December 31, 2005

Mr. Right always left...

Happy Birthday, Mom
© Janelle Meraz Hooper, 1952

12-31-05-I love vintage photos. I took this one in 1952 with my Brownie camera—the same Brownie camera I write about in As Brown As I Want, The Indianhead Diaries. Mom always got dressed up and went out on Friday and Saturday night to look for Mr. Right, but he always left. Here, as I remember, she was waiting for her sister, who always took longer to get ready than my mother.
I remember the skirt she wore as if it were yesterday. It was a circle skirt, and she’d made it from polished cotton that had metallic gold accenting the blue and pink flowers.
Mom’s birthday was on the first of January, and we always celebrated for two days—the 31st and the 1st of January. The outfit she wore on New Year's Eve was always spectacular, and she designed it for the ballroom dancing that she loved.
turtle trivia-Buddhists believe in reincarnation, and often release turtles and other creatures into the wild as a religious observance.

Quote du jour:

“Never date a man whose hair is prettier than yours.” Advice from my mother…

December 30, 2005

We've got to do better!

Bark in winter, © Janelle Meraz Hooper

This has been a very sad year for me. This was the year I lost confidence in our country. Who would have ever thought that there would come a time when we wouldn’t be able to help our own Katrina victims? After that, our president announced that we would be sending $100,000 to Pakistan for the earthquake victims*. That was like buying one bag of popcorn for a theater full of movie-goers. We’ve got to do better…
Okay, so we can’t save the world. Especially when we’re spending billions of dollars invading countries that have no WMDs. But I don’t think our problems will go away with the next election. We’re like an old teacup that has tiny cracks that eventually join together until the cup explodes. For our children. For our elderly. For all of our citizens needing intense and expensive medical care, we’ve got to do better…
To do that, we need to grow up and stop electing every pretty face that can afford campaign signs. We need government officials with substance. Integrity. Honesty. Intelligence. And above all, an eye for our future and a commitment to the ideals of our founding fathers. Grow up, America! We’ve got to do better…
Do not think that we cannot ever lose our beautiful country. It could happen. Freedom is not a given. It’s a commitment. An obligation. A promise we must keep, for our children and our children’s children, and beyond that. We’ve got to do better…
The above message was not from some educated Harvard graduate (obviously!). Please accept it as a plea from a mother and grandmother. That’s all it is. God bless America!
*We eventually sent a little more.
On my bed table- I’m reading an old text book of my daughter’s, Early American Women by Nancy Woloch. I’ve snatched several of her old textbooks leftover from her college days at the The University of Puget Sound—good stuff!

Whatcha’ Readin’?- B.B. of Sequim, Washington is reading Mary, Mary by James Patterson. Over Christmas, she read: Saving Fish From Drowning, by Amy Tan; The Smoke Jumper, by Nicholas Evans; Honeymoon by James Patterson and Howard Roughan; and a Jimmy Buffet book whose title slips her memory. I know this woman, and she has always been a voracious reader.

On my DVD player-For tonight, War of the Worlds, and I’m just daring it to be as good as the original. I’m fully expecting it to be just an orgy of technical tricks.

Turtle trivia: Contrary to belief, water turtles do not always hibernate in winter. Underneath the water, they go about their business of being a turtle.
Quote du jour:
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety." Benjamin Franklin

December 29, 2005

Give Yourself a Pay Raise!

Alaskan boat, © Janelle Meraz Hooper
12-29-05-Give Yourself a Pay Raise
Whenever the New Year rolls around, I start thinking about organizing something. Sometimes it's my closet or garage. Today, I'm thinking about money.
Even though most of us are working harder than ever for the same amount of money, we can’t remember the last time we had a pay raise. Meanwhile, the costs of food, healthcare, medicines, property taxes, and rent are rising steadily.
Even worse, stocks are down and some of the investments we were counting on for our retirement are gone forever. On top of that, we’re paying more for goods and services that often aren’t (good, that is).
Maybe it’s time to give yourself a pay raise. One way to do this is by stopping the leaks. Plug those small leaks, and they can add up to a waterfall at the end of the year.
I’m not going to put the two biggies—cigarettes and liquor—on the list. Everyone is already aware of what they might be spending on those. Let’s examine some of the hidden leaks: daily lattes, charitable donations, restaurant meals, expensive gifts, and late charges on credit accounts. Expensive leaks might include:
Daily lattes: $3.50 apiece x 365 days a year = over $1200 a year!
Restaurant and take-out meals: Substituting a peanut butter sandwich at home for a meal in a restaurant can add up to a sizable savings during the year. Get over the idea that every meal has to be a gourmet delight. A peanut butter sandwich and an apple can be a good thing, nutrition and budget-wise.
Donations: Companies don’t give money to every charity that comes to their door, why should you? Make a budget, decide yearly (or half-yearly, which charities you can afford to support and how much you’ll give. I’m all for helping the needy, but charity starts at home.
Volunteering: Giving away time is like giving away money. I know this is going to make me unpopular, but volunteering is expensive. Time taken away from your family means more fast food meals, bigger gas bills, and more out-of-pocket purchases for charity-related items that you would never buy otherwise. I’m not saying you should cut out all of your charitable activities, just think about what it’s really costing you. I was always the worst about volunteering too much—I logged so many hours that my family suffered.
Late charges: those late charges on credit card bills can be just plain ugly. Oftentimes, your payment may be on time, but the banks own bookkeeping practices may be costing you money. Check it out. Sometimes, a bill may say it’s due on one date, but it may really have to be paid days ahead to go through the system and avoid late charges. I know, it’s not fair. It just is.
Dry cleaning bills: A piece of clothing on sale that has to be dry-cleaned is not always a bargain. I have a pair of pants that was on sale for $25.00. I’ve spent three times that much having them dry-cleaned.
Shop ahead for gifts: This is a biggie. Most of us spend hundreds of dollars a year on last minute gifts. Planning ahead could enable you a little breathing room so you can shop more creatively. Also, a lot of us over-gift. Think about it. Over the course of a year, those pricey gifts on your charge card can add up.
I’m guessing that, with a little effort, you can save at least $3,000 a year. That’s $250 a month! There’s a chance that there’s even more to be saved that could be put to better use someplace else. It’s your money. Keep it.

LOL-William H. Macy-My husband and I first noticed William H. Macy in the TV show Sport Night several years ago. At the time, we said it was such a shame he didn’t work more, because he was so good. Now, we’re looking for him and we see him all the time. It’s become a joke. We’re always calling to each other, “Honey, come quick! That guy who never works is on TV again!”
Turtle trivia: I've read that turtles like earthworms, but hate night crawlers. Go figure.

Quote du jour:
"How could this happen? I was so careful. I picked the wrong play, the wrong director, the wrong cast. Where did I go right?"- Mostel in the movie Springtime for Hitler

December 28, 2005

We're very Doc Hollywood!

Mt. Rainier, © Janelle Meraz Hooper, 2005

Although we were Catholic, my mother used to have a brass menorah on her mantel. I think she got it at a garage sale. She loved it so much that I decided to put it in my third turtle, Custer and His Naked Ladies. I can remember how the candlestick bothered my aunt. I think she was worried that the pope might stop by and discover it.

Kwanzaa-I guess Kwanzaa is in full swing. I don’t get out much, so I’m not sure. I’d never get any work done if I lived downtown. I’d spend half my day looking out my window because we’re real big on parades here. We have parades to announce the daffodil season, homecoming, Christmas, Easter, and even a cattle drive down our main street to celebrate the beginning of the Puyallup Fair. I’m sure we’ll have a Kwanzaa Parade soon. We’re very Doc Hollywood here!

LOL-I see my novels are still listed on an erotic Internet site—I have no idea how they got picked up. There are going to be some really disappointed customers out there in cyberspace when they find out the only sexy things in my books are the queens in the canasta cards!

Quote du jour:
"A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it." Alistair Cooke

December 27, 2005

Back to work!

My three-turtle summer, Ft. Sill Oklahoma
© Grace Gloar, 1949
Back to work-
It’s been fun getting back to work today. I still have a refrigerator full of Christmas leftovers, and I plan to eat my way through some of the final edits to Custer and His Naked Ladies. I imagine I’ll get about two CPP (cookies per page), tee-hee!
A Three-Turtle Summer-
“…It took just one drop of the wrong blood color to shut doors to nightclubs, country clubs, and even some churches. Tired to trying to explain their heritage to people who already had their minds made up, Grace and her family had given up years ago. They were Mexican. Period. Take it or leave it.” Excerpt from A Three-Turtle Summer, by Janelle Meraz Hooper.
Whatcha' Readin'?-Let me know!

Quote du jour:
"Don't rewrite what I write."- Beatty in the movie Reds

December 23, 2005

Thank you, Oprah...

Russian Christmas ornament, © Janelle Meraz Hooper

Okay, so Christmas Day is over, but there’s still plenty of Christmas left. I’m delaying picking up the living room that is still littered with bits of wrapping paper and ribbon. A blue paper airplane is resting on the floor near the tree—a bit short of it’s runway in the branches. Sometimes, I just dust around these reminders for days, and Christmas rolls on until my husband either declares the tree a fire hazard, or it’s the first of January. But until then, I still have a generous supply of Christmas cookies and homemade fudge and Christmas carols on the CD player.

Hanukkah-Hanukkah began at sundown last night, celebrating the miracle of the oil in ancient times when the Greeks ruined the oil and there wasn’t enough to burn in the menorahs. Miraculously, the scant amount of oil they had for the menorahs burned for eight days—long enough to make new oil. That’s why Hanukkah lasts for eight days, as long as the oil did centuries ago. I always wondered what kind of oil was used for the wicks in ancient times. Finally, I read that it was olive oil. So, Happy Hanukkah! To all my Jewish friends. Light the candles! Oh—I hear that, nowadays, a lot of families use electric menorahs!

Kwanzaa*- It was so small on my calendar that I almost missed it, but Kwanzaa begins today, and goes on until January 1st. Today is also Boxing Day. Are we having fun, or what?!
*I did not misspell Kwanzaa--it has an extra "a" in this country--in Africa, it's Kwanza. I wonder if they feel cheated?

Quote du jour:

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." Eleanor Roosevelt


LOL: I planned my quote du jour last week so I could post it this morning and get back to our Christmas tree as quickly as possible. I was very content with my choice. After the presents were unwrapped, I opened our Tacoma News Tribune and what did I see? The same quote! Oh, well, I guess you can't outwit the pros...

Merry Christmas!

Quote du jour:

"God bless us, every one!" Tiny Tim, Scrooge

12-23-05-It's almost Christmas! I'm filled with a sense of awe when I look at our Christmas tree, and a ripple of pure joy moves over our oak floors. I awoke this morning and the first thoughts I had were of the people in my life that I'm so thankful for. I won't embarrass them by mentioning them here. They know who they are. I had another thought that surprised me: I'm thankful for Oprah! She is such a treasure, and I'm moved to tears at the way she generously helps so many people. We'll most certainly never have another person in this country who is so day, she's giving book bags filled with school supplies to African children--the next, she's showing American women how to get a good-fitting bra! How funny is that?! So, thank you Oprah, for all you do. You are an inspiration to all of us.

LOL: Someone told me yesterday that a copy of one of my books, As Brown As I Want, The Indianhead Diaries, is for sale on e-bay for $9.69. Why do I feel as if I've finally made it?!

Quote du jour:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”- Gandhi

The Japanese Wes Studi!

Snowman sculpture, © Joyce Stevens, 2005
On my bed table-I have finished Tonya Holmes Shook's The Drifters. I was so delighted to read about something different than what's on the mainstream front tables at the fancy bookstores. Who cares about what Hollywood star is in drug treatment or what politician sailed to Bimini with a wanabee starlet? Give me something with a good story and some teeth in it! I've been talking about Tonya's story for days. In case you've missed it, her historical fiction is about a people in America called the Melungeons (not to be confused with the muggles in Harry Potter!). Their ancestors were once the slaves of the Vikings who used them to help colonize the new world. Eventually, they intermingled with the Native Americans.
On my DVD machine-I have found the Japanese Magua (Wes Studi). Want to see him? He is in Akura Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954). It’s a terrific movie, but at 3:28 minutes, I’m hesitant to recommend it! Note: Wes Studi played Magua in The Last of the Mohicans (and many other roles).

Quote du jour:
"Writers should afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted." Unknown

December 21, 2005

Happy Winter Solstice!

Cranberry fields, © Janelle Meraz Hooper
Happy Winter Solstice!
As a Southwest seedling planted in the Pacific Northwest, solstice is a big day for me. Through the years, when darkness descended upon my pasture and passing school buses turned on their lights—inside and out—I have tried every craft available to me to help pass the time before it was time to get out into my garden again. I used to have a big box under my bed filled with fabric, yarns, stained glass supplies, scrapbook materials, and watercolors. I became a mediocre dabbler, attaining only so-so skills in any of the crafts. The worst was the year when my daughter and I decided to take a pottery class together. So far, we’ve refused to divulge exactly where in the pasture the pots that we made are buried. If they are ever dug up by archaeologists, they’ll be promptly reburied for fear that their discovery will squelch any further government funding.

Journal entry- (Three young men are in the gold fields; inexperienced, they have run out of supplies after only three days in the wilderness.)
“…We awoke at sunup. It was a bright morning, with the early chill still in the air, but with a promise of a warm day ahead. ‘What are we going to have for breakfast?…we’ve got everything but the food,’ he says, ‘We can pull in our belts for the rest of it.’ … ‘Good Lord, boys!’ he says. ‘Do you know that this is Christmas?’
We were feeling pretty low…but right when I was feeling sorriest for myself and thinking about home and how I wished I was there I began to see how selfish and short sighted I was…
‘Look here, boys, ‘ I said, ‘this is playing it pretty low down on each other. I’m ready to celebrate. Merry Christmas, Steve. Merry Christmas, Mat. Here, you two kids, Santa Claus has come.’
They stared at me as if I’d lost my senses, but I hadn’t. I took out of my belt two heavy little nuggets I’d been saving to send back to New York and gave one to each of them. It was a poor enough gift. Gold was a common commodity with us. They’d have appreciated a hot biscuit a lot more. But it fetched them…I had them smiling.”
Joseph J. McCloskey, 23-years-old at his 1849 Christmas. Christmas in the Gold Fields, California Historical Society

Quote du jour:

He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more, He who loses faith, loses all. --Eleanor Roosevelt

December 20, 2005

The Natives Decked the Tree

12-19-05- It's a good day to curl up with the cat of your choice and read a book...above art: JMH, copyrighted, etc. I always feel so silly adding tags to my art and photos--I don't really think there's any danger of anyone else wanting to use them! Ha!

Journal entries-
"The day before Christmas the natives decked the tree with their gifts for each other--sealskin for boots in pieces bleached white as vellum, walrus meat and seal liver, a few gun cartridges, a sumptous gift by the way, skeins of sinew thread and needles, flour and tea, wooden platters made of driftwood, pieces of ivory and whalebone, fur for mittens and braces of frozen birds."
An excerpt from Arctic Mood, a journal of a teacher (Eva Alvey Richards) who went to live and work in Alaska 1924-26.

HGTV- I almost had a heart attack yesterday. I tuned into a show that helped people organize their living spaces. The first thing they were told to do by the expert was get rid of their clutter--specifically their books! Yikes! My whole house is decorated in what I call Early Library, and that's the way I like it. Writers come to my house to do research. If I had to get rid of some clutter, I'd be willing to part with some of my, wait...
On my DVD player-I've been watching Seven Samurai, a classic film by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. It's 3 hrs & 28 minutes long, so I may be watching it until Christmas Eve. The neat thing about old movies are the artifacts and costumes. I'm hooked!

On my bed table-I'm almost finished with The Drifters, by Tonya Holmes Shook, so I may have to crawl under the bed to find the book that I dropped weeks ago and haven't felt the need to go look for yet. The Drifters is a really good read. Maybe, I'll just read it again!
Quote du jour
"How am I supposed to write for a guy who doesn't have a head?" -Whoopi Goldberg in the movie Soapdish

December 19, 2005

Christmas in the Gold Fields, 1849...

Thank you for Bud, Joyce

Every Christmas, I like to read diary entries for the date of December 25. The following is an excerpt from Christmas in the Gold Fields, 1849…
(Two young boys are at a store, trying to buy something special for their sickly parents' dinner.) “‘Herman, look at this. Canned peaches! Could anything be so delicious? Let us take peaches.’"…Jacob fried the flapjacks and made coffee. I mixed flour and water for the biscuits. We had not known salt since our arrival and we used a substitute which was commonly adopted among the forty-niners, gunpowder.” Hermann J. Sharmann (published by the California Historical Society, San Francisco)
Bud-The big doll, pictured above, was given to me by Joyce, an old high school buddy. So far, I've propped him up in several different poses. Right now, he's enjoying the Christmas tree while I'm working on a deadline. Last week, I had two for lunch, so I added him to the festive table as my date (he has very good manners). You'll see more of Bud.
Teen smoking-they say it's down but that drug use is up. How sad. What kind of a country have we created where our own children can't see the promise and possibilities of this great land? Is this a case of bad parenting? Too much money? (Remember, Richard Pryor told us that doing drugs was God's way of telling us we have too much money!) Whatever the problem, it is obvious that we, as parents--for whatever reason--have not created an environment that's good for raising children. We've got to do better.
Quote du jour:
"Happiness becomes a thing to be mastered." Steve Chandler, author of Reinventing Yourself

December 16, 2005

The Magic of Christmas

- This week at least a part of the Magic of Christmas was the arrival of a Christmas gift I'd ordered that I thought would ever get here until Easter. I take back all the un-Christmas things I said.

Toys-for-Tots-I have a philosophy for giving toys at Christmas. I give dolls because I believe that children who play with and love dolls grow up and become good parents. That's not to say that's all they should get. I'm sure other adults are more comfortable with the techie toys (that will always baffle me), and sometimes, nothing can beat a big yellow truck. But I'll stick to dolls--heaven knows that we need all the good parents we can get.

Whatcha readin'? -If you'd like to share what you're reading, let me know.
On my bed table-I've been too busy to read.
On my DVD machine- Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Have we lost our minds??? This movie is nothing more than excessive violence, only in a good neighborhod.
Quotes du jour:
"It's Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman."- writer pitching idea in The Player
“I’m falling in something, this time, I hope it’s love.” Pearl Bailey

December 15, 2005

Christmas in the Antique District

December 15, 2005
First lines:

Christmas in the Antique District
Sandie opened the door to the basement closet of the antique store to get the artificial tree her boss had sent her after--and quickly shut it again. The tree was covered with rat droppings and, although the closet was dark at the back, she could hear movement that she was pretty sure wasn't reindeer.
Oh, Lordy! What am I going to do? Sandie thought. She needed her job, but her mind and body both rebelled at going anywhere near that disease-infested tree.
An excerpt from A Christmas in the Antique District, a short story in Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories by Janelle Meraz Hooper.
At home-Boy, was I dumb! I actually believed that salesperson who promised me that my order of a very special Christmas present would be delivered by Christmas. I got an email yesterday that said it had just shipped! There is no way it'll make it to the West coast from the East coast by the 25th! Now, what do I do? I ordered the present on Monday-- I expected them to ship on Tuesday. I know...I was late, but it's been that kind of year.
Custer and His Naked Ladies-the third novel in my turtle trilogy is coming right along. Actually, it's finished, except for the final edit. I have to get some help with the Spanish phrases because I took two years of French in high school instead of Spanish. Since I'm Hispanic, how dumb was that?!
Merry Christmas-I am very confused by both sides on the Merry Christmas issue. One side wants me to boycott the stores that say Happy Holidays in their ads. For one thing, there is no place else to shop! They're all doing it! If I skip Christmas and presents, will that make loving Christians out of my grandchildren? I don't think so!
The other side, the merchants, insist on being politically correct to the point of lunacy. Who do they think buys Christmas presents anyway, Muslims? Buddhists? Hindus?
Finally, exactly who is it that is complaining? My Jewish friends and I have exchanged greetings both ways for years, and I've never been offended by "Happy Hanukkah," and they've never been upset to hear "Merry Christmas." During Ramadan, I wouldn't be reticent at all to greet a muslim with "Happy Ramadan!" Just who is it that's making all the fuss?
Quote du jour:
Hepburn: "You never wrote."
Connery: "I don't know how."- the movie Robin and Marion

December 10, 2005

My Christmas List

Caution, you are about to enter an editor-free zone...
My Christmas List
by Janelle Meraz Hooper

Here they come again. On my television screen. Men with no shirts on, hawking men’s cologne that my husband wouldn’t wear to chop wood. It’s just $69.99, the tagline says. Who are they trying to kid? That’s almost $70.00!
And here come the beautiful women looking like they’ve never cleaned out a sink basket. They’re trying their best to convince my husband that he doesn’t really love me if he doesn’t buy me that ring that has diamonds big enough to choke a hippopotamus.
The tip-off for these pricey gifts is the tagline at the bottom: available in fine department stores everywhere. I’m waiting for the ad that says: Pick one up anywhere—we made a zillion of them! Better yet would be an ad that said: Free with a tank of gas!
Luckily for our bank account, after over thirty-four years, my husband has my number. If he wants to make me happy, all he has to do is bring on the singing fish. The rest of the family is catching on. My aunt sent me a singing chicken. My grandson gave me a singing lobster last Christmas. This year, I’m hoping for singing turtles—three of them. Add to my list:
I want the new re-mastered CDs of classic rock and roll songs recorded by guys like Hall & Oates, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Mick Jagger. They rock!
And one of those big packages of computer paper in assorted colors. I want the loud kind. Not that wimpy, pastel stuff. I have no idea what I’ll do with it, I just want it. It must be the little kid in me.
Then, I want a tree, some tangerines, and some popcorn. It’s not Christmas without popcorn. Everyone knows that except that skinny guy on my television with the shaved chest selling cologne.
Oh, and honey, I was just kidding about not wanting the diamond ring. I’m crazy, but I’m not dumb! Pick one up!
An excerpt from Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories, a short story collection by Janelle Meraz Hooper
The above is a knee-jerk reaction to feeling so helpless about not being able to help those more unfortunate (like those in our South, and in Pakistan). I've always heard the pen is mightier than the sword, but I guess it depends upon whose pen it is...

December 07, 2005


Photo: © Janelle Meraz Hooper, 2005
winter ferry ride

December, 2005

Trump-Have you heard about Trump’s new home shopping network? There’s a rumor that he’s going to sell hair products…

First lines:

It was too hot to play cards, especially if someone were keeping score, and Vera was. A Three-Turtle Summer, by Janelle Meraz Hooper

Dad's supposed to be married to my mom, but he came back from an Army tour of Japan dragging an awful WAC lady with him. As Brown As I Want, The Indianhead Diaries, by Janelle Meraz Hooper

Quote du jour:

“I never heard of crocodiles crossing the ocean.” Sheriff (Brendan Gleeson)
response: “Well, they conceal information like that in books.” Hector Cyr (Oliver Platt)

December 04, 2005

There are no snowmen in Pakistan...

Moose photo by Dick Hooper © 2000
Pakistan-The children in my neighborhood are making snowmen. They've got a lot of snow in the mountains of Pakistan, too, but they're not playing in it. Their tragedy is on my mind this afternoon as I watch the deer in our pasture step daintily through the white powder. They’re not at all bothered by the neighbor’s chickens who have left the parameters of their snow covered pen to seek a tasty snack under the branches of my big Douglas fir, which shelters the ground beneath it. The dirt is flying out there!

From what I read, everyone is working as fast as they can in the mountains of Pakistan. If only Mother Nature could back off awhile, and let the aid workers get ahead…
Of course, they could use some more help. Please send your checks to the charity of your choice. Hurricaines, earthquakes, and other disasters can happen to us too, you know. Then it could be our families in the snow.

Do we have a world disaster plan? We should. Strangely enough, I got an idea about how to design lightweight, affordable shelters from an Ikea ad! I may send it to them—you know the Swedes are some of the world’s finest designers. Of course, they're probably not taking suggestions from novelists! But, if we could all get together, maybe we could do better, faster whenever these “events” occur.
On my DVD player: Frequency, with Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel--entertaining movie, if you can accept Northern lights in New York City!
On my bed table: I'm still reading The Drifters by Tonya Holmes Shook. I'm fascinated to read about a group of people--the Melungeons of Kentucky--who I never knew existed.
Quote du jour:
"Matsu pushed me toward the shrine, then placed my hands out in front so I could clap as he had done. 'You must let the gods know you're here.' Matsu whispered." The Samurai's Garden, Gail Tsukiyama

December 02, 2005

What was I thinking?

December, 2005


What was thinking? Here I am in the middle of a snowstorm with no birdseed and no chocolate! I'll be forced to eat real food--I have no idea what the birds will eat. Maybe, they'd like some peanut butter and crackers...

Photo-No, I still haven't made nice with Hello--the above picture was posted the old-fashioned way (JMH, 2005, copyrighted, etc.).

Who knew?-The memory of a goldfish is about three seconds. Think about that the next time you're trying to teach your fish tricks.

Writing-It's a good day to write. I'm writing a book set in Hawaii that is perfect for days like this...

Quotes du jour:

"Every child is a story yet to be told." Sesame Street, courtesy of PBS

"Everyone has a plan until they get hit." Mike Tyson

December 01, 2005

Snow Day!

December, 2005

Snow-Remember when I told you yesterday that I was tech-impaired? Well, I’m not any better today. Instead of a photo of my fresh snow—about two inches of it—I’m posting a photo that I took of my husband in Alaska several years ago.

Rosa Parks-For those of you who missed it, this is the anniversary of Rosa Parks sit-down on the bus. The date was December 1, 1955. Thank you, Rosa. Coincidentally, I think it was the same year that my family went for an Easter drive into Texas. We were turned away when we went into a restaurant for lunch. The restaurant didn’t serve Mexicans. I still remember the man saying, “I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is,” as he wiped his hands on a dish towel. We were too ashamed and fearful to try to eat someplace else, so we drove all the way home. Boy, were we hungry by the time we reached our own kitchen. I was about ten years old, and I didn’t really understand what was happening. All the way home, I’d kept thinking, Why were we turned away? We were all dressed up…On a different level, I still don’t understand it.

Snow Day! No one loves a snow day better than a writer. I’m sure of it. I spent the day admiring the big, white, fluffy flakes and watching movies. I even had popcorn. Some would call it fooling around, but I call it research.

On my bed table: The Drifters, by award-winning writer Tonya Holmes Shook. It’s a historical novel about the Melungeon Shantyboat People. More about it later, but so far, it’s a really good read.

In my DVD player: The Business of Fancydancing, by Sherman Alexi. It’s a wonderful film that is filmed with a intriguing film perspective that enhances the perspective of the story.

It’s just an accident that the book and movie of the day are both by Native American artists (Shook is a Cherokee and Alexie is a Spokane Indian). It won’t always be like this, after all I’m Hispanic!

Quote du jour:
“ I’m the affirmative action poet.” Seymour Polatkin (Evan Adams) in The Business of Fancydancing