Strive to be antique

Image by Darkmoon_Art from Pixabay

Strive to be antique.
Your value is already
considerable.

B.J.

Red’s a smart, fine-lookin’ dog

A few days ago my funny, clever, multitalented daughter asked if Red Dog had come up with any questions lately. I had to think for a minute; he hadn’t. Somewhat later – just today, actually – I realized why that was. Red and I haven’t had much trail time lately, just the two of us. (He never asks me anything when Mrs. Smith is around.)

With that in mind, Red and I set out this morning for a walk down by the Colorado River, which is still tryna freeze. The temperature was around 20F degrees when we started. Most of the ice I’d seen on Corn Lake in late January was gone. We went east for a mile or so on the river trail, then across a pedestrian bridge and up a steep, switchbacked cutout to the top of a bluff.

Trail down steep switchbacks by the Colorado River
Heading back down to the river.

Along the way, as if on cue, Red asked me why I spend so much time doing whatever it is I do on this computer or on the other one in my home office.

“Most of that is called earning a living so we can buy dog food and treats and .…” I stopped about there because I could tell by the cold stare that he got the point.

“I’m teasing you, Red,” I said. “Feeding you is a real bargain and we’re happy to do it. You’re family!”

He smiled at that, with those big brown eyes. We kept walking.

He’d asked a great question. I’ve seen many writers respond by saying things like “I can’t not write” and “because I must” and so on. My reasons are pretty simple to explain, at least when humans ask: My job is writing and editing.

I’m fortunate that people pay me to do that sort of thing. I didn’t try to explain that to Red, and I didn’t get into why I’m putting these particular words in this particular order right now, but that’s not complicated, either.

I do it because I enjoy doing it.

I do it because I enjoy doing it. I like making stuff up and I like writing true stuff. It doesn’t matter much if anyone reads this, but I do appreciate those who do.

Back to the walk, which was interrupted as almost every walk with Red Dog gets interrupted, sometimes more than once. Men on the trail never say much beyond hello, if that. But women…

This morning the woman walking toward us, with a guy I’d guess was her husband or partner or whatever, said with a big smile on her face, “Oh, you’re so cute! I’m gonna take you home with me!”

Red assumed she was talking to him, and I suspect he’s right. Nobody talks to me like that.

Write on,

B.J.

Got my ballot

Got my ballot gonna mail it in

Or drop it off because I can

Because I’m free and it’s my right

And duty to put up a fight

When fools and bigots try to run

This, my country, with their guns

And lies and hate and broken laws

But truth and justice is our cause.

Write with a purpose. Get out the vote.

Some of us are better writers than we are speakers. That includes me.

I meant well when I signed up to help with a Sierra Club Get Out the Vote effort by making phone calls. Before the 30-minute training was over, I realized my time would be better spent writing GOTV letters.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m way better at it.

This is one of those times when writers and other artists do well to examine how they can make the best use of their skills.

Write with a purpose. Get out the vote.

If you can talk and write, know that there’s an urgent need to call people to encourage them to vote and tell them why you think it’s important. Not so good on the phone? Sign up to write letters or texts.

The reasons to vote are many and my guess is you’re aware of them. One that should be especially important to writers right now is the First Amendment.

Whether you write or edit news, nonfiction, sci-fi, fantasy or some other genre – or if you express yourself through photography, visual arts, performing arts – your right to do that is under attack to an extreme we have not seen in the United States in a long time.

Exercise your rights. Write with a purpose. GOTV.

B.J.

On being gregarious when things are precarious

I used to think that I wasn't gregarious
but now that everything seems so precarious
and sometimes even just downright nefarious,
and everyday pleasures grow mostly vicarious,
I see my old thinking as almost hilarious.

Stay well, my friends, and keep your distance.

B.J.