Sorting Out Managing The Massive Amounts Of Information Associated With Writing A Novel

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls


I have a very harsh self-editor in my mind. As such, I find myself wading into a thicket of how to manage the universe I’ve created. I generally know everything off the top of my head, but as the first draft begins to shape up it’s beginning to grow unwieldy.

Between the first and second drafts I’m going to do a lot of the nuts-and-bolts of writing a novel that to date I’ve not done. I’m going to do character studies and write a canon. But I think I may have accidentally learned a trick about the actual process of writing a novel — don’t write the novel as one huge document, but rather split it up into chapters. Then you can better manage what might be found within each of those chapters as necessary.

I’m a little reluctant to do this without also saving the chapters into one document as I go along. Seems potentially messy and unnecessarily slow. But I think some form of this idea will work for the second draft.

Things — do date — continue to speed along with the first draft. I’m going to be able to fill an entire notebook in longhand notes in preparation for the second draft, though.

This whole thing is so much bigger and more complex than I ever imagined going into this. And I’m still not a Gillian Flynn-level writer. But, if nothing else, I won’t be embarrassed — for once — by the final product.

V-Log: A Deep Dive Into America’s Political Woes

Some thoughts.

‘These Colors’ — #Lyrics To A Protest #Pop Song #Resist

Shelton Bumgarner

In all honesty, me writing lyrics a product of frustration that no one has had the balls to produce any protest songs in the age of Trump. This is more simply me pointing out some potential avenues for other, better qualified people. I have no idea what I’m doing. This is meant to be inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain.

These Colors
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

we take such pride
in these colors that won’t run
thus it has always been
and thus it will always be

now what do I see
my eyes don’t lie they tell the truth
these colors are running, running, running
now what are we supposed to do
what are we supposed to say
these colors are running
these colors are running
these colors are running

we’ve lost our honor
it seems as though
our time has come and gone
our knees have buckled
pride is gone
what’s there to be proud of

now what do I see
my eyes don’t lie they tell the truth
these colors are running, running, running
now what are we supposed to do
what are we supposed to say
these colors are running
these colors are running
these colors are running

(bridge)

we’ll one day get it all back
the stain will linger long after though
we let it happen to ourselves
how did we let this happen
we let these colors


run run run run run
run run run run run
run run run run run

V-Log: Idle, Incoherent Rambling About #Writing A #Novel, #Trump & #Feminism #WritingLife #AmWriting #WritingCommunity

Some thoughts.

What The Tipping Point On Impeachment Might Look Like

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

One thing about impeachment is it’s so alien to how Americans think about their relationship to the president that they just don’t really understand it. A president is elected for four years and that’s that. But if Trump keeps it up, there’s chance we’ll reach a tipping point.

The tipping point can be summed up with people going from, “Oh, why would we get rid of Trump early? The election is next year,” to “You mean we could get rid of Trump immediately?” The would be a macro change in public opinion. It would be how the press frames the debate. It would also mean that Trump’s support among Independents had finally jumped off a precipice.

But it’s debatable as to how likely it is that this would actually happen. Yet, Trump is really bad at his job and he hasn’t actually lost his mind yet. So, maybe?

V-Log: Idle Incoherent Rambling About #Writing A #Novel #AmWriting #WritingLife #WritingCommunity

Some thoughts.

Sondland Has Given Us A Downlow ‘Holy Shit!’ Moment

Shelton Bumgarner
No QUiD PrO QuO…Oh, nevermind.

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Get this — Ambassador Sondland is going to say is going to say that Trump did, in fact dictate to him the “no quid pro quo” text, but that he took it at face value and did not know for a fact that this was the case.

What’s more, he believes that while there may have been a quid pro quot, it was not “criminal” in nature.

There’s a lot to unpack here. This is a very lawyerly way of answering the question. I know this and I’m not even a lawyer. What he wants to do is stake out the idea that lulz, quid pro quo! Or somehow excuse both himself and the president of any criminal wrongdoing. There is a big problem with this thinking, though — it’s easy to call bullshit on it in a single tweet.

This is not a complex thing to explain. Law Twitter could explain how bonkers this defense is very easily — and probably will, over and over and over and over again.

For any other president, this would be a significant blow. But FOX News exists and Blue States and Red States are growing to hate each other with a white hot rage because of, well, fucking Trump, so I dunno what will happen.

Probably nothing.

Lulz.

Imagining An Ivanka Trump Presidency

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Oh, Ivanka. You so crave the presidency so much. Your stringbean husband with a warbling voice, too, craves that position but he has the stage presence of a gnat. But let’s supposed she gets her wish. Let’s look at how she might get it and what might happen.

First, we have to accept that she’s not going anywhere. You can’t be as directly connected to the levers of power as she has without having some serious long-term electoral prospects. She’s barely 35 and has 40 odd years to make her dream a reality. But she’s a member of House Trump, so, of course, she probably wants it now, now, now.

The first possibility that comes to mind is Pence appoints her his veep in a sop to the MAGA base. In fact, the things you have to address in any daydream about her becoming president is how she would be able to get the ignorant mouthbreathers (or plutocrats) of MAGA to accept her as they have her father. A lot depends on Ivanka not having any type of fight with her brother about “who gets the base” once her father is no longer politically viable. Seems to me that Don Jr. is much better positioned to get the base and as such the presidency, but lulz.

Ok, back to her being Veep. There are about a half dozen paths for her to become president should House Trump’s leader find his political prospects imploade. I could see Pence naming her Veep to placate her Daddy as a way to ease him out of office. Or…the list goes on.

But let’s say in early 2020, Ivanka is president. She at least seems to be the most put-together of House Trump. But she is only about 36 or so. To date, she’s had the perfect equation of all the power and none of the responsibility. She would find herself in something of a bind, however. She at least superficially appears somewhat moderate and fact-based, so there’s a real chance that her political honeymoon might be counted in days. The MAGA base will flip out when she doesn’t babble about a fucking wall or isn’t the bonkers orator that her father is.

Meanwhile, the center-Left will despise her on a personal level. They will resent not only how she never spoke up during her father’s presidency, but that she would be the first female president only because of the influence of her hateful father. Her Administration would likely crater so bad that she wouldn’t get the Republican nomination. She would limp politically to Jan. 20, 2021. Republicans would point to her administration as to why women should never be president.

But, remember, she’s not going anywhere. Maybe it’s not immediately. Maybe she simply lurks in Republican Administrations for a decade or two and then pops out when she’s 50 or so. That’s a very real possibility.

I can only get comfort in the fact that being president doesn’t exactly do wonders for your looks. So, honey, get ready to get really, really old really, really fast if you should happen to become president anytime soon.

Downfall, Maybe: The Constitution As Trump’s ‘Operation Barbarossa’

Best case scenario?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Comparing Trump to Hitler is something I have done a lot of in the past, but let’s look not at his policies, but Trump the tactician. It’s eerie how well one could overlay the progress of Hitler’s career in Europe over that of Trump’s political career to date.

Hitler believed in the “leadership principle.” He thought as leader he had a near God-like ability to lead the Fatherland to his dystopian vision of Europe free of Jews, Bolsheviks and Slavs. The Arans would turn Pols and the French into little more than slave labor. Most of Russia west of the Urals would be repopulated with the Master Race.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves a little bit. Hitler was not insane. He was a very evil person, but he was not insane — which makes him worse. He was very lucky, too. His biggest mistakes were not really strategy, but bending the needs of the war effort to those of his own ideological desires. It was his invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, that was his downfall. He could have gone south east through Turkey into the oil fields of the Middle East and into India. But his kooky ideas about the Jewish-Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union forced his hand in a pretty astonishing fashion.

Now, let’s look at Trump. The interesting thing is Trump is a moron. He’s simply a symptom of some fundimental rot in the American political system. So, you could say that his victory in 2016 was almost like Hitler’s surprise victory over the French in 1940. So, for the last few years, Trump has dominated America much like Hitler did Europe after the fall of the French Third Republic.

This grows even more interesting when you realize that while Hitler had his craven desire to murder people for ideological reasons as an existential flaw, with Trump it’s cheating to win. Combine his stupidity and cluelessness with a deranged 2-year-old’s need to win at any cost and, well, you have him calling up the president of Ukraine 24 hours after Chris Wallace gave him a political pardon after the “bad optics” of Mueller’s testimony.

So, while it’s definitely an extended metaphor, you could argue that the Constitution itself may be Trump’s Russia. It’s not kids in cages. It’s not the 12,000 lies. It’s not the harsh and cruel policies that Trump loves, loves, loves. It’s Trump himself. It’s Trump’s complete inability to uphold his oath of office. His complete, criminal inability to “grow into the office” that might, just might, be his downfall.

And with that, we reach the final question of this gratuitously extended metaphor — what will be Trump’s Stalingrad? What will be the final thing to break his iron hold on the cult that was formerly known as the Republican Party?

Well, as of right now, it doesn’t look like that is ever going to happen. Moscow Mitch will have a 20 minute trial, the Republican line will hold in the Senate and I find myself in a re-education camp just about the time I had hoped to try to sell my spec novel.

But Stalingrad did, in fact, happen. So there’s … hope? All I can think of is Trump again owns himself. But this time he loses his mind. He finally snaps. He goes completely bonkers to such an extent that the normal laws of American politics begin to finally, finally snap back into place. Or maybe after weeks of enormous revelations as part of the House’s impeachment proceedings the sheer absolute pressure of the rage of 60+% of the electorate is enough to wipe the perpetual smug grin off Moscow Mitch’s face.

I just don’t know. I’m not prepared to predict the endgame, either way. All I can say is, though, if we can’t convict Trump in the Senate then that’s all she wrote. Start making contingency plans for hiding in people’s attics if you aren’t MAGA.

Would be pretty funny, though, if both Hitler and Trump were brought down because of shenanigans in the general Ukraine area.

The Misunderstood Legacy Of Watergate

Now what you think.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Watergate gave us a false sense of how easy it might be to shame a president out of office. In a way, we can blame this on Sen. Barry Goldwater. It was he who organized a trip to the White House in August 1974 to tell Nixon it was time to go — he didn’t have the votes.

But, really, the now expected endgame of Watergate in all likelihood was not an example of “the system working” as was often said in post-Watergate America. In fact, it’s the opposite — Nixon resigning short-circuited the Constitutional process. We would have been better off decades later if Nixon had allowed the process of trial to take place. We would have a far more better understanding of how the impeachment process could successfully work.

And now here we are in 2019. Everything is different than 1974. Fox News exists. This is happening as a presidential cycle is reving up, not as midterms approach. Apologists for Trumplandia simply want to run out the clock in the name of “fairness.” They don’t give a shit about fairness, all they care about is getting us so far into 2020 that Trump survives to win re-election corruptly.

Bill Barr hasn’t even done a criminal referral for a sweeping list of notable anti-Trump names. What better way to end an impeachment process than to indict Hillary Clinton for “secretly” being behind the claim that Russians colluded with the Trump campaign. That’s a real possibility at this point. Let that sink in.

As I keep ranting about to anyone who will listen — not only is Trump not some sort of political genius, he’s also his own worst enemy. He has an entire support apparatus at his beck and call and he still may not get impeached but convicted. That’s a pretty astonishing — if cold hard — fact.

But he may still survive.

Of course, purging Trump is just the first step. All the dangers associated with MAGA are still going to be there. Kris Kobach and Tom Cotton have be watching and taking notes about what worked with Trump and what didn’t. So, keep your political powder dry, folks.