Monday, July 9, 2012

Crazy Stupid Absentia

Two years since my last post!  Holy Smokes!  Now THAT is procrastination.  Is it possible to come back when you're gone this long?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tempeh Bolognese with Basil and Spaghetti Squash

Recipe Link: (I improvised the basil and the spaghetti squash and the dogs.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Standoff at the OK Cowpath

Judge at the farm, ten months after spine surgery to help him walk again.

About seven months ago, we gave up on water therapy, the holy grail of therapy for dogs. In the end, Judge was still wincing and dragging both back legs. So I quit.

The Doc half-heartedly suggested excercises, but my brother sawed some PVC into pieces; I bought some weave poles and, voila! Backyard rehab.

All the above converging into this moment in the life of an eleven year-old Boston Terrier and a spring bull on a hundred year old cowpath in Harmony, NC.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Is anybody still out there?

Since I last saw you, mom fractured her spine, I've gone vegan, and Punk has overdosed. Again. Twice. Three times if we're counting close calls.

Hello? (Waves hands in the air.)

Are you there?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quiet--and Strange

So a friend told me this blog had been strangely quiet lately. I like that. Strangely quiet. I think I wrote so much fiction in November that I lost my appetite for the truth. Maybe. Anyway, I missed my 50,000 words in November.

I did not even get the 40,515 words as I have indicated in the top right of this page for National Novel Writing Month. I thought I had. But in the last two days of NaNoWriMo, I decided to scan my 40,000 plus words to look for insight into writing the last 10,000. Guess what? I'd cut and pasted almost SEVEN THOUSAND words from my thumb-drive twice. Holy Smokes! That means I'd only written about 34,000 words. 16,000 to go. Oh no.

Wanna know what I really thought? Good. I can quit now. I'd pretty much stopped writing anything readable a week ago. I was glad to give up. There's always next year! I felt free and danced away from my computer life with glee. I abandoned the blog and email for real life, but now I'm back. It's scary out there.

Out there you get the flu. I've got the flu. I don't know if it's H1n1, but I do know it's horribly immobilizing. But it's on its way out, I removed the bucket by my bed this morning and today, I'm sitting here in the upright position which is promising.

Hang on a minute. Can't breathe. Can't see. Must relocate.

Sorry about that. No, it's not the flu. I had to move into the sunroom. Judge, in his snoozefest, just vaporized the living room with some sort of doggie stink bomb that singed my eyebrows. Strangely quiet. (forgive me, I couldn't help it.)

So I'm going to bed.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Did I say 50,000 Words in November? Are you Sure? Because I was thinking maybe it was somebody else...

If you look up to the right at the top of this page, you will see my progress on my 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month. But jeez, I have much more important things to do...

update April 2010: I did not finish, by the way. There is always next year!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rotating Stack of Books #3 plus 50,000 Words and a Poem

So, as usual, the
Rotating Stack of books by my bed is tottering with paperbacks and scribbles about authors. This month, I thought I'd clear out some riff-raff because I'm going to be so busy writing my 50,000 words, I won't have time to mess with mediocre. Guess what? I could only find one book to clear out. The rest are genius or near genius in one way or another.

One book of fiction that nearly killed me even though I only read 52 pages: The Angel's Game by Spaniard Carlos Ruiz Zafron, author of the wonderfully meaty and ghostly The Shadow of the Wind. I don't know if the translation is bad or the writing. I recommend The Shadow of the Wind. I'm clearing out The Angel's Game and that's all I'm gonna say about that.

Two books of short stories
My number one in this rotating stack is Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.
I'm having a love affair with Olive Kitteridge, one of the most tenderly nuanced characters I've read in awhile. Some of you might not have an interest in short stories, but wait! This is different. Olive is in every story and every story is about the same locale. You get a towns-eye view of this talk-aboutable woman, Olive, as if you live here too. I could do an entire post on this book, but I leave it for you to adore all by yourself.

Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing by Lydia Peelle: This is another outstanding collection of short stories. This book reminds me a bit of Pam Houston's Cowboy's Are My Weakness, only better. Houston's title is still one of my favorites, because isn't a cowboy everybody's weakness? But Peelle's title is on my list now too. The best story in Peelle's book is Sweethearts of the Rodeo, a lyrical tale of a summer at a horse farm that will grab you with its frankness and hold on to you with its beauty.

Two non-fiction books
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II. Let me start by saying The Campbells mean business when they subtitled this book The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted: Startling Implications for Diet, Weigh Loss and Long-Term Health. One of the Campbells, I forget which, spent his entire career in biomedical
research centered on protein as the very basic key to diet. Then he ran over to Asia to study a bunch of Chinaman. Guess what years of study proved? Meat protein is not essential. The book is fascinating but dense like a text book. I have to read this in bits and pieces. Otherwise I'd stab out my eyes.

In Praise of Slowness, Challenging the Cult of Speed by Canadian journalist Carl Honore`. This book is in my stack, but I haven't started it yet because I haven't slowed down long enough to appreciate it. I've loaned it already but I haven't read it. It comes highly recommended to me by several folks, in particular, my long distance Minnesota buddy Pamela Kay of the Milky Way. Isn't that a GRRREAT name?

Two books of poetry
William Carlos Williams, Selected Poems: I had no appreciation of WCW at all until I read this book. We studied it in Tony Abbott's annual fall poetry class at Queen's this time and I gotta say, William Carlos Williams has turned out to be THE MAN and studying him has greatly improved my own poetry. I was so moved by William's The Horse I wrote a poem about finding it.

My other poetry find this month is Facts About the Moon by the fabulous Dorianne Laux. I keep one of Dorianne's poem's in what I call The Laura Collection, a notebook of poems I refer to whenever I want to be inspired. It is called Antilamentation and it will knock you out and it is here. And a little more. If you like those, you will love Facts About the Moon.

One for closet-reading

And finally, I might or might not be reading a little Kathy Griffin on the side. I appreciate your discretion in this matter.

Let me know what you think about the books or recommend one to me!

You, too, can write 50,000 Words of fiction in November!
So don't you want to get a few things off your chest? November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Join me and friends and a bajillion other folks across the planet. All you have to do is write 50,000 words this month, no editing, just write. That's about 1700 words a day depending on when you start. It's liberating to write with no agenda and no editing. I'm just telling stories I've been wanting to get down on paper for years, but with embellishments and names changed to protect the innocent. You can be my bud and write too or just check up on my progress here.