No one was harmed…

The last few days without Internet and phone were interesting.  Pioneer days…almost.  I had electricity, and even though I wasn’t supposed to have satellite television, it was mysteriously there until Wednesday, three days longer than it was supposed to be on.  Go figure.

Monday was the last very hot day.  Tuesday it rained, and I actually couldn’t go anywhere.  I tell you what.  The old place felt very empty with everything packed and ready to go.  The last loads were staged and planned so that the very last one was the business, clohing, a suitcase and Gizzie. 

Or so I thought.  When you have so many closets you forget one, you end up with more in the last load.  I still think I forgot a place, but who knows?  I’m sure I will think of it later, but it doesn’t matter.  I’m done.  “The End”, as they say.

I had to laugh.  Just as I thought, when I moved the sofa, Gizzie’s secret stash appeared.  I threw away the popsicle sticks, bottle caps, mucky old M&Ms, dead ink pens and old hair pins, cleaned up the earrings I lost, washed the change he had piled in one spot and washed his toys and put half of them away.  It’s amazing.  Just like any child, when some of their toys go missing, it’s like having new ones again when they suddenly appear.  He was happy as a clam for days!

I spent time at night with him snuggling and brushing and washing him.  We have a non-traumatic way of washing.  I have a couple of old wash cloths, so after a good brushing and getting the hair cleaned up, we take a bowl of warm water and a washcloth and go over everything, including ears and toes.  It’s a lot like petting him, but with just enough wetness to call it a bath.  It works like a charm.  The last thing I do is spritz a little freshener and detangler.  I’m not keen on his smelling like vanilla, but the smell only lasts an hour or so, and he thinks he’s been to the salon!

I have today and tomorrow to commit to a plan for the Write A Banned Book event in September.  I need to get at it! 

We have been a long time in limbo, and while I have been working “under the radar”, we will finally be back to normal business on Monday!  Lots to do in a few short days, and I’m looking forward to it. 

(P.S.  Don’t forget The Fellowship Fund – link to the right – still exists to support the insanity.  When it has built up enough, we’ll share the fund with others experiencing the insanity!)

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Hecknicity

Well, that was then.  This is now!

I was determined to slot writing time into my schedule for the rest of my life, no matter how hectic it became, and believe me, it’s been hectic.  The hecknicity* was incredibly intense over the weekend.  Hence, I lost a little in my faith in myself.

Sure, the Stewarts are on vacation, and I’m not writing.  It’s just that right now my fingers itch to write and I do. not. have. time. 

Tyres will be ordered tomorrow.  Car repairs that Richard cannot handle will be scheduled for early next week.  THEN, we’re on!

The Stewarts will meet me probably on the 16th, and we’ll pick up on our research and discuss what elements apply.

Are you ready for Banned Book Month?  Are you psyched for the Write A Banned Book event on Writer Connect?  I am!  I will participate.  I’ll have a couple of weeks to pull together my plan and strategies, and then it’s a full out run for 30 days.  After that, despite the wedding, I’m going to give NaNoWriMo all I’ve got in November.  50,000 words will probably be half of The Nothing Man.

Note the new word I learned below.  I thought I made it up, but lo and behold, I didn’t!

*”Hecknicity” (pl. hecknicities) is an obsolete English word that is rarely, if ever, seen in modern English publications. This word is not present anywhere on the internet, nor is it heard commonly in any English-speaking areas throughout the globe. However, it has appeared in many medieval texts. A definition follows:

 – Definition-

Hecknicity (h�k-nĭ-sĭ-t�): (n.)something that causes many deaths and or injuries, something causing much distress or frustration.

Origin- (Latin/Greek)

“heck/hec” (form of hect/hecto)-Greek: a hundred, many
“nici/nic”-Latin: death, kill, deadly, murderous,destructive
“ity”-Latin: suffix used to form abstract nouns expressing act, state, quality, property, or condition corresponding to an adjective

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Questionable Dedication

It seems this summer – to me, anyway – that I am not dedicated enough to writing to make this work.  Perhaps it is because of all that is going on.  Perhaps it is because I looked at the schedule for the rest of the year and just about died. 

The last few days are an indication of what is going on right now with work and my life, and it’s not pretty.  Case in point:  I worked until 3 a.m., got up at 7 (nevermind it was because of the tree people grinding branches at 6.45), and after a trip outside to confirm it’s too hot and humid to be out there, I dug in.

My head is splitting.  I shut off the phones until I could glue the parts back together. 

I sincerely believe this will be a week of working until midnight, at the very least, and possibly longer.  Whatever possessed me to schedule three books a month for the rest of the year is beyond me.

Ah, well.  The Stewarts have opted to take the month of August, anyway.  They want to be prepared for the Write A Banned Book month event that will be held on the Writer Connect site.  They reason (and correctly) their story would have been banned many times over.  They’ve been reading a little Upton Sinclair.

I’m trying not to burn the candle at both ends.  Burnout attacks quickly if you do that. 

Relax, Maggie.  It will all happen as it should, and when the Stewarts come home, you will be ready.

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They say it’s your birthday

It will be official at 5.20 in the morning.  The celebration will be over by 5.23 a.m. when I go back to bed after a trip to the loo, a drink of water and a couple of pain meds.  I will acknowledge it when I smack the alarm to shut it off, and I’ll officially start my 58th year on this earth.  Asleep.

I really didn’t want anyone to acknowledge the day, but it appears I already have no choice.  And you know what?

It really doesn’t matter.  People are hurt if you don’t let them glut your email inbox with birthday greetings or stuff your post office box with cards or fill your house with balloons and cut flowers or send you a cookie bouquet even though they know you have Celiac Disease.  It’s not your time to just “be”.  It’s their time to be acknowledged, even if they don’t talk to you all year, for remembering Your Great Day.

So you do what you, raised on Emily Post, are expected to do.  It takes a couple of hours to write/send the thank yous, and you are polite and don’t swear at people because they remembered.

Then you water the flowers, take the balloons to the library and give the cookies to the postmaster. And when it’s all said and done, you aren’t surprised when you realise there was not one book.

It’s kind of funny, isn’t it?  You’d think I’d get lots of books, but I haven’t for a while.

There’s not even one quietly slipped onto the table wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine, no note, but you know who left it there because it’s a book off your wish list.

And only one person ever looks at your wish list.

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One of those weeks.

It’s Wednesday.  Do you know where your good health is?  I can’t find mine.  Maybe it’s hanging out with yours.

My ability to sit upright to do any typing at all is about half an hour, then I’m down again.  That’s better than yesterday.  I had a singular spurt of coherence this morning, and that was it.

Maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow, but I’m not counting on it.  It’s a good thing the Stewarts are on vacation this week.

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The End of Another Week

It’s been a quiet week without the Stewart family.  I’ve read to the point where I think I’m going to have to stop reading for pleasure before it becomes a chore.  I set a lofty goal over the weekend to read 5 books.  As of tonight I am within 54 pages of reaching said lofty goal.  I’m sticking with my summer theme of classic literatue from the early 20th Century.  I read Edna Ferber’s Buttered Side Down, Eudora Welty’s Why I Live at the P.O. ,  Jack London’s The Unparalleled Invasion and his The Iron Heel, and put a healthy dent in Upton Sinclair’s The Metropolis.

I wish I had time tonight to write at length about all of them, but I don’t.  Next month, though, I will.  In the meantime, here is a taste of one of the stories from Edna Ferber’s Buttered Side Down.  I chose it because I think so many of us who are writers can relate to these few paragraphs.  There is more to the story, of course, and you can pick it up from Project Gutenberg if you want to read the rest.

SUN DRIED

There come those times in the life of every woman when she feels that she must wash her hair at once. And then she does it. The feeling may come upon her suddenly, without warning, at any hour of the day or night; or its approach may be slow and insidious, so that the victim does not at first realize what it is that fills her with that sensation of unrest. But once in the clutches of the idea she knows no happiness, no peace, until she has donned a kimono, gathered up two bath towels, a spray, and the green soap, and she breathes again only when, head dripping, she makes for the back yard, the sitting-room radiator, or the side porch (depending on her place of residence, and the time of year).

Mary Louise was seized with the feeling at ten o’clock on a joyous June morning. She tried to fight it off because she had got to that stage in the construction of her story where her hero was beginning to talk and act a little more like a real live man, and a little less like a clothing store dummy. (By the way, they don’t seem to be using those pink-and-white, black-mustachioed figures any more. Another good simile gone.)

Mary Louise had been battling with that hero for a week. He wouldn’t make love to the heroine. In vain had Mary Louise striven to instill red blood into his watery veins. He and the beauteous heroine were as far apart as they had been on Page One of the typewritten manuscript. Mary Louise was developing nerves over him. She had bitten her finger nails, and twisted her hair into corkscrews over him. She had risen every morning at the chaste hour of seven, breakfasted hurriedly, tidied the tiny two-room apartment, and sat down in the unromantic morning light to wrestle with her stick of a hero. She had made her heroine a creature of grace, wit, and loveliness, but thus far the hero had not once clasped her to him fiercely, or pressed his lips to her hair, her eyes, her cheeks. Nay (as the story-writers would put it), he hadn’t even devoured her with his gaze.

This morning, however, he had begun to show some signs of life. He was developing possibilities. Whereupon, at this critical stage in the story-writing game, the hair-washing mania seized Mary Louise. She tried to dismiss the idea. She pushed it out of her mind, and slammed the door. It only popped in again. Her fingers wandered to her hair. Her eyes wandered to the June sunshine outside. The hero was left poised, arms outstretched, and unquenchable love-light burning in his eyes, while Mary Louise mused, thus:

“It certainly feels sticky. It’s been six weeks, at least. And I could sit here-by the window—in the sun—and dry it——”

With a jerk she brought her straying fingers away from her hair, and her wandering eyes away from the sunshine, and her runaway thoughts back to the typewritten page. For three minutes the snap of the little disks crackled through the stillness of the tiny apartment. Then, suddenly, as though succumbing to an irresistible force, Mary Louise rose, walked across the room (a matter of six steps), removing hairpins as she went, and shoved aside the screen which hid the stationary wash-bowl by day.

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Roast Beef, Medium

So you’ve bounced off and left me on my own, now, have you?  I’m not surprised.  It’s been a few days since I’ve written here.

I don’t have much time to write reviews just now, though I have been reading voraciously.  I’ve also not thought much about the Stewart family and The Nothing Man.  They’re on holiday, anyway.  The only thing I was really fussed to write was Episode 12 of Dorothy: Locked and Loaded.

When/if you go over there to read, have a look at the “Which is your favourite character” poll and vote for one, if you are so inclined.  Please, it does not have to be Dot, because I’m very used to being the least favourite in every crowd.  🙂

What I have been doing is squealing with delight as I discover new, less-popular works of some of the noted authors of the early, early 20th Century.  As God is my witness, I’ve not bought a book, but I have raided Project Gutenberg and the public domain on nearly a daily basis.

As I tend to do, unless a book is fast-paced and a quick read, I jump from title to title, muttering, “oooh, shiny!” 

The past couple of days, I’ve picked up a few Welty and Ferber titles, more in novella form than in full blown novels.  They’re light and fun, and yet I can still dive into some deeper Upton Sinclair and manage it as well.

More power to the lot of you who can read 800 page novels (James McShane and company) in the summertime, but my brain just cannot take it all in.

Here is what I am reading this week:

Buttered Side Down by Edna Ferber
Roast Beef, Medium by Edna Ferber
Metropolis by Upton Sinclair

To give you a taste of the most interesting Edna Ferber, here is her introduction to Roast Beef, Medium.  Now I am off to read for a few days.  Enjoy!

Roast Beef, Medium, is not only a food. It is a philosophy.

Seated at Life’s Dining Table, with the Menu of Morals before you, your eye wanders a bit over the entrees, the hors d’oeuvres, and the things a la, though you know that Roast Beef, Medium, is safe, and sane, and sure. It agrees with you. As you hesitate there sounds in your ear a soft and insinuating Voice.

“You’ll find the tongue in aspic very nice today,” purrs the Voice. “May I recommend the chicken pie, country style? Perhaps you’d relish something light and tempting. Eggs Benedictine. Very fine. Or some flaked crab meat, perhaps. With a special Russian sauce.”

Roast Beef, Medium! How unimaginative it sounds. How prosaic, and dry! You cast the thought of it aside with the contempt that it deserves, and you assume a fine air of the epicure as you order. There are set before you things encased in pastry; things in frilly paper trousers; things that prick the tongue; sauces that pique the palate. There are strange vegetable garnishings, cunningly cut. This is not only Food. These are Viands.

“Everything satisfactory?” inquires the insinuating Voice.

“Yes,” you say, and take a hasty sip of water. That paprika has burned your tongue. “Yes. Check, please.”

You eye the score, appalled. “Look here! Aren’t you over-charging!”

“Our regular price,” and you catch a sneer beneath the smugness of the Voice. “It is what every one pays, sir.”

You reach deep, deep into your pocket, and you pay. And you rise and go, full but not fed. And later as you take your fifth Moral Pepsin Tablet you say Fool! and Fool! and Fool!

When next we dine we are not tempted by the Voice. We are wary of weird sauces. We shun the cunning aspics. We look about at our neighbor’s table. He is eating of things French, and Russian and Hungarian. Of food garnished, and garish and greasy. And with a little sigh of Content and resignation we settle down to our Roast Beef, Medium.

 

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