It ain’t over…

…till the fat lady sings…

You have to wonder how long that phrase will survive before the thought-police try to expunge it from the very memory of men.  The trouble with all this expunging and silencing… it doesn’t do a Patricia-the-Stripper number (‘God made her a sinner, to make fat men thinner’). People don’t get thinner because you stop mentioning fat. It doesn’t stop being an issue because you may not talk about it (I’m of the school of thought that a few extra pounds doesn’t harm your health and can act as a cushion (in all senses of the word) – with the emphasis on ‘few’ and ‘all people are not alike’). But I am like a lot of people (as various indicators show) fairly sick of the thought police and their various relatives. Hopefully the fat lady sings for them soon. We need to be able to talk about things not pretend they don’t exist (and have those who spoil that delusion punished).  Sticking your head in the sand may stop the ostrich seeing the lion and therefore it is not a problem… temporarily. But it can’t last.

Anyway, the phrase remains true whether one applies it to opera (where the buxom lady often has me wishing she’d hurry up and die (less shrilly, perhaps). They always seem to have an amazing lot of breath for people who are dying tragically.) or writing or even elections for that matter.

While opera ends – and books do – and even elections do (it just doesn’t seem that way) the point we call ‘the end’ isn’t. This, as a young writer, was one of the delusions I had. It let me down badly. ‘The end’ is just one of a series of ‘ends’ (end of edit, end of proof-read, end of submissions, end of editorial gumph, end of cover, end of blurb, end of proofs, end of promotion (you do it – but no one told me that) and finally… the end you hope never is reached (at least while you’re alive and still writing) when people stop remembering the book.  The one book where you wrote ‘the end’ and angels from heaven took over the rest and all you have to do is count the dollars – only happens to politicians as a way to launder campaign funds into their own accounts.

If you drop it the moment that first ‘end’ arrives, you’re going to surely learn the hard way, that that actually it was not the actual end, if you make that mistake. It’s – for writers and yes, political parties true that ‘the end’ (be it an election, or the last words in a book) are as much the ‘the end’ as a wedding after courtship is ‘the end’. If you assume all the work is done, you’re going to have a divorce (or a murder) in your future. I know my American friends are very much absorbed in their upcoming elections and I wish you all get what your country (and indeed the world) needs.

I’ve just finished reading Terry Pratchett’s RAISING STEAM and he talked about aspirations and how important and valuable those are to everyone. Aspirations drive us… it’s curious how many of Louis L’Amour’s books are essentially aspirational (man with next to nothing works his guts and brains out for a ranch of his own – a common theme) and how popular these are.  I agree, and I believe in their power. I wrote about it in PYRAMID SCHEME (Where some characters from Colchis set off for a USA that perhaps never existed, and they could certainly never reach, but… the idea once planted did, and they would aspire and build their dreams and future on that idea).

Anyway, I have decided this year to get through the turbulence of 2020’s November (we are still short of giant meteors and zombies, but 2020…) by taking part in NaNo… to try and drive me into getting up to speed again. The first two day leave me hoping that it isn’t over until that fat lady sings, because I am already behind. Anyone else out there doing it?    

Image Pixabay, MasterTux.

27 comments

  1. I’m doing NaNo. I believe that, technically, I’m a NaNo “rebel” because I’m using this month to finish my novel. I hope to keep going on drafting the next book and get a good chunk written before Thanksgiving, when things tend to go awry on the drafting front.

    1. I’m doing NaNo, but it may be two stories because they may turn out to be novellas. Up to 2100 words today.

  2. it doesn’t do a Patricia-the-Stripper number (‘God made her a sinner, to make fat men thinner’).

    I always assumed that Patricia’s role was to encourage the fat men in what might be euphemistically be called “exercise.” Patricia’s form of exercise might be sinful, but it does give the men in question some aerobics in their life, and thus she considers herself to do more good than harm.

  3. No NaNo for me this year. Day Job has eaten so much time that I’m not trying.

    I’ve been known to observe that only in opera can you die of TB while still having enough lung function to sing arias. (La Traviata, La Boheme)

  4. I don’t remember which book it was, but somebody was attending an opera for the first time.

    “Good heavens, that woman sounds like she’s dying!”

    “She is. And she takes her sweet time about it, too.”

    Another story described opera as “foreigners screaming in agony”. 😀

    And there, at the bottom of the page, WordPress shows a post complaining about ‘fat phobia’. What is it with Leftoids, their obsession with phobia, and their incessant misuse of the term?

    I don’t think there are a whole lot of people who are deeply and irrationally terrified of homosexuals, or Moslems, or fat people, to such an extent that they are unable to function normally when confronted with them. Although a certain degree of wariness about Moslems is justified, based on the behavior exhibited by some of them, ‘phobia’ is a useless exaggeration.

    But, some idiot has posted, “fatphobia is a thing and it is ingrained into our culture” — (A) it’s not a phobia, and (B) I suspect a distaste for grossly fat people is ingrained in our DNA. They consume far more of the tribe’s resources, and contribute far less to its survival, than the ones who are not hauling around a couple hundred pounds of excess fat.

    Much more of our behavior is rooted in the 200,000 years we spent as cavemen than the 10,000 years we’ve spent as farmers.

        1. my mistake. Alex (and Lennox) and Mike:

          Alex pursed his lips. “Incredible voice, I grant you.” He grimaced. “But it sounds as if the poor woman is dying.”

          “She is.” Mike turned his head, staring at the battlements above. Gaily: “And she takes her sweet time about it, let me tell you.”

    1. Projection.

      They have disordered thinking on… gah, don’t get me started. We’ll go easy and start with sex. (Think not? I offer Exhibit 1, Reaction To Baby Making Making Babies. If I never have to deal with someone going full-on psychotic raving when they find out the cute baby I’m holding has elder siblings again, it’ll be too soon.)

      As they are as close to perfection as is humanly possible, others must have the same faults, but worse.

      Thus, phobia.

      ********

      Plus, they’ve been doing actual irrational distaste for fat, to the extent of praising the appearance of women with such low levels of body fat that their body is literally shutting down, for my entire life.
      See also, the fad for fighting bullying that looked an awful lot like, well, bullying.

      1. On fighting bullying, the Biggest Problem IMO is “Selective Fighting”.

        IE If you being bullied and you’re not one of the “Special Groups”, then the bullying is ignored.

        Of course, I suspect that you’d be really in trouble if the Bully is a member of the Special Groups. IE You deserve being bullied. [Sarcastic Grin]

    2. Oh, and some folks are knowingly using the predator behavior of breaking down resistance– get people to automatically distrust their instinctive revulsion, get them to treat instinctive revulsion as evidence of personal failing and proof you need to actively support whatever caused your revulsion, which is very useful to predators.

    3. The shrieking voices are a holdover from the days before amplification, when they had to reach the cheap seats further away from the stage. The same thing drove a lot of the instrument selection for the musical scores.

      You can see something similar in 1950s-1960s TV show theme music, which leaned heavily to BLARING HORNS, because they were in the abbreviated broadcast audio frequency range and reproduced fairly well by primitive vacuum-tube electronics. They were annoying then; played back on modern equipment, loud past the point of pain if the show is turned up so the voices are intelligible.

  5. I had to learn how to write ‘the end’ and go on from there. Chasing after wonderful new ideas meant I never finished anything. What was actually happening, I think, was I was teaching myself not to finish a piece of writing.

    Each ‘the end’ is a milestone for me. Thank you for laying it out so nicely.

  6. I’m NaNoing. Good first day,, not much yet today. Anyone who wants to add me as a friend there, I’m MataPam.

    markaomalley, you don’t upload the words until a final count. Go to your Project page and the “Progress Updates” window and type in date and words written that day.

  7. Thanks, Pam. I saw how to upload word counts, but not the text to back up grandiose boasts. This kinda deflates my ambition to use NaNo to generate objective feedback. My current betas are mostly friends and family, who, kind folks all, would read ketchup bottle labels and tell me I just wrote the Great American Novel.

    1. Yeah, Good Beta Readers are to be treasured. My husband does not number among mine.

      I use one of my websites to lure them in with (almost) daily snippets. It’s getting it started that’s the hard part. And some traditional publishers are snitty about “prior publication.” Not that I’ve bothered with them since Kindle.

      1. Pam. so far as I am concerned, trad publishers can go take an airborne copulation at a rolling donut. FWIW, I’ve sent you an invite over on Nano. I’ve seen a few more user-friendly sites. I thought Squarespace was bad.

      2. Pam, I know I need a personal website yesterday, but I’ve sworn bloody oaths to finish this damn book in time for a Valentine’s Day release. 85K down, and I’m guesstimating maybe 20K to go. I’ll prolly regret this decision to delay getting my “author platform.”

  8. Every freaking day is NaNo for me, I spend too much time scribbling and not enough walking around doing things. So today I will be OUT, doing shit, and not sitting glued to the computer obsessing about every little media report. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

    Incidentally, I was moved to go look up the “Fat Lady” thing, and it was quite enjoyable. Thanks Dave. ~:D

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