Getting Emo About NaNo

12 days into December, and I’ve yet had a proper come-down from the literary Iron Man that was National Novel Writing Month. Because of the food holiday break and an unfortunate event involving my truck, I’ve ignored acknowledging my experience, which is important to do if one intends to continue writing. So I’ll use this slice of space-time to vent out the lingering emotions. Come along with me if you’re brave enough…

Winner-2014-Web-Banner

This NaNo was two years in the making. My very first NaNoWriMo entry was a novel titled The Black Parade. This was a very ‘thinky’ work, exploring the applicability/feasibility of Ayn Rand’s political philosophy, objectivism, to the modern American Conservative. During contemplation, the Republican National Convention was in town, sexy ass Paul Ryan was extolling Atlas Shrugged as his most influential work, and I was still smarting from a less-than-glamorous exit from Texas politics. It was a very angry work, resulting in sending the United States of America into a socio-political, economic collapse.

2014, I follow The Black Parade with The American Manifesto. I’m still running with applied objectivism in this work, but not in the ‘let’s prove Ayn Rand’s attributes wrong’ style; instead, I prove how we exercise objectivism in our daily living. All I did was, take the existing caveats of Rand’s theory, layer over them our Digital Age (technological determinism), our economic condition (class disparity), and our war attitude (Americanism mixed with Totalitarianism), and from them, tease out the ‘refreshed’ caveats applicable to modern times. Here’s the breakdown:

In which Ostands for Simeonic Objectivism in Theory and Ostands for Simeonic Objectivism in Application. Yes, I do have the right to name socio-political theorems after me, see my About page for the credentials, and yes, you’re welcome to utilize this theory in your own scientific work, I have all the background data at the ready if you’re genuinely interested.

I know you understand as a creative being, how even the most rigid, structured plans for a project can be annihilated by the spirit of the work. In The American Manifesto, I intended to create a civil war, conceptualizing the need for dominion, control, and establishing order paramount to healing, community-building, and sharing. Instead, the work became very introspective, and the characters who carried over from Book One started behaving very opposite of what they exercised before. When we last met Andrea, she was a cold, indifferent, hatchet-wielding slayer of injustice, but in this work, she becomes very nurturing, self-admonishing, and open to suggestion. This comes from my current metaphysical state, where I’ve reconciled my previous existence for what it was, and now, very open to guidance and suggestion from elders/crones.

Under the recommendation of an equally empathic friend, I read Dancing In The Flames by Woodman and Dickson, an excellent primer on the exploration of the divine feminine in her many forms. Followers of this blog have experienced my various Jungian references to archetypes, so why not incorporate them into novel form? What followed then, was the appearance of new characters representing the most common social archetypes who, in my opinion, impede our ability to be the best Americans we can be toward each other. Essentially, I anthropomorphized OA.

Of those anthropomorphized caveats emerged a theme: Wisdom over all. Wisdom over weapons, wisdom over dominion, wisdom over divisiveness. This excited me so much, I admit I spent more time sharing how each character came to actualize wisdom than I did moving the story along to its intended end, which was the meeting of all emergent leaders in the center of America to decide how to move forward. Which means, of course, this is now becoming a trilogy!

What taxed me emotionally was the case for the Republic of Lakotah. About 2009/2010, I read a National Geographic article exposing the apocryphal conditions of an Oglala Lakota reservation. I remember becoming severely emotionally invested in reaction! My soul ached. I felt a deep set fury, a mother-like protectiveness, a sensation of, ‘how dare they hurt my children!’ which was confusing because I’ve never birthed children, so I didn’t know of this intrinsic power. Later I studied then realized it wasn’t me in the ego sense reacting, but the Divine Mother voicing through me.

I knew there had to be a method in which I could constructively communicate my disgust with the United States government – which openly and unapologetically exacts colonialism upon a free-willed people – and the liberty presented itself during this NaNoWriMo. The Divine Mother took many forms – Angry Mother, Crazy Mother, Nurturing Mother – as the discussion of healing carried on in The American Manifesto. Andrea Killsen is of Lakota origin, and in this NaNo entry, I delved into her history. Her family is predominantly in Arkansas, some split between Oklahoma and North and South Dakota. I followed Andrea’s history for explanation purposes, but then folded it out to represent conflict, an identity crisis, if you will. What Andrea experiences is representative of America’s identity crisis: we collectively ignore/refuse to acknowledge our shared pain in exchange for the glamour of global superpower status. How super can we be when we abuse and torture and starve and demoralize our own?

At the time of composition, the Keystone XL debate moved to the Senate, where during discussion, one brave Lakota stood and chanted above the politicos, a reminder that the debate as to the benefit of the pipeline has to consider first and foremost, who has the right to the land that the pipeline will run through? The Republic of Lakotah formalized its sovereignty in 2007, but that sovereignty has yet to be recognized. Given fairness, given an embracing of our fellow Americans, permission needs to be asked of these people. We Americans should not be shocked that the Lakota and other nations will respond with a ‘fuck you and hell no!’ but we as Americans should delight in what they can build from a positive collaboration with ethical public servants. My outstanding thesis for The American Manifesto became thus: until we collectively right that wrong, until we recognize these nationalists and promote their right to exercise their sovereignty, and until we invite them to the head of the decision making table, we as a nation, will collapse.

America, we are young and naive and self-congratulating and ignorant and close minded and annoying, an obnoxious teenager sitting in the back of the Global Unity classroom acting up for attention, while the rest of the democratic world rolls its eyes and wishes we would choke on the next spitball we make. Wisdom. We are starved of it. And nothing amplified that more during composition than the deplorable decisions and outrageous reactions in Ferguson. This work was fueled by erratic despair, and I will need some time to personally heal before I can read through it.

I dare not pretend I have all the answers, but I feel I at least started a plausible conceptual framework for the recalibration of Americanism through The American Manifesto. I believe very much so in these straight-off-my-proud-to-be-American-calendar statements:

But I also believe it’s going to take an extremely traumatic ass-kicking before we get our shit together.

This was a heavy work, but I am proud of it. It was birthed from an authentic place, incorporating historical facts and real-world examples with the best of my cognitive ability. I exercised scientific methodology but I encased it in storytelling, so that the bitter pill could at least taste sweet and feel fun as it goes down into your spirit stomach.

If you made it to this paragraph, thank you for helping me recalibrate. I have much more writing to do…

Visit http://www.republicoflakotah.com/  to learn more about the Republic of Lakotah and the beauty of North America’s original peoples.
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Shifting The Images of Women In Film To My Favor

Original Post Date June 12, 2013 at 02:26 PM

The author campaigns for Alisa Valdes and opines on her Summer Book Challenge. Details on tonight’s book reading provided.

I was stoked over the weekend to find out Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, author of two of my favorite chic lit books, is campaigning to bring Dirty Girls Social Club to the big screen! What?

If z = Von

and y = ChicLit

Then

result = FALSE

Well, yeah. But in my 20s, I devoured Alisa’s books. The parallels to my life experiences were uncanny. My involvement with a Latina-based sorority, metering the conflict between family and social preferences, the struggles with finding a professional identity in a cubbie hole driven society, yeah, Ms. Valdes knocked all the drama out the park. Seeing Ms. Valdes’ work on the big screen, integrating American values in a fun, feminine style, would be a welcome upgrade to the depiction of women in film. And it’s good karma too! I’ve started following Ms. Valdes on Twitter @MizAlisa and I encourage you to do the same. She launched a Kickstarter campaign and put out a hilarious parody of a Hollywood pitch on her website.

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I gotta update you on my Summer Book Challenge. Reading the works of Ian Fleming have been an eye opener. I am approaching these works as comparative to what we’ve experienced in film. I’m on Moonraker now, and it’s taken me three weeks to get through the first sixty-five pages! Not because it’s complex, but it’s sllllllllllooooowwwwwwwwww…

As a practiced social scientist, I find that Mr. Fleming’s work would be difficult for anyone who identifies as a woman, or as Black, to enjoy without being insulted. I keep in the forefront when the works were produced, the point of view of the author, and the frame of mind he was in at the time of producing his works.

I take away from this experience thus far as, well, this is what passed as a fast paced action series. It’s a bit of an uphill pedal right now, but nowhere near the incline of last year’s Summer Book Challenge, Ayn Rand‘s Atlas Shrugged.

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Would you like to meet Johanna Saucedo? I’m reading from my first fiction novel, I Blew Up Juarez, tonight at Irene’s. Here’s her invite straight from the Inbox:

YOU’RE INVITED! JOIN US… BRINGING GOOD VIBES TO OUR COMMUNITY! 

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POETRY READING & OPEN MIC….WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12th, 2013,
EARLY SIGN IN AND POT LUCK DINNER AT 6:00 pm WE WILL START PROMPTLY AT 7:00pm 

THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL GUEST AUTHOR **is…
**VON SIMEON reading from her upcoming book: I Blew Up Juarez
Come to ST BART’S …….. To read your favorite POETRY, tell a STORY , sing a SONG or PLAY your INSTRUMENT……We have a DRUM and PIANO………ORIGINAL POETRY and SONGS featuring our favorite published POETS…, Come and be a part of something special. See you there.!

DATE: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12th,, 2013

TIME: 7:00pm-9:00pm.

PLACE: ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

3747 – 34th STREET SOUTH

ST PETERSBURG, FL 33711

REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED. FREE WILL OFFERING

for more info:(727) 452-2369

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BOOKLOVER’S CAFE

for more info: call Irene 727-452-2369

Irene@bookloverscafeonline.com