Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Le Sacre du Printemps

Forsythia and jonquils explode yellow against a dull brown landscape, robins pass by on their way north, lazy warm days lead to cozy cool nights. Ah, Springtime in the South, the time of year when a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of--fire?

Yes, the smell of wood smoke fills the air in a noxious gray cloud. Firetrucks scream and groan as they respond. It's now officially Spring. I know that because my neighbor lit the woods on fire this morning. It's been an annual tradition for nearly 20 years. I don't know if it's laziness or just an inability to understand that drives him, but he cannot understand that burning off the weeds and leaves and pine needles in his yard triggers a mystical union between fire and dry woods. If you know any volunteer firemen, give them a pat on the back for me. I don't know how they keep from killing this idiot.

I often feel like Miniver Cheevy, except I feel born out of place. I have never been able to fit the redneck's overpowering obsession with fire into my psyche. Burning is de rigeur whenever two or more are gathered. When Joe and the crew built our deck some years back, I could never quite get across to them that I would really prefer that they not build a whacking great bonfire 15 feet from my house every morning. On a windy day. When we had had no rain for a week. I guess they thought I was some kind of wierdo. You just can't please everybody.

Breaking in new software

I have had Prose installed for weeks, now, but I've never really poked at it much. I fired it up this morning and began to do my character development in its Character Creator module. It's pretty cool. Asks a lot of prying questions into the character's personality type, strengths and weaknesses (and their consequences for the other characters and the story), the requisite physical description, etc.

I'm going to take a look at the Setting Creator and the Scene Creator as well. This appears to be a fairly complete package, and the only cost is your donation to either your local foodbank or to tsunami relief. A real win-win situation. I'll report back as I go.

Oh, it also exports its files to RTF, so I can pull them into Word for final formatting and printing.

Taking a break

I have put WITB on hold for a couple of days so I can work on "Wolf Moon". I need to get it done and out the door by the 31st if I'm going to keep up my goal of one story finished and submitted every month this year. Even though I'm currently 2 stories ahead, I have to consider those 2 as over and above my quota. No room for laziness here. WITB will remain in my thoughts, but my words belong to the Vikings.

I'll have a couple of days off next week during quarter break (according to the State of Georgia, New Year's Day falls on March 25 this year) so I should be able to get a lot done.

The Neverending Story

The Great Landscaping Saga continues, as it will for ages yet to come. Got my glider set up under the pecan tree. Now I'm moving dirt around the edges so I can lay down some brick pavement.

There are still vinca major, phlox, dianthus, and erysimum to set out, as well. My goal is to get a little done every day. Take the long view. Just wait 'til next year. Etc. I can maintain a feeling of accomplishment if I can say every evening: "It looks just a little bit better today."

Bok choi was a bust in the vegetable garden. It bolted to seed as soon as I set it out. It's probably too hot in the spring. Broccoli is looking good. We should be harvesting by the end of the month. The tomatoes have germinated. I'm still waiting on the squash and cucumbers. I have an old box springs that I plan to turn into a cage for pole beans to climb on. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. That has become a mantra for us since we slid back to the edge of poverty. You do what you must.

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