Reprint: Happily Ever After

This post was originally published at Cedarwrites on Nov 8, 2014. Sorry about the repeat, guys, but the Daughter-thing has a physical therapy appointment at 7 am on a Saturday. And I was down with a migraine yesterday. Someday I’ll have the eptitude to write the posts ahead further, but this week was not that week. On the other hand, I have been chugging away at fiction… 

Cedar's Kittens
Bread & Cookies
A Few of my favorite things…

They tell us that if we want to feel happy, we need to look happy. It’s been shown that the mere act of putting a smile on your face, whether you feel it at the time or not, will actually affect your mood. So what does reading dystopias do to us? I really like this by Michael Solana “Where the ethos of punk is rooted in its subversion of the mainstream, famed cyberpunk William Gibson’s Neuromancer is no longer the flagbearer of gritty, edgy, counter-cultural fiction; ‘life will suck and then we’ll die’ is now a truism, and we have thousands of authors prophesying our doom with attitude, as if they’re all alone out there in tinfoil hats shouting at the top of their lungs what nobody else will. Yet they are legion. In the Twenty-first Century, the most punk rock thing that you can be is happy, or—and this is really crazy—“happy ever after.”

Escapism fiction.

When the going gets rough, the readers among us turn away from reality and look between the covers of a book for some escape from reality. Why on earth would anyone but the deliberately sadomasochistic seek out ‘life sucks’ literature? Without hope, I don’t want to even look at it. I have enough to worry about without adding stress to my imaginary worlds.

What if?

Cedar Sanderson
A Walk in the woods

What if robots come to life and kill us all? What if nanotech turns the world into grey goo? What if the government regulates every move we make of every day? What if?

Taking counsel of our fears can lead to becoming paralyzed by them. What if we develop interstellar travel, and give future generations new frontiers to explore? What if by the deaths of brave men, the road to the stars is paved? What if that new nanotech takes some of the worries and cares of the world away? What if?

Rose raindrops
Raindrops on Roses

I wrote over at Mad Genius Club today about romance, and little stories. Not every story has to be about saving the world. Sometimes a small, slight story, can carry with it a grain of warmth, until a fire is kindled. Warm and fuzzy doesn’t have to be an indictment of a tale. Everyone loves a kitten, after all, and with one sleeping on your chest, reading that doom-and-gloom end of the world becomes that much easier. Some stories are kitten paws, and raindrops on roses, and a few of my favorite things… and they end happily ever after, with the human race stronger, wiser, and the richer for having more love in it. Human Wave fiction, where the good guys win, and the world goes on, a little better.

Happiness is…



        1. The boots also remained in NH – although I’d intended to collect them later. Such is life. They are standard issue military artic boots – also known as Bunny Boots, or sometimes Mickey Mouse boots. Good down to at least -70 F, I know, I tested them at that temperature! Actually, even in NH they were usually overkill for winter temps, but being rubberized, kept my feet dry and toasty (wool socks were a must). I loved those boots.

  1. Happiness is…

    “The Good Guys Win.” It may be a tough world to live in. The Good Guys may have imperfections. But they still win, either to fight another day or to give hope to those who carry on the fight after them.

  2. … saffron buns fresh from the oven. Kittens and puppies playing and just being kittens and puppies. Happy babies, or sleeping, happy babies. A long-married couple just savoring being together in the house that they made. The good guys winning and getting to see the fruits of their labor and sacrifice. Walking out on a cool, cloudy morning when even the birds are sleeping in, enjoying the quiet as the first leaves start turning color. Being with a farm family as the last of the harvest comes home and everyone relaxes and celebrates “a good year” in the bins and silo.

    1. Your birds are sleeping in? With dove season underway in Texas, the trees and power lines in town are loaded with doves who are either celebrating escaping the opening weekend, or taunting all the homeowners into becoming hunters. Not sure which!

  3. /rant/

    Happiness is when the robot becomes a cognizant being, thinks you’re kinda cool, and decides to hang out with you.

    Lela Buis reviewed a story nominated for some fantasy prize the other day, another Zombie Apocalypse where bad things happen and they all die. This one was nominated presumably because the way in which everyone dies is “artistic”.

    My reaction to the synopsis was much the same as when I picked up Scalzi’s The Prolapsing Empire. “Hell if I’m readin’ that!” said I. But I didn’t really get what I was reacting to.

    Finally figured it out. Quoth I:

    “You ever notice how in -none- of these stories they manage to beat the zombie-making thing? They’re all just helpless victims of this mysterious force.

    -That- is one of the deep themes of present-SF that is pissing me off lately. I’m so sick of helpless victims, it makes me want to yell at the book in the store. (I don’t though, because that would be weird. ~:)

    We, of Western civilization, are not helpless victims. We figure out the mysterious force, we bottle it, and we sell it in the grocery store to clean our socks. At a hefty profit, I might add. That’s who we are.”

    Rule of thumb, “mysterious forces” be they magic, Big Government or Big Pharma, are LAZYNESS. There are no mysterious forces of history. There are people, doing what people always do. So if shit’s goin’ down, look at the -people- and you’ll have your story.

    That’s what pissed me off about Scalzi’s book. There’s some mysterious force screwing over the starship travel? FIGURE IT OUT, JOHN. Find a way. Because Real World, those people in that situation are going to eventually figure it out.

    Look at Europe. The Black Death cleaned the place out. But then they figured out ways to beat it, and it never happened again. It took a while, a lot of people died, but on the grand scale of things it wasn’t long. Smallpox, same thing. Now we have Ebola, the only reason people are still dying of that is damn lazyness and politics. The bug itself is not a big deal to beat. Hand washing and a mask will do it.

    Here endeth my complainte.


  4. Happiness is a warm puppy. 🙂

    Or, for me, having finished a large project, knowing that I finished it, everything is put away and cleaned up, and I can take a break.

    And get to work on the next project.

  5. Happiness is clean socks, warm and dry feet, and good rain gear. Happiness is a hot bath, a good book, and a cat giving me dirty looks because I polluted the Largest Waterbowl Ever with Epsom salt. Happiness is a purring cat ensconced on my lower back on a lazy morning when I don’t have to get out from under the covers. Happiness is a hug from my husband, conveying love and support and simple happiness to see me when I drag home after a long day.

    Happiness is making and serving friends tasty food, is learning interesting new things… it’s the moment that everything clicks, and you understand how everything works together.

    Happiness is the sun breaking out of the clouds as you stand on the trail above the treeline, looking out over the land sweeping down to the sparkling sea, breathing deeply of air scented with fireweed blooms and holding a bite of snow off the glaciers. It’s the world falling away as you rise out of the pattern into the sky, departing to my destination. It’s when I do a deadlift with perfect form, every muscle working in concert to move the work set weight.

    Happiness is a fleeting, transitory feeling, not a destination that you arrive at and stay. But the pursuit of happiness, with many rewarding moments along the way, is a wonderful thing.

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