Obligatory writing post #217

Yesterday, I wrote a lot.  The post on my visit to Bath on gettingoutmore.org wound up becoming two posts. While I was attempting to add pictures to the posts, I thought of a clever title for Part I, from lyrics to a Sting song, All This Time.  1,100 words vanished with the next autosave, even though I had been saving drafts like crazy.

Sometimes the mechanics of writing these blogs can be frustrating.  Last week, my post went out with nearly every picture of London rotated 90 degrees.  My wordpress.com and wordpress.org sites don’t play nicely together.  What is worse is moving between Mac and PC platforms.  All of my pics are on the iCloud, and so far my smoothest way to get these pics is to upload them to Facebook as a post and then download them onto a computer so I can drag and drop them into WordPress.  If I try to go straight from the cloud to WordPress, it just messes everything up.

I have been putting off writing about my UK trip, and I don’t even know why.  Some of the reasons/excuses I have are that there is still a lot to digest about that trip. Also, it takes an hour to write a post.  I don’t do short posts, as you might have noticed.  I don’t do top ten lists.  I don’t do 5 Mind Blowing Reasons Why X posts.

Why?

Because I hate reading them.  Why would I want to write them?

Luckily, I have found some other travelogue type sites through association here on my wordpress reader.  Unfortunately, like I said, WordPress.com doesn’t play well with sites outside of it.  Such as Gettingoutmore.org.  So nobody will ever see my site on the Reader.  The learning curve just sucks.  I would rather write content, go places, etc. than monkey around with the ever-changing landscape of WordPress.  Most people can’t follow my posts.  So I link them from here at Wendigo Mountain.

Which probably sounds somewhat sinister to some passersby, which is why I probably don’t get a lot of traffic to either site.

Right now, I am basically giving these stories away for free too.  It’s not much different than just talking to someone about a trip you took while you are socializing at a party.  Except that here you are talking, there is nobody listening, and there’s not even a party.

I have equated writing these blogs to shouting a story down a well.

There’s not even a monster that lives at the bottom of the well.  It’s just your own voice echoing up.  Yesterday was around 3000 words (two 1000 word posts and one rewrite from scratch) of words shouted to the bottom of the well.

I hit a wall.

Last night, I was in a serious funk.  The isolation crept in.  The insular effect was so thick I could feel it. Alone in my house.  My efforts largely ignored. Who gives a shit?  This is all vanity.  Why am I wasting my time?  This isn’t the life I was born into, why think I would do anything other than work for a faceless institution that would replace me by the end of the week if I were to walk out?

Maybe people are reading, but usually nobody comments.  Who gives a damn if they did anyway.  Lurkers.  Tourists.  People who just “like” a post but never read it…it’s the equivalent of giving every third-grader a gold star for participation.  Nobody cares about your clay dog sculpture, Timmy.

Writing on these platforms used to be a two way street.  What’s more is a blog I follow where someone posts a picture of a bird they took with a crappy joke every day gets about 85 comments and 200 likes every day.

Yes, I’m whining.  I’m comparing.  If you don’t like it, comment.

So, the writing.  I said this was going to be a writing post.

I am involved in three personal writing projects right now.

  • The first is the alt-history fantasy about World War One, set in the same world as the first book hardly anyone read.  The tentative title is With Other Eyes to See.  Right now, it is stalled.  Mostly because I have been working on it so long that I have lost a lot of continuity.  There are beautiful pieces. And there are pieces that no longer mean anything, which I will need to rewrite.
  • The second is the travelogue.  Gettingoutmore.org.  It is the warm and fuzzy, optimistic project in which I talk about all the places I’ve been going and all the fun I have been having.  Which is true.  I really have been enjoying my adventures!  I’m eager for the next one.  So eager that I got home from work yesterday and as I was putting my key into the lock to walk into an empty house, I thought to myself, “Why the fuck am I even here?”  I wanted to be on my way to an airport or a train station.  My wallet feels so empty without a passport in it these days.
  • The third project is something between my travelogue and the thoughts and experiences I was actually having.  A narrative of so much going on, which has been happening for the last five or six years.  Everything just bubbling up, which the traveling has been facilitating.  It could be a novel.  I think it could be a good one.  It would be a deep cut into my life, but also fictionalized to protect the innocent.  Mainly me.

The biggest problem I face is having so many projects, and having to write paid blogs to offset my enormous child support contribution each month.  So, sometimes my creativity goes to figuring out how to write three articles at 300 words each about clamps for metal roofing.

Also, there is the lack of feedback.  Not only instant gratification, but when you sit down and crank out thousands of words of a plotted story, with believable and likable characters, set in a world of your own creation, and the only response you get is “Neat story!” from readers.  You just kinda die a little bit inside.

Last night, I sat alone in my house, unable to write.  Unwilling to do laundry or dishes.  I watched response videos on YouTube.  Vocalists responding to the first time hearing songs from bands like Queensryche, Steelheart, Alice in Chains, and even Led Zeppelin.

It gave me hope that art moves people in positive ways.

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What Makes Men irresistible?

Since I betrayed my brethren by listing all of the things that make women irresistible to men, I’m going to go another step and reveal what makes men irresistible to women.

All women lament the extinction of “nice guys”.  First of all, men should take note.  If you want to be like the douchebags on YouTube, the pickup artists, the guys with a “system” where “negging” and harassing a woman into going home with you is your bag, this isn’t the place for you.  Spread your herpes someplace else.  Maybe there’s a two-fer-one sale on Axe Body Spray somplace.

If you want to prove women wrong about nice guys, here’s the first step: Be a nice guy.  Remember Patrick Swayze in Road House?  Be nice.  Remember Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice? If you don’t know who this is, do your homework.  Your girl sure as hell knows who he is.

How about Han Solo?  Yes, same character. Mr. Darcy in Space with a little Heathcliffe thrown in for good measure.  Be Han.

Here’s the list for how exactly to make yourself irresistible to women.

  • You don’t meet nice girls in bars or dating sites
  • Don’t use pickup lines
  • Use only obviously shitty pickup lines.  This will establish your sense of humor.
  • Be funny.  Women can gauge many things from a man’s sense of humor.  How quick, witty, intelligent, articulate, mindful, empathetic, socially aware/naughty you are to name a few.  You don’t need to go waving your MENSA card in front of her face, and you don’t need to feel inferior if she happens to be smarter than you.  Humor is a good meet-in-the-middle moment.
  • Smile.  It puts people at ease.  Unless you have a creepy smile.  Then stop doing that.
  • If you can’t be funny, have a washboard stomach.  If you have a washboard stomach, see yourself out of this list.  You’ll be fine.
  • Be honest.
  • Don’t brag. And don’t get cocky! (Thanks Han Solo-Darcy for your wisdom).
  • Listen to her.  She is another human being, and deserves your attention and respect.
  • Don’t be crude.  Or racist.  Or use the C-word. Jeez, what the hell is wrong with you?
  • Don’t stare at her breasts.
  • Don’t quote Reservoir Dogs.  Not even if “Stuck in the Middle with You” comes on. In fact, you’ve never heard of Reservoir Dogs. Mention how you are thinking of getting a rescue animal from a shelter. Is that the same thing?
  • Be polite.  Don’t make any sexual advances on her. You just met this girl.  She’s a nice girl! What if this were your sister?  Okay, maybe your sister is a slut, but so what if she is?  Are you going to shame her?  Honestly, she does more harm to herself with all those one night stands and wonders why she is still alone. Still, you wouldn’t want someone doing that to your sister!  Don’t be that guy!
  • Dance with her.  Even if you suck.  She will appreciate the effort.
  • Ask her for her number/email/facebook. Thank her for a wonderful time.
  • Walk away.
  • Don’t call her.
  • Move out of town.
  • Go to work on a whaling ship for a few years.
  • Grow your beard out
  • Wear cable knit sweaters
  • Write poetry about this girl you danced with and you stupidly left behind.
  • Throw the poems into the sea.
  • Be melancholic.
  • Come back to dry land and adopt a foundling.  If an orphan cannot be secured, go to an animal shelter and rescue a dog.
  • Go to therapy
  • Learn to speak two languages. Fluently. At least one should be Italian.
  • Become a Master Chef
  • Live in Europe with a slightly older woman who teaches you guitar during an ambiguously non-romantic relationship until she tells you to leave, because there was always someone else behind your eyes and love is for the young at heart. Now go! Go to her!
  • Search the world for her, but fall into a depression because she is gone and no one knows what became of her.
  • Watch your orphan graduate from school.  Cry because they talk about you in their Salutatorian speech.  About how much they love you, and how even though you weren’t their birth father, you were the best dad in the world.
  • Bury your dog.  The best friend you ever had.
  • Experience personal growth
  • On the day of your foundling child’s wedding, stand up for them, or give them away.
  • Write a book about your experiences.
  • While walking down a street one day, you recognize someone.  Your eyes meet.  It’s her! She smiles a little and looks away.  You stop and look at her, your heart racing.  You manage to say the only thing that comes to mind as you look into those eyes for the first time in years. Those eyes that haven’t changed at all.
  • “Hey.”
  • She says, “Hey.  How have you been?”
  • “Good.  And you?”
  • “Good.  You know, it’s funny.  I was just thinking about you the other day.”
  • “Me too,” you say. “Well, what I mean is I was thinking about you too.” You laugh.  She smiles.
  • “Oh yeah?”
  • “Yeah.  I was wondering what you were doing these days.  And about how much I miss you.”
  • “I’m on my way to meet a friend right now–“
  • “Well, don’t let me interrupt,” you say. “It was good to see you.”
  • She quickly adds, “Maybe we can catch up sometime?  Over coffee?”

Forget all the advice above.

Just be yourself.  If you aren’t a complete narcissistic dick bag, the right person will come into your life. Set good boundaries.  Don’t heap your baggage onto her, but be open if you can. Fight your own battles, but thank her for her support when she gives it. Be honest.  Make her laugh more than you ever made her cry (it does happen, just make sure those tears are never because of your anger, and never from pettiness). Be all in. Love her.  And just be kind.