In today’s blog I thought I’d share a humour meme I created this morning. The idea came to me when I found this retro photo of a screaming woman on the internet and thought – that’s how I’d feel if I got up in the morning and there was no coffee. Any true coffee lover will easily relate to the humour in this image.
The first thing I do when I get out of bed is head downstairs into the kitchen and start the coffee. And then I stand there and wait for enough coffee to appear in the carafe to pour a cup. Fortunately my coffee maker has a ‘pause ‘n pour’ feature, otherwise it would get rather messy.
In nice weather I’ll take my coffee and laptop outside to the back deck and listen to the birds while writing or reading the news. Unfortunately in Canada the weather is crap 9 months of the year, in which case I go into the living room, turn on the gas fireplace, and sit next to the fire.
I can’t imagine starting the day without coffee. I’m not sure how non-coffee drinkers do it, but I think the government should fund a research program to study them. We need to find the answer to how they function, if not to confirm they’re human.
I find it very relaxing to make humorous memes, especially if they are coffee related. Kind of goes with the territory when your ‘thing’ is escapist adventures featuring coffee loving alien smugglers.
I’ve been spending a lot off time doomscrolling since Russia launched its brutal and unjust invasion of Ukraine, and I can’t recall when I’ve ever felt angrier with what I’m seeing in the news.
With the war in Ukraine, the global pandemic, the climate crisis, severe weather events, and the election cycles in America that never seem to end, there is no shortage of bad news to doomscroll through.
As a writer of escapist pulp fiction, I wondered if anyone would still be interested in the kind of light-hearted novels I like to write. Why would anyone want to read stories about aliens coming to Earth looking for coffee? How could I spend my time writing about such frivolous topics with all the truly serious crap hitting the fan around the world?
So for a while I stopped work on my current project – a sequel to my humorous sci-fi series about aliens who love coffee. I didn’t feel it was the right time for writing light-hearted escapism.
It’s a very good time for light-hearted escapism
But then I thought about how popular dime novels were during the American Civil War, which featured escapist adventure stories. And during the Great Depression cheap adventure stories in the form of ‘pulp’ fiction were hugely popular.
Dime novels became very popular during the darkest years of the Civil War
During the dark days of the Civil War and the global depression, people needed the break and low-cost escapist novels came into their own as an industry.
We are in a similarly dark period now, and it’s precisely in times like this that low-cost escapism is needed more than ever. We all need to take a break from doomscrolling and find a way to unplug from everything that’s going on and relax. Pulp fiction, escapist adventures, humorous sci-fi – whatever kind of reading you prefer – is a legitimate form of recreation. So I’ve taken up my pen once again and resumed writing.
Support a worthy charity
However, I still believe we should try to do what we can to help and not ignore what’s going on in the world. As a result, I’ve made some personal changes. Instead of doomscrolling, I’ve cut back drastically on my news consumption and started doing something practical. I started giving.
Recently I did some research into charities dedicated to assisting the people of Ukraine. The Washington Post and The Globe and Mail have both published lists of reputable charities supporting Ukraine.
Charities supporting Ukraine:
Canadian Red Cross: the local wing of an international emergency-relief organization. The federal government says it will match individual donations by Canadians.
Don’t ignore what’s going on, but I think you may find it more rewarding to spend less time doomscrolling and more time doing something practical. I think one of the best ways most of us here in Western Europe, Canada and America can do that is by donating to charities supporting worthy causes.
Oh, and spend more time reading great adventure sci-fi about aliens who like coffee.