I'm trying to remember there's a swamp to deal with, not just the next alligator. I won't even claim I've got good at alligator-wrestling, I'm just better than I used to be.
Rex Stout makes my brain fizz in some interesting ways. For some reason I got frustrated enough to hit Half.com for a stack of very cheap paperback Nero Wolfe mysteries that I haven't had time to read yet.
(They lurk, waiting to pounce.) I hesitate to start gulping Stout like popcorn, in some fear of my own writing sounding like a bad copy of a tacky film noir script.
On the other paw, the reading might only improve it. I find Stout is terse and economical in all kinds of places I might have taken too long to get to the point.
I made another trip this summer, driving up Highway One from LA to cut inland about Gilroy--this got way too many snapshots, just like the ones last year. I've posted some more of last years' pix up on Flickr, but there's still many more to go.
I guess I'm using Flickr like an offsite archive of all those reams of travel pix, as well as flower pix. Sagebrush and rock textures, anybody?
I've also been learning how to use Photobucket for other sorts of themed pix. I've picked up a strange new hobby from friends of mine who are also into sf & f. A lot of the ball-jointed doll fanciers create figures right out of fantasy illos, so it's not just about the Shirley Temple wigs any more.
This one, for instance, could be about a lot of different stories.
Frtiz Leiber, perhaps? Scroll down slightly to see the graphic.http://harlowkitty.livejournal.com/104198.html
The doll's name is Feyd Asher, which evokes all kinds of echoes for me.
Oh yes, it's yet another sucking bog of a hobby that can eat your whole life if you have any obsessive-compulsive traits and a willingness to infect others with it. I'm still moaning to everybody that I've just picked up a new fandom. Think of it like a new cold virus, but longer-lived.
Yes, this is good news, because it reflects interesting shiny new lights on ideas for the Teot manuscript.
I'm still in Toastmasters, in a lunch-time club that's incredibly informal because a lot of our folks travel at short notice. Let me clarify that it isn't about delivering speeches, you're writing them yourself. You plan it to stay within the time. As you can probably tell, this is a useful discipline for me... I bring that up to mention something that I quoted there.
"Your job, as a writer, is to create a context in which *other* people can think."
In actual writing technique stuff, my family found this amusing bit of writing commentary for me, as I haven't been keeping up on Laurie King's Mutterings of late. Her writing always makes my brain fizz like a sparkler, in completely different ways from Stout.
I think she feels even more strongly about copy-editing than I do, possibly because she's had to deal with far more of it. Yes, that feeling of dread she mentions?
She also has a delightful grandma's attic of essays.
I just spent some time knocking my brain against the one on religion in writing mysteries. She always sets my brain fizzing, but I'm also finding it difficult to paraphrase her. The attic awaits you here.http://www.laurierking.com/mutterings.php
Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.