Monday, May 21, 2012

Rainwater and the Human Eye

This afternoon I paid tribute to the first warm rain of the year, by cavorting through puddles in the streets of Chewelah.  There's something about a warm rain, about getting soaked to the skin, which makes me happy like a lunatic child.  And now my neighbors are probably even more thoroughly convinced than before of my state of insanity.  However, I have come to the conclusion that people will scrutinize you whatever you do, so why not do or wear or be something worth their while?  People watch the Kardashians.  They also watch Cirque du Soleil.  I'm pretty sure I know which one I'd rather be.

Growing up, I always thought that nobody noticed me.  Not to pine, or say, "Oh poor me!"  It was a simple fact in my mind.  I did not think myself very noticeable, so I assumed that I was not noticed.  Gradually, as I opened my eyes a bit more, I realized that I was noticed, not necessarily because I was noticeable, but because people will look at anything.  Car wrecks or doesn't really matter.

Aaron and I often walk about town.  (A boring sentence, as walking about town is a perfectly normal thing to do.)  But we are constantly amazed by the number of people who will go out of their way to stare at in full-on neck-crane out the car window.  Granted, sometimes we are doing strange things, but as often as not we're just...walking.  No toilet paper stuck to our shoes, no disfiguring scars, no strange behavior...

So, for a while the realization that people watch you no matter what you do made me curl up inside myself, made me afraid to do anything that might seem unusual.  Then, gradually, I came to the decision that if people are going to watch me anyway, I'd rather give them something interesting to look at.  Don't misunderstand me.  I still have inhibitions.  Some fairly major ones.  But I'd rather be the person you see traipsing through the puddles with a ridiculous smile on her face than the one hunched over with her head down.  I'd rather be Cirque du Soleil than the Kardashians.  I'd rather be a cathedral than a car wreck.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Wishing everyone a very happy Mother's Day!  Ashford is free on Kindle today, so if you'd like to pick up a copy for your mother...

Aaron and I spent last night at a book fair in support of the Libraries of Stevens County.  The turnout was not quite so nice as we could have hoped, but it was enjoyable, and I had the chance to meet other local authors.  As an afterthought I threw in our remaining copies of An Amazing Alphabetic Anthology, the book which I wrote and my mother illustrated years ago, and it turned into the surprise hit of the night, with nearly everybody toting them around.  My mother and I have been scheming for some time about putting out a new edition, redoing some of the letters we weren't as happy with and putting it out in paperback to reduce the expense.  Look for it sometime in the coming year.  I'm posting a link below for Aaron's music page, where he just added a new song, Dying Day, which he wrote for his parents.  Seems appropriate for today.  Cheers!  Now go spoil your mothers.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Short Review: Walk to Paradise Garden, By John Campbell

Walk to Paradise Garden, by John Campbell, was a very enjoyable read, with an attention to historical detail which left me feeling as I do when I walk through a nice antiques shop, full of snapshots of lives which make me curious to know more.  The story follows the life of humanitarian John Armitage, from his early twenties as a stretcher-bearer in Belgium during the first world war, to his death.  Without spoilers, I can say this is a story which takes you all over the globe.  The novel is episodic, almost giving the impression of a collection of short stories, but with continuous threads running through which keep you going from one to the next.  The writing style is fairly smooth and old-fashioned, which I like, with a good balance between active scenes and scenes of a more personal nature.  Altogether, a book for the head and the heart, with a healthy dose of nostalgia thrown in.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chewelah in the Spring: Earth and Inspiration

I took a walk through town today.  May is probably my favorite month out of the whole year.  I love watching the colors suddenly explode.  There is a wind blowing today, and you can smell all the flowering trees at once wherever you go.  Our garden is getting better by degrees each year, and the berry bushes are thriving.  We take Ferdy out in the grass sometimes and let him run around.  He likes to snuffle about for a while, then always ends up nosing around in our clothing.

I've had a writing surge lately, and am hoping to finish my first draft of Violet Shadows by early June.  Then comes the rewriting and editing process.  I'm hoping to publish in the autumn again, around October sometime if all goes well and my characters don't decide to do something outlandish out of the blue.  On Saturday I'm taking part in a book fair with the Libraries of Stevens County.  It's being held at the golf course.  A good venue, but it does feel a little strange after last summer to be going up there in a capacity that doesn't involve serving beer.