All posts by Michele Sayre

We Ride at Dawn – Introduction

I hope the above file works. I haven’t put audio on it yet but you can run it as a slide show.

Below is the introduction to the political book as I’ve been calling the file for quite some time. It’s a project that’s been in the works (and with as many deleted files as any other project I’ve ever done). It’s taken me a while to find the hook but please note I don’t plan on ranting and raving. Instead, I want to talk it out and let each reader decide for themselves.

We Ride at Dawn:

Peeling Back the Layers of Fear and Political Rhetoric

 

 

Introduction:

The Story Behind the Title

 

 

November 7, 2018

 

I’ve been wanting to write a book like this since the 2016 Presidential Election but it’s taken me two years to find the hook I needed to start with. A few months ago, the term ‘peeling back the layers’ came to my mind and it hasn’t left. And when something sticks around like that I start to look at it closely.

What I’ve discovered as I look at politics just over the last thirty years is how many layers have built up over not just the issues, but the political process itself. It’s like complex discussions are turned into thirty-second sound-bite commercials or screaming rhetoric that drowns out any real discussion of the details of the issues at hand. Because of this reduction of complexity and extreme amplification of fear, we have the huge divide in our society today.

I have faith in people, though. And I have faith in our political system even as it’s been terribly abused by those in power right now. What I want to do with this book is peel back the layers of rhetoric, fear, and all-around bullshit to get to the heart of the issues at hand. I’m not a scholar, or a policy wonk, or a professional pundit. I’m a very average, working-class Jane who’s never been rich, or very successful. I’ve always had to work for whatever I had and even when I did start to make some money and get on my feet, life kicked all that out from under me.

I will say right here and now that my political views and positions are what are referred to as Democrat, Progressive, Liberal, and Leftist. I accept all those labels and embrace the ideals and positions behind them. This book will explain why because I have challenged myself to really think through the issues at hand to arrive at the positions that I have. But I want readers of this book to think for themselves, and to work through the issues in their own way and arrive at the conclusions they do. I won’t tell anyone what to think or feel even if it’s different from me because I think everyone has to figure things out for themselves.

The title ‘We Ride at Dawn’ is from a series of poems I’ve written about politics. I write poetry to think things out in single lines and find ways to organize my thoughts in prose. This series of poems are a rallying cry, though, a rally cry for people not only to get involved, but to think things through and peel back the layers of fear and bullshit to get to the true heart of the matter.

Breaking Radio Silence – Introduction – Leaving Fear

This is the introduction to my book ‘Breaking Radio Silence’

Leaving Fear to Find Questions and Answers

For a lot of people, if asked to visualize Fear it would be a huge monster with blood dripping off its’ fangs as it towers over you and blocks out all the light.

For me, Fear is a monster, but it’s a monster with an enormous cloak that envelops me in silence. It’s a retreat that’s always there for me and it’s always welcoming. But I can’t stay there forever, nor can I let Fear guide me in my life.

So breaking radio silence is leaving Fear’s embrace to live my life to the fullest. It’s about not running back to Fear’s embrace when something scares me or hurts me in my life. It’s about finding the strength and courage to do what I want to do and keep doing it for the rest of my life.

I won’t lie to you and say that I’m not feeling scared right now.

What am I scared of?

Anger, ridicule, doubt, good intentions.

I’ve always been scared of people getting angry at me. I’m very sensitive emotionally and since anger is very powerful energy I feel it at a very intense level inside me. My own anger scares me so much that I’ve repressed it more than anything and I don’t ever want to give in to it. But I’ve come to realize that anger is a part of me and that I don’t need to repress it when I can find ways of dealing with it constructively.

Ridicule is something I’ve dealt with as far back as I can remember. I was a very shy, fat, awkward, and klutzy child, which I’ve always said is not a recipe for social success. I’ve tripped, stumbled, and fallen on my ass both literally and figuratively so much if I had a dime for every time that happened I’d be richer than J.K. Rowling. But I also tell myself I’ve always managed to pick myself up off the ground and keep going though mostly in silence.

Doubt and good intentions go hand-in-hand because every time I’ve stepped out of my quiet little role wanting to do something I’ve never done before, people have asked me the following questions:

– Do you know what you’re getting into?

– Have you thought this through?

– Are you sure you can handle this?

The answer all three questions is ‘no’. These questions have always caused me to doubt myself in every way possible and when I challenged that, I was told those questions were being asked for my own good. And the reason I call them good intentions is because they’re not if they create fear and doubt in someone.

All my life I’ve felt like people have been so terrified of seeing me fail at something they’ll do anything they can to keep that from happening. I honestly don’t know what inspired this over-protectiveness other than being a fat, shy, klutzy kid because whenever I did fall on my ass I always tried not to sit there and cry about it. I always felt like I had to get up and keep going and keep trying to figure things out for myself, and do things for myself, too. Maybe it was that odd combination of independence and klutziness that some people just couldn’t understand or handle.

I will freely admit here I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. I’ve learned on the job more often than not and had to think on my feet and solve problems pretty quickly. And if I do make a mistake now I don’t beat the living shit out of myself like I used to. I’ll apologize and make amends, but I’m not going to wear my mistakes like a lead weight around my neck for the rest of my life.

And that’s something I really want people reading this book to understand: it’s okay to make mistakes and if anyone claims to have all the answers to call bullshit on them even if it’s only inside your head.

Because as I’ve begun to look back on my life I’ve begun to ease up on myself. In fact, I’ve looked back on my past self with a lot of kindness and compassion. I see a person who somehow managed to get up off the deck and keep going no matter how hard life threw her to the ground. I’ve been told I have a shit-ton of pride stuck up my ass, but I will say that pride kept me going when nothing else did. The only bad thing was that stubborn pride kept me silent when I shouldn’t have been. That’s something I’m learning to overcome here now.

So breaking radio silence and leaving Fear’s embrace is about living with strength and courage that I’ve always had, being kind and compassionate to myself and the world around me, and living my life knowing I don’t have all the answers and never will. Life is learning experience, and I believe we learn by doing.

I’ve been silent for too long. And in homage to the television show ‘Doctor Who’, my silence will fall when not only do I ask the questions, but I find some answers, too.

No one should be silent, or feel they have to live that way. Because although Fear can be a warm and quiet place, it’s not somewhere you want to live forever.

Introduction – Breaking My Radio Silence

I’ve been blogging on and off for about a decade now and each blog has gone silent. The reasons for the silences vary and I won’t go into them here other than to say I won’t let those reasons silence me again.

The goal of this blog and website is to use it to establish my writing career.

There. I said what I’ve been wanting to do for the better part of three decades now. Yes, ever since I was about twelve years old and started writing in earnest I wanted to earn a living off of it.

So what stopped me?

A lot of things, which I will go into in the ‘Breaking Radio Silence’ book that you’ll be seeing a lot about here. I’m at a point in my life where I know I can make things up as I go along if I have to, but also know that I can keep going even if I get knocked down. Besides, it’s just me, my dog, and my cat and those two are pretty low maintenance though I wouldn’t go anywhere without them. Eventually when this writing gig takes off, I want to get a van and trick it out to where I can live out of it with my dog and cat while we hit the road.

Although I love where I live and seeing the city day in and day out, I want to see the rest of the world, too. And I want to be able to live and work on the road and I figure writing is as good a way to do that as anything else.

Am I nuts in doing this?

I don’t think so. I tried the nine-to-five corporate gig and all I got out of it was a slightly-messed up back and a ton of stress I couldn’t medicate with alcohol (I don’t drink alcohol because my body reacts to it like I’m allergic). Right now I’m a full-time Uber driver because it’s a gig where I can be by my own boss and earn money without dealing with too much bullshit.

I’ve spent all my life battling fear and doubts and I’ve gotten to the point where I see where they come from. And if anyone asks what took me so long to do this, I’m not going to answer that question directly even if the intent behind it isn’t an on-the-spot demand like it’s always come off to me. The answer to that question is a lot more complicated and deserving of a much-lengthier explanation.

And no, I have no real idea of what I’m doing past a certain point. But NO ONE has all the answers and if anyone claims to I call ‘bullshit’ on them. All I can do is study, learn, and do. I can change direction if something isn’t working and if I fall on my ass doing something then I can just pick myself up and keep going like I always have. And if someone has a problem with that, they can take it up with me directly or just be totally ignored by me.

But I will say I won’t be just posting willy-nilly here. I’ve got topics and categories I want to write under as well as book projects to put together. So I’ve got the focus I need and I know if I start to avoid something then I need to figure out why. But these projects I have going have been with me for so long and haven’t let go no matter how hard I’ve avoided them sometimes. And when things stick with me through thick and thin, like my dream of being a full-time self-supporting writer, I know this is what I really want to do with my life. Once I accept that something is here to say with me, I feel a clarity and a calm I know is true and real.

Because one thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that if I listen closely enough, answers will come to me. But I’ve also accepted I can change things if I have to, and that sometimes I just need to be patient and let things play out until I come to an answer. And yes, I know this sounds a bit woo-woo but expect a lot more of that here because although my woo-woo might be non-denominational, I believe in it.

So, what will I write about then?

Whatever I want to, to be a smart-ass in reply to that question.

In reality, I’ll be working under these main categories:

1) Breaking Radio Silence: Memoire/self-help hybrid topic so these posts will be going towards that book.

2) We Ride at Dawn: This is my political topic heading and these posts will be going towards a book, too.

3) Poetry: Yes, I write poetry. And yes, I will be compiling it into a book someday.

4) Writing: Since I’m a writer these entries will be about the writing process including grammar.

5) Short fiction: For the longest time, I didn’t think I could write short fiction but then I discovered I can.

6) Novel Excerpts: I’ve got one cooking right now and many, many more to come.

7) Life on the Hustle: This one will be about my time on the road as an Uber driver along with other entries about my previous incarnations as a call-center wage-slave and such.

8) Extras: One-off entries (or more) about anything not under the above categories.