Thursday, July 30, 2009

Internet has returned. And the people rejoiced!
Internet down in good part of town, including house. Homefront suffering withdrawal.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Column finished! Word got cranky about emailing it so rebooting computer.
Back at coffee shop for 1st time since trip. Yay!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My weekly column is online - touching on my trip to Yellowstone:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Last day in Yellowstone. Temp's dropped from the 80's of the last 2 days to the 60's. Finally need the jackets we've brought.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Saw a brown bear on side of road. Ranger chased it away before I could get pic.
Author C. J. Box has written a # of novels based in Yellowstone. Bought one for trip home Saturday
My legs are promising revenge for all the hiking so far - I don't care, it's SO worth it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's great to wake up and goof off, knowing you aren't on a schedule and can enjoy the day at your own pace.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just saw Old Faithful go. Wasn't planned for today just wound up at the right place at the right time. Amazing sight!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Just saw new Harry Potter movie. Reminds me of sugar-free chocolate - not bad but the real thing's better. Read the book!
First look at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Wow. For a few seconds, forgot I was exhausted.
At Portland, Oregon airport. Way too early in the morning.
Night peeps! We have to get up at an unholy hour to catch our plane to Wyoming tomorrow...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sigh. Got books, said goodbyes. Next stop for Don and me: Portland.
Finished contracts workshop - brain exploding stuff. Next - a bit of shopping before lunch.
Column for this week is online - thoughts about being in Oregon this week:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Must. Finish. Story.
Don is in Portland!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Argh...need to crack the whip on myself and get to work...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I am so out of the loop when it comes to news and stuff this week. Ask me if I care.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Got one assignment done, 1/3 way through second. Getting back to it after a walk to get the mocha latte I was craving...
Confusion is always the most honest response. - Marty Indik
The sun is out in Oregon! Must go walking...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Finished first assignment. Breakfast with fellow writers now!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy birthday, J. Steven York. Let there be cake!
My column for this week is online:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ugh. Bad headache. Wearing sunglasses in room to stave off migraine...
Just spent a half hour sprawled on my bed reading. No one looking for me. Was restful.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Saying hi to old friends and new...a number of people from the Master Class I attended last year are here.
Met Kelly at airport. Yay, don't have to walk to Lincoln City!
LOL! Driver of shuttle just asked me about Florida mountains!
Doing bad imitation of an awake person. Body demands to know what time it really is.
Finally! Hello, Portland!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

928 words done on wip: almost 400 on plane & rest at gate. May stretch legs briefly before boarding call.
Was delayed getting out of Tampa due to lightning: arrived at Dallas a half hour late. Plenty of time to make connection so all good.
Met a mom traveling with 3 kids. Makes what I'm doing seem easy.
Bluish clouds outside gate. My nervous flyer persona stirring....
Whoohoo! Suitcase under 50 pounds, no extra charge slapped on!
In the space of two minutes we've nearly been hit by two drivers trying to get in or out of turn lanes. Is this crazy driver day?
On my way to Tampa International Airport. Destination: Oregon. Writers workshops, here I come!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Leaving tomorrow for 17 days of writing workshops/vacation...pre-trip panic is in full force...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

James took mom-in-law to doctor for me. Put roast in oven and envelopes on Don's desk to go out in mail.
Things to do today: laundry, mail out stuff, write daily words, take mom-in-law to doctor, help Don program PDA. Lots to do.

Monday, July 06, 2009

#wip 300 pages, 70,000 towards the end...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

No column this week thanks to flaky Internet. Instead, new blog post on the media's attention to Michael Jackson's death:


First thing I have to say: the death of Michael Jackson does merit some attention.

I was at Brewster’s, my favorite local coffee shop, trying to get some work done when Breaking News from CNN popped into my email inbox. That’s when I learned that Michael Jackson, at the young age of 50 (and since I’m 51, yes, 50 IS young) was being rushed to the hospital after suffering cardiac arrest. Not long afterwards I found out he was dead.

Whether you liked him or not, Michael Jackson was a major force in modern music. If he isn’t the father of the music video, at the very least one of those who helped it become what it is today.

Long before his death, I already had the “Thriller” and “Beat It” music videos on my Ipod. This was the Michael Jackson I admired. The handsome young man who sang with power and moved with grace.

I don’t know what happened that made him change. I’m not sure anyone will ever know. But this isn’t the time nor the place to go over his latter years and what he may or may not have done. That is because while I am talking about Michael Jackson, that is not the true topic of this column.

Here is what I’m troubled by: while I agree that Michael Jackson’s death is news, I’m not convinced that it’s worth the AMOUNT of news devoted to it.

The day he died it was as if the news outlets forgot about anything else going on in the world. Farrah Fawcett, who’d died of cancer that morning, was pushed out of spotlight quickly. Iranians protesting the elections? What Iranians?

The day after his death I saw news trucks all parked in front of the LA coroner’s office waiting breathlessly for autopsy results. Both days Jackson was lionized with words, time and attention I haven’t heard for the death of a president.

One news story reported how what I believe was Gary, Indiana had named a street after the Jackson family. The admiration in the reporter’s words and tone might make you think the city had dome something important, such as opened a new library or free clinic or maybe lowered the crime rate. Nope – it had named a street after the Jackson family. That was considered a big deal.

And as we’ve seen in other deaths of famous people, there’s been enough questions raised to feed the 24 hour news cycle. Is there a will, isn’t there a will, what really killed the pop star, what about the kids?

Oh yeah, let’s not forget there are three kids who’ve just lost their dad. What must this news orgy look like to them? Hopefully, Jackson’s mother (who as I type this has custody of the children) has been able to keep them away from the worst of the reports. The news outlets certainly won’t care if the kids are exploited – after all, they’re news!

And do you want to know the worst thing about this? The news outlets aren’t spending all this time on the story just because they’re obsessed with celebrity (though some of them probably are). They are filling the airwaves with this story, pushing more important ones on the back burner if not ignoring them entirely, because they know that a lot more people will tune in to hear the latest about Michael Jackson and the aftermath of his death then they will to hear about Iranian protesters or bills before Congress that will impact our lives.

What does that say about us viewers?
Finished book. Now getting ready to type daily words.
Putting things on hold to finish "Paris to the Moon."

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Don & his mom went to cookout a while ago. Sitting in inlaw's room watching "Alien."
Had great time at cookout. Back home, checking email and stuff.
4th of July cookout! Due to father-in-law needing constant care family is attending in shifts - I get to go first.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Confirmed column was sent Wednesday night. Kicking Internet.
Editor emailed saying column never arrived. Will kick laptop, Internet, and/or self when I get home & figure out what happened.
On the way to Orlando with Don for an afternoon of shopping and Transformers 2 in IMAX.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Brain wants to go on strike. I said we would AFTER we write our daily words...
Pouring down rain. Potted four herb plants in pantry. Pantry is now a mess.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Just calculated that I've written 73,564 new words of fiction so far this year. Have a shot at breaking 200k for 2009!
Column finished and sent to editor. Yay!
Swung by Don's office to pick him up. Beginning of tension headache making its presence known.
Waiting at doctor's office with mother-in-law. Brought book to read.