Posts Tagged With: Revolution

The Annual 4th of July Post


I’m going to preface this entry by saying that I’m a closet rampant Christian.  Or, not closet exactly… I just believe that there’s many ways to reach God and that Christianity is a good one, but I know it doesn’t work for everyone as amazingly well as it works for me. So, I tend to keep quieter than some.  I mean, it’s not like you’re NOT gonna hear the message of Jesus in America today…

I’m putting in this preface because I’m going to get a little religious on you at the end.

I’ve been feeling like a big fuddy-duddy this year about the 4th of July, and if I’m feeling it you better believe it’s bad.  I’m usually all about breaking out the tricorn hat and ’76 flag while humming Stars and Stripes Forever and carrying a sparkler. But America IS NOT living up to what it should be in ways so profound that I’m not even sure we qualify as a democracy at this point.  A fascist oligarchy? Maybe.  Democracy?  I don’t know.  I’m hoping we can get back to a semblance of democracy soon.

I’ve always been a proponent of the fact that the 4th of July is a day to revel in the promise of America, the US that never actually can be because it’s an ideal.  It’s a day to party it up, think of freedom and founding fathers, listen to a little fife music, and gain stamina for the fight to make the actual US match the fantasy US.  If we bathe in the America that could be for a day, we can better work towards that actuality in the coming year. A little bit closer, the years bending toward justice.

I just didn’t want to do that this year.   I see the country standing for so much hatred to the point where we’re not even acknowledging the humanity of children.  Where do we even go from here? Is there a bottom lower than this one?  I don’t want there to be.  I didn’t want to ponder or celebrate America at all right now.

Still, in church this morning we had a little America celebration.  We sang My Country ‘Tis Of Thee and America The Beautiful among other things.  The sermon was on making apologies for deep wrongs.  I sat in that sanctuary, sang all the verses, and found that maybe I did feel okay about celebrating the 4th after all.  Because the Founding Fathers knew that this was a fraught experiment with potential for abuse, but they also knew their scrappy citizens who cling to liberty with both hands.

I want to point you to two verses in each of the songs from this morning:

O beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee.
Till selfish gain no longer stain, the banner of the free!

Our fathers’ God to Thee, Author of liberty, To Thee we sing. Long may our land be bright, With freedom’s holy light, Protect us by Thy might, Great God our King.

I think that this 4th is going to be more of a religious holiday for me this year.  I’ll be praying for everyone to be crowned with brotherhood, for selfish gain to no longer stain the banner of the free, for God to protect us with freedom’s holy light.  I’m hoping that the fireworks will shine like a benediction on these prayers on Wednesday night as they light up the firmament.

And then on the 5th, I’m going to fight like hell again to secure the blessings of liberty for myself and my posterity.

Categories: Life, Politics, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NaNoWriMo: The Week 2 Blues


The latest pep talk for Nanowrimo is not what I needed right now. And I need a pep talk. I’m feeling the week 2 blues set in. I was so excited to see that they had one up on the website, and I’m sure it helped someone move forward amidst some writers block. The thing about Nano, though, is that I don’t usually get writers block. I get writers block when I am worried that everything I’m writing is crap and won’t fit the tone of the rest of the novel. I get writers block when I don’t know how to write a scene and I desperately need it to work. In short, I only get blocked when there are stakes.

There are no stakes in Nanowrimo. There aren’t. However much you’d like to believe that you’re the next Hemmingway, I will have you know that your current novel is not up to those standards (that’s what editing is for). You should also know that’s a GREAT thing. It means your next line of prose doesn’t have to be genius. You also never have to show your novel to anyone, ever. All the “her troubles melted into the fondue pot of life”s and “their eyes met across the crowded room and stuff”s, all those horrible clichés, and the twelve adjectives you used to describe each thing; all of those are between you and the blank piece of paper. The blank piece of paper isn’t talking. There are no stakes

For me this time, there is only the realization that I hate these people a little bit. I don’t know why I decided to spend a month with them. He’s too nice. And why does he cry when she leaves? She’s going to help her country. He shouldn’t cry, he should be angry that she won’t listen to reason. Only he isn’t angry. He’s this warm, supportive, wishy-washy guy. And then there’s her, and she is such a reluctant revolutionary. She’s supposed to like excitement. The baby is supposed to be more than a glorified purse that she carries around and has to make sure she doesn’t leave at restaurants. The leader of the resistance is supposed to be the one that’s reluctant, but he seems ever gleeful to send everyone to their death.   At least Dad seems to be the asshole he’s supposed to be.

I know. It’s week two and we all feel this way. Every year I’m ready for it and make fun of the week 2 slump. But I’m always surprised by how genuinely I hate my novel. This isn’t “ha, ha. I’m over the thrill of week one.” This is honest loathing. I’ll get over it. I’ll feel proud of myself by the end of week 3. But how to charge forward through week 2?

I don’t know any way to do it except to put my butt in the chair and do some uninspired driveling. So that’s what I’m doing.

But I sure could use a good pep-talk right about now. Perhaps I’ll read Neil Gaiman’s (again) for the 1000th time. Or perhaps I’ll take my inspiration from Shannon Hale, who said that if engineers can land a probe on a comet, surely I can do something so simple as meet my word count goal…

Categories: Life, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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