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R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

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Foul Word of the Day [Mar. 11th, 2016|02:50 pm]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
[Tags|, , , ]


I keep starting and restarting this, and I'm getting very little further onward. So, baldly and with no flowery speech:

I know people. Some of them have chronic pain, or processing issues that result in poor behaviors, or loved ones causing major stress, or massive overwork, or -- lots of things. Life.

I was raised, and later, I considered deeply who I want to be and chose, to be compassionate and helpful. Sometimes I hit that mark, sometimes not, but it's sort of the center about which I try to orbit. One of the repeating poor behaviors I exhibit is that I tend to not show compassion to me.

Not exactly true -- I feel amply sorry for myself, but that's not what I mean. I frequently will not bother with considering what I might want or need. Instead, I'll make my plans, obligations, task lists, grocery lists, considering what those around me might need from them and leaving me out.

Last week I watched me do it, in real time, with enough detachment that I could hear the internal dialogue. Like this: I was achy and tired and my head hurt. I thought to mention this to Shannon, but recognized that she was having a Truly Horrid Pain Day, and chose to suppress not just the conversation in which I'd say I was hurting, but any action I might have taken because I was hurting, as well. That was normal. The internal dialogue went something like "My pain is nothing compared to hers. I shouldn't burden her with my issues, too. By comparison, mine just isn't important."

Gah. My jaw clenches as I write this.

The implication, based on my internal decision process, is that unless my inconvenience outstrips everyone else's, it falls short and does not merit acknowledgement, let alone action. "I don't hurt more than other people, so I don't deserve --"

Good grief. Who thinks like that? Is there some rule that only one person in the world can get a hug, a "poor baby, there there", an ASPIRIN ferchrissakes? Seriously.

So I looked a bit more, and noticed that I do this all the time.

All. The. Time.

If I am tired enough, if I am so achy or exhausted or whatever that my mouth says stupid things, things that might come out sound like "I've been hurting/wanting/needing all day, but I didn't DO anything about it, so I DESERVE WHAT I AM GETTING, which is nothing and serves me right--"

People do not utter, under stress, things that they do not think or feel other times. They just let them out when they might not normally. So the syllogism is pretty simple:

- If I am well and rested, I should put others' needs first
- If I am not well or rested, I should consider whether I am more disadvantaged than others.
* If so, I should try to bootstrap myself and manfully do for others
* If not, I should shut up and manfully do for others
- When I finally break from exhaustion or pain or overwork, I should punish myself as much as possible, so that I will Learn My Lesson, because the only way I ever change my behaviors is through punishment or, when possible, actual abuse

This is, I feel, pretty obviously horseshit.

In the last week, I've been trying to revamp my decision tree, but it's slow going. I've noticed that it isn't always dramatic. It might be:
- I deal with work & obligation to a certain degree and completely break
- Anti-depressant taken
- Feel better
- Since I am no longer utterly broken, I take on extra work & obligation

So the things I've done to limit the fallout from my decision tree actually results in a deeper level of messed-up.

The direction to go is pretty obvious. Keep doing the things to limit the fallout, but then STOP taking on other crap and be nice to me. Take a nap. Do something fun. Write. Paddle.

It'll be interesting to see if I do those things.
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Ahoy [Apr. 4th, 2015|04:12 pm]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

Today I took my lovely purple kayak and dropped it into Baker Bay, at the Chinook boat launch.  My thought was to traverse the bay to the unnamed sandbar, then hand-rail up Sand Island, take a peek at Cape Disappointment, and rejoin Shannon at Purly Shell in Ilwaco.

Excellent plan.  Didn’t work.

I have been in a kayak (including today) four times.  Several miles of open water, even in a calm bay, might be a bit ambitious, it turns out.

About half a mile to the sandbar I noticed that the swells were becoming more pronounced.  Something about the depth of the water, I imagine, but it’s difficult to be certain.  I was the talk of all the birds floating in the area, who didn’t even have the courtesy to lower their voices while speaking harshly of me.  Obviously sea fowl of low social circles.

I had worked out, based on a rudimentary understanding of physics, that one puts a pointy end of one’s watercraft directly toward the incoming swells.  That seemed to help with the stability a bit, although it had me going south, and I needed west.  I’d been planning to continue south and west until I overshot the bar, then go north and west until the bar shielded me from the waves.  As the roll became higher, I began to question this plan.  I wondered if the coldness of the water might become a hypothermic issue, if I capsized and had to swim the kayak out (assuming I couldn’t right it with me inside).

Actually, I didn’t wonder.  I knew that hypothermia would be an issue.  I wondered about the likelihood of capsizing, though.

Resting and thinking a bit, I saw that I wasn’t alone.  A harbor seal was sharing the blank stretch of water for which I’ve no specific noun.  It was obviously seated on something, as harbor seals aren’t terribly tall and the water was rising and falling around it.  We enjoyed a moment together, recognizing in one another, I assume, the aged depth of soul that only true lovers of the sea can note in another.

Then I wondered what the seal was sitting on, to rise above the water like that.  I didn’t see anything … which means I was five kayak-lengths away from having a swell raise me above it and a trough drop me on it — whatever it was.  It occurred to me that, if only part of the kayak dropped on it, the rest of the kayak would demonstrate in practical terms a very neat real-world use for notions regarding angular momentum.  I mentally raised the odds of capsizing.  I thought some more about hypothermia.

Then I turned around and decided following the shore to Ilwaco was a much better plan.  Hypothermia a couple hundred feet from shore is much easier to handle than the same condition a mile or three off shore.

I felt wise; I recognized hazards, I acted in accordance to my best interests, and all would be well.

The tide was, at the time, just finishing coming in.  This gave me some lovely swells (which I’d disliked somewhat a few minutes earlier) to ride on.  The effect, for those who haven’t had the chance to try it, is half the time one gets to paddle downhill.  A nice bit of speed is picked up, and if you push on the uphill you don’t lose it.

So you go faster next time down.

After playing with this for a bit, I was startled to notice a standing wave a couple lengths in front of me.  On rivers, standing waves mean a rock, or perhaps a sunken kayak sufficiently weighted down with poor judgement so that it stays submerged.  I looked around for my best direction to dodge.

And saw that all of the waves were standing.

I was surfing.

That was nearly as cool as a harbor seal.  I had a blast with that for a time, until I reached the north end of the bay and had to turn west.

The waves did not join me.  They felt they’d made a good day travelling north, and were going to stick with something that had been working and working well.  They had managed maybe 18 inch to 24 inch peak-to-trough (which likely has a word, but I don’t know it yet), and could pretty much continue north against all of my protests.  My best efforts did not change their direction, nor decrease their amplitude.

It was, in every aspect, as if I were not supremely potent enough to still the seas when they displeased me.

In our disagreement over how to proceed, the waters had stopped displaying swells and moved into the more staccato motions called “chop” — with the same amplitude.  This meant there was a certain amount of breaking, as well.

This is not water motion that is conducive to serene contemplation of the infinite as one gently paddles along.  It is very conducive to contemplation of how close one is going to be to the infinite, and how soon, but the contemplation is less characterized by “serene” and more by “adrenalized”.  I found that it took me half an hour to traverse a quarter mile, and I had two miles left to go.

Capsizing now had such odds in its favor that no one was willing to make book on it.  ”A done deal,” seemed to be the general belief in the sporting community.  I imagine the harbor seal was cashing in nicely at my expense, having been afforded a look at me fresh out of the stables.  He knew my form, and harbor seals are notorious for diving on a sure thing when they’ve got one.

I considered all of my options, and my various futures.  I came within a twitch of capsizing several times during this consideration.  I turned my prow into the waves, and found that there was a contingent of diagonal traverse waves to account for me, if I tried it.  Obviously the local currents either held a grudge or were taking a bit under the table from the harbor seal.

I was becoming somewhat down on that damned seal.  Not a sportsmanlike bone in his flippered body, was my feeling.

I found my best chance for a happy ending, and took it.  I brought her about (as we sea-dogs will say, against all advice) and paddled strongly and with specific ambition.  In a few breaths I was grounded about 100 feet off the nearest road, and texted Shannon for a lift.

Turns out to have been a good thing.  Once we were back at the shop, I ate a sandwich and utterly passed out.  I think I was too tired to have traversed those waves, even if my luck had held me upright.

Good day.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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Eldritch Paddling [Mar. 28th, 2015|08:35 am]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

I believe that the erratic and wind-blown path I paddled yesterday, with the pauses at various stations to perform ritual cursing as I fought to escape eddies produced by bridge footings, may have been interpreted as the passage through a mystic and wet labyrinth.  A strange, dark sign was thus produced.

The mute-staccato gestures I expressed while achieving the dock without letting gravity and flowing water have their way with me appear to have served as the occult kinesics needed to draw the attention of Entities from Beyond.

I realize now, far too late to help, that when I ate a cold bean burrito in a puddle on the dock I was acting in the role of the hideous presence that had been partially summoned.  My consumption of the wet tortilla sacrifice pulled It through fully.

I have unwittingly brought an Acidosis Fiend into the world, with its foul entourage of lactic acid imps.

I apologize.  Do not chastise me for my part in the sore-muscle apocalypse; I promise you, I am experiencing penance for what I have done.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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Joyous Anticipation [Mar. 11th, 2015|06:37 am]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

I’ve a habit, a coping mechanism, something … when I know there is an interaction coming up that may have stress associated, I will role-play it in my head, trying out different actions I might control against possible (however unlikely) actions the others in the interaction might take.  I consider this something like a chess problem.  What moves can the other(s) make, and how can I respond to improve my position or achieve certain goals?

This isn’t all cold-blooded.  I am a cooperative and socially-conscious, empathetic sort of guy.  But I do this thing.

I’ve an upcoming meeting with a particular associate who, I feel confident, is approaching this meeting with hostility and more need to vent and get satisfaction than need to come to some sort of terms to get things done.  My role-play of this kept producing bad scenario after bad scenario.  Coming to a cooperative and positive solution pretty much requires both parties to want that, and I don’t see that as the case.

Which means, I guess, that I should stop stressing over it and just focus on performing at my best.  If I can’t win in any permutation of this game, I guess I’ll have to find solace in having played well and in a gentlemanly fashion.

Not much solace, that.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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What Everyone Gets [Mar. 1st, 2015|10:33 am]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

Bunnies are just cute.  They whiffle their noses and jump around and over and sometimes on each other, and decide it’s time to be over there right now, and dash and then sit and whiffle and wonder who decided it was time to be over here now.

And sometimes bunnies hurt themselves, or another bunny hurts them by mistake.  It just happens, when you’re very small, still growing, and have all the muscle-and-leverage gifted to a bunny.  Cats get stuck in high places, dogs eat things that hurt them, bunnies run and jump faster than their baby bones can cope with sometimes.

One of the babies hurt herself so badly that she was paralyzed.  It didn’t hurt, but it confused her and she couldn’t do the things that bunnies do.  I made sure she had cuddles, and was warm, and did what you can do for a bunny who can only move one leg.

I will never like this.  I’ve sat next to too many bunnies, cats, dogs, people.  Every time, I think of something from Neil Gaiman.  Every time I know it’s right.

Every time it is no comfort at all.

What Everyone Gets

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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Independent Publishing Links from Radcon Panels [Feb. 14th, 2015|03:29 pm]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

Really, start and end here: Northwest Independent Writers Association

With the exception of NIWA, above, I present these links with no feelings or knowledge of them one way or another; they were mentioned in Indie panels, so here they are.


  • Indiegogo - raise a chunk o’ cash

  • Patreon - get chunks o’ cash each time you produce something

Website building:



Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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Idiomancy [Dec. 31st, 2014|02:49 pm]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

Somewhere between the poles of imaginary friends, faith, hypnosis, and creative writing, there lies power — specifically the power to change and guide oneself.

I’m so tempted to stop there.  But no, cutting the limbic flow of words is not in me, nor will be.

So, in disorganised format, this.  For — ever — I’ve rehearsed conversations in my head.  Some conversations in my head were with folk I knew and loved, and over time I fine-tuned the rehearsals to have better representations of those I talked to.  These homonculi are generally of those I love, and who care for me, and so, frequently, they stick around.

Yeah, I know.  Get therapy.  But, hey, they love me, so they have my best interests at heart.  And, at my heart, I know that they started in my imagination in any case.

So, good.  Imaginary friends, who help me talk things out.  Fine.

Now you take this a step further (and roundly offend a lot of faith-based people) and suggest that, if you’ve a guardian angel or a direct line to a holy ghost (lower case to reduce the offense), maybe that’s akin to my homonculi.  Now, I’ve some recurring what-I-will-call-spiritual experiences with threads of continuity.  I could declare that they are of supernatural origin and be all holy and stuff.  I could say I’ve experience with imaginary friends, and this is just a new flavor.  I could say lots of stuff.

What I do say is that I have experiences of varying value and interest, and the experience is actual.  So is a dream, and so is a delusion, and so is being hit with a material brick.  If you hit me with a brick and don’t leave a mark, and take the brick away, and have no witnesses, did you really hit me with a brick?  It goes into the pile of “I experienced it but cannot prove it”.  Other people are given to declarations on the reality-basis of these experiences, but I’m too aware of myself to do that.  I say “I experience this”, and when someone asks what the nature of the experience was (spiritual?  hallucinatory?  clever ruse?) I shrug and move on.

Which is not to say I am unmoved.  I am frequently moved.  From above, below, within, or by myself, I get some guidance.

I strive for true agnostic; when there is demonstration, I will have belief.  Until then, I will agree there is possibility, even if actuality has not been demonstrated.

You’re with me.  Good.



jump –

– I am, in general, a bit bound by rules and expectations and duty and other tripe.  Not my best trait, although it makes me wonderful to plan around.  I may or may not show up to a party, but if you give me a duty, you can pretty much count that I’ll either delivery or writhe in pain at my failure.  Impulsively following my bliss, though, that I’m not so hot on.  I tried to make it a duty, many ways, over the last decade, and it just doesn’t work.  Duties are to make me behave and be unhappy, and so a duty to be happy will result in a failed duty that I will inflict unhappiness on myself over.  What I need is the ability to drop the tension and just GO after my bliss, without all that agonizing.

– and another –

– I have, with repeated success, added homonculi intentionally to my cast of characters.  I have had remarkable success with hypnosis, and retain vivid experiences from years back through that medium.  So I could, if I wished, add a spiritual entity/homonculus/backdoor into my skull for something horrific and alien, and do it on purpose –

– Oh.

Oh, he said.

So, I’ve a contact with my inner psychopomp, and a half-dozen close friends.  Sometimes at sort-of will.

What if I intentionally [added a homonculus]/[invited a rider]/[requested a guide]?  I have the tools at hand, and they are polished and honed with use and care.

And I’ve been doing that, carefully.  What I want is something like a female Ghede, with just a touch of foresight and willingness to delay gratification for greater good.  An Id-advocate, who will pop up and odd moments and nudge me.

Astonishingly, this appears to be working.  It is nearly always sub-vocal, but is now added to those things I experience.  I am actually pursuing things just because they seem a good idea, or fun, or sometimes for reasons that I don’t know … but it works out that it was a good idea, or fun.

There’s a bunch of tedious detail and stage setting involved in my head, but I may have actually have found a way to take my wound-too-tightly brain and put it to work in a direction that reduces my Duty Angst.

I’ve no idea if I’m going to show this to the world.  But I needed to write it down, so there y’go, potentially.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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Alternate endings [Dec. 23rd, 2014|06:29 pm]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
[Tags|, , ]

Life goes like this.  You can’t tell someone what your life is really like, because the only perfect map is a complete model of the terrain.  You’d have to recapitulate the universe to get it right.  So, instead, we pick and choose, and, in the process, we change things.  Always with the intention to mislead, although it might be an intent to mislead in the direction of greater truth, rather than away from that.

We all do that.  Polish the facts just a little, present them in just an order, such that the point we feel should be gleaned gets across.  We don’t try to represent things accurately and objectively, because that isn’t what we are experiencing — we, none of us, live objectively among the phenomenae.  We have reactions.

So.  Stories.  Life.  Now you know.

When one is writing a story (I’m talking about literature now, not the other kind), one gets to decide what happens.  There’s a lot of folk who claim that the story HAD to be written just so, HAD to end a certain way, but really what they mean is the story they wanted to tell had to go like that.  They chose.  Okay, then.

Maybe all stories work like that.  I’m talking life now, and literature both.  Maybe the metaphor bleeds actuality across, and taints and traits of the one are stained on the other through the medium of reality diluted in figures of speech.

Maybe.  I could analyze it for a day or two, consider deeply, draw inferences and pose difficulties.  Or I could just try it and see what happens, gain a data point that might draw a more curve-y curve than a single point might.

A long time ago, 18 months or so, someone commissioned me to make her a picture frame that matched, in pattern and finish, an aged frame she already had.  She purchased wood (a different wood), and stain (which would have colored the new wood opaque tar), and presented them to me with her model, asking me to use the wrong materials and come up with the right frame.

And, hey, I did that, mixing her stain with a bunch of other things (including rusted steel wool) to get just the right overtones in artificial and sunlight.  The patterns for the frame matched.  It was spot-on.  I got $20 for about three weeks of my free time, but I felt okay about that.  Future prices would be haggled a bit, and I wouldn’t let someone else declare the obstacles on the next projects.  I got my $20 and a hug and squees of delight.

A week or so went by.  She reached out to me, saying that the intention for the new frame actually required it to be deeper than we discussed.  It needed to be more of a shadow-box, really.  Could I take an extra piece of the wood, cut it exactly flush to match the frame, and just layer them up and make it deeper, then stain the new wood to match the existing wood that would then, as a whole, match the original frame?

Being an ass, I said I could do that.  Then life exploded, and by and large, I had no wood-working time available to me that was not better spent on something else.  I kept the frame and the stain and the extra wood, and they gathered dust and cursed my leisure time; I would walk into the shop, consider what I’d like to do, and realize I had this obligation on me and I could do nothing else.  I could not complete the work on the frame because I hadn’t the tools to do what was needed correctly.  Couldn’t go forward, couldn’t skip over it.

18 months of that.  When I thought of it, fairly frequently, I considered it a fine example of how lacking in virtue and trustworthiness I was, how useless and in fact detrimental I was to society as a whole, and how I should be sent into the outer darkness to live, unloved and alone, where my failures would not burden others.  It was, I felt, obvious from the problem statement what the conclusions were that should be drawn.

The nice woman eventually asked to have the raw materials and the frame, to the degree it was a frame she needed, returned to her.  I did, and she was nice about it, although she never did say that it was all right that I did not deliver as promised.  I assume she stays up nights, hating me, hurting herself to spite me, finding strangers on sidewalks and in bars and low establishments with diseased patrons and telling them her tale of woe and misuse at my hands.

It is just possible that this is not exactly how her experience of this goes, but it’s what I tell myself when I am trying to be kind to me, to soften the blow that my actions make me so deserve.

That, friends, is the story I would tell you of the picture frame.  It is not a story that makes me happy with myself.  It may be, though, that a different ending could be put to it.

So, let’s try, for the sheer philosophic wonder of it all.

18 months ago, a nice woman commissioned me to make her a frame.  She’d purchased materials for it, and was excited by that, so I agreed to use the materials to let her continue to feel happy.  She and I agreed on the dimensions of the frame specifically, and how it would look, and I went home and made the frame for her, nailing exactly what we’d agreed.

Shortly after, she called back and asked if it was possible, after the work was completed, to make it come out to completely different set of specifications.  I had doubts myself, or perhaps I was just assuming I’d get that done without really thinking through what was involved.  Once thought through, though, I realized I’d gotten into a bigger set of technical problems than I could solve with the materials at hand — what should be done is actually start over.  I didn’t consider that an option though, and sidelined the project for months.

Eventually she tired of waiting, and called to check on her project.  Rather than lead her on, I told her outright that I thought 18 months ample to show I wasn’t going to be able to get to her project, and offered to return it to her.  She had no problem with this; I’d offered to try to make the re-specified version for no further cost, and she got all her materials back.  I returned everything and we parted on a friendly basis.  I even told her that, while I regretted not being able to deliver the new specifications, I mostly regretted not recognizing sooner and tossing my hand in a long time back.  We would both have gone on to other things.

…   …

Both of those versions are exactly true.  I can’t say that I’ve learned anything from the re-telling, but maybe there is something perking in the background that I won’t recognize until later.

Mind, if I tell you about it tomorrow, it’s likely that the story will be somewhat different.

Both versions, of course, will be true.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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MAMBO BLEND (a nearly allegorical recounting of my one attempt to stop drinking leaded coffee) [Dec. 8th, 2014|06:33 pm]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
[Tags|, , ]

The rain tapped counterpoint to deep-throated drums last night, and the steady thunder is still pounding in my temples and behind my eyes.  Looking out the dark window of my room, I thought for a moment I saw the outline of a skeletally thin man dancing in a ring of trees, shaking a fetish and casting graveyard dirt toward the house. His shadowed face seemed not to move, but I could hear, just below the current of my blood, chanted prayers I could almost understand.  The moment passed, and there were just trees, and the pain building in my head.
This morning I rose without waking, and moved with shuffling gait through the house. I acted out the rituals of the day without feeling, spoke without thought, ate and drank without affect. There was no periphery in my sight, nor in my thoughts; what I looked at was all there was to existence, that, and the pain that underlay everything.  I made and drunk potions that seemed necessary at the time I did so, found them without savor, and I am unchanged. People speak to me and I answer, and do not know what has been said. I act, and do not think to wonder what I am doing, nor why.
The darkness is still all about me, pervasive but not menacing, and the echo of chanting is still resounding within it in rhythm to my underwater movements.  Somewhere, I know, living things bleed out their lives and shadowed men shuffle and stomp in dance.  I lift my cup, and smell only graveyard dirt.
Somewhere, there is unquiet within me, but it is far, far from where anyone will ever hear it again.
Papa Cemetiere croons from over my shoulder, “No more decaf.”
Unfeeling, I nod to my skull’s beating rhythm.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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AFP [Dec. 5th, 2014|09:25 pm]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

This is not a fan piece.

Okay, then.  Quick and dirty, and with almost no bells, whistles, or other accompaniment to the [can/equ]ine dance.

Amanda Fucking Palmer appeals to me.  I’ve found many other artists who perform more polished, who write more beautifully, who play with greater skill…I don’t know of any who are more unabashedly forthright and belligerently honest and some forthcoming that, halfway through the first paragraph, you want to back away, palms extended with repulser blasts of social space, fighting for a little bit of time for the overshare police to come and take her away.

That last bit is the one that gets me.  Someone who shows me his/er slip, and points out the smudged bit, and describes how that happened and why s/he is still wearing it and what they did in it when no one was looking — that is a pint of ether with whiskey back for me.  Drink it down and try not to weave, that’s the stuff and I’ll have another, thanks.

Intimate.  You can’t even say forced or aggressively intimate, because she doesn’t come to one’s door singing at a shout into stranger faces; you come to the media player willingly or you haven’t come at all.  This is what you’ll get.  No arm’s reach conversation, but naked spooning with bits sort of intermingled and noses in armpits and snuggled together while she sings you the thing she had in her head.

That’s AFP.  I value that largely because it is, in spite of my hopes of literary achievement, what I do best when I’m doing anything at all (and what I stopped years ago because of fear, but we’ll get to that).

I’ve her book on Audiobooks.  I’m enjoying it.  I listen on the way to work, and coming home.  I have company in the car.  Joseph Campbell was stimulating, Christoper Moore was entertaining and funny, but AFP is THERE, right there in the car with me.

She yammered on a bit about being a performance artist (living statue named The Eight Foot Bride), and how she felt she was a success in contacting people while doing that, evoking emotion,  being seen and making others feel seen … but that wasn’t sufficient.  The Bride was an act.  Her songs were her.

She didn’t just want to be seen, she wanted HER to be seen, to be heard, and to interact thereby.  She’d held back a quarter century because of fear of rejection, but moved because it finally hurt enough to not move.

There.  That.

We share a tendency … a certainty of intimate and captivating overshare.

She recognized she needed that to live, and went with it.

I recognized that showing myself that boldly would hinder me in the conservative circles where I work, and silenced myself.  That is the chief reason that I don’t write much, apart from over-commitment.  How can I write about cannibals and molesters and the horrific and wonderful things people do and all off-color and tongue in cheek or in your face you WILL experience this, and not expect to eventually be removed by the discomforted conservatives that rule my paychecks?

I could work under a name that isn’t mine, but how honest can I be if I won’t say my name?

I lost about five minutes of her book, while this all avalanched through me.  Then I had to pull over to the side of Hwy 26 on Sylvan hill during rush hour, in the dark, in heavy traffic, and sob.

I’d sold myself for groceries.

My clogged sinus and puffy eyes say that I need to find a way to go back to my  overshare with the world, or there will be higher prices than grocery bills.

Now I just need to figure out what to do about that with minimum risk and maximum relief.  I can’t say that it’s an energy thing, not anymore.  Today I had four hours sleep, worked a heavy and stressful, crisis-control day, got home 14 hours after I left and did chores for an hour before I sat to this.

*looks up at the page*  I appear to be able to write, if not necessarily well.

I appear to have lost my excuse.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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Duty Free Zone [Oct. 3rd, 2014|02:59 pm]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

So, the most interesting incident lately has been no incident at all.

Yesterday a job opened up that I could apply for.  A few years ago, I took a position for a department that was utter chaos, had no way to tell if it was successful except quarterly, and couldn’t determine if an individual member of the department was doing his or her job.  I changed all of that, starting with the last, so that everything was built up on the basis of the individual members production, which meant that the department achievement had a direct relation to each person’s actions, and everything was objective and reproducible and actual trends could be viewed over time.  The new job was like the starting point of this one, but with dollar values an order of magnitude larger.

I noted the opportunity to Shannon, to ask her opinion on whether I should apply and what I should ask for compensation.  I ran down everything, noting that, in addition to the three years of unpleasantness and stress I’d had, I’d be travelling monthly as well.  I was, at that moment, considering that I’d need at least another 25% to consider the position, and really was thinking of not trying for it; it sounded like a chance to go back to being stressed and unhappy all the time.  I tossed the 25% number at Shannon.

“So, that’s about X dollars monthly, net.  About double the monthly deficit in our bills.  So we’d break even and pay back savings a little each month.

“… which means that, since I can get this position, it’s really my duty to get it.  We need the money, so my duty is clear;  I need to trade off for more stress and less sleep and time and life, and get the money that we need.”

Again, a moment earlier I had been thinking I wouldn’t even apply.  Suddenly it wasn’t even an option to not apply, and I was getting angry with my life because all I was for on this planet was to facilitate bill paying and other people’s needs.  My pulse was so fast and so hard that I could hear it, even over the rising tension and volume in my own voice.

It was my duty to go back through an awful period of time.  It was my duty to give up being happy for money, it wasn’t even a rate of exchange sort of decision, my happiness wasn’t on the table when there was Duty to perform, my happiness was, in fact, a trivial concern because it was only MY happiness, not IMPORTANT –

I stopped talking before any of that mind-spin could escape into words.  ”Wow.”  I told Shannon about the internal rant, and where it was going, and we came to quick agreement; I should not apply for the position.

I’d never actually SEEN my internal stability kicked off it’s mounts before.  I could even identify the first wobble:  ”Duty”.  That word pops up and I become self-destructively stupid.

Bizarre.  Weird to see it happen.  It took me about ten minutes to get back to normal.

I’ve no idea what we’ll do for money, but I guess that, for now, we won’t be sacrificing me on an altar to Finance.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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Wow. Steampunk Heart is finished. [Sep. 18th, 2014|01:39 pm]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
[Tags|, ]

So.  My writing ‘to-do’ list was nicely granular.  So far I’ve:

  • Write
  • Be pleased with writing as a process
  • Be pleased with having written [if you don't think these are discrete elements, you haven't tried it]
  • Have people read the stuff I wrote
  • Evolve my writing to promote others’ enjoyment of reading it
  • That went well.  And quickly.  Which means, I suppose, that I’m up to:

  • Send some of my writing out for consideration
  • Well, then.  That’s quite a jump from ten days ago, when I wasn’t writing, hadn’t been writing, and would probably never write again.

    Now:  where does one send a Steampunk Poe pastiche, and what does one call it besides “The Steampunk Heart”, which is arguably the worst name ever?

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Taking an instant over the function of a glacial movement [Sep. 5th, 2014|01:03 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, ]

    On so many occasions, I have analyzed and determined and enacted, and, in the end, I find that my plans all come to the same thing:  I have a Genius Idea that, given my extraordinary superhuman energy and no new obstacles, cannot fail.

    …er.  One of those givens appears to not be as true as I’d like it to be.  Perhaps two.

    Typically, the plan is something like “I will rise early each day, grasp my pen in a relaxed yet firm grip and …” which fails for want of sleep, or “Daily I will take a lovely half-hour and …” which fails for unexpected events that call for that time slot, or — stuff like that.  Moreover, there is an inertial mass of multiple views of my life, all with their own obstacles and slants on any given goal, working together as a unit.  We shall refer to this henceforth as Pangestaltic Inertia, neologizing a bit from geologists.

    Now, that one I think I can correct for.  But let’s wait.

    Over the past few weeks I’ve been in the possession of unaccustomed stability and perspective, brought about by taking a week off of Life and getting lost at 9,200 feet.  Heroically, of course.  I’ve not done anything amazing with this stability, as I wasn’t certain I could maintain it.  It’s a month old now, so I’ll put it to work a bit.

    What I discovered when I returned from the heights, was that most of the world staggered along without me.  Badly, but it did stagger.  What’s more, I had no loss of self-esteem for not having been central in the solutions for a week.

    That sounds like I could lessen the unexpected events by withdrawing some of myself from other things.  Go back to being an employee instead of pseudo-management and pseudo-savior, for instance.  OK, started that, and things are doing very nicely.  Good.

    Last night I borrowed some brain from my darlin’ redhead, and noted that, while the “disengaging” part of the plan was working, that isn’t the same as attaining something.  So I resolved to take some time out during the day (now, for instance) and go attain something.  Re-engaging with things I care about while disengaging from things I don’t.

    Good, again.  Good.

    But there was that Pangestaltic Inertia waiting for me.  I could see it, had seen it before, I knew how it would be.  I’d get a few minutes with a keyboard and utterly not write.

    *sidewise jump for a moment*

    So.  These days, I am The Guy at work.  People come up with clever development plans and they don’t work, not at all, and the people get lost and despair.  They come to me, weeping, and I soothe them.  In nearly every case one of two things is paramount as problem:  the person is working from unchecked assumptions or the person is trying to do multiple things at a time.

    *jumps back, counter-ways*

    I’ve spent a month checking my assumptions, and checking progress on the actions of those assumptions, and so forth.  I’m good, there.  I should disengage from some things, re-engage in others.  So, if Pangestaltic Inertia is still overwhelming, I must be trying to do multiple things at a time, and thereby sabotaging my progress.

    Let’s see.  ”I wish to author” [verb usage, there] — when I say that, I initially think I mean “I want to write something.”

    Dandy.  So write a brief bit about what I had for breakfast.  No, I really mean “I want to write something interesting”.  Ok, write about — no, I appear to mean “I want to write something interesting that other people will read — and enjoy — and that one of them will want to publish — for money — that will eventually become –”

    Oh.  Well, nailed that diagnosis, didn’t I?

    So, the list of actions I actually wish to take:

    • Write
    • Be pleased with writing as a process
    • Be pleased with having written [if you don't think these are discrete elements, you haven't tried it]
    • Have people read the stuff I wrote
    • Have them enjoy that Outside of my control.  Bad Scott.
    • Evolve my writing to promote others’ enjoyment of reading it
    • Send some of my writing out for consideration
    • Repeat the last two steps for the rest of my life, which will improve the success rate of publication as well as my enjoyment
    That’s a lot of steps to do at once.  Glad I noticed.
    Today I’ve done the first three steps.  I am sufficiently pleased with myself.  I would like for this to have been fiction, but one makes starts on these things, and traditionally I’ve always started by exposing myself in public.
    Consider yourselves flashed.
    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Terse But Well-Intended [May. 2nd, 2014|02:25 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

    The Wretched Offspring is an intelligent, caring, and insightful listener with clear vision and excellent thoughts to share.

    Details will come, as this thing has become an assignment in self-repair operations.

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Drama Infusion [Dec. 7th, 2011|02:06 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

    I’ve spent a few years cleaning up my act.  I’ve done a good enough job that, in general, I find talking about my life to be sort of dull.  Excellent.  Additionally, I’ve gotten my act together enough that I have a sufficient living and a house with a shop and, eventually, gardens and orchards and things.

    Lovely.  Good.

    Somehow, though, in the span of about six weeks, I am fraught with drama again.  I didn’t want it.  I don’t want it.  I don’t believe that emotional turmoil improves life, nor is necessary.

    But here it is.

    I’m still parsing which bits I can speak of publicly without causing myself problems, so I’m afraid that’s about what I’ve got.

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    11,000 words [Oct. 25th, 2011|07:30 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

    At the behest of Aberdeen:


    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    And there is a house! [Oct. 14th, 2011|07:40 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

    That’s pretty much it.  After a decade of credit rehabilitation, we have purchased and are living in a house.

    … and for reasons I can’t explain (cause I don’t know) I am less frightened of repercussions for displaying my life and my feelings.

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Wand’ring lonely, the cheese did not acknowledge me [Nov. 9th, 2010|01:02 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, , ]

    I have been sent away to Seattle, bereft of home, hearth, an my honey.  Life is empty, life is drear.  I took part in the computer geek activities that took the first portion of the day, and had a couple hours to kill.  Nothing called to me, nothing sang my name soft and low, so I walked through the cold rains where none knew me and all eyes were filled with suspicion as I passed.  I went down and north, then down and south, and north again.

    Until I came to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese.

    I had no need of cheese, but the glamorous and brilliant-edged Libby, daughter of my soul, once worked there, building her mighty cheese-making arms and honing her magnificent tourist-cutting grin (both thumbs up, of course).  I had my own grin, and the tourists were wary of me.  I walked around the place, viewing it from all angles, considering the ways of it, how it changed the environment by laying as it did.  I thought of cheese that came my way, and stories of the thankless anguish of a cheesemaker’s life, and how things taste better with a bit of good cheese sprinkled over — or how life is better with a bit of a cheesemaker in it.

    I pressed my hands and face to the window, hoping that one of the captive cheesemakers within would display their mighty thews or favor me with a well-cheddared grin, but was disappointed and had to make do with being chased off by the proprieter.

    Thanks, Libby — I needed the grin.  How you did that from so far away is beyond me.

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Oh. Well. Obviously…to everyone else…. [Nov. 5th, 2010|02:19 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, ]

    If one is being channeled into decisions or values that one doesn’t agree with, that is a form of oppression. If one gives in to this, one’s natural reactions will generally be rage or identification with the oppressor — adopting the oppressor’s values and expectations. Once one is identifying with the oppressor, one’s inner conflict is manifest as dissatisfaction with one’s own qualities, that one is falling short so badly.

    …and, if one is constantly urged to not exhibit anger, this is an attempt of the oppressor to make the decision between rage/identification.


    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Disquietus [Sep. 24th, 2010|01:42 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, ]

    No lengthy analysis. And no single cause. But.

    I am enjoying the opportunities afforded me by a host of others who want things of my behavior. They either want me to do things — “because you want to, not because I tell you to” — or to refrain from doing things — because that’s how I ought to act (if I had their values, not my own).

    Then the punishment free and frank exchanges of ideas begins, because I am an utter failure at being what most people want me to be, or even understand me to be.

    I’m not entirely certain what, if anything, is appropriate to do in these cases. On the one hand, it seems self-annihilating to feel one set of things and act in an entirely different way based on the expectations or demands of others. On the other, that’s what keeps me from being arrested in civilized society. I imagine there’s some sort of continuum rather than polar states, but I confess that the discrimination to see the gradients eludes me.

    I will note here that my expectations of others is that they will behave as they see they ought, and that they will act in their own interests where they can — whether that benefits me or not. My expectations are generally met, and that strikes me as appropriate; I don’t believe that others would benefit from living their lives to suit me (however much they would benefit from my superior judgement).

    I’m also not entirely certain how far is appropriate to go to avoid the punis– the exchange of ideas. Obviously I don’t need to welcome them, but do I need to permit the venting? Do I run and hide? Strike back? That last doesn’t suit me; I don’t, in general, see much point to angry confrontation.


    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Reader’s Comments! [Aug. 4th, 2010|12:08 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, ]

    I had no idea that this was frightening to me, but I slumped with relief of tension when I read comments on Sight Unseen (published about ten days ago on Pseudopod).

    Given that this is obviously masterbatory, I’ll toss off behind the cut.

    Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Sight Unseen – [Jul. 30th, 2010|03:11 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, , ]

    – is available to your willing ear as Pseudopod, the Sound of Horror

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Syllogistic leftovers [Jul. 22nd, 2010|07:53 am]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

    So.  I am become illuminated by the processes of stress.  Briefly, as I’ve another meeting to attend:

    Stress begets angst.
    Angst acts as an obstacle in the path of correct action.
    Suppress the angst by role-playing that it doesn’t exist.
    Suppression of emotional response begets stress.
    With the suppression of the angst, it is possible to dispassionately act on the initial stress.
    The initial stress gone, the angst dissipates.

    The stress born of the suppression remains, but no longer has cause with the initial stress gone, the angst born of it gone, and so the suppression no longer necessary.
    This stress begets angst.
    Suppress the angst… producing tertiary angst.
    And fail to act on the secondary stress, as there is no longer a cause for it.
    Keep the initial suppression angst.
    Keep the secondary suppression angst.
    Experience stress as a result.

    Cycle until explosive decompression resets the internal pressures.

    There may be some sort of a problem with this practice.  I believe that I’ll be working on a new syllogism.

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Baby Got Lyrics [Jun. 25th, 2010|01:55 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, ]

    When I’m feeling pleasant, all things in order and making progress in the world, I tend to hum. After a bit, left to my own devices, that will progress to a sort of un-hip scat, and eventually I can be expected to burst out in a line or two of song. It’s anyone’s guess what the song might be — I’ve never known why I pick the bits I pick.

    Today is going well. I hummed. Left alone and continuing to thrive, there was a small field of “dah-doo-wah” around me. And then,

    Does your girlfriend got the butt? Tell her to shake it, shake it –

    – in my best lounge singer voice.

    At work.

    Er. I’ll just go back to humming for a bit, I think.

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Bats [Jun. 11th, 2010|01:25 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, , , ]

    So. Without anything in the way of explanation, here are some webutiae of the spiritual significance of bats.

    From Phylameana:

    The bat totem can trigger change or transformation. Its visit can be a warning that change will soon occur and not to be afraid. Sometimes the bat is a symbol for facing ones fears. It can also indicate a time of an awakening because the bat, a nocturnal mammal, awakens in the dark. Its presence can illuminate dark shadows. It can also be a sign of opportunity.

    …and from StarStuffs….

    Initiation, death-rebirth, changes are taking place which are blessings, facing facts in ones life, fears are always beneficial, trust instincts. Bat tells us it the end one phase of life and the beginning of another. Bat can show how to navigate in the dark and unknown. Soon you will see the world with a new perspective, teaches sensitivity to vibrations around you, navigation, introspection and demonstrates ability of observation and power of meditation and solitude along with ability of working in groups when necessary. Bat shows how to make those important transitions.

    …and Shamanic Journeying….

    Bat’s wisdom includes shamanic death and rebirth, initiation, viewing past lives, pollination of new ideas, transition, understanding grief, the use of vibrational sound, camouflage, invisibility, ability to observe unseen, secrets. [...] Bats help us to release fear and patterns which no longer fits within our pattern of growth.

    Bat flying into your life signifies that transformation of the ego self is about to occur, the end of a way of life and the start of another. This transition can be very frightening for many, even just to think about. But you will not grow spiritually until you let go these old parts of you that are NOT NEEDED. Facing the darkness before you will help you find the light in rebirth. The bat gives you the wisdom required to make the appropriate changes for the birthing of your new identity.

    If this is your power animal, you would benefit from all types of yogic practices, especially those to do with awakening the kundalini. [...]

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Writing Ritual Workshop - Three Card Ritual [Jun. 1st, 2010|04:06 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, , , ]

    Sunday, I attended the Rite to Write workshop by the glamorous, clever, and VERY energizing Jen Violi. It’s difficult to say whether the workshop was healing using writing or writing using healing…either way, it would have likely been beyond me a year ago, as I had some issues with things that are not measurable/reproducible.

    There was this one bit, in the workshop….

    It’s difficult to say exactly what this was for, or what it did. All I can report is that it appears to have done something in [balancing me/adjusting my perspective/clearing old thought forms/cheering me up].

    These days I’m all about What Works, rather than What I Can Reproduce And Explain Empirically. So.

    This was the procedure.

    0. Determine a focus, a situation that is unsatisfying and would do well with restructuring, or with a new resoltuion
    1. Select three cards from a tarot deck
    2. In order of selection, dub them “Beginning, Middle, End”
    3. Write a story with a paragraph devoted to each card, relating allegorically to what was determined in step 0; you have 15 minutes. Start with “Once upon a time”, to encourage you to not recite history, but something removed from it a step or two.
    4. Read the story aloud, preferably to someone else.
    5. Remark (or let your audience remark) on the indirect cues, ie tone of voice, patterns of emphasis, facial expressions, change in diction or meter or whatever might indicate emotional emphasis
    6. Rewrite the story; same three cards, same step 0, same order, but resulting in a victorious or positive story; you have 15 minutes.

    This should not produce anything but two hastily-written stories. In fact, the outward signs are two hastily-written stories. I seem to have found something more in the exercise, though.

    My step 0: “I haven’t been writing, or doing much of anything else for me. I love writing, I feel good when I do it or have done it. Now most obstacles are out of my way and … I am still not writing.”

    I drew from an animal-oriented deck.
    The Wheel, showing all animals
    Eight of wands, showing ants trudging in a labyrinth
    Nine of swords, showing a crow on a shattered stump, lightning behind him

    First round:

    One upon a time –

    –there was a man who could be anything. The secrets of how to share the strength of all things was his when he could focus to employ it, to take part. He knew to soar, and how, what it was to play and frolic in the waves or dance through the plains. The myriad possibilities were overwhelming to him; with all good things open to him, how could he choose what was right and proper to do? And the maelstrom of potential success and fulfillment bewildered him.

    There were those in his life that he had chosen to love, and they had their own abilities and problems, different from his. They could do for themselves, but they chose not to — for whatever reasons — and so were unhappy. The man (who could be anything) decided to help his loved ones, and do for them what they did not do for themselves. Their needs were not sated, but multiplied, so the man split himself endlessly in the form of millions of ants, to fetch and find and carry and dig and care for. Soon there was nothing of him that was not split among the millions of ants.

    The world, in form of a mighty black bird, found ants nourishing and pecked away at the man. Little by little, his split power and self was eaten until there was only an ant left. He took shelter in a tree, but the storms and the bird tore at it until it was shattered and uprooted, and he was trapped.

    Okay, my inner 16 year old was alive and well. I got that.

    I was paired with a lovely woman about thirty years my senior. We traded thoughts (having written oddly similar stories) and then rewrote.

    Take 2:

    Once upon — you know.

    There was a man who could see the world. He not only could see what was in it, but could see the patterns of how it moved, and understood the reasons and the ultimate good of it. Knowing these things split him endlessly at first, but understanding the patterns of all things, he was able to guide his attention into a new vision of order, a grand march of majestic grace and power.

    There were malefic entities in the world, and these took the form of the tiniest of creatures; ants. The endless scattered ants of trivial pain and petty frustrations bit at him, ran at the edge of his awareness and distracted him. With his new understanding of the patterns of all things, hew as not moved to resentment or anger — that burden would be too great, and not needed — but recognized that the pettiness and trivia need not be so great. He spun his understanding, guiding the ants through a labyrinth of his intention, spinning off the malefic portion each carried and leaving the ants to be merely ants, a part of the whole.

    The trivial pains and petty frustrations he gathered up and laid at the base of the rotted stump of the tree of good and evil, piercing it through nine times (once for each of the charms Oden learned on that tree, so long ago) to hold them in place; if they needed to be malefic, they could do it there. Seeing that he had freed not just himself, but the ants as well (and perhaps even the malefica, which wants its own poisoned kind for company) he took wing — for understanding can let one do that — and returned to the majestic grace of all things, to see how he could take part in the beauty of the interwoven patterns.

    So here’s the odd bit:

    I’ve been writing, now.

    I wonder if I’ll ever be smart enough to understand how this stuff works.

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Trilby V - Why Magic Worked [Dec. 2nd, 2009|10:25 am]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, , ]

    This hypnotherapy stuff has had immediate and far-reaching, damned near comprehensive, results. That isn’t, in my experience, how any kind of mental hygiene works. Normally, one talks things out until several things fall into place:

      Define the situation
      Determine what actions are creating non-optimal results
      Recognize the stimulus that provokes actions
      Consider alternate actions that will either preempt the situation or change the reactions to the stimulus
      If you’re really on your game, you think up indicators that will mark success

    This is, necessarily, a drawn out process. One has to define the world, define oneself, reformulate based on hypothesis, and then change with no more motivation than a willingness to see something new happen — which usually (again, my experience) means gritting one’s teeth and carrying through the new actions without feeling motivated to do so.

    And, natch, it doesn’t work terribly efficiently, people being ineffective at concision. A lack of accurate or complete concept at any step will cause trickle-down faults.

    I imagine hypnotherapy varies widely from provider to provider, and possibly from application to application. But. What was done with me was asking me to set a scene from my actual past. This was analyzed briefly for relevance and proximity to my issue-origins. When the scene was revealed as not actually terribly close to the origin, we went further back, finding related scenes closer in, and so forth. Eventually a scene came to light in which formulation of behavior was still taking place, and then a fictitious scene was improvised wherein I was asked to step in as my adult self and redirect my younger self.

    I’m fairly good at visualization and role-playing, so this was an actual experience for me. The result was that I actually experienced a rewriting of what actually happened, and, without necessarily thinking much about it, carried forward an altered experience of events that I shuffled into my existing life, which provided slightly altered reactions to current events, and when new actions were called for, slightly different motivations were present to let me make changes with greater ease.

    What, I wondered, was the difference between the two methods? Both found the situation, the stimuli, the reactions, the new actions.

    One was explicit. One was subtextual and inclusive by implied relation, based on a gestalt.

    I think I get it.

    Talking things out, thinking them out, is only as useful as the thinking. Acting something out includes many factors that are not necessarily consciously considered, and so factors that are not known, not acknowledged, or poorly understood while acknowledged as significant are all worked into the solution. Everything, every action in the scene became symbolic. The symbols bore the meaning they did because I assigned the symbols and took their meaning they had without my having to formulate it in words, thereby granting each symbol and symbolic act greater bandwidth and greater impact because of that.


    Good stuff. I approve.

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    A Section From the AuthorWay [Nov. 19th, 2009|01:57 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, ]

    I write the words
    Tracing paths of golden pollen on the page

    I write in beauty
    Beauty in the sentence before me
    Beauty in the sentence behind me
    Beauty on the next page
    Beauty on the page before

    And in beauty will I edit
    And in beauty will I edit
    And in beauty will I edit
    And in beauty will I edit

    The writing magic raises me in its pen
    And I am come to the page, blessed

    Sa’ah naaghéi, Bik’eh hózhó

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Trilby IV [Nov. 19th, 2009|09:20 am]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
    [Tags|, ]

    Interesting. New things keep popping up. Nothing traumatic or world-shaking, but sort of … pervasive.

    Apparently, what I’ve done is go to the foundation of many of my behaviors, lifted the edifice, and pulled out the chunk of gravel that was caught under the sill. When you put the building back, it’s the same building, but just that tiny bit more level, more stable, and when you stand on the dining room table and dump out a crate of ping pong balls, they will bounce in slightly different patterns than they used to. And the plumbing is less prone to leaking.

    Erm. Perhaps not the most facile metaphor, but one gets the idea.

    I had session 2 last night. I noticed just as many — or more — things about the basis of my behaviors, and was more involved in the forward motion (since I understood the process better), but there was nothing … well, nothing world-shaking or traumatic. I think I may have found an awareness of the one or two bits in my head that relate to me going all stupid periodically, and what I have left is the settling of everything that used to rest on those, and the trickle-down effects that will continue to manifest as I, ah, *waves hands about, looking for a word*, re-collate myself.

    This sort of business is difficult to relate, I’m finding.

    In any case. Beneficial. Useful. Clarifying. Empowering (however much I hate the overcommon usage of that word).

    In conclusion (to paraphrase Libby, that darlingest of rock-stars), I have eaten my inner child, I am Iron Man, and my head is a light bulb — all of which, on reflection, makes me wonder if it is the surreal aspect of this approach that makes it so much easier to move forward.

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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    Trilby III [Nov. 16th, 2009|04:56 pm]
    R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
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    I’m just going to name anything to do with this sorting-out process related to the hypotherapy “Trilby (variable)”. It’s likely to be highly internally oriented, poorly explained, and easily skippable.


    I’m wondering how much of my current amiable aimlessness has to do with the fact that, until recently, the majority of my behaviors were determined by pathological means. Take away the pathology and I can no longer recognize a motivation — that is, I can’t recognize a motivation that doesn’t show up with several unseemly friends, lightly slapping a billy club against its leg while it asks me to come play.

    This would seem to be a training issue, if so. I can do that. I’m a fair wonder at learning new patterns.

    Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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