Chapter Nine of The Foundling Wheel, my Dickens Challenge experiment in progress is not going to be ready this week. I’ve had too much going on this week to let
Tonight, Scott and I attended a fundraiser for The Pendulum Foundation and an airing of the Frontline Special, “When Kids Get Life”. On January 21st, I started a new blog called Compassion in Juvenile Sentencing and I’ve been Googling my fingers to the bone, trying to research the issues – if you’re interested, please check it out and email me your thoughts on the blog. There are so many parts and pieces to this issue that trying to address it at all is like trying to boil the ocean.
It was a sobering, but was also a nice experience that gave me a sense of community and brought home the reality that what these families are going through, could happen to anyone. I met several of the parents and family members of people who were convicted of crimes as teenagers and sent to adult prison for life without the possibility of parole. People don’t talk about it much, but most of the parents know that not only will their children die in prison, but they will die while their children are in prison. These mothers and fathers come from all walks of life and they are a group that most people don’t think much about, but they are us. I met a retired Colorado State Representative, the columnist who write a piece in the Denver post in January about Erik Jensen, and a number of young people who heard about the event and who believe that what we’re doing with children in this country is wrong.
Tomorrow, I fly out to
Friday we take off for four days in
I was honored with the Excellent Blog award by Liz Fenwick and there are so many excellent blogs out there that this it’s awfully tough to choose, but I’m going to name five of them that I find excellent: Kristen Spina, Charles Gramlich, Carleen Brice, and Iyan and Egusi Soup. Each of these bloggers has posted about something recently that I especially needed to hear.
My friend Yogamum tagged me with an interesting book-related meme:
Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. (No cheating!)
I Killed Hemingway, by William MCranor Henderson. I just finished it last night and had naturally not shelved it yet. Bill Henderson has a great writing blog and is a participant in the Dickens Challenge.
Find Page 123.
Find the first 5 sentences.
The main character is having a conversation with a young woman about a friend of hers and her odd fear that extraterrestrials are eventually going to come and take her.
Post the next 3 sentences.
Okay – I’m going to cheat here and post an excerpt further down the page because the next three sentences were very short. Call me a cheater if you want.
“Smiling, Valerie sits back and pulls in her legs. All of a sudden I’m noticing a cuddly self-awareness in her movements that I wasn’t picking up on before. I think she’s about to come on to me. But what could possibly be the aphrodisiac? My ineluctable sexual modality?”
Okay, I can’t count either.
I’ll go ahead and tag five more people to do this (probably the only part of the directions I can follow). How about Larramie, Patti, Shauna, Rebecca and Karen. Let’s see if you can follow directions any better than I can.
And although I’ll be out of town for the big day, Tuesday (I believe) is a very big day for Carleen Brice with the release of Orange Mint and Honey and Therese Fowler with the release of Souvenir. Support your fellow blogger authors and tell everyone you know to buy these books!
It’s kind of weird that I’ll only be “off the grid” for a couple of days, but it’s amazing that it feels like I’m getting ready to go on a safari to some no-man’s land and I’m going to miss something terribly important! I’ve thought about our constant connectedness quite a bit and how it impacts what we write. For example, in a story told in the present day, it’s nearly impossible to write a realistic scenario where a character can’t contact someone or be contacted almost immediately. Conversely, when I joined the Air Force in 1980, went through basic training, then technical training and on to my first assignment in
So my question is, how do modern means of communicating find their way into your writing – or not? Or, if your writing takes place in the past or in another world, how do the available means of communication factor in? Sometimes I think that the instant communication that’s so prevalent in movies and books provides an unwelcome deus ex machina that makes it harder to stress the characters out and makes things a little too convenient. What do you think?