Friday, October 31, 2008

NANOWRIMO

http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/basics

I've signed up and I'm ready to go. Hopefully this year I'll make it through. I had a little health thing last year (gallbladders are SO tiresome.) Hopefully, no other minor organs will need to be extracted this November.

I pledge to refrain from emailing, blogging & surfing and reading of any kind until my daily 1,700 words are done, AND I am up to date on my total word count. I don't know which is going to be harder, not checking NPR, the NYT and BOING BOING every morning, or doing the actual writing.

Since I'm a political junkie, I know the first five days I will quickly meet my writing goals.


Happy Halloween, and good luck on your November goals.

Monday, October 27, 2008

In Memeory of Tony Hillerman


The first Hillerman novel I read was "The Ghostway." My DH & I read a review of the book (I ALWAYS read local newspapers when I travel) when we were on our honeymoon in NM. We had just completed a week-long rafting & camping trip and were lazing around Taos. I wish I could remember the name of the little bookstore where went to buy the book.

Of course, we fell in love with the book and over the years we have read every one of Hillerman's novels. It is so sad to know that there will be no new ones.

He well and truly broke the rule of beginning his books by describing the weather, the landscape, and the light. Of course, with his books, the setting was as much of a character as Leaphorn or Chee. The dry high desert air, the stars upon stars in the clear night sky, the smell of dust, and sage, and pine, and the song of a coyote ----being there and reading one of his books for the first time was the perfect way to appreciate the setting.

My TBR pile has been preempted, and I will reread his novels beginning with the Ghostway.

Monday, October 20, 2008

books, books, BOOKS

My never-ending, and often futile quest to become organized has another ally----LibraryThing.

Note the cute book widgit on the right of my blog. Miss Snark's late-lamented blog gave me the idea.

Here's the link
http://www.librarything.com/

OK, so it's also a great way to procrastinate. So is blogging. ;-)

What amazes me is that so FEW authors are on it. It's easy to use and is another great forum to reach the public. In this case, a truly book loving public.

I am curious about the things that shape the minds of the authors I read. I would LOVE to know what is in their TBR pile, and what they have read in the past year.

So, do you LibraryThing? And if not, why the heck not?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

EXCITING NEWS

My short story "The Most Successful Surgeon" will be published in the WINTER 09 issue of SPINETINGLER ezine.

http://www.spinetinglermag.com/

I'll post a link to the issue when it is published.

Excuse me now while I go have a celebratory libation.

MORE ON VOTING

Voter fraud and disenfranchisement and how to end it.

During the last presidential debate, the ACORN issue was brought up several times. There has also been a lot of discussion about voter roll purges and ID requirements. I think I have an idea that would help with both concerns.

How about a federal government ID for voting, receiving entitlements and organ donation preference (a much-needed increase in registering, I expect) all rolled into one? The one extreme group, who think that all voter registration drives are out to perpetuate fraud will be placated by the verification process, as will the other extreme group who feel any requirement to vote will unfairly exclude voters.

As for those who quiver at the thought of any type of national ID, well get over it. This would be voluntary.

I know that there are some elderly people who lack the documents to get this form of ID, so they can be grandfathered in. Say, everyone over 55 or 60 is exempt at the beginning and phase out the exemption over the next 25 years or so. Make them renewable every 10 years, on the person's birthday (20th, 30th, ....) and start every new voter at 18, when they first become citizens, or when they first register to vote, with one.

Sure, it will take time to phase it in, maybe over the next 6 years, so it does not "go live" during a presidential election. Make it paid for by the government (meaning ALL OF US) so there is not an undue burden on the poor. It will create some new jobs and help speed up the process on election day.

If you want to vote, without the fear of being accidentally taken off the rolls, get the ID.

If you want access to federal entitlements, get the ID.

This would be a big plus with the far right who believe every person getting entitlements is trying to defraud the government. I think it would help with tracking trends and give those studying the needy in our country valuable data.

The ID could be used to cash checks and board airplanes, too. It would not replace the passport or drivers license, but would be a third valid form of ID.

OK, so this is not the last word on voter fraud and disenfranchisement, but I hope it gets people thinking about solutions.