Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I love, love, love this photo by Andif that she gave us yesterday. I've filed it under the title, "Gorgeous photo." I guess it means no rain, but it's hard to regret the lack of moisture since it revealed such beauty. Editing's like that. :D


Nancy P said...

"Yesterday" being relative.

Andi, is that slate that I see in the streambed? It can't be slate, can it?

I'm working on my speaking schedule, which is why I've been distracted. So far, 23 speaking engagements going up through Oct. of 2010. It was driving me crazy not to have them organized. Now I have a Kansas map on my wall, with colorful post-it notes and I have a new calendar for 2009 and I feel much calmer now.

And yes, I am a Virgo.

AndiF said...

So dry, bedraggled woods are in the eye of the beholder, eh? Or is just that a little touch of Bebo in the distance makes all the difference?

You're right, it can't be slate. It's shale.

Lisa M said...

I love scrolling up and down to get the wet and dry versions.

Shale--Add heat and pressure--presto Slate
Didn't catch Bebo till you tapped the picture Andif.

Nancy, What a different life planning engagements two years in advance. Heck Hubby and I have had trouble remembering what day of the week it is and what's happening today.
The Social Studies teacher told me the 11th and 12th graders were discussing the draft and plotting how I could be drafted and shipped out. So they clamor for me to leave rather than sit enamored by my words.
Actually means I'm doing a good job. Structure and control be me.

Organization--Yea Nancy. HMMM Virgo, so is my daughter, bless her little OCD head. That organization thing eludes me and my son informed me it skipped a generation.

A wonderful Weds. to ALL.

Maria Lima said...

23 speaking engagements going up through Oct. of 2010

Wow, Nancy. You out-Virgo me by a factor of thousands!

I will admit that I'm planning my 2009 con attendance, but nothing into 2010 (so far). ::g::

Happy Wednesday, all! Looks to be another rainy day here.

Nancy P said...

Shale! ::Smacks forehead. Goes back and looks for Bebo.::

Shale to slate! Never knew that before. The things I learn on this blog. ::big smile:: Lisa, I do this kind of organizing out of terror, because I have in the past missed my own bookstore signing.

Hey, Maria, g'morning. It's because of this Kansas Reads thing where Virgin is the state book o' the year for '09. Thank god the libraries I'm visiting--as far west as the Colorado state line--are paying my gas and lodging.

Nancy P said...

To all who offered camera advice, thank you. I've settled on the Cannon Powershot S3 which several of you recommended. What a good price for a good little camera! It's my birthday gift. (birthday not today)

Kelly McCullough said...

G-mornin...blinks owlishly 'tis mornin' 'sn't it? staggers to teapot, blinks sadly 's empty. sets water to boil, sits down stares vacantly into space Somebody poke me in the ribs when this thing boils 'k thnx. lists gently to one side

We hates morning we does. The yellow face bites us.

Hopefully get to go pick a very grumpy kitty up in an hour or so--and I need to caffeinate enough to drive safely. Off to do that. Back later.

Maria Lima said...

The yellow face bites us.

HA! Kelly, I nearly spit out my coffee on that one.

Spot on. I'm so not a morning person, especially after a night with little sleep. (thanks, cold meds!)

Nancy, good choice on the camera. My little Canon SD1000 is what I used to take the pics in Vancouver. I was highly impressed with the results. I'm not a photographer, but some of those pics were pretty darn good.

Anonymous said...

Morning, all. Nancy, you'll be traveling more than me, it sounds like! Better change this blog to "Nancy's Adventures"...and I have a 3-year old Canon PowerShot A95, and just love it.

Thanks for the geology lesson, Lisa. And nice that you can see the students' plotting as a good thing. I'd be sitting in the corner crying...which is why I'm NOT a teacher or a parent!

Quiet pats on the shoulder to Kelly.

I'm not a Virgo, but definitely have the organized thing going. Excuse me while I go make a list of my lists....

Happy Hump Day, y'all.

AndiF said...

Woo hoo on the camera Nancy. Can't wait to see all the pictures of Sally and KB that you take with it. :)

I should have thought to mention that slate is metamorphosed shale. But sadly (for those of us who like geology) Indiana didn't have any of those cataclysmic events that would have produced slate. OTOH, if it had, Indiana wouldn't have supplied all that limestone for all those spiffy buildings in DC and NYC. OTTH, if we had those events, we could have supplied the marble instead.

Kelly, hope all goes well with the cat.

Morning Lisa, Maria, and Beth.

FARfetched said...

*waving from the hideaway*

My Powershot A80 died last month, but I did post a few vacation shots at TFM a few minutes ago.

One I didn't post, because I told her it was for my family to see, was an attractive young woman in a Jeep with a goat in her lap, in a supermarket parking lot. boggle It was a blurry shot anyway, being late evening.

Andi, watch out or you'll have the oil companies wanting to tear out your shale & process it into go-juice, and then all you'd have to shoot is excavation equipment and pit mines. :-( They'll probably come for you after they finish moonscaping Colorado.

Nancy, if I had 23 speaking engagements over the next two years, I'd be keeping a better calendar too! All in Kansas though? No outta-state trips?

Nancy P said...

A shock!!! Where are we???

Don't shoot me. I just needed a change. I can always go back to the orginal if we hate it. :)

Nancy P said...

A girl & a goat in a boat?? Boggle, indeed.

There is a smattering of out-of-towners, Farf. Lexington, Ky., Tulsa, Ok., Wash. D.C, Seattle. In the fall I hope I can see Maryb (who doesn't know this yet) in St. Louis. Updated link to all that stuff on front page, upper right, of this blog. (I can't believe I even got THAT done! Drowning in virtue, I am.)

Anonymous said...

Seattle, hmmm? Lorin mentioned you were going to be teaching a class, but not where and when. Maybe I might have to sign up for that one!! It's only 4.5 hours from here! Maybe you'll have to take a few extra days and wander over to CDA with me, Nancy... :-)

Then again, that time of year, driving over the pass doesn't always promise to be a "wander" kind of trip...

Maryb said...

the yellow face bites us

for a sec I thought Kelly was talking about the new color. Quite a shock.

N - are all of those speaking engagements in Kansas or do any take you anywhere near ... say... me? Or between me and Andi (that would be Effingham - I'm guessing you don't have a speaking engagement in Effingham). Or near Andi ... Bloomington has readers ... I hear it's nice there ... come on, you really want to get together with us... you know you do ...

Nancy P said...

St. Louis. . .next October, Maryb. We'll carouse. :)

Seattle, yes! Don is adding an extra day for a mystery seminar (that would be me) and also a day for a romance seminar. I feel really honored to have been asked to do this, so I'm stoked. Plus I get to sit in on his sessions, which thrills me, 'cause he's such a good writing teacher. By that time I should have an entire manu finished and ready to dissect. . .famous last words, I know, but this time I REALLY MEAN IT.

Kelly, that was hilarious. How's cat?

Hey, Andi, Lisa, Maria!

Maryb said...

woohoo! October - 2009?

I've been thinking more about Jen's question yesterday. I don't know if she's around today. But I wanted to add to one of my comments - my vague comment yesterday about dividing a book into chapters. Then I read it again.

I was thinking about the book I had earlier mentioned (Dream of Scipio) which took place in three time periods with characters who were not linked at all except by geography and one manuscript.

One of the things the author was trying to do (I think) was make us understand that what we experience isn't unique no matter how horrible it may seem and we can't, therefore, justify bad actions we take by the uniqueness of our times. He sets out three stories in three different time periods in which the characters are all living through massive threats to their ways of life - the fall of Rome, the Black Death and the threat of Nazi Germany.

One way the author seemed to get this message across, imo, structurally, was to eliminate any chapters. So that the reader was constantly off balance and not knowing which time period she was in. It was, I thought, probably more effective than to divide the story up into chapters where the reader would sit back, sigh, and think OK now I'm back in Roman times. It forced the reader to realize that the more things change the more they stay the same because the reader was constantly under pressure to identify which time she was in.

So it was an effective structural technique - with me. But I didn't notice it the first time I read it - it wasn't until a friend read it, liked it but complained about there being no chapters that I realized it didn't even have chapters.

Now - I've always wondered about Pears' thought process in deciding to eliminate chapters. And that leads me to the question I always have - do authors always know what their novels are trying to say? I've always assumed - yes. In this case I assumed that part of Pears' purpose in writing the novel WAS to make people think about this issue in a general way - not just in context of the story.

On the other hand, maybe he had been thinking about threats to civilization(this was a post 9/11 book), and it was his unconscious that brought forth the characters and their stories that he was simply compelled to tell. And he didn't consciously try to make the reader examine the overarching issue - it just ended up that way. In other words - was the structure of no chapters a conscious device to achieve a conscious purpose or was it a conscious device to achieve an unconscious purpose?

This is long but I've always wante to know how authors think and ... I have authors here. :)

Jen said...

I'm in and out, in the background, still feeling badly. ::waves at everyone:: But thanks muchly for such an interesting post, MaryB.

Re: subconscious communication, fwiw, yeah, I think there is always that influence into art from the subconscious of the artist, whether one is painting or writing songs or novels or whathaveyou. To me, it feels as if characters and stories i write sometimes behave as though they have their own consciousness, and surprising things emerge from the text, which is one of my favorite aspects of writing.

Kelly McCullough said...

MaryB, I know for me that theme is something I mostly pick out and emphasize after the book is about half done and I'm looking through to see what I've said so far. There's usually a theme to my work and often it's fairly strong, but I only put it in consciously on the first pass about one time in four.

Nancy P said...

What he^^^said. Plus, sometimes it's my readers who tell me what my theme is/themes are. I'd written several Jenny Cain books when a reader said to me, "Why do you have a theme about mental illness in your books?"

Me: Astonished expression. "Do I?"
Reader: Nods.
Me: Thinks hard. Realizes truth of what reader says. Boggles. "I'll be damned! You're right. I do."

boran2 said...

Hay, I'm partly color-blind, but do things look different here?

Nancy, If the Canon doesn't work out I recommend a Nikon. My older L4 has only sent me to the manual a handful of times and take great photos. Good luck with the camera.

That is another beautiful photo, Andi.

Kelly McCullough said...

Forgot to say, the kitty is home and fine, though I didn't get her until very late in the work day.

Tomorrow is going to be serious crazy so I probably won't be back through until Friday. Hope everyone has a great Thursday.

Maryb said...

Thanks K. And N.