So… last week I went to a writers conference at Johnson County Central Resource Library. It was good. This was only the second one of these conferences I’ve been to, last year being the first time, and it was a good learning experience.

I went to a session about scene and structure, hosted by Heather Snow, and I learned a lot. There were a lot of small things that I didn’t even consider, but made a lot of sense when I heard them. Mostly about conflict within scenes. In fact, I’ve already applied some of these lessons to my current work in progress.

One of the most interesting things that happened while I was at that session was that I suddenly got a lot of ideas for changes and additions to my current work. It was weird, it was like I was struck with a burst of creativity, so I was taking notes on changes to my current work, new additions to my current work, and just general notes about the session. But I suddenly saw that one of my characters was all wrong, and had to be changed. A good character, but a distraction for the story. So I changed her.

It’s strange when ideas will strike me. During showers, while driving, while paying attention to someone else at a writers conference. Usually I don’t have a good way to make notes, but I already had my book and pen out this time, so it was easy.

There was an election the other day, you may have noticed. I’m originally from Kansas, though I now live in Missouri, so I keep a close eye on politics there. I was so thrilled to see Sharice Davids beat out Kevin Yoder for his congressional seat! Kansas will now have an LGBTQ member of congress, and that’s huge. The more LGBTQ voices there are talking about the issues that are of concern to us specifically can only have positive influence on future legislation. I’m not expecting miracles, but just having a voice there is nice.

Kansas also elected Laura Kelly over Kris Kobach! That is huge! Kansas was decimated by Brownback and his policies, and Kobach wanted only to take those same policies to a more extreme extent. Kelly is going to try to improve funding for schools, which need it, and has already announced that she will reinstate protections for LGBTQ state workers that had been in place before Brownback removed them. This is a big deal. If nothing else, it makes a statement that the state of Kansas is going to work toward removing institutional bias against LGBTQ citizens. Yeah, there’s a long way to go, but it’s a start!

Not so happy that Claire Mccaskill lost to Josh Hawley in Missouri, though. He’s nothing but a Trump rubber stamp.

We got our first real snow here in the Kansas City area yesterday. It was a mess this morning on some of the Missouri highways, especially around the Grandview triangle area. Which kind of leads me to one more political thing: On Tuesday, my fellow citizens of the state of Missouri voted down an increase in gas taxes that would have paid for improved and upgraded roads, as well as road maintenance.

What is wrong with you people!?

You voted against having good highways? Seriously? We have the second lowest gas tax of any state in the country. I think the last time it was increased was 1993. Seriously. If the amount of traffic was the same as in 1993, this may make sense. Not really, but… whatever. Our roads are not that good. They need a lot of work, and we can’t do that without the money to do it. This is costing us all a lot by way of extra vehicle maintenance on our own cars and on every delivery vehicle in the state.

The only thing I can think that may have turned some people away from the increase is the wording. At least I hope that was it. It made it sound like the money was going to the Highway Patrol. This is both true and misleading, if I understand correctly. For some reason in Missouri the road fund and the Highway Patrol get their money from one fund, so by increasing the Highway Patrol funding, you free up the money for road projects. It’s confusing, and I don’t know why this was not worded more clearly. Maybe it would have passed if it had been, I don’t know. We could sure use it, though.

That’s all I got. I talk too much, anyway, so it’s just as well.

Have a good weekend!