A morning mix of topics, somehow related

I slept first until only 2310hrs last evening and am now up and writing at 0105hrs.  I take it that I am destined not to sleep during the middle of the night.  I have awoken in sweat-soaked clothing the last two nights from the nightmares that haunt me.  I do not, even now, remember their exact events, but I do know their content.  It is the stuff that nightmares are and should be made of.  I just wish that they were not in my head.  Oh, well.  I will live.

Yesterday, a high school graduation was held outdoors on the football field.  People had a lot of trouble with the concept of social distancing, but that was to be expected.  At least they were outdoors!  It was a short ceremony, which is the type of ceremony I would have like to have had when I went through commencements, but I enjoyed having my commencement ceremonies pandemic-free, too, so I guess you get to pick one or the other.  Anyway, it was nice to see that the graduating class of 2020 got a ceremony to honor their great achievement of graduating high school.  They have no idea what is in the future for them, but none of us do, so that is okay.  They still have time to dream.

It is never too late to dream and dream big.  My mother has this philosophy, as do my doctors and more upbeat friends and acquaintances.  They do not believe that there is a cut-off or an expiration date on having dreams in life.  I admire that.  I try to hang onto that.  Some days, I am too tired to hold onto that and I end up in the inpatient psych ward, but I am getting better, slowly but surely.  These are people that I look up to and respect.  They are my mentors and heroes in life.  I love these people because they dare to reach out and say, “Come with me!  I’m going somewhere!  I’m moving ahead!” no matter how old they get or how bad the circumstances are.  I truly admire these people.  I can only hang on tightly to their coattails, but at least I have the open invitation to go along.

I have been working on some short stories.  I finished one last week and started another this week.  It was not the one I thought I would be starting on, though.  The idea was not even in my head when I thought of the characters for the short story that I am working on right now.  I was going to do an alternate-viewpoint short story and ended up abandoning that (only for the time being) in favor of an idea that popped into my head while I was reading another short story written by someone else.  It had nothing to do with their story except that it would turn out to be in the same genre of horror fiction, but what amazed me was that a story formed in my head completely independent of this other person’s work, yet was inspired by something — I do not know what, exactly — that they had said in their story.  It had something to do with the idea of transformation.  That is all I can figure out.  I am also reading my class text for my upcoming first online class in the Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing program with Southern New Hampshire University.  So far, it is a good text.  I am on chapter six or so of the book, which is an e-book, and hoping that the paper copy that I will get through accommodations at the university arrives soon so that I can read a real book.

Speaking of e-books…  Some books I do not mind reading as e-books.  Texts for classes and school have to be paper copies, though, and I much prefer a paper copy of anything to an e-book unless I am travelling long distances.  Why?  First of all, real books do not require electricity or batteries to read.  You can read them by the light of the fire in the wilderness if you must.  Second, their screens do not break because they do not have any such glass accouterments to be looked after with care.  Third, they can be a genuinely useful memorization tool to a visual learner, such as myself, because their formatting and the turn of a page can signal a memory of what exactly was on that page under the photo of whatever-it-was, and that is the information you need at the moment that you are trying to recall it.  With the endless scrolling of the e-books, much less swiping, smudging, and charging of the devices, there is no reference point for a person with my type of learning and memory style to look back on in my mind’s eye, and therefore no point in trying to memorize anything of value in such a format because it simply does not work.  Trust me.  I have tried it many times, to no avail.  I need a genuine paper book.  I just learn better that way.

I am not trying to say that technology is bad, here.  Please do not take it that way.  It is handy to be able to have an entire library system contained within a small iPad Mini device or something similar…if you happen to have a good signal and a full charge.  When the lights go out, though, that signal is gone, and that charge is only going to last so long.  A paper book has none of these restrictions.  In addition, and I hate to say such thing about something so beloved as a real book, the pages can be used for fire starter, toilet paper, and many other applications that may be, in some people’s views, survival needs.  You cannot do that with an iPad.  At least, you probably should not do that with an iPad….  Perhaps I should say that I sincerely hope that you do not do that with your iPad.  End of story.

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