Friday, July 6, 2007

A Matter of Some Gravity


I think it's Friday. The only way I really know that is by going to Olivia's photo blog to check to see if she's doing "Friday Cloud Blogging." If there are flowers, it's not Friday yet. If there are clouds, then tomorrow is Saturday.

Hey, I'm a writer, I can't be expected. Literally, as you'll find out below.

Isaac Newton's mother said of him that "while her son's handwriting and reading were excellent, he was absentminded, inept in practical matters, and lacking in business sense."Isaac Newton! I find this so comforting. Just because you're a mathematical genius, doesn't mean you can balance your own checkbook. So maybe even Newton might have forgotten to show up at his own book signing.

Yes, okay! I forgot to do that once. Once! I was deep into writing that night. The phone rang three times. I ignored it. I had notes posted all over the house, too. But, hey, I wrote a good scene.

Mother Newton was no Bill Gates, herself. So maybe the apple didn't fall far from the tree. (Sorry, sorry!)

What do we need to remind you to do today?

Please remind me to drive to Lawrence to talk to a book club at noon!! I'll need to leave at about 11, okay?


Nancy P said...

The Newton anecdote is from the fabulous novel I just read: Ghostwalk, by Rebecca Stott.

And I need to start getting ready to go at about 10. Less than two hours from now.

I'm pretty sure I can do this. :)

Catharine said...

You'll not only do it, but you'll be great. Remember, I've seen you in action.

Nancy P said...

Hey, "catherine!" I miss "katiebird," don't you? She must be hidden in another google account somewhere.

There's a great anecdote about the author of "The Little Prince," too. He flew airplanes, but not well. His third crash killed him. A friend of his had said--prophetically--"He's too much of a poet to be a good pilot."

May we all be both good poets AND good pilots today.

Nancy P said...

I always tend to type "ancedote," instead of "anecdote." Which always makes my brain sing. . .

Mares eat oats,
and ancedotes,
and little lambs eat ivy. . .

Catharine said...

(ummm, anecdotes) What exactly is an Antsy Dote?

I can sign into that other account, but it signs me off of my email -- and we can't have that, can we?

Nancy P said...

Signing off of your email?!
Heaven forfend!

FARfetched said...

Hey ladies!

I can relate to losing track of time and space and everything else... it's when you're in The Zone and productivity is soaring. Pound out that scene and worry about eating afterwards.

Nancy P said...

Hey, far! Good to see you here!

Ze Zone, oh yes, the zone, where the most amazing things can happen.

I only know I've been in it when I "wake up" to my five physical senses. I hear sounds I didn't hear before, feel warm or cold, which I hadn't felt before, etc. Discover I've missed an appointment. . .:)

Nancy P said...

Wow. I just saw the news about the iphone battery--the news that comes out only after people buy the phone. More than $79 per battery, plus it's soldered in, so you have to send it to Apple for changing, which means a $6 plus shipping charge, and it takes (supposedly) three days. BUT you can get a temporary replacement phone for only $29 plus tax! What a deal. Steve, Steve, Steve.

But, hey, it's not as expensive as a replacement cartridge for my old Apple laser printer.

olivia said...

Good morning all!

Yes, friday cloud blogging once again ... it helps me too ... a celebration of the coming w/e ... ;)

I've been 'in the zone' as a runner, which is a magical place where you feel everything and nothing ... like you could run forever and never stop, w/ no pain and no laboured breathing. It's an amazing experience. Unfortunately, I've had the opposite as well -- called hitting the wall. It was during a triathlon (swim, bike, run) ... and I hit the wall on the run portion. I could hardly lift my legs -- it felt like I was running in quicksand, and I had absolutely zero energy. While it was also an amazing thing to experience (as in, 'wow, this is what hitting the wall feels like, how odd!', I would not want to repeat it.

I hope your book club talk went well!

olivia said...

or goes well ... I'm all discombobulated by the time ... my clock reads 11:44 and the on my post reads 8:17 ... lol

Family Man said...

Hi Nancy.

That's interesting what you said about the "wake up" to the senses. Since I'm not a writer, I've never experienced that, but the closest thing for me was years ago when I shot a lot of pool. Way back then running the table in an 8 ball game wasn't that unusual for me. It seemed that after I had run the table, then would I only become aware of the surroundings and people. I guess I did some pretty heavy concentrating back then.

Nancy P said...

I really hate to leave, cause I have things to SAY, after such interesting comments from you guys, but I do see that it's almost 11.

Olivia--my real clock says 10:52, and my computer clock says 8:52, and no matter what I try, I cannot get it into the Central Time Zone.

Later--or, earlier, as the clock may be.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

You've got to make the time zones work FOR you.

I'm a reporter. Before the internet, I'd often have to call a library to get info on a story. (Imagine.)

I'm in Boston, and I can't tell you how many times I called libraries in California, because then I had three hours longer to work.

It isn't always successful. Once my cat was at the vet here in Boston, and I was supposed to call there to check on her by 7pm.

I had to work late, and missed the 7pm deadline. I was so upset--until I remembered I had a friend in California. And I figured, I could call him, where it was only 4pm, and have HIM call the vet.

Nancy P said...

family man, I hadn't pictured you as a pool shark, but I like it, I like it. :) And, yeah, it sure does sound as if you were in the zone. I envy you that particular zone. I've always thought that "running a table" must be one of the coolest of cool feelings.

When you came back to your senses and became aware of other people around the table, were any of those people looking dangerously annoyed with you? :)

Nancy P said...

Olivia, the things I'm learning today! I think I picked up hints that you "ran," but I didn't realize how seriously. This biathlete couch potato is seriously impressed. (Biathlon couch potato event: click to Olivia's blog, then click to Family Man's blog. Whew. I'm all tuckered out.)

I'm wondering if you've ever read one of my favorite non-fiction books of all time. The title is IN THE ZONE, Transcendent Experience in Sports, and it's by Michael Murphy, the Esalon founder, and Rhea White. I just checked and I see it's offered "used" on Amazon.
I urge you--or anybody else who might be interested--to get it! It's one of the most inspirational books I've ever read and then read again, because it tells story after story of top athletes who hit the zone and the incredible mental, emotional, and physical things that have happened to them there. It's thrilling, and I don't think that's too strong a word for it.

Nancy P said...

ryan, we could call that, In the Time Zone. :)

It took me a minute to understand the cat story, but when I did. . .lol!

Nancy P said...

Oh, and the book club went great, thank you. Catherine (katiebird) kindly even emailed me to make sure I knew it was coming up on 11 o'clock, lol.

It's pretty funny, though. By now, it's about a year and a half since I finished writing Virgin of Small Plains. I'm deep into another book. So when I talk to groups about Virgin, I try to avoid questions about its plot. . .because I can't remember it.

"In Chapter x, why did such and such character do such and such?" they ask me.

"Beats me," I have to answer.

AndiF said...

Well I'm late to the party but since I didn't know there was a party, I'm excusing myself.

So now you've got a blog, can a digital camera be far behind?

(And congrats on the Macavity nomination for VSP)

Nancy P said...

andif is here!! Now we can begin.

I am a rotten hostess. You just arrive, and I have to run out to dinner and a moofie.

Say something amusing while I'm gone.


AndiF said...

I was already amusing about the digital camera and charming by mentioning your nomination. I'd say I've met my quota for worthwhile human interactions for the day.

FARfetched said...

Nominated, eh? Any chance we can stuff the ballot box? Good to hear the book club thing went well.

The deepest I ever went into The Zone was when I had full-blown flu. My fever would spike, I'd nap for a couple of hours, it would break, and my Muse (the heartless witch) would drive me to the keyboard for a couple more hours, then the cycle would repeat. I got the novel half finished while I was sick, and have had the hardest time getting back into it ever since. Maybe I should get sick again. :-P

Nancy P said...

andif, we expect you to be amusing at least twice a day, but we'll let you get by with being charming only once per diem. And now you've met your quota on one and exceeded it on the other, so damn. We may have to increase your limit.

far,okay, that's weird. Or would be, except that I've done some of my best work--or, at least, work-- while sick, too.

You're writing a novel?? Poor baby.

FARfetched said...

Oh, I've got a couple of things knocking around on the hard drive, waiting to get finished. One that I actually *did* finish; I'm thinking about posting it on TFM or a dedicated side-blog in installments.

I've only got like 8 million or so user manuals out there in the world, so it's not like I'm desperate or anything. :-P

Nancy P said...

Yeah, but it's different when it's fiction. You don't want to try the conventional publishing route, far? Maybe I could help? (You don't have to answer any of these nosy questions. None o' my biz, really.) I was a freelance writer (and before that a corporate training writer, and before that an editor/reporter before I started doing fiction. That was a tremendous advantage in some ways that helped me get published sooner. There were challenges along with it--like, giving my imagination more permission to fly--but overall the advantages far outweighed them.

FARfetched said...

I'd be willing to give the conventional route a shot, I'm just not sure what's done (and what's being worked on) is that marketable. But I wouldn't mind any help or advice you're willing to give - thanks much!

Nancy P said...

far, I'm glad to hear that. If a time comes that you want to chat about it, e me if you'd rather talk off-line.

Hey, a lot of us would like to be able to buy a book by you. :)

Nancy P said...

Besides, far, I owe you. You and Olivia helped me learn about changing the date, so I could finally get today's post up where it belongs. :)

FARfetched said...

I'll hunt up your email & contact you - thanks! Look for incoming from FARfetched 58 (at) aim . com.

GreenMinute said...

Lol, farfetched. Yes, Newton (but don't forget Eve). I summer among old apple trees. When one drops, especially into the creek, it drives the dogs crazy.

So far the dog, who is smarter than the other one, has suggested that altitude can be accurately measured on a gaduated scale of change in air pressure, which may or may not, accelerate the fall of an apple as it comes nearer to earth. But I am holding out for inertia as the cause of any incease in velocity and that the same scale can be applied at any altitude without variance.

But, you know, try convincing a dog.

She stubbornly disagrees and we are waiting yet for another apple to let go, so she can say "see, I told you." Of course, she'll use that laughing bark of hers.

In the end, dogs are usually right about these things.

P.S. The dog adores you, btw. Something about the word "fetch" and "far".