Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Quotes from writers - Why write?

"Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy." 

-- Stephen King

"The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."

-- Kurt Vonnegut

"Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself... It's a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent."

-- Harper Lee


"Why am I compelled to write? . . . Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it..."
 Gloria E. AnzaldĂșa

"Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for me it is conscious living."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else."
Gloria Steinem

"Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down."
Neil Gaiman

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Flu Shot

I heard yesterday that this year's flu shot is only 30% effective. At the best of times, they are 60% effective. Personally, I don't get flu shots. When I did get them, my lips became plastered with cold sores all winter. Now, no sign of them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Flaw

When I look at free books, I always look at the reviews - what do others think. I looked at one to-day and two reviews said there were too many run-on sentences. Thinking about that, I can't remember ever reading a book with that flaw.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Be A Sublime Fool

To sum it all up, if you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling.

You must write every single day of your life.

You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next.

You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.

I wish for you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime.

I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you.

May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories—science fiction or otherwise.

Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

I'm glad I wasn't depending on winning yesterday's lottery. They should change the name from lottery to Fool's Tax.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Loaf of Bread

My wife is out stuffing the turkey with a loaf of bread from the "Atlantic Superstore." I noticed the price. It was $2.59, best before date was Dec 18. There was also a half-price sticker. So she paid $1.30. Then I saw that there was another sticker under it. That price said $1.25,  Again, there was a sticker under that. It said $2.49, best before date Dec. 18. A lot of time spent on that one loaf of bread.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Nobody Becomes A Writer Overnight

Nobody becomes a writer overnight. Well, I’m sure somebody did, but that person’s head probably went all asplodey from paroxysms of joy, fear, paranoia, guilt and uncertainty. Celebrities can be born overnight. Writer’s can’t. Writers are made — forged, really, in a kiln of their own madness and insecurities — over the course of many, many moons. The writer you are when you begin is not the same writer you become.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I just seen a supermarket ad for sugar pies. Good Lord!
Raining cats and dogs. In fact, when I opened the front door to get the newspaper, there was a strange cat sitting there.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

I seldom put in to win a free book on goodreads. It seems most are book on love, vampires and werewolves.

Monday, November 17, 2014


    Not all meals are of the A1 type. As everyone knows, somewhere along the line there are leftovers. Such was the case yesterday, at least for me. In this case it was fish, leftover from the day before. Basa, from the Mekong, a type of catfish. Small world, eh? I asked my wife if she wanted any, as there was enough for two. She said no. A few minutes later she said, "I don't think I'm a fish person, I think I'm a steak person."
    She hasn't always been a steak person. I remember when we got married in Germany, we would go out and have anything from deer to frog legs. When I got transferred back to Canada, she was into club sandwiches, something you couldn't get overseas. Somewhere along the line, that morphed into steak. I asked her once why she always preferred steak. She said, " It seems such a waste to go to a restaurant and not have steak."

Sunday, November 16, 2014


    Oh! Oh! Oh! I cut my finger. Not once but twice. Washing dishes. Put the dishrag into a glass to wash it out and the side of the glass gave way, cutting my finger twice along the way. I'm blaming my wife for this. Yesterday, I suggested I be fired from this job. She said no, and now today, an injury. If she had agreed with me, I wouldn't have two bandages on my finger. Would this fall under the umbrella of a need for marijuana to dull the pain. At least there was one good result - she finished washing the dishes for me.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Down She Comes

    Last week, I had one of the trees in my backyard cut down. A maple tree about 70 feet high. The trouble was where a branch had been cut years earlier. The spot started to rot, filled with bugs that eat wood, ants, etc. I was afraid that in some future hurricane, it would blow down on my neighbors house. Right now the house is abandoned, so I don't know what the outcome would be, but the place has been sold for taxes and I am expecting a new house to be planted there. I wouldn't impress the new neighbors if my tree fell on them.
    I had two guys, about my age, do the cutting. Ex power company employees, pole climbers by trade. I told them to just get the tree down, I would look after the rest. So for the next two days, my wife and I cut it to manageable pieces for the wood stove for some time in the future, and got rid of the rest. I told my wife she would have made a great pioneer.
    The next morning I noticed that the tree next to this one didn't have a leaf on it, while the rest of the trees in the yard are still full.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Old and New

    Every weekend, our newspaper has a section on the first world war - stories, photographs. The section makes me think about previous wars. Before photography, there were paintings. Think about those from the Napoleonic Wars. Large, vivid in colors, seldom dark or morose. Wind blowing capes, horses, one foot in the air, the general, brave and daunting, in front of his troops.
    Quite a contrast from the first world war photos, with their singular color of black and white, no brave general leading his troops, but troops dragging through mud, falling over dead and dying friends. Horses pulling gun carriages, straining at the load, starving, never to see green fields again.
    The Napoleonic Wars had the same grief, the same mud with the generals at the back of their troops, and the soldiers dying in the mud.

Friday, October 24, 2014


     A couple of days ago, I wheeled my daughter into the van and drove her to Wal-Mart. It's so easy to do with the new van. I find that when I am driving, I am a touch more nervous than normal. Been driving for 55 years - not afraid of driving. At other times I drive the car and all is normal. But the van is a wheelchair type and cost over $60,000. I'm not worried about my driving, I'm worried about everyone's else's. Any type of accident would be disastrous. Even a slight touch on he back may not allow me access to the ramp, and then how would I get my daughter out. It would be a struggle getting her through the side door and I would never get the wheelchair out. So - extra careful.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Onion A Day

     Depending on airport flights, airport waits can be long, and if not prepared, tedious. I find that a book as a travelling companion is a must. With or without a book, people watching can be most interesting, productive or disheartening.
     I sit in New Jersey - my carry-all luggage wrapped around me - a chapter finished. The spies can wait while I eyeball my surroundings. Raising my head, my first blink, like a photo, captures a couple, each with a hamburger laid out on a napkin, which tries its best to stay in place on their laps. It appears each has ordered a patty with the same trimmings. As I watch, they began to trade condiments - she dislikes onions, he tomatoes, she dislikes pickles, and he lettuce - and so it goes. With trading completed - both satisfied, they press their sandwiches back together, happy for the trade. They appear to be a good match.
     A man walks by holding a submarine sandwich by three fingers. The other two fingers clasp onto a dangling plastic bag. It hangs down rigid, eight inches long, dragged down by the weight of an onion. Not just any onion, but a large one, yet unpeeled, its outer skin green and brown. Is it a souvenir - something to brag about to Midwest relatives, "Everything is large in New York, look at this onion." Then again, it could be dessert, one I would shy away from, and I suppose from anyone who consumes one raw. Wonder what flight he is on?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Italian Craftsmanship

While walking along a passageway on the Caribbean Conquest, at center I noticed a bump in the floor bearing a sign, "Watch Your Step." A year ago, on the Norwegian  Spirit, there was no such bump. I asked my son about this. "Oh," he said, " this ship was built in Italy. The ship last year was built in Germany." It seems they build Caribbean ships in a naval shipyard as two pieces, then welded together. Italian craftsmanship - maybe they should stick to purses and shoes.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Down South

Just back from three cruises down south. First, Carnival Conquest, second, Norwegian Sky, and third, a swamp boat in the everglades. No meals on the third one. I think we were the meal, catered.