Archive for May, 2010

Lessons I Learned From My Childhood (That Were In NO Way What Was Trying To Be Taught To Me At The Time) (Part One)

May 17, 2010

Cream really does rise to the top.

So does pond scum.

Quick Random Thought Because I’m Pressed For Time Today

May 14, 2010

It feels good to know you’ve sold a book.

It feels better to know the person that bought it enjoyed reading it.

Post-Birthday Thoughts

May 13, 2010

At some points in my life, I’ve told myself storytelling was something I could stop at any time, but that was a lie.

These days I realize that should the end of the world catch me unawares, and I should somehow find myself to be the last surviving human on Earth, between the necessities of survival, I’d still be telling tales to the wind, and recording stories on tree bark just in case someone should someday happen to come along with an interest in reading them.

Odd as that may sound, it’s actually not that different from what I’m doing right at this very moment;  I just happen to have a wider potential audience, and if all goes well, that will be audience plus one in about six month’s time.

Obviously, as I’m gearing up to market my second book, I’m hoping to reach a much wider audience than plus one, but that “plus one” is the one I’ve been/am/will be writing to most frequently.  To me, that’s always been obvious.

But in case “plus one” needs it spelled out someday . . . here it is.

Office Closed Due To Birthday

May 12, 2010

At least in the past year or so, I’ve learned to be more concise.

Case in point

My New (Self Appointed) Title

May 11, 2010

Along with my other titles (some flattering, some . . . less so), in anticipation of post final trimester responsibilities, my newest title shall be that of “Seneschal.”  A pretentious and perhaps even silly title, I admit, but I prefer it to any of the titles currently in common parlance describing the general nature of my upcoming duties.   Most of these duties I’ve been performing with greater or lesser dedication already, but before now, it has always been in an informal and unofficial capacity.

But no longer.

(Mostly because when I drop something on the floor, or leave one of my books or personal belongings out unattended, I know that eventually I shall pick it up and put the item in its proper place.   This is in no small part because my cognitive programming does not go: 

Step one:  Drool on, Attempt to Eat, Both, or Neither? 

Step two:  In the event of Neither:  Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate?

In other words, my duties as Seneschal are to anticipate and address any and all general household issues, with particular focus on  health/safety issues, and that starts with me making sure nothing is eaten off the floor, especially any of my stuff!)

Pardon The Dust, Reorganization In Process

May 10, 2010

Though I won’t pretend that I’m one of those ultra-organized folks that can juggle six plates and six flaming torches at the same time, in recent years, of necessity, I’ve had to adopt a greater level of organization in my life than I ever expected I would.  In some ways, this has only made the areas of disorganization in my life more prominent to me, but not so much so that I’ve gone overmuch out of my way to find a way to better deal with what I have dubbed my languishing  “future priorities” (like properly unpacking from my last move).

However, facing the very real possibility of having dramatically increased responsibilities for the next two decades or so (likely longer), has prompted me to start figuring out how to make those “future priorities” today’s priorities before my responsibilities increase even further.  Today’s first step:

“Office hours.”

I’ve never needed them in the past.  I’ve always done well enough with setting my goals and adjusting my time accordingly, and while I still hope to keep the core of this flexible approach, it hasn’t worked so well in recent months, and I suspect it will work even poorer after another two trimesters.

I was told today that this “office hour” approach was the one Hemingway used, preferring to write every day from nine to noon, then start his drinking (I don’t pretend I made even the slightest effort of verifying this tale, by the way), so at least that gives me a model to work from.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s past noon, and I’m behind schedule.

So . . .

May 7, 2010

Now you might understand why I didn’t put myself on a strict schedule for going over my editor’s notes.  And after a trimester’s worth of tests (done by professionals), secrecy (maintained by skilled amateurs), and fretting (mostly done by me), and a few weeks lost to the nastiest flu I’ve ever had, I’m very grateful I had the luxury to not be on a strict schedule, particularly because I still haven’t properly unpacked from the move . . .

All the stress of the past few months was worth it though, just to know the joke I wanted to be said has finally been said:

Co-worker to she who is pregnant: “Congratulations!  Is Rob excited?”

She who is pregnant:  “No, I haven’t told him yet, since it’s not his . . .”

Sometimes it’s the little things in life you cherish.

P.S.  I managed to repeat the spam spike using the word “pregnant” in yesterday’s post.

P.P.S.  Despite all distractions, I have also finally finished with my editor’s notes.  I’ll want to do a bit more reviewing for myself before moving on to the next step, but that’s Monday’s task.  Have a good weekend, all!

Blucher!

May 6, 2010

Apparently because I used the word “pregnant” in yesterday’s post, I got a noticeable spike in the spam attempts for this site.  I can’t imagine why the word “pregnant” would cause such an effect, but I can think of no other reasonable explanation for what I observed other than it somehow being related to my use of the word “pregnant.” 

Perhaps one of the cravings that accompanies pregnancy is Spam . . . if only there was someway for me to test if I can duplicate the effect of my previous use of the word “pregnant” . . .

(And in case I need to explain the reference in the title:  Blucher!  And if that was unfamiliar to you, do yourself a favor and go rent the movie already.)

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Pregnant!

A Missing Piece Of The Puzzle

May 5, 2010

Funny how you can keep a secret for so long, and when it’s finally no longer a secret, in a strange way it’s like you’re just finding out for yourself. 

She’s pregnant.

Well at least now my distractions, stresses and fluctuating mood over the past couple of months will make more sense to other people if they stop to think about it.   In some ways, it’s a minor miracle I’ve managed to focus enough to get any editing done at all!

She’s pregnant.

Didn’t expect for the queasiness to be an issue so early though.

She’s pregnant!

Ah well . . . I should get over it soon.

Seatbelts And Immigration (A Follow-up To Yesterday)

May 4, 2010

Let me put it to you this way:

I support seatbelt laws, always have.  I understand why some people object to them, but I feel seatbelt laws do a lot of good and very little harm.

With that said, I know how they can be abused/used to abuse.

My brother was once in a truck that was pulled over for a burnt out tail light or something trivial like that.  The officer swaggered over, and informed both the driver and my brother (both wearing seatbelts then and before being pulled over) that he was also going to cite them for not wearing their seatbelts.  When they began to protest he said, in effect, “Kids, it’s my word against yours, and a judge will back me.  You can either accept the citation and pay the fine quietly, or I can ask you to step out of the truck and I’ll see what else I can find wrong with it to cite you for.”

Recognizing their position, they accepted the citation.

My point is seatbelt laws are fairly straightforward, and I know how they can be abused if the officer is so inclined.  The Arizona immigration law is far less straightforward, and the potential for abuse is proportionally (maybe even disproportionately) higher.  And while it’s been a few years since I was last in Arizona, I know Arizona enough to know how deep racial tensions run through the state.  Don’t take my word for it that this law is like trying to put out a brush fire with gasoline. 

Just wait and see.