Tuesday, November 20, 2012


There are so many things I want to do each day. Most are not going to happen, in spite of my wants, because they are just not possible today. I will not climb Fuji San today, because I am on the other side of the world and I have to work tonight. I'm on third shift and getting there and back before starting time would be difficult.
I will not put my foot next to Neil Armstrong's dusty print on the moon, because NASA said no in very unflattering terms. At least, they would have, if I had asked.
I will not win the Miss America contest, even if I wanted to, and I don't, but it would be fun to try. Grins and giggles, you know.
I can have a good cup of coffee. I can eat a slice of banana nut bread, if I hurry. It's going fast. My son came by and carried off a section of the loaf last night.
I can imagine doing almost everything on my bucket list (I really like that term) in my mind and could have my characters do all and more, but I don't.
My books contain limits. They have to, or they would be too boring to read or to write. But I get to pick those limits. I can have wizards, dragons, or send my guy or girl to do those things I want to do. I can have her take on a spiritual quest to meditate atop Fuji San.
I can send him to the moon, or Mars or another universe. As long as I obey reasonable rules.
You can't have a hero or a villain so strong that they are impossible to stop. If they can do anything without blinking an eye, the story is over in a page and a half.
Laws of the universe must be workable. Unlimited energy is nice, but people get tired. They must eat, drink and deal with the byproducts of eating and drinking.They need a toilet or a one-two-three trench and a handful of leaves, but they have needs.
When I was a kid, I thought horses could run as fast as cars and do it for days on end. The bad guys robbed the bank and headed out of town twenty minutes ago, lickity split, hell bent for leather, etc.
The hero and his trusty (non Caucasian and therefore somewhat socially inferior, but lovable and as loyal and dependable as a good dog) sidekick rides in, talks to fifty people, grabs a bite and then leaves. (I never wondered about the sidekick back then. Now I wonder about everything. Why is he or she called a side kick? Why were they always foreign or have a thick and today, obviously fake accent? Why were they socially inferior? They saved your life a hundred and seventy eight times this month ALONE for crying out loud! You should be PROUD to have them get your sister in the family way!) They catch up in three minutes, shoot offhand from running, bouncing and dusty horseback in a gun fight lasting another fifteen minutes, while those magnificent horses are STILL running at full gallop. They  hit every minor gang member, no matter how many there are, from distances bordering on the ludicrous. Oh, yeah. Six guns held forty or more cartridges. You rarely see them reloading. The bad guys do throw their guns when THEY run out of ammo, never bothering to carry any spare rounds with them. Bad guys are always so stupid, you know.
Those kind of shows were fun when I was a kid. Today, they're funny, but not for the same reasons. Today, I know better.
My work must have some limits, unlike my imagination. My weapons are not magicked to flay their opponents without any training or skills on the part of  the user.
My opponents are not one sided, only evil guys and gals. At least I hope not. The crazy ones maybe, but they're crazy. The bad guys want stuff. The good guys want stuff. The victor writes the history so the winners are ALWAYS the good guys after it is all over.
Even magic must have laws to operate. Nothing is unlimited, everything takes energy and skill to use and learning must be done over time, just like we all learned English grammar and how to diagram a sentence. I have no clue why we learned to diagram a sentence, but the teacher seemed to think it was important. I've never needed to do one of those for work or for fun.
Have you ever watched the movie 'Red Planet' with Val Kilmer? I love the line when he is looking for the living module.
'Well, here it is: that time they told us about in high school when math would save our lives'
So cool.

Now you may be asking what the title has to do with any of this. You may not. I just liked it, so I used it. I also tend to write that way. You may have noticed. Sometimes I walk that way, but you can't see that unless you live in Tampa and see me out strolling haphazardly about..
In other news, as you can see from the nice NaNoWriMo word counting thingy, I have reached 50,000 and continue to climb. Months not over yet and it's a MINIMUM of 50 grand on the word count.
 I'm aiming for eighty thousand before I start editing and filling in the blank spots.

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