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The long arm of conditional time.

Not sure what happened. Things were chugging along and then blam! Complete stoppage – for months.

I had an idea for this post related to nostalgia and procrastination and a host of other self-induced woes – You are the problem after all – but for now I’m just here. I suppose that’s enough.

Gotta pick up the slack of progress.

In the meantime, let me make some enemies.

ChatGPT, whom I am calling George because it’s just easier and other reasons you’ll understand later, has been very useful. I did an Imgur post about this a while back. It’s all I could bring myself to do apparently as no real writing or work on the “big project” has been occurring.

Side note, I don’t seem to be alone in this. How are others doing with themselves, their purpose, their lives? Are we all in a societal induced trauma? Are we sub-consciously waiting for catastrophic systems collapse and hunkering down? Is this mass-denial? Just me? Oh, okay.

So I’ve been using George at work for various quick tasks, email rewrites when I tend to drone on, assisting with employee evaluation write-ups, but also personally.

My daughter is four. She loves the Octonauts and wants a new story about the Octonauts every night. The physical books no longer hold her attention.

Well I just ran out of steam one evening and on a whim asked George to write a story with my daughter in it and Dashy from the Octonauts, where the mystery is the books are missing. Make the language appropriate for a ten year old and a three minute read. Blam! Full flow story.

A terrible story, but good enough for a tired kid who doesn’t know they are tired and needs to rest.

Am I a bad father? Now a failed writer? Maybe. But I do know she listens and we talk about the story afterward. I ask her questions on what happened and why. And she asks for another story where something else happens but this time with Albert from Rescue Team, and in outer space on a planet with aliens. Oh and a cheetah that bites my car.

The imagination of kids is endless when battling sleep.

My father is dying, and due to Covid and other factors, my daughters born during and after Covid, have been unable to meet him. Now he is bound to a chair barely able to move and is nonverbal, but he is aware and can see them. But they don’t know anything about him aside from the two visits. The details of his life will only be known through me and my sister for when they are older. The visits are for him before the end.

And so George, “write a story for my daughter with her robot dog Kettle, and Dashy from the Octonauts, where grandpa Hal and Gammy Susan are helping the Octonauts rescue fish from dangerous situations and providing them a sanctuary where they will live.”

I tweak details of the story and in a way they get to interact with him. She gets to hear about a story where her Grandpa Hal and Gammy Susan helped butterfly fish and parrot fish find a new home. How her grandparents made a difference in her world even if in a small way. Kids absorb everything. And positive memories are still positive even if they are fashioned into a made up story by an emotionless machine. Humans can anthropomorphize anything. Will this cognitive dissonance backfire later when she is older?

I know it’s a cheat. I’m a bad writer, but, it’s what I can do. “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.”

Small moves. Bit by bit. Day by day. A journey will end, completed.


For the curious, here is George’s rewrite of this post. Is it better, worse? I used nothing of George’s rewrite for this post. All mistakes and thoughts are my own and a testament to the human quality of the writing. Comment below if you like.

A quick note:

The AppleTv series Foundation has been great. It’s been so long since I read the series I’m not entirely sure how far they have deviated from the source material. Here is a link to a book on Amazon to get you started. Clicking the link and buying anything else on Amazon will really help. You don’t actually have to buy the book but if you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it. Thank you.

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