Sunday, May 30, 2010

On the road again. trip prep. May 30,2010

As soon as Texas weather warmed up, I began to pack parka, mukluks, ski cap and gloves. Yes, all will be necessary before I return this fall. Will leave tomorrow in shorts, at-shirt and sandals. It's 97 here and a low of 50 in Delta Junction.

Sassie, my navigator , is ready to hit the road.

Along with groceries, I've packed Sassie's and Frizbee's food, and litter box. Also donations of jelly jars for the famous fireweed jelly we made last summer.

The propane system had a small leak that's been repaired. (Repairman said it could have blown up). Generator is working fine. Engine battery needed a jump but is now cooperating. Refrigerator has chilled.

Maps are marked in pink, with relatives driveways highlighted in yellow. National and State Parks are circled. My bucket list is updated. TomTom is primed. Big Jim loaned me a device that will indicate wifi signals in route. "Thanks".

Along with writing supplies: computer, printer, digital recorder and camera, I have notebooks for organizing notes for articals and a sequel to "A Venture in Faith."

Frizbee checks over the computer and writing materials.

We are ready to Hit the Road with Guts and Gusto.
Follow along for a summer of road trip fun.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A galley by golley

At last, after almost two years I've finally received a galley for my novel, "Beneath the Surface", from the publisher. Unfortunately there are some problems with the cover. As you can see the lettering of the title is hard to read. Also, I'm now scrutinizing page by page, and line by line editing for spelling, puctuation, etc. I should have the galley back to the publisher on Monday and then within a week I should have the real thing!

The real thing is the Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device trade named BOOK.

Darrell is back in the hospital with an undiagnosed infection. He's doing pretty will. We visited him today and he should be released tomorrow. Mother and I also spent a delightful lunch date with Cora and Gianna, and then attended a ceramics painting session at the Mad Potter, with Gianna painting a mug for father's day. Her daddy will be surprised.

I've quit my census job to continue packing for Alaska. The subject of my next blog will be trip planning, and an update on the novel. So sign up as a follower and be an armchair traveler as I head to Floriday and then to parts north.
I'll be looking forward to comments.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In Memory of Melanie

Soon after I moved back to Beaumont in 2007, I reconnected with a best friend from High School. Dana learned that I was a writer and introduced me to her very good friend, also a writer, Melanie Brunette.
Both retired teachers, Melanie and I "hit it off", attending the Golden Triangle Writers Guild and forming a critique group.
While I was in Alaska last summer Melanie completed long-time plans to move to Bryan. We lost contact by phone when her number was changed. Dana had been in contact and shared that Melanie was forming a writer's group in Bryan.
Imagine my disbelief when Dana called to tell me that Melanie had passed away in her sleep, probably from a heart attack. My young friend was only 61.
Melanie was a lifetime member of First Baptist Church. She received both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from Lamar University and had taught at Odem Middle School and Central High School.
She will be missed by all. Hopefully her writing, especially the young adult book she was working on, will be published poshumously.
Our critique group. Laurie, Debra and Melanie. Melanie, second from left, with the Agape writers group.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bio-Optic Oraganized Knowledge devise

Introducting the BIO- OPTIC ORGANIZED KNOWLEDGE devise, trade name BOOK.

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology. No wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use, even a child can operate it.

Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere-even sitting in an armchair by the fire-yet, it is powerful enought to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc, (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in theri correct sequence.

Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet.

BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, though, like other devices, it can become damaged if coffee is spilled on it.

The "browse" feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an "index" feature, which pin-points the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional "BOOKmark" BOOKmarks fit universal design standards, thus a single BOOKmark can be used in the BOOKs by various manufacturers.

Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a predursor of a new entertainment wave. BOOKs appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the publication and investors are reportedly flocking to invest. Look for a flood of new titles soon.

I can't give credit to the writer of this informative message because I was sent it as an email without credit. So whoever you are, Thanks from all of us writers.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If Only

Our Ladies missions group met at church this morning to discuss Psalm 139 which talks about God's unconditional love for us. Our discussion began with our self doubts.
If only I were understood better.
If only I was appreciated.
If only my husband (child, parents, boss) valued me.

As a writer, I often think, "If only I could get that manuscript published."
Which brings up "If only that publisher was honest and fulfilled his contract," then I would not be in the bind I'm in today. I've waited, impatiently, for almost two years past the promised release of my book. I've received too many excuses and no evidence that the publisher has done anything except pocket my investment, so now I'm obligated to report the publisher to the Better Business Bureau and to take them to court. I've also had to notify the editor's immediate supervisor that he has been using his job as a means of recruiting unsuspecting authors.

It should be evident that I'm not being vendictive. I just expect people to be honest and treat me honestly. Wtih Facebook and other social -networking sites I hope to help other authors to be aware of unscrupulous publishers.

If Only I'd checked out these people better, been less trusting. But I know that my Lord is in control and that all things work out for the good for those who love Him.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Census Challenge

After completing the A to Z Blog Challenge, I began training as a Census Enumerator. Thought the job would be a snap. After four days of "how to do it the government way" I was presented with two binders of addresses and a huge stack of forms.
Now remember, all census information is confidential for 72 years, so I was fingerprinted, and sworn in. That said...
It's been a real challenge trying to find streets that I didn't know existed and house numbers that are obscured by bushes or are non-existant. We won't mention dogs or the oppressive heat.
Some houses are obviously vacant; piles of newspapers, phonebooks and trash. But was the house vacant on April 1? Only the neighbors might know, but the neighbors are hiding inside or are vague with answers.
Ahaa, I hear a TV and it's 5:30 p.m. Why won't someone answer the door? Must be kids home from school with orders to stay inside and not talk to strangers. But am I strange? I have my badge, and official briefcase.
So I leave notices taped to the door with a polite "please call me" ASAP and my cell number and time to call. Do I receive calls? NO. Unless you want to count the person that called after I collapsed for the night.
Seriously though, the residents I've talked to have been very polite and helpful. The only objections I've gotten have been from persons who say they mailed in the form. I hope they are telling the truth.
One elderly grandmother pulled out plastic lawn chairs for both of us to sit on her porch in the shade while she tried to remember the ages and birthdates of her several grown kids and flock of grandkids that lived with her. I can relate. Please don't ask me the ages and DOB of my 12 kids and 14 or 15 (that I know about) grandkids.
So what I don't understand is this. We received a letter in the mail telling us that the census was coming soon. Then we received the census. Then another letter reminding us to mail in the form. Where were all these people? But hey, without them, I wouldn't have this job and earning gas money for my trip to Alaska.