Sunday, August 22, 2004

Exciting new Project...

I have started a new project that really excites me: a new blog, called Media Watch on Disability. It's basically my own activism campaign aimed at raising awareness among media professionals of positive language and story "angles" when writing about people with disabilities. I'm being so professional about it, too-- I wrote a press release, which I'll be sending out to anybody I can think of over the next few weeks. So far I'm just doing email, but I might do a paper mailing that's more targeted, later. I feel so "official!"

Friday, August 13, 2004

I just got an email from the library, and Neil Peart's new book, Ghost Rider is waiting for me via Inter-Library Loan request. ILL has got to be one of the greatest inventions since, well, the library. Wait, it's Friday, isn't it? Shoot! I wish they stayed open long enough for me to get there after work. The book was nominated for the biography category of the Great Literary Award

The book chronicles both a physical journey and a psychological one; the author responded to a series of family tragedies with a motorcycle trip across North America. (I guess there are as many ways to grieve as there are people who need to.)

Peart is also the drummer of Canadian progressive rock band Rush

Also on my plate this week:

Fear of Flying ~ Erica Jong This is a classic of the feminist sexual revolution, but aside from its value as cultural ommentary, it's a warm, wise, canny novel. I'll post a blurb later, but one thing I noticed was Jong's Isadora physically objectifying men in her very own, microscope-viewfinder kind of way. It's a device, of course. But it's well-used and I caught her at it, which delighted me endlessly.

Thunder and Lightening ~ Natalie Goldberg This book found its way onto my desk this week, just as I was beginning to contemplate starting a novel (and hyperventillating.) I first read Goldberg when I was about seventeen, when a friend recommended Writing Down the Bones. Goldberg was both alien (a Jewish New Yorker, Living in Taos, who practices Zen) and famlliar (Went to college at U of M, swooned over english poetry, seemed afraid of people, wanted desperately to be a writer, marked the passage of time by chocolate) She gave me the idea that maybe I was OK, that I just hadn't arrived yet. I've read that book and her others again and again, relishing the ways we are different and the ways we're alike, taking her triumphs as rocket boosts to get me moving toward my own goals. With Thunder and Lightening she's giving me clues to the process and experience of not just writing, but writing 'something.' This is gotta-have-it stuff for me, and I think, anybody who wants to write.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I'm working on a new story this week, plus working a lot of hours at Hilgraeve. It's all very exciting, but little time spent noodling around in the library or on the web makes me a dull blogger.Thanks for your patience-- noodling will recommence later this week.

Sunday, August 08, 2004


The article is up now, at "Telling the Truth". What a weird feeling! I've never found my name anywhere like that, and I honestly wasn't expecting it to be that thrilling on "just a website." (with all due respect to Long Story Short. It's just my critical psychology talking) Yay go me!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Okay so I checked already, and my article isn't up yet. I can't wait! I hope everybody procrastinates long enough that it's there when they check. (I wish I had.)

Friday, August 06, 2004

M. Night Shyamalan is my age, and he's made at least four movies.

Now I know I'm kind of a procrastinator, but did they put this guy on that huge budget for The Sixth Sense before he was legal to buy beer? I guess I'm more over the hill than I thought.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Md. Woman Crowned Ms. Wheelchair America
Associated Press Online - Top News
August 1, 2004Juliette Rizzo of Maryland was crowned Ms. Wheelchair America 2005 on Saturday, beating out contestants from 24 other states and the nation's capital for the right to represent...was crowned Ms. Wheelchair America 2005 on Saturday,... "

Don't Block MY vote

Local elections are today-- we have a senior citizens' Service millage and a library millage on our ballot. I'll be going over to cast my vote today, but I dread it-- the very sweet volunteers in my small town always make a loud production of finding me a private place to complete my ballot, because we don't have a wheelchair-accessible voting machine. I will grit my teeth and abide it, because I refuse to let frustration and embarrassment disenfranchise me. But looking over Don' and learning about the Help America Vote Act has me thinking I could be Changing it instead....

Monday, August 02, 2004

Wardrobe adventures

Lots of shopping this weekend-- My clothes had gone completely ragged, so I took the opportunity of a good check at work to buy some new things. I found a lot of jeans and bottoms, but I only found a couple of tops I really liked, which ended up with me wearing an ancient sweater shell and jacket with new pants today.

The most difficult purchase of all, though, was cologne. I'm completely enamored of fragrance lately, and would have been perfectly happy with Shalimar or Givenchy Organza. But it turns out that M. is very picky about perfume and didn't like any of at least ten old and new scents I tried on for him, everything from the aforementioned Shalimar, which I love, to Deci Dela by Nina Ricci, which I didn't care for either, even if it does have hazelnut in the base. The one perfume that we both loved was L'Instant by Guerlain, but the department store price was worse than the attitude of Elder Beerman's counter girl.

The happy ending is that I used DealTime to find it at a much more realistic price, even with shipping. It isn't here yet, but I can't wait!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Forest House

I finished Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Forest House last night. It's the first time I've read her, and the book is engrossing. Her rich characterizations make me understand why so many fantasy writers are fans and emulators. I enjoyed it and am waiting impatiently for The Mists of Avalon via InterLibrary Loan.  Still, some things about it disappointed me.

1.) I didn't buy Arganos' inability to tell Eilan and Deida apart all their lives. He's was Deida's father.  It felt like a "God in the box" trick.  I bought it when Deida was mistakenly chosen for the Forest House by Lhiannon, since she didn't know either of them well at that point. 

2.) If the whole of Eilan's "work" for the Goddess was in giving birth to Gawen and founding the house of priestesses on the Isle of Apples, why didn't she send Gawen with Caillean? I know she loved him and wanted him with her, but Bradley makes the point that his safety is the Druids' power over her-- she would surely have ended the threat and the leverage when Caillen left.

3.) IMHO, it felt like a book without an ending. Despite the logical points that can be made about the survival of Gawen, the second House of priestesses, etc-- it took half a day's digestion for me to concede that she'd actually ended it, rather than just stopping.    This would be OK for a writer known to pick up the next book with practically the next breath of the same character, i.e. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. But my understanding is that Bradley's novels are commonly as much as a generation apart.

In spite of all that, don't let my nitpicks keep you from reading Marion Zimmer Bradley-- She is gifted worldbuilder and storyteller. If you read The Forest House, and can make cases against my complaints, I'd love to hear them!


Friday, July 23, 2004


I did actually manage to write something, and get it published!

It's an article based on my post from last year, about my sister-in-law and my daughter and trying to get straight what I believe about tough stuff (In the finished article, birth control) so I can actually present an organized opinion and/or policy.

It will appear in the online writing journal Long Story Short beginning August 7.