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Thursday, March 31, 2011

for Kat

The drunk dyslexic that walked into a bra?  He's the same guy with the agnostic question - "What if there really IS a doG?"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thanks, Lisa.

I thought that if a person was a "Follower" you automatically got the post on your dashboard.  I'll look into that announcement thing.

In the meantime, "Political correctness is an effort to put into effect the optimistic notion that if you just approach it correctly, it must be possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

well, hell

If no one is going to be reading this anyhow, I may as well amuse myself.  So this drunk dyslexic walked into a bra . . .

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I'm following L. Nimoy

I'm following Leonard Nimoy on Twitter.  I think it's just a way for him to encourage people to check out his blog and buy his photography books.  I didn't know that he was a photographer, did you?

His fifth tweet poses a question: Does the camera actually capture a moment  in time when it does not capture itself or the photographer?

Cameras capture images.  An image is merely a representation of something, and the creator of the image edits that representation by what they focus on, to present their own view of the subject.  Nimoy has done a project called "Full Figured" featuring realy large women, in the nude.  He has focused on their strength, their pride, their personalities, and the portraits are so much more then mere figure studies.  Another photographer could have photographed the same women in the same poses and made them ludicrous caricatures.  And neither has actually captured a moment in time.

As writers, twenty of us could write about the same occurrence, and no two would write about the same thing.  A bride tosses her bouquet.  Everyone is laughing, but look around the edges of the crowd.  The flower girl is transported in the fairytale.  A sour spinster aunt has caught more bouquets than you can count, and they never transformed her into a happy laughing bride. One writer will be interested in the composition of the bouquet and the way the different flowers catch the light as they fly, the symbolism of the different blossoms, their significance to the bride.  Another writer will focus on the bride's father who sees her throwing her life away on that worthless man she's marrying.  Or perhaps the bouquet was thrown to Becky, but Courtney jumped in a grabbed it.  Or the ring-dog with years of frisbee catches in mind, snatches it out of the air and romps away with it.

Just be aware, no matter what you write, you will write with your own particular focus and interpretations.  Don't worry if someone says, "Oh, that's been done before."  No one has done it the way you will!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

change of plan

Posting the new book in sections is not turning out at all the way I thought it would.  No one says "Good", "Bad" or "Why do you bother?"  I'm into this to make friends, and get to know folks, and if no one comments, what's the point?  I already KNOW what I'm writing.  So instead, I think I'll have a contest.

CONTEST!!

Have you heard any jokes lately?  I have a padded envelope and will send a chocolate bar to the person who sends in the best joke by April.  It doesn't have to be squeaky clean, either.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

not for kiddies

It hadn’t been the worst day of Barb’s life. That had been the day the power plants blew up. That had been the worst day in everyone’s life. The survivors were still trying to get back to normal. The cockroaches were still mutating, though.

“Maybe I should have taken that apartment,” she muttered to herself, rubbing her sore calf muscle. “At least with the big ones you can see them coming.”

She looked around her motel room. The bare floor shone softly in the LED light. All the furniture stood with each leg in a dish of kerosene. A sign on the wall said, “The management will not be responsible for anything left touching the floor or a wall.” As she sat on the bed with her feet tucked under her, she watched a blush of the tiny red ones sweep across the wall behind the TV. They were too small to focus on individually, but the little cockroaches swarmed in the millions. Barb shuddered.

Things had been better in Billings. The cold winters killed most of the bugs. Here in sub-tropical Seattle, the whole city crawled. But this was where the work was, so this was where she was going to have to stay for a while. It was just too damn bad that a diagnostician couldn’t do her work on line, but telecommuting won’t tell you the feel of the patient’s skin or the smell of their breath or the exact timbre of their cough. Diagnosis was still a hands-on profession. And as long as her mom was going strong, Billings, Montana didn’t need another diagnostician.

“Why didn’t I go for surgery?” Barb asked herself, carefully tucking all the sheets and blankets up to avoid leaving a bridge from floor to bed. “I could phone that in from anywhere in the world, but nooo, I had to watch every episode of “House” and get inspired to diagnose. Idiot. Lights out.”
Obedient to her command, the lights went off.


New Seattle - 1:00AM- May 9, 2020

“God, you’re beautiful,” Cody groaned. He began to kiss the tender spot in front of her ear, trailing a tongue tip around the whorls, and breathing into the hollows. Barb shuddered with pleasure.

“Oh Cody, let me sleep. I’ve got to be bright and alert my first day on the job.”

“Oh baby, you are bright as the sun at high-noon in August. They’ll need sunglasses just to be in the same room with you.” He nipped her earlobe, and her breath began to come quicker.

“You can give your old Cody a little sugar, can’t you darlin’? He was kissing down to the corner of her jaw, then mumbling his lips along her throat, slowly pulling the blankets down. “Just a little lovin’ for your dear old Cody?” He slipped between the sheets next to her. He was naked, of course. “Just once for old time’s sake, my little rodeo queen?” his hands were on her breasts, caressing, teasing. She opened her mouth for his tongue, and her knees for the familiar weight of his body.

“I have never heard of a ghost as horny as you are, Cody,” she sighed.

“Yeah, but you like it, don’t you sugar pie?”

“Oh yes. Oh, God yes. Yes, Yes! Yesyesyesyeeeesss! Ohhh, Cody.”

“You just go to sleep now, darlin’ Old Cody’ll take care of you.”
***********************************************

Monday, March 14, 2011

Seattle: May 8, 2020

     “Is it dead?”
     “What does it take to kill one? You sure smacked the crap out of it!”
     “They always goo like that when you hit them. Is - it - dead?”
     “I don’t know. Why don’t you poke it and find out?”
     “You poke it. Oh crap! It moved!”
      “It did not.”
      “That - that thing there on the left just twitched.”
      “You’re crazy.”
     “If it didn’t move then it must be dead, and you can go ahead and poke it to be sure.”
It was like an avocado with long hairy legs. Jason hadn’t caught any more details before Barb had hit it with her purse and knocked a lot of orange stuff out of it. It lay on the countertop in a pool of ooze, legs splayed, carapace apparently cracked. But was it dead?
      “Hit it again, why don’t you?” he suggested.
      “This is a vintage Coach bag,” she retorted. “That gunk will stain it. You hit it.”
     “With what?”
     “I don’t know. Use your shoe?”
     “I can’t do any damage with these little canvas things. Use your shoe.”
     “You big wuss!” Teetering precariously on one foot, Barb slipped off an electric blue snakeskin pump and handed it to him. “Now don’t -- ”
He grasped the toe of the shoe and swung. The heel nailed the creature through the center, and suddenly all the legs began to spasm and twitch. Jason jerked his hand away, and, impaled by the shoe heel, the thing began to drag itself away.
     “My shoe!” Barb shrieked. “My Edorian Grey! Get it”
     Jason looked wildly around the empty kitchen, pulled open the oven, and found a rack still in place. Jerking it out, he began to flail wildly at the injured horror, while Barb screamed, “Don’t scuff it! Don’t scuff it!”
      At last the thing was thoroughly broken and splattered. Jason gingerly picked up the shoe by two fingers and held it out to Barb. She stared for a moment at the battered, goo-covered object, then turned and hobbled toward the door.
      “Wait,” Jason called. “There are other apartments in this building. Wouldn’t you like to look at them? We could waive the cleaning deposit.”
**********************************************
     It hadn’t been the worst day of Barb’s life. That had been the day the power plants blew up. That was pretty much the worst day in everyone’s life. But life does go on, and the survivors tried to get back to normal. The cockroaches were still mutating, though.
     “Maybe I should have taken that apartment,” she muttered to herself, rubbing her sore calf muscle. “At least you can see the big ones coming.”
     She looked around her motel room. The bare floor shone softly in the LED light. All the furniture stood with each leg in a dish of kerosene. A sign on the wall said, “The management will not be responsible for anything left touching the floor or a wall.” As she sat on the bed with her feet tucked under her, she watched a blush of the tiny red ones swarm across the wall behind the TV. They were too small to focus on individually, but the little cockroaches swarmed in the millions. Barb shuddered.
     Things had been better in Billings. The cold winters killed most of the bugs. Here in sub-tropical Seattle, the whole city crawled. But here was where the work was, and here was where she was going to have to stay for a while. It was just too damn bad that a diagnostician couldn’t do her work on line. But telecommuting won’t tell you the feel of the patient’s skin, or the smell of their breath or the exact timbre of their cough. Diagnosis was still a hands-on profession. And as long as her mom was going strong, Billings Montana didn’t need another diagnostician.
     “Why didn’t I go for surgery?” Barb grumbled, carefully tucking all the sheets and blankets under the mattress to avoid leaving a bridge from floor to bed. “I could phone that in from anywhere in the world. Nooo, I had to watch every episode of “House” and get inspired to diagnose. Idiot. Lights out!”
      Obedient to her command, the lights went off.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to use a jelly roll

Here's a little advice for the newbie sewers out there.  A "How-to" piece.  Get your visualization equipment into gear.


     A “Jelly Roll” is a pre-selected collection of co-ordinating fabrics sold in fabric stores that cater to quilters. Usually it is rolled in such a way that a little bit of each fabric shows enticingly in a swirl of color.
     It’s likely that your jelly roll is all fat quarters (18 x24 inch swatches of fabric.) First, you should unroll them, wash and dry them as you would wash and dry your quilt, and iron them flat.
     Sort your fat quarters into light and dark piles, then decide how much sewing you want to do. You might try laying them out on the floor as is, alternating light and dark in a checkerboard, and see if you like the effect. If it seems too blocky, fold a few of them in half the long way, then the wide way and see if the smaller rectangless make the checkerboard more acceptable. If so, cut everything into quarters, and do a random light / dark checkerboard. Simple straight seams, and no “Wrong” way to assemble it, with a surprisingly satisfying result. You could piece a whole quilt top in a weekend.
     OR cut them into 18 x 6 inch strips, make light/dark/light squares, and dark/light/dark squares. Again, make a light / dark checkerboard, but put the light/dark/light stripes vertically, and the dark/light/dark stripes horizontally.
     Get out your graph paper and colored pencils to help visualize this. In fact, you may spend several days playing with your graph paper and pencils to decide what you want, but remember that there is great freedom and satisfaction in surrendering to randomness and appreciating its beauty.
     I like to assemble my squares by sewing all the light squares to all the dark squares. Then, matching center seams, I sew those blocks together, lining them up so the darks and lights alternate, making bigger squares. Again, matching center seams, I sew the bigger blocks together and so on until the top is done.
     Remember that you will lose fabric in the seams. If your cut piece is 6x6 inches, and you sew quarter-inch seams, the finished piece will be 5.5 x 5.5 inches.
     You can back your quilt top with a piece of micro fleece or you can use a sheet the proper size. I make pieced and tied comforters, which means that rather than carefully sewing all the layers together in precise lines of tiny stitches, I take a stout needle and some wool yarn and , every five inches, I take a single stitch through all layers of the fabric, cut the yarn about an inch from the fabric, and tie the ends together in a sturdy square knot. Washing and drying will felt the yarn and secure it even tighter. This makes for a fluffier, warmer quilt and one that you can finish before next Christmas.
     I don’t make heirloom quilts. I make drag-arounds to be thrown on the floor, used for tents and forts and taken into the yard on a clear night for star-gazing. Because I don’t think of these works as Art for the Ages, I can be a lot freer in my use of color and simple design and in accepting things that didn’t turn out as I had envisioned them. I create, not magnificent works of craftsmanship, but manifestations of warmth and comfort. And I have fun with it. You can, too.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Go fishin'

Troll your cursor across the fishpond and watch them follow you.  Then click to feed them.  Thank you, Muse Susan for helping me improve the blog!

Susan also taught me how to twitter.  This rather boggles my mind.  Will there really be  people out there who will want to know what I think in 140 characters?  Do any of you twitter?  What's this all about, anyhow?  I am a loud introvert trying to make my way in social networking.  Any hints, suggestions, recommendations or requests would be most welcome!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

How could I top this?

My beloved copy-editor, Pat Lichen, has started a blog.  Her very first blog post is about the possum's penis.  You gotta see this for yourself.  http://www.patriciaklichen.com/

And on Sunday the 20th, we are having the big launch party for Puddletown Publishing!  I'll include the link tomorrow.