Sunday, January 29, 2012

Judging a book by its cover

So it's RITA--a Romance Writers of America contest for published authors--judging time, and I got my panel of books to read and score. I'm not one who likes to make decisions, so a number of years ago I had my youngest son stack the books in the order he thought I should read them. He went away to college and I was on my own for four years, but now he's back, so I asked him to put the books in order-to-be-read again.

I was in the living room and he was in the kitchen where I'd spread out the books for him to choose. He calls over--did I want to read them best to worst or worst to best? Hmm, I thought, this should be interesting. I knew he knew nothing about the authors and would never knowingly read a romance. I also knew he was going to spend about 2 and 1/2 seconds on this decision. "Worst to best," I said.

After he left, I went out to the kitchen to see how he'd ordered them. I wasn't surprised. The "worst" books had covers that were sexy or sweet; the "best" books were rather stark, looking like they might offer murder and mayhem.

Have I mentioned my family consists of one husband and four sons?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

More resolutions and San Francisco

I managed to get through a week without playing computer solitaire.  Yay, me!  I had to fight the urge far too many times, but maybe it will get easier.  My next step to reclaiming my life and being more productive is to limit my time on-line.  This will be a far bigger challenge since the Internet is my main method of communication.  And I did do a little bit of tidying—I recycled a few ancient papers.

And now, as promised, some more pictures from our San Francisco trip.  I’m writing this on Windows Live Writer, which I haven’t used for a while and never mastered, so we’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, San Francisco is a wonderful, walkable city (assuming you’re part mountain goat).  It’s a little like Washington, D.C., that way—except minus the mountain goat bit.  And because of all the “hills” and man-made vantage points like the Coit Tower, there are lots of places to take in the view.  Here’s a shot of the skyline, I think from the Coit Tower:

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And a view from the bay side:

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For a more close up “experience” of the hills—Mr. M. took this shot while we were riding on a cable car, though I’m not sure you really get the vertical “feel”:

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Perhaps this helps:

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This was taken at the bottom of the famously crooked Lombard Street.

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Suffice it to say, we got plenty of exercise, even just walking the few blocks to one of the local Starbucks!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy 2012! The start of a new year is always a good time to make resolutions, so here are three of mine.

1. Live in the moment. Of course, I can't live totally in the moment. I have doctors appointments, book deadlines, and other things cluttering up my calendar. I have to plan in various ways to be sure those things get done. But I don't have to worry about them. Worry and regret are two useless emotions--or at least so I tell myself. I do better if I can think about the paragraph or the scene I'm writing right now and not the 400 pages or 100,000 words I still have to write.

2. Tidy. There's lots of tidying that needs to happen around here, especially as son #3 and daughter-in-law-to-be say they'd like to have their rehearsal dinner here at our house this summer. Oh, dear. I'm not much into interior decorating, and I'll admit to hoarding tendencies. Mr. M says I'm a bit rodent-like, making piles of papers and books and other stuff. So I need to try to get rid of things, organize what I want to keep, and maybe--probably--buy some new furniture.

3. Stop wasting time. I've given up playing computer solitaire. This is my second day of going cold turkey. I know it will get easier each day I manage to resist its siren call--or at least I hope it will.

Anyone else have some new year's resolutions? Feel free to share--and good luck with them!