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Downloading Class ETC

Long week because I had a bad cold, something I picked up iin NYC or on the crowded airplanes on the way home. Annoying becauseI had a class to teach and prepare for and stuff going on to get ready for next week. Next week the genealogy conference!

It was interesting that the class I taught on downloadable audio and ebooks turned into a class on What Device Should I Buy? Size seems to matter (the words getting big enough to read and still enough of them on a page) and having a device that more or less replaces a computer. eInk wasn't big - but then the group was older and they said they couldn't see themselves sitting outside in the sun to read. Smartphones were dismissed pretty much but then this was a group interested in reading as well as other stuff. I was kind of amazed that the trend for some was to want only an iPad type device and no home computer at all. The cloud computing stuff may really take off. Two decided that they really wanted iPads and one a color Nook. Go figure.

Sep. 12th, 2010

I want to make a new blog about style for the middle aged. That's what I'm thinking of calling it. Not just clothing but lifestyles, food, the unique (or maybe they aren't) problems. Maybe I'll do it with iWeb, Apple gives me enough space. I'd sort of like it to look a bit more professional than LJ and it doesn't fit in Dreamwidth, I'm thinking. I'd also like to see how long I last, given that one of my daughters tried a blog that would appeal to strangers and she quickly found out (like no doubt I will) that is is work and a chore and she quickly lost interest.

And Jude if you are reading this, you really should have a cooking blog. Just saying!


Back from DragonCon and I had a great time. It was different than last year for me, much more relaxed. I didn't have any particular panel I had to see and didn't rush here and there fighting the crowds. I ate at Trader Vic's and what a lovely experience that was! It has been so long since I'd been to one. The food and service were excellent. That was the best food I've had in forever. One thing - growing up in my family we regularly ate curry and my mother would put out with it all these little dishes of chopped egg, onion, raisins, chutney, coconut, etc. but I've never seen it served that way any other place. I think I asked if others ate curry that way, once here at LJ. Anyway, at Trader Vic's that is the way they serve their excellent (want to put that in all caps) curry! One of my daughters was with me, and she was, Mom, look, that's the way you serve it!

And, by the way, I had an old Trader Vic's cookbook a long time ago and curried prawns is a recipe I cooked out of it. Kind of close to the curry and prawns I had there but theirs was better, I think. So very good.

I came home with a Firefly t-shirt, my souvenir. Saw Jim Butcher speak and he is really fun. Peter David is hilarious. Listened to a group of editors from some of the publishing houses tell writers how to submit and gave them good advice.

One thing that took me aback is that they now have a Writer's Workshop Track that you have to pay for. $90 ahead of time, more there and $10 for each hour talk. That's on top of the price of a DragonCon ticket. I really didn't want to have to pay extra for that and I don't know if it was worth it. If anyone hears about it, could you please tell me or send me a link? Thanks.

Aug. 22nd, 2010

Again with the fiction no-nos. I was more and more perplexed while reading a mystery, A Witch in Time by Madelyn Alt, because halfway into it there was still no mystery or if there was one I sure couldn't identify it. I skipped to the end just to see what the mystery was supposed to be and since the people who were involved in the mystery had yet to be introduced - we are talking halfway through the book! - I decided not to waste any more of my time. Besides that, what's with this "witch" business? There were lots of hints things weren't as they seemed but who was the witch? What did she do that was so witchy?

Baffling. And, I might add, a little too cutsie for my taste. When you tell a story in the first person, there is a fine line, I think, between the main character coming off as someone you'd like to know and the writer trying too hard to be entertaining.

Book Reviews

I've been sampling some of the choices at the library lately.

Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich: bit of fluff, no surprise there. The back and forth between the two men is getting a little old and feels manipulative, mainly because half the plot line is gone if Stephanie ever settles on one. It's not a badly written book but I'm feeling jaded about the series.

Cat of the Century by Rita Mae Brown: Again, I'm jaded. They talk too much. I'd like more action, less talk. I got to the middle and skipped to the end and didn't care what happened.

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs: Liked this! And I'm not a werewolf/vampire fan. I've watched her go from paperback to hardback and deserves it. Good plot, good characterizations. I haven't read the whole series and was aware I didn't know the backstory for some of it but was still able to enjoy.

Also tried one of the knitting mysteries, a cosy, and for the life of me can't recall the name of it. Probably a good thing. This one's characters talked, talked, talked so much in the first three chapters that I didn't care about any of them and couldn't finish the book.

Little Dog

Even if he is under a chair, at least in this picture you can see Little Dog's eyes.

And yes, he is a little devil. :-)

Jul. 11th, 2010

Tonight a dinner salad of banana peppers and tomatoes from the garden. Yum!

Sudden thought: if you factored in all the money and time I've lavished on my container tomato and pepper plants, they are no bargain. This has been the hottest summer since I moved here and unless I water at least three times a day, the herbs and veggies would burn right up. The heat is unrelenting and the rain? Pretty much a drought. Still, the fruits of my labors are tasty.

Back to Writer's Group today and I haven't written anything (or gone to group) for a month or more. I have no ideas, nothing and no interest in working on the thing I was working on before. The move and opening the library has drained me. The first step I figure is to go, admit it and then, I don't know, just write something, anything to get back in the habit. How does one write when there is no inspiration?

SGA Tomatoes

Started picking the tomatoes today and I've had a good time naming them. There's John Sheppard, who is well out in front of the rest, somewhat flawed and on a suicide mission. Teyla is petite and perfect and Ronon is a big hulking tomato, quite beautiful. Rodney has a glaring flaw and his "arms" are standing up like he is flapping them in frustration. It's a little too much to hope they will all go together in a team salad. :-)

Character Question

I read a book recently where a character was hung up on One Tragic Event that ruled his life. The scarred Viet Nam vet, the woman who had a child die, the cop who lost a partner seems to be a staple in story characters. There motivation after that is ruled by that one event. Sometimes they crawl in a bottle, sometimes they withdraw from life, sometimes they limp along through life. They are emotional cripples.

I'm not making fun of that concept because I think there are a lot of people who have a tragic event that dominates their lives, be it a death of divorce or accident. Or am I wrong about that? Do people heal from it? How do they do that? In books, it is often that they save another child or a new partner, isn't it? How do people get stuck on one event in their lives while other people do not? I've been reading some series in which in every single book the main character gets tortured or hurt, emotionally and/or physically and it has become a problem to read it because I start thinking if all that had happened to me, I'd be afraid to get out of bed at the very least or in a mental institution.

But back to the One Tragic Event. Is there another way to deal with this other than the redemptive event?

Jul. 1st, 2010

Tired librarian -----> is tired. But off for a few days.

I am also surrounded by dog toys. Little Dog keeps bringing me different ones hoping if he brings me the right toy, I'll play with him. :-)



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