my current favorite authors, Janet Evanovich and Jim Butcher, are available through Audible. These days, though, I find myself choosing nonfiction more often than not. Go figure. Ten years ago, it was all fiction all the time--or almost all the time, anyway. I usually steer clear of my publisher's Facebook page these days, as most of the authors there are looking for reviews--you know, "I'll review yours if you review mine." With my vision problems, it would take so long to read just one book for review, I don't volunteer, and I don't ask for reviews. Wouldn't be fair to ask if I can't reciprocate.

I have the same ambivalence as a writer. The ideas are there. The motivation isn't. I can write something funny and it comes as easily as breathing. Mysteries and romance, not so much. What once came effortlessly is now a daily struggle. Eventually, I'll finish something.

Eventually. Maybe.

I hate doing promotion and marketing, though. That's one of the few things I miss about traditional publishing--they did all of that for me. I refuse to do it now, even if it means lower sales. No offense to my fellow authors, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who finds the tsunami of Buy My Book posts on social media annoying. There's promotion, and then there's taking it way too far. Authors are fast replacing proud new parents and grandparents armed with baby photos as the people everyone goes out of their way to avoid. (Have any of you ever seen the episode of I Love Lucy in which Lucy and Ricky are at odds with Fred and Ethel over Ricky's nightly showings of his home movies? I don't want people throwing rocks at me.)

I know self-promotion is a necessary evil for authors trying to build their careers, whether they're self, indie or traditionally published (unless, in the latter case, they're lucky enough to be in one of the top spots on a Big Five publisher's list and the recipient of a portion of their publisher's promotional budget). It's not easy. I've known talented authors who would rather give up writing than have to do their own marketing. Some of them actually have.

Whatever happened to word-of-mouth being the best sales tool? I guess I'll find out....