Goal Setting

I have this job, now, and it saps my energy. But that’s how these things go, so it’s ok. I took my netbook with me and arrived early so I could do some writing yesterday. Maybe I need to do that more often.

But that’s not what this post is about. My new employer hires a lot of young people. Most of my co-workers are under 30 and see call center work as something with endless possibilities. They see the potential of a $500 monthly bonus and imagine how much beer they can buy with that. When I said they would do better to set financial and career goals, and set aside any bonuses they might earn in order to accelerate those goals, most of their eyes glazed. Money buys beer and donuts. What is this goal thing of which you speak?

And then I remembered being 25 and having my life and the whole world in front of me, and yet my eyes were glued to whatever crap was showing on the television, or whatever crap was being sold at the local fast food joint. I wasn’t writing then and I wasn’t doing anything to make my finances or my career better.

And then I remembered this is why I am writing The Dying Art of Conjugation.

So I should get back to work on that.

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Negative or Brutal Characters

I started watching the 2014 Canada Reads program because a Canadian friend recommended it. And where I am in the recording they are talking about ugly characters, mean and brutal characters.

When you write a scene, a chapter or a novel about characters who violate others in one way or another, how do you approach them? Do you try to humanize them so the reader can understand their brokenness? Do you portray them as sinister, unacceptable fiends?

And how do you personally feel about those characters?

The panel in Canada Reads is talking about Margaret Atwoods’ The Year of the Flood, a post-apocalyptic story filled with ugly characters. I have stories kind of like this, and I get frustrated trying to make them both real and, if not humane, at least understandable.

New Phone

So I now work for a cell service provider, and I got a new phone. It takes really good pictures. But since it is Android, Google asks me to setup a media backup, which sounds cool. But when you let a vampire, er, I mean, Google into your home, it’s there to stay. Now my phone wants me to link every public and private aspect of Google +, Facebook, and my pictures on my phone. It wants to devour my privacy. All because I took a couple of photos with my nifty new phone.

I am curious how our definition of privacy has changed in the past ten years. Please comment.