I know it’s been quiet around here, lately. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about blog entries — I have. I’ve started some entries, but…they keep growing into more than just a short entry. Starting a new job last week, and helping my wife get ready for something this past weekend…The Juggling Writer has slipped back on the list of priorities these past couple weeks.
I did get to work on the Hell Comes with Wood Paneled Doors relaunch while holed up in a hotel room this past weekend. I now need to convert the .prc file (Kindle file) to an epub file and make a PDF — and then those who’ve contributed essays will get copies. If you prefer the .prc/Kindle copy, let me know…I can send that your way now; otherwise, expect email sometime next weekend.
I know some would say, “It takes no effort to make a .prc file and convert that into an epub file or PDF,” and they’re right…if you don’t care about formatting. But I care about formatting, so…it looks like I’m still on the “early August” release for all files.
Speaking of August…
I’m looking forward to getting back to writing writing — not that review stage of writing. No more proofing and formatting, although I still have a couple things I still need to turn into e-books before closing down production mode and getting back into writing mode. I’ve talked about it before — how I do my best writing once fall hits. Granted, it doesn’t feel like fall until November in Texas, but just seeing it appear on the calendar excites me. So, for August, my goal is to stay in formatting mode and get a couple more things out.
Then, when fall arrives, some of that actual writing I hear writers do…
A Change of Perspective
I often think about why I hit that writing stride in the fall. It’s my favorite season; I’m not a fan of heat, so something about fall makes me feel like a dog that tears around in a crazed state after a bath. There’s an excitement about those first tendrils of cool air coming down from Canada, poking you in the chest, and reminding you how exhilarating life is. It’s a reminder that the world is a colorful place, that soon the treetops will look like fire when the sun hits the colorful leaves just right.
For me, fall is a season of different perspectives.
A Weekend of a Different Perspective
This past weekend, I attended a costuming event with my wife. Even though I stayed in our hotel room most of Saturday working on cleaning up the Hell Comes with Wood Paneled Doors e-book, there’s something neat about being immersed in a world full of costumed people all weekend. What would normally stick out becomes normal when you’re around it. All those people in historic outfits or looking like they stepped out of the pages of a sci-fi novel seem as everyday as jeans and t-shirts do on any other day.
For those not immersed in it all, though, it’s a strange sight. Were it Halloween, the group my wife was with wouldn’t have received strange looks. But it was late July, when there is no “normal” reason for adults to dress up in costumes. There appears on the faces of the surprised a certain look hovering between disdain and pretending they aren’t seeing what they are seeing — as though they feel they are on the receiving end of a joke being played on them by the sudden and strange appearance of a woman in an 18th century gown in the elevator with them.
We Like “Normal”
It becomes evident just how much society likes “normal,” when they see a group of costumed people descend on the hotel bar from all sides, like a flash mob. It is, at least in part, why we are attracted to stories: it’s a safe way to break away from “normal” and lose ourselves in the lives of others, even if they are just made-up characters. Perhaps stumbling upon a group of costumed adults when you aren’t expecting it is like stumbling a step closer toward a story.
Especially with me dressed normally among the group, not phased by it at all, the looks on those not expecting it becomes one of, “That guy there acts like he’s not seeing it…am I losing my grip on reality?”
It’s a change for some people to stumble upon something so different that they don’t know how to react to it.
Autumn is my favorite season because I love the change…I love those days when the treetops are full of colorful leaves lit up by the sun. It’s not an everyday sight; most of the time — through spring and summer, and even into the first part of fall — everything is green.
Everything is “normal.”
The change of the season is a change of perspective…much like a group of costumed women gathered in the morning sunlight — dressed in costumes — in a hotel in Dallas, Texas.
It’s how we react to that change that matters…
Cynthia Griffith says
I love that photo!
And heehee! Yeah, the looks we got! There were a few other conventions and events going on the whole weekend and I seriously don’t think the word got around very well because people never seemed to get used to seeing us. My favorite was when people tried to act like nothing was wrong, and wouldn’t even look me in the eye. Like I wasn’t there. But you could tell they were struggling with that whole “act like like everything is normal” thing and wanting to either walk away very quickly or ask what the heck I was doing wearing that stuff. Ha!
Cynthia Griffith says
Oops! I forgot to mention that I also love autumn. First, it means an end to the horrible heat and obnoxious sun will be coming to an end. It also means, even though I haven’t been able to attend a Halloween party in so long, that Halloween is coming up and for some reason it’s like I have a renewed excitement with sewing costumes or working on things. It’s very interesting. I just think autumn is my favorite time of year.
Christopher Gronlund says
Cynthia: Yes, the elevator guy was great! Since I was dressed “normally,” like him, but not phased by you being dressed up, he looked at me with a “You’re seeing this, too, right?!” look. And since I acted like all was normal, I think it bothered him even more. Once he stepped off the elevator and encountered another “normal” person, they chatted with each other, as if to confirm they weren’t losing their grip on reality.
There was also a guy in the elevator when you and Beth were both dressed in 18th century garb. He looked uncomfortable, so I said, “Do you two know each other?” hoping to break the ice. Not so much as a grin from the guy…just this look of, “I just want off this elevator more than anything in my life right now!”
I do pretty well with “strange” appearances. Sure, if I were to see a clown standing beneath a streetlight on an evening walk…I’d quickly turn around. If the clown followed, I’d attack. But general surreal things…I like it…even feeling a little uncomfortable as I try figuring out what’s going on.
It’s like fog or snow or the change of seasons, that reminder that part of what makes life, writing, and other things exciting is change and different perspectives.
People’s reactions are weird! And I though only kids freaked out at others looking different than they do. Reminds me of several instances in middle school, and some kids freaking out – literally – because I was creative with my wardrobe. It was a very closed-minded small town.
Glad you guys had a good time, and happy pre-fall!
Christopher Gronlund says
CMS: I’ve had some strange haircuts in my time…one that made even the worst 80s-era wrestling hairdo look styled. I’ve always found it interesting how something out of the ordinary really shakes some people. Even looks I just don’t get…I like different. I dress in jeans and t-shirts/dress shirts, so I’m “ordinary,” but I like seeing people express themselves, even if it’s not a look I like.