Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sword Swallowers & Ocean Floors

(Kelly, you were right)

So when I gave my talk at the library in Oakley, Ks., they held a drawing for one of my books. It was won by a handsome white-haired gentleman who turned out to be a semi-retired sword swallower. His parents were sword swallowers, and he had grown up traveling with Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey, and other shows. I was, of course, entranced to hear this, and when he and his charming wife invited me to hop in their restored turquoise hot rod and have lunch with them, I jumped to say yes. When they learned I wanted to visit the Monument Rocks shown above, the sword swallower objected that I couldn't go alone, and he offered to be my guide. So that's how I happened to drive over what once was an ocean floor, in the middle of Kansas, with a nice man from the circus.

Kansas is sooo not boring!


Nancy P said...

I think I have a lot to catch up on here, but I know just enough to say that I'm thrilled, Lisa! And to tell Beth that I'm delighted she had a lovely bday.

Talk to y'all tomorrow.

Don't swallow any swords.

AndiF said...

Sounds like a very fun time, Nancy. Did he teach you how to swallow a sword .... or do you already know how to do that from those days when writing isn't going well. ;)

Time for the obligatory question: did everybody change the time of their clocks? Or how about this question instead. [LINK]

Morning all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing that up, Nancy! You do have some interesting adventures in Kansas-land.

Had a great day, thanks to all of you.

Am thrilled for Lisa!

Off to another game today, and the final one tomorrow. Back to the Right Coast on Wednesday. And a diet of lettuce and soda water!!

Have a great Sunday, everyone! Hope you don't miss the hour...

Anonymous said...

Forgot to check the box - must be old age. :-)

Paul Lamb said...

I stopped at Monument Rocks on my return from Colby a few weeks ago. We passed through Oakley to get there.

So are you going to incorporate a sword swallower in one of your stories?

JimF said...

True or False?
20,000 Words This Week

Maria Lima said...

::yawns:: Morning, peeps.

From 15F to 76F in the course of a few days leaves me exhausted. Too warm in the apt. and no real way to get a breeze (I have only 2 tall skinny crank windows, both on the same wall, no way to get a cross-breeze).

I've done a little writing this weekend, mostly trying to catch up on sleep.

JimF - yes. That's totally true. ::g::

bono said...

Wow, what great adventures you have had without leaving the state!

Good for you, Lisa!!!

I always liked that song, Andif. Sounds like a wonderful birthday, Beth. Glad you're catching up on your sleep, Maria.

Rainy day, perfect for doing Sunday get ready for the work week chores. Have a relaxing end to the weekend.

katiebird said...

(stamping foot) Of all the times to leave your camera behind you did it on the trip where you met a sword swallower?

I've always wanted to go to Monument Rocks -- they look gorgeous.

(I just signed up to see you at two local libraries)

FARfetched said...

Sounds like a most excellent side trip — I agree with KB, figures that you didn't bring your camera. And if I recall, you're not a big phone fan, so you probably wouldn't have smellphone to take pix with either. Maybe I should take up sword swallowing… gig that indigestion where it lies and pull it out at sword point.

All together now: everyone ask the question, "Farf, it's almost 70 degrees out. Why are you sitting inside with the computer?" Good question.

Nancy P said...

Paul, I seem to be following in your tracks. I kind of doubt I'll put a sword swallower in a story, but ya never know.

Kb, that's so nice of you! If I were you, I'd go to just one, not two, 'cause I'll probably say the same things at each. Let's see if we can have lunch or coffee before or after.

Farf, believe it or not, I had my cell phone, but I have never learned how to take pics with it. The sword swallower took a few, though, so maybe he'll send them to me.

Jim, that's a funny graph, and the comments are amusing, too. Lots of writers not writing.

Hi, all.

maryb said...

Nancy that's a great story.

Jim that's a funny graph. But I wonder what authors did in the days before word processors - count their words by hand? Or were they obsessed by something other than word count? Did the ancient Egyptian author announce - "Two rolls of papyrus today!"

The whole idea of word count simultaneously appalls me and fascinates me.

FARfetched said...

Mary, I think in those days, they used a formula based on page/line count. Average five letters per word; with a 65-character line (margins of 10 on either side), figure 10-11 words including spaces per line. Double-spacing gives you 3 lines per inch, in a 9-inch area (inch top & bottom margin), that gives you 27 lines per page… so that would equate to 270-300 words per typed page.

I've done the same when hand-writing in my notebook… I figure 130-150 words per page in that case, and that's usually close when I go to type it in.

KB — when Nancy gets home, show her how to take pictures with her smellphone!

boran2 said...

Hi all.

Nancy, that's an interesting story. It looks like a great place to visit. I love that photo. Can I, umm, steal it? It might make a good painting.

It was short sleeve weather here, but the rain has come in now. At least it's not snow.

boran2 said...

Happy belated Beth!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, boran! And that WOULD be a great subject for one of your pictures!! Wish it would rain here...enjoy your warm weather.