Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Fiver

1. Hubby is negotiating for a great job! Which means we get to stay here! Very exciting and brings such relief.

2. What a whirlwind week! I've not been home all week as usual and I can tell. The job/freelance work/writing is fine, but the messy piles have grown. Getting ready for London, baby!

3. Met up with Jen, my fiction writing buddy, up at the Lodge in B-vue yesterday for a great chat. It always inspires me, plus I then found a great sale at Banana and got home in record time even with all the construction going on.

4. We're hosting all of hubby's team in two weeks (like 25 people!) and I'm so not ready. It's the big "goodbye" for this account and it's sad to see everyone headed out to their new jobs. Times are a-changing.

5. School has begun or will begin and that means I've got some studying to do too. This summer put me a bit behind with my study goals, but I intend to catch up quickly this fall.

Happy weekend! Happy birthday, Mom!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Talking 'Bout Resistance, Willis.

Well, have I had a week of it. This had nothing to do with the job or the freelance. The job actually was fantastic and has been loads of fun. The freelance is back down to a dull roar. The writing is actually going well too.

The Resistance has to do with being in the middle of friends fighting. Never mind that the friends are scattered all over the United States, but they had a get-together last week (that I had to miss) and major drama happened.

The timing of the inciting events just sucked, and the weekend was overshadowed by angry words and a whole lot of drama (on both sides) and I got drawn in to try and make peace by those who were not active participants, but who were significantly affected and stood watching on the sidelines.

It brought to mind some of my favorite parts of my book on resistance: The War of Art,

"Cruelty to others is a form of Resistance, as is the willing endurance of cruelty from others. . . . Creating soap operas in our lives is a symptom of Resistance. . . .

A victim act is a form of passive agression. It seeks to achieve gratification not by honest work or a contribution made out of one's experience or insight or love, but by the manipulation of others through silent (and not-so-silent) threat. The victim compels others to come to his rescue or to behave as he wishes by holding them hostage to the prospect of his further meltdown, or simply by threatening to make their lives so miserable that they do what he wants.

This will not be resolved anytime soon, and that's okay. A member of the group has left and perhaps others are preparing to go as well as a form of protest. That is fine. I believe everyone has a right to do as they please. It's a free country. I know they leave because certain behavior by the group just has gotten out of control. I've seen the behavior and the passive-agressive downright mean actions of a few people did not help the situation. But again, I believe everyone has a right to do as they please.

I just think we're a bit too developed as a society (not to mention friends for almost five years now) to be reverting to such low, insipid attacks. I am scunnered by it this morning (great scottish word, right?).

It just really smacks of Resistance to me. What in our lives are we avoiding by acting like this?

Remember, Steven Pressfield said it best in his prologue to War of Art:

You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist. At eighteen he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the School of Architecture. Ever seen one his paintings? Neither have I. Resistance beat him. Call it overstatement but I'll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas.

Take down Resistance and just let it go.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Writing Inspiration Wednesday

Before I inspire everyone to drop everything they are doing right now in order to write, I wanted to point out a helpful comment I received yesterday from someone at Feedburner/Google.

Don wrote,

actually, feedburner is a publisher service not an rss reader. we help pubs optimize their rss feed, get analytics and if they want, insert ads. we deliver content to all the different places that consume rss feeds - websites, itunes, services like bloglines and my yahoo, etc.

so, it's not and either / or with bloglines.

See, I told you I'm not technically a Gadget Girl.

Thanks, Don, for your help in figuring this out. I got it now! I will check out the link you provided too!

In writing stuff, big news from a fellow writer buddy. Allison Winn Scotch just sold her second novel! She'll be writing it in our Novel Success Team Fall Challenge that runs from Labor Day to Halloween while I finish my YA novel draft. A whole bunch of FLX folks are joining us too. Should be great fun!

So, with that good news, this was good writing inspiration for me this week:

Routine Maintenance Schedule for the Writing Life

Once a week: Skip to the next part of whatever you're working on, no matter how stuck you feel.
Once a month: Write all day without talking to anybody.
Every three months: Send something out for publications, just to keep your hand in.
Every six months: Clean your workspace: Pitch obsolete files, lumpen drafts, rejection slips, leaky pens, old mail. Clear away the dross, and you'll be able to think more clearly.
Once a year: Take a chunk of time, whatever you can afford--three full days, minimum--and go someplace where your writing will not be disturbed except for eating and sleeping.

from Monica Wood's The Pocket Muse

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gadget Girl Tuesday

Okay, so someone said that I qualified because I keep up with all this stuff. I say that I'm not quite there yet.

I don't have an iPhone.

And today's Gadget Girl rec is just one of those foundational things to survive on the Internet. An RSS feed.

I use Bloglines, although Feedburner is a good one as well.

Anyway, this is a simple way to keep track of blogs and other updated content sites without having to troll through a blog roll on a daily basis. If you look up on to the right of the url that is this blog, you'll see an orange RSS feed button. If you sign up for either Bloglines or Feedburner, you can then use that orange feed button to subscribe to this blog.

Now, other people swear by to keep track of numerous sites. But is a bookmarklet tool, not an RSS feed. So if you don't want to subscribe to this blog, but want to tag it, use instead.

I use both on a daily basis. Sometimes I want to just tag a site into a category; other times, I want to keep up with the newest content.

I recommend both.

Once you get those working for you, you'll never run out of stuff to look at online, as if that was ever a problem to begin with.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Book Rec

If you have not read any of the Hinges of History series written by historian and thinker, Thomas Cahill, you're missing out.

The first book, How The Irish Saved Civilization, stands on its own two feet and is worth reading more than once.

The second book,
The Gifts of the Jews, is an interesting look at Jewish culture and its singular impact on the West.

The third book,
Desire of the Everlasting Hills, talks about Jesus, both biblical and historical.

The fourth book,
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter, is my current read.

The fifth book,
Mysteries of the Middle Ages, is my next read.

A great series, one worth exploring, written by a truly great writer and thinker.