Andi Winter

Writer, Reader, Tea Drinker, Chrononaut

Author: Andi Page 1 of 19

Don’t stand so close to me

Please don’t stand so close to me (I’m talking to you people who have somehow missed the ‘social distancing’ memo for being out and about in the world):

This PSA brought to you by The Police.

Don’t Stand So Close To Me by The Police

Young teacher the subject
Of schoolgirl fantasy
She wants him so badly
Knows what she wants to be

Inside her there’s no room
This girl’s an open page
Book marking she’s so close now
This girl is half his age

Don’t stand so close to me

Her friends are so jealous
You know how bad girls get
Sometimes it’s not so easy
To be the teacher’s pet

Temptation, frustration
So bad it makes him cry
Wet bus stop, she’s waiting
His car is warm and dry

Don’t stand so close to me

Loose talk in the classroom
To hurt they try and try
Strong words in the staffroom
The accusations fly

It’s no use
He sees her
He starts to shake he starts to cough
Just like the old man in
That famous book by Nabakov

Don’t stand so close to me

Today’s haiku

tea bagsdrawer full of tea

“Stress Relief”, “Tension Tamer”

—after my Earl Grey

Today’s haiku

wooden figure with back pain“get more exercise”

I do sit-ups on Sunday

back pain on Monday

-with all of the COVID-19 recommendations to stay healthy (eat better! get more exercise! sleep!), I thought I would get some more exercise. Too bad my back didn’t agree with this. Note for the future: sit-ups are TERRIBLE for you. Even if the Canadian ballerina doesn’t think so. Mmph.

It’s a far cry

From the world we thought we’d inherit:

This PSA brought to you by Rush.

Far Cry by Rush

Pariah dogs and wandering madmen
Barking at strangers and speaking in tongues
The ebb and flow of tidal fortune
Electrical changes are charging up the young

Ooh, it’s a far cry from the world we thought we’d inherit
Ooh, it’s a far cry from the way we thought we’d share it
Ooh, you can almost feel the current flowing
You can almost see the circuits blowing

One day I feel I’m on top of the world
And the next it’s falling in on me
I can get back on
I can get back on

One day I feel I’m ahead of the wheel
And the next it’s rolling over me
I can get back on
I can get back on

Whirlwind life of faith and betrayal
Rise in anger, fall back, and repeat
Slow degrees on the dark horizon
Full moon rising lays silver at your feet

Ooh, it’s a far cry from the world we thought we’d inherit
Ooh, it’s a far cry from the way we thought we’d share it
Ooh, you can almost feel the current flowing
You can almost see the circuits blowing

One day I feel I’m on top of the world
And the next it’s falling in on me
I can get back on
I can get back on

One day I feel I’m ahead of the wheel
And the next it’s rolling over me
I can get back on
I can get back on

It’s a far cry from the world we thought we’d inherit
You can almost see the circle growing
You can almost feel the planet glowing

One day I feel I’m on top of the world
And the next it’s falling in on me
I can get back on
I can get back on

One day I feel I’m ahead of the wheel
And the next it’s rolling over me
I can get back on
I can get back on

One day I fly through a crack in the sky
And the next it’s falling in on me
I can get back on
I can get back on

Make good art

I started writing a number of haiku, and they all boiled down to:

the world is chaos
find something to delight you
and let the rest go

In the middle of the rampant sturm und drang, I’m finding it’s imperative to find those little pockets of joy and light. To do something (even if just reading a recently released urban fantasy romp) because then at least I am making a choice and taking action. Not sitting in front of the TV or laptop and being inundated with more terrible news, the latest expansion of the current crisis, and emotional turmoil that has me thinking about The End of Days.

The image in my head (oddly to most people) is of Bridget Jones after she discovers her boyfriend is shagging another woman. It’s the point when she decides to be her own woman, and to not keep trying to find the perfect man:

At times like this, continuing with one’s life seems impossible… and eating the entire contents of one’s fridge seems inevitable. I have two choices: to give up and accept permanent state of spinsterhood and eventual eating by alsatians, or not. And this time I choose not. I will not be defeated by a bad man and an American stick insect! Instead, I choose vodka. And Chaka Khan.

Not that I’m choosing vodka. Although I do choose Chaka Khan. And Rush. A whole heck of a lot of Rush. And Chloe Neill and Cheryl Strayed and Richard K. Morgan. And making loaves of rye bread. And trying to teach myself to crochet (which is not going as well as one would hope).

And writing. Lots of writing.

Because the other thought in my head is a quote from Neil Gaiman:

When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician — make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too.

(The Zen Pencils cartoon of Gaiman’s quote is awesome, by the way.)

So with that, I say to you: in this time of utter chaos and uncertainty, make good art.

And choose vodka. Or whatever delights you. Because life is too damn short.

Thoughts on getting sick

Okay, just to allay any fears: this has nothing to do with the coronavirus/COVID-19.

For the first time in two years, I caught a cold. Nothing major, and I’m not entirely sure how much of a cold it really was, since it just knocked me on my ass for a few days with a sore throat, fever, and exhaustion. Consuming an array of chicken-related soups (traditional chicken noodle, Chinese hot and sour*, Campbell’s chicken pot pie), a number of Screwdrivers and Greyhounds**, and a ton of rest*** seemed to have done the trick, for which I’m grateful.

It was sometime in the middle of the “Robots of Death” serial that I got to thinking about how I had essentially let myself get sick. I’d been pushing myself pretty hard (despite New Year’s resolutions to scale back on my ambitions****) between self-imposed publishing deadlines, personal health goals*****, and general life maintenance******, with on top of all this the current house renovation project.*******

So, yeah. I might have gotten a little stressed. Combine that with lack of sleep (curse you, sagging mattress!) and perhaps not eating the most nutritiously (green vegetables are for summer, right?), and BAM! The universe forced me to take a time out.

Well and good.

So between robots killing humans on a mining ship floating over the surface of some planet, I had a crazy thought.

What if I stopped trying so hard?

Not that I hadn’t heard this from well-meaning loved ones before, but for some reason it resonated with me this time.

What if I didn’t try to do ALL THE THINGS?

Deep down, I fear that I would turn into a pile of goo. No structure? No goals? No To-Do Lists? How will I ever get anything done? The next thing I’d know, I’d be lying on the couch, wrapped under a blanket, drinking Screwdrivers and binge-watching old Doctor Who episodes.

<full body record scratch>

Wait a minute.

All right, I’ll have to admit it. Maybe my goals are a tad unrealistic. And maybe my expectations for the amount of time (and effort) some activities will require are, shall we say, a bit on the underestimated side********.

That being said, what if I stopped trying so hard?

Wouldn’t the world collapse around me? Surely the sun would stop rising and the End Times would be nigh.

Or maybe I could just get over myself, seriously scale back, embrace a little more Wu Wei, and choose to, I don’t know, relax. And trust that I’m not a lazy person, and that stuff will get done in the fullness of time.

Bizarre concept, that.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Once I finish my Screwdriver and this episode of “Rise of the Cybermen“.

###

*Note to self: if have a sore throat, do not add the hot chili oil to ‘hot and sour soup’. For some reason, sore throats don’t take kindly to spicy hot flavors.

**I figure they are the perfect medicine for colds: citrus for the Vitamin C and vodka for the ‘kill everything while it goes down’ aspect.

***By ‘rest’ I mean: sleep followed by lying on the couch and binge-watching Doctor Who (some classic Tom Baker episodes, followed up with series 1 and 2 with Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant—my top three favorite doctors, in that order, I think).

****By ‘scale back’ I mean: continue to pursue a vast variety of activities but in limited frames of time. For example, doing one sun salutation (not ‘an hour of yoga’), or playing the clarinet for 15 minutes (not ‘practice until my lips are numb’, although that tends to be around 15 minutes currently).

*****Ironic, isn’t it?

******The house won’t clean itself yet. Dammit.

*******The joys of that to come forthwith.

********Despite my best efforts to apply the Star Trek Engineering ‘Time Something Will Take’ Rule: take the amount of time you think something will require to complete and multiply by 4. If you finish before that time, you’re hailed as a genius. If it takes the full amount of time, then you’re just plain good.

Today’s haiku

early crocus

purple crocus heads

poking up out of the ground

a dash of color

Today’s haiku

crescent moon and star

Image by Bluesnap from Pixabay

suspended above

lone star and sliver of moon

orange dawning sky

Happy Release Day!

Daggers and Demons coverNext up in The Seven Territories series is “Daggers and Demons“. This story features daggers, and demons, and the usual crazy mix that is my Weird West: Chinese mythology, Celtic mythology, blacksmiths, and all of it based to some degree on honest-to-goodness real history.

When a Resistance fighter comes looking for an ancient mystical weapon that could change everything for the war against the Menace, he finds himself caught up in mythological chaos that will have long-lasting consequences that he could never foresee.

“Daggers and Demons” is available in the usual online places (Amazon and the rest). If you like your fantasy with a side of history and Old West, check this story out!

Today’s haiku

rain and wind“heavy rain at times”

my red hat nearly flies off

“with sudden wind gusts”

 

Image by ArtTower from Pixabay

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