OCD In Progress

Kage Baker was convinced that every one has a touch of obsessive compulsive urges. She was probably correct, too – that kind of intense focus is sought after in most arts and disciplines, and carefully cultivated. It’s what some people call fire in the belly, or giving 110% or other cheer leading aphorisms.

It’s a normal part of the human spectrum of behaviour – it only becomes a problem when the urge to engage in obsession matters more than the satisfying of the obsessive urge alone. Kage understood that distinction well – she knew that she actually enjoyed the manic energy of the obsession for itself, but that giving in to it was what turned it into a disorder. So she learned to channel and control it. It was one of the wellsprings of her creative energy.

To balance that tightly controlled urge, she would let it completely loose at intervals. She’d spend a weekend watching old classic cartoons (preferably from Fleischer or Avery) , or one of the peculiar movies that informed her special inner landscape: The Wrong Box. Treasure Island (with good old Bobby Newton). The Children’s Blue Bird. Fantasia. She’d play all the Monkey Island games, including the final quintet from Steam; or Grim Fandango.

I seldom do any of that. But I got back from the wonderful time at BayCon with one huge disappointment – my new Buke did not perform satisfactorily under actual writing conditions. I had gone with a Kindle Fire tablet, but you know what? Amazon’s wretched proprietory software meant all sorts of hassles with non-Amazon programs. I couldn’t load Firefox. I couldn’t load Open Office – worse, I could load it, but only as a read-only format downloaded from Amazon. So in order to actually write, I would have had to purchase their version of Open Office – a program available for free on a normal tablet. And then, when I got home, my desktop monitor promptly kicked the ol’ jam jar – as Kage was fond of saying.

Much screaming and howling ensued. I needed a release!  I now have a new monitor; and Amazon is refunding my purchase of the Fire Tablet without argument. I shall go for something more actually Buke-like, whereon I can actually, easily, vitally, WRITE.

In the meantime …. I am indulging my own, infrequent form of OCD: catching up on a television show I’ve only caught glimpses of over the years, while going in and out of Kimberly’s living room. I’m binge-watching Bones. All 9 seasons of it.

Things will be normal in a day or two. In the meantime, OCD indulgence is soothing me with its sweet, sweet releases of serotonin and oxytocin, and other popular adrenergic agonists.

They speak my language at the Jeffersonian …


About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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3 Responses to OCD In Progress

  1. Tom says:

    I understand the disappointment of broken non-compliant tech all to well. Some time I’ll tell you about how committing to a one-size-fits-all Oracle product cost my employer more than a year of my time while I had to prove, issue by issue, that it wouldn’t work.
    It hasn’t been a binge, but I’ve been watching ‘Madam Secretary’ and ‘The Black List’ two or three episodes at a time. Gratifying at the brain-chemical level, yes.


  2. mizkizzle says:

    I hear you. Much as I love my Kindle Fire (and I love it dearly) it has an annoyingly shiny screen make of some kind of reflective material (Gorille glass, possibly) that makes it impossible to read outdoors. My first-generation Kindle had a textured, non-reflectiive screen that was easy to read in bright sunlight.
    As for writing stories on it, I never tried. That’s what my trusty Dell laptop is for. Having read your comments, I won’t even attempt it.
    For TV enjoyment, have you watched Better Call Saul? It’s terrific. I also love Teen Mom. Don’t judge me too harshly.


    • Billie Scarborough says:

      I don’t think you can “love ” Teen Mom though I am also driven to watch it. IMHO You can only stand at the crossing and watch in horror as the two trains hurtle at each other in slow 《show by show》motion! Knowing all too well the ultimate fate of those involved!


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