Saturday, January 30, 2010

And the snows came. . .

You'd think we live in Minnesota or Wisconsin. A place where people love snow. Where white-outs are the norm. But the South? Today is just nuts - the snow is falling so fast, I can't see the street in front of the house. We never have this weather, but guess what? It's hammering us now with a vengeance. Fortunately, the dog thinks this white stuff was invented for her amusement, and going outside isn't the nightmare I thought it would be. Now if I enjoyed it half as much as our Jack Russell Terrorist. . . .

I should tackle another house project, but I think I'll curl up in front of the fireplace with James Lee Burke's TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN. So far it's tough reading - his description of what happened in New Orleans with Katrina chills me to the bone. I'm afraid I'm not brave enough to read this book, but I'll give it a good try. Snowy days are made for pots of hot tea, scones with honey, a good book, and the cat on my lap. The book shelf can wait for a clear-out for another day. Besides, I really don't want to weed out any of my 'keepers.'

Oh, the oddest and most interesting thing happened. I was researching WW II stories for a character in SIGNS, who is an old soldier, and quite by accident found a Stars and Stripes article from 1945 that mentioned my grandfather in an account of the 11th
Armored in Europe. As another way to avoid writing (my list could fill a barn), I decided to put my grandfather's name into Bing. Lo and behold, I saw a nine year old posting from a lady who was looking for information on my gf for her family tree. Talk about surprises! Her email addy was current, and we've been exchanging what information we have. The power of the Internet is astounding.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Short Stories

I'm reading a book of short stories compiled by Larry McMurtry, set in the American West from 1950-2000. While I once wrote shorts for various publication, all romances or scifi, I'd forgotten the allure of the art form. Within a short space, say ten pages, the reader learns something important to the hero of the story in each of the ones I've read so far. The writing is colorful, sensual, and filled with dialogue I would kill to mimic. Yet each story contains a hard, unyielding truth that jumps out of the page because it's undiluted. No stable of secondary characters, no intertwined plot lines, no foolin' around. At the end of each story, I just go "aahhh," and reel back, feeling as if I've hit the jackpot.

It's time to relearn the form. Going to give it a try, shake up the writing routine.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January is a long month

It's been too long, mostly because of family emergencies that kept me out of town and away. All is well now, I'm home and watching football. I can't remember the last time I vegged out watching football on TV (unless it's VaTech, natch). There's plenty to do, but I just don't want to. Not a good habit to develop, LOL.

I've just had a battle royale to get my web hosting company to go away. Beware of Lunarpages - they dig in their claws, and even if you repeatedly tell them you don't want their services any longer, they refuse to believe you. Even when you've declined every offer to extend the contract, they try to charge your credit card for another year's hosting. So people, run if you don't want to get stuck with a web hosting company that can't take "no" for an answer. I will never understand why, since they were emailing me at the address they had on file, and I answered from that same address, they didn't believe I was the person they said I had to be. It's a long story....

Ah, another rant - I feel it coming on. Know-it-alls. She who thinks the only way is her way. She-who-insists-you-must-do-it-her-way. Even if the recipient of all this advice and dire warning doesn't want the advice and warning, and hasn't requested it. Even if the recipient has told this know-it-all to cease and desist. Sigh. How hard it must be for some people to keep opinions to themselves. I'm not the person in the middle of this mess, just a sideliner, but boy howdy. It's hard to sit on one's hands and not let loose a scathing retort or two when you see someone being bullied. I keep reminding myself it's those with eyes and hearts already closed and locked shut who miss out on the most marvelous surprises. Being open to the new, the innovative, the different is one of the true joys of life. Can't do that if you already know it all.

Counting the days until the Daytona 500. Fingernails are almost down to the quick. Need my racing fix - just a whiff of exhaust, the slightest of rumbles, a flash of gaudy colors on a track - and I'll be able to survive until the Big Day, Feb. 14. No, not Valentine's Day, LOL.

Monday, January 04, 2010

So much for that . . .

The Sony e-reader was a big disappointment. As an owner of the first Rocket e-reader, I was expecting an easy path to putting books in the e-library, and clear reading. Not so. First of all, you have to enter a CC to even set up the library, even if you don't buy anything from the Sony store. That ticked me off. If I never bought a book from Sony, they'd still have all my financial info floating around. Then I began reading about how people couldn't access books they'd purchased, and I began to worry. Tried the screen in daylight, and it didn't even come close to being readable.

The end result is that the Sony no longer lives here. Major bummer. I hope someone invents a screen you can read in the car in daylight. And that they allow you to set up a library without a credit card, since you can't operate the reader without a library. I don't mind entering cc info when I'm purchasing a book, but to require one just to set the reader up? Nope, not this chicky.

The office clean-up is in the chaos stage. Pulled files out, dumped drawers, and generally created a mess just so I'll have to weed through it before putting it back somewhere. The question so far is: where? Ah, that's the rub. I'm determined to be less of a paper-hoarder, but it's hard to break a lifetime love affair with paper.

If you haven't seen THE BLIND SIDE, go. It's the best movie I've seen so far this season. Characters you care about. How unusual....