This year's pumpkin is full of glee of the scary sort.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
This year's pumpkin is full of glee of the scary sort.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Last year's pumpkin. I haven't carved this one yet. I love me some scary squash.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Today is Blog Action Day and the topic is water. Did you know water covers 71 percent of the earth's surface? We haven't done a very good job of keeping those waters clean on our rare, habitable planet. But it's not a lost cause. There's still time to make it up to Mom.
Patricia McKillip is a lyrical writer of wondrous stories. In looking for water quotes, I found these lines from THE CHANGELING SEA.
The tide was low that afternoon as Peri walked home, so low that even the great jagged spires stood naked in the glistening sand, and all the starfish and anemones and urchins that clung to their battered flanks were exposed. It was a rare tide. Beyond the spires, the sea dreamed gently, a pale milky blue shot with sudden fires from the setting sun.
And here's another beautiful excerpt from Meredith Ann Pierce's short story collection, WATERS, Luminous & Deep.
One evening, Connor and Elspeth went down to the shore. Moonlight was combing the long, green sea with ravels of silver and winkings of fire.
While we love the reflected fires of moon and sun, we can not accept the man-made fires of oil drilling explosions. It's time to be aware, to speak up, to protect the waters that sustain life on this planet.
Here are some trashy facts and do-it-yourself remedies.
The Ocean Conservancy reports 17,000 pieces of plastic counted during four days at sea about 550 miles off the California coast. Among items adrift in the open ocean were shampoo bottles, laundry baskets and hard hats. Not only is this trashing Mother Earth, it chokes, poisons or otherwise injures and kills fish, birds and mammals.
Remedy? Use less plastic and recycle. Organize neighborhood cleanups to stop trash from washing into gutters. Urge manufacturers to make packaging biodegradable.
A single quart of motor oil can contaminate up to 250,000 gallons of drinking water, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Remedy? Repair motor leaks and never dispose of used oil in gutters or drains. Take any hazardous materials (antifreeze, batteries, bleach, tile cleaner, insecticides, herbicides, resins, paint) to a hazardous waste site. Hey, if you don't want to drink it out of the bottle, don't pour it into the drain where it makes its way to the groundwater or sea.
Burning fossil fuels not only puts carbon dioxide in the air but also in the water. For 20 million years, the pH of the oceans was stable, but in 250 years since we started heavily using fossil fuels, there has been a 30 percent increase in acidity. Just as osteoporosis weakens human bones, the acidified oceans make boney structures and shells weak. More than 60 percent of the world's coral reefs are sick or dying due to pollution, sedimentation and bleaching caused by rising water temperatures.
Remedy? Try to buy the most fuel-efficient car you can, and look into alternative fuel sources, such as solar power for homes. Walk and ride bicycles more often. Turn off non-essential electricity. Talk to town councils about what your community can do.
Chlorine used by paper mills to make your toilet paper white can cause dioxin to be discharged into waterways where it's toxic to fish, wildlife and humans.
Remedy? Use recycled paper goods made without chlorine. A few years ago, I saw a documentary about a river polluted by a mill, resulting in fish downstream with tumorous growths. I switched to non-chlorinated household paper and have never regretted the extra cost to me, knowing I'm not adding to the poisoning of our waters.
My remedies aren't revolutionary. Check out other blogs taking part in the event or any of many conservation organizations, which offer tips on keeping our planet clean. I hope this doesn't come across as preachy, but being silent won't serve us.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I'm searching for something like that in writing but also in an abstract way. Some of you may know that I was shaken up to discover that another book is out with some similarities to the novel I've been writing all year. I don't want to toss my story, because its core is much different than this other book, but I need to change some things, I need to see beyond the literal to the abstract.
In my last post, I mentioned putting our characters up a tree, making them deal with the unfamiliar, the unexpected. Now, I spend time looking for ways to keep my story from the predictable, the already been there.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I can now say this for a fact: watching Olympic skaters from front row seats is freaking amazing! My daughter and I were blown away by All That Skate in L.A. this weekend. The show was aired on Korean television, which is the origin of these videos. It will be broadcast in the U.S. Oct. 10 on NBC, as well.
My breath was taken away by the lyric beauty and astounding jumps of Gold Medalist Yuna Kim and by the lifts and throws in the performances by Pair champions Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo.
Here's the thing about champion ice skaters. They take risks, big ones. But they've work long years, perfecting the basics, getting physically strong and mentally prepared for pushing themselves to these extremes of performance. And if they fall, they get right back up and keep going. They make pretty good role models for anyone, really.
Kim organized the show and invited her impressive friends: Michelle Kwan, Johnny Weir, Stephane Lambiel, Patrick Chan, Ashley Wagner, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy.
Hope you enjoy the videos or catch the televised show. Better yet, someday go see them live.
Friday, October 1, 2010