The first person to leave a comment identifying the picture above will win a copy of Kaye George’s CHOKE.
I would like to offer a copy of my book, but I haven’t completed it yet.
And anyway, CHOKE is funnier.
Today’s sighting: Miles and miles of Texas
Today’s sights: Darth Vader; Power Rangers (the real ones!); Chewbacca; a woman wearing neck-to-toe body paint who shouldn’t have been wearing neck-to-toe body paint; a mayor standing in the shade reading a l-o-n-g resolution while I stood in the sun; zombies dancing; a fried beef sopapilla; a car shaped like a space ship (I guess); a librarian I had classes with at the University of Texas in 1990 (now the author of six books about UFO sightings); some excellent films (both short and feature-length).
Today’s lesson: When you have a grand opening, invite the mayor, but don’t let him read anything, especially a document cluttered with Whereases. Place him beside a celebrity, in view of the news cam. But don’t let him near a microphone.
Today’s sights: Superman; an executioner with hood and sword; a bustier-ed, tutu-ed, high-heeled, red-horned blonde devil; a carousel; a ringtailed lemur (authentic, not costumed); a fried chimichanga (also authentic); little green men in front of nearly every business establishment (who’s to say?)
Today’s most delightful sight: A covered wagon (cover looked like plastic) pulled by two beautiful brown mules, out in the middle of nowhere
Today’s most promising sight: The Hardback Coffee Cafe, to be investigated tomorrow
Today’s happiest sight: David, on
learning the hotel room has cable TV
Today’s saddest sight: Me, on learning the pool closed at 10:00 p.m.
Today’s biggest surprise: David handing me the keys and saying, “You drive.”
Today’s most bedraggled sight: Me, after driving for eleven hours
Today’s most chagrined sight: Me, after realizing I didn’t bring the cable for transferring photos from camera to laptop
Today’s most ridiculous eavesdrip: “How long have you been kissing her with the same mouth with which you kissed me?” (TV show about Daytime Emmys)
I am not hiding. I’m just a tiny bit snowed under, a major accomplishment in Texas, especially right after the summer solstice.
I spent the evening at a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience or, Bunthorne’s Bride and feel compelled to share.
Patience is the story of two poets–Reginald Bunthorne, an idyllic poet; and Archibald Grosvenor, a fleshly poet–both of whom love Patience, the milkmaid. Patience, a happy girl who at first says she has never loved anyone except her great-aunt, confesses she does loves her childhood friend, Grosvenor; and Grosvenor loves Patience.
Patience, however, having been told that pure love is unselfish, says she cannot love Grosvenor, because her love would be selfish, since she really loves him. She says she must love Bunthorne, because, since she does not love him, that love would be unselfish and therefore pure.
Are still with me?
Bunthorne, at first delighted with Patience’s profession of love, becomes jealous when the handsome Grosvenor appears and attracts the attention of the twenty lovesick maidens, who leave Bunthorne to tag along after Grosvenor (from Monday to Saturday, until he requests a half-holiday). The jealous Bunthorne makes Patience miserable, which is exactly what a person loving unselfishly is supposed to be…
And then there are Jane and the 35th Dragoons.
And more complications.
In the passage below, Bunthorne reads one of his poems to the twenty lovesick maidens and the completely un-lovesick Patience.
Bunthorne. … The poem is finished, and my soul has gone out into it. That was all. It was nothing worth mentioning, it occurs three times a day. (Sees Patience, who has entered during this scene.) Ah, Patience! Dear Patience! (Holds her hand; she seems frightened.)
Angela. Will it please you read it to us, sir?
Saphir. This we supplicate. (All kneel.)
Bunthorne. Shall I?
Bunthorne. (annoyed – to Patience) I will read it if you bid me!
Patience. (much frightened) You can if you like!
Bunthorne. It is a wild, weird, fleshy thing; yet very tender, very yearning, very precious. It is called, “Oh, Hollow! Hollow! Hollow!”
Patience. Is it a hunting song?
Bunthorne. A hunting song? No, it is not a hunting song. It is the wail of the poet’s heart on discovering that everything is commonplace. To understand it, cling passionately to one another and think of faint lilies. (They do so as he recites)
“OH, HOLLOW! HOLLOW! HOLLOW!”
What time the poet hath hymned
The writhing maid, lithe-limbed,
Quivering on amaranthine asphodel,
How can he paint her woes,
Knowing, as well he knows,
That all can be set right with calomel?
When from the poet’s plinth
The amorous colocynth
Yearns for the aloe, faint with rapturous thrills,
How can he hymn their throes
Knowing, as well he knows,
That they are only uncompounded pills?
Is it, and can it be,
Nature hath this decree,
Nothing poetic in the world shall dwell?
Or that in all her works
Something poetic lurks,
Even in colocynth and calomel?
I cannot tell.
Angela. How purely fragrant!
Saphir. How earnestly precious!
Patience. Well, it seems to me to be nonsense.
Saphir. Nonsense, yes, perhaps – but oh, what precious nonsense!
Precious nonsense: Mr. Gilbert’s words describe Bunthorne’s poem–and the entire play.
As Andy Griffith said of Hamlet, it’s a pretty good show.
I owe A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) another Wednesday check-in. Fortunately, I finally have something significant to report.
My original goals were to sleep (get to bed before midnight, I believe); eat well (get off the white stuff, processed foods, added salt, sweeteners); and show up at critique meetings with something to be critiqued (in other words, write).
Before I discuss progress, I’ll note that Austin Mystery Writers (AMW) is alive and well. Several members have been on hiatus, dealing with other projects (such as work), another can’t attend regularly (again, work), and this week our Grand Pooh-Bah moved a hundred miles to the north. Only two non-Pooh Bahs remained to stay the course, and we considered four eyes insufficient to ferret out the flaws in our respective manuscripts.
Last night, however, concern vanished. Two new members joined us, a third has promised to drop in next week, and two others have listed themselves as maybes.
Being in a critique has been a good experience for me. In addition to ideas and advice, I’ve received encouragement and support for my writing and for my personal life. My partners have helped me over some rough spots in the past couple of years.
I’ve also learned a lot. Since we’ve been together, one partner has published a novel and has more in line for publication. Two others have completed manuscripts. While in one sense I’ve been stalled–scrambling down bunny trails, trying to get my plot under control–I’ve learned about the business of writing.
As to my own WIP: Pieces continue to fall into place. Listening to a presentation at the Austin Sisters in Crime meeting last Sunday, I had a brainstorm–a detail that would make a central character’s motivation much more credible. I flipped to the next page in my notebook and scribbled it down. I’ve also had another idea about reframing the novel to update it a bit. When I realized that Molly hadn’t once, in nearly three hundred pages, gone online, I pulled out Chapter One and inserted Internet.
Today I retyped Chapter One. The experts say not to do that–especially considering the number of times I’ve rewritten it, trying to get the foundation right–but I’m not revising so much as remembering. It’s been through many incarnations, and typing requires me to read more closely than I would if only my eyes were involved. I’ll continue this process for three or four more chapters, inserting new segments where appropriate (I hope!). Projected changes add originality. They give Audrey Ann, a minor character, more opportunity for mischief-making. Audrey Ann is a hoot, and I look forward to spending more time with her.
(One of my critique partners suggested Audrey Ann would make a good victim, but she’s too much fun to kill. Very much like my first intended victim, whom I couldn’t bring myself to knock off. If this becomes a trend, I’m in big trouble.)
I’ve added a progress meter to the sidebar on the left. Five percent represents progress on the current draft–in other words, what I retyped today. I’ve been working on this project, and talking and writing about it, for a long time. I don’t want to give the impression that I’ve eked out just four thousand words.
Now, as to my plan for eating real food: Sometimes I have and sometimes I haven’t. I have, however, dropped nineteen pounds since the first of the year, so I claim at least modified success.
(Who am I trying to kid? I rock.)
Regarding sleep: It’s after 1:00 a.m. No excuses.
One last thing about Austin Mystery Writers: When the other left-behind critique partner mentioned we might need to put several of the coffee shop’s tables together to handle the potentially large turnout, it occurred to me that if we works things right, AMW could become the Austin equivalent of the Algonquin Hotel’s Round Table. A heady thought. Critique partner said I could be Dorothy Parker. She wants to be Tallulah Bankhead. I wish I could be the glamorous one, but with my evil tongue, Dorothy P. is right down my alley. More’s the pity. I’ll try to be nice.
Pat blogs daily about her travels in an RV with her dog, Pepper. For the past few days, she’s been writing about the Grand Canyon. A former journalist with a great sense of adventure, she’ll be moving on soon to wherever her fancy takes her. She posts beautiful photos.
Tracy is “an aspiring novelist with an ‘excitable* brain'” and an “introvert (mostly),” two conditions with which I am familiar. Snagglewordz records her journey to publication, a route that takes her on the most interesting side trips.
In accepting the Versatile Blogger Award, I was to observe the rules below.
Tonight I shall remedy that. But I’m going to alter the rules. Instead of nominating thirty blogs at once, I’m going to nominate one or two blogs per post over a period of days.
1 Random Thing About Myself
I studied belly dancing but had to drop out after four classes because I was too tired in the evenings to walk four blocks to class, so when anyone tells you all librarians do at work is sit around and read, tell them to think again, or, better yet, give them a clop in the chops.
My 1st Nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award
This blogger is a powerhouse, a mom of two small boys, who writes the blog Perfecting Motherhood and still manages to see a cow every day and to blog about it. Every Day I See a Cow was showcased by WordPress in 2011 as one of “10 Themed Blogs That Rock.”
I hope you’ll visit and enjoy.
Note: On the sidebar is a picture of Olivia dressed in her cow costume. Olivia is a pig. If you don’t know her, you really need to meet her, especially if you have young children or grandchildren or students or acquaintances.
“I discovered that the library is the real school.” ~ Ray Bradbury
“What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education.”
~ Harold Howe, former US Commissioner of Education
I just scrapped an entire post. It wasn’t terrible. It was just too much. Here’s what I really want to say. I’ll try to make it brief.
In 1992, Marion ISD and Marion Community Library Association (MCLA) created a joint-use library, a partnership between the school district and a public non-profit organization.As one of the few school-public libraries in Texas, it was an experiment. I was founding librarian.
The experiment worked–for everyone. The school district had three (later four) campus libraries with existing collections of books and materials. The MCLA was eligible for grants and government funding not available to the school district. Together, the two entities built a library system that served people of all ages. The libraries were busy places. Everyone was welcome there.
When I retired, a co-worker took my place. The library got busier and better. For several years, it was listed on the Texas Library Association website as an exemplary small library. It was the center of activity in the town and the school district. My successor retired after several very successful years of service.
Now the library is in crisis. Public patrons have reported feeling unwelcome there. Public attendance and participation have decreased. The three branch libraries no longer qualify under state regulations as public libraries. The library lost its state accreditation.
Marion Community Library Association needs help to revive the library as a positive force–for the entire community. It needs and welcomes new members..
If citizens want to keep the library serving the public, they must step up and make their wishes known, to both the MCLA and the school district.
They also must show up–join the public library board and get the Marion Community Library back on its feet.
I found the quotation from Ray Bradbury on Aimless and Purposeful, a wonderful blog that comes out of Seguin, Texas, about twelve miles from Marion. Read the rest of Bradbury’s comments there: http://aimlesswithpurpose.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/the-real-school/
A thousand thanks to our friend, Lee, who told David about the call for submissions, and to David’s wife, who said, “Submit it submit it submit it!” (Wife wants to get out of Austin.)
That’s about all I know, except that some events will take place at the McDonald’s pictured at the left.
Why Roswell? Because in July 1947, a press release written by the public information officer at the Roswell Army Air Field reported, under orders of his base commander, that the Army had in its possession a flying saucer that had crashed on a local ranch. The Associated Press picked up the story. The next day a second press release ordered by a higher-ranking officer stated that the flying saucer was actually just a weather balloon.
That might have been the end of it if civilians hadn’t found the wreckage in the first place. Witnesses told stories of four alien creatures, one of whom survived. A Roswell mortician received phone calls from the air base morgue regarding how to preserve bodies. The military asserted pressure, and witnesses stopped talking.
Around 1980, a UFO researcher discovered the incident and started looking for witnesses. He found a number of them, including the public information officer who wrote the press releases. From there, the story took off.
That’s a summary of the story as it appears on Roswell’s International UFO Museum. Other sources suggest there’s more. Or less, as the case may be. At any rate, Roswell and flying saucers are now irretrievably linked.
Hence the Roswell Cosmic-Con and Film Festival. And the screening of Invisible Men Invade Earth.
And the Davises invading Roswell.
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Note: In her book Area 51, Annie Jacobsen’s history of the top-secret military base in Nevada, the author repeats a story she was told about the Roswell Incident. She states the story could not be substantiated and does not present it as fact. But starring Stalin and Dr. Mengele, it fits right in with the rest of the Roswell lore.
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
We’re sitting here in the film studio aka computer room aka living room, Lee and I, watching the men work on technical issues. In a couple of weeks, filming will start.
I play a cat lady. I’ll wear whatever’s clean that day. The cat hair will add authenticity. I’ll study the script when I get around to it.
At the other end of the room, the talk is all lighting, sound levels, modulation, speakers, LEDs, microphones, Wiindows, Macs, 3.4, 3.6, 4.0, faded out, too dark, and a plethora of other terms. The latest is purple. A purple light on Lee’s white cape might differentiate it from the wall behind.
For a time, I sat at the other end of the room, counting aloud and flailing my arms while the men set levels. Then Lee donned her cape and stood with her back to the wall.
A Man: Well, the wall is less argumentative…
Anyway, that’s the extent of our [solicited] input. Otherwise, we are extraneous. The men don’t know we’re here.
They didn’t notice when I took the photos for this post.
They don’t know they’re about to go online.