Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Bobs

National LeeOGraphic

When you're an editor of a small press, you've got to be strong.  You can't be namby pamby or wishy washy.  That's not going to help your writers.  Be courageous and direct in your interactions.  Remember that your primary obligation is to the creation of the best story possible.  

That's why yesterday I had to come down hard on character names with The Thirdlanders.  After the fourth Thirdlander brought me a storyboard featuring a character named Bob, I made an announcement.  "No one will have a character named Bob in their book. We create characters that we care about.  We're not here to make fun of our characters with ridiculous joke names."  (Apologies to all the great Bobs I know and love). 52 eyes grew wide with disbelief and 26 mouths gaped in horrified O's. Someone broke the silence with, "How about Billy?"  

"No.  No Billies.  I don't like that either.  Spend 2 minutes thinking of an interesting name.  How about that?"  Thus ensued a litany of ridiculous names that I put the kibosh on.  The Thirdlanders were amused and surprised, just the way I like them.  Some new names were invented yesterday:  Jeter, Curry, Squish.  This is what I'm talking about

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


#TwinTuesday brings us a sic-fi novel by an author #1Son used to like.  I bought him this book when it first came out, but then he decided he wasn't interested in this series any more.  The other thing #TwinTuesday brings to us is a beautiful leather bag I bought for Husbandman for his birthday one year.  He decided he'd rather use his old backpack, so now it contains my ukulele music that I never look at.  Two items, purchased with love, ultimately rejected.  Once again, I learn that the unexpected keeps cropping up when I least expect it.  Let's see what WordSavvy has for us.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Mite

We saw a Red Velvet Mite this weekend.  Also, a heron, 2 shoveler ducks, 3 bufflehead ducks and a black ringed gull.

A fine weekend.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Balance

It's ridiculous to complain about my foot when my brother had his sternum cracked open yesterday, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet.  Monday I had physical therapy and the therapist decided we should work on my balance.  Well, come to find out, I can't even balance for 2 seconds at a time.  Even with my good foot, my balance is a problem. 3 seconds at most.  When I saw the important foot doctor yesterday, he asked, "How's your PT coming along?"
 "My balance sucks," I told him.  
"Yes, " he said. "I read your PT report and I did notice that balance is an area of concern." 
Really this is the story of my life.  I'm not a balanced person.  Never have been. 

The important thing to remember is today is Writer's Wednesday.  Dani Shapiro suggests that we focus on our emotions as writers.  "Strong emotion, Virginia Woolf said, must leave its trace. Start writing, grow still and quiet, press toward that strong emotion and you will discover it anew."  Kind of like what I've done here, focusing on the way I felt when I kept falling off the little see saw board during my physical therapy session.  Embarrassed, yes, but I also felt somewhat shunned by society, incompetent and out of step with those around me. This is the stuff of blog posts, my friends.  Get those notebooks and laptops outside today and get to feeling. Or, if time is short, just leave a comment here, telling us how you're feeling.  Or text me.  If you want to, you should. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


#TwinTuesday brings us a candy box and a pastry brush.  Every year good friend Janet sends us spring gifties.  I find that amazing.  Every year for decades. I'm always surprised and over the moon thrilled to receive her packages. Thanks, Janny!  I don't know why we have the pastry brush.  I didn't even know it was a pastry brush, but Husbandman filled me in.
    My brother K is in the hospital.  He had open heart surgery yesterday.  He had a birth defect called a bicuspid valve, so a new valve was ordered up.  I'm filled with worry today about his recovery which I've read will be long, slow and painful.  Maybe I'll send him some gifties.  Gifties do tend to bring cheer.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Afterness

Vacation's over and I'm feeling bluesy.  Nothing unusual about this. Since early this morning, I've read dozens of articles about post vacation stress disorder and how to pull out from the back-home-again doldrums.  These are some steps I can take to tackle PVSD that I've gleaned from the research:

1.  Unpack as soon as possible.  (This makes sense and I might do it.) 
2.  Take a walk.  (This is the antidote to all problems in the self help literature.  Annoyingly, it usually does have a positive effect on my mood, so I might consider doing it.)
3.  Clean up your house.  (Not going to argue that a clean up could benefit my overall mood. But do I really have the time?)
4.  Appreciate the place where you live and think about how great it is.  (I do love this place, but I'm not feeling the love today.  The web site writers advise that I visit a favored spot.  Maybe I'll have tea at Runcible Spoon.  Maybe I'll see a movie at Bear's Place tonight. Who knows?

I now have the makings of a plan.  Implementation of this plan may begin soon, once I get all my ducks in a row. I'll let you know how it turns out.  By controlling the variables in this study, I should be able to come up with a possible cure for PVSD. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Show

We left Pine Mountain today. I liked it there a lot.  On our last night, I tried to convince my parents that Naked and Afraid is a good show.  My mom shook her head and scoffed that this show was as bad, if not worse, than my other favorite show, The Bachelor. My dad asked why the people had to be naked.  After watching awhile, my mom went back to reading.  My dad claimed, "This is no different than how we spent our days back in Dorchester, scrabbling to survive, constantly on the look out for food.  Were we naked?  No. But believe me in all other respects, it was very similar to this."

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Azaleas

We had one mission today and one mission only----to check out the 20,000 azaleas blooming at Callaway Gardens. In short, we got the job done.  After walking along the azalea trail, we found the perfect picnic spot. I'm pretty impressed with the sandwiches I made, to tell you the truth. Now we're relaxing.  Lupe's napping next to me as I blog.

The only snag in this restful vacation spot is a persistent beep that goes off every minute or two.  Dad and I have searched for the source, but we can't find it.  Mom can't hear it and gloats, "I swear this deafness ends up being a blessing so much of the time!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Results

Karl with a K
 We watched the election results together last night and Dad was upset about Hillary's wins.  He said, "I'm going to bed where I'll weep into my pillow."

The morning started off discordantly, but then Mom strongly suggested we cease all forms of political bantering.  We took our coffees out on to the deck and looked at the lake and the birds.  We saw some ducks and some herons.  Mom and Dad taught me about an old song called Rory Get Your Dory, There's a Herring in the Bay."  BarETBeth came by and took us out to lunch in Chipley.

Kudos to us for turning it around.  We're all good people and there's nothing to be angry about when we're on spring break in Pine Mountain.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Paralysis

Shopped for food stuffs for our adventure yesterday---english muffins, wine, potato chips. When we got to the market, Mom seemed to be taking her time getting out of the car.  Then she laughed, "Oh I always forget that my seat belt is on.  I panic every time and think, 'I'm paralyzed!' but then I remember that I'm buckled in."  This struck us both as hilarious.

We're heading to Pine Mountain Georgia today.  We're bringing two dogs, Lupe and Karl with a K.  I'm hoping the azaleas are in bloom at Calloway Gardens.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Break

I'm reading a most excellent book right now called M Train by Patti Smith.  Don't want to brag, but it's a signed first edition.  (Thanks, Seattle KIN!)

Patti Smith mulls over some ideas and as I read her beautiful book, I get to mulling and googling.  Today I'm learning about Alfred Wegener, polar researcher and creator of the theory of continental drift.

I'm also watching Spunky the Hunter cat lolling beneath a blooming azalea in the backyard.  A downy woodpecker's doing some work on the cherry tree nearby.  I'm also arguing with my dad about Hilary Clinton every 20 or 30 minutes.  My dad really hates her.  I think he should lighten up. The good news is my dad also hates Trump, so he's feeling the Bern. Welladay.  I'm thinking about making a macaroni salad.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Skeeters

The last two weeks have LITERALLY been hell on wheels.  Anne Lamott's latest fb entry is timely for me, putting me back on track just in the nick of time. Lamott suggests that everyone calm the heck down and stop living like water skeeters.  Like a water skeeter, I've been zip zipping along, darting this way and that, hither thither and yon. March Madness.  No way to live.  I'm going to take Lamott's suggestion and sit down, see where I am, and see what I need.

In short, I'm regrouping.  I'm on spring break.  I'm going to visit Mom and Dad down in the south.  I told my dad on the phone today that we might want to head over to the wild animal park that's nearby. He said, "Let me tell you something.  I'm not that crazy about wild animal parks.  Especially since the cat brought a bird in the house this morning and it took me forty minutes of running around after it to get it back outside.  Don't know how I got to this point in my life where I'm running after dogs, cats and birds at 87 years old."

       So I'm not sure we'll be going to the wild animal park, but I will tell you this.  We're going to have fun and we're going to knock off this water skeeter nonsense, and we're going to be blogging regularly, so pop back if you get a chance.  If you want to.   Happy Spring Break Dearhearts.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016


Whale Shark and Passport over here.  A dreamy kind of combo.  Check out the twin over at Word Savvy's Place.

FYI:  I would not see The Treasure if I were you.  I hated that movie.  Husbandman has this to say, "It was a waste of film.  I wish that after digging the hole in his backyard the protagonist had simply buried the director.  Alive."  It's about 2 guys who dig for treasure in a backyard.  It's getting a solid ZERO on the fist of five.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

The Whales

We're going to start talking about simple machines soon.  I bought a bunch of plastic whales and dolphins to use to introduce the unit.  I was going to ask the Thirdlanders to use the plastic animals to design a rescue of a beached or stranded animal.  Full disclaimer: This wasn't an original idea.

Come to find out, it's not that easy to rescue a stranded whale.  Also, I'm seeing little evidence that simple machines come in to play all that much. I know this because I'm now obsessed with watching videos of whale rescues. I've watched quite a few over the past hour and that's why my report cards aren't done yet.  Just FYI: If you do come upon a beached whale or dolphin, be careful because they could have a disease that could make you very sick.  Also, if you feel like putting water on them, go ahead, but avoid pouring water into the blow hole.  That's how they breathe.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

The Democracy

The craziness with the Republicans is driving me over the edge.  I listen constantly to pundits who predict more mayhem to come. I want it all to stop, but it's like my addiction to Hoarders.  I can't stop watching.  When I heard the second worst guy in the world calling his opponent, "Little Mario" on a clip this week, I froze in my tracks, a veritable pillar of salt.  My mind became a dish of haywire cacciatore.  People say this drama is good for the Dems, but I don't know. I'm feeling troubled.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Thursday Creativity Share

We just finished reading Circus Mirandus. I didn't love it but the Thirdlanders surely did. They insist on a sequel.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Writer's Wednesday: Shapiro Book

This is what I like about Shapiro's writing book.  She says that when you're overwhelmed by an energy that's pulling you away from the writing task, (which happens to me constantly), you should think of that energy as a wave.  Don't run from it.  Ride it.  If you can ride the wave of energy, great things will happen. I do like that idea, but I wonder if she's right about that? KC's reading this book too
       The Thirdlanders are in the midst of standardized testing.  That's why I have the globus again.

The Astronauts

 From a Lynda Barry book, I've used the idea to have the Thirdlanders draw self portraits on occasion.  Draw yourself as Batman, a monst...