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Don't want to continue? Just cancel at the end of the month, but you still have the free audio book to enjoy.
Witches of Galdorheim Series:
Free audio book of Bad Spelling ~~~ Free audio book of Midnight Oil ~~~ Free audio book of Scotch Broom
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
If you do order, be sure to select USPS Media Mail as the delivery method. It's the cheapest way to go.
Here's the link one more time:
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Today marks the tenth anniversary of Carl's death. Let us all pause for a moment of silence for the man who made "billions and billions" a standard phrase. Go here for more info:
Carl Sagan Memorial Blog-a-thon
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
If you happen to take a peek, you could also give it a wonderful rating so maybe somebody will buy a copy.
Spirit of Bear Valley Link
Monday, December 18, 2006
Here's Margaret's website:
You would do well to check it out. She's a lovely lady and a fine writer. That we've maintained contact after all these years says a lot. I appreciate her and I'm sure you'll appreciate her as well, especially if you are of the Christian faith. Now, I'm not, but I can still appreciate Margaret's writing and her strength.
We moved into a 55+ manufactured home park about 1-1/2 years ago. We found out last Christmas they have a contest for best lights display. My hubby, not to be found wanting, put up lights for a week and we won 3rd Place, which is a $50 prize. At the Christmas potluck, we also won a ticket draw for another $15. My parents, who also live in the park, also drew a $15 prize. It was a profitable night at the old folks' home.
So, here's a pic of the lights. Not quite all are visible because I can only backup so far across the street to get the shot.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Despite being the 'fairer' sex, women have long demonstrated that they possess great strength. They instinctively know there is a time for everything and they face it with Strength, dignity and determination. Here you will not find damsels in distress or shrinking violets. Instead, you will meet women who wield strength in war and compassion in the face of hatred. Women who know there is A Time To... Laugh and Cry Kill and Heal And even a Time to Die.
Now Available at Lulu
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Will is an absolutely brilliant writer and I wish he'd write more. He's funny, poignant, and versatile.
Here are a couple more of Will's stories. I think they're well worth reading. I'm blogging them here because the man is so shy, you can hardly find him tooting his own horn. That's a shame because I think he could definitely become a very famous short story writer.
A Man Walks into a Bar - Bewildering Stories
Too Late Now - Fifth Story Review (I also have a story in this issue)
Bernard, A Special Case - Diddledog
That's all I could find for now. Will really should get a list together somewhere so that everybody can enjoy his stories.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Just a nice quiet town where people smiled at each other, waved, and lived harmoniously day in and day out. Or did they? Was there more to the story than what a passerby might see when they stopped here to rest? And what about those folks who lived in the hollow? Maybe, just maybe, the town wasn’t as quiet as it seemed to be.
If you'd like to follow the progress, here's the website Gene set up.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Oh Holy Night
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
The Little Drummer Boy (pah rum pah rum pum)
What Child is This
Some of my selections have a religious theme, but I really don't think Christmas has anything to do with a specific religion. Yeah, yeah. I know that it's supposed to be Christ's birthday, but historically that's actually in March or April. The majority religion of the Dark Ages didn't want to impinge on the Easter celebration, so the pagan mid-winter festivals were usurped by monks trying to convert the masses in northern Europe. The continuance of the evergreen tree and a mid-winter feast allowed the pagans to more easily buy into this new religion being peddled.
Here's a nice write-up on mid-winter celebrations.
Nevertheless, some really nice music has come out of the deal.
Happy Holidays to you for whatever you wish to celebrate: Christmas, Hannukah, Saturnalia, etc.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
But, he also went the extra mile for me and put a nice plug for my Cadida book on his blog, complete with the cover art.
Go read Gene's essays (below the lovely plug for Cadida). I think you'll enjoy them.
Shameless Plug on Gene's Blog
Here's a link to the top of Gene's Blog.
I'm also happy to report that beta blogger has given back its post editing capabilities. Things are looking up!
Monday, December 04, 2006
But, back to how I solved the problem. After I received another note from Clearwire to call them to "troubleshoot" the problem, I went back into my account and started the setup of another webpage. Apparently, the connection was broken somehow or other and when I started the setup process, the system located all my webpages. Everything is intact. Thank goodness! I'd hate to have redone the whole thing.
The "troubleshooting" the email referred to was obviously just putting me through the re-setup steps that I did on my own. Now, why couldn't they have just said "do the setup again and your webpages are most likely still around." Now, my heart does go out to the other people with their clearwire website which no longer work and they don't even know it. On the other hand, if they don't update their site, then I guess it doesn't matter much.
As for beta blogger, it still does not have the features to do fun stuff with the post. No HTML editing, no picture download, no hyperlink setup. Maybe they'll get it straightened out before they decide they aren't in beta anymore.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
IE7 seems to not allow any cookies set so I have to enter my (various) passwords everywhere new. This is highly annoying. I keep messing with the security settings so the Remember Me checkbox actually remembers me.
The new blogger from Google doesn't seem to be any kind of improvement. But, guess what? You can't go home again.
Clearwire, my ISP, seems to have lost my webpage. I put in a problem report asking if it was just my page or was there a problem with their web server. I got a note back from them that said "We cannot troubleshoot this type of problem." Plus a bunch of other stuff about calling their customer service lines. That would be fine except this is what will happen:
Me: My webpage seems to have disappeared and I can't log into the WebsiteOS to check it.
Them: Is your computer plugged in?
Me: Obviously. I wish you'd just take a look and see if my webpage is anywhere on the server.
Them: Have you installed any new hardware lately?
Me: No, that's not the problem.
Them: ((( other stupid comments which waste their time and mine until I can convince them to simply check )))
Here's the fun part. I googled .clearwire.net and found some other folks' websites on the same server as mine. Many of those websites are also MIA. So, it's not just my site. The question comes to mind: Why don't they know their server is eating people's websites? Why do they fail to mention to their customers that they've bombed bigtime and are working on the problem?
So, that's my gripe for today.
Please check my existing websites for information on my writings. In particular, go buy my new book, "Cadida and the Djinn," from Genre Mall.
I would have made that a pretty link, but google's version of blogger doesn't want to supply any of the nice features like adding pictures, building links, making text colored. So, screw them, too.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Kim Headlee - author of Dawnflight, said
"This line alone is worth the price of the whole antho!" about this line from Marva's Dasef's story "Chilpequin 22 Miles" -
"Yeah, my cousins both play for the Seahawks. I've got an aunt who's a linebacker for the Chicago Bears."
As you might notice, this is a lighthearted story and I hope you'd enjoy reading it along with the rest of the stories and poems in the anthology.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Here's the actual cover for the book and here's the link to it's purchase site:
Buy Cadida Here!
There's also a nifty write-up in the Between Kisses Newsletter put on-line by Sam's Dot Publishing, the lovely folk who thought Cadida needed a place to hang out.
Check out the rest of what they offer. There's definitely something for everyone.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The artist is 7ARS. I'll post her website and other information when the chapbook comes out.
I've also got a new site on myspace. Check it out at:
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Other nanon-ers are telling me how wrong I was to do that. Well, I'll keep trying to write things that actually belong in the book. When I'm still short of the 50K near the end of this month, I may retrieve the junk and shove it back into the manuscript. I'm proud, but not that proud.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
So, I found that I did have a google password from a group I was in months ago. Okay, so I took the plunge and converted this blog to the Google beta. So far, it looks pretty much the same.
Well, back to NaNoWriMo. 2000 words to go.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Fiona, Billy, and Hap are an unlikely trio of friends. Outcasts from the usual social circles in junior high, they've gravitated together. A new kid, a half-breed Indian who's named himself Black Crow, shows up at school and they take him in when the soshes and jocks have no interest. Together, they embark on a journey into the realm of the Vision Quest. Black Crow finds his true self in communion with a bear. The friends discover poachers in the wildlife refuge and risk their lives to bring the thieves to justice.
Yup, it's a middle-school novel set in beautiful Southern Oregon in and near Klamath Falls. I've tentatively titled it "Spirit Quest."
Monday, November 13, 2006
Then, it says: "Once you convert your blog, you'll need to sign in with your Google password."
Hmm. I wasn't aware that I had a Google password. I've resisted adding yet one more user name and password to the growing pile. So, I'm wondering if I convert my blog as they suggest, will I ever be able to get to it again?
I'm holding off on that conversion thing until I have more time to study the church.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
It came out the way I liked it, so I can't complain. I'm sure there will be lots of complaints coming in the next few weeks from those lovely neo-cons who stole two presidential elections and got their fingers slapped by the populace who saw through their shenanigans (a nice word for shit).
Now, on to 2008. I hope I don't have to support Hillary, but I will if that's the way it works out. However, rarely are the rising stars two years prior to a presidential election the ones who actually end up being the candidates.
Will McCain get blasted out by his fellow Republicans again? Is Rudy the once and future king?
Stay tuned. But, be ready for a bumpy ride.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
People tend to be of two types: horse lovers or horse 'I don't cares'. I'm of the former variety. I was talking to some folks the other day about their horses, who are also in the former variety. It made me miss my horse, Sam. Yeah, Sam is a weird name but think of Samson, and you get a better idea.
Sam was a Polish Arab. That's a big Arabian, about 5-1/2 feet tall at the withers. This picture shows how fine his head was. Not too much dish, a strong neck, alert and interested in everything going on around him. This was a fine horse, a horse of estimable quality, a champion.
I didn't show Sam because I didn't have the skills, but he showed me his high stepping ways even as I sat on him, unworthy of being on the back of this gorgeous animal. He loved to run. Imagine strapping yourself atop a runaway locomotive. That was Sam at on the run. Try to pull him up after a couple of miles because you are worn out. He'd fight you. He wanted to run some more.
He believed he was a beauty, so he stepped out, neck arched, tail up. A big show-off, he was.
Unfortunately, my back gave me troubles and I couldn't get up on him anymore, not with a saddle anyway. Put a two-year-old kid on his bare back and he was Ol' Faithful, plodding around like a good old boy. Saddle him up and hang on for the ride of your life.
I miss Sam and I hope he's still giving somebody a thrill to be on the back of a champion. He'd be around 25 now, but I suspect he hasn't really slowed down. At least, that's what I hope. I don't want to know otherwise.
Sam was one of a kind and I am privileged that he let me up on his back and take me for the ride of my life.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
If You Could See Her by Marva Dasef
What could he possibly see in her? What could she possibly see in him? It’s the person who counts, not anything else! Really. (Romance)
Editor’s Note: This is one of the most delightful, delicate and perfectly drawn true Romances I've had the pleasure to read in a long time. Not overdone at all, this is exquisite…and, yes, I snapped this out of the slush pile, claiming the find for myself, though it was destined for another TD editor —zentao
Sunday, October 22, 2006
The Lady K hopes to have the anthology ready for purchase before the end of 2006.
I'll sure post a link when it comes out. In the meantime, you can read the fine stories on Lorelei Signal right here:
Friday, October 13, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
You can watch him deliver this editorial at http://www.alternet.org/blogs/video/42664
While the leadership in Congress has self-destructed over the revelations of an unmatched, and unrelieved, march through a cesspool …
While the leadership inside the White House has self-destructed over the revelations of a book with a glowing red cover …
The president of the United States -- unbowed, undeterred and unconnected to reality -- has continued his extraordinary trek through our country rooting out the enemies of freedom: the Democrats.
Yesterday at a fundraiser for an Arizona congressman, Mr. Bush claimed, quote, "177 of the opposition party said, 'You know, we don't think we ought to be listening to the conversations of terrorists.'"
The hell they did.
One hundred seventy-seven Democrats opposed the president's seizure of another part of the Constitution.
Not even the White House press office could actually name a single Democrat who had ever said the government shouldn't be listening to the conversations of terrorists.
President Bush hears what he wants.
Tuesday, at another fundraiser in California, he had said, "Democrats take a law enforcement approach to terrorism. That means America will wait until we're attacked again before we respond."
Mr. Bush fabricated that, too.
And evidently he has begun to fancy himself as a mind reader.
"If you listen closely to some of the leaders of the Democratic Party," the president said at another fundraiser Monday in Nevada, "it sounds like they think the best way to protect the American people is -- wait until we're attacked again."
The president doesn't just hear what he wants.
He hears things that only he can hear.
It defies belief that this president and his administration could continue to find new unexplored political gutters into which they could wallow.
Yet they do.
It is startling enough that such things could be said out loud by any president of this nation.
Rhetorically, it is about an inch short of Mr. Bush accusing Democratic leaders, Democrats, the majority of Americans who disagree with his policies of treason.
But it is the context that truly makes the head spin.
Just 25 days ago, on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, this same man spoke to this nation and insisted, "We must put aside our differences and work together to meet the test that history has given us."
Mr. Bush, this is a test you have already failed.
If your commitment to "put aside differences and work together" is replaced in the span of just three weeks by claiming your political opponents prefer to wait to see this country attacked again, and by spewing fabrications about what they've said, then the questions your critics need to be asking are no longer about your policies.
They are, instead, solemn and even terrible questions, about your fitness to fulfill the responsibilities of your office.
No Democrat, sir, has ever said anything approaching the suggestion that the best means of self-defense is to "wait until we're attacked again."
No critic, no commentator, no reluctant Republican in the Senate has ever said anything that any responsible person could even have exaggerated into the slander you spoke in Nevada on Monday night, nor the slander you spoke in California on Tuesday, nor the slander you spoke in Arizona on Wednesday … nor whatever is next.
You have dishonored your party, sir; you have dishonored your supporters; you have dishonored yourself.
But tonight the stark question we must face is -- why?
Why has the ferocity of your venom against the Democrats now exceeded the ferocity of your venom against the terrorists?
Why have you chosen to go down in history as the president who made things up?
In less than one month you have gone from a flawed call to unity to this clarion call to hatred of Americans, by Americans.
If this is not simply the most shameless example of the rhetoric of political hackery, then it would have to be the cry of a leader crumbling under the weight of his own lies.
We have, of course, survived all manner of political hackery, of every shape, size and party. We will have to suffer it, for as long as the Republic stands.
But the premise of a president who comes across as a compulsive liar is nothing less than terrifying.
A president who since 9/11 will not listen, is not listening -- and thanks to Bob Woodward's most recent account -- evidently has never listened.
A president who since 9/11 so hates or fears other Americans that he accuses them of advocating deliberate inaction in the face of the enemy.
A president who since 9/11 has savaged the very freedoms he claims to be protecting from attack -- attack by terrorists, or by Democrats, or by both -- it is now impossible to find a consistent thread of logic as to who Mr. Bush believes the enemy is.
But if we know one thing for certain about Mr. Bush, it is this: This president -- in his bullying of the Senate last month and in his slandering of the Democrats this month -- has shown us that he believes whoever the enemies are, they are hiding themselves inside a dangerous cloak called the Constitution of the United States of America.
How often do we find priceless truth in the unlikeliest of places?
I tonight quote not Jefferson nor Voltaire, but Cigar Aficionado Magazine.
On Sept. 11th, 2003, the editor of that publication interviewed General Tommy Franks, at that point, just retired from his post as commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command -- of Cent-Com.
And amid his quaint defenses of the then-nagging absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or the continuing freedom of Osama bin Laden, General Franks said some of the most profound words of this generation.
He spoke of "the worst thing that can happen" to this country:
First, quoting, a "massive casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western World -- it may be in the United States of America."
Then, the general continued, "the Western World, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we've seen for a couple of hundred years, in this grand experiment that we call democracy."
It was this super-patriotic warrior's fear that we would lose that most cherished liberty, because of another attack, one -- again quoting General Franks -- "that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass-casualty-producing event. Which, in fact, then begins to potentially unravel the fabric of our Constitution."
And here we are, the fabric of our Constitution being unraveled, anyway.
Habeus corpus neutered; the rights of self-defense now as malleable and impermanent as clay; a president stifling all critics by every means available and, when he runs out of those, by simply lying about what they said or felt.
And all this, even without the dreaded attack.
General Franks, like all of us, loves this country, and believes not just in its values, but in its continuity.
He has been trained to look for threats to that continuity from without.
He has, perhaps been as naïve as the rest of us, in failing to keep close enough vigil on the threats to that continuity from within.
Secretary of State Rice first cannot remember urgent cautionary meetings with counterterrorism officials before 9/11. Then within hours of this lie, her spokesman confirms the meetings in question. Then she dismisses those meetings as nothing new -- yet insists she wanted the same cautions expressed to Secretaries Ashcroft and Rumsfeld.
Mr. Rumsfeld, meantime, has been unable to accept the most logical and simple influence of the most noble and neutral of advisers. He and his employer insist they rely on the "generals in the field." But dozens of those generals have now come forward to say how their words, their experiences, have been ignored.
And, of course, inherent in the Pentagon's war-making functions is the regulation of presidential war lust.
Enacting that regulation should include everything up to symbolically wrestling the Chief Executive to the floor.
Yet--and it is Pentagon transcripts that now tell us this--evidently Mr. Rumsfeld's strongest check on Mr. Bush's ambitions, was to get somebody to excise the phrase "Mission Accomplished" out of the infamous Air Force Carrier speech of May 1st, 2003, even while the same empty words hung on a banner over the President's shoulder.
And the vice president is a chilling figure, still unable, it seems, to accept the conclusions of his own party's leaders in the Senate, that the foundations of his public position, are made out of sand.
There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
But he still says so.
There was no link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaida.
But he still says so.
And thus, gripping firmly these figments of his own imagination, Mr. Cheney lives on, in defiance, and spreads--around him and before him--darkness, like some contagion of fear.
They are never wrong, and they never regret -- admirable in a French torch singer, cataclysmic in an American leader.
Thus, the sickening attempt to blame the Foley scandal on the negligence of others or "the Clinton era"--even though the Foley scandal began before the Lewinsky scandal.
Thus, last month's enraged attacks on this administration's predecessors, about Osama bin Laden--a projection of their own negligence in the immediate months before 9/11.
Thus, the terrifying attempt to hamstring the fundament of our freedom--the Constitution--a triumph for al Qaida, for which the terrorists could not hope to achieve with a hundred 9/11's.
And thus, worst of all perhaps, these newest lies by President Bush about Democrats choosing to await another attack and not listen to the conversations of terrorists.
It is the terror and the guilt within your own heart, Mr. Bush, that you redirect at others who simply wish for you to temper your certainty with counsel.
It is the failure and the incompetence within your own memory, Mr. Bush, that leads you to demonize those who might merely quote to you the pleadings of Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."
It is not the Democrats whose inaction in the face of the enemy you fear, Sir.
It is your own--before 9/11 - and (and you alone know this), perhaps afterwards.
Mr. President, these new lies go to the heart of what it is that you truly wish to preserve.
It is not our freedom, nor our country--your actions against the Constitution give irrefutable proof of that.
You want to preserve a political party's power. And obviously you'll sell this country out, to do it.
These are lies about the Democrats -- piled atop lies about Iraq -- which were piled atop lies about your preparations for al Qaida.
To you, perhaps, they feel like the weight of a million centuries -- as crushing, as immovable.
They are not.
If you add more lies to them, you cannot free yourself, and us, from them.
But if you stop -- if you stop fabricating quotes, and building straw-men, and inspiring those around you to do the same -- you may yet liberate yourself and this nation.
Please, sir, do not throw this country's principles away because your lies have made it such that you can no longer differentiate between the terrorists and the critics.
© 2006 MSNBC Interactive
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Here are the latest additions:
Karen Newman : A Kentucky woman, Karen likes the dark side. She's published over 150 stories and poems. Check out her awesome website.
Cathy Buburuz: The mistress of Champagne Shivers (Sam's Dot Publishing) and other horrible stuff--I mean neato horrible stuff.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
These are print magazines, but LBF also sells them in downloadable PDF format.
Writers Post Journal
Monday, October 02, 2006
Any suggestions on improving this blog or my home page? Let me know.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
It's a print journal, but occasionally has some of its material on-line.
It is specifically for WWII-related material. I may post the poem after it has gone to print. Here's their website:
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
John's website is:
Friday, September 22, 2006
I don't believe that this is anything other than another smarmy attempt to win elections. I'm certain that the White House is complicit. "Okay, you guys act like you're against what we want, then we'll give in and you get to be heroes." Puhleeze!
Democrats have to get tougher if they're going to win the upcoming elections. If the Republicans continued to hold all three branches of government, the future of the nation will continue to go downhill into fascism.
Be sure to get your absentee ballot so you can have a paper trail of your vote. Those states using the Diebold machines have no auditability and can easily be hacked. Make a copy of your ballot before sending it in. Get out the vote. Drive old folks to the polls. Whatever you can do, then do it. Your nation's future is at stake.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
This is a growing artform. To see how some people are doing it, go to:
Express yourself, even when your computer is down.
Monday, September 11, 2006
It happened. Get over it. What can we do in the future to keep cynical neocons from using our national emotions to gain political points.
They want to destroy your rights as outlined in the Constitution's Bill of Rights. This is so wrong, it makes me want to puke. Don't let them do it. Get rid of them. Vote them out. Impeach them. Whatever it takes to rid us of the blight of the neocons.
Republicans: Wake up and smell the deceit and lies. They are using you to create that New World Order that they warn you liberals are trying to create. Your freedom is in jeopardy!
Have a nice day.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I'll see if I can get the trailer embedded here.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
Since Cadida and old Bascoda the Djinn are finding a place in the publishing world, I've decided to write another one. So, that's my top of the pile project right now.
Running in second place: A science fiction novella titled "First Duty." This started with two short stories. Part 1 will be published in Abyss & Apex sometime or other. It was October, but it's looking more like January as they like to "theme" their issues. Part 2 is already hanging out in the August issue of Ultraverse. I was starting a third in the series (do we see a trend here?), when I decided to try for one longer work using theose two stories as yeast. I've got a 35,000 word novella now which I'm workshopping.
Running in third place: I'm still pushing the Tales of a Texas Boy. LBF liked three of the stories (June, July, September) for their Writers Post Journal, but their reader didn't seem to care for the idea of a book, so I've sent it elsewhere.
Running in fourth place: I'm writing a few short stories outside these themes and seeing if any of them fly.
Other than that, I'm lolling around on the couch and eating bon-bons.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Eugene is the home of the University of Oregon. Way back in the late 19th C. when it was formed, the sports teams went by the name of the Tall Timbers. Okay, that's silly, somebody thought. So, they changed that to the Ducks.
If you're getting the idea that Eugene may be a bit wacky, you'd be on the right track--running track, that is. Eugene is also the Track Capitol of the World (not sure who awarded this) because of a guy named Bill Bowerman. He invented the Nike running shoe. He used rubber treads from old tires. Okay, wackier still, right?
For the last thirty or so years, the nearby town of Veneta (another great city that bears somebody's first name) hosts the Oregon Country Faire. Come on by around the first part of July if you'd like to party like it was 1969. Ah, the area is a hotbed of leftover hippies, organic farmers, hemp growers, and yurt makers--just about anything you might want for that alternate lifestyle you've been pining after.
I was born here and, barring a complete takeover by the even more wacko neoconservatives, I'll probably die here. This place is just too darn entertaining to give up.
People leave Eugene to go to the bright lights and big cities, but just about everybody eventually comes back again. They just can't stay away. So, be careful if you come to visit. You might be sucked into the Oregon Vortex. Wait, that's about 125 miles south of here in Gold Hill, so I guess Eugene is like a blackhole, or whirlpool, or the Elephant's Graveyard. Yeah, something like that.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Copyright 2006 Holly Eddy
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I did get a spiffy new 20.1" wide screen monitor last weekend. It's very cool. I can now read the screen without too much eye strain.
I treated myself by finishing my novella. Of course, it's still got a ton of work, but all those summary notes starting with (((( on the page are now replaced with actual paragraphs and such. So, that's a nice accomplishment and a better milestone than being a year older.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Then I wait, but no response. I emailed them again and finally got a sort of huffy note saying that they took the story down but somehow or other my decision has totally ruined that issue of the magazine while putting some photographer's photo off the ezine as well. I apologized for the inconvenience and suggested they simply just wipe out the story text and put in "Removed at Author's Request."
Now, I know this isn't rocket science. They don't have to completely break the link to the story. They just have to change the text. What is so damned hard about that? I could do that with any of the posts I've put on this blog.
Obviously, I'm a bit peeved by the ezine's inability to handle something which should be a perhaps not common, but at least a sometime occurrence.
I loved that ezine's format and dedication to making it a very nice venue. But, their assumption that nobody would ever request that their work be removed is simply naive on their part.
I think this whole internet publishing thing needs to get some standards set up so that authors and publishers will know how to handle simple things like this.
Well, I learned that ezines that don't pay you a penny for your work, somehow feel that they own it and not you, the author. They need to understand about copyrights and infringements on same. When I say "take it down" I ain't messin' around. The ezines need a procedure to handle it.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
5th Story Review, a brand-new ezine, just accepted by alternate history story, Jonathan Swift Finds Nemo. I have kept pushing this story on publishers because, damn it, I like it! Should I admit how many rejections I got? Nah, I'll leave that to your imagination, but suffice it to say there were plenty.
But, I'm happier than happy that one of my favorites now has a home.
I'll post the link when the story comes up.
Update: Here's the link:
Monday, August 14, 2006
The Deepening has accepted it and with a very nice note:
Thanks, Marva. Wonderful story. It is so rare to have a male romance that works, and one that allows hope to spring for even the "less than model thin." Excellent, excellent, excellent.
Friday, August 11, 2006
I just heard from Teresa Tunaley, the head honcho for Writers Post Journal and Artiste Extraordinaire. She was so kind as to send me the preview on the drawing she did for One Fine Dog appearing in the next WPJ issue. Here 'tis.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
The other big bruhaha is in regard to what the heck we're pledging to: The Flag. Hmm. Sure, it goes on with that part about the Republic for which it stands, but still, I question if good Christians are breaking some commandment or other by worshipping an idol. Strictly speaking (and, boy! do these folks like those strict interpretations), the flag is a symbol and a symbol is an idol.
Okay, all of that aside, I decided I don't care for the Pledge the way it stands. Too controversial, in my opinion. My alternative pledge follows. I think it cuts to the chase and specifies what we should really be pledging our lives and sacred honor to: laws that promise freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and all that other stuff laid out in the Constitution and its Amendments.
I pledge allegiance to my country and the Constitution from which it was formed--one nation, under rule of law, with liberty and justice for all.
Friday, August 04, 2006
So, I'm writing this novel that's turning into a novella, or maybe a novelette. Why is that? I've got chapters 1-8 pretty much written. Everything is there that should be there, but it's only 14,000 words. I'm looking at another 4 or 5 chapters and danged if it only adds up to a little over 25K words even if I meander around all over the place.
What's missing? Characters - check, fleshed out, fully-formed. Plot - yup, goes from a beginning to an end with a nice middle.
Am I a died-in-the-wool short story writer? Must be as anything and everything I think about adding I envision some critter (critiquer) saying "well, that's just excess crap--cut it out."
I just finished reading "Crypt0nomicon" for the second round. It's nearly 900 pages long. Neal Stephenson meanders off in these side things all the time. For goodness sakes! He's got four or five pages on the proper way to eat Cap'n Crunch cereal! Could I get away with that. I'm pretty sure that I couldn't.
So, I'll just see if I can get up to 25K words this time round. Maybe my next try at a novel will actually get to novel size. That's a lot of words. Hmm, can I write a couple thousand words on granola?
Monday, July 31, 2006
This one will appear in the September issue.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
The August issue of the Deepening will be out soon. I've got a story in it and the presentation is very good. It even comes with a nice illustration (see right). Yes, it's kind of abstract, but the word at the top is "Restaurant."
The downside is that you'll only be able to read the story on-line by subscribing to The Deepening. Hey, do it if you can. They carry a wide variety of fiction. Get a taste on the Free Stories page. Maybe my story, "Extraordinary Rendition," will show up there.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Still, we both like this show. I think it's neat that opportunities are provided for young up-and-comers to show their stuff and--just maybe--make it to the big time. Good for them. This type of reality show is much preferable to the average Joe Survivor or Big Bother gig. This kids actually have talent, and I don't mind a bit joining in watching them kick it up for their careers. Good for them!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Stem cell research. Let's cure something. Wait! No can do, we can't destroy a zygote for research. So, you're saying that it will be destroyed anyway? We don't care, we are stuck in a time warp of stupidity. Who cares if 40,000 Iraqis and over 2500 American soldiers have been killed? But, using a disposable piece of biological material for the good of all human kind? Couldn't do that!
These people, by that I mean the Bush Administration and the Republican nitwits who subscribe to their disastrous policies, cannot distinguish right from wrong. They have slipped away into evil while thinking they are on the side of the angels. They are deluded, or they are so cunningly sly and nasty that you couldn't even imagine how they have sold out to the devil. I'm pretty much an atheist, but their behavior makes me fervently hope for an afterlife in which Bush will burn in hell.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
"...O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen...."
From a note on WW I, by WLS Churchill:
Cities and monuments were smashed by artillery. Bombs from the air were cast down indiscriminately. Poison gas in many forms stifled or seared the soldiers. Liquid fire was projected upon their bodies. Men fell from the air in flames, or were smothered often slowly in the dark recesses of the sea. The fighting strenght of armies was limited only by the manhood of their countries. Europe and large parts of Asia and Aftica became one vast battlefield on which after years of struggle not armies but nations broke and ran. When all was over, Torture and Cannibalism were the only two expedients that the civilized, scientific, Christian States had been able to deny themselves: and they were of doubtful utility.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
I wrote tech support and their answer? You guessed it! "Your site must be corrupted. Delete it and start over."
Thanks, guys. That was so helpful.
So, my website is again under construction. I almost got it back to where it was, but some good stuff is still MIA.
One nice change that I discovered was the ability to insert a form for my many readers (giggle) to enter comments and the site management sends me the email. So, I don't have to put my actual email address on the site. That will help with stalkers, I suppose. Please, won't somebody stalk me?
Monday, July 17, 2006
Take the quickie quiz and find out if your to the left of Attila the Hun or to the right of Michael Moore.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
I'm a fairly good writer and an excellent speller. I've written a bunch of short stories that total up to quite a few words. As a technical writer, I churned out thousands of pages. But the thought of a novel is daunting.
The vague notion came into my mind when I started the third story using the same setting and character as two published stories. I thought that I should follow up successful stories. When I started writing, I realized that I would have to info-dump to catch the reader up on the world (galaxy, actually, since this is SciFi), what it's like, the politics, and so on. I built a lot of that into the second story and I sure didn't want to repeat myself.
So, I thought to use the old Galactic Encyclopedia ploy. Start the story with a supposed quote from the Encylopedia, which would serve to describe the world view sufficiently to continue on.
I ran this idea by the group at Hatrack, which specializes in SciFi/Fantasy. I figured they ought to know. Total confusion. They assumed I was writing a novel, so why was I wanting to put in this info-dump at the beginning? Trying to explain that it wasn't a novel, but simply a follow-on story didn't seem to cut it.
That got me thinking. Why not take the first two stories and re-work them as the first chapters in a novel?
This post is long enough, so I'll continue my thoughts on this process in a future post or I will dump the idea entirely. Time will tell.
Friday, July 14, 2006
I feel inadquate, however, since my blog entries are far from witty or entertaining. I'm going to have to start working at being a clever person just a little harder (okay, so I haven't tried yet, but I will).
Mostly, I just get worked up over political crapola. GW Bush makes me want to vomit. The Israelis are taking vengence to delightful heights of ridculousness. Damn, but the stock market is sinking my hopeful retirement savings into the dumpster.
I fear that I'll have to find a job to make ends meet. Dear hubby really, really wants to retire. Since, he's already signed up for Medicare, it's mean of me to tell him to keep working until he drops dead. Still, I have that urge. I'm doing my writing thing as fast as I can. I work at it every single day. Good for me, but what have I earned? Not enough to buy a subscription to a good magazine.
Let's write this post off to a temporary fit of depression. Go back to work? Ha! Fat chance. Nobody needs an old lady that's been out of work for 10 months. Boo hoo hoo hoo. I'm so sad. Buck up, dummy. That novel is in your blood. Really it is!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
So, just to stay trendy, here's a nice picture of Cap'n Jack Sparrow, the current Pirate Du Jour. I've loved Johnny Depp since he got past 22 Jump Street. After that, it was all good. I'd say the most innovative and creative actor in this decade and we're only half-way through. Since I've been working on a Disney-based kid's book, I've got to think about Cap'n Jack a bit while I was waiting for the opening of the new, improved Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney World.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
If you don't like either party and think you should just sit this one out, think again. Read the Bill of Rights and compare that to what the Republicans are doing TO you and at least get rid of them. We can sort out the rest later.
Get involved, or get out of the way.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
This story set the reader up to think that the good ol' US of A was being the bad guy. For a spoiler, I'll give away that the basic plot involves an Iranian who has expatriated to another country, being picked up and interrogated (tortured). The punchline is that he wasn't in the US, but in Egypt. This is hinted at the top of the story where a CIA agent was quoted.
Okay, it ends up with the guy being tortured in Egypt. Big twist, eh? Well, the fact of the matter is that the top of the story quote and the ending still point a finger at the US as condoning and participating in torture.
I am NOT sorry to make the implication. I AM puzzled that it would be considered "anti-American" to suggest that. This is a known fact. The US government does condone torture as stated by the President and the Vice President.
I think that conservatives should wake up and smell the coffee. It is NOT anti-American to point out when our government is participating in acts of torture, even if by using other countries to do the dirty deeds for them. Guess what? It is wrong, wrong, wrong! I cannot stress enough that the condoning of torture (as the US adminstration blithely thinks is okay) by sending people by "extraordinary rendition" to other countries to be tortured is WRONG WRONG WRONG. It is not anti-American to point out that this administration is perverting and destroying our Constitution for ideological ends.
It is sick, disgusting, and totally untenable morally, to call any protest against this behavior "anti-American." On the contrary, it is the height of patriotism to point out when our country is going so terribly wrong.
I am not anti-American. I am so pro-American, that I am compelled to speak out against the trampling of our most sacred document, the Constitution of the United States of American.
It's a subscription ezine and I encourage everybody to sign up. Since I'll get royalties from subscriptions, I REALLY encourage you to sign up!
They also carry free stories, so you can browse the contents. It carries a full range of genres--something for everyone. Check it out:
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Here's a dab of the post, but follow the link for the full story.
Y'know, actually, it's 823.912
Bookstores don't use Dewey. Don't worry: we're over it. And anyway, if they did, there wouldn't be so many opportunities for guerrilla classification.* First there was that guy in San Francisco who went with his friends to Adobe Bookshop one night, and reclassified its entire stock by color.
025.431: The Dewey Blog
Saturday, July 01, 2006
A company named SMS.AC is sending emails to writers to get them to sign up for their "service" of providing a communications area for posting stories and if your story is voted the best then you get paid for it.
What's not said is that this is a SCAM to bilk people in two ways. First, they ask for your cell phone number because they supposedly send stories out over cell phones. All you get on your cell phone is charges whenever they deliver "content" to your phone. This they charge to your cell phone at three bucks a pop.
Second, they ask you to upload your address books from yahoo, hotmail, etc. Then, they use your email list to SPAM and SCAM all your friends, too.
Here are some informative links that explain their deviltry in more detail:
Thursday, June 29, 2006
I think you know where this is going. I have come to believe that the current administration should be tried for not only high crimes and misdemeanors, but for treason. George Bush and his minions have attempted or succeeded in supervening nearly every amendment in the Bill of Rights, except for the Second. However, you happy NRA folk, don't get too complacent. An armed populace is not good for a tyrannical government.
Am I anti-war? No. I fully and completely supported George Senior's decision to go to war against Iraq. But, the current war on Iraq is not the war that was touted. It is not a war on terrorism. Instead, it has made terrorists out of people who might have remained peaceful. Maybe they're not even terrorists. I'm sure George III called the American colonists whatever was the 18th Century equivalent.
As you salute the flag, march in a parade, picnic, and watch fireworks on the upcoming 4th of July, think about what has been stolen from you over the last six years. If you don't see it, then there's no helping you. You're just a good German, only following orders. A pox on you for standing aside while a handful of right-wingers destroyed your country.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
I've put a link to the left just under my profile for the website. So, if you're reading this, just shift your eyeballs left a bit and you'll see it.
The advantage of a website over a blog is the ability to make certain information more permanent to the site. On a blog, you write a post and it slips down down down then disappears as it get archived each month.
The new website isn't spectacular, but I hope I can tweak and modify it to be a good marketing tool for the Marva juggernaut of publishing. That last is just hyperbole. I'm practicing to write cover blurbs.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
For less than the price of the printed (on paper) magazine, you can get both the June and July issues with my stories inside.
See the link to LBF books to the left. Find the Ezine (PDF) link and go from there.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
There will be illustrations, so now we'll all get to discover what Bascoda the Djinn actually looks like. He is a changeable fellow, so who knows what the illustrator will come up with.
So, Congratulations to me on my first book (little, skinny book, but it's a book damnit!).
The timeframe for it to come out is September/October. These things take time and I'll probably die of anticipation in the meantime.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Monday, June 05, 2006
So, go to the site, read the guidelines, and send off your best shorts to Diddledog:
Diddledog Flash Fiction
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Writers Post Journal-July: The Corn Patch Incident
First, I got some terrific input from their science editor, which helped to improve the story a lot. Mostly, my science sucks, but he thought the story was okay. After a lot of research having to do with antimatter (don't ask), I rewrote and sent the story back to them in March. Then, I waited. I finally got the word that the story will be appearing in their September issue.
The great part: I get paid!
Abyss & Apex: Pressure Drill(September)
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
If you love SciFi, then the SciFi Directory is a site you need to bookmark. It lists just about everything and everybody with links to the appropriate websites.
Monday, May 29, 2006
On most web pages I look at, I simply "tune out" the ads and such. Occasionally, however, I do look at them and have been known to click on something interesting.
I don't consider these additions to be the work of the devil, but I'm interested in seeing what happens.
Call this an experiment, then, and bear with me while I check it out.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Young guys, go ahead and ask your doctor about a baseline PSA.
My concern comes from my dearest husband's recent diagnosis with prostate cancer.
Now, this is the slowest growing and most prevalent cancer among males. I'm not overly concerned about his future since it was caught early and will most likely have a good outcome.
Still, just as women are constantly barraged with the ads to get breast exams, you guys don't play the macho game or the embarrassed game or any other kind of game. Suck it up, fellas and get the old digital exam and PSA test.
Your embarrassment or hesitation is not worth the possiblities.
Nuff said. I hope.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Sounds something like the "Little Engine Who Could." That is, I believe I've got an acceptance for at least one of my fantasy stories about Cadida and her weirdo djinn, Bascoda.
Yes, this story was published on Scribal Tales (see link to left), but it also went to Sam's Dot publishing. I didn't hear back from them so assumed it was dead and sent the story to Scribal Tales, where Dan Olarnick snapped it up with glee.
Then, Tyree Campbell of Sam's Dot sent me a note saying the story was too long for their ezine KidVisions, but he might want to publish it as a chapbook. Totally, Dude (as Crush the Turtle would say). I emailed back that the story was already printed in Scribal, but that Dan would release it and take it out of archives if needed. Nice guy, Dan.
Then, nothing, nothing, nothing. I decided to take a flyer and sent the second two Cadida stories to Tyree.
Amazingly, yesterday I heard from him again. His wording suggests that the first story will be published and the second two also if he likes them. He said he didn't receive them previously. That's fine. So, I sent them off again.
So, what's a chapbook? Essentially, it's a very short book of around 20 pages. My stories run about 5000 words, so I'm dividing by the standard 250 for that number. These little books are sold at Sam's Dot and a few other sites for around five bucks each. How much do I get? I haven't a clue, but I'm sure it won't be a lot.
Okay, long article, but if even one of the stories is printed it would be very neat. If they take all three, then that's a big woo hoo!
Thursday, May 18, 2006
The downloadable version of the June issue is now available for $4.00. See the link to the left. Here's the illustration used with my story "The Cattle Drive."
The drawing is by Paul Campbell.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
One of our neighbors:
The Pool area:
Back entrance to lobby:
Monday, May 15, 2006
Another writer from Wordsmiths, Swimfishyswim, also has a story in the June issue, so maybe a two-fer will get you excited. Her/His/Its story is titled "Do You Remember." Congrats to Swim for the acceptance. She/He/It also has a story in the WPJ May issue titled "One Last Kiss."
Ah, well. The link to the purchase site is on the left under Published if you're interested. They also have a lot of books for sale there (LBF is the parent company of WPJ and is a small publisher).
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Disneyworld was both fun and exhausting. The hardest part is now catching up on email, crit sites, and all that stuff one does at home that does not get done when one is not at home.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
So, this is a worthless post just to show that I'm still alive, but will be off-line for about a week.
I'll write a trip report of some type when I return.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
My story "The Cattle Drive" has been accepted for the June Father's Day issue of Writers Post Journal. Yeah, you'd have to buy the copy to see it. Here's where you can get a look at the cover and shell out your money if you're so inclined.
Writers Post Journal
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I'll also post this on my links to the left.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
So far, they've given no indication of that and have said more than once they are grateful that I took up the cause to get them moved from fifteen miles out in the country with only a wood stove to heat their shabby rental house. Their former landlords didn't do much upkeep, but on the other side, they never raised their rent in over thirteen years. Good people on the whole.
I hope I did the right thing, though. It's a huge change for them. I worry about it, although the rest of the family concur with me doing this. My idea, but my younger brother split the costs despite his wife's reluctance to spend so much of their retirement money.
My brother and I feel the same way, though. It's just what you do. End of story. Period. Family matters.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
All the links will be posted as the stories are put up on the zines.
M E D I A R E L E A S E
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (authors name)
E-mail: (authors email)
LONG STORY SHORT Writing Site Honors Local (awarding winning, etc.) Authors story
(Authors home city - i.e. Glendale, CA)--The board of editors at Long Story have chose ____________ (authors) story for publication in the ______________ issue of LSS
(Name of Poem/Story) was conceived when (give a description e.g. - after a vacation, the poet opened her refrigerator door to find several rolls of Pillsbury Biscuits there, their seams popped, fleshy dough peeking from under the cylindrical lids and related the scene to the plight of women.)
Edited by Denise Cassino, Linda Barnett-Johnson, and Susan Scott, Long Story Short features fine writing from fiction and poetry to essays and, unlike many journals, also offers critiques from their submission committee. Their goal is to promote and advance the work of writers worldwide.
The URL to the story is (insert link to page).
(Authors name) is the author of several poems and stories published by (Long Story Short and any other publications) including _____________________.
Other awards and published work includes ____________________________________________.
Learn more about (author) at ___insert link to personal webpage______.
# # # #
Support Materials available on request.
IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS WHEN YOU FINISH
M E D I A R E L E A S E
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jane Doe
LONG STORY SHORT Writing Site Honors Local awarding winning Authors Short Story
Glendale, CA--The board of editors at Long Story Short has accepted Jane Does story, Happy Days, for the month of June.
Happy Days was conceived when the author lost a friend to cancer and felt she had also lost her youth.
Edited by Denise Cassino, Linda Barnett-Johnson, and Susan Scott, Long Story Short features fine writing from fiction and poetry to essays and, unlike many journals, also offers critiques from their submission committee. Their goal is to promote and advance the work of writers worldwide.
The URL to the poem/story is www.longstoryshort.us
Jane Doe is the author of several poems and stories published in such publications as AboutTeens.com, Tapestry.com, Garden and Hearth and Reminisce Magazine. Other awards First Runner Up in the Glimmer Train contest, June 2003.
Learn more about Jane Doe at www.JaneDoe.com
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
This one has an interesting history. Originally, it was one third the answer to a challenge on East of the Web. The challenge was to write three interlocking stories with a theme for each--segue from one story to the next. I pulled this part out into a standalone.
I'll post a link when the story is on-line.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
I previously published "Cadida and the Djinn" with them. That link is to the left.
I'll add the new link when the story comes up on their website.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
The audio link is right at the top of the page.
This is the first of my stories put out as an audio version. Interesting to hear somebody read the story out loud interpreting it in a way.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
A Good, Honest Dog
by Marva Dasef (Copyright 2006)
We walked down the concrete path with chainlink cells on both sides. Shouting to make ourselves heard over the cacophony of barking, yipping, and howling, we examined the inmates of this canine prison.
I looked into one cell and a stocky black and brown pup, only a few months old, sat up and begged. No barks, yips, or howls from her, just a pair of pleading brown eyes. "This one," I said without hesitation. We paid her bail, signed all the papers and took her home--our new dog.
We named our darling puppy Loki after the Norse god of mischief. No matter that she was female, since most people don't know the Vikings' mythology. We resisted calling her Heinz 57, although we couldn't quite figure out her breeding. A bit of springer, a dab of spaniel, maybe those short legs told of a rogue dachshund? In any case, she became our loving dog and we her loving parents.
Her short legs and chunky body, while cute as could be, wreaked havoc on her fetching skills. Toss the frisbee, then wait...and wait. When she caught up with the already-grounded disk, she spent a few minutes examining the surrounding area for stray scents. She loved to play fetch, but often forgot that her role was to return the object to the tosser.
Walking her on a leash was not easy, as her nose led us back and forth on a chase for fading scents. What she lacked in physical skills, she made up for with a nose inherited from some obscure ancestor who must have hunted for a living.
As she aged, she grew too fat and I kicked myself for not exercising her more often. I always had some excuse or other–work, kids, sheer laziness. Besides, I thought, the prednisone the vet prescribed for flea allergies caused her weight gain.
In her tenth year, her hips started to pain her. She loved to sleep on the old sofa, long ago claimed as her own, but she couldn't jump up anymore. She'd walk over to it, then turn her head and look at me with her pleading eyes. "Oh, okay," I'd sigh and go lift her bottom up as she scrabbled with her front legs to gain her throne.
Our vet loved her, or at least she said she did. I think our vet loved every dog that walked, or was dragged, through the door. Nevertheless, I'll always remember her saying, "You know, Loki's just a good, honest dog." That was our Loki, a good, honest dog.
In her thirteenth year, the vet found a tumor in her belly. "She'll be okay for a while. They don't grow very fast."
"Can't you operate?" I asked, mentally tallying up an expensive vet bill.
"It won't do any good, I'm afraid. The problem is that if we try to remove the tumor, it would most likely spread to other parts of her body. We'll just keep an eye on her."
I took her home, my hands cold and heart heavy. "We'll keep an eye on her" simply meant that she was going to die, and it would be sooner rather than later.
I took out the photo album and looked at her baby pictures. I chuckled when I saw her dripping ears at her first bath. For some reason, this dog--just an animal you know--moved into my soul. A happy dog, her butt wiggling her joy when we called her, "let's take a ride!" She loved to go along with us, like dogs do, her head hanging out the back window.
Steadily and relentlessly she grew worse. The tumor became evident, now hanging from her belly; a monstrous thing killing my good, honest dog.
Then, one day, while vacuuming the house and dusting and doing all those housework chores I hate, I went to the sunroom. Loki was laying against the wall, her legs shaking. She had shat all over the rug and she looked at me with sad eyes. Please forgive me, I didn't do it on purpose, they said.
"Oh, Loki," I cried and went to her to pet her, to tell her that it was okay. She began to shake with another seizure. I screamed for my husband and together we wrapped her in a blanket and drove to the vet.
I could hear her in the back, panting. Not just the usual dog panting, but a rasping shudder as she was wracked with spasms again and again.
The vet examined her and looked at us with sympathy. "I can give her a tranquilizer to keep down the convulsions, or..." She left the sentence unfinished.
I looked into those brown, trusting eyes and decided to let my dear Loki sleep. The vet gave her the shot as I held her head in my shaking hands. Her eyes slowly closed and her gasping ceased.
I cry now as I write this. I loved my Loki and will miss her forever. I don't believe in heaven or hell, but I think there has to be a dog heaven for good, honest dogs. I know she is there.
Friday, March 31, 2006
My writing has slowed somewhat while I'm searching for a workshopping home. The ones that have the people I like are less active for crits. The active critter sites are too comfortable for my style of writing. So, I have my feet in more than one pool trying to find the best fit in all directions.
On the home front, my brother and I (including our spouses) have purchased a small manufactured home for my parents. I've been doing quite a bit of running around getting that together. The fun part is the house we ended up getting is literally right across the street from mine. Do I want my parents that close? Damn straight, I do! They've been living way out in the country, so that any trip to the doctor or shopping is a thirty mile round trip. Not good. The house they've been in (a rental) has only a wood stove for heat. Double not good. It's definitely time for them to move into town and get a bit closer to services and have the advantage of a nice furnace in the winter.
My husband and I did just have a quick two-day trip to Ashland, Oregon's Shakespearean Festival. This is world-class theater, winning Tony award and so on. If you ever get in the vicinity of southern Oregon, then check it out. Buy tickets ahead of time, though. While you can get some at the door, most performances are sold out months in advance. We saw "A Winters Tale" (Shakespeare) and "The Importance of Being Ernest" (Oscar Wilde). See, there's more than the Bard offered. At the end of August, we'll be taking the granddaughters down for "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Hey, they chose the play, not me!
There, now I've caught my vast reading audience up to date. I wish I had more story sales to report, but it's been a very dry month from that standpoint.