Wednesday, November 18, 2015
We took a week vacation in Maine this summer, in the midst of our big move to NY, the scenery was lovely. Enjoy of few of the shots I've finally gotten around to posting. We were in the Bar Harbor and Acadia region of Maine. It was beautifully sunny and cool the week we were there. We couldn't have asked for better weather for our vacation.
Friday, November 6, 2015
So I've begun working on writing a book. It will be fiction, I suppose science fiction because it does have time travel and other worlds in it. Being at the very beginning, it still remains to be seen whether 1. I'll be able to finish it, and 2. whether it will be any good or not. I puzzled over writing a book for a few months. I struggled to figure out whether I wanted to write an academic history book, or something creative. Writing about history would have been much easier. The stories are already there, you have to dig in and look at it from another perspective, or turn up new documents to be interpreted. If I wanted to be sure to complete a writing project, I should have started a history book. Even so, I waited, until a scene popped in my head. I knew I wanted to write that scene, but I also knew that particular scene couldn't be the beginning of the book. I had to create the back story. I had to have at least one chapter leading up to it. This is where I got stuck initially. How do I write a scene that is believable? In all the writing courses I had taken in the past, and even the one book I completed previously that an editor looked at, I was always told the same thing, my dialogues and character development are good, but where are these people, what do the rooms they're in look like, what are they feeling, smelling, tasting, touching? In other words, I sucked at the scenery and background for my stories. So this time, I made it a point to work on that. The initial scene that I came up with, I wrote in February of this year, and there that scene sat while I cleaned out and packed up our old house in anticipation of our move. I began working on my first chapter in earnest at the beginning of August. From August through the end of October, all I did was work on that first chapter, fleshing it out, filling it in, letting it lie, then coming back to it again with fresh eyes. I got the first chapter almost done, but then I couldn't think where the story was going next. Then came another little scene, that nicely closed that chapter. Then I was stuck again. What happens next? Do I follow those characters into another scene? Do I start the next chapter with other characters, more of a back story, what? I was thoroughly stuck, so I went back and read that first scene that I wrote back in February. I had already decided, that even though I liked the concept of that scene, it couldn't play out that way in the story. So as I'm re-reading that February scene, I decide to copy and paste the meat of it into the book that I had started. Surprisingly, it became the beginning of the second chapter, and has now expanded beyond what I had written all those months ago. I'm finding this process to be very interesting. I haven't taken the time to write anything of any great length in over twenty years. I was never sure I had it in me to write a good sized book. The other book I'd completed in the past was a Harlequin sized romance. I didn't like it, even though the publisher said if I could work it into a mystery, they would likely publish it. By that time I had re-written it so many times, I was bored with it and moved on to something else. I wrote a complete screenplay. I did that over a semester while I took a screenwriting class. It played to my comfort zone in that it was mostly dialogue. So, writing this current book, I am squirreled away in my basement, all by myself, with my thoughts, and I won't show anyone what I've written until I've completed it. I don't want to jinx myself. I take that back. I have an editor who is supposed to look at my first chapter and give me pointers about any problems in my writing, before I write a whole book full of them. She's been swamped by work, so I handed over the first chapter to another person, just to see if my writing is too confusing. Neither person has gotten back to me, so I'm left wondering if they're both really busy (they are), or let my insecurities run wild that my writing is so horribly shocking, that they just don't know what to say. Being left to one's own thoughts is as bad as being left to one's own devices. There is no end to the trouble you can dream up. Okay, this was my mental break from the creative process. I must get back to work.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Friday, October 30, 2015
UPDATE: We were told to expect about 45 trick-or-treaters. We got over 80! Next year we hope to add more. :-). Happy Halloween!
Well, here we are, our first Halloween in our new house. It's taken me a couple weeks to get all the Halloween stuff up. A lot of it isn't up. Nobody else in the neighborhood decorated that much.
Everything is classy, clean, minimal. They mostly put pumpkins around their yard, never carved into Jack-o-lanterns, and sometimes set atop a bale of hay, to allude to a folksy, charming nod to Fall. It's lovely . . . Yawn. I have seen 3 houses that have more than pumkins or hay. A couple have craft store folksy scarecrows that are so not scary in the least. One porch has spider webbing on it and a single ghost hanging on a flagpole. I'm told they don't get many trick-or-treaters in this neighborhood.
Here's an idea for attracting trick-or-treaters, decorate, turn your lights on, and they will come. I know I go overboard for Halloween, but if you build it, they will come. And Halloween is such an exciting part of childhood. If you're young, there's the wonder of being up past bedtime, being outside after dark. When you're a little older, there's the friendships and memories made with friends as you scramble to come up with costumes, hoping to see that person you have a crush on, while you're out that night, having laughs and scares, and wonderful stories to share at school the next day.
If you're a little older, it's your first taste of freedom, that one night a year, where you're allowed to run the streets of your hometown. So I resist giving in to the "trunk or treat" in parking lots, "because it's safer," it's "easier." I stand firm against the religious co-opting of the night and turning it into a docile "Harvestfest," taking all the pagan elements out of it. It's Halloween damn it! There's supposed to be an element of danger, fear, and fun. So I'm building it again this year. I don't know how long we'll be here, but while we are, I will show them how it's done. My neighbor confessed, her teenaged son loves our decorations. She said he always begged her to decorate like this when he was little, but she never did. It was too much work. Well,I'm showing her son how it's done, and I hope when he has a family, he will decorate his home how he always wanted it when he was little.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
SNL is hit and miss on their comedy, but last night, so many of their skits were good, that I wondered if they had gotten a new writer. One segment I thought was funny, and on the pulse of what is happening in this country, was their gun skit. Click the link below and enjoy.
Guns and SNL
Saturday, October 3, 2015
The architect's page doesn't say anything about Iceland doing this, but these are real, in that they were entered in an Icelandic competition to design new towers. So maybe in the end, Iceland will erect them.
How cool would that be, to take a utilitarian piece of iron and turn it into a work of art? I would rather look at the giants than the towers.
Choi + Shine Architects page