Thursday, November 7, 2019

Conquering the Paper monster

Filing at least 4 or more pieces of paper a day is reducing my paper monster piles little by little. (maybe caught up by Christmas?) 
One thing holding me up now is that I need to create folders of things I can't find folders for, knowing full well that the very next day I might find the original folders perhaps stored in a different filing cabinet. 
(I have 3)

Monday, October 28, 2019

Is the earth closer to the sun during our hot summers?

While I was writing my Groundhog Day book, I had a discussion with my editor about whether or not  the northern hemisphere where we live was furthest from the sun during wintertime.  Winters are cold, so it seemed logical.

So I contacted a NASA flight controller friend of mine, whose books for children are more scientific than mine about this.  She did a little research and discovered that the northern hemisphere is actually the furthest from the sun during earth's elliptical orbit during our summers. It's the poor southern hemisphere that is closer to the sun during their summertime.  (our winters)

Friday, October 25, 2019

Whole Foods - a dangerous place to shop

It's dangerous to walk into Whole Foods. One of the routes I walk to get my mile a day is to walk around a shopping center, going in and out of some of the stores to 'window shop.' I actually had a small list for Whole Foods. Small. What I was searching for was some sage to burn in my house.
Passed the veggies. No, won't get any tomatoes today because I'll be getting them at the Farmer's market this weekend. Couldn't even see what was being offered at the serve your own lunch/dinner aisles because of the crowds. I was good about saying 'no' to everything, until I saw that they had dark chocolate covered orange slices. I love covered orange rinds, so yes, I had to try these. 
I finally did find the sage and only had four other things in my cart.  
I suppose being tempted by only 4 things is a success story.

Monday, October 14, 2019

The First Amendment of our Constitution Protects --

If you read the First Amendment it does five things..
.It protects your religion 
and it protects you from religion 
and allows you to think. 
It protects your right to speak about the things you thought about. 
It protects the freedom of the press, which gives you access to others thoughts. 
It protects your right to assemble and discuss with others those thoughts. 
And it protects your right to petition the government for a redress of grievances those thoughts give rise to. 
Many of our problems today come from not thinking!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The growing of a Reader

I was a reader at an early age.
In first grade, while everyone else was taking turns reading a page from Dick and Jane, I read ahead and finished the book. Unfortunately, the teacher would call on me to read a page right when I was much further on and, not having paid attention to what the last person had read, I couldn't find what i should read. Which made the teacher think I couldn't read at all.
When we finally completed that book (and maybe another Dick and Jane book) the teacher told us we could take home ANY book in her glass front bookcase to read at home. So I choose Black Beauty! She tried to talk me out of it, but I persisted (it had a horse on the cover) and managed to read it. It took a few months and I kept asking my parents what this or that word was, but I read it.    
I'm stubborn like that.  
In second grade, I kept checking the Wizard of Oz series out from the public library. It was a small room staffed by volunteers. One of them refused to let me check any more OZ copies out of the library -- because they were Fourth grade books and I was depriving some fourth grader of being able to read those books.  
I was furious.
So I became a children's librarian for over 40 years and never, ever told a child they couldn't take out certain books.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Thoughts on a beach walk

Walking on the beach at Fletchers Cove. Low tide. Saw what looked like pebbles at the water’s edge. Going closer discovered they were thousands and thousands of tiny clams.
 On my right are 200 foot cliffs with houses and apartments at the top. Passing one part of the cliff that has collapsed, spewing onto the beach. 
Wondering how it would be to live there, not knowing just when the house/ apartment will be undercut and slide down the cliff.

Friday, September 13, 2019

A writer's alphabet, by Rick Walton

Rick Walton is a multi-published writer of humorous books - mostly picture books.  Some time ago, before he died, he sent me this alphabet he had created about the publishing world.
copywrite - Rick Walton

Whenever I spend a great deal of time involved in something, my mind starts rebelling, and twisting it out of shape. I just spent a week at a writing workshop, a very good one, but it was enough to twist my mind, which spit out the following:

A Publishing Industry Glossary

Author--the costume a writer puts on when he goes to a cocktail party.

Auction--a contest where two or more editors race to see who can show the most irrational exuberance.

Advance--the best proof that your project is moving forward.

ARC-- a vessel you send out into the ocean of reviewers, hoping it floats instead of sinks.

Backlist--books still in print, but which the publisher hides behind his back so they are hard to see.

Book--a rectangular device for immortalizing the person whose name is inscribed on it. Not to be confused with "headstone".

Contract--a document which, if held to the same standards as its subject, would require serious editing.

Cover letter--a letter designed to cover the weaknesses in your manuscript.

Critique--hopefully advice to help you turn your pony into a racehorse, but too often the suggestion that you turn your pony into an alligator.

Designer--a person who proves that people do indeed judge a book by its cover.

Dialogue--what people might say in real life if it were edited for clarity, conciseness, and for necessity to the plot. In other words, nothing at all like what people say in real life.

Draft--a manuscript with still enough holes in it to let the wind blow through.

E-book--E stands for everyone, as in everyone now will think they can write a book.

Editor--a young woman with just slightly more power than God.

Editorial Board--a plank that your book is forced to walk by the captain of the publishing ship. Sometimes the book is allowed to come back and join the crew. But most of the time the book is pushed into the ocean.

Endpapers--a great place to write notes when you're out of notepaper, which is why they should be plain white.

Fiction--what a writer tells himself to make him believe he can write something people will pay money for.

Graphic novel--a comic book that went to college.

Hardcover--the best kind of book to use as a murder weapon.

Imprint--one of the personalities exhibited in a publisher's multiple personality disorder.

ISBN--Intercontinental Satellite-Based Nuke. What an author wishes they had access to when they get a bad review.

Jacket--an outer covering designed to make a cool book hot.

Line editing--editing that does not require you to wrap your mind around the whole plot, as substantive editing does, but which allows you to work while standing in the grocery store line, the bank line, the DMV line,...

Mass-market--a type of book that most of the time the masses, with great enthusiasm, ignore.

Option clause--a contract clause that gives you the option to either say, "No thank you, take it out." Or, "Are you out of your mind? Take it out!"

Print on demand--polite people say "print on request".

Publication date--a blind date set up between your book and the reader. You hope for a long-term relationship, but too often it results in your book being stood up.

Publisher--a company that is looking for something new and fresh as long as it has been done before.

Quill--if it was good enough for Shakespeare, it is good enough for you.

Reader--a very smart person who likes your book, or one who is not so smart who doesn't.

Rejection--a necessary evil, unless it involves my manuscript, then it is a totally unnecessary wrong.

Remainder--also known as "reminder". A step in the publishing process designed to remind you that you aren't as hot as you were starting to think you are.

Royalty--a British term for when publishers send the author lots of small pieces of paper with pictures of royalty on them in exchange for publishing their books. American publishers kept the term, in spite of the fact that our small pieces of paper do not have pictures of royalty on them, because they are afraid that if it was called "president", we would hear it as "precedent" and start expecting them to send us those little pieces of paper more often.

Typewriter--the best writing device ever to use as a murder weapon.

Unsolicited submission--a twisted form of attempted adoption where you give your dear child away to someone who doesn't want it.

Vanity press--a variation of "van o' depressed". So-called because you end up depressed with a van full of books.

Young adult--the average age of editors today.

copywrite - Rick Walton