Monday, September 4, 2017

On Endings, Aftermaths and New Beginnings #HurricaneHarvey #GoT #LaborDay

First, a Word for the Victims

Before I launch on my usual blog, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the tropical storms that were spawned during these past twelve days.

Many, many people have had their lives turned upside down, lost friends, relatives, livestock, homes, treasured pets, transportation and belongings. Some may have no home to return to. Some may have no job to return to. Some will never be able to resume their lives as they once were before the storm hit.

I am deeply saddened by this tragedy. I believe it has touched every person in our country--and possibly even our world--in some way, either via direct family or friend connections, or the emotional and economic impact it left in its wake.

Here's to all the first responders who worked to a state of exhaustion to help--to our brave police officers, firefighters, National Guard members, paramedics, doctors, nurses, rescue workers, shelter workers, neighbors and strangers who pitched in to help.

Here's to those who helped senior citizens to safety from flooded nursing homes. Here's to the man who found the lost dog clinging to a guard rail in rising water and rescued her. Here's to the ranchers and farmers who banded together to save horses, cattle and livestock in spite of the danger to their own lives and limbs.

And on a personal note, here's to the midwife neighbor who helped our friends' daughter safely give birth when she couldn't get to a hospital and no ambulance could reach her. Here's to our cousins who were forced to abandon their home in Sugarland while the waters continued to rise.

I know many of my friends and internet contacts also had friends and family in harm's way. I invite you to share those stories in comments.

Want to help? Here's some suggestions.

In the coming weeks I'll be thinking a lot about this event, and sending prayers, well-wishes and donations in hopes it will help our world get just a little more right again. We're a nation of survivors who reach out to each other in times of need, and that's never more apparent that when we face a cataclysm like the one we've just endured.

Farewell to Summer

Holeeee cow. It's Labor Day? How did that happen?

The sun rising on the last day of
August 2017, reflected in the
window of my home office.
Honestly, I'm not ready to say farewell to Summer, yet. I could swear we were celebrating the 4th of July just last weekend. It seems the older I get, the faster time goes streaking by.

When I was a kid, summer break seemed to last foreverrrr. Which was, of course, a very good thing. It's not that I didn't enjoy school, but I loved swimming, skiing, boating, grabbing an ice cream cone and hanging out with my friends so much more.

If I still lived in Michigan, this is about the time depression would set in, because after Labor Day all my summer friends would leave their resort homes and go back to the cities down south. It would start to turn colder, the leaves would change, then brown and fall to the ground, and the grey drizzlies would set in.

We'd sometimes have snow by October, and the ice would start forming on the lake not long after. In short, my world would transform from a bright, busy beach to a cold, isolated tundra. Or so it seemed to me.

I don't get as depressed about summer ending anymore, because now that I live in New Mexico we have these lonnnnng, glorious Falls with some of the best weather of the year. And there are so many fun events going on. There's our big State Fair in September, several wine and Oktober fests, concerts, art fairs, and the International Balloon Fiesta in October. And of course, in my writing life, we'll have the huge launch of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 on October 10th! Squeee.

Here, many other outdoor events can stretch into early December beneath bright blue skies and warm Autumn sun. That's not to say we may not get an early snow or two, but the snow generally melts an hour or two after the sun rises, so it's not here for long. Just long enough to tap us on the shoulder and remind us what's next.

Sorry, couldn't resist such a perfect segue into...

Game of Thrones Wrap: Cliffhangers Extraordinaire!

The season finale of Game of Thrones aired last Sunday, but not without giving us several drop-mouth moments of awe and amazement. The episode was titled "The Dragon and the Wolf," so the hint that it was focused on Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow was clear--she, the Dragon Queen and he, the King of the North--but it still managed to pack a wallop when the true meaning behind the title became clear. Whoa! (If you watched, youknowwhatI'mtalkinabout!)

It's also clear that Daenerys advantage of her utterly terrifying and devastating dragons as weapons of war has just been put into serious question.

And though Queen Cersei is as cold and calculating as she ever was and though she can still twist the dagger deep into someone's gut as she smiles, she can also shock and awe us all by some of the things she doesn't do.

There were some delightful moments of old friends and old rivals meeting again--and exchanging some classic dialogue. But there were also plenty of chills, surprises, OMGs, and WTFs!

For the next season of GoT, there's good news and bad news. The good news is it's rumored that the six episodes will be feature-film length! The bad news is they may be aired as late as 2019 and this will comprise the final season of the highly addictive Game of Thrones saga. SOB!

The worse news of all is that some miscreant has leaked the secrets of the finale season. No, thank you. I don't like those kind of spoilers. I want GoT to continue to surprise me in all its fun, fabulous, terrible ways. And when it's done...

Well, that is going to be a sad day indeed. I think the only thing that will allay my deep sense of gloom will be to pick up George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire Series and experience it all again as it was originally told.

Thank Heaven for books!

Trial by Internet? No Thanks, I'll Pass.

Something happened last weekend that deeply troubles me. A famous author supposedly made a statement against diversity and it went viral.

Please note the purposeful placement of the word "supposedly" in that last sentence.

If this author did speak out against diversity I cannot--and will not--support her, but first I'd like to know exactly what she DID say. The problem is the discussion played out on a private loop, but the reaction to that discussion spilled out onto social media. That's extremely problematic for me and here's why.

No one would quote this author directly, claiming they were prohibited because the statement was made in said private loop. But yet, the same witnesses seemed to have no problem paraphrasing her words or making leading statements about what she said in subsequent social media comments.

It went viral when others, who were not part of the discussion and did not read the author's actual words reacted to other peoples' opinions and conjecture and drew their own conclusions from these opinions, then spread their reactions of disapproval or outrage on the internet.

Mob mentality is a dangerous thing, and mob mentality on the internet is downright toxic. 

"She implied" does not equal "She said: [quote]."

And the scary thing is, anyone can fall victim to this Trial by Internet trend. Imagine if next time it was you? 

So I'm going to wait until such time--if ever--the exact discussion is made public in the original context before I'll draw my conclusions about the author's intent. 

Until then, I'll keep an open mind. Just sayin'.

Have a great week, and for those who are still recovering from the devastation of the hurricane and tropical storms, I hope the coming days bring you rest, recovery and peace of mind that your life will soon be returning to order. My thoughts, prayers and good wishes to you all.


  1. This is the second time I've had to watch from a distance as a city I love and called home is devastated by a hurricane. (We lived in New Orleans for 18 years.) I sat and watched and cried and prayed. I am SO proud of how everyone tried to help each other, though. The people who drove long distances to help and the neighbors who helped neighbors. God bless them all.

  2. I know what you mean, Pauline. Sometimes it's devastating to watch it unfold from a distance and feel so helpless. Here's to everyone who pitched in to help on the scene, and to those who donated money, time or energy to help with the recovery. It will be a long time before this area and its residents are beyond this crisis, but at least they've started down that path.


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