Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This and That...and Sarahbeth Purcell

There's no point in beating about the bush - I've been goofing off. I bought a new laptop to play with, installed programs, tinkered about with it, love it. This techy stuff took ages (because I'm constantly learning), but was huge fun for me. My old computer came with me from Australia, suitably re-electrified when I arrived, but it's a bit sad these days, and was due for replacement. You have no idea how difficult it's been for me at times, with the poor old thing regularly freezing up on me, and I don't think I complained to you about it once.

There's always a certain amount of guilt involved in replacing things that aren't quite broken, for me, at least. I've always been very Green about everything I buy, and resist new for the sake of new. I wear things for years, and really do have shoes and bags that are older than my next door neighbor, but I do this with style, and not in a Bohemian way. Whenever possible, I buy things like coffee makers at the charity shop. This really isn't anything to do with cheapness - it's all about recycling, treating household objects almost as if they have feelings. If I see something there that's as good as anything in the mall, I'll buy it, regardless of its previously loved condition. And I can't bear to see my friends tossing things out. The truth is, I usually rescue the poor rejected item, assuming it's salvageable. That's me. Fairly low-maintenance.

But not when it comes to travel. See, this is where that saved money goes, and I'm not Green there at all. I don't own a car, have been vegetarian most of my life, and certainly tread more lightly on this Earth than your average carnivorous motorist. I figure air travel is my one big sin. But I can't help it. When the bug arrives, I must feed it. Even as I write this, I'm thankful for my cats, who restrict my travels somewhat. Not completely, though. If the bug gets really bad (and I believe the first signs of reinfection appeared again this week), I'll just look at them and say, "Sorry, guys. It's time for the really big pet carrier again." Baby is a veteran, having come with me from Oz, but I'm not sure how Jeevesie will feel about it. But he's a tough old moggie, and I figure he can handle it.

Along with playing with my laptop, I've been messing around with web design. I've done a rather nice one for a fellow artist, which spurred me to seriously tweak my own. This has taken two days, but the results are satisfying. Clean, uncluttered, and takes little time to open - a must for a website, right? (You should go check it out - I'm quite proud of the new version.)

I did manage to send out three more agent queries, bringing my Pendings to 15, 2 Partials, and 6 Rejections. I'm in my philosophical mood again, now that I'm over That Agent Who Doesn't Read.

I've done no further Strachan writing, because I'm still researching, mulling over it, and trying to face the inevitable love scene that's in the next chapter. I've been giving it a lot of thought, this final consummation of the relationship between Celia and Alex, and I can't quite decide how to deal with it. It will come, probably at an odd hour, and then the word count should spike again. (Interesting imagery.)

I've found a wonderful writer's page that I want to share with you. I have no idea how I came across her, but she really spoke to me, and I found myself totally drawn into her world, both fictional and real. Sarahbeth Purcell is a published writer (see her page at Amazon) but I highly recommend you read her blog postings, especially One through Nine, entitled "The Great American Novel". These are her journals, not her fiction, a beautifully worded description of her writing aspirations and her own long journey to publication. Her postings are brave and unstinting, worthy of publication in themselves. It's not often that a new writer totally amazes me, but she does. Young, with a difficult history, she knows she's flawed - but a flawed writer always has the most to say. To have lived a perfect life is to have nothing of real interest to write about, I think. We write to understand our own foibles, even to salve our deepest wounds, don't we? Writing helps us to laugh at them, cry over them - to address them once and for all. All writing is healing, isn't it? And if it's selflessly written, it's healing for the reader as well. Thank you, Sarahbeth.

I'll see you Friday.

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Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky