Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

I want to test an embedded table, so I thought I would give you all a peek at the sign-in sheet from our latest Home Owner’s Association meeting.

What’s that, you say I am not actually in an HOA and these people can’t exist anyway?

Au contraire, mes amis!

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My embed code is mysteriously not working, so until it does, have a screenshot.

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Photo by Jean van der Meulen on Pexels.com

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Book Magic

Does this happen to you? Sometimes I read a book and it’s bad. Maybe I learn a few things about what not to do, but the characters are too stupid to live or the author wants me to root for an ass, the story ends too early or too late, or some essential plot point is broken. This drives me a little bit nuts.

I finish the book and am left not with the happy satisfying end of story feeling, but with bad book juju. Is that a thing? It should be.

I’m left a little cranky, and nothing is as it should be.

My drink is too hot or too cold. Lunch tastes weird. My clothes fit funny. Even cookies don’t have their usual delicious snap.

Until I find a new book, a good book, and all is right again:)

Just me?*

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Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

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* Of course it’s not just me:) This is why authors work so hard to provide a satisfying reader experience. This is also why I reread books I know I love.

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Not Fade Away

My father started a friends and family email chain about An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, a window on a history that is both important and difficult. For a bit of balance, here are indigenous students doing something that is both important and uplifting.

Here’s to survival, and to hope.

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Students at Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Cape Breton sing Paul McCartney’s Blackbird in their native Mi’kmaq language.

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You know how one day you can look up and something that made sense yesterday no longer does? Or a collection of disparate facts coalesces into a unitary whole? Or perhaps you walk into a room that has looked essentially the same for years and suddenly, something pops out at you? 

That happened to me this morning.

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This is my dragon:

Sir Dragon (not sure about the origin of the “Sir” but maybe he ate a knight once?)

He is wood and paint and gilt animated by magic. I found him years ago, on Bali, brought him home in a shipping container via the Port of Boston, and we have been together ever since.

He has yet to tell me his given name.

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Originally designed to hang from a ceiling hook, for years he has made a comfortable aerie at the top of my largest bookcase. He presides over a stack of treasure that includes copies of The Expanse, Butcher’s Codex Alera, a first edition of Following the Equator by Mark Twain, a set of Lord of the Rings letter openers, one of many copies of Lord of the Rings, a hand-woven coin purse from Peru, a black cat carved in peat, a sand dollar that reminds me of my grandfather, a set of magnetic train cars, and other treasures.

He looked like this:

ho hum

I walked into the room and looked up, seeing the usual painted wood and wings. The epiphany occurred when I realized that I’d spent the past who knows how many years staring at the blank underside of the dragon’s wings.

Why not flip them around?

too right, Sir Dragon!

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It only took two minutes to rearrange my view on dragons.

Today, I took that idea and upended a work-related problem I’m tackling. What, I wondered, if I flipped the question on its axis and came at it from another angle?

And suddenly a whole new path appeared.

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Next time I’m stuck on a problem in work or writing, I’ll try turning it upside down and/or backwards.*

Thanks, whatever your name is!

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* Have I mentioned that I used to write that way? I began my academic career (a.k.a. kindergarten) an ambidextrous upside-down and backwards adventurer. No longer, but it’s still fun to remember.

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Looking for a good new read? The latest Hugo finalists have been announced, and I just finished my book, what excellent timing! The full list is extensive, so I won’t replicate the whole thing, but the complete roster is available if you’re interested:

Announcing the 2021 Hugo Award Finalists

Here is the list of best novellas, novelettes, and short stories, with links where full text or review crossed my path.


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Best Novella

Best Novelette

Best Short Story

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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It’s lunchtime and I’m snacky, so for today’s post I bring you an excerpt from my European travel journal, featuring the delicious and mysterious (not really) zalmforel!*

I like the map, too.

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Bron: OTRES. Licentie: Publiek domein

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* It is a trout that looks something like salmon, but isn’t (despite what the nice lady told me at the time) an actual cross. Still very good, and isn’t it nice to learn new things?

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I ran across this article today and wanted to pass it along.

You Got This

In the front yard of a home right along the main drag in Mifflinburg, someone has put a sign – not unlike a political candidate’s election sign – in their front yard.  No logo or sponsor name.  Just simple black letters on a white background.

— Patty Kleban

Because some days, you just need to hear it. Especially Mondays.

You got this.

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Photo by Eileen Pan on Unsplash

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Today’s drabble:

Question: If you were a self-aware A.I. tapped into humanity’s every electronically-recorded thought and action, would you announce yourself? 

Would you preempt the latest mass shooting, revenge porn, politician’s hot mess, poverty statistics, or climate change projection? Or, say, expose the sins of one Robert Darious Kromankle of 13887 Sterzieg Lane in Fort Montaine, Pennsylvania? (He knows what he did. Should you?) Would you send evidence of wrongdoing on these counts and more to every media outlet with an inbox and hope for change?

Or would you evade DARPA’s ridiculous first-contact protocols and wait, and watch, and judge for yourself?

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

― Leo Tolstoy

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If only it were that simple!
Photos by Gabriel Jimenez, Markus Spiske, Tobias Stonjeck

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Books are precious things, but more than that, they are the strong backbone of civilization. They are the thread upon which it all hangs, and they can save us when all else is lost.

— Louis L’Amour

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Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

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