There’s a 65-year-old man, Henry, who lives near Philadelphia who has depression. He didn’t want to take medicine but he noticed he was happier when he was near his alligator, Wally.
Yes, a guy in Philadelphia has an alligator named Wally. If you can get past that, you can be okay with the rest of this. The doctor agreed to register Wally as an emotional support animal and the man now walks Wally around the neighborhood, hopefully not during winter and stuff.
He hugs. He likes to eat a lot of chicken wings but doesn’t eat cats or goldfish. So basically, he is Shaun, who is also from Florida, but currently is a mammal, still.
This week, we’ve been thinking a lot about the the lenses with which we view things and how they help us process stuff, not necessarily alligators as service animals, but our lives and times that might not be awesome.
Those three lenses are:
The long lens
The reverse lens
The wide lens
So, let’s say I just got yelled at by my boss or Shaun. When I look back at our discussion, which was (Cough) heated I can use these lenses to have a better understanding of what happened and also to figure out how to move forward.
When I use the reverse lens, I look at everything my boss or Shaun said from their point of view. I think about why they said what they said, what their wants, motivation and backstory is. Why did they say those things? What were they feeling?
That sometimes can give you compassion about it.
When I use the long lens, I think about those annoying things they said and ask myself, “Am I still going to be annoyed about this in six months? Two months? Two hours?” Is this really important?
I often think, “Is someone going to jail or dying because of this?” Then I tell myself to chill.
The point is to decrease the intensity of those negative feelings that are overwhelming you right after the conversation.
This brings us to the wide lens. The wide lens still focuses on you, but it puts the incident into the bigger context of your life. Yeah, your boss sucked, but EVERYONE in your life (hopefully) doesn’t suck. Look at how much bigger your life is than just this experience. How many other person were cool with you today, this week? Maybe your boss is just a schmuck. That’s on them. Not you.
When bad things happen, we often make that one bad event (no matter how small) into this massive chapter in our life’s story, falling into the trap of self-doubt and low self worth, but the thing is? Most of the time that one bad event is just someone else being a buttface. It doesn’t deserve to be a chapter in your story. It shouldn’t become the myth of your life. Every event has multiple interpretations that can be seen through so many lenses.
Interpretations are subjective so pick the interpretation you want for the incidents in your life. Pick them apart and choose the same way we do when we build stories for the characters in our novel.
Writing Tip of the Pod:
Don’t be afraid to write weird quirky books with weird quirky characters, because damn it? Life is weird.
Dog Tip for Life:
Dogs are better than alligators.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
WRITING AND OTHER NEWS
IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, PREORDER NOW!
My next book, IN THE WOODS, appears in July with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
You can preorder this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
Hear My Book Baby (and More) On Patreon
On February first, I’m going to launch my Patreon site where I’ll be reading chapters (in order) of a never-published teen fantasy novel, releasing deleted scenes and art from some of my more popular books. And so much more.
WHAT IS PATREON?
A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you.
HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED
Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!
BE A PART OF THE PODCAST!
Hey! If you download the Anchor application, you can call into the podcast, record a question, or just say ‘hi,’ and we’ll answer. You can be heard on our podcast! Sa-sweet!
No question is too wild. But just like Shaun does, try not to swear, okay?
Here is the link to the mobile app and our bonus podcast below.
I do art stuff. You can find it and buy a print here.
People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.
The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?
It’s awesome and quirky and fun.
FLYING AND ENHANCED
Men in Black meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You know it. You can buy them here or anywhere. It’s fun, accessible science fiction. Who knew there was such a thing?