Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I get a kick out of stuff like this...

I got a call from my oldest granddaughter yesterday. She wanted to know what kind of oil was used in an old-fashioned "rain lamp". She and her hubby had rescued my parent's old lamp from storage and cleaned it up. To everyone's surprise, it worked perfectly.

I asked her to post a picture on Facebook. So far, the posting has received eight comments from people who said their grandparents or parents had a lamp like that. Who'd have thought?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Getting busy

I had a miserable cough and cold for the past three weeks. I finally have my energy back and I've begun going through boxes of old folders on a "search and destroy mission". My desk is surrounded by a half-circle of brown paper grocery bags for purposes of recycling, shredding or tossing. I'm really enjoying it--not only because I feel productive, but because of the reminiscing and occasional insights into the person I used to be.

I've kept a folder for every creative writing class I ever took. They each contain the notes I took as well as the writing exercises.
*  From a class I took on novel writing from Judith Guest and Rebecca Hill, "You want to start and finish a novel while you're the same person". 
Wow, that is such great advice! Too bad I didn't keep it in mind. I began a post-apocalyptic novel back in 1996 about a St Paul woman trying to survive after a plague has nearly wiped out civilization. Over the years, as times have changed, and I have changed, the novel has become so different from my original concept that I feel like I've betrayed both my protagonist and myself.

Worst of all is the recent spate of books and movies that mirror my vision. Every time I read one of them and find one of my oh-so-creative ideas used, it's a kick in the stomach and another bruise to my confidence. I couldn't even finish Carla Buckley's The Things that Keep us Here. Next week, the movie Contagion (about a bird flu epidemic) will open in theaters. Well, at least it won't be as dark as The Road or Book of Eli.