Saturday, May 28, 2005

Survey Results Forthcoming

Writer's Digest turned down my query about blogging. OK, I'm going to go ahead and write this thing up and post it on my Web site. I have around 150 responses so far, so we can draw some valid conclusions. Tabulation will take a couple of days, as will analysis. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Tough Week, Almost Over

Haven't been posting much this week. It's not been much fun. Everything from a flat tire to my wife's ultrasound (false alarm, everything normal). TGTF. 3 day weekend coming up.

If I Only Had...

In a comment on my last garden update, Bottom Feeder said he has plans to have a garden "when I have time". If I only had time. If I only had a heart. If I only had courage. If I only had a brain. If I only knew why I'm so hung up on the Wizard of Oz lately.

When I have time. How many times have I said that to myself? When I have time, I'll:
  • garden
  • write
  • get re-acquainted with my wife
  • do yard work
  • clean the house
  • organize my books
  • go see my parents
Here's the problem: I'll never "have time". I have to make time. I have all the time there is. It's my choice how I use it. I do have time to do all these things, just not all at once. I have to set priorities and balance "musts" against "needs" against "wants". It's my choice.

What do I want from life? That's the question. Do I want to live my life working and worrying, or would I rather mine life for the gems and metals that it has to offer and make jewelry from them? Tough choice, huh? Which path will leave me the fewest regrets when I look back 50 years from now?

My choice. From this day forward, 8am until 10am Saturday through Thursday will be writing time. I'll take Friday as my much-needed day of rest. That's my choice. 12 hours every week. 7% of the week, I will devote to actually turning words into electrons. That's less than a tithe.

Even better, I will do this and not feel guilty that I am taking time away from other things. Even allowing 37 hours for work and 8 hours travel time, there are still 111 hours left. 56 for sleep leaves 55 hours for all the other things I must, need, want to do. Cool, huh? I don't have to feel guilty. I have plenty of time. I have all the time there is.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Where the Wild Books Roam

Since Demented Michelle was so kind as to bitch-slap...er...tag me with this:

How many books do I own?

Dam'fI'know. Best guesstimate is around 3000. They're everywhere! Sometimes I think I hear them breeding in the night.

Recently read:

If Angels Burn by Lynn Viehl
Wicca: a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
The Dark Archetype by Denise Dumars and Lori Nyx
Conspiranoia: the Mother of All Conspiracy Theories by Devon Jackson
Driving Blind by Ray Bradbury
Lilith's Dream by Whitley Strieber

TBR:

Cirque Du Freak: the Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan
Say Good Night to Insomnia by Gregg D. Jacobs
In My Dreams by Monica Jackson
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

Recently purchased:

Cirque Du Freak: the Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan
In My Dreams by Monica Jackson
Last Girl Dancing by Holly Lisle (pre-order)
Talyn by Holly Lisle (pre-order)
Threads of Malice by Tamara Siler Jones (pre-order)

Influential books:

This list could go on and on. Dozens of books and authors through the years. These I will share, but there are masses beyond these that will perforce go unnoticed. I cannot, though, leave this list without mentioning the Holy Bible (King James Version), Roger Zelazny, Harlan Ellison, and Flannery O'Connor.

Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear by William Shakespeare
These tragedies brought home to me the notion that our actions have consequences that we must face.

At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
I fell in love with HPL's lush language and inside views of insanity in the 10th grade, thanks to a kind and unusual English teacher. Thanks, Col. Sullivan. RIP, you are remembered.

H.M.S. Ulysses by Alistair MacLean
I've talked about this one before. This novel taught me about honor and redemption. I have always wanted to write a book that would grab teens the way this one grabbed me, and I have always been disappointed that MacLean never write another one this compelling.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
What can I say? The sense of great historical forces moving in the world today, the sense of living myths and the spirit of legends imbuing us with noble purpose, the sense that we make our own legends through our lives and the causes we have the courage to stand up for, all these had and still have a profound impact on me.

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
It was kind of tough to choose which of Bradbury's to include here, but Dandelion Wine stood out, finally, because of the bittersweet memories of childhood and the golden wonder that infuses us at that time, wonder that we pursue the rest of lives and only rarely recapture.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Garden Status

A near-disaster averted, I hope. A thunderstorm came through Friday afternoon with heavy rain and high wind. Knocked the corn flat. Terrible timing, as it is just beginning to show spikes on top. I spent Saturday going through and hilling up each individual stalk. Oh, my aching back! It still looks good. Fingers crossed.

The broccoli harvest is almost done. I might be able to get one more small cutting of side shoots before the plants die in the heat. Good harvest, almost 6 pounds so far. Since the wife and I both dearly love fresh broccoli, none of it made it to the freezer.

The first little squashlet and several little cukelets have made their appearances. I probably ought to go ahead and get some jars and some pickling spice, so I'll be ready when the cuke deluge hits.

Pole beans are running and getting ready to bloom. So are the lima beans. Everything else is growing and blooming, but no harvestables yet.

Show That You Care

Heather at Death by Absurdity is starting a new group dedicated to staying out of other people's business and promoting tolerance and respect. Go by and get your graphic, post it on your blog, and let the world see that you support her in this.