5min – Climate Change?

Someone in my feed said something about Al Gore using climate change as an excuse to make money. Climate change, they said, can’t be impacted by people. And this is a common thing I see among conservatives. Many of them don’t deny that the climate is changing, rather they say that humans aren’t effecting it.

I was reminded of an Ecosphere. Have you ever seen them? It’s a completely sealed environment with brine shrimp, a plant, some water, and a bit of air. That’s it. And the terrarium can live for a few years locked in it’s perpetual cycle.

The literature about a Ecosphere usually says it’s a completely balanced environment. It isn’t, of course. It’s more of a seesaw that rocks back and forth between the plants and the brine shrimp. The plants produce oxygen, which causes the brine shrimp to reproduce more. They then eat the plants, which causes the plants to make less oxygen. Then the brine shrimp start to die off, and the cycle starts over again.

Well, earth is a much larger, much more complex terrarium. We have nothing (save small meteorites) coming into our atmosphere to add to the oxygen that is already here. We have nothing adding to the land we use, or the water we drink. What we have is all we have, and nothing is going to change that unless some scientist finds a way to bring a comet to earth. I wouldn’t recommend that, really, the last one didn’t do very well for the dinosaurs.

Anyway, here we are on our littler terrarium, eating, sleeping, breathing, and drinking water. And we bred and bred until we over populated the plants. Now the plants are dying back, and the o2 we desperately need isn’t as plentiful as it use to be. And there are other things in there, like methane, co2, and radical particles. And we’re starting to die off from cancer, asthma, and other ailments caused by pollution.

I don’t care if climate change, itself, can be averted or changed. What I see as the problem is the air quality slowly suffocating us, just like lead poisoning from leaded gas back in the 70’s slowly poisoned everyone. They got rid of leaded gas and the new generation had fewer health problems.

BUT, my friend on twitter did have a valid point. Al Gore does make money off climate change. And individuals have less impact then huge corporations producing millions of whats-its and spewing toxic fumes into the air. Or countries clear cutting forests.

We are those little brine shrimp, and our plant keeping us alive is getting cut back. Eventually it won’t be able to support us all, and the brine shrimp will die off. Then the plant will regrow. One way or another.

And that’s more than my five.

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Posted by on August 7, 2017 in On Writing


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5 min – Day’s off are worth it.

I helped my daughter today, and in return she helped me…by shoving my phone in her backpack when I dropped her off at work.

Every time I forget my phone, or something like this happens, I’m struck by how much I use it for. Right now I am doing my five minute writing. I use the phone as a timer for the five minutes. I sometimes use the phone to write my five minute blog post. Other times I just use it to check, and reply to, email. Or catch up on social media when standing in line some where. If all you have is seconds between customers then checking social media, or posting a little bit about a project is often some good use of time since I want to go actually WRITE when I have more f it.

Speaking of writing, I took a three day weekend this weekend. (That would be Wed-Fri because of my off schedule.) I needed a break from the rat race of the day job. I thought I’d get more editing done. That did not happen. Instead, yesterday I spent a good chunk of time just playing a video game and listening to podcasts. Why? Because I wanted to, darn it!

But today I feel so much better after taking that needed health break. And now I’m back to writing.

Care for yourself. Keep in mind the tools you have at your disposal. Use even the small moments to keep write down notes, thoughts, or check in with your followers. And some days just take a day off.

And that’s my five.

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Posted by on August 4, 2017 in On Writing


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5min – Writers Block

I was listening to an episode of The Creative Penn today and she mentioned that all the pro writers at a recent convention she went to all have the same idea about writers block….it doesn’t exist.

The idea I see is “a plumber can’t have plumbers block, they have to go out and do their job.”

And they are right. Each and every one of them. A pro writer has to be able to get past “blocks” and just write, weather or not they feel like it. I have to go to my day job and do my work, or I don’t get paid. Same with a writer.

But, the idea of writers block is a thing. Perhaps it shouldn’t be called writers block though. Rather it is something causing the writer to spend their energy elsewhere.

For me it’s often bills. I have to pay bills, so I go to a day job, and I spend a lot of time on that day job. It’s a tough, and stressful day job. I often come home with a need to just close the door, and stay away from words for sometimes hours. That’s because my day job is using words. Talking to people. Trying to explain to them how to fix things. Depending on the day that is easier sometimes than others.

Other people might be “blocked” because they have family problems, medical issues or stress going on in their life that they are spending so much time on those things that they just don’t have time (or don’t think they have time) to do something creative.

Then there are the people that actually do sit down and try to write, but end up staring at a blank page for hours instead of writing. Now that, I think, is true. That isn’t a block so much as a lack of confidence. Inability to progress. Or plain don’t know what they are supposed to do.

I think I’ll come back to this idea later. But for now, my 5 min are up, and I need to go finish writing.


Posted by on August 2, 2017 in On Writing


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5min – Movie review – Split

I started this morning with checking emails, and going down the rabbit hole of reviews and twitter messages. Not a productive morning. Or maybe it was. I guess it depends on how you look at it. Social media is a necessary evil of trying to get people to notice you, so there is that.

Last night we watched Split finally. It is a movie about three young girls that are kidnapped by a man with multiple personalities. They talk about how a person who has to go between personalities will sometimes have physical differences depending on which personality s/he is in at that time, and they describe it as “taking the light” from the others. being an M Knight Shyamalan story we were waiting for the twist. But there really wasn’t one this time. It lays out the movie from the beginning, and I could see the ending coming. I don’t know if this makes it better or worse for that. The “twist” might have been the cameo at the very end from an earlier movie.

I liked the story, and the ending made sense. I am glad they were very subtle about the abuse of the main character in her past, but you knew it was there. Not good. But integral to the story. Split was a little slow for my taste, taking a very long time to get to certain things. But that’s normal for a Shyamalan story. Signs, the village, and lady in the water were the same way. Slow. Meticulous Calculated. That’s Shyamalan for you.

But overall I enjoyed it.

And that’s my five.

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Posted by on July 30, 2017 in On Writing


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5min – Not this!

I woke  up this morning and turned on Twitter to help wake up my brain. It’s an easy enough thing, read a few lines, laugh at some cut gifs, and slowly wake up in the morning.

What I see is a raging debate over abortion. Should we find alternatives? Should we even be debating it? Abortion is just a pill now guys!

Okay, here’s my take on it…Abortion is sometimes necessary, but should be treated with respect, not used as a birth control option. But it should definitely be there for molestation, medical problems, rape, or any number of other things that can just go wrong. And for the record, a pill (morning after pill) is not an abortion, it’s just making sure you don’t get pregnant in the first place. Most people who are talking about abortion are not talking about the pill anymore. The pill is a normal part of life.

So, of course, there is a number of people saying “Why don’t men stop getting all up in our biz”…my first thing to do is go search “How to get pregnant without…” and the results for secretly getting pregnant without a boyfriend, husband, or whatever finding out are INSANE!

And that, dear people, is why it should be at least a little bit talked about with a significant other. If men can be forced to pay child support for the next 18+ years to a woman he just met at a bar and had sex with for a night maybe there should be some way of helping him, too.

Oh, but the woman carries the child, etc. etc. Ya, and the woman could also make him put on a condom, take birth control, go get the morning after pill for herself, or any number of other ways she can keep herself from being pregnant. Not to mention page after page after page of women actively trying to get pregnant without their SO finding out, some of them specifically saying “he doesn’t want a child, but I do.”

Just saying, if personal responsibility for both sexes was enforced we would no longer be having a debate over abortion, because they wouldn’t be needed except in very rare cases. What woman is going to trick her boyfriend into getting her pregnant if she is guaranteed not to get child support for doing it?


I have several friends who have gone through abortions, and all of them have been emotionally and mentally hurt to various degrees, by the whole thing. It wasn’t as easy as people tried to tell them. It wasn’t “I do this and never think about it again.” They definitely think about it, and it definitely bothers them, some more so than others, though they all agree it was for the better. But from one having to get an abortion because she was raped at 13, to another having to choose between an accidental pregnancy (that they took precautions for) and the rest of her life, I can see why they did it. But I wish we would stop trying to convince people that there is no emotional side effect to this decision. Maybe some people have none, but that’s not necessarily normal.

And, again, I’m talking about people who go in to have a child surgically removed, not a morning after pill. They are two separate things.

Lastly, can we stop pretending that the only people against abortion are men? There are MILLIONS of women who are against it, too. And just because they don’t support other women in their right to just go in and have an abortion whenever they feel like it doesn’t mean their beliefs are invalid. That they aren’t “feminist” enough. No, they all have reasons to believe this way. Some of them had abortions and feel so guilty about it that they never want anyone else to go through it.

But, FFS, can we just maybe start pushing personal responsibility, and giving men rights to their children as well, so we can stop debating this f*ing thing?

And that was way over my 5 this morning.

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Posted by on July 29, 2017 in On Writing


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5min – Rutines 

I’m trying to get into a new routine to make editing and writing work for me. 

Edit one chapter in the morning before work. A bit of writing on a different project after work. Another chapter of editing after writing, if I can. Even with one or two chapters edited a day I should get this first book finished and edited by the end of the week, which is when I need to get it to my editor. 

This project has been a lot more challenging than the first trilogy. Partly because I’m building an entire world from scratch, including how the mythos of creation and the magic system works. There are no elves, no dwarves, no other races in this series except humans, dragons, and ifrits. The magic is still elemental based, but works more like alchemy than  it did in my other series. 

It’s been fun to design a whole new world. I can’t wait to share it! 

And that’s my five. 

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Posted by on July 28, 2017 in On Writing


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5min – Editing

Today has been pretty busy, so far. We went out to a birthday lunch with friends, went shopping to get supplies for Gregg’s armor that he’s making, and I cleaned up the house a bit.

Then I came home and I spent a few hours playing a game. This was a much needed mental health moment because I know I’m going back to work tomorrow, and I needed some time to just have a little fun, and veg out. Most people watch TV for that, I play video games.

But now it’s time to get back to work, so here I am writing my morning pages in the evening. It’s 9, and I usually go to bed at 3am or so, so there is plenty of time.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been stuck between editing and writing. There is a huge difference in mind sent with both of these. If I’m writing I just put the words on paper, and let them flow. Easy. I sometimes get a thousand words in less than an hour. It feels productive, and if I actually did it for more than an hour a day I would probably be able to keep up with everyone else. With the writing at least.

But once that first draft is out I need to do the revise. Read through, clean up spelling, grammar, rewrite a few sentences. Add in bits that were missing, or sometimes add in whole chapters. This part takes me forever. I need to figure out a better way of doing it. It doesn’t matter how good or clean the first draft is, there are those little bits of filler that I need to put in so that the 50k words make one sensible story line instead of just scenes strung out on a page.

I don’t know why, but reading back over my words is really tough to do sometimes. I get so easily distracted, or just space. Probably because I know what’s going to happen, and I just can’t stand to read it again so soon after writing. Maybe if I put it in a draw for a while it would be easier, but I’m going to have to write a LOT to be able to do that.

And there’s my five.

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Posted by on July 27, 2017 in On Writing


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