Saturday, August 28, 2010

Catching up

Have spent the last few days trying to catch up. Also realized Summer was over. Even though today was nice, spent most of it inside, submitting stories and poems to different places (for very little potential money). Ah, the glamorous life of the writer!

Does anybody else make a 30-item To-Do list for their weekend? Yeesh. Just somebody tell me what vacations are like.

It's been a busy month, not entirely unfun. I do crave a nice getaway of a week or so of relaxation and totally fun activities. Just a break in the action, that's all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Another period of silence-- this time for family, as my wife's relatives came for a visit. As (Samuel Johnson?) said, "Fish and house guests stink after three days."

When I saw one of them drown a perfectly good steak (grass-fed, organic, local, tender, succulent, juicy) in ketchup-- without even tasting it first, I was appalled.

And as a comment on that, today is the anniversary of the day the Visigoths sacked Rome, in 410 A.D.

Now I wonder why I thought of that?

Okay, we've got our lives and routines back. Now to ketchup on everything.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Percentage of Stupid

Here's the latest: one out of five Americans polled thinks our leader is of a different religion than the one he goes to church for:

It's official-- we have a 20% stupidity rate in this country.

Years ago, a friend said that people believe what they want to, in spite of any and all evidence to the contrary. I don't belong to either political Party (both act only in their own best interests, leaving us out in the cold). I'm an independent, and don't believe the man is doing what he should to help the people of this country, but that doesn't make me desire to adopt stupid beliefs to bolster my point.

So look around. A significant percentage of your fellow citizens are ideological morons, who believe in absurd, made-up propaganda. That explains why we can't get anything politically significant done, and why we seldom seem to learn from the mistakes of the past.

One in five. Boggles the mind. This may be The Age of Information, but what good is it to brains that are snapped shut?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Writing Letters

This last week, I was forced to write a letter, and realized how long it had been since I had done that. I used to write letters all the time, back in the bad old days of no Internet and expensive long-distance telephone calls. It was a great way of communicating with people. You took the time and effort to put down your thoughts and send them off. People knew you cared.

Now in the days of instant communication, there are so many people I don't keep up with. Very strange. And if I weren't a writer by vocation and avocation, it would have been difficult, a skill long-forgotten.

Anybody out there still use hand-written letters as a way of keeping in touch?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fair Day

Took a holiday today, to take my family to the Bolton Fair. Yeah, our big Summer Vacation. We used to go every year and loved it when the kids were small. Then we wound up at the Common Ground Fair instead, and didn't get back to Bolton. This year, we noticed Bolton was early, and decided to return. The weather was scheduled to be good, so off we went.

Well, it seems to be much smaller than before. Yeah, I know it's not a weekend, but really! There were a few good shows, a magic act and a trampoline group (it's an Olympic sport now!), lots of animals, and the usual. Just less so, of everything. We had a good time, but were expecting more, as we had experienced in years past. Ah well.

But I didn't slack off. When we got home, I tested audio files for voice recording, and I updated the website:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New ride, new possibilities

It's been another busy time, which is why I haven't posted more frequently. Unlike Facebook, where it seems like some people post every time they have a cup of coffee or buy socks (as if anyone cares), in this blog I try to post something of actual interest, rather than just putting something up for the sake of posting. At least that's the goal, and I do appreciate and salute those of you discerning people that read the words here.

So the latest- we have a car from 1998 that has served us well, but is at the point where the next pricey repair bill will be its death knell. So we looked to replace it before it became of the utmost urgency, which is how we got it in the first place. Being desperate to buy a car is never a good idea, as you don't get the best selection, and certainly not the best price. We like taking our time on major purchases, doing the research and finding a good deal.

And so we did with the replacement. A friend at work told me of a vehicle new to me, the Mazda5. A micro-van, seats 6, with fold-down seats, good mileage and acceleration, and a top-notch repair and customer satisfaction record. And a fair price point. So we looked, we tested, we loved. And we took our time weighing particular offers. Saw one that was a bargain, drove about an hour to see it, and bought on the spot, because it met all our requirements.

However, they didn't have the title in hand yet, so we couldn't finalize. Required another trip to sign the financials. And then another to pick it up. So it's required some chunks of time to deal with it all. We'll still take it to our garage to give it a thorough going-over, because it's a good idea, and we're like that. But the family seems happy with it, so all is well.

And now back to work writing good things and telling you about it. Last night sent off another query to a literary agent. Let's see if she can recognize a good thing when she sees it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Am very down tonight about the state of trying to get a novel published. I've written three, and good ones, and it seems very unlikely in this environment to go with traditional publishers. Mostly because they'll never see the novel to see if it's any good.

Of course it would help if the gatekeepers, the agents, would actually respond to professional queries. If a business solicits queries, they then have a duty to respond, and those who don't are just jerks who shouldn't be in the business. If you want a list of names, I can supply them. Too busy to reply? Then post a frigging notice on your website, dipstick! Don't waste our time.

For all the hours I've wasted preparing manuscripts and queries that never got answered, I could have written many more books. But agents can't be bothered until you're already famous and will make them a lot of money. Nice racket.

The traditional publishing business is getting it's collective ass kicked by the explosion in other methods of publishing, and mostly responding by whining rather than doing anything. Well, in chaos there is opportunity.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hard Work and Play

Have worked the last few hours, finishing a new story. Was inspired by recent sales to get more tales finished and in the pipeline. So as soon as it was done (ink still wet), off it went to a brand-new market. May it find a good home.

Last night was a bit of fun, something different. A work friend gave me tickets for the Official Patriot's Practice at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. I'd never been there, and so marvelled at the huge structure, the scale of the undertaking, all for sport. It was fun, and seeing the celeb players and owner and coaches was a hoot.

Can't help thinking, though, that if this many people put the same effort into education and electing good leaders, what a greatly improved country we'd have. If teachers, firemen, police, and nurses were paid more, and athletes got a few less millions, it would show sanity on our part.