#Blogtoberfest Day 5: Social Media Makes You Stupid

I believe that people aren’t normally stupid. Dysfunction, inauthenticity makes people look stupid. Social media actually makes people do stupid. It dulls your brain, your thinking ability, lessens your communication/people skills.

Take writing, for example. It’s often been said that you need to exercise your writing muscle and write every day or most days to stay strong. So inactivity weakens that writing muscle. And if you’re inactively writing because you’re sharing photos and likes on social media, your brain becomes lazy.

And so I sit here day after day this October unable to focus on writing a scene. It’s like when I first started writing, only worse. Back then, it took me all day to actually sit down and write a scene. I had good intentions of starting my writing day int he morning. But I couldn’t get anything out of my head until about 4 p.m.

Now I’d be happy if I could do that. Instead, my brain is jello, my attention span is ridiculously short. It’s easier to flip through youtube channels, peek into Twitter, and play a game on my iPad. I might read, but even that seems like a challenge – all of that focus on understanding content.

This is sad and must come to an end. I must sit down  and write every day to get that flabby writing muscle in shape. Even music has become a crutch – it’s easier to open up Logic Pro and start auditioning Apple loops or keyboard a few midi notes.

Maybe that’s what #Blogtoberfest is all about for me – getting my writing muscle back in shape. A daily blog post is the warm-up, hopefully leading to writing a sentence, a paragraph, a page, three pages maybe. That used to come so easily. But one thing I’m noticing is that I feel such peace when I’m sitting down and actually writing something… anything.

 

Beyond the Sea: Playlist Tribute to My Father

It’s been a rough month and a month of celebration at the same time. Besides losing Skipper, our 18-year-old cat who was more son than pet, my father passed away this week, exactly two weeks after Skipper.

Some of you know the story. After I met him as an adult, I wrote about it in Myths of the Fatherless, to share some of the epiphanies I had had after that experience. That biological fathers matter in a special way that no step father, no matter how special, can.

On the fiction front, I also wrote Letters on Balboa Island. He absolutely loved it. Maybe because he saw himself in the lead character, Rick. Rightly so, as I imagined him as I wrote the novel.

My heart is breaking in so many ways but mostly because I just didn’t have enough time with him. But I will cherish the memories I do have and the connection we had as father/daughter, the things we loved, like music (especially Jazz, crooners like Sinatra), fine dining, wine, seeing the world through a romantic lens and Las Vegas, where you can/could experience all of the above.

He was definitely larger than life and he will be missed by many.

John Holmes, 1933-2018

The songs in this playlist are songs that come to mind as I remember him, as I rejoice in our good-bye hug when he pulled me close as I started to pull away and he held me tighter, and for the father/daughter dance I play in my head as I feel a Heavenly dance when he reaches out to me with a promise of things to come.

I will always treasure his words, “I’ll always have San Francisco,” where my parents honeymooned before he was shipped overseas and where I lived for 23 years. So, of course, I wrap up this playlist with Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

Time to Retreat to my Writing Cave

We’ve returned from my super fun birthday trip to Mexico. The sad thing was that after we landed at LAX and picked up our rental car, we got a call from the pet sitter that our beloved 18-year-old Skipper was gone.

He was more son than pet. He’d been having good days and bad days but he kept rebounding, so I was hopeful he’d still be around when we returned. So with a heavy heart, we soldiered on with the trip, knowing that Skipper would want us to have a great time.

Friends and family told us that Skipper chose his way to go and, while no way would be easy, this would be best for all of us. That sounds like Skipper because he definitely did things his way. He was King of our house for 18 years!

My cats have taught me many things and Skipper has given me somewhat of a sense of what it must feel like to have a son or daughter go off to college, although I realize it’s not the same, but it does give me a peek into that emotion. I like to think he ran off to Nashville to pursue a music career or enroll in Culinary School. lol!

Anyway, because of this sadness, I’ve really pulled back from my music. I need a break. It’s too much of an Exfrovert pursuit right now for this Introvert, and I need to retreat, be quiet, and take time to grieve.

I am inspired to write, though. It’s quieter, more introspective, and after watching “The Durrells,” I’m inspired by writer Larry. I miss that kind of writing life.

So no 50/90 for me this year. Instead, I’m working on the third book of the “Real Women” trilogy, the one about Sandy cruising the Mexican Riviera, searching for her self-esteem and purpose in life.

In the meantime, why not check out the first two books in the trilogy: Real Women Wear Red and Real Women Go Hawaiian. For a limited time, you can get a special edition of Real Women Wear Red that includes book 2, Real Women Go Hawaiian.