Sunday, October 25, 2009

Better Weather

After the hideous snow scare of a short time ago, we have a beautiful day here in late October. So we're taking advantage of it and traveling up to see the Yankee Siege. That, dear readers is the ultimate in cool-- a giant mechanical device that flings pumpkins through the air to crash a long way away. It's called a trebuchet, and is based on siege engines of the middle ages that were used to batter down fortress walls.

It is an awesome process, and to watch the gaze of two hundred people follow the path of an airborne pumpkin missle, while going "oooooh" in unison, is something to see. It is, as they say in these parts, "Wicked cool." Hey, and our local engine has won the World Championship of flinging stuff on several occasions.

If you can take time to see something fun like that with friends, it's a good thing. There are too many headlines and current issues that make one worry, and too many tasks to do in life. On a day like this, I chuck it all and enjoy. What will you do today for relaxation and fun enjoyment of life?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Snow- and having it good

Snow? In mid-October? This isn't right. Snow should have the decency to wait to arrive until at least mid-November. It's still the time to take in the beautiful leaves, the varied colors the trees are displaying. Not the wet slush of flakes. NO, NO, NO!

So May, June, and July were kind of crappy, weather-wise. We had some nice days in August and September. And now this, with a long cold winter ahead. Sigh. Time to weather the weather in warmer climes.

Yeah, it's been a tough blogging season as well. Life demands a great deal of time, as does my job and my family. Oh, yeah, and a fledgling writing career. Plus a few other projects I'm working on to try and bring in some extra money, as we're sinking under a steady increase of bills. Don't get me wrong, life's great, but it does take some creative math to get all the bills paid on time.

Some people don't realize when they've got it good. I was listening to a friend rant about the burden of taxes he was paying, how bad he was suffering under the oppression, blah, blah, blah, and I look around at his $750,000 house, his numerous expensive possessions, his list of trips and vacations, his seemingly limitless wealth. I said it looked like he was doing pretty well. He said, "That's Capitalism."

Oh, I get it. No matter how much you have, it's never enough, and you complain about not having more, and no matter how good the system has been to let you amass great wealth, you complain about putting back into the system and helping anyone else.

Another acquaintance said something similar. His wife won thousands in the lottery, and he was complaining about paying the taxes and having to drive a few miles to collect the winnings. I suggested that if it was that much of a burden, he should give it to me to make his life easier. Man, if I had a few thousand right now, I'd be dancing for joy! All he could do is whine and bitch about not getting it all, not all the fun things he'd do with the extra money. That's some mindset.

Most days I write down the top five things I'm grateful for. Being alive that day is always at the top. Talking with friends this weekend, one mentioned that people get out of bed with the same old mindset, and that some of them die that day. Few think that their number will be up that day, but it happens to them anyway.

So we've got it good if we're alive and healthy. Happy comes from within, and too many people don't know when they've got it really good. Let's spend some time appreciating what we do have instead of what we don't.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Publishing- Addendum

I wanted to share with you the difficulty of placing even a good story these days. Editors say they want different, well-written, yadda, yadda, but send them a truly different story, and they can't place it.

I've been sending this magical realism tale out- it's a lot of wordplay, a la Lewis Carroll or James Joyce. Editors claim to love it, but so far it has not found a home. Here are some of the comments I've received:

Enjoyable, not our style.

Beautiful. Thoroughly enjoyed. Loved your use of language and words

Great opening and premise- unique, semi-surreal.

Loved this whimsical story. Co-editor doesn’t like whimsy.

Beautifully written and very humorous. We like darker.

It was well received here- second round consideration.

I really enjoyed the fun and creative use of language: this sort of poetic word-play is one of the ways that writing can be made really beautiful. This was also a very nice story, with a fun (if predictable) twist and a clever moral. I do hope you'll consider sending us more of your work in the future.

I couldn't decide if this story was utterly brilliant or just too clever for its own good.

I enjoyed this charming, engaging tale very much.