Finally a hint of autumn

A storm ushered in a cold front, dropping temperatures nearly twenty degrees. It’s been hot here in Florida. Not the baking, oppressive heat of July or early August. But hot.

There’s a beautiful ritual of fall that we miss out on down here in the Tropical South.  I call it Tropical South because it’s below the Southern States – not quite redneck heaven, but not quite Caribbean paradise either. It’s a mixed bag, and I think that’s why so much crazy shit happens in Florida.

But we don’t really get leaves changing. We don’t get the crisp autumn nights. It’s too hot for spiced apple cider, and then when it finally cools down it’s right to hot chocolate and egg nog.

But we have costumes for Halloween (hot, sweaty costumes), and we have Turkey-Day football. And come Christmas Day, most years it’s nice enough to get some down at the beach.

Like I said… A mixed bag.

Posting isn’t everything

On posting every day (here in the blog) I could say that I’m hopefully providing meaningful content to the few readers who pop up. Hopefully. The truth is, when we post, we don’t know how the audience receives it.

It seems we were programmed for storytelling to a small audience with instantaneous results (facial movements, gestures, audible responses, etc). I’m thinking of early man of course, and storytelling around a fire.

It wasn’t until the advent of recorded language that the audience could be separate the storyteller. The radio made it vocal, and the television made it visual. The internet, though… the internet made it instantaneous and worldwide. Or, very nearly.

It used to be the teller could gauge an audience. On stage we still do that – whether performing or giving a lecture. You know the temperature of your listeners, and can maybe make some shifts in your delivery, if you want to.

But with the internet, you get it out there and almost immediately it has a life of its own. All you can do is hope that you’ve said it well, and it’s been received well.

Weekly rundown

Now, that doesn’t actually sound horrible to me. “The Weekly Rundown.” I’m sure it’s derivative of something else, but I may stick with that.

What I’m reading: Spook by Mary Roach. “What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that’s that—the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?” In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.

What I’m listening to: Halloween music. Or more specifically, classical pieces of music that has a spooky tilt to it. You can try these out for a start.

What I’m spending my time with: The AFI 100. They’ve been on my list for a while, and I’m checking them off. So far I’m fifteen films in. I’m planning on getting them all watched by the end of the year.

Other things of interest:

  • The Fountain Pen Network. Here’s a place to nerd out over fountain pens. If, you know, you’re into that sort of thing…
  • A24’s screenplay books. The first run of three books has sold out, with second printing arriving December 13th. These are attractive books to add to your screenplay collection – if you have one.
  • And in my continuing struggle to find a good night’s sleep, here are some suggestions from Huckberry’s Brooke Vaughn.

No preference

How do you hold to no preference when an outcome obviously seems desirable? Making money vs. not? Being happy vs. not?

Being with the unhappiness, and then letting go it, will change the state of being. States are transitory. Everything is transitory.

Accept, acknowledge, let go.

Being present should eventually cause transition to the new state of being. Emotions are internal manifestations of events, not the events themselves. Thoughts are internal. Feelings are internal.

Sitting alone in a room won’t make you upset. What you think and feel in that moment may cause you unhappiness. But nothing in and around you is making you unhappy. You can acknowledge the feeling, and then try and let out pass from you naturally.

Accept. Let it go.

If this is difficult, turn your attention wholly to your surroundings, or, in a meditative way, to your breath. Focus on the sensations.

That is being present, and that is one path to non-preference.

Developing your business plan

What is it that people need? What can you offer that isn’t already out there? Or what can you do better than someone else already is?

These are the thoughts when sitting down to work on your business.

  • Do you have a product or service that will fill a need? One that isn’t already being met.
  • Do you see something that can be improved upon? By how much? Is it an incremental improvement, or exponential?

All products and services come down to that. Filling a need. Savvy marketers know how to create the need, but it always comes back to need. 

So what is it that you need? How would you fill the need. And, then, do you think others may share that specific need?

If so, then you may just have a business in its fledgling stages.

Working a job with no name

That makes me think of Yojimbo, or A Fistful of Dollars. One of the gigs I work is a cash-only business, and I’m just Mike. No last name, no past. I couldn’t tell you the surnames of any I work with, save two or three. And that’s a weird sensation.

You hide out at work like that. Someone on the run. Someone looking to reinvent themself. Someone covering up the outside life.

With a little digging, it’s easy enough to find a last name. It’s not witness protection. But it’s not the usual work either. It was just a little oddity in a world full of oddities.

Meditation on books

There are all kinds of readers. Readers who do so for leisure. Redears who only open a book when ordered to do so, or to reference a particular entry. readers who long to learn new facts, or explore new worlds. There are those who read for escape, for enlightenment, or for research. No one reader’s reason is better than another’s. The book doesn’t care.

The book itself is an extension of the human mind – a storage unit for thought. Long before the digital age, the books was developed to store, curate, and disseminate knowledge. The book welcomes all.

Bibliophiles, on some level, understand this. And I believe that all bibliophiles are readers first, whereas not all readers will become bibliophiles. Yet they all have the capacity for it – it just takes the right book.