Saturday, January 14, 2012

I have rediscovered my blog.  It's been so long since I posted here that the password had to be changed for me to gain access.  My new year's resolution for 2012 is to learn something new.  I tried to think of something that I have always wanted to learn and decided to learn to write fiction this year.  To that end I have dug out some old stories that I wrote 20  years ago and found that I don't hate them and have a much easier time editing them now than before.  I've also been reading books about writing.  I'm trying to check these books out of the library but they don't have everything that Amazon suggests.  For instance, Stein on Writing, is only available in the Seattle Public Library as an audiobook of all things.  I'm not sure why a book on writing would particularly lend itself to the audio format but there you are. 

I also signed up to go to Centrum this summer.  I signed up for two classes, one on flash fiction by Sam Ligon, and another class with Pam Houston.  I don't know if I'm ready for Pam Houston but thought it would give me something to work toward.  Surely I can handle a flash fiction boot camp.  Flash fiction is not even as long as a chart note in some cases.  I decided to read Sam Ligon's books and thought I might have to buy them but found them both on top of a box of poetry books in my overrun office.  I've been reading his stories themselves but so far have not liked any of the characters. 

Oh, my other new year's resolution is to lose 20 pounds.  Don't worry, I won't be posting my weight here every week!

Monday, August 16, 2010

nalo's blog | Nalo Hopkinson

I've been reading the science fiction of Olivia Butler, a series of books called Seed to Harvest. It is an interesting exploration of forms of slavery, power relationships, etc. Octavia E. Butler was a black female science fiction writier, very rare. She has died but in an interview she pointed me to Nalo Hopkinson. I think I'll read her next.

nalo's blog | Nalo Hopkinson

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Good Morning Sunday!

I must have a sun overdose. I've had all kinds of energy. I've figured out how to fix the WordPress webzine for my professional organization but think I'll still hire someone else to do it. I found a WP template I like and now I want to start another blog for pete's sake, just to use the new template.

I've been looking at the letters and poetry files from the 80s and 90s and converting the ancient WordPerfect files over to Word docs. I wish I could convert them all at once like I did with the documents I used for my dissertation but I can't find any software that recognizes this very old file format.  It's from one of the early WordPerfect versions from the 80s that I used on that old 286.  I'm using a WordPerfect 2002 to read the files.  I have to open each file in order to convert it so it forces me to read the files, something I've been putting off for years.

I also spent some time spiffing up my blogger blog and found an interesting new tool called Zemanta which suggests related content for your blog post.  It also uses something called common tagging which is a real semantic web effort aimed at creating unified content across the web. 

Today, we are having my final birthday party of the year--the poker crew is coming over--yay!  I'm going to get Ezell's Chicken for the party,  We will probably play poker here in the heat in the kitchen because that's what we do.  We are having the party so early because we have a Seattle Storm game to attend this evening.  Hopefully we will win this one and go 20/2. We are playing the Tulsa Shock so victory shouldn't be too hard.

Time to go get me some fried chicken!
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I'm back!

I haven't posted on this blog in a long time. I was really, really tired after I finished my PhD and writing regularly fell off my to do list. Also just after I graduated, my 3 PC desktop computers that had seen me through the years of study and backup requirements just died. I left them dead. I was dead tired. I've decided not to purchase any new PCs for now but I recently started feeling like I had to get to the files on the disks. After a year and a half, it seemed like it was time for me to look at my files again. I bought some external HDD enclosures for the drives I took out of the dead PCs and plugged the old drives in. Then I plugged the enclosures into my last ever PC laptop. I mean it. This is my final PC. Today I finally found the disk that has most of my files, including the files from my old 286. My poetry, letters and journal entries from my twenties and thirties. That was what I was looking for! I want to read my past if it can be done because I have a hard time remembering anything. I think that's how I've always kept one foot in front of the other all these years. I don't look back much.

As I said, it's been about a year and a half since I graduated and I've been working full time again for the first time in years. I'm lucky that I love my work because it is very strange for me not to have a big goal on the horizon other than going to work every day.

I didn't go into academia. In spite of the shortage of nursing faculty, there were few local positions in the universities. Those available pay extremely low salaries. I don't know how people can afford to teach. If we want to solve the education crisis, we are simply going to have to pay more market rate salaries! I know, a lot of you say it's not about the money. My question to that is "what's it about then?" What other perverse rewards are demanded when people say they aren't there for the money? Money is a pretty clean medium of exchange--much cleaner than warm fuzzies that can require gratitude and adoration in return for labor. Such exchanges can lead to all kinds of emotional extortion of students or patients if one is in the health care field. I'll follow the money. It's honest.