Dex starts to think abut ways to change his own life and he stumbles upon a suspect.
Archives for February 2010
When I was a kid, I used to get into all kinds of trouble with my parents for saying inappropriate stuff. I was a bit of a motor-mouth at the time, and there was no disconnect switch between my brain and my tongue. If I thought it, I said it. It seems to me that the phrase I heard most in my young life was an exasperated, “Think before you speak!”
As a lesson, it was one that stuck. It’s why you don’t tend to find me in the middle of the latest online fracas. Lots of the folks I follow online tend to get involved in every controversy that crops up around their areas of interest, and it’s not that I’m any different from them. Many is the time I’ll find myself in the middle of typing out a tweet, comment or blog post about some egregious thing someone else has said, when I stop.
I stop and look at what I’ve written, and wonder – is this helping? Does pointing out how some argument is nonsense add to anyone’s understanding or will it just make me feel better? When someone snarkily tells me I’m wrong, my first reaction is usually to build up my original argument more, rather than to listen to their points. So why would my snark be any more productive?
There’s nothing wrong with debate, and certainly nothing wrong with posting opinions and ideas. In fact, that’s the whole point of discussion, whether it’s over dinner or over the internet. But I’ve noticed so many people lining up to take pot shots at folks on other sides of the debate. Is all the aggro worth it? Does it actually advance anything? I suspect that the answer, too often, is no.
It drove me nuts when I was a kid, but I have to admit that my folks were right. Sometimes that few seconds between thinking it and saying it (or typing it) make all the difference.
What do you think? Talk to me via twitter, @darusha.
(cross post and shameless promotion)
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I recently turned 35, which is no big deal, but it did get me thinking. There’s a few things most people my age are expected to have – a job, a spouse, a kid or two. Lots of us don’t have all that, through choice or circumstance, but it is the expectation, the dream for many.
I have a very different life – no job, sailing the world on savings and writing stories. Lots of the people I meet also describe my life as living the dream, and, in many ways, I am. But unlike a dream, there’s more cooking, cleaning, sail repair and engine oil changes than glorious sailing into the sunset. And there’s more revision and rejection than the pure joy of telling a new story.
But those highlights still exist, as they do for all of us. There are the opportunities to swim with tropical fish and revelatory moments in my writing. They are what keep us doing those things we once only dreamed of. They are what lets us live up to or defy expectation. And in fiction, they are what makes things interesting.
Here’s to the highlights, and even the lowlights – the stuff of dreams and great stories.
After an unpleasant encounter in his way home, Dex gets lost in old memories. Later, he uncovers a new motive for Reuben’s murder.
Dex gets shanghaied on a date with Annabelle, and he confronts Ivy about the secrets she is keeping from him.
Back when I worked in an office, I imagined that once I moved away from land and on to the boat that I’d have tons of time for writing and other things that kept getting filed in the “I’ll do that later” pile. It turns out that distraction is everywhere, especially in those places I tend to go.
As I write this, I’m looking out at a beautiful beach with surf coming in to the grey sand shore. In some ways, it’s the most conducive environment for writing I’ve ever had, and in others it’s almost impossible to get anything done. It’s hard to sit down in a chair with a laptop when you could be out surfing, looking at ruins or otherwise hanging out with all the other merry-makers.
My point is not to spark envy among all of you freezing in offices, but rather to point out that there’s no such thing as the “right” environment to get things done. The only way anything ever happens is if you make it a high enough priority and just make the time for it.
One of Dex’s colleagues explains that there are many dangers facing multis from extremists, and Dex gets caught up in some excitement of his own.