Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rethinking Conventional Wisdom

Front cover
One of the books I currently have checked out on my sister's card is Alone With All That Could Happen: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom About the Craft of Fiction Writing by David Jauss. Published by Writer's Digest.  I am finding Jauss' advice helpful, his perspective upending and reading it enjoyable because even in non-fiction essay's he uses language like a poet.  But this is not a review..  At least not of the content.

You might call it a product review but that doesn't cover the whole of what is on my mind, which is that I was also thoroughly enjoying holding the book in my hands as I read.  Not only was eye-strain minimal even for me with my vision issues but the texture of the pages was pleasing to the touch and the decorative extras were pleasing to the eye and the elegance of the cloth cover exuded luxury.

splash page
I realized I was lusting after owning this book as much for its physical essence as for its content.  Maybe more.  For I could get the content in a variety of formats and still appreciate it--paperback, ebook, audio book--but none of them would give me the same visceral gratification as of a gourmand for an exotic delicacy.

As I mused on this it occurred to me that this reaction was proof that the panic attack the traditional publishing industry is having over digital publishing is a waste of energy and all the words, ink and sweat spilled over the issue useless.  All they need to do is think outside the box.  Not by all that much either.  Just a moderate rethinking of their business model.would remove the specter of irrelevance

table of contents & epigraph
If they could shift from seeing themselves as primarily content purveyors who must have a monopoly over the content and its potential market and must mass produce the cheapest possible vehicle for said content in order to make a profit and realize that they could be creators of works of art themselves they could stop hyperventilating over the impending demise of their industry.

chapter heading

For as long as there are those for whom the handling of an exquisitely made book gives pleasure there will continue to be a demand for them.  And as long as there are parents and grandparents who share their love of handling physical books with the youngsters in their lives there will be new crops of customers.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fuzzy Logic

ai haz a confuzzl

Confused?  Puzzled?  Can't tell which?  Maybe you're confuzzled.

If that's not a word, it should be.  It totally fits the day I just had.

My mind was in a fog from the moment I woke this morning and all the events that followed conspired to turn all potential productivity into false starts and jarring stalls.

First, as I began to get engrossed in a project on my netbook something was causing every move I made to lag.  I thought to check if something was being downloaded--a podcast or update.  While checking on Avast! to see if virus definitions were downloading, I discovered it wasn't even on and had not been since February 14!  I am online nearly 24/7 and had been unprotected for nearly two weeks?!!!

Turned out I needed to re-register my free edition of Avast!  How had I missed the notice on that?  How had I not noticed it hadn't been on?

As soon as I had re-registered I turned on all of the protection.  And then I did a scan.  Which took nearly an hour.  Then while looking at the new status I learned there were more than a week's worth of new virus definitions to download and was about to click the button when I saw below it that there was a new update to the program itself to download which probably would be up to date on the definitions so I clicked that instead.

After the program was updated it required a restart of the computer.  Once back on the desktop I decided I might as well do the Windows updates before I started opening programs again as that would also require a restart.  So I got that download started just before it was time to start dinner.

Fixing dinner was another confuzzle.  One blooper after another.  Just to name a few:  While building my mom's chicken sub sandwich I was trying to sprinkle the lemon pepper seasoning on the chicken and instead of lifting the fliptop I unscrewed the lid.  I dumped at least a teaspoon of the mix into Mom's sandwich.  Then when I opened the Dijon mustard squirt bottle, having first turned it upside down and shaken it's contents towards the lid, it poured into my hand.  Apparently my sister had diluted it because it was so close to gone you couldn't get enough to move off the sides toward the opening.  So while messing with the seasoning and the mustard I left the chicken strips on the grill too long and they got dry.

So then.  Back to the computer.  

As soon as I finished eating my sandwich I headed back to the computer anticipating a quick restart followed by a couple of productive hours before Mom came to bed and limited my activities to what I could do quietly in a small pool of light.

But of course the computer was not done messing with me.

The shutdown process got stuck on the screen that says 'shutting down'.  I waited it out for half an hour.  After ten minutes I'd consulted my nephew who had never heard of such a thing but thought it was probably OK to force a poweroff.  But I had just done a major update and I remembered how the screen would always warn against shutting off the power in the middle of the shutdown so I hesitated.  Finally I decided to call my husband who is at home in Phoenix OR.

But I couldn't find the slip of paper my sister had written my phone number on after having to retrieve it from her cell phone for me three times.  Our number was less than a week old before I left town so I'd not memorized it yet.  I probably should have by now.  I'd also been meaning to record it in my contacts on my computer which is why I'd laid it on the base of the lamp beside my desk.  But it was gone.  So I had to go ask my sister to get it for me again.

Technology was still not done messing with me.

I had to call my house three times in the next fifteen minutes before Ed answered.  Our connection was bad and we spent the first ten minutes saying 'What"  "Hello?"  Calling each other's names and repeating ourselves three to five times.  My sister put the phone I was using on speaker for me and that seemed to solve it for some reason.

Ed too said to power off after I'd explained what was going on.  But he at least sounded confident when he said it.  So I did and then after a minute powered back up and was soon back on my desktop.  Once we had said our good-byes I had thirty minutes left before Mom would be coming to bed.

So much for a productive day.

It was another two hours before the fog started lifting off  my brain and I began to feel more focused and my IQ gained ten points.

So if you had a choice would you rather be puzzled or confused?

Taking into consideration that if one is puzzled one can at least puzzle one's way out of it but if one is confused it would not help one wit to confuse one's way further, I'd choose to be puzzled.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Review: Her Frozen Wild by Kim Antieau

This story was a page turner.  It reads somewhat like a thriller that features ancient artifacts and a bit like a science fiction time travel story and a bit like magic laden fantasy but the predominant feeling throughout is that of a myth being lived out by a 20th century woman.  Which is no surprise coming from Kim Antieau whose every work I've encountered has been permeated with mythic themes.

Ursula is an archaeologist specializing in the tatoo art of the Siberian tribes circa 2500 BC.  Her mother had been an expert on cave art and had disappeared while on a cave exploration in Siberia when Ursula was quite young so she had been raised by her Grandmother who had been born and raised in the same area as those caves and the same area once traversed by the tattooed tribes before immigrating to America after WWII.

Ursula was working at a Pacific Northwest college which had sent an expedition to those same Siberian steppes and when a helicopter crash had injured members of that team trying to transport the tattooed mummy of a woman from 2500 BC which they had unearthed, Ursula was sent to aide the shorthanded team.  Before she left the states though DNA tests performed on the mummy had shown it to have Ursula's DNA.

Upon arriving in Russia she meets a man who woos her and after they become lovers she discovers he has the same tattoos as the mummy.  He hooks her up with a local shaman woman who knows the caves where Ursula's mother disappeared thirty years earlier and who agrees to take Ursula to them.  It is these caves that contain the portals through time which prove also to be the doorway to Ursula's destiny.

I truly loved this story which did not surprise me since I had loved both Jigsaw Woman and Gaia Websters by Kim Antieau that I'd checked out of the library some years back.  Antieau's stories seem to have several common threads: the profound respect for nature and a woman's seeking after the fractured pieces of her own psyche.

I was provided an ebook review copy by the author.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Serenity #272 Janacek's Sinfonietta

The Sinfonietta expresses 'contemporary free man,
his spiritual beauty and joy, his strength, courage
and determination to fight for victory.' ~Janáček

Janacek's Sinfonietta is prominently featured in Haruki Murakami's novel, 1Q84, which I'm currently reading.  I got curious after the second time the novel talked about the percussion in the piece and I had to find out if it was real and if so was there a recording I could listen to.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Just LOLs


Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Forays in Fiction: Quotes on Storytelling

Recite after me
Recite after me...

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you. —Maya Angelou

There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories. —Ursula K. LeGuin

Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts. —Salman Rushdie

A writer’s brain is like a magician’s hat. If you’re going to get anything out of it, you have to put something in it first. —Louis L’Amour

Life itself is the most wonderful fairytale of all. —Hans Christian Andersen

I will tell you something about stories, (he said) They aren’t just entertainment. Don’t be fooled. They are all we have, you see, All we have to fight off illness and death —Leslie Marmon Silko

Story is far older than the art of science and psychology, and will always be the elder in the equation no matter how much time passes. —Clarissa Pinkola Estes

If you keep telling the same sad small story, you will keep living the same sad small life. —Jean Houston

Our species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories. —Mary Catherine Bateson


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Under the Weather

Not feeling good today.  My thinker is discombobulated.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Delayed Gratification

We moved in December 26th and I left for Longview January 8th.

My return home has been delayed yet again.  My sister's agenda is just too full in the next couple of weeks to make the round trip to Southern Oregon.  I just went into my photo files to look at all the pics I took of our new home in the two weeks I got to spend with it before I left.  I have been having a hard time lately picturing everything clearly in my mind.

It looks like March 10 will be the earliest return date now.

Besides the house itself here are a few of the things I'm missing most:

Ed & the kitchen

Merlin & my mini-tramp

My office & books
I did not allow myself to start unpacking the books after the move because I knew I'd spend too much time handling them, browsing in them and arranging them and I was preparing for the trip north even as we were moving stuff over so there was no time to fiddle around


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reading Rules

Sorry, I dozed off.  Can you start ober?

Sorry but this is going to be a lazy post.  I've invested a lot of words into projects and on subjects that aren't mine to share in the last couple of days and am feeling all tapped out.  Well not so much tapped out but not able to switch spigots. 

Add to that the fact that my heart has belonged to reading for many days now and that I'm feeling the pressure of deadlines for reviews and for returning the library books I have out on my sister's card as the day approaches for my return home and I just have to admit that I'd rather be reading than writing about reading.  

My return home was scheduled for this coming Saturday but has been moved back yet again probably beyond March 5.

I have literally fallen asleep over books nearly every night for the past week or more.  Besides the review copies I've mentioned in the past month  and the library books I listed on Saturday I'm reading an ebook of 1Q84 and can't press the spacebar or 'forward key' fast enough during the hour or so each day I get to spend on it which is usually between the time I post and the time I sleep.  So the sooner I finish this the sooner I can get back to 1Q84.

Besides, I need to sleep early tonight as my sister is going to be out of town all day tomorrow and I will be on duty for serving Mom meals and otherwise tending to her needs. Which means that if I don't make time for 1Q84 soon I won't get to at all tonight.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Can You Believe it?

funny pictures - Wait! Wait! You haven't heard the best part!

Apparently Blogger and Gmail log ins are tied to one another for several times now I've gotten signed out of Blogger while in the middle of writing a post and gotten the message that saving had failed because I'd signed out from another location.  The first time this happened I thought they meant that someone else had logged me out from another ISP maybe even another town or country which wasn't too unlikely to consider since last year my Gmail got hacked and was being signed into and used by individuals in Eastern Block European countries and Africa.  But in these cases that other location was apparently Gmail since each time this happened I discovered Gmail had logged me out as well.  Each time this happened I lost a significant amount of work since I'd been depending on the autosave and did not get a message warning me that autosave had failed it was only after I'd clicked 'save' or 'publish' that I was told. 

This is not acceptable!!!

I don't understand why the two need to be tied together in the first place nor why they would assume that just because I logged out of one I wanted to log out of the other.  They are two different applications and tho sometimes I need them both open at once as when I'm transferring info from an email to a post usually I'm ignoring one while using the other.  If the situation had been the other way around--ie I was logged out of Blogger which caused me to log out of Gmail while drafting an email--it would be just as frustrating.

I'm too tired and frustrated to redo so instead of the post I was working on earlier I'm putting up this mini-rant with LOLcat


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Serenity #271

Honoring our wounded angel.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Got My Face In the Books

humorous pictures

I've got books out of three libraries on my sister's cards.  With my leaving date closing in (possibly next weekend) I'm frantically trying to get what I need/want out of as many of them as I can.

From the Longview library I've got a mixture of fiction and non-fiction.  Some of them I've been checking out every time I come to town for the last several years, some I grabbed off the new book shelves on my visit there a couple of weeks ago, some I found in catalog searches on certain themes and a few I last checked out when I still lived in Longview and are books not in our Rogue Valley System:

Shardik by Richard Adams
Solstice by Joyce Carol Oates
The Swan Maiden by Jules Watson
The Venetian's wife : a strangely sensual tale of a Renaissance explorer, a computer, and a metamorphosis / by Nick Bantock.
Reading on the Brain by Stanislas Dehaene
Connectome by   Sebastian Seung
How to Fix Copyright by William Patry
Aladdin's lamp : how Greek science came to Europe through the Islamic world by Freely, John.
Banquet at Delmonico's : great minds, the Gilded Age, and the triumph of evolution in America  by Werth, Barry.
Q, the earliest Gospel : an introduction to the original stories and sayings of Jesus by Kloppenborg, John S., 1951-
White Protestant nation : the rise of the American conservative movement by Lichtman, Allan J.
Literature suppressed on religious grounds.
Literature suppressed on sexual grounds
Literature suppressed on political grounds
Literature suppressed on social grounds 

And there are four fiber art books not listed on crochet and embroidery and selling handcrafted items.

The books from the Vancouver WA county system all happen to be on the craft of writing or the writing life::

VAN  And so it goes : Kurt Vonnegut, a life   / Shields, Charles J., 1951-  
VAN   Revision : a creative approach to writing and rewriting fiction   / Kaplan, David Michael
VAN   The half-known world : on writing fiction   / Boswell, Robert, 1953-  
VAN  Description   / Wood, Monica  
VAN   Alone with all that could happen : rethinking conventional wisdom about the craft of fiction writing   / Jauss, David.

These last two I don't have in hand yet.  They are waiting for pickup but my sister may not be going north again in time so I may not get them at all. :(

VAN  Shouts and whispers : twenty-one writers speak about their writing and their faith
VAN   Proust and the squid : the story and science of the reading brain

And from the Lower Columbia Community College the theme seemed to be psychology and comparative mythology--both with the flavor of gender studies.  These are research for my FOS storyworld:

LCC Women, androgynes, and other mythical beasts by Doniger, Wendy.
LCC Boundaries of the Soul by June Singer
LCC  The power of love to transform our lives and our world / June Singer.
LCC  Twice upon a time : women writers and the history of the fairy tale by Elizabeth Wanning Harries
LCC  The implied spider : politics and theology in myth   by Doniger, Wendy

Turned out there is a limit of five books for non-students so I have to send two back before I can get these.  So am trying to finish with the two just above this weekend so I can trade them out.  At just 200 pages each they are the two shortest of the five my sister brought home.

LCC Androgyny : toward a new theory of sexuality / June Singer
LCC  The witch in history : early modern and twentieth-century representations / Diane Purkiss.  


Friday, February 17, 2012

Weekend Linkup at Write On Edge

Weekend Linkup
I just discovered this and decided to jump in. The idea is for writers to share the link of a favorite post from their archives.  I shared Friday Forays in Fiction: Befriending Anger

And I think I'll leave it at that, encouraging anyone reading this to visit either the Weekend Linkup or my 'Befriending Anger' post as I don't have time for a substantial post tonight.  My sister and I got back from The Electric Bean (where we'd listened to the performers for Open Mic Night) at nearly midnight.  And I've still got to go boil a dozen eggs and peel them and mix up egg salad for tomorrow's lunch.  My sister is going to be away for the afternoon so serving Mom lunch is on me and I tend to get up groggy after 11am so I need to do this before I sleep so that all I need to do at noon tomorrow is slap the mix on bread and fix a tray.  Which means I need to do it before I get involved in anything that might make me forget I need to do it.  Like a long post.  Or finishing The Child Thief which I left off with probably less than fifty pages and in a really intense place.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

On Play - 7 Quotes & an LOLcat

iz playing kat's kraydul

Life must be lived as play.

In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.

It is a happy talent to know how to play.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The true object of all human life is play.
G. K. Chesterton

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.

Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.
Henri Matisse

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.
Carl Jung


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What Sound Does Joy Make?

What sound does Joy make falling in the dining room, banking off the bookcase and bringing along for the ride a piggy bank half full of pennies, several framed pictures and a sheaf of loose papers?

A thunderous clatter?  KERTHUMP JANGLE THUD

I confess I wasn't listening.

About 20 odd hours ago I fell, tripping over something I was trying to walk around then bumping into the dinning room table while off balance having my stocking feet slip out from under me like bowling pins hit by a strike ball.  I then bounced off the bookcase on my way to the floor letting fly the teacup I was bringing to the sink and landing with my left arm trapped against my ribs.

Nothing was broken.

Except my dignity.

I'm only now really starting to feel the aftermath in all my joints.  The worst is my neck which feels whiplashed.  Next loudest complainers are my shoulder sockets and the ligaments leading out of them in both directions.  After that would be my whole ribcage.  The rest is just a welter of minor twinges from toes to triceps.

In spite of having to move like a woman twice my age all day I got more productive things done today than in the whole week preceding.

The biggest task completed was formatting my external hard drive to prepare it for use as backup for my files.


The second biggest task was the backing up of my creative and research files.  There is still a long ways to go to get everything backed up but those are the most important irreplaceable files.

The third thing I accomplished was three hours READING an ebook that isn't a review copy but just for personal pleasure.  I list that as an accomplishment at par with the others because one of the realizations I had on Monday while wallowing in self-disgust was that I was spending time I could be reading downloading books that will likely sit unopened in my files for years.

For the last two days I've kept my browser closed most of the time.  Opening it only for specific tasks then opening only the tabs I need to complete that task and closing it again.  I'm giving myself this last chance to demonstrate some discipline before I impose the dedicated non-admin desktop on myself for writing.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Blue Valentine

Why u so far way today?

With my sweetheart over 500 miles away on Valentine's Day today feels a little bit emptier than yesterday.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Self-Disgust! A Suitable Sentiment.

O! ai so discustud wif u u shud b 2 aifinkso

 Oh I am so disgusted with myself.  I got nothing....NOT A SINGLE THING...I woke up intending to do done today.  And the same can be said for most of the days of the past week.

What did I do instead?  I chased links across the blogosphere.  I downloaded 115 free ebooks off reading the blurbs and a review or two or three.  I daydreamed.

Well that last can almost be deemed productive since it was mostly about my storyworld.  But on the other hand I didn't get even close to opening a file to do more than daydream.

Also the blog surfing was mostly productive. Except for a few news and views posts I was following writing and publishing advice from writers who've been there, done that.  In some cases following their links off their bio on

But the bulk of the time was spent on amazon.  First going after free offerings form self-pub authors and then public domain books.  Following the endless chain of 'customers who bought this also bought'...

Between the Kindle and the calibre I've got at least thirty years worth of reading accumulated.  I'm probably not going to live that long.  My eyes definitely won't last that long.

What am I thinking?

I'm not.  Which is the problem.

Disgusted I am.  With myself I am.  And it ain't pretty.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Serenity #270 - Kiss the Rain

Sometimes you just gotta learn to love what is.  If you live in the Pacific Northwest and hate on the rain you're just going to be unhappy 300 days out of every year.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Freelancer’s Survival Guide | Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Freelancer's Survival Guide
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Freelancer’s Survival Guide | Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

'via Blog this'

This book by Kristine Kathryn Rusch is available as both tree book and ebook.  It began as a series of blog posts on her website and those posts are still there.  I found my way there after reading the chapter on Discipline in the little book edited by Scott Nicholson, Write Good or Die which is a collection of essays by indie, freelance and self-pub authors on what they know about what worked for them.

I got my free ebook copy of Write Good or Die during Scott Nicholson's promo early this month.  I read several essays in it today but it was Kristine's that I was highlighting something on every screen and it was only Kristine's whose webpage link at the end I followed.

And then spent an hour exploring her site.

I've bookmarked the page on her blog that serves as table of contents for the posts that became this book.  I'm hoping I'll get as much out of the rest of the chapters as I got out of Discipline.

Write Good or Die
Edited by Scott Nicholson
One of the points she made that zinged for me was:

Discipline is not about forcing yourself to improve. It’s about wanting to get better.

But the one that zinged and now haunts me is:

Rather than “discipline” myself to overcome the temptation, I remove the temptation entirely.

This last accompanied her admission that to remove the temptation of email, games and other distractions often found on computers she had to remove the programs entirely off her writing computer.

Now it was just a couple months ago towards the end of NaNoWriMo that I wrote a post here making a snarky comment that maybe I needed to set up a separate desktop for writing that had no admin privileges and use a nanny program to block that desktop from use of the web, games and any other application that wasn't directly related to the writing task for that day.

I was at least half joking as the greater part of me continued to believe that if I could not be more disciplined than that I didn't deserve to succeed because I must not want it bad enough.  At the very least it made me childish and undependable to need such drastic measures to force me to do what I say is so very important to me.

But if a successful novelist with dozens of titles under several pen names has to go to such extremes as this and more (she had her husband hide her free reading books from her) then maybe I needn't see it as some kind of failure if I need to take similar measures.

I can't afford to have a separate computer for writing so my concept of a separate desktop is the most viable one I can come up with at the moment.  Other than reverting to writing rough drafts with pencil and paper.  Which is how I did it before my first computer even once I had a typewriter.

My phobia of making mistakes in ink forced that on me.  I still remember my first encounter with a word processor.  My very first session on my Dad's Apple (green type on black screen) garnered me over 1000 words in the same amount of time I'd typically get 100 to 500 using pencil and paper.  I immediately began to see it as my writing salvation pinning all my hopes of success at my craft on having my own. A few months later I used student loan money to buy my Tandy 1000 EX which could do a little more than the Apple but was still not multi-media and you could only have one application loaded on the machine at once.

It should have been a big warning sign though when I discovered myself constantly fiddling with the color scheme for fonts, background and menus.  I wish I had realized I needed to nip that trend in the bud then and there for by the time we got our first multi-media Windows 95 a few years later my habit of distracting myself with whatever was at hand on the screen was hardwired and handing me a 'writing machine' with a hundred thousand distractions at my fingertips like Windows 95 was like inviting a vaudeville act, a circus and an army of hucksters into my office while demanding double productivity.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Forays in Fiction: Revision

Alone With All That Could Happen
by David Jauss

The experience of the last several months of reading the books of self-published authors has awakened in me the hunger to have a wider audience for my own stories and showed me that I'm not as unready as I imagined.    If that is I can whip my WIP into shape.

I could, in a relatively short time, have an approximately 40K word short story collection into ready to launch.  The already written stories need little more than a good line-edit.  I'd been holding them back primarily because they all belong as chapters in unfinished novels.  But they are also stories that stand on their own.  And my exposure to the self-pub scene on amazon and smashwords has shown me that such a story collection can serve as appetite whetter for the audience and a galvanizing motivator for me to finish one or more of the novels.  Or at least a few more of the chapter/short stories that could be added to the original collection.

Description by Monica Wood

With this in mind, one of the searches I did on the online library catalogs was for books on the revision process.  The most likely candidates I found were in the Vancouver WA system so I sent for them on my sister's account and she picked up four of them today.  I think there is one more on the way.

Two of the ones I received this evening were specifically on revision.  One was on one of the most troublesome aspects of narrative fiction for me: description.  Which is bound to come up in any revision work.

Revision: A Creative Approach
to Writing and Rewriting Fiction
by David Michael Kaplan
The last several days have found me often falling into daydreams set in my storyworld.  If I was home and my time my own I think I would be trying to write in their files again.  I am reluctant to allow myself to be taken over by the story dream while here at Mom's because I know that I can't pull the stunts that I do at home--the chaotic sleep 'schedule', the space-case social pariah,  the putting of the freshly poured coffee in the fridge and the half and half in the microwave, or the turning on of the griddle under it's lid which was covered with kitchen clutter instead of  turning down the burner under the kettle.

Oh, wait.  That last one I did just yesterday.  Or was that the day before.

So it has already begun....

I was daydreaming about Faye and Julia and Wilma and Inny and Brianna and Fancy and Mae Bea from my Fruits of the Spirit storyworld but especially Chrystal from my unfinished story 'Home Is Where the Horror Is" because she is about to walk into Faye's story in the next chapter I want to write and I need to know exactly what happened to her in the days preceding her arrival.

The Half-Known World
by Robert Boswell
Technically she has already arrived late in Making Rag Doll Babies and Million Dollar Maybes but only as the mysterious 'guest'  the shadow Officer Cassie saw following her patrol car up the drive as she delivered Estelle Star and Brianna to Faye.

I stalled out Faye's story precisely because of this and so began Chystal's story only to stall out on it.  For the same reason I discovered and blogged about here at some point (but I can't find it so can't link it ) after I realized I always stall out when the villains are about to walk on scene and in the case of Faye's story the primary 'villain' is the cult she spent her first 13 years in.  Chrystal's family was mixed up in the same cult.

In the last couple of weeks though, I've have had some insight into both villains and cults via the downloads of dozens of free books from amazon while participating in the Kindle Fire Giveaway and the subsequent Kindle Fire Boogie author promos.  These were atypical fare for me.  Based on the blurbs anyway, they are mostly too in your face violent, featuring blood and gore and monsters wearing human faces.

At first I was just downloading them as my part in helping the authors reach their goals.  But then I decided to dare myself to read a few as an exercise in studying villains.  When I saw that The Red Church by Scott Nicholson had a nasty cult at the center of its plot I decided to start with it.  Although the cult in this story is quite different from the one I've imagined for my story, The Red Church is giving me useful insight into the nature of cults and their leaders and joiners.

So it has begun.

The characters walk and talk in my head and make it impossible for me to walk and talk in the real world with the real people depending on me.  Especially to not set fire to the house.

But to send them away again might mean they will sulk for another six to sixteen months.

Why can't I integrate fiction writing into my life without loosing touch with MY life?


Thursday, February 09, 2012

When the Ones You Love Do You Wrong


For the last two posts I've rhapsodized over libraries.  Tonight the bloom is a tad off the rose.  Well.  No.  I'm not going to stop loving them over this.  I'm just frustrated.

I spent over two hours TWICE today on searches for which I was trying to collect titles on certain themes to take closer looks at later.  I spread a wide net.  In the first search I'd gone through 45 pages of ten titles each saving to a working list the titles I wanted to collect.  That's 440 odd titles I looked at and of them saved maybe 40 some. Now the working list isn't saved I need to follow up after the search and save the individual items to permanent lists on my account or, as I used to do before I decided it might be convenient to have the lists right there in my account accessible as easily from the library as from home, copy/paste title and author to my note ap.  So if for some reason I don't do this I loose the list.  

Well, I got called away from the computer and when I got back my session had timed out.  Which is what it does if you stop actively clicking on links for more than five minutes.  No more list.  The second search brought up nearly 1400 items and I'd made it through 40 odd pages again, this time saving probably close to eighty titles.  And this time with me sitting right here with my hand on the mouse and continuously clicking links I was suddenly, out of the blue, presented with a dialog box telling me my session had timed out.


I don't dare begin another search tonight.  I'd still be at it at dawn.  But next time I'm either returning to the old tried and true method of copy/paste to my note ap or I'll take the time before the search to create permanent lists with the appropriate titles that I can add titles to as I go and eschew the working list altogether.  The latter is probably the way to go as I did have a couple of lists already in use that maybe fifteen to twenty of the titles fit into and I didn't loose them.


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Library Lurrrrrve -- 13 Quotes & an LOLcat

Support Your Local Library

"The closest thing we will ever come to an orderly universe is a good library."   ~Ashleigh Brilliant

We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth. ~John Lubbock

I love the place; the magnificent books; I require books as I require air. ~Sholem Asch

"When I got my library card, that's when my life began."   ~Rita Mae Brown

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.  ~Jorge Luis Borges

There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration. ~Andrew Carnegie

A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.  ~Jo Godwin

Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark.... In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.  ~Germaine Greer

The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries. ~Carl Sagan,Cosmos

"Had it not been for the public library's collection - my love for writing, and my interest in crime fiction, might never have developed."   ~Sara Paretsky

"Libraries are absolutely at the center of my life. Since I couldn't afford to go to college, I attended the library three or four days a week from the age of eighteen on, and graduated from the library when I was twenty-eight."    ~Ray Bradbury

"Libraries are places where the imagination begins."    ~Heather Barbieri

"A library is not simply a repository of books, it is the symbol and center of our culture - a door and a window for those who might not otherwise have such doors and windows."   ~Amy Tan


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Lingering Longing

I got to spend over two hours browsing the shelves at the Longview Public Library this afternoon. My sister dropped me off and then came back for me after she'd served Mom her dinner.

I just love the Longview library. Not only is it a beautiful building inside and out it just has an atmosphere of welcome and wonder. I suppose a lot of that sense is created by the many many many hours I spent there in my first two decades. It was my first library and my memories of it go back to toddlerhood. Storyhour, first card, homework, reading to my babysitting charges in the children's room... My piano recitals were held there.

Going there always puts me on the nostalgia train...

I came home with 11 books. Or rather back to Mom's. As the librarian told me the due date I realized I would not be renewing this batch as I'd be home (back in Phoenix) before they were due.


Monday, February 06, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
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.

Five of seven posts in the last week have been about books or reading.  Monday was, well, IMWAYR?  Tuesday and Wednesday were review/giveaways for ebooks on  Premier Virtual Author Book Tours; Thursday began as a promo for the Big Kindle Boogie promo but became more; Friday was the story of my encounter with a review copy first offered to me last November and what has happened to prevent me from getting my review up in a timely fashion.

I expected Saturday and Sunday to continue the theme but then Saturday evening my missing crochet hook turned up after three weeks of playing hide-and-seek with me and my attention shifted like an avalanche back to crochet for the last 48 hours.

The two reviews with still open giveaways:

The Firelight of Maalda by Melissa Douthit  which is the second book in a planned fantasy trilogy, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia.   I was given the first book, Raie’Chaelia, and two prequel short stories as well to get me up to speed but the review/giveaway of one ebook copy tomorrow, Tuesday, January 31st, is for this one only.
The Firelight of Maalda: A story that unites the real with the fantastical and turns science into magic …
My review was posted last Tuesday and the giveaway for an ebook copy is open until the 12th.

I posted a review of the first book and the two prequels two weeks ago.

Hot Chocolate by Dawn Ireland, is a  cozy a mystery that is raucously funny.

My review was posted last Wednesday and the giveaway for an ebook copy is open until the 14th

Both of these novels are more than passingly competent and worth the read so if you like either YA fantasy or cozy mysteries you might like to stop by and enter the drawings.  I'll also posted the links to the other giveaways on the tour.

And So It Goes
by Charles 
Currently reading:

I have another review book I need to finish and review by the end of the month.  And So It Goes by Charles J. Shields.  It is a bio of the author Kurt Vonnegut.

 I wrote about my 'adventure' with this book which started last November in last Friday's post.  It is a long story about a storyteller and a story about a storyteller.  And because it is so long my review is way late.  Not that anybody put a date on it.  Just that Early November to late February just seems negligent.  I'm not really sure what the protocol is but I definitely don't want to choke off the stream of books coming my way recently by getting a rep.

But I am a Vonnegut fan and used to enjoy biography and autobiography by the book bag full and no surprise I am enjoying this one.

Her Frozen Wild by Kim Antieau.  This is a review copy ebook.  Kim is an author who has gone the self-pub ebook route after being published by the traditional press several times.  Her material is often heavily influenced by folklore and fairytale from many different cultures and emphasizes the female archetypes.  Every one I've read has had a strong female lead.  This one is no different.

Scientists in the Altai in Siberia uncover the 2,500 year old frozen mummy of a tattooed priestess. This mummy has the same genetic material as American archaeologist Ursula Smith whose mother disappeared in Siberia 30 years earlier. Ursula travels from the U.S. to Siberia to unravel the mystery of the “lady” and meets Sergei Ivanovich Polyakov, a Russian doctor who graciously invites her into his home. After they become lovers, she discovers Sergei has the same tattoos on his body as the tattooed lady. He tells a disbelieving Ursula that they have met before and she is destined to save the ancient People, considered as devils by some and shape-changing gods by others. A shaman takes Ursula to one of the sacred timeless caves where Ursula’s mother vanished. When Ursula allows the shaman to tattoo her, she is thrown back in time where she must unlock the mystery of the People and their link to her past in order to save them and Sergei—even if it costs her her life.

I'm 77% into it and eager to finish it tonight.  :)

I've also already begun The Red Church by Soctt Nicholson, another novel which was a free download during the Big Kindle Boogie promo last week and got five or more chapters in before I made myself set it aside to finish Kim's novel first.  I'd just opened it to get a sense of the flavor of this new to me author and next thing I knew I was 15% in.

From the blurb:

A boy and a sheriff must solve the mystery of a haunted Appalachian church when a strange preacher returns to town. Stoker Award finalist.
My spiritual thriller "The Red Church" explores a boy's struggle with faith when his mother attends a haunted church. Inspired by real-life legends in the Southern Appalachian Mountains where I live, the novel mirrors my own search for faith, love, and deeper mysteries. 

For a couple of days I went back and forth between the two novels but my brain started to feel like a Twister game trying to keep both worlds in my head at once.  It was doing neither story justice nor respecting either author.

I'm hoping I'll finish Kim's book in time to get back to Scott's for awhile tonight.

Next up is another novel for Premier Virtual Author Book Tours:

The March 7th blog tour review is for Finding Katie  by John Smith author of the ebook Delayed Flight which I reviewed for its blog tour in December.

From John's email:
Finding Katie is about a very wealthy and very sheltered Preston Meadows who lives his life protected from even the hint of harm. His world is safe and secure until someone kidnaps his sister, Katie. Against his parents’ wishes, Preston sets out on his own to find her. Preston works hard to blend in with the “regular” people roaming the streets of Dallas – but the real world is zany, insane, full of danger and filled with ruthless criminals. As I mentioned, it is a comedy filled with mystery and romance.


Sunday, February 05, 2012

Sunday Serenity #269

15 projects begun with the #9 hook I lost three weeks ago and found yesterday

Today I luxuriated in the feel of using my size 9 hook again, first getting out projects languishing for lack of it and then starting new ones.  Now I'm itching to see how many of these I can finish by next Sunday.

First in the list is my rainbow tote which actually represents four tasks: the bowl for the bottom needs another inch or two; the shoulder strap needs 4.5 more circlets attached by interlocking the variegated circlets; the 4 inch tube for the top section; the two bobble rows that will attache the striped  mid section to the tube and the bowl.

By next Sunday I would like to have finished the bowl and begun the tube and have finished the shoulder strap.

The rest of the projects are small individual one and tho in some cases they represent one of a planned set I count them as single projects.  Generally from left to right:

  • the lilac lacy book mark begun today.  First of a planned set of three.  I call these sets The Sister Sets because when I do them I make one of each in the same pattern in the favorite colors of each of my sisters and myself: pink, purple and blue.  I would like to have finished all three by next Sunday.  And tucked tails and dressed them in their ribbons etc.
  • the zigzag bookmark in pink purple and peacock blue.  First in a Sister Set and begun last spring which has tied up those three colors for long enough thank-you.  I would like to have this one finished and be at least halfway on the second.
  • the black rose begun Christmas day.  It might already be off the hook if I decide not to add more height to the petals on the outermost round but I'd like to have it finished including sewing the bottom edge together to fix the petals in place and attaching some method for pinning it to hair, hat, headband or scarf etc.
  • the black headband is on its last row and then needs its ribbon threaded through.  EZ PZ
  • the black and white zigzag bookmark begun last spring is about one third of intended lenth.  would like to have it done but if enough other goals are met I'd be happy with doubling its length.
  • the white lacy band that looks like a bookmark but is to be a bow like those beside it is part of the set of bows and flowers for Mom's sweater.  I began this last night and the main crocheting is done now it needs making into a bow and tails tucked and pin hot-glued on back along with the rest of the bows.

    As soon as this is off the hook I want to make an infant headband with the same thread and stitch which is a row of two chain stitches over a skipped stitch and in the following rows the two chains are attached to the tiny loops in the row below with a single crochet wrapped around the chain not into one of the stitches.  I like the stretchy feel of the fabric created this way so much I began the lilac book mark immediately after realizing I had to stop making rows on this one.  I have a concept for a tank top or sleeveless summer top but it may be beyond my skill level
  • the green flower which is part of the set for Mom's sweater was begun while at her 80th bday party on the 8th and 'finished' last night but I goofed bad on it and am going to have to do it over.  The #9 hook had been inside the tube of the green thread.  If I had gotten it out to complete this project which should have been completed for Mom's birthday I would have found the hook.  But I didn't get it out partly because I couldn't find the hook.
  • the blue flower below the row of bows was begun today and is the first in another set of flowers for Mom's sweater done in a new pattern and intended to be twice the size of the other set.  That is only the first row of petals and there will be at least two and maybe three.  I would like to have at least this one in a completed state to serve as a pattern for the rest by next week.  This one is the learning one and may not be good enough to be a keeper.  If this concept works I have a plan for a very large project to use it for.  Possibly for my Secret Santa giftee or possibly to grace my own new home.
  • the two toned pink strip is intended to be a small pocket book or checkbook cover.  It was begun last fall and used to be further along but I discovered a mistake and took out two rows.  By next Sunday I would like to have a second strip matching the one seen.  That represents five rows.
  • the pink rose and the purple rose represent two of a Sister Set of bookmarks.  I want to crochet the blue rose and the three green stems and the three green leaf sets this week.
  • the two teeny turquoise flowers represent two of the four or more motifs in the center of a bookmark.  Once the set of motifs is finished and tails tucked I can begin creating the web of chains they will be set in.  The web will be framed in a row of double crochet and that edged with more chains and picots.  I would like to get the rest of the motifs made and begin the webbing.  This is worked with size 20 thread as is the black and white zigzag.  Everything else is size 10.


Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Crochet Hook Caper

I have a favorite crochet hook.  It is a size 9 that was among the ones in Ed's grandmother's sewing basket that was given to me when she passed.  The hooks and thread in that basket started my crochet obsession three years ago.   I love this particular hook (the one on lower edge of pictures) because it is the only one that has a dip about half an inch behind the hook which serves to keep the loops from sliding off before you want them to which is especially handy for stitches that require keeping multiple loops on.

I have misplaced this hook so many times I lost count long ago and each time have spent inordinate amounts of time looking for it.  Usually I had lost it in the bed in the room at my in-laws where we lived until a month ago.  Sometimes it was elsewhere in that room.  Often I would find it on the floor after I'd shifted all my crafts and books up onto the bed.  Once it was in the car.  Once I found it in the bottom of Grandma's sewing basket which I'd had to completely empty twice before my fingers discovered it hiding in the side seam.

I always found it within 48 hours and usually before I slept next.  Except this last time.

Three weeks ago, late in the second week of my visit here at Mom's, it came up missing and I spent a good eight hours that first day looking for it everywhere I could think beginning on my side of the bed in Mom's room where my craft and computer workstation is set up.  My sister even called The Electric Bean Cafe where we'd gone the previous Friday night and I'd had my crochet with me.  But it wasn't in their lost and found and it wasn't in the car and it wasn't in the bedding and it wasn't in any of the pockets of the clothes and aprons I'd been wearing and it wasn't in any of the project kits I had unpacked and repacked three to five times each.

I tried to enlarge this with the 9 and 10 side by side to show the difference but the dip doesn't show up very well.  It helps if you open the picture in its own window and use zoom.

Over the week I must have given well over fifteen hours to the search for that hook.  It seemed like every time I picked up my crochet I would think of a place to look and even if I didn't I would be thinking about the hook and missing it and feeling sad.  I think that is why crocheting tapered off to nearly zero.  There were four or five projects in progress that I'd begun using that size 9 hook on and I'd had to substitute a size 10 for them.  The next sized hook I have going up is size 7 as I'd lost my size 8 somewhere between the car and the Doctor's waiting room last spring and hadn't replaced it yet.

This particular one though I can't find anywhere except online and the one time I found them there they were in a spendy full kit with sizes 00 to 12 or 14.

Bradley, my nephew's cat, kept walking into the shots as I tried to get pictures of the hook.
This evening Mom and I were playing Scrabble and we have a very laid back attitude about rules since we don't keep score and aren't playing to compete but to exercise Mom's vocabulary and her mental word-finding skills.  Once a very articulate woman Mom has been frustrated by the aphasia brought on by the stroke she suffered during the surgery on her broken hip three years ago.  So we don't add to her sense of anxiety about it with time limits or keeping score and she is free to peruse the Scrabble dictionary for ideas.  Thus I like to have a book or crochet with me for while I wait my turn after I have figured out my next play.

This time I'd brought out the flower and bow project for her sweater.  Although I'd given her a portion of them at her birthday bash on January 8th  I still needed to make two flowers and one bow in the sets already begun and have planned to make a third set of flowers a third again to twice as big as the first.  This was one of the projects I'd used the size 9 hook on so when I dug it out I dropped a size 10 hook into the baggie with the green bamboo thread and the beginnings of the green flower I'd begun at Mom's party.  This made a mini project that fit in my apron pocket.

While Mom was working on her first word I reached into the baggie in my apron pocket to pull out the hook and it got stuck in the thread which was mystifying because I was sure I'd dropped it in handle down.  When it finally broke free I brought it up toward the nascent green flower in my left hand to put the hook into the working loop and lo and behold the hook had a dip.

My jaw did a little dip of its own.  I had such a shocked expression it alarmed Mom.

My missing hook was found.  It felt quite surreal.  As if I'd put my hand into a wishing well and pulled out the thing I wished for.

Apparently the hook had been inside the tube of thread which had been inside a ziplock baggie inside the transparent kit bag.  So I may have not unpacked that kit thinking I was able to see everything there was to see without opening it.  I also may have not bothered because I knew I'd not had that project out since Mom's party a good week before I missed the hook and had been sure that day that I had it the day of our visit to the cafe.

I have a feeling I'm going to be crocheting more again now.  Maybe I'll finish some of the small projects begun with the size 9 out of gratitude.  There's the flowers and bows for Mom's sweater, two bookmarks but one of those was meant to be a set of three, a small pocket book or checkbook cover, several roses, my rainbow bag.  That last is not a small project but some of the tasks left to do are smallish.  And I hated to go to size 10 with that one as I had begun it with the size 8 and had to switch to the size 9 after loosing the 8.


Friday, February 03, 2012

Friday Forays in Fiction: Let Me Tell You a Story

And So It Goes
by Charles 
Let me tell you a story about a storyteller and a story about a storyteller.  No, I did not say that twice by accident.  I am to tell the story about my encounter with the review copy of a biography about a writer of stories.

Still confused?

Me too.

So it begins in November when I (the storyteller) get an email from a web publicist offering me a review copy of And So It Goes by Charles Shields, (the story) the biography of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (the storyteller) I was excited by this as I am a Vonnegut fan.

Now I had just recently downloaded a Kindle for PC ap and started reading ebooks on my netbook, rediscovering the joys of reading stories long enough to get immersed in them and loose track of time.  Because of my visual impairment normal books with normal sized print cause eyestrain after less than thirty minutes and during those minutes I am constantly adjusting the position of the book, the magnifying glass or the 3X reading glasses I wear over my prescription glasses, and my limbs, shoulders, head and seat.  Quite frustrating and the result has been my gravitating more and more to reading online which tended to be blogs and news rather than novels even though I had many online public domain books bookmarked and had dozens of txt or pdf books on my netbook.

I had downloaded the Kindle for PC in early November after being invited into the Premier Virtual Author Blog Tour for December and needed it to open the books.  Once I had it and experienced reading in it that first evening I was hooked and began downloading free Kindle editions as fast as I could find them, starting with classics.  I started with Jane Austen to be precise, downloading every one of her novels.  In just a few days I had over a hundred.  I now have over five-hundred and the balance has shifted to Indie authors.  Shortly after this I downloaded Calibre so I could start collecting public domain epub from sites like Project Gutenberg.  I now have over 2000 ebooks in my Calibre library.  Yeah I do tend to go to extremes.  And I digress.

With my enthusiasm for ebooks burning hot I decided to ask if I might have an ebook copy of And So It Goes and was sent to Net Galley to get it.  There I had to sign up first and in the process got excited about finding a site where I could ask for review copies and not wait to be offered.  But my enthusiasm for Net Galley has cooled after what happened since.

I couldn't figure out how to get the Kindle version so had to accept a version to be read on Adobe Digital Reader which I first had to download and install.  And once I downloaded And So It Goes and got it opened I discovered it was a pdf and thus would not word wrap which means that when I enlarge the font to my comfort level the lines are so long I often have to scroll sideways and even when I don't my eye (only my right eye can still read) gets lost on the way to the beginning of the next line.

That happens as well with tree books and is one of the factors preventing immersion into the story and is why I so much like being able to control the length of the line as well as the size of the font.  So of course I was disappointed but I was determined to read it anyway.  I kept it opened on my desktop and dipped into it when I had spare minutes such as waiting on downloads or my sister's reply during our chats.  But I had to give priority to the three blog tour books for which my post dates had been set for the second week of December.  And of course NaNo took precedence over even those until November 30.

And then the first week of December I got the flu.

With all of that converging on me in early December (and let's not forget the Xmas gifts I was crocheting) I did not make much progress in the Vonnegut bio before mid December but then it went to the top of reading priority.  Meanwhile I had been dipping into a few of his novels and other writings to refresh my sense of him as a writer and storyteller and of the human being that reveals.  I still set more store in that sense I get of the person behind the words than I do in biographies or even autobiographies.  One is information the other is soul.  Do I need to say which is which?

Between December 14 and December 24 the bulk of my reading time was devoted to Vonnegut.  You could almost say I was immersed.  Then on December 23 Ed presented me with the key to our own trailer house two doors down from his parents where we had lived since 2001.  The 24h and 25th were devoted to family holiday functions.  And on the 26th we began moving our stuff.  Since we were doing that on foot with the help of a dolly that took most of the next ten days.  And before I'd even finished emptying the room we had lived in for ten years let alone finished unpacking in the new place I had to start packing for my trip out of town.

It was my mom's 80th birthday on January 3rd and a big family bash was planned and I'd promised to be there.  I had planned for it to be a relatively short visit this time though.  My stays at Mom's since her broken hip and stroke in 2008 have tended to be over a month and except for the first one in which I stayed almost 6 months to help my sister during Mom's initial recovery the visits have averaged about six weeks.  I wanted this one to be under three as I was understandably anxious to return to my new home and enjoy all the benefits of a home of my own for the first time in over ten years.

But when my sister called to make the arrangements for coming to pick me up I realized she was having a particularly hard time and I offered to stay longer.  She asked for a month.  She picked me up on January 6th (because of illness in the family Mom's bday bash had been postponed) so I expected to come home the second week of February but since then my stay has been extended again as the weekend of the 18th my sister has a 3 day engagement with an organization she's involved with that works with troubled kids for whom she occasionally provides respite care   So now the plan is to take me home the following weekend.  The 25th.

Meanwhile a few days before my sister picked me up in Phoenix I had finally had a moment to relax and thought to open the Vonnegut bio only to discover it was locked against me with a notice that my 55 days had expired.  I must have missed the fine print somewhere as I don't remember being aware of that deadline. Add the fact that Net Galley provides only pdf to the fact that there is apparently a kill switch on the books and my enthusiasm for them has cooled considerably.  Part of the fun of reviewing books, and not a small part, is getting to keep the books!

I immediately got on the library catalog and got in queue for it but deactivating my hold and setting it to reactivate in late January.  Then a week or so after I arrived at Mom's I emailed the publicist to explain what had happened and apologize and promised to have my review up in late February, assuming I got my turn with the library copy by early February.

I never heard back from her so I thought 'There goes that professional relationship'

Then last weekend I was on my library account online and discovered both the Vonnegut book and the new Stephen King book which I'd also been in queue for were waiting for me at the Phoenix branch.  Arrrgh!  I had forgotten to reset the hold activation and it had kicked on January 24th.  Back to the end of the line I would go!  Was I going to have to buy a copy so I could fulfill my obligation.

Then Tuesday morning an email from my husband informed me that the Vonnegut book had arrived the day before.  The publicist had gone ahead and had one shipped to me.  But there is over 500 miles between us now so how was I going to read a 500+ page book and write a review between the night of February 25th and the last day of February.  3 days?  Not going to happen.  The thought of emailing another excuse to the publicist made me cringe.

So I got on the Longview library catalog to see if their copy was available for my sister to check out only to find they don't even have one.  Can you see my jaw fall?  Then I tried the Vancouver WA library system for which my sister also has a card and found one.  Now, when my sister orders a book through the Vancouver library they are sent to the closest branch for her to pick up and that is Woodland 20 miles south.  She usually has occasion to travel to either Vancouver or Portland at least once a week but she said that she had no current plans to go that way again before the 18th except for her orthodontist appointment the very next day which did not allow time to have the book sent to Woodland if she ordered it that night.  She offered to pick it up at the branch it was at since that branch would not be too far out of her way.

So Wednesday night she brought it home with her.

Holding it in my hands I am daunted by its size and the smallness of the font.  It is hard to feel that way about big books while remembering how it felt in the days when seeing me lugging around big fat books or hunched over one reading was more than normal.  It was iconic.

I have had to start it over for although I am remembering the material as I re-read it I can't remember much of it before I pass my eyes over it again.  I guess, between the flu, Xmas, the move, the time spent at Mom's and the three books I read for the blog tours since the last paragraph I read in And So It Goes has crowded it out.

I am all set to get back into it though.  I even dressed up one of my crocheted bookmarks with a long folded over ribbon special for it.  That way I can put the crocheted section at the place where the main text ends and the Notes begin so I can easily find the Notes when referenced in the text.  Then one ribbon will mark my place while the other marks the daily goal.  I haven't set that goal yet but I imagine it needs to average more than thirty pages per day.

And so it goes.


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