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2021-05-14

On Word Enchilada Schedules

Ever since the inception of the Word Enchiladas, several people approached me saying they would like to take part but weekends weren’t always the best option for them.

Ever since the inception of the Word Enchiladas, I thought of this as a “weekend project”, but in true Andy fashion, didn’t think of that before.

My best solution so far: instead of weekends, some Enchiladas will run Monday-Friday.

The good: This allows for people who for any reason can’t write on weekends, which is bound to be a nonempty, nontrivial set of noders.

The “bad”: A wider time window partly goes against the spirit of what WE stands for (id est people writing prototypes on short notice, without preparation and with a short time to disallow self-editing). I’m not against people taking more time to write—hell, I want more people to write more good things all the time—but what I want to bring into E2 is the fun of jumping in with both feet and writing with reckless abandon without worrying about the long term survival and implications of their writeups. Longer quests are good and have their place here; but it’s not precisely what I envision with these Quests

The solution: I… don’t know? I’m very much against setting very strict rules because ❶ this is meant to be fun, ❷ stricter rules mean less fun and more time enforcing them (and my schedule is busy enough with depressive thoughts and existential dread! Who has time for more rules?), and ❸ I believe participation should be as frictionless as possible.

So, what gives? Maybe the solution is once more to leave it to the Honor System and tell people «Please, be honest and don’t take more than 48 hours between reading the prompt and posting it on e2» but I don’t know if that’s the best approach…

Therefore, I ask all of you:

  1. What do you think of adding more time windows to the Word Enchiladas?
  2. What do you think of the restrictive ideals (i.e. no more than 48 hours) that would apply to these events? and
  3. What do you think of letting it all work under a honor system?

Thank you for your patience in the past Enchiladas. I do take time to read all entries and judge them subjectively to award GP. I don’t want to just mechanically award GP.


On dreams, physical and emotional hunger, shortsightedness

(All that follows is of a personal nature. If you only care about the Enchiladas, you can stop here 😸)

A few weeks ago I dreamed of a noder.

Well, not exactly. I dreamed that I was invited to a wedding and had the option to bring a “plus one.” I called her out of the blue just to see if she was available and she said yes. In my dream it all went without a hitch and long story short we went through the standard Hallmark Romantic Movie™ before living happy ever after.

The thing that has been pestering me for a while is:

  1. I don’t know anything about this noder other than, well, their username and what they’ve chosen to share over the catbox and a few /msgs,
  2. The noder in question had the face, voice and body of a longtime childhood crush,
  3. After waking up I spent a few days in a strange mix of nostalgia and romantic-like bliss.

Why? Hell if I know. My last serious relationship ended more than a few years ago and between one thing and another, I don’t feel myself ready to start a new one right now. «But Andy, one is never completely ready» you could say, and it’s correct. Perhaps I should say that right now I can’t offer what I want, and I believe that to be a bad place to build a relationship upon.

But more and more I find myself longing for those «external» aspects of a relationship: the physical contact, the emotional haven, the sharing of time and space and experiences…

But of course, this is an idealization in the sense that one looks at a hamburger thinking of its delicious taste and conveniently forgets the fat and salt content, the exercise needed to offset them and the high money-to-nourishment ratio. These aspects of relationship obviate the effort, the bad days, the worst days, the disagreements, the learning one needs to do, the pride that sometimes must be swallowed… Happy couples are no accident, much as I’d like to dream otherwise.

The pandemic, the awful professional panorama before me, the emotional cage I’m living in… these all have hurt me in deep ways that I’m only now beginning to see, and just because I know it doesn’t mean I have a solution for it. I don’t believe in any religious sense, and in that regard I don’t «believe» things will just get better by themselves.

Why am I only now longing for «a relationship» in the way I described above? Getting hurt can lead to one hurting others, even unintentionally. Too much idealization can also lead to unrealistic expectations in subtle ways. I wish to avoid both scenarios.

It’s things like these that lead me to just stay single. I think things too much for my own good, and I still lack the tools to repair and rebuild myself.

But hey, at least now I write these fears down for anyone to find.

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