Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

October blue ~ Skywatch Friday

October 19, 2018

This was the sky recently over the park where I walk my dogs. I’d seen this trick in an art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico some years ago. “Santa Fe blue” being an actual color, and the sky there being so blue, the clever photographer combined them in a single image.

I’ve also heard of “October blue” as a color, more as a wistful reference than a point on the palette, and I always liked it since I had noticed the skies in October seemingly bluer. Then someone pointed out that this was likely due to lower humidity, and that took all of the romance out of it.

But we’ve had a lot of rain hereabouts so far in October, so an afternoon with clear skies was welcome.

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principles and politics

July 4, 2018

On my long-gone blog, Roundrock Journal, I would post some variation of the below each Fourth of July. I came upon this among some files and thought the sentiments still applied

__________

I remember reading some years ago an observation by a political writer that has stayed with me. People who had never before heard of “hanging chads,” he wrote, suddenly found that they had deep and unshakable opinions about them. That one point seems to crystallize so much of what I think is wrong with contemporary politics.

Too many people, I think, base their principles on their politics when I think you really ought to come to your politics based on your principles. This is what I think or believe. This is what I have observed. This is what my heart tells me. Now which political approach seems best in line with what I value and understand?

Long-time readers of this blog know that I don’t make political posts here. This is a natural history and personal discovery blog, and the very few times I have made oblique political jibes or observations have been so subtle that no one has ever seemed to notice them. (Does that make me an excellent writer or a poor one?)

But today I will make an exception. Here are some of the things I think and believe. Here are some of the things my heart tells me.

  • I believe that every time we do something that limits the rights of others, we make it that much easier for someone else to limit our own rights. Therefore, the best way to protect my own rights is for me to fight to protect the rights of others.
  • I believe that if the racial/ethnic/cultural group I happen to be a part of is some day to be a minority, then I ought to do everything I can to treat existing minorities well since my behavior might serve as an example of how I will be treated.
  • I believe that a society is ultimately judged by how it protects its weakest members.
  • I believe that we are all obligated to provide some form of voluntary, long-term service to our communities and that there are many ways that this can be done.
  • I believe that we should vigorously exercise each of our rights, even to voting in the most obscure local elections, so that no one can take away our rights by asserting that we never used them anyway.
  • I believe that while all of us are entitled to the rights and privileges we enjoy as citizens, very few of us have actually earned them and that we only have them by the good luck of having been born here. Therefore, those who suffer and struggle and fight to share in the benefits of our society may be more entitled to them than I am.
  • I believe that we should read banned books.
  • I will support those who seek to expand the rights we all enjoy and not those who find it necessary to restrict our rights. I do not believe that we must destroy the Constitution in order to save it.

These are some of the things I believe, and I will make my political choices based on them.

“The Kick” finds a home

March 13, 2018

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned my story “The Kick” before. It’s running related (all of the running I do lately is in my fiction). Anyway, I just learned today that it’s been accepted for publication in Aethlon, in an upcoming edition.

Aethlon published my One-Match Fire story “Runaway” last year (I’m fond of that story), and it was the first and only place I sent “The Kick” for consideration. This is the second publication to accept a second story of mine. Mirror Dance did this as well many years ago.

“The Kick” is not related to any of my other stories or characters. It’s a one-off. And though it has a first-person narrator, he/she speaks of “you” who is the subject of the story, so it verges on being a second-person narration.

Aethlon is a print publication only, so unless you subscribe, I won’t be able to share the story with you anytime soon.

Anyway, happy news.

off kilter

March 5, 2018

I traveled to and from St. Louis over the weekend to help my son and his wife move into their new apartment. (Larger apartment in the same complex. The moving effort took less time than the drive there.)

I didn’t get any writing done, though eight hours of driving in two days does give me plenty of time for reflection and plot planning. So when I got home yesterday, I was busy making notes on my ideas lest they evaporate from my mind. I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but they generally come back to me.

Anyway, here’s a photo from across the street of the hotel where I stayed:

According to Webster, the word “kilter” is of unknown origin.

“Old School” is in session

February 28, 2018

I received two emails recently. (Seriously, I so rarely get emails any more that getting two at once is notable.)

One was a rejection for the submission I’d made of my One-Match Fire story “Twice Blest.” That poor story has a long history, including being accepted last year by a publication that promptly went out of business before it could print my piece. It’s since seen many rejections, but I think it’s a good story that just needs to find the right home. So I’ll persevere.

The other email was an acceptance for my story “Old School” that I had sent away months and months ago and had more or less consigned to the I’ll-never-even-get-a rejection bin. When I looked at the submission in Duotrope’s Digest, it said the likely response date was more than a month overdue. So the approval — even the response — was a happy surprise.

“Old School” is a one off; it’s not part of any of the other story universes I’m working on. It’s also a comic piece, not one of the fraught, literary stories that have been bedeviling me or part of the cozy mystery universe I’ve dipped a toe in. I’ve written about “Old School” on this humble blog once or twice; it’s based on an actual conversation I had with someone.

The editor was kind in his acceptance email, saying generous things about the story and his eagerness to use it. If all goes according to plan, it will appear in Bull & Cross online near the end of March. And since it’s online, I’ll be able to post a link to it so you can read the story if you care to.

Also, I’m required to provide a head shot. I’ll have to find something that is at least a little bit not-unflattering.

(And not that I’m counting or anything, but this marks the 28th story of mine that’s been published.)