Friday, April 08, 2005

Blogger Newsflash!

You can retrieve lost posts. This article tells how.

If I only Had The Noive

"Metaphorically Speaking" is now complete in first draft at 888 words. That looks kind of wimpy to me. Wishy-washy. It feels like it should either be twice as long or half as long. I'll worry about that next week. For now, it goes onto the pile to cool off.

The big question with this essay is whether or not to query Writer's Digest and/or The Writer Magazine about it. I guess I'll never know if I don't try. It only costs 37 cents, and they can't be any ruder than some editors who have rejected me (and who shall remain nameless. Their day will come.). Besides, I need to start getting practice with query letters. Then, there's the whole question of "Earth, Air, Fire,Water" as a follow-on article…

Also got another 177 words on "Wolf Moon". Pretty slow progress right now. The current scene is one in which the protagonist has to establish his credentials as a warrior, in fact a Berserker. The problem is to do this without turning him into a vicious thug. I need for the reader to stay sympathetic, but I also need this bloody, violent scene, because it sets up everything that happens afterward. It's a high wire over Niagara Falls.

CAUTION: Religious rant follows. Turn back while you still can.

Separation of church and state is a real hot issue with me. I totally oppose any effort by the government to show support for any particular religion. My religion is my business, and it's going to stay that way.

So what brought this on? A J. C. Penney sale announcement. It seems they're having a special sale for "teachers and educators" (what's the difference? Different rant for a different time) on April 17th from 11 am until 8 pm. There is an asterisk by the 11am. The fine print says: "Except where prohibited by law." Huh? Oh, I get it. April 17th is a Sunday.

Regulating commerce in accordance with one single religion's customs is a very definite infringement on the rights of those of use who do not follow that particular religion. I resent that. I resent it alot. I have always resented not being able to buy alcohol on Sunday. Hell, you can buy all the liquor you want on Saturday. Shouldn't we restrict alcohol sales then, too, on behalf of the Jews? Or maybe make alcohol illegal altogether in support of the Moslems, Mormons, and others?

Freedom of religion implies freedom from religion. That is my theory of government: Keep your hands out of my pocket and your nose out of my business. Can you tell April 15th is coming? I always get grumpy this time of year.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Fun Waste of Time

Or is that redundant?

Gee, thanks, Holly! You can eat up a lot of time on this site. I don't have time for this; I have actual work to do tonight! I really like the fried eggs.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

One Day at a Time

Bad dreams.
Little sleep.
Fried brain.
Bad attitude.

I did manage to squeeze 229 words out on "Metaphorically Speaking". Actually more since about half of it was a rewrite of the first paragraph. That will have to do. The rest of the morning I spent sitting in the glider listening to birdsong backed by the steady drone of honeybees. Days like this are the very reason I busted my butt getting that spot ready. I think it's going to be a real sanity saver. At least on sunny days. Speaking of which, this is probably my payback for bragging about the weather yesterday. "Pride goeth before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction."

Days like this really give me problems. I guess I'm still beating myself up for not being perfect. Maybe I'll start a 12 Step program.

"Hi, my name is Carter. I'm a human being."

"Hi, Carter!"

"Thanks. It all started the day I was born, and it's been a steady slide ever since. Just a constant barrage of screw-ups, bad judgement, and stupidity. It seems like the harder I try to be perfect in all ways, the more I mess up.

"I've been on this ride for 48 years now, and I think I'm ready to admit I have a problem. With your help and understanding, I am going to try to realize that I am not perfect and never will be. I want to learn that mistakes are OK, and that bad things happen, often for no apparent reason. Thank you."

Monday, April 04, 2005

Stupid Blogger Tricks

Apparently Blogger has regurgitated the post I wrote yesterday that it ate. I really didn't write the same post twice. I really, really didn't. I promise. Please don't hurt me...

What a Day!

There are some days that make all the struggle worthwhile.

April in the South. The temperature is in the 70's. The clear sky is a deep blue so beautiful it makes my teeth hurt. Azaleas, dogwoods, and wisteria fill the eye with color and the air with perfume. The cat stretches out on her back on the driveway, soaking up the sun. It is impossible to stay indoors.

It's awful hard to remember days like this in the dark times, but what a lightness of heart when I'm living them. This is what glory feels like.

I got my pepper plants set out. 1 cayenne, 3 jalapeno (food of the gods, good for what ails you), 6 bells.

Minimal production on the writing front. Not quite 500 words on "Earth, Air, Fire, Water". Though it's fascinating to see how other writers work, I find myself enthralled and amazed as I discover my own processes.

If Angels Burn

My local Books-a-Million had 3 copies on display (spine out). One stuck to my hand, and I could not get it loose. :-) My copy is marked "1 of 4", so someone got another one before I got there. And then there were 2.

What can I say about If Angels Burn? One thing I can say is that it's damn hard to get anything productive done while absorbed in a world of dark erotica and compellingly real characters. The other thing I will say is that this novel requires a mature mind. Anyone who is spooked or offended by sex, violence, or language should stay away. Everyone else should definitely read this book. It is a hauntingly beautiful story about love, life, and what it means to be human. Holly's blurb says it is "erotic, darker than sin, and better than good chocolate". She hit that one dead center.

Requiescat In Pace

Every now and then a person passes through this world who becomes more than merely human, who commands respect, even love, by the force of their personality and the strength of their convictions. Pope John Paul II was such a person. While I most definitely disagree with the philosophy of the Roman Catholic Church in most respects, I have considered John Paul II to be a man of deep conviction. He truly cared about his Church and about people in a very Christian way. How many of us could forgive a man who tried to kill us to further a political agenda? Men and women who possess his strength and depth of love for his fellow Man are rare in this world. He will be sorely missed.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Requiescat In Pacem

Pope John Paul II is dead. He will be sorely missed. Though I often disagreed with his philosophy, I have to extend respect to the man.

Some men transcend their roles. John Paul II was more than just the secular leader of the Roman Catholic Church. He represented a real force for good in the world. He showed strength and compassion and love in a world full of hatred and violence. We need more like him.

Thank You, Deer

Thanks, Jean, for reminding me that deer are indeed beautiful, graceful creatures and a joy to behold. It's only when they intrude on my human activities by eating my vegetables and fruit trees or by jumping in front of my car in the middle of the night that they become vile, curse-worthy vermin. :)

Perspective makes all the difference, doesn't it? Most misunderstandings could be avoided if we would just stop and consider a different perspective and allow that it may also be valid. Why is that so difficult? I think it's because the vast majority of people are so afraid they may be wrong that they cannot allow themselves to grant the existence of any other perspective on an issue. This stiff-necked attitude is what leads to such anger and bitterness in the world. All around, I see people shouting at each other, waving their fists, even killing each other over issues that are not really worth the stress. People can hold differing opinions and still be good people. It is, in fact, quite possible to be friends with people who do not hold the same beliefs. All you have to do is "agree to disagree" and recognize the fact that most people most of the time are not going to change their beliefs or opinions just to please you. Can't we all just get along? Yes, we can. Why can't we all just get along? That's the big question, and the one too few people will ask.

Train of thought going cross-country again

In the course of doing some research for my boss's boss, I ran across this article on "teachable metaphors". Fascinating stuff. The author's comments in this article about her metaphors for writing poetry sparked an article idea that demanded that I write it right now. So I started on it. I had to stop for a few hours because of Real Life, and when I came back, this article had sparked an off-shoot article that was jumping up and down and screaming at me, so I had to shift gears and start on it.

The first article is entitled "Metaphorically Speaking" and is about the benefits and dangers of thinking about the writing process metaphorically. The current monkey on my back is entitled "Earth, Air, Fire, Water" and is about how gardening helps me define my personal writing process. This is a grand process of exploration and has opened new pathways for me to walk while I come to an understanding of my own drives and needs in my writing. Very exciting.

Speaking of which...

Planted corn today. Early Sunglow Hybrid. Grows 4 feet tall and yields 2 ears per plant ideally. With 45 plants, I should be able to get some for the freezer. Broccoli is going strong and should begin yielding soon. Tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers are all coming along fine, as well. Once the weather stabilizes into a more constant temperature range, they shold really take off. Next on the agenda is to plant peppers. I have the plants, just haven't set them out yet. I also have lima beans and okra seed to plant, but I will try to hold off for another week on them to be sure the warmth is here to stay.

Continuing disgust

A&E aired "The Terry Schiavo Story" last night. No, I did not watch it. I already know what happened, and I have no desire to see some network executive's sleazy attempt to squeeze a few dollars from this really unfortunate series of events. In spite of my continuing hopes and illusions, I continue to witness new lows in taste. I feel a need to throw up now.