Saturday, December 31, 2011

You Say You Want a Resolution

Beginnings are hard. So are endings. Really, the easiest is in the middle, where we're still figuring everything out, and nothing is final.

I'm seeing a lot of end-of-year posts, and a lot of "looking to the future" posts. I've been doing quite a lot of "right now" sort of thinking and doing, perhaps learned from the Doberman. Dogs are good at that, living in the "right now" and also the "when will you feed me", though people are good at the latter as well.

So, where do we stand, right now?  All things considered, this blog is a baby blog. I've had a total of 302 visitors, which I think is pretty snazzy. Of course, the trick is getting them to come back, and follow. And read more.  And comment!

Friday, December 30, 2011


Last weekend, for Christmas, I drove to New Jersey and back to spend it with my grandparents and family.

I do a lot of thinking while driving because really, what else are you going to do? I mean, I talked to the dog some, but she just laid on the back seat, and it isn't like I could turn around to look at her, so no input there.

 (not representative of our most recent trip; she now has a harness with an attachment that a seatbelt goes through)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Memento Mori, 1

I have this necklace. It's a skull, carved out of yak bone, that I bought at a Fair Trade store. Is it from Tibet? I'm not sure; that's where I think of when I think of yaks. I wear it to work once in awhile, and once, one of my work friends looked at me and said "That is the strangest thing I've ever seen". When I got home, we had a friend over, who said "That's awesome!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ebooks to end libraries?

Apparently, libraries are going to go out of business. Didn't you here? The Interweb has books now!

Not impressed? Don't think the sky is falling? Don't think the gotterdammerung of the library is nigh? Yeah, me neither.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Write What You Know...Research What You Don't

Other than things like spelling and punctuation, facts are pretty important.

If you want to include a topic in some way, or even a detail, it's important (in my mind any way) that it is represented as accurately as possible. The Internet is a great place for "learn enough to fake it" research; depending on the topic, the Internet is also occasionally good enough to in fact just "learn it", whatever it might be.

That's the writer's responsibility. The reader's responsibility is to keep in mind that a novel? Is fiction. The characters are not the author. Though if the reader is drawn in enough to believe that the author must have experienced described events or feelings in some way, I guess the writer has succeeded, yes?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury: a book review

Reading Ray Bradbury always seems like a treat.

The ideas that he puts together, and the resolutions that his stories frequently have, all come together in such a pleasurable way that I'm happy to read them again and recommend them often. So when I found that he'd written a book on writing, I snapped that right up and brought it home.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Library Musing

You haven't truly lived until you've been bitched out by a woman wearing a hat that is a snowman, complete with carrot nose.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Notes to Myself

I write notes to myself.

If I'm at home, I'll typically put them in any number of notebooks that I have around. I'll rouse myself from near sleep to send myself an email with my phone. If I'm at work, I grab a piece of scrap paper and scribble down the thought, or the web site, or the book, or the article, or the product. I have to search my pockets come laundry day, or these scribbles, in varying colors of pen, are shredded to bits. Lost notes are lost thoughts.

Sometimes, of course, when I find these notes, I have no idea what they mean. Zombie teabag? Hallmark channel? But sometimes making up a new answer is just as fun.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Story and Character Ideas Are Everywhere

A hipster, a sporty girl, and a businessman on a cell phone all stand at a crosswalk.

Sounds like the beginning of a joke, right? Or is it the opening of a movie? Or a commercial? Or your new book?

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Life after National Novel Writing Month is at once a relief and a letdown.

You no longer have the goals and the deadlines. You no longer have the charts and the progress bars. The forums are still there, and will be 'til they're recycled in October of next year, but they seem less crucial. Unless you made Internet buddies with people, going to the Reference Desk and Plot Doctoring sections no longer means you might be helping a novelling stranger hit 50k.