Friday, September 30, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two Sentence Tuesday -- Read A Banned Book

It's Banned Books Week.  Get subversive and read something they don't want you to.
On the whole I've been pretty lucky. I've read many of the books on the classics list and haven't had to deal with a banned book as such.
However, my one run- in with wanting to read a book that I couldn't happened when I was nine years old and I have no intention of getting over it. It galled me then, it galls me now. Until I find the book in question I will continue to be galled. And if I ever do find it and read it, I will remain galled that it was held from me.
Here's what happened:

We were on our way back from visiting family out in BC. My mom's brother, Rusty, had the most amazing collection of novels ever, the bulk of which were sci fi from the 1940s.  We were given some to take home though I recall only two now. My sister and I could chose between these two for something to read on the way home. I don't normally read in the car, especially while going through the mountains, but I chose.
The books were a double novel Our Man in Space by Bruce W. Ronald and Ultimatum in 2050 A.D. by Jack Sharkey (Ace Books, 1965)  and the single novel The Parasite.
I went with the double novel.
My sister started to read, or maybe even read all of The Parasite and it scared the living daylights out of her.  She handed the book back to our mom and said, in near hysterics, that I was not to be allowed to read it. I don't recall her exact words now, but I know I didn't like them.
Did I fuss? Not that I recall. I may have put up a token argument, but there was no point to wasting energy.  I knew I could find the book when we got home.
I never saw it again.
I have no recollection of asking either though I am sure I did.
A few months later a radio play or the like came on. A man's voice said something to his doctor about a thing growing on his shoulder.
My sister freaked and said, "That's The Parasite. I know it."
Okay, I thought, I finally get to know what the fuss was about.
Instead, my sister, in near hysterics, insisted it had to be turned off.
I've tried to find it by internet search, but all I have is a title. It's not alone.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has a story with this name. I have his complete Sherlock Holmes, but not his complete works. 
If not this, then it is likely something from the grand science fiction era of the 1940s. I don't think I dare ask my sister as I fear she will be rendered hysterical at the mere mention, and has likely long forgotten the author's name.
In honor of  banned and challenged books here are two sentences from a once-banned book:
"She took off her hat, and shook her hair. He sat down, taking off his shoes and gaiters, and undoing his cord breeches."
-Lady Chatterley's Lover  by D. H. Lawrence (Signet 1959)
I'm still working on two stories, usually on alternate days. So far this is working for me.
From The Font:
" 'No.' Brundel tried to close her mind to it. Such use of power was forbidden."
Thanks for being here. For more please see the Women of Mystery.
And if you have the time, read a banned book or five.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gratitude Monday --This

I am thankful I can drive a few minutes and see this.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Photo-Finish Friday --A Night Scene

In Egypt we went to Kom Ombo to visit a temple. When we walked up to it we had a chance to turn around and see what was happening below.
This plaza is geared for the tourist crowds. The photo makes it look emptier than it was.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gratitude Monday -- Winding Down

Summer is winding down. Yesterday morning the air had a bite to it and the grass beneath my feet was crisp.
I am grateful for the change of seasons for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is it helps me to appreciate the season as we have it.
Each season has its beauty.
Summer, for instance, had this:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Photo-Finish Friday -- Summer in Full Flower

Giant Hyssop
With Autumn so near I thought this would be a good time to remember summer in full flower.
This Giant Hyssop is from our front yard.
Perhaps it's because I'm a Star Trek fan, but it reminds me of the Gorn from the Arena episode.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Two Sentence Tuesday--A Bit More Than Two

I'm still working on two separate manuscripts. Perhaps one day soon I'll devote my energy to one while the other rests, but for now two works.
My husband has been away for two weeks so I do the bulk of my writing at night. He'll be back in a few days, rumour has it, so my rhythms will probably change. Until that day I will continue working after dark.
Last week I put in an excerpt from The Font.  This week it's The Reluctant Psychopomp. Said soul guide has arrived to the death scene early and watches as her new client arrives:

" 'Oh, there's Mavis.' She turned and started a determined walk toward the door just as the clown was coming over to get a glass of something purple.
She wasn't watching. Bungles wasn't watching. She tripped over one of Bungles' huge shoes and struck her head on the cement floor of the arena."
I finished Lolita the other day. I hated to turn the last page because it meant Nabokov's delicious writing would end.
Here are two from Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, (Berkley Books, 1981):
'An invisible hag's claw slammed down an upper floor window.
In our hallway, ablaze with welcoming light,my Lolita peeled off her sweater, shook her gemmed hair, stretched towards me her two bare arms, raised one knee:
'Carry me upstairs, please. I feel sort of romantic to-night.' "
Thank you for your time. For more or to get in on the fun, please see the Women of Mystery.

Gratitude Monday -- Pizza By Phone Edition

I like delivery pizza. It's quick, easy as all get out, tasty, and fun.
Clean up after delivery pizza is also quick and easy.
We had a stretch of gloriously warm weather here last week. I didn't feel like cooking most days and neither did I have to. My husband has been working out of town the past two weeks. I am left to my own devices.
A homemade deep-dish pizza that husband and I made. He wasn't home and I wanted pizza. What choice did I have?

 Yes, I can cook. Yes, I do cook. I even make cupcakes last week with the chocolate that my poor husband can't eat.
But one day I wanted pizza and it was too gloriously hot to make it from scratch.  I checked a few of the local places out and decided that I'd have Panago*.  I have wheat and dairy intolerances and I have really good luck with that company.
I had them make me a thin crust multigrain with goat cheese, spinach, and grilled veggies. In a moment of  uncompromising self-sufficiency I drove over and got it myself.
It was so tasty that it is all I want to eat now. I almost got another one yesterday.
Thank you pizza and inventors of same, and Panago for being so easy on my food issues.

* I don't work for Panago. No one paid me to say anything good about the company.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Photo-Finish Friday -- The Lonely Fence Post

This lonely scene is in the Falkland Islands.
The post has one end of a boundary marker on it to keep the tourists away from the penguins.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

They've Lived Long and Prospered

William Shatner at ComicCon in Calgary, June 2011

Leonard Nimoy in Vulcan, Alberta, April 2010
Star Trek premiered 45 years ago today, September 8, 1966.
It's my favourite show ever, and it was more real to me then than anything I ever saw on the news.
Full confession, it still is.
Thank you, Mr. Roddenberry.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Two Sentence Tuesday -- Two On The Go

I'm back in the flow.
After a bit of a break I'm back writing some original material. I have two works on the go right now, plus I'm  doing a hard-copy edit of BloodLovers.
I'm not sure what either WIP is really about yet. It's an odd thing to say as I am their creator,  but I mean they haven't clarified themselves to me yet.
A few days ago I finally got a proper idea for a story that first occurred to me last fall. I let it rest as I was busy with something else.
I started it twice and let it go. Last week I realized I'd started the story too early and my character names were all wrong.
I'm more than 1800 words in on The Font. Another reason for abandoning it was it was stepping over the line into horror. It's leaning that way again. Instead of resisting I'll go with it and see what comes out. It may not want to tread there at all.
The other is The Reluctant Psychopomp. A psychopomp is a being who escorts the dead to the afterworld.
The reluctant part hasn't made itself known yet. All I can do is write and see what happens.
I worked on The Font yesterday morning, edited BloodLovers in the afternoon, and added a bit to the psychopomp's story last night.
It was a good day of work and I still found time to read. I started Lolita on Sunday. I bought it 30 years ago and for whatever reason I didn't read it. I think I may have read the first page, then set it aside. I'm kind of glad I waited. I'm not sure I would have appreciated Nabokov's rich use of the language back in my twenties.
Here are two from Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, (Berkley Books, 1981):
"Last night we sat on the piazza, the Haze woman, Lolita and I. Warm dusk had deepened into amorous darkness."
And from The Font:
"The Mother faced them holding up a long, thin object that reminded Brundel of the knife her father used for deboning meat and fish.
What were they doing? This was a casting ceremony."
Thank you for stopping by. For more or to get in on the fun please see the Women of Mystery.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gratitude Monday-- Phoning It In

I'm grateful for the telephone.
Sure, we have many ways to have a conversation these days. Many of them are terrific.
The downside is with Internet chat or email we don't hear voices, tones, inflections. It's too easy to misinterpret a comment.

Phoning is almost mouth to mouth and ear to ear. It's like an intimate conversation though there's no face to face contact. But we can hear a voice and know the sarcasm from the sincerity.
It's as close to personal contact as we may be able to have, and that counts for a lot.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Photo - Finish Friday -- The Other Side of the Story

The opposite bank of the Nile.
You'll notice the green belt is quite narrow.
Because of the dams, the Nile doesn't flood the way it did in the past. The silt from the flooding was rich in nutrients.
Those days are over.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Frost, the Other F Word

Is the one in the middle waving?

We had a frost warning last night so I harvested our tomatoes.
There weren't many this year. I collected 35 of varying sizes and left about a half-dozen small ones on the vine as sacrifice to the frost gods.
They're resting comfortably under the bed in the spare room, covered by newspaper.  At some point in the future they'll be ready to eat. And we'll enjoy every bite.
Happy September, everyone.