Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The worst of times. . .

What a contrast to the rich beauty of the autumn photographs below!

Once, this town had the best of times, when it was a mining boom town of 30,000 people. I've seen a photograph in which this very street was shoulder-to-shoulder with humanity on a similarly sunny day. It was rough and tough place, so tough that it declared war on a neighboring town. I don't know if it lost that battle, but it lost the bigger war when the mining went bust and all the people drifted away to the Next Big Thing. Today it looks empty and feels creepy, and yet I couldn't stay away from it after I saw it for the first time. I kept thinking about it that night. The next morning I knew that I had to travel 20 miles back--and then another 20 miles to return to my hotel-- just so that I might drive up and down this barren, hopeless street again.

A spooky good morning to you all, heh heh.


Nancy P said...

Is it time for another poetry day? (I thought of that as I read Kelly's account of his wonderful bookish weekend.

Poetry tomorrow?

Whole poem, partial poem, or just an image that haunts you. Your choice, our pleasure.

katiebird said...

(waving sleepily)

I wonder if I'll get any sleep or if I'll spend the night trying to figure out what town that is.....

Nancy P said...

Hee, I'm not telling.

By "tomorrow," I mean Thursday.

Poetry Day. . .Thursday.

Anonymous said...

There are so many interesting places in this country. Someday I'd love to wander through ghost towns.

I often pass through dying towns and wonder what happened to them, what they used to look like, why people still live there.

Anyway, poetry day sounds good! Hope you both have a great evening. And happy Wednesday to everyone who comes after.

AndiF said...

The worst example I've seen of that (but much bigger) is Bridgeport, CT. Very depressing. I think it has the world's largest collection of boarded up windows. So depressing

So as an antidote and an antonym, I offer a selection from my own private Cute Overload. [LINK]

Morning all.

Lisa M said...

Nancy, I think it is the spirit of hope and hard work that drew you back to that town.
Lots of small, mostly boarded up spots-in-the-road across Texas. Oil, cotton, cattle, the railroad all boomed in the past. Bust and leaving to seek opportunity left so many skeleton towns. The frail, brittle bones of these aged remnants of rural and industrial America bring sadness. The decay electrifies our fears.

Loves Poetry Day.

Andi, Bebo has such serious eyes.

Weather says rain turning to snow up your way, Nancy. Bundle up.

Wonderful Wednesday to All.

Maria Lima said...

There is such a sadness in these all-but-abandoned towns. Hope, now lost, spirit crushed by whatever caused the residents to seek out new locations. At the same time, they are fascinating and evocative and I am utterly drawn to them, wondering about their stories.

Andi, Bebo seems to be saying "Dude, I totally see you down there."

Morning, all! Yay for Poetry!Thursday! I shall endeavour to find something suitable to the season...assuming my poor brain doesn't break under THREE solid days of meetings. (yep, another all-dayer today).

::waves the optimism flag::

Happy Hump Day, all!

Nancy P said...


Runs to look at weather report.

katiebird said...

Yikes! I remember the disaster of the last October snow. Maybe we should buy that generator they've got on sale at Aldi.....

FARfetched said...

Maria, I can relate. I have a two-hour meeting today, continuing the two-hour bore-a-torium from yesterday. At least they're bringing in lunch.

Nancy, that's not the real Small Plains, is it? Can you at least tell us what they mined there? I grew up in a town that was dying and suddenly found a pulse a few years after I left. People stay because that's where they live… almost tautological, huh? People, as I've found out the hard way, can get far too emotionally attached to a particular piece of ground.

Andi, to me Bebo is saying, "OK u got piktur. Get me down now plz?"

Haunting image? This morning, I woke up thinking the epilogue to FAR Future should truly be the far future. The opening paragraph that spun through my head went something like, "Time lays down the beat of the cosmic vibration. Lives, governments, cultures, civilizations… all follow the beat in their own ways, but in a similar cycle of birth, growth, reproduction, senescence, and death. Ice caps dance across the earth in a two-step. The earth itself dances too, twisting itself into new shapes. Even the sun keeps its rhythms both familiar and unknown to humanity." The universe as Rave.

Kelly McCullough said...

That's a fabulous shot, Andi, made me snort.

FarF, nice, particularly the icecap line.

Nancy, welcome home!

KB, Lisa, Beth, Maria, good morning.

Off to the treadmill and mucking about with facebook* shortly, but I think I'll have one of the chocolate croissants before I go. Yum..

*Not entirely sure about it yet. It looks like an epic time-sink. Unfortunately it also looks like both the place where everybody I ever did shows or went to school with hangs out and a good promotional tool.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that too re Facebook, Kelly, but haven't put much time into figuring out how to accomplish it. If you do, will you share?

Still in the 50's and sunny and clear here - we're celebrating a long fall. Although I'm still wondering why I didn't go to Florida this winter. Guess I'm trying to put down roots...

Croissants? ::looking around madly::

FARfetched said...

Kelly, Beth, I could always put you in touch with Daughter Dearest if you need some Facebook pointers. Even her college — or perhaps parts of it — has a presence there.

At the office now. Sunny & 45F this morning, had to break out the electric gloves.

maryb said...

I vote yes on poetry day.

And I vote that is the cutest picture of bebo yet. (But Sniff is still my favorite.)

Kelly, I finally broke down and did facebook a couple of months ago. Once you set it up it doesn't take much time - unless you want it to. It's like checking your e-mail. Or like hanging out at a blog. Of course I didn't put any personal information in mine except the basics - so maybe that's why it didn't take much time :)

waves to kb, Maria, Beth, Lisa, and FaR and anyone else who shows up today.

Kelly McCullough said...

The Facebook basics seem pretty simple so far and I'm already getting a feel for ways that it facilitates one-to-many communication in terms of fan service for an already established author. I need to fool around with it some more before I can see about how to expand the circle. I suspect some of it has to do with the superficial appearance of living in front of the crowd, but I may be blowing smoke there.

AndiF said...

I believe what Bebo was actually saying "Was I'm up here ... wtf are you all doing down there? Everybody knows the whole world revolves around me."

But it's possible she's working on her Travis Bickle impersonation. And she's right ... we were looking at her.

Mary, Sniff adores you right back. And says you're welcome to a spot on the couch -- he'll make sure the pushy broad shares. [LINK]

maryb said...

awwww. Sniff! Exhausted because of that ... puppy.

Kelly, I'm not a pro at facebook but I've noticed that some people do two types of pages. A personal page where others can "friend" you. And a different sort of page where people can become "fans" of you. So, for instance, I never "friend" anyone I don't know either in real life or through blogs. But I'll become a "fan" of all kinds of people and things - and then I can check out what's going on with the person (ex: Bruce Springsteen) but they don't have access to my profile etc.

Of course the "young people" will friend anyone who asks. So, as an old foggy, I'm not really indicative of the facebook crowd.

Nancy P said...

Whew, no snow. That must be a forecast for further up north.

Is there anything that Facebook or My Space can do for a writer that a website can't do? I really don't want to have to add more interfaces that take time and energy, so I've resisted learning about those things. At this point, I'll admit that I just don't get it.

Nancy P said...

Lead mining, far.

Galena, katiebird.

Murder, Lisa. :) (What attracts me to it.)

Cutest photo of Bebo ever. "Meeri? Whooz Merri? Iz she nize? Wil I like hur? Doez she skratch eerrz gud?"

Nancy P said...

Hi, Beth and Maria (wave that flag for all of us!).

Kelly McCullough said...

I've been resisting Facebook for several years now but finally gave in because there's a Facebook group for my GOH appearance at CONvergence next summer. Can it do anything that a blog can't? I'm starting to think the answer is a qualified yes, but I really won't know for at least a couple of months. I'll report back as time goes on whether I think it's more useful or more of a time-sink that I have to watch out for.

maryb said...

What I find is that explaining to someone about all the various interfaces that are possible through facebook takes longer than actually using facebook.

I tried to explain to a friend of mine the other night and she looked at me like I was crazy and wondered how anyone had the time to keep track of all this. And it was hard to explain that the fact that all these types of interfaces existed didn't mean that I was using them all at the same time. Or the fact that having multiple types of interfaces didn't mean it was hard to keep track of them.

I resisted it for a long time but now that I use it, I'm sold. Of course I have a total of 27 friends. It might be different for those who have 500 "friends".

But I can see where it is perfectly designed for organizing group activities.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Reminds me of a few of the towns in Idaho, including the one I was named after--which was just recently completely abandoned!

Maria Lima said...

::waves at the gang:: Just got home from work and am sitting down to soup.

re: Facebook - I don't really do any of the fun things there. I just have a presence and "friend" back anyone who wants to friend me. It's my "Maria Lima author" persona, so I figure my "friends" are potential fans.

I've probably spent < 10 hours total since I started the page some months ago. Mostly, I go there to accept friend requests and occasionally browse the Facebook pages of people I really do know in person.

I think one can get caught up in all the fun games and things, but I just don't have time, so ignore those.


::off to find soup::

Lisa M said...

We don't do cold down here. It's supposed to be 40 tonight and people are talking fire in the fireplace and brrr isn't it cold.
Tip hat to you guys in the really cold temps.

Voted. Hope you all have the opportunity to do early voting. Only took about 20 minutes.There is a plus to living in a small suburb. I figure Nov 4th will be a mess. Feel for those uberbusy poll workers.
Hand over heart. It's good to be an American.

Nancy P said...

Waving up at Conda!

Moving to new thread now.