Thursday, March 31, 2011

Silk Shawl @ 2 Weeks

At the end of the first week last Thursday I'd finished 20 rows on one leg and 18 on the other. I've only added 7 rows in the last week. The last two large love knot rows on that second leg and 5 of the 10 small love knot--AKA Solomon's Knot--on the first leg. That leaves 15 small knot rows. Unless I decide to work around the outer edge with another row or two or an edging with a different stitch.

I still haven't decided if I'm doing tassels. I'm sorta making this up as I go along. One idea I have is to make tassels out of strings of seed beads 2-4 inches long. That would save the expensive silk thread for other projects (bookmarks!) and also lend weight that would help pull the knott mesh open as it drapes over the shoulder.

The shawl is spread on a fleece blanket draped over the pillows and shams at the head of the bed. The picture at top was taken from the foot of the bed but for the one below I climbed up on the mattress and stood over the shawl and used the zoom function on my camera.

I liked this second angle better but it blurred and the color bleached a bit. So the other one got the top spot and I wasn't going to use the second at all but then decided to add it below as it gives a better sense of the size ratio between the sections and between the two knot sizes. As well as a better sense of how they appear straight on.

The shawl was not moved or adjusted between the shots. The ends of each leg are in a wad for lack of room. Approximately half of each leg is spread out. When I put the project away in its bag, the wad is about the same size as the remainder of the ball. The completed shawl (sans tassels maybe) will probably fit in a sandwich bag. Though the length of each leg is about 50 inches and the width about 16 when finished I'm estimating.

I didn't work on the baby afghan at all this week. Still frustrated with the way my ideas for attaching the fringe are not working out. I have a couple more ideas to try but the next few days will probably be all about Script Frenzy which is starting for me in about 40 minutes now as its almost 11:20 as I type this line. So I'm off to get signed in and to open my Celtix script ap and note files for Mobile Hopes.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Library Loot: March 30 – April 5

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Claire has Mr Linky this week

These first four reflect the latest, though annual, obsession I'm about to dive into.

Script Frenzy starts at midnight tomorrow night. Twenty some hours away for me now.

These four scriptwriting books came home last Thursday.

Essentials of screenwriting : the art, craft, and business of film and television writing by Richard Walter

This is my favorite of the four scriptwriting how-to books I checked out last week. I've actually read a dozen or more pages in a row while I've mostly browsed in and read glossary entries and checked the indexes for specific topics in the other three.

The screenwriter's bible : a complete guide to writing, formatting, and selling your script by David Trottier

I've found some useful advice in here but it's not exactly a page turner. It is also BIG. Like a coffee table book.

The complete book of scriptwriting by J. Michael Straczynski

Straczynski has appeared in the credits of several TV series. Babylon 5 for one. Which is one of my all time favorite. So I am going to give him a serious listen.

A forth book, Writing the Script: A Practical Guide for Films and Television by Wells Root, is three decades old which is probably why I had trouble find an image of the cover.

Tomorrow I'll be picking up several actual scripts to read.

The Sufis by Idries Shah.

Also mentioned by Doris Lessing in Time Bites.

Who the hell is Pansy O'Hara? : the fascinating stories behind 50 of the world's best-loved books by Jenny Bond & Chris Sheedy.

This one popped up in my search a month or so back on all things Jane Austen.

Odd gods : new religions & the cult controversy edited by James R. Lewis.

This is another title to feed my obsession with this topic. Read my profile if you're wondering what that's about.

But this subject is also research for my fiction WIP as the theme of belief, especially eccentric beliefs and thought systems, is a recurring one in my stories.

Kalila and Dimna : selected fables of Bidpai retold by Ramsay Wood ; illustrated by Margaret Kilrenny.

These are ancient fables and teaching stories translated from Sanskrit.

I sent for this after finding them mentioned in Doris Lessing's Time Bites. Same for The Panchatantra, translated from the Sanskrit by Arthur W. Ryder. For which I could find no cover image. Besides my library copy is so old its dust jacket has been long gone. It also tickles my eyes and throat every time I open it. I may have to resort to the websites I found devoted to The Panchatantra:

Idyll banter : weekly excursions to a very small town by Chris Bohjalian

I'm reading Bohjalian's The Double Bind this week and when I went looking in the library catalog for what others of his I've missed, I found this collection of short pieces from a newspaper column. All the titles were listed and one drew my attention: Loosing a Library and I sent for this just for that one as my own experience with having our library system lock its doors for six months a few years back has me extremely sensitized to the issue. In this case Bojalian's small town library had been flooded. Descriptions of the water and mud damaged books being piled in dumpsters was heartbreaking.

The good terrorist by Doris Lessing

One of the Lessing novels I've missed. I have had it checked out before but found it too disturbing at that time. But it is considered one of her most important in some circles. So I want to give it another try.

A truth universally acknowledged : 33 great writers on why we read Jane Austen edited by Susannah Carson; foreword by Harold Bloom.

Also part of that Great Jane A catalog hunt last month.

I blush to admit that I am practically a Jane Austen virgin. I read one or two of the novels between 8th and 12th grades in the 70s. I'd seen one or two of the movies and/or mini-series based on her novels and a video bio. I can't even be sure which of the novels I read though I'm fairly certain it was one or both of the three word ones--Pride and Prejudice and/or Sense and Sensibility. It may be hard to determine now since I've seen films adapted from both and so if, when I start reading one of them and recognize scenes, it may be hard to know if I'm remembering the book or the film. This may not make sense unless you realize that I store memories primarily visually and more often than not as images in motion rather than still shots.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hung Up on Hooks

no need bang hed on keybord  ai fownd teh hook fur ur storee?

ScriptFrenzy starts in about 48 hours and I've done little to prepare but think, daydream and watch videos. I was down on myself Friday for all the video watching in the last six months, blaming it for giving me my necessary story fix and taking the place of reading and writing. I still know that, as a writer, I need to bring the reading and writing of stories back into my life but I learned in the last few days there has been a tangible benefit to having immersed myself in filmed stories for months.

Last Thursday I received from the library four of the books on script writing I had sent for and as I've been reading and browsing in them I realized that the concepts and the references weren't as much of a garble as the last two years. I got the references to movies used as examples for a point. Sometimes I found myself thinking of other examples from something I'd seen recently.

For ScriptFrenzy this year, I'm planning to adapt Mobile Hopes my 2008 NaNoWriMo novel as a feature film with potential as a TV series with an ensemble cast. For the last few days I've been trying to create a logline and concept or hook in as succinct a way as possible. I do tend to the wordy. The novel or longish short story is more my forte.

Set in a mobile home park Mobile Hopes features the lives of a dozen or more separate families through the summer and fall of 2008. Each family is living its own crisis that is impacted by the current events of July through November. From the immigrant family hoping for citizenship to the family forced out of their foreclosed home in the suburbs hoping for another chance at the brass ring, they epitomize the American Dream and breathe life into the headlines.
The concept is to create a novel out of a collection of short pieces--short stories, vignettes--so that a weaving together of a community is witnessed through the eyes of at least a couple dozen individuals. Each individual is undergoing challenges and crisis that are exacerbated by the current economic crisis.

Now I need to pare all that down to a couple of short sentences. I would say DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES in a trailer park. But not only housewives are major protagonists. My story isn't that cynical either. Nor do I envision it as anything remotely like a soap. The flavor would tend toward NORTHERN EXPOSURE with a hint of TWIN PEAKS.

You can read a snippet from the novel in the same post linked and quoted above.


Monday, March 28, 2011

All Tied Up

she no take me srsly

Today I had a large batch of library items come due. Several are novels. One is a TV series season. A couple of the NF I expected to renew and they didn't because of requests which means it will be awhile before I get another turn with them so I'm trying to get what I can out of them.

Yesterday I actually started one of the novels, a 600+ pager, that I knew was out of renewals.

I've got two more episodes of the TV series: True Blood second season. And 200 odd pages left in Chris Bohjalian's The Double Bind.

I have until 9am Tuesday morning to finish with what I can. Anything I hang onto after that I'll be 'renting' at twenty cents per day per item.

I have three more DVD out of the library due on Thursday.

There are also six movies in my Instant Watch Queue on Netflix which are going to stop streaming at midnight Thursday night.

Midnight Thursday night is also the kick off for Script Frenzy.

And the clock continues to tick on the baby afghan and the silk shawl projects.

I am seriously starting to feel tied, tethered and trussed by all these due dates and deadlines.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Serenity #222

For months now, I've been ordering my library books via the online catalog and having Ed pick them up for me at our Phoenix branch. But I am itching to get to a library and browse the shelves and pull off surprises. Tomorrow is one of the days our branch is open and I have requests waiting and books due so Ed will be making a run. But I am contemplating asking to go along this time. If his visit doesn't have to be on his way home from work.

If not tomorrow then soon. Tuesday or Thursday or next Monday.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

This Is the (Shelf) Life

Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens
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3 of my fav things: books, kitties and book shelves.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Forays in Fiction: Writers Write

A Writer Writes

Every since I signed up for Script Frenzy a couple weeks ago I've felt a Freakout slowly building up steam inside me. My story writing muscles have atrophied over the past several months. I've not written a word of narrative or dialogue since NaNoWriMo ended the last day of November. I've not even been reading that much of it either.

I have been getting my story fix by watching videos while crocheting.

I have been wearing a mental hairshirt and swinging razor tipped straps of shame over my shoulder trying to flay the laziness and fear off. Its not working.

I continue to send for more DVD from Netflix and the library as well as stream off Netflix. My brain is engorged with the stories. My dreams are movies made of a mishmash of the most recent videos I've watched spiced with scenes from my life past and present and pretend.

Sometimes as I'm waking from one of those mini-movie dreams I see a story whole, beginning, middle and end in a series of images but long before I'm able to get my netbook open it has faded.

Fifteen or so years ago when I saw the first laptop featured in a catalog I fixated on it as the solution to all my writing woes. If only I had that portable wonder I would always be able to capture those fleeting ideas, always be able to write on the fly whenever and wherever I happened to be. I pictured it beside me as I slept, rode in the car, dined in a cafe, lazed in a park, daydreamed in the library....

What I pictured has materialized but the wonder tool has been used for creative writing only some minuscule percent of the time I have it open. Fifteen years ago I never imagined all the other things I would come to depend on it for--from indispensable to distracting, from useful to essential to compulsive.

Games, movies, news, research, IM, email, photos, ebooks, blogging, social networks, LOLcats, record keeping, shopping... What did I leave out. I'm sure it was something. I'm so dependent (addicted?) to my netbook I feel bereft when I have to leave it behind for an hour to go to the dinner table and if I had my own home I probably wouldn't. But it isn't my writing that I'm missing when I'm separated from it.

I feel like a fraud.

Writer's write and I'm not writing.

April 1st is breaking sound barriers in its approach.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thread! She Said

Last Thursday I finally began to tackle the fringe on the bamboo baby afghan. A project which I had been avoiding as it had me flummoxed. Still does to some extent but as I play with it, experiment and figure out solutions it becomes less intimidating.

That same evening I also began to work on the silk shawl which is for my MIL birthday in late April so my ploy to deprive myself of the joy of plying the hook until I'd completed the drudgery of fringing the afghan could no longer be implemented without risking not finishing the shawl in time. But I have to keep working on the afghan as it is weeks past the time I'd hoped to have it in the mail. My grand-nephew is approaching 3 months old and spring is nearly upon us and this is a spring and summer weight afghan.

So I've been alternating between the two all week and have completed 3 iterations of the pattern on the afghan--an iteration being the ten rows of alternating five pastels with white. A very minuscule portion of the 15 iterations + 5 row each of the 40 inch sides have. But this week hasn't been about quantity but rather quality and discovering the best method and process.

I've still got some kinks to work out. As evident in the closeup below, just the handling of the afghan while working on it loosens the loop holding the fringe piece on. Sometimes to the point of the ends working themselves more than halfway back out of their noose and often, irritatingly, causing the four threads to shift off center so their ends are no longer flush and the whole piece has to be removed and reattached.

Obviously this won't do for the amount of handling a baby afghan must be able to accommodate but I knew this before I began and had a plan based on instructions in a book of patterns for edgings to tack each piece down with a slip stitch or single crochet stitch after a whole side was completed.

I'd hoped to avoid having to keep a ball of thread attached to the afghan as I worked to attach the fringe pieces. But now that is appearing to be the most likely solution--to tack them on with that crochet stitch once every iteration say. First though I am going to see what happens if I use only three threads instead of the four I've been using. Maybe that fourth thread, which actually adds two thread thicknesses inside the loop, is too much.

If that looks to make enough difference without making the fringe look skimpy, I'll then have to loosen each loop and tease out one thread on the 30 odd I've already attached.

Meanwhile, I've done 20 rows of Solomon's Knots on one leg of the silk shawl and 18 rows on the other. The plan, which isn't a pattern I'm following but something I'm making up as I go, is to sandwich ten rows of the larger loops between ten rows of the smaller on the two legs of an L shape with equal length legs. The legs are to lie over the shoulders leaving the V hanging down the back. I haven't yet decided if there will be a fringe. That will at least partly depend on how much thread, if any I have left after finishing the L. I can't get more of this hand-painted silk thread as each of the nearly $50 1100 yard skeins are unique.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Next 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Coming Up

After posting last night I got to thinking how it was already late March and I had yet to check to see if the date has been set for the next Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon and sure enough it had been--weeks ago:

April 9 at Noon GMT or 5 AM Pacific Coast Time.

Need to calculate your start time? Use this converter.

I can't wait. This will be my 8th, counting both spring and fall since October 2007.

Sign-up has commenced so click on the pic and join the party.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Reading wif ur eyez closed takes lotsa praktiss iz pracktusing hard

For the first time in many months I actually fell asleep over a book this morning. After reading over 250 pages in nearly one sitting. Almost like having my own mini read-a-thon.

And it was completely unplanned. My intent late Monday evening was to get back to work on the baby afghan fringe and the silk shawl, alternating through the night while watching videos on my netbook. But after dinner I spent time perusing the items Ed had brought home from the library that afternoon and checking my library account for the next due date. Which is when I discovered that I now have only one more week with that big stack of large print novels I checked out on my last physical visit to the library in January. To my great chagrin and frustration I had not yet begun a single one of the six.

Not only had I not started any of them after eight weeks with them, I had finished only one of the books whose due dates took precedence over them and that wasn't a novel and was only 100 pages. To compound the frustration, three of the library novels I had started since Christmas had had to go back with their bookmarks still some ways from the end. I hate that!

Now with only one week to go it seemed risky to even start one and all that built up anticipation every time I caught a glimpse of that stack of novels waiting their turn deflated like a popped balloon. I might as well just send them back now, I thought. In fact I might as well just send every one of the 30 odd library books back this week. Who am I kidding?

Well, except for the crochet books. They're actually getting serious use.

Yet before I was done on the library catalog I had ordered five more books. All screenplay writing manuals. Because an email coming in from Script Frenzy while I was checking my library account reminded me that there was less than half a month until kick off and I hadn't begun prep work for my script yet.

Shortly after that I discovered that I was going to have to do a restart before I could stream a video or download an update to my video player before I could play a DVD. My netbook had been pestering me to do other updates for several days so I decided it was a good time to do all these maintenance chores. So while I was waiting on downloads I brought that stack of large print novels onto my lap and began browsing in them trying to decide if it was worth starting even one with only a week to go.

Then before I realized what was happening I had turned more than ten pages in one of them and by the time I had competed all the downloads and restarts I had turned over fifty. By then I found I preferred to keep on turning the pages than to pick up my crochet hook or start a video.

Except for an hour or so hiatus to rest my eyes while playing around with the new features on my freshly downloaded update to Whizfolders Deluxe I kept on turning pages until my eyes began to cross and when I was forced to put it down around 8 AM my bookmark was on page 257. This evening I've turned another hundred pages and have reached the halfway mark. And I do believe I'm gong to keep on turning them.

The book? The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry. A mystery/thriller in the same genre as The Da Vinci Code. Complete escapist reading.

I'm not sure whether it is the light, escapism aspect or the large print that has made the difference. I just may find out though as I'm probably going to finish this one in time to have a good chance of finishing one of the other five and they all have significant literary qualities.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Catch You Later

Gotsa go  ketch u laterz

I'm finally making significant progress on fringing the bamboo baby afghan and crocheting the silk shawl. Am not wanting to pull my focus off it tonight so no It's Monday What are You Reading? post this week. Besides I've not been reading much since I started working the thread projects again last Thursday. Because of the nearly month long hiatus I took on the afghan after finishing the row work I'm way behind my expectations for getting it sent off to my new great-nephew. Had hoped for early March.

And because I had planned to wait until the afghan was in the mail before starting the shawl I'm also way behind schedule on it and now have less than six weeks until my MIL's birthday. Since it will probably take me over a week to fringe the afghan I realized I could not afford to wait to start the shawl so have been alternating work on the two projects.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Serenity #221

I heard tell of tree hugers But hugger trees? Came as big surprize to me

Spring is in the air


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Silk Shawl Beginnings

I learned a new stitch this week and after practicing it on five bookmarks with four different thread types and sizes I was pretty sure I'd found the stitch I wanted to work the silk thread shawl with. The stitch is known as Solomon's Knot aka Love Knot. The pattern I settled on was called The Solomon's Knot Trellis and uses no other stitch. Even the foundation chain is made of Solomon's Knots.

Below I enlarged a section of the picture to show more detail of the stitch. Of all the other threads I tried so far I like the way this stitch looks with the bamboo thread. I think I'll consider making a shawl out of the bamboo with the Solomon's Knot someday. Or a scarf.

So the shawl is going to be shaped like a T-square or an L with equal sized legs. I needed a stitch and pattern that would lay the same on both the vertical and horizontal as the rows will be worked on one long (55'') leg until the desired width (27'') is reached and then the other leg is worked on up to 55" with 27" rows. The V hangs down the back and the legs over the shoulders so the only way both legs would show the pattern symmetrically was if it looked the same horizontally or vertically.

Since the forth row has brought me to approximately one inch high, I'm estimating I'm going to need 100 (give or take a half dozen) of the long rows before I start working the narrow rows up one side.

The stitch can be made any length desired and even though I've started out with a fairly small length around 1/3 inch, I'm considering doing some sections in the middle with longer knots. Probably double so that where there are two on the row below there would be only one. I don't know. It is just an idea I may experiment with. I'm getting all kinds of ideas doing variations on themes, mix and match of stitches and stitch sizes etc since reading in Freeform Knitting and Crochet the last few days. It is in that book I saw the L shaped shawl too. The Solomon's Knot Trellis was in Teach Yourself Visually Crochet.

I made significant progress on the fringe work on the bamboo baby afghan the last few days as well. I worked through several of the kinks that were stalling me--little issues I needed to figure out solutions for, some to do with cutting the fringe pieces, some to do with work station set up, some to do with how to hold the afghan edge properly to keep the already done fringe on one side and the tails from the row work on the other out of the way as I worked to attach a single fringe piece between them. It is quite frustrating to be tightening down a fringe piece only to discover that the tail next door has gotten pulled in and that loosing the fringe loop to pull out that tail invariable causes one or more strings in the fringe to be pulled out a bit or a lot or altogether and the only way to fix it is to pull the fringe piece out and start over.

I've been averaging ten minutes per fringe piece and there are 155 on each side!!!

Thats 25 hours per side!

Another annoying thing I discovered is that I really can't work the fringe while watching TV or videos (except for the talking head segments of news) as I have to keep my eyes on my work with brief glances at the screen. That is the other way around from when I'm crocheting with a stitch and pattern I know well. Which is why I've allowed myself to go ahead and start the shawl before finishing the afghan. Besides the shawl has a late April deadline

Also depriving myself of the other projects until I finished the afghan fringe work just turned out to mean that I watched a whole lot of video and TV with no work at all in hand. I decided that had to change when I once more had nothing new to report on the afghan last Thursday. Just since then I've made five bookmarks, 3 and 1/2 55" rows on the silk shawl and problem solved the afghan fringe issues getting ten fringe pieces attached.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Forays in Fiction: Quote

Jane Austen was quoted by Doris Lessing on page 285 of Time Bites in the essay, Problems, Myths and Stories and wasn't attributed to a source which there must have been one since even Lessing, now in her 90s could not have been speaking face to face with Jane.

Lessing says Jane is here responding to critics who accuse novels and her Northanger Abbey of being full of triviality:

...there seems almost a general wish of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit and taste to recommend them. 'I am no novel reader... I seldom look into novels... Do not imagine that I often read novels... It is very well for a novel...' such is the common cant. 'And what are you reading, Miss --?' 'Oh, it is only a novel!' replies the young lady while she lays down her book with affected indifference or momentary shame. 'It is only Cecillia, or Camilla, or Belinda'; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

But What About the Fur Babies?

Watch a Japanese woman reunited with her fur baby after the tsunami

As I watched video of the tsunami last Friday,my first thoughts were for the families and their terror, loss, injury, grief and the irrevocable upheaval of the survivors lives. But it wasn't more than a few breaths later that I began to worry and wonder about their fur babies--family pets. Probably because my imagination instinctively went to the What if it happened here scenarios and I live in a household with a cat and a dog, our neighbor on one side has several cats and our neighbor on the other two lap dogs.

And I remember vividly our two weeks living on the streets of Santa Clara County California after Ed lost his tech job with our two cats in crates and being ineligible to sleep in a shelter as long as I was unwilling to give them up.

I know many would see this as far far from a primary consideration. It would never be something we could expect a government agency to take responsibility for so that is why not-for-profit organizations who set up to provide rescue and support for animals in crisis--including post-catastrophic events--are so appreciated by those of us who know the profound bonds that are possible between a human and their fur babies first hand.

The is recommending Japan Earthquake Animal Relief which is accepting donations to help animals affected by the earthquake.
I assume has vetted this agency so I'm rushing to post this before doing so myself. If I should learn anything to the contrary I will update this post.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Library Loot: March 16 – 22

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Claire has Mr Linky this week

Our library branch is opened only three days per week--Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. My husband didn't get over to pick up my holds yet this week so some of these are from last week and some are waiting for me on the hold shelf but will probably come home tomorrow.

Freeform knitting and crochet
Dowde, Jenny

Little princes [text(large print)] : one man''s promise to bring home the lost children of Nepal
Grennan, Conor

Women''s wicked wit : from Jane Austen to Roseanne Barr

Making it all work: winning at the game of work and the business of life
Allen, David

Time bites : views and reviews
Lessing, Doris

The Renaissance soul : life design for people with too many passions to pick just one
Lobenstine, Margaret

The great awakening: reviving faith & politics in a post-religious right America
Wallis, Jim


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

To Do or Not To Do

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It's Tuesday, the day I'm supposed to hold myself accountable on my attempts to get organized, efficient and get thing done by sharing my to do lists. But for the second week in a row I've done so little towards that and Xed off so few (as in zero) of the list items I blush in shame to show what I don't have to show for it. Last week I made myself do it anyway but it would bore not only me to copy/paste last week's list yet again.

So where has the time and effort been delegated if not to the list items? News and DVDs, posting and surfing blogs, IMing and streaming videos.

News tops the list as I've been glued to the breaking news from Japan since a hour or two after the quake last Friday. Which was the wee hours of Friday morning for me. Only forty some hours after posting last Tuesday's To Do list.

Disaster vigils are a particular forte of mine. A fairly useless one since I'm neither journalist nor clergy nor relief agency worker. Something I need to add to my massive master task list: develop a more useful way to channel my interest and energy and horror and grief in the aftermath of non-local disasters. I specify non-local since a local disaster would be one I'm a participant in and thus would fall under disaster preparedness which should go on the list as a separate task.


Monday, March 14, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? #29

Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

This week I need to put most of my focus on two library books whose renewals have been used up:

The novel, Take One Candle, Light a Room by Susan Straight which I raved about here two Monday's ago and in a subsequent Friday's Forays in Fiction post and which I actually managed to start more than two weeks before it was due (a rarity) but which I am still less than fifty pages in.


One might think I thrive on stressing deadlines to the breaking point.

Then there is Blogging for Dummies by Susannah Gardner and Shiane Birley which isn't due until the 28th but which entails more than just reading like taking notes and making lists of tasks which apply its suggestions to my own blogging habits.

It's a daunting task trying to get everything I may need. Probably I need my own copy of this on my reference shelf.

After I finish Take One Candle, the novel I pick up next will probably be Elizabeth Berg's The Last Time I Saw You which is the current Word Shaker's read at Book Journey and which I just discovered has a hold on it so won't renew once more on the 28th as I expected. Thank goodness it is a large print edition as that makes it much easier to read for longer stretches and faster to boot.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Serenity #220

CANDLELIGHT Pictures, Images and Photos


Many hearts
Hold you in hope as
Tears fall


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hands Across the Water

Saturday, March 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Minamisanriku in Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan, shown submerged after Friday's 8.9 earthquake-triggered tsunami

I first learned about the quake in Japan within an hour or so of it happening and have spent the intervening hours heartsick and hooked on news until a sense of wallowing in helplessness overwhelmed me and I switched from watching and reading about it to putting this post together even as I wonder what the point is in putting up a post that duplicates what is done elsewhere in more comprehensive fashion. But if nothing else this will serve as a place for me to store the useful links I've collected for my own convenience.

Meanwhile my heart, my hope and my prayers are with the people of Japan.

As I write this, there are reports that a partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor damaged in the quake is underway....

How to help:

Mercy Corp
Peace Wind Japan
Facebook Disaster Relief

How to stay informed:

How to locate or communicate with friends and family in Japan:


Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Forays in Fiction: Script Frenzy 2011

I'm in again. This will be year 3 for me. I've not won yet and seriously doubt I will this year either as I'm still a fumbling flubber at the script format not to mention the unique constraints of telling a story with image and sound only. I'm a novelist. I like to spread out on the page, get inside character's heads, be a little omniscient now an then.

In film the audience can only know what they see and hear and what they see and hear is more than 50% out of the script writer's control as the director, set designers, film editors and actors interpret and expand upon the skeleton of the story presented in the script.

One thing I might have going for me this year is the last several months of immersion in video watching averaging more than 20 hours a week and augmented by the watching of the special features like 'The Making of...' or 'Behind the Scenes..' whenever available. I've been getting something of an education in film making to complement and enhance the bit of scriptwriting technique I picked up while prepping for and participating in Script Frenzy the last two years.

In 2009 I tried to adapt my two short stories Of Cats and Claws and Curiosities and Making Rag Doll Babies and Million Dollar Maybes from my FOS storyworld. Last year I tried to develop a story from scratch though it was set in the same trailer park as my Mobile Hopes novel which was my 2008 NaNo project.

Well this year I'm going to set my story in that same mobile home park but my aim is to write a two hour pilot for a TV series with an ensemble cast. My working title will be Mobile Hopes but it will not be an adaptation of the novel. I'll use the work I did on character and setting but bring a fresh story to the page.

At Script Frenzy as at NaNoWriMo I am joywrite


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gone Zaney on Janey

I've watched several Jane Austen related videos in the last several days and have several more lined up. Am on something of a binge I guess. I went looking for a trailer of one or more of the movies I have just watched or am about to and found this and decided to go with it instead. Totally making fun of the Austen sensibility this video reminds me of a SNL spoof.

After watching The Jane Austen Book Club the other day I've decided I need to read or re-read all of the novels. But instead of sending for library copies I went looking for etext to either read online or download. Found both versions of all of the novels in one place:

eBooks@Adelaide -- Jane Austen

I watched in the last several days these Netflix DVD:

  • Becoming Jane
  • The Jane Austen Book Club
  • Mansfield Park 1999 dir. Patricia Rozema

Have one Netflix DVD yet to watch:

  • Lost in Austen

Have in several more in my Netflix queues and plan to watch tonight:

  • Emma (w Gwyneth Paltrow)


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Library Loot: March 9 to 15

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Marg has Mr Linky this week

Telling the truth: the Gospel as tragedy, comedy, and fairy tale by Frederick Buechner

In these first two theologian/preacher/novelist frederick Buechner muses on the gospel as story and use of storytelling techniques to communicate its message and the role of literature in faith and faith in the creation of literature.

The Clown in the Belfry: Writings on Faith and Fiction by Buechner, Frederick, 1926-

Chapter titles from The Clown hint at the content:

Faith and fiction -- Good books as a good book -- Paul sends his love -- Emerald city : a commencement address -- Flannery O'Connor --Opening of veins -- Adolescence and the stewardship of pain -- Advice to the next generation -- Clown in the belfry -- Light and dark -- Truth of stories -- Growing up -- Church -- Kingdom of God.

From Jesus to Christianity: How Four Generations of Visionaries & Storytellers Created the New Testament and Christian Faith by L. Michael White

A scholar of antiquities tells the story of the origins of Christianity as revealed via scholarly analysis of contemporary artifacts and manuscripts. With special attention paid to the role storytelling played in the propagation of the new faith.

A Language Older Than Words by Derrick Jensen.

I checked out the sequel to this at the Ashland branch a couple weeks ago. They are explorations of the impact human culture has on the environment with a strong emphasis on humanity's tendency towards violence as a means of control whether of other humans, other species, or the land itself.

Every Visible Thing by Lisa Carey

I saw this novel on a blog a couple of weeks ago and sent for it and now can't remember whose blog or why I was interested or even a glimmer of what it is about and I can't get to it right now to look as it is on the shelf on the other side of my sleeping husband.

Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco

This novel I sent for after watching the film The Legend of 1900 and then discovering in my research about it afterward that the screenplay had been an adaptation of his theatrical monologue Novecento. When I checked to see what our library system had of this Italian novelist/performer/director I found a half dozen short novels and chose this one to begin with as it seemed most closely related to The Legend of 1900 if only because they both are set on the sea.


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