Friday, August 28, 2009

Face plants and police sirens

Wednesday night, I called Aunt Anne to wish her happy birthday and to find out how Timmy was doing. His wife Ruthie died a couple weeks ago and he is finally back to work after months of caring for her. He's doing better, but not too happy about all the condolences. Aunt Anne told me they make him feel worse and, while he appreciates the sentiment, it just makes things worse for him.

It reminds me of an episode of All in the Family when a doctor told Archie to be nice to Edith because she was going through the change. Nice isn't Archie's strong suit and he was nearly strangled every time he stifled the urge to rail at the dingbat. Archie's nice and polite attitude frayed Edith's last nerve and things didn't go back to normal until Archie lost his temper. Timmy losing his temper at work isn't going to go down well, especially not at the post office. I think he'll have to endure it a little longer.

Aunt Anne and I talked about a lot of things, like whether or not her friend Jaye was going to bring back her copy of Past Imperfect she took with her on her annual two-week vacation to Texas. Aunt Anne is not happy. If Jaye has damaged her copy in any way, she can kiss any thoughts of a copy signed by the author (that would be me) for Xmas goodbye and buy Anne another copy.

On the up side, Jaye wants everyone to read my book. On the down side, Jaye loans out Anne's copy instead of encouraging people to buy a copy and read it. She has no business sense. I admire her generosity, especially with something that doesn't belong to her, but there are times when there is no substitute for a copy of your own . . . said the author who won't get any royalty checks if people don't buy their own copy.

I bought a copy of a great little writing book, You Have The Power: Self-edit Your Way Into Print, written by Cindy Davis who happens to be my editor. I've read the first 2-1/2 chapters and it's really good and very helpful. Due to my bungling the event planner on Facebook, Cindy appeared a full two weeks early on the Writers Talk / Q&A I've set up. Luckily, Cindy is a very nice person and agreed to go through with her previously scheduled appearance on Sept. 9th and talk more about editing your own writing. Anyone who missed her talk on pronouns will forgive me and show up in two weeks to comment, question and learn from Cindy -- I hope.

I also received my copy of Dead Worlds: Undead Stories and plan to wander through the zombies to find Sabrann Curach, otherwise known as . I also broke down and got a copy of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer and so far I'm not impressed. I'm waiting for the fan girl hype to live up to the reality. It has not happened yet. The only good things I've gleaned from the first couple of chapters are future grammar posts, and one of those will be posted later today.

After a long and protracted, and fruitless, tussle with a software program on Goodreads, I have finally been recognized as the author of my own novel. I had to call in reinforcements and get an actual person to respond because the software program on the site was too stupid to figure out that my name and the author's name are the same. That's been fixed and I have been accorded author status. I had no idea life could get so complicated. Weren't computers supposed to make our lives easier? Doesn't it take a human to screw things up this completely?

Dinner last night was pleasant since I had some company, but I'm afraid I was not at my sparkling best. I was tired and cranky and doing my best impression of Archie being nice between periods of abject weariness that had me nearly nodding off. There is nothing so funny or frustrating as having a conversation with someone whose head keeps bobbing toward the plate in imitation of one of those birds that dip into a cup of red fluid. I avoided a full face plant into my steak, but couldn't keep up with the thread of the conversation. I did apologize and promised a rematch dinner on a night when I was more awake and alert.

The kids are back to school across the street, but they seem subdued and quieter than last year. I wonder if it's because the rowdier and livelier kids graduated to high school or if exuberance has been outlawed. The police presence of late has been more apparent, but so has the joy riding idiot that has roared down Pikes Peak going from zero to 140 between stop signs. He was followed, about 30 minutes later, by a police cruiser whoop-whooping his siren as he neared the cross streets and a helicopter about 15 minutes after that. I doubt they caught the speed demon since he was long gone before they appeared on the scene, their siren saving me from that face plant into the steak. At least they were good for something. Catching speed demons wasn't it.

I am going to take my weary and rumpled self to the showers and get cleaned up for another day in the salt mines. This is one day getting irritated at doctors learning English on my shift and mangling words until the occasional vowel and rare consonant surface in their chewed up melange that is supposed to pass for intelligible speech will be welcome. It should keep me awake.

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