Sunday, November 1, 2020

A hodgepodge for our scattered times.

It feels early to me. Does it feel early to you? (For those across the pond, Daylight Time ended for North America last night. Nearly all of us set our clocks back an hour -- as if any of us need another hour of 2020.)

There's a lot going on this week at La Casa Cantwell: 

For starters, NaNoWriMo began today. I kicked off the month with about 2,400 brand-new words in a brand-new book that's tentatively titled Janis after one of the two protagonists. It's definitely going to be a fantasy and maybe a paranormal thriller, depending on how things shake out. For sure, I'll be aiming for readers who say they like reading Young Adult books but would love to read a fantasy with a kickass old woman as the main character. 

In the part I wrote today, Janis is joined by a man from her past. Each of them has a paranormal ability that complements the other -- she can view past events and see why people behave the way they do, and he can see the future in all its complex and probabilistic glory. They'll be teaming up against a shadowy organization they were once a part of. And the future of the world is at stake, of course, because that's how I always roll.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes. I've always won NaNo and I expect to win again this year, although for the first time I'll be writing while starting a new job. Yes, I know, I just retired. But I've picked up a temp job as a proofreader for the New Mexico state legislature, and training starts tomorrow. I expect 7:00 am will come awfully early tomorrow morning -- but at least I gained an hour last night, right?

The other big thing happening this week -- you might call it the elephant and donkey in the room -- is, of course, the US presidential election. I cast my ballot a couple of weeks ago and you already know who I've voted for (Joe Biden, for those just joining us), so now I'm at the nail-biting stage. Like a lot of Americans, I'm hoping for a big, blue blowout on Tuesday night, but expecting that the final results will take much longer. 

Assuming Biden wins, he's going to have a big job ahead of him. Regardless of how often he says he'll be president for all Americans, the fact is that our country is as divided as it's ever been. I'm left wondering how successful he'll be in bringing us together -- or even where to start. 

timbrk |

A couple of Louisiana State University researchers have been surveying Americans over the past four years. Mason and Nathan Kalmoe say we're in the throes of what they call "lethal partisanship." Forty percent of study participants see the other side as "truly evil," and a scary number on both sides think the country would be better off if a lot of folks on the other side of the political divide just up and died. However, the study also found that when participants heard a pacifying message from their presidential candidate of choice, their attitudes became less violent.

Which brings me to this week's episode of Star Trek: Discovery. If you haven't seen the episode, you might want to skip the rest of this paragraph. In this latest episode, Discovery returns to Earth and finds a lot of things have changed -- among them, Earth has dropped out of the United Federation of Planets and is now under attack by marauders. The two sides are at loggerheads. There has been no attempt at peace talks or any sort of truce. So Burnham and Saru force the leaders of the two factions to meet -- and lo and behold, once the two sides set aside their hatred for one another, they come to an agreement.

This is kind of a staple plot line for Star Trek: the Federation acting as peace broker between warring factions. And of course it's a lot easier to get people on either side of a dispute to meet when you can beam them in by main force. But still -- the key is getting people to stop talking past one another. I don't know if that's possible in today's America, but I hope we can get there soon.


I nearly forgot! We did get snow here in Santa Fe this week. It's all gone now, but it was pretty while it lasted. I promised photos. Here you go.

Snow on chile ristras at the Historic Plaza.
Emergence - Michael Naranjo
State Capitol, Santa Fe


These moments of scattered blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. We're all virus-weary, but keep wearing a mask and washing your hands anyway.

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