Sunday, July 7, 2013

WRITING LIKE A MANIAC!

Howdy!

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July.   This year marks my third Independence Day in Pennsylvania, and can see fireworks from my window, which is rather extraordinary since I love them and am disabled and almost never leave the house due to physical limitations. 
 
Cait and Joe are installing an electronic fence today which will make it much, much easier for me to handle our dogs and keep them from getting squished on Bethel Road when everyone goes on vacation and when both kids are in school next year.  But today they are having their share of problems because the trench digger machine broke about two thirds of the way through the job, there were no machines to exchange it for at the place where they rented it, and it’s getting hotter as the sun climbs in the sky, and well, ugh, just a series of annoyances.  But I for one, really appreciate their efforts…and I think once the fence is operational and the dogs are safer by not being able to escape the yard, everyone will benefit from the added peace of mind, and less hassles when letting the dogs outside.  We have Australian Cattle Dogs and they are both incredibly smart and will no doubt learn the boundaries fast. 

I woke up this morning to a lovely dawn surprise: there was all this lacy design seemingly etched into the condensation on my window.  It looked like I’d had the window frosted and etched.  I put my glasses on and realized that there were a couple of teeny tiny little snails moving around on the window, leaving the trails through the condensation.  I wrote a haiku: 

Tiny snail artists
Tracking designs for me on
My window each night.

The other day I was upstairs with the kids and the dogs, sitting and reading and minding my own business when suddenly Kato launched himself off the sofa and started pawing at the rug.  He sniffed, pawed at something, then sniffed, pawed, rolled on it, then grabbed it in his teeth, threw it up in the air, caught it in his teeth again, watched it drop onto the carpet, pawed it, rolled on it again, then tossed it in the air again, caught it in his mouth and swallowed it.  Thank you Captain Kato, Bug Catcher Extraordinaire, for ridding our home of man-eating ear whigs and other assorted creepy crawlies.  But mostly for keeping me well amused by your antics!

I have been writing myself ragged trying to finish the Zeons series that will be published in the "Swooping through the Years" column of “Owl’s Eye View Magazine” starting this month and continuing on through December.  I’m working on Issue 11’s installment and it’s long, but pretty intense. I’m at the place in writing this novel where a laboring woman gets in childbirth:  Just get it the hell out of me! I’m hoping Zeons is well liked.  I got a lot of frustration out of my system writing it.  Muahaha!  I always tell people not to give me shit, they’ll end up written up in one of my stories or novels.  Imagine what I will do with corporations, banks, government hassles, and other societal frustrations that have been pissing me off for years!  I hope you enjoy reading my form of venting as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

Update:  I just finished writing "Swooping through the Years" Issue 11, Zeon Attacks!  Wahoo!  While it will require some serious editing and polishing, it is complete and I anticipate Issue 12’s ‘Zetopia’ column to be a breeze to write in comparison.  So all is well on the writing front for the moment. 

I may even treat myself to breakfast today!  But then it’s right back to work keying in the 60+ pages of text I hand-wrote yesterday and this morning.  I will go at it happily because it is a done deal. 

Taught Ro how to play Blackjack which she loves, but we vacillate between that and “Go Fish.”  She is only seven after all! 

Joey is improving his “Go Fish” skills too, and has graduated to playing his own hand without help.  By the time Rosie goes back to school I’m sure he will be hoarding books as well as his sister. 

So much for the exciting life of a writer this week.  Makes up for all the horrific stuff I scrape out of the gory lobe of my brain. 

**

There’s a note in my datebook for blog day (Saturday) to talk about learning to let go of things, and I have to smile.  I do all kinds of research when I’m putting a novel together, or when I just Google information out of curiosity.  I have files upon files of information that I’ve looked up, taken notes on and saved.  I will probably never use it again, and it takes up whole gigs of space on flash drives, and external hard drives.  I’m always afraid I’ll go to find it again on Google if I need to and it won’t be there.  I was cleaning out files last weekend and after hours of sifting through dozens and dozens of computer files, realized I hadn’t really deleted anything, just reorganized it and removed it to an external hard drive.  Ugh!

I used to be that way with everything: clothes, paperwork, bank statements, books, name it.  I had so much stuff.  I eliminated a ton of paper by scanning everything (files full of notes, segments of text omitted from manuscripts but too good to just throw away, bank statements from forever ago from accounts long closed, medical files, old essays, photographs of people I didn’t even recognize, and nor did my mother who’s the only member of her generation of my family even alive) into my computer and summarily dumping the hard copies—to the tune of 7 extra large file storage totes, and 8 jumbo photo albums!  Literally weight off my shoulders!  I also, while watching movies, scanned several books into my computer, mostly ones I refer to when writing—books on supernatural and other horror lore.  And several health and nutrition books as well as writing and editing reference books like “On Writing” by Stephen King and of course Stunk and White’s “The Elements of Style.” 

I still have books, but they’re mostly signed copies I’m saving to give to the grands.  And I’ve let go of any personal belongings that don’t have serious sentimental value to me.  I used to save clothes that I’d worn for special occasions, or that were made for me by loved ones, and knick knacks that reminded me of good times.  I let go of a lot of them.  I realized that the object wasn’t special except for the memories it triggered.  So I took pictures of furniture, clothing, knick knacks, and other memorabilia, so that I would always have the memories I associated with them, and then gave away the objects or donated them to charity.  Then I went one step further and scanned all the family pictures into my computer and saved them on a flash drive.  So liberating not to have to sift through all kinds of junk and heavy photo albums in search of a few memories!  I highly recommend scanning your memories and placing them on ‘shuffle’ display on your computer. 

Okay.  That’s my big thought for the day.  If everybody I know shows up at Goodwill or leaves huge bags of stuff out to donate to Purple Hearts, I will know you tried my idea. 

**

My quote for the week: 

“If you die rich, you die disgraced.” – Andrew Carnegie 

I intend to use this as an intro for “Zeons.”  You’ll see why.  I always liked this quote.  Speaks volumes, and garnered respect from me for Andrew Carnegie. 

**
Okay.  I’ll be going now. 

Ter