Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday Thirteen 26

The doors of our Southern Oregon Library System are closing indefinitely in nine days. For an explanation see my post, Southern Oregon's Looming Library Closure. Several of my TT since I learned of this in early December have been on this theme. The last three were a three part series on the research projects of mine which will be impacted. The issue is still consuming my attention so once more into the breach...

These thirteen items aren't the only remaining library items vying for my attention by any means. They are just some of the most important to me. Between our two cards my husband and I still have close to sixty items out and most of what is on my husband's card was more for me than him. And as you can see with #13, I cheated a bit.

I split the list rather arbitrarily into three catagories: Non-Fiction books, Novels and DVD--four of each plus #13. Of the novels I can probably hope to complete only two. I've already started #5. Help me decide which of the remaining three I should commit to. #6 is the shortest. #7 is by the author of Three Junes which won the National Book Award--a novel I adored and for which I wrote this book review. #8 is by the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Thirteen of the Movies and Books Vying For My Attention In the Last Nine Days Before the Library Doors Are Locked Indefinitely

1. What Just Happened: A Chronicle from the Information Frontier by James Gleick

2. Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth by Andrew Newberg, MD and Mark Robert Waldman

3. The Opt-out Revolt: Why People Are Leaving Companies to Create Kaleidoscope Careers by Lisa A. Mainiero & Sherry E. Sullivan

4. The Audacity of Hope: Thought on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama


5. Blessed Are the Cheesemakers by Sarah-Kate Lynch

6. How To Be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward

7. The Whole World Over by Julia Glass

8. Snow by Orhan Pamuk


9. Crash

10. The End of the Affair

11. Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke

12. An Inconvenient Truth

13. Four Sydney Poitier movies: A Raisin In the Sun; Lilies of the Field; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner; In the Heat of the Night (Hey, I couldn't choose just one to list here and I'm probably going to watch them in a single marathon of approximately 7 hours anyway)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Di 2. Tink 3. impworks 4. scooper 5. Gattina 6. Candy Minx 7. L^2 8. Raggedy 9. Susan Helene Gottfried 10. Jamie 11. JennyMcB 12. Ctina 13. Sherry Sullivan 14. Laughing Muse

(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #25

This is the third of a three part series. See Part 1: General Subject Areas and Part 2: Specific Topics In Support of Essay Thesis or Tangible Goal.

For an explanation of the library closure we are facing here in Southern Oregon April 6th see my post, Southern Oregon's Looming Library Closure.

Thirteen Research Projects Which Will Be Impacted By the Impending Library Closure

Part 3 Projects Related to My Fictional Works In Progress

1. Lupus. The mother of a protagonist in a YA novel suffers from this while the protagonist is obsessed with the life and writings of Flannery O'Conner who died from it in the early sixties.

2. The Life and Writings of Flannery O'Conner. See #1.

3. Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Kirk, the young son of the protagonist of Brooding Instinct, (the novel from my second NaNoWriMo attempt and one of the Fruits of the Spirit story world novels) suffers from the latter which is possibly a high-functioning form of the former.

4. Fictional World Building. For a Sci-Fantasy Novel or possible series.

5. Physical Therapy. Julia from the Fruits of the Spirit story world worked as a physical therapist for injured soldiers when she was in the military. see #2 of my Thursday Thirteen #13

6. Visual Impairment. Marion from my short story, How Does Your Garden Grow, has popped into two of the Fruits of the Spirit novels as a major supporting character and may end up with her own novel length story. Can a Psychiatrist continue to practice after loosing her eyesight?

7. Shakespearean Theater. Estelle Star from the Fruits of the Spirit story world is a Shakespearean actress. see #9 of my Thursday Thirteen #13

8. Teaching Theory, especially as it applies to teaching special needs children. Iris from my short story, Blow Me a Candy Kiss, has popped into Brooding Instinct to work with Kirk--see #3 above.

9. Undercover Police Investigations. Brick Lawson,the father of a protagonist works as an undercover cop in the 'drug wars' and she becomes a pawn who is used almost as ruthlessly by the 'good' guys as by the 'bad'. see #11 of my Thursday Thirteen #13

10. Documentary Film Making. Troll and Jerrica Holmes travel the world making independent documentaries. see #12 & #13 of my Thursday Thirteen #13

11. Music from the perspective of a music teacher. Faye, from the Fruits of the Spirit story world, teaches both piano, voice and music appreciation. see #1 of my Thursday Thirteen #13.

12. Music from the perspective of a performing artist. Fancy is a country western vocalist. She and her daughter Breezy co-wrote the lyrics to her first major hit single: Making Rag Doll Babies and Million Dollar Maybes. see #6 & #7 of my Thursday Thirteen #13.

13. Religious Cults. This is a major theme running through the entire Fruits of the Spirit story world where every major character and many minor ones are either affiliated with, attempting to part ways with or hoping to extricate a loved one from a Fundamentalist Christian Cult that has split into two antagonistic camps--one isolationist and the other militant. Sometimes it is just an undercurrent but often it will become the focus of the plot of a particular story or novel as in the novel to which my contribution to the Write Stuff Creative Carnival last week, A Tale of a Wail, belongs.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Selena Kitt 2. Mama Duck 3. Susan Helene Gottfried 4. Ctina 5. Jamie

(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Monday, March 19, 2007

Grief Doth Howl and Rave

January gray is here, like a sexton by her grave;
February bears the bier,
March with grief doth howl and rave,
And April weeps - but, O ye hours!
Follow with May's fairest flowers.
~~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Gremlin: July 4, 1993-March 18, 2007

Fresh grief is yet too raw for words for even the sweet memories are like heat applied to a sunburn.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #24

This is continued from last week. Next week will be the thirteen research projects related to my fiction works in progress.

For those of you curious about the reasons for the library closure, I finally posted an explanation last weekend. Sort of. Because it isn't the piece I intended to write based on my own research. But there is a link to the San Francisco Chronicle article for which I was one of about a dozen library patrons interviewed three weeks ago. See Southern Oregon Library Closure. Or you could just scroll down if you are on the front page and it hasn't dropped off yet.

Thirteen Research Projects Which Will Be Impacted By the Impending Library Closure
Part 2: Specific Topics In Support of Essay Thesis or Tangible Goal

1. Movies. Lots and lots of movies from every era of film, including drama and documentaries. The goal is to fill in a gaping culture gap. Can you believe I never saw Casablanca until a couple months ago? And I have yet to see an uncut, in color version of The Wizard of Oz? My memories of it are of the winter I was nine and the three of us kids were all sick with chickenpox, then mumps and then German Measles and thus for months could not attend Bible Study Meetings. We watched it on a black and white TV with rabbit ear reception.

2. Filmography. The availability of commentaries and other extras on DVDs has got me interested in how movies are made. It is storytelling after all. I believe the intense viewing of movies over the past year has garnered a lot of insight into the art of storytelling.

3. A formal study of poetic forms. I haven't studied this since high-school. I write free verse. But I would like to learn the rules and rhetoric of everything from haiku to iambic pentameter so I can at least read it, with better appreciation.

4. Design. For two purposes: Designing fine needlework projects and designing the elements of web page layouts.

5. Needlecraft: needlepoint, embroidery, cross stitch. Especially the aspect of turning the stitched project into the finished product--the book cover, the pillow, the wall hanging...

6. Small Business how to.

7. Journalism and the Media.

8. Health and Fitness.

9. Let's not forget Fiction reading. Keeping caught up on all my old favs and discovering new authors is part of any aspiring author's job. It is also my joy.

10. Mind/Body studies. Including Psychoneuroimmunology.

11. Christian Fundamentalism. Because of my history obviously but I'm especially concerned about those who have gained considerable political power whose stated goals are to reform America into a theocracy.

12. Evolution vs. Creation controversy.

13. Bible. History of the cannon, translations, and textual criticism. With special attention to the history of the Scofield Reference Bible, which was the one I was raised on and whose underlying premises I no longer hold to.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. JennyMcB 2. Raggedy 3. impworks 4. L^2 5. Laughing Muse 6. Tink

(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Everybody Hurts

R.E.M. was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If this had been the only song they ever did, they would have earned it.

Hat Tip to Nicole Belle at C & L


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Tale of a Wail

This is my contribution to the WriteStuff Creative Carnival. The prompt: Sibling Rivalry.

by Joy Renee

Her mother would tell the tale for decades of how Abigail Ames sucked in her first breath and released it in a vibrato wail, with no impetus but surprise and how it took her seven years to break her daughter of the embarrassing habit of howling in the face of the tiniest disappointment. And her mother had broken her well. So well that she didn’t cry when at age eight, she watched her brother’s dog Griswald break the neck of her kitten Calypso while her brother, Darcy, stood by laughing. So well that she didn’t cry out at age ten when Darcy and his buddy Curtis strung a rope over a high tree branch and put a noose around her neck and slowly tightened it until crying out would have been impossible anyway as simply drawing breath burned like fire. When they lifted her into the tangle of leaves and branches and then let go of the rope so that she fell, breaking her right arm and spraining her left ankle, still she was silent.

Her self-enforced silence began the night of her seventh birthday when her mortified mother removed her from the dinner party after she let loose an endless open-mouthed howl when eleven year old Darcy blew out her candles for her and told her that meant he had just stolen her wish. Her wish had been to someday sing the part of Annie in the Broadway musical. It didn’t strike her that the transference of such a wish to her brother was a ludicrous concept. All she had registered was the irrevocable loss of hope. She was inconsolable. So her mother took her to her room and lectured her on the protocols of social engagements and the expediency of stiff upper lips for young ladies. Especially for a daughter of the Apostle of the Airwaves, Amos Ames, author of Daring To Profess.

“If you simply must cry, then go somewhere no one can hear you. And if that is impossible, then at least get off alone and put your hand over your mouth like this.” She placed Abigail’s own hand over her mouth and pressed. “There, see? You can cry as hard as you want and no one can hear. Pretty soon you will learn to do it without even using your hand. Once you learn to do it without screwing up your face into that unsightly mess, you can scream and cry and carry on in a crowd without even disturbing your make-up.”

Abigail took the lecture to heart. She never again cried out loud. But nor did she ever again sing out loud. Not, at least, until she was nearly out of her teens and too old to play Annie. Darcy had stolen her wish after all. The first of many precious things he stole from her. And now he was about to take from her the last precious thing because he refused to take her years of silence in lieu of an oath of eternal silence.

“Swear on what, Darcy?” she asked. “On my purity? On my honor? You took those from me long ago. And what point is there to swearing an oath to a man without honor? It would be nothing but babble in his ears. Easy enough to disregard on a whim.”

Nor would an oath suffice. Darcy had not gone to the trouble of tracing her after ten years just to hear her mouth a ritual phrase. She doubted he, on his own, had the means to track her to this remote mountain cabin in Southern Oregon. But he had managed to get a message to her through the one childhood friend whom she hadn’t the heart to cut loose of. Nor would Darcy have gone to that trouble on his own. It had to be on behalf of, and with the resources of, Curtis Christopher, currently campaigning for United Sates Senator in Idaho. Darcy had been Curtis’ campaign manager for every election he ran in since his run for Class President his senior year of college. Abigail had been privy to the inner-circle of that one, though still in high-school herself. She knew that Curtis kept himself willfully ignorant of the tactics Darcy used to make things go his way. She knew that their ambitions had been, from the beginning, to go all the way to the White House. With stakes that high, there was only one guarantee of silence that would satisfy Darcy.

Darcy’s mistake was in thinking that she had spent the last decade cowering in this redoubt, nurturing terror and shame, with nothing more than a salacious tale to tell that could be spun as sibling rivalry, if she ever dared to voice it, an embarrassment that could be averted by a single stroke. He could not suspect that the timid, biddable Abigail had been preparing to sing on a stage dwarfing any stage her seven-year-old imagination could have conjured, for if he had he would not have attempted to back her into the corner that abutted that stage on one side and the abyss on the other.

For, far from nurturing terror or shame, she had been cultivating a network and a name recognized for integrity and intrepid truth scrounging. Trudy Ann Daring, Investigative Journalist and founder of, had created the stage on which she would sing. And her tale was far more than an uncorroborated he said/she said family scandal. She had proof--documented facts and the living, breathing truth, that last precious thing--Truth Ann Daring, not yet ten, sleeping that peaceful sleep of innocence --just this little bit longer--in the loft over Abigail’s head.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Southern Oregon's Looming Library Closure

The librarian asked me almost as soon as I walked in the door this afternoon if I had seen the article in the Chronicle last Sunday. I said no and she said she had left a copy of it with my stack of holds. It was a hard copy printed off the San Francisco Chronicle website. She was referring the article by Meredith May who had interviewed me for fifteen minutes in the Phoenix library two weeks ago today. I missed its appearance, having been so busy last weekend trying to finish Stephen King's Lisey's Story and Candace B. Pert's Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d, both of which had been due last Friday so I was essentially 'renting' them for twenty cents per day and every hour I spent with them past Friday was an hour I couldn't spend with the twenty-five items coming due today.

I made my self wait until I'd unpacked the two book bags of books and DVDs I was returning before I started trying to read the article. I had barely reached the paragraphs in which May quoted me before the librarian was turning out the lights. It was five o;clock and closing time. I usually make my run in the early afternoon but today I was watching DVDs right up until four. Today it was Rebel Without a Cause and the four hour BBC mini-series, Summer's Lease.

I heard a bit of the Twilight Zone theme playing in my head as I read the headline of May's article: Largest library closure in U.S. looms. It was spooky because I had been using the word 'loom' all day yesterday in the comments that I left on Thursday Thirteen posts. But only superficially because you gotta admit the word 'loom' is just a natural fit with the rest of the phrase with it's alliterative L.

I have been working on a post that would explain the cause of the impending closure since mid December. I've collected a lot of links and a lot of facts regarding the history of the funding that we're loosing. But I keep putting off getting it written up because I've been so focused on the books and movies I'm about to loose access to. I had started to work on it again this week, hoping to post it in tandem with my TT #23 below because I anticipated more questions from my commenters about why this was happening. It is too complex a story to answer in a blog post comment. I might still write it up someday but for now I am just going to direct you to May's article as she does an excellent job of summing up the situation but adds the personal touches I could not come close to by including stories of the people who will be effected by the closure.

I learned from her article that I was not the only one who had such an extreme reaction to the news, nor was mine the most extreme. Here are the grafs that quote me:

Joy Davis, who has been blogging about the impending closure
of her branch in the small town of Phoenix, said she's been getting sympathy worldwide in response to her posts.

"When I first heard the library is going to close, I almost passed out -- I had to sit down," said Davis, who checks out about 30 books a week to research her writing projects. Currently, she's interested in pinpointing the source of the conflict between creationism and evolution.

"I have a set of Britannica books, but that's not really a
replacement," she said.

Despite her Internet savvy, Davis doesn't trust online
information and depends on the library for solid data.

If you want to know what the spotted owl has to do with our closing libraries you'll just have to go read May's article. It might be awhile before I get my own explanatory post up now that I have such an excellently written and informative piece to link to.

Four weeks minus five hours and the clock ticks...

(Oh, and this is the fifth of the five posts my husband challenged me last Sunday to have published before he gets up Saturday morning. My prize is several hours worth of his time and effort and expertise used to promote Joystory for me. This is the perfect post to have sitting at the top all weekend as he applies his magic touch.)


How Many Have You Read?

found this book meme on Thinking About

*Look at the list of books below.
*Bold the ones you’ve read.
*Italicize the ones you want to read.
*leave same the ones that you aren’t interested in.
*If you are reading this, tag you’re it.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy) started this several times, want to try again. am blessed to own a copy so it's on my to read list for after the library closure
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) read a condenced version in grade school. would like to read the uncut version.
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce) i've downloaded a free e-book of this so it's on the agenda for during the library closure


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #23

Thirteen Research Projects Which Will Be Impacted By the Impending Library Closure.
Part 1: General Subject Areas

1. Philosophy. Since my entrance into this field was instigated by my becoming aware at age 35 that I had never learned to think for myself, I first set out to learn what it meant to think and what it meant to know and how to judge the reliability of knowledge. I later learned that this was called epistemology.

2. Psychology. Thinking combined with behavior combined with inter-personal dynamics. A total playground for a novelist, right? I mean, a case could be made that the first novelists were the first psychologists.

3. Writing: Craft & Lifestyle & Business

4. Comparative Religion and Spiritual Traditions.

5. Geography (which for me is about much more than locating a place on a map. It is also about the inter-relations between nations and to understand that you have to know something of each ethnic group and nation's history, culture, government and economics.)

6. Civics (my catchall term that covers: politics, government, policy, elections and activism from local to global and includes sociology and theory of government, the American Constitution and civil rights.)

7. Economics: from Micro to Macro from personal to global (which is inextricably entwined with politics as it is a subclass of sociology.) I began studying this intensely in 2001 after the prediction my husband made before the 2000 presidential elections that if Gore did not win, investors would pull their money out of the tech industry and instead of cashing in his stock options he could be cashing a final paycheck before the first anniversary of the new president's inauguration. He said this in late summer of 2000. He cashed the final check in April of 2001 and we spent two weeks homeless on the streets of the Silicon Valley in August. A hard way to learn how much economics matters. Not to mention elections.

8. History. There are a lot of subcategories here. My favorites are Ancient History, History of Christianity, History of Western Civilization, Middle Ages in Europe and the Mediterranean, American History and Russian History.. My most recent focus though has been on Middle Eastern History. And I was about to delve into India and the Orient.

9. Linguistics and Languages. The place where words come out to play in the field of the Logos.

10. Science (Physics, Geology, Biology, Chemistry, Environment, Evolution, Astronomy, Oceanography, Meteorology and Medicine are among those that I have immersed myself in for a period of weeks or months.) I read the books written for laymen. I am spooked by equations and formulas but good writers can get the concepts across without them.

11. Computer and Information technology, including Information Science, which is another Interdisciplinary study (see below).

12. Comparative Story: From ancient mythology to modern movies and TV series.

13. Several Interdisciplinary Studies,including Integral Thought and Futurology and Systems Theory. This is where my passion is as I was less than five years into my intensive autodidactism (which was instigated in 1992 by the traumatic break with the fundamentalist religion I was raised in) when I reached some kind of mental tipping point after which I could never again read in any subject without making multiple connections to other subjects. My essay expressing this experience, Emerson Whispering Sweet Somethings In Einstein's Ear, was written in 1998 to inaugurate the first debut of my Joyread web site.


Such dreams I had for Joyread and its sister sites Joywrite and Joystory. Next week in Part 2 I will list research projects on topics with a much narrower focus, several of which are directly related to realizing my original vision for these sites, including the intent to find a way to turn my passion into income.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Mama Duck 2. amy 3. Susan Helene Gottfried 4. Rashenbo 5. Raggedy 6. Candy Minx 7. Gattina 8. Christine 9. Tink 10 L^2 11. scooper

(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hoarders R Us

That's the Royal Us--Me, myself and I--though I could make a case for it being a national dis-ease as well; but that's a whole other post. What I set out to muse about here is my issue with collecting and saving things. I saw myself in both of the women featured on today's Dr. Phil show. One of them had nearly 200 cats on her ten acre property. The other had stuffed a large house to the gills with stuff.

I have never accumulated nearly that much of anything but it is probably only because we have lived below the poverty line for most of the 28 years of our marriage and have twice lost the contents of our home--once for non-payment of rent on our apartment and thirteen years later for non-payment on a storage unit. Though there are many items that I still long for at times (my favorite baby doll that was my mother's before me, a crystal vase that was a heirloom from my husband's maternal grandmother, fine needlework projects, two personal libraries, manuscripts going back to my juvinilia, research notes, my wedding dress, family photos) I cringe to think of some of the stuff that some 'lucky' person got to sort through when they cleaned out that apartment and that storage unit. If there was one theme to what I collected (other than office supplies, craft supplies and books) it would be containers. Any type of container you can imagine, I probably had dozens to hundreds of them. I am speaking here of used containers from envelopes to shoe boxes; from prescription bottles to shampoo bottles; from yogurt cups to the little dose measuring cups that come with cold medicines; baby food jars to pickle jars; even the plastic or Styrofoam containers of take-out foods.

Then there are the things I saved to use for bookmarks: foil candy wrappers, business cards, junk mail, postcards, the logo tags off of new clothes. I needed a lot of bookmarks because I kept one in almost every book I possessed whether I owned it or borrowed it from a friend or a library. Many Non-fiction books would have multiple bookmarks. I continue this practice today. Bookmarks are one of the few things small enough to collect when you live in a ten by twelve foot room with a husband and two cats on leashes.

All of this is having such an impact on me today because it seems to resonate with the issue that has been stressing me out--out of my mind it sometimes feels--since December when I learned our county library system was closing its doors for lack of funding. I had already been feeling the stress of the way I managed my library usage in the years preceding this but that was almost a subliminal hum compared to the last three months. I have felt for years that I was too much a slave to library due dates. It seemed that I spent more time managing the inflow and outflow of the items than I did actually reading the books or watching the DVDs--from the hours spent searching the online catalog and managing my requests and renewals to the walks to the library to return and retrieve items; from making bibliography slips and inserting bookmarks as the books came home and then pulling the bookmarks and marking the page number on the bib slip as the books went back to managing the growing files of bib slips and notes.

After learning of the impending loss of access to these books and DVDs, the subliminal hum became a screaming jet-engine roar. Before, though there was always some angst about having to let an item go back before I was done with it, I was actually finding it a healthy exercise in letting go each week. But then I was always able to reassure myself that I could send for it again in a few weeks or months. Suddenly, I no longer had that assurance. Nobody knows how long the libraries will be closed. Barring some miracle, the doors shut April 6. The levy is on the ballot in May but most people I talk to have little hope it will pass. It would be November before another levy could be voted on.

Meanwhile, my life has been consumed by this since the first week of December. Other areas of my life are being neglected. From all forms of self-care to writing, including blogging and its attendant promotion. I even stopped taking notes while reading. So much for book reviews or citing information in my writing. And I've started speeding up the DVDs to the point that they become almost comical. Which is probably an insult to the directors and performers.

The worst of it is the risk I am taking of sabotaging two years of effort I've put into my online presence--what there is of it--by creating a reputation for lack of professionalism. I was confronted with that today as I went to check on three of my email accounts and found them flooded with weeks of unattended to correspondence and spam. Among them was a personal note from a high-school friend whom I haven't seen in twenty-some years. She sent it in early February! Which is an example of one of the potential joys of life that I miss out on because my attention is riveted on the library books and DVDs.

This past week there have been a number of times that I have been about this close to reaching for the books and DVDs willy-nilly and stuffing them in the book bags. It would probably take me three trips with three full bags each trip. There are around 105 items on my card and 25 of the 30 items on my husband's which I ordered. On March 1st they imposed the limit of 30 items for each card. I can't check out any more until I bring my card load down under thirty. I still have requests coming in. Some of which I have been in queue for for three to six months! I will lose them if I don't check them out within eleven days of their arriving. Those that arrived on March 1st and 2nd are going to time out on me next Monday and Tuesday.

Meanwhile there are more than a few items that I have right here that I waited weeks or months in queue for which are fighting for the fast dwindling share of time. There are only so many hours left.

There is yet another category of 'thing' that I could be accused of collecting in a bizarre fashion It is hard to give it a name though because it isn't physical. It was called to my attention when I set out to plan my Thursday Thirteen meme this week on the topic of my research projects that are going to be effected by this library closure. The list grew so long it could fill more than three TT. I am actually considering making it a three or four part TT, which would take some of the pressure off for that weekly task as I head into the home stretch of this race for a finish line that feels as if it is going to finish me when I reach it.

Dr. Phil said to the women featured on his show today that it was all about balance. I know I am out of balance. I knew it even before this library closure issue. Many of the books that I was checking out were of the self-help and spirituality genres. Like Dr. Phil's books. But my habit was to read voraciously giving assent to the ideas intellectually but seldom implementing them into my life. It just always seems like NOW is never the right time. Even though most of those books assert that NOW is the only time we ever have.


Monday, March 05, 2007

The Challenge

I was bemoaning the fact over the weekend that my stats for February dropped precipitously from those for January which was record-breaking for me having been more than tripple an average month. I knew exactly what was to blame. The frequency of my posts had also precipitously dropped as my attention became more intensely focused on the library books and movies I was hoping to cram into the last two months of library service. My blog is not the only thing getting neglected. So is my health, my daily chores, my writing, my husband.... In fact almost anything you can think of that is in a normal person's daily life. But all of that is fodder for other post topics not the one I set out to write about five mintues ago.

So I was complaining to my husband about my stats and the fact that I had been learning a lot about what I needed to do to promote my site from the very books that I was racing to finish and also getting ideas from all the blogs I visit for Thursday Thirteen. But that I had no time to implement any of it until after April 6. I knew that his response would include the fact that without content there is nothing to promote. But then he surprised me by offering to take on the promoting tasks for me and then startled me by adding that he could double the 7300 odd unique visitors (which has taken me two and a half years to accumulate) in one week.

Then while my jaw was still on the porch floor he added: But only if you post at least five time in the next week.

After some minutes of discussion for clarification we set the deadline for 'before he gets up Saturday morning' and I accepted.

One down.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #22

Sensing that I was beginning to be overwhelmed by a sense of loss, I thought it was past time I did an exercise in gratitude. I was prompted to do it by the gratitude that almost brought me to tears Wednesday evening when #11 happened.

Thirteen Things I am grateful for:

1. The foundation of a safe and secure childhood in a loving home.

2. Stories

3. That I still have enough vision to read.

4. The computer technology that augments my life in too many ways to count and the laptop that gives me the tool to indulge several of my passions--reading, writing, research, music, movies, games that challenge my mind....

5. The roof over my head and modern conveniences provided by electricity and plumbing (having done without one or the other or all three--from a few hours to a few weeks--on a number of occasions, I am extremely grateful for them)

6. The ability to experience wonder and joy.

7. The ability to experience empathy and compassion.

8. The freedom of conscience provided by our Constitution.

9. All of the libraries and their staffs whose services I've ever used.

10. A sense of humor.

11. That my husband met me at the entrance to the trailer park just after five Wednesday evening, as he was on his way home from work and I was on the way to the library, and took the book bag from me and sent me home where it was warm and then made the round trip in thirty-five minutes that would have taken me over sixty.

12. Extended family and everything they are to my life, including friendship, fellowship, and friction.

13. Language.

14. Oh, I meant to include the continuation of TT. Once I remembered, I couldn't bear to eliminate any of the above. So you get a bonus.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Tink 2. jenny 3. Dragonheart 4. L^2 5. Susan Helene Gottfried 6. Scooper 7. Wacky Mommy 8. Gattina 9. JennyMcB 10. Osman 11. scribbit 12. Elizabeth Bauterfly

(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


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