Thursday, September 11, 2014

Arrogant, Elegant, Smart?

I've been trying to get a Throwback Thursday post up most weeks, but this week, I'm too preoccupied about the future to successfully contemplate the past.

This coming Saturday, I'm signed up for a real, honest-to-goodness writer's conference. It's a fairly small one in a fairly small town, and is more lecture than critique. Still, I'm nervous. I feel like an impostor. I feel like if I'm not careful, someone will ask me a question a Real Writer would know the answer to, and I'll be exposed as a fraud. A shocked silence will fall, and I'll be cast into the outer darkness to wail and gnash my teeth.

Something like that.

Or at the very least, I'm not sure how to introduce myself if--God forbid--anyone asks me to do so.

• Do I admit to writing all my life, to many years of short stories and essays and even completed novel-length works, and say I'm there to learn more about editing and marketing? Or is that arrogant?

• Do I act aloof and blase: say I've always been kind of curious about having a go at writing and that I'm just there out of curiosity?

• Or do I resort to my common role in music circles: playing the total beginner, so I have excuses for any shortcomings, but limiting myself because I'm basically saying "Don't take me seriously"?

As I once again pondered these questions this morning, this song (performed by Danny Kaye in The Inspector General) popped into my head. Doesn't really address my conundrum, but it makes me smile.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Goodwill Score Teaser: Berol Mirado pencils

Went to Goodwill today and was pawing through the baskets of office supplies like I always do, when *this* turned up:

That's three boxes of pencils, a full dozen in each. And a pencil I've wanted to try for a long time. And for less than a dollar a dozen. I bought these so fast...

The erasers are pretty well cooked, of course, and not much good. The pencils themselves are perfect. And beautiful things they are, IMO.

I particularly like the shiny brass and red ferrules. (Yes, there's a little corrosion, but not too bad.) The ferrules on the newer Papermate Mirados (shown here on a Black Warrior) are much subdued in comparison.

Really looking forward to trying these, once I get up the nerve to actually sharpen one. And I'll hopefully do a little review of sorts once I do.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Update Just to Update, 1st Week of Sept 2014 Edition

1. I'm about a third of the way into Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. How I missed this one until now, I have no idea. It's a peculiar book: takes place in the early 1800s in an alternate England where magic still exists, though only two "practical" magicians remain, other magicians being merely "theoretical," reading up on the history and theory without actually doing any magic. At the beginning of the book, actually performing magic is considered a bit improper, though thrilling.
Anyway, I'm very much enjoying it so far. If you know the end, don't tell me!

2. Today I'm listening to Hank Williams over and over. A friend made mention of the song "I Saw the Light," and his version is the one that plays in my head as soon as I see those words. Listening to him is bittersweet now: this is music I listened to as a kid until every word is part of me...but now that I'm more familiar with the hard, short life he led, I can't help hearing double-meanings in so many of these songs, and it tears at my heart. Love his voice, though.

3. Tomorrow I'm going to do something that scares me, rather. I've been a regular blood donor for several years now, but yesterday I got a call/plea from the Puget Sound Blood Center asking me to consider donating platelets. This requires being hooked to a machine for several hours: blood goes to a cell separating machine that collects platelets, and then red blood cells are returned. This is WAY, WAY creepier than merely bleeding into a bag. I'm a pro at bleeding into a bag at this point. I have a 2 gallon pin to prove it. But a) the nice blood center lady said they're at "emergency" levels, and b) I accidentally totally missed my last appointment to donate, so I have guilt. we go. Maybe I can include it in a story someday.

Added bonus: totally legit excuse to sit on my rear reading a book for several hours on Saturday.

4. I appear to have been conclusively adopted by a desk, whether I like it or not. It's a sturdy but unattractive thing that used to be a nurse's station at a gynecology/urology practice, just to add to its charm. (Everybody, CRINGE!) I got it for free when I helped some of the folks there move to a new building.

In a lot of ways, it's an ideal desk for me: it has a file drawer plus another drawer for junk, a pull out work-surface for times when I need more paper space, a big built-in space for organizing documents, plenty of book space up above. However, the lamp on the underside broke, so it's dark. Also it's ugly. And did I mention ugly? I thought to maybe sell it and eventually replace with something slightly more of my own choice, but no bites. Beyond conning friends into helping me haul it to Goodwill, I seem to be stuck with it. And I'm beginning to think I'm not meant to get rid of it. It seems to be My Destiny.

So I guess I'm going to try to find a new LED light to mount on the underside of the hutch bit. And maybe I can pretty it up. Somehow. Maybe I can cover it in decorative duct tape. That would go along with my milk crate and garage sale rejects motif.

5. I've been posting a bit more poetry and such over on my reflections-and-thoughts blog, Thorns and Blossoms. Some of it's a repeat of what I've posted here, but not all, so check it out if you've a mind to.