Sunday, November 08, 2020

The Prince - Week One Reading

 Sorry for the long delay. I was obsessing over the election (Machiavelli would under that focus on politics, I think).

Let's plan on meeting next Sunday, 11/15, at 2 pm. I'll send the Zoom invite to your listed email.

The topic: Chapters 1 & 2.

If you've not yet signed up, here's the link.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Fox's Book Club - 1st Book

We're up to 5 in our little group - a nice number to start with. The Prince is the first book selected (Most 1st place votes). Here's a link to the Cliff's Notes guide to The Prince. Let's plan on reading chapters 1-2 this week. Which day works best for a Zoom Meeting? Vote at this link. We can start our meetings next week, if that works for everyone. Cranberry3 - I don't have your email yet - could you contact me at lfox368806-at-yahoo?

Monday, September 21, 2020

Thinking About Starting an Online Book Club

With a focus on History, Politics, and Foundational Writings.

I was reading something less important, and more trendy today - Don Trump's latest book, Liberal Privilege. For a political book, issued in the year of an election (and, therefore, best understood as a piece of campaign literature), it's not bad. Easy to read, a little heavy on colloquialisms, but - funny in the right places, more than a little snide and snarky - actually a delightfully refreshing piece of lightweight lit.

And, that's intentional. The Jr. is not trying to self-publish an enduring philosophical tome. He's making a case for his Dad's re-election, and, as he is getting a heftier slice of the profits, also collecting compensation for his time spent writing it.

Mostly, though, I was not planning to include books such as that, but those books we'd always WANTED to read, when we had the time.

Which, many of us do, now.

I planned on using Zoom or similar technology to run the meetings - your choice whether to use computer, tablet, or phone to call it in.

So, I'm setting up a poll with some choices for the first book (all will be available either free, Project Gutenberg, Amazon Prime/library, or at a nominal cost).

Poll here.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

How Petty Can a Person Get?

 Pretty Petty.

A former White House reporter is OUTRAGED that a mere immigrant should change part of the Presidential residence without his express permission!

Even Al Jareeza basically said, "Dude, that's anti-immigrant!"

What happened?

Melania Trump took some initiative to make some changes to the Rose Garden. In doing so, she went back to the design of the 1962 planting. Is it great? Horrible?

You decide. I think it looks like a more formal, classic monotoned garden. It has tightly manicured bushes, some trees are gone, and the flowers are lower and more controlled.

For the record, I like it. The former garden was fine, but I think this is an improvement, and well within her responsibilities.

Below are the pictures.



The first is the After version. The second is the Before version.

No Longer Doing IWSG

I got back to it after missing it for 2 months, only to find that I'd been kicked off. Apparently, I either hadn't read the rules - or, more likely, skimmed them and ignored most of the boilerplate - and failed to live up to the mandate that any writer missing 2 of the round-robin blog hops was dropped.

I'm not mad, just disappointed. I doubt that I will make the effort, at this time, to get back on. I have a LOT on my plate - as, who does not?

So, I'm going to concentrate on more urgent matters:

  • Plowing away at the Pruning the Planet book. I'm more than 1/2-way through it, and have been revising on the way, so it may need little more than some tweaking at the end.
  • Keeping up my journal - not only for notes and writing practice, but, more importantly, keeping track of my efforts, noting praise-worthy events, working out the details of planning my day, and helping me to know what day it is.
  • Preparing to take the AHIP again (insurance agent test). I didn't quite make a passing grade on the first try. It's a VERY tough test, and I say that as one who has taken many tests. I have two more attempts, and then that's it for the year - can't sell for 2021. The stakes are VERY high.
  • Getting ready to return home. I've been staying with my brother for a few weeks, to assist him with home matters and just providing another pair of eyes on his health. He's doing well, and I'm confident that he will be fine when I leave.
  • Organizing my life, once I return. I need to establish routines for housework, bill payment, and exercise - three things I tend to let slide.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

IWSG Question - August 2020

August 5 question - Quote: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

Most of my short stories have started with vaguely remembered dreams. The usual sequence goes like this:
  • Wake up from a vivid dream
  • Get out of bed, and write down notes on what I can remember
  • Go back to bed
  • In the morning, look over my notes. If it sparks something interesting, continue fleshing out the story. Otherwise, set it aside until the next wakeful night.
  • Repeat until the basic framework is written.
At that point, if the story is viable, I finish it. As I didn't consciously plan the story, they often cover genres I don't normally read or write about. My first short story was a Noir-type, the second a modern update of a well-known story, and the one I'm writing now is science fiction (I plan to enter the Dark Matter anthology contest - wish me luck!)

Short stories are the perfect vehicle to experiment with form or genre - if you screw 'em up, you haven't wasted much time on the effort. and, I'm of the belief that ALL writing - even those projects that never get finished - teach the writer some technique or piece of craft that he/she/xe needed. Practice is never wasted; you have learned something on every session, even if it's what NOT to do again.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

IWSG Monthly Question - May 2020

May 6 question - Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

Apparently, one of the important pre-writing preps is to write. By that, I mean journaling and blogging, Apparently, it's related to the length of the writing - short links to other sites, random comments on Facebook, and even journaling that is limited to a few sentences - don't seem to trigger the urge to write.

But, once I begin serious and lengthy journaling, extended blogging posts, or longer posts on FB, boom! I break into The Zone.

After several days of longer writing, last night I woke to an idea - of a Bookstore at the Edge of the Galaxy. I got up, started writing, and only went back to bed after I'd written the intro, and mapped out the rest of the story. I didn't want to forget the ideas, and made sure that I would be able to come back to it.

It only took about an hour to make more progress than I had in months.

OMZ, the relief! I've been spinning my wheels the entire time we've been in shutdown. I blamed myself for sloth, my husband for being underfoot, and the local coffee shops for not being available (I've always done my best writing with coffee and a sweet, plugged into the shop's network, and blissfully NOT surrounded by housework that needed to be done).

What I hadn't realized was that I could jump-start my writing by taking some relatively easy steps in that process. I'm writing this now, not only to make a suggestion that might help others, but to make those steps concrete, in case I get stuck again.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

I'm Finally Writing Again

It started slowly. I reviewed my WIP, began journaling daily - more or less. I wrote in that journal for longer and longer periods of time, and began flexing those writer muscles.

Last night, I woke up, and had an idea for a short story. I got out of bed, wrote the beginning, and made enough notes on the rest that I would be able to get back to it later.

Finally. Finally. Finally.

I've gotten back in the groove again. I'm not fiddling around with reading, blogs, and wasting time sleeping. I have a purpose, and one that is worthwhile.

Life is good.

The Prince - Week One Reading

 Sorry for the long delay. I was obsessing over the election (Machiavelli would under that focus on politics, I think). Let's plan on me...