musings, thoughts, and writings of Barbara W. Klaser

August 2, 2005

Payment for product mentions?

Every now and then the subject comes up on DorothyL (DL) of whether authors should be, or ever are, paid to include real product names in their fiction. A few authors jokingly ask who’s getting paid to mention products, so they can find out how to get paid too.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 8:17 pm PST, 08/02/05

July 16, 2005

Writing but not blogging

Sunflower 2003

If I were perfect, I’d be able to write books really fast and post on my blog every day, like those amazing, super-productive super-people out there. You know who you are.

Unfortunately, I’m terribly slow at both, and I need to focus on one or the other for extended periods of time in order to get much accomplished at either.

I’ve been busy working on my book, so I’ve been away from this blog, the other blogs I love to read, and even my email.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 8:06 pm PST, 07/16/05

July 2, 2005

Wordless journeys

In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron recommends periodically going an entire week without reading—anything. If you choose to try this, you’ll discover just how much the written word permeates your life, whether you read many books or not. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 4:24 pm PST, 07/02/05

June 25, 2005

Steve Jobs on finding what you love

I came across the text of a graduation speech given at Stanford University this month by Steve Jobs. Here’s the link. He includes three stories, one about dropping out of college, the second about being fired from Apple, and the third about his brush with death.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 5:01 pm PST, 06/25/05

June 23, 2005

Summer doldrums

I’m not a fan of hot weather. Even what others consider warm weather. I’ve always believed it was a mistake that I was born in a place where it never even snows. I love to knit with wool, and regret having to put away my long sleeves and sweaters.

Since I’m not likely to change the fact that summer rolls around every year, I try to focus on the pleasant things about summer. One of the best things about the warmer season is the food.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 3:54 pm PST, 06/23/05

June 21, 2005

Pulitzer winners

I pay a lot of attention to my dreams. Often they’re no more than mental regurgitation of a day’s events, or nonsense, if I recall them at all. But some stand out in my mind and provide important insights. Do you ever act on your dreams?

This morning I dreamed I met a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author. The author in the dream doesn’t exist in real life, as far as I know. He let me take a look at his latest prize. It was a large silver disk, nothing close to what is actually presented to winners, I’m sure. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 6:34 pm PST, 06/21/05

June 17, 2005

Shaking things up

Excuse me, but I think your fault line just bumped into my fault line.

It feels like earthquake season. Yesterday’s quake, so soon after the previous one, and fast on the heels of a little tsunami scare for California and Oregon, make me wonder what the earth has in store for us next.

In case you’d like to check up on seismic activity anywhere in the world, I’ve linked online resources below.

Seismic Monitor

Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)

USGS Earthquake Activity World Map

USGS California and Nevada Earthquake Activity Map

— Barbara @ rudimentary 7:24 am PST, 06/17/05

June 12, 2005

News without a negative slant—including our earthquake

I’ve noticed a hush over the Internet lately that gives me the idea people are sick and tired of bad news. My desire for a lift sent me in search of news that isn’t always gloom and doom. Do you ever feel the need for that? Something that focuses on the world but doesn’t bring you down? A few sources advertise positive news, but most use the term “good news” and look at things primarily from a religious viewpoint, which isn’t what I was looking for.

I’m a romantic who likes to think this news simply makes the idea of chemistry between two people a scientifically verifiable fact. “See? We weren’t just being silly when we fell in love, honey.” But a potion? Scientifically engineered trust? I have trouble with that. Maybe I’ve read too much George Orwell. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 5:16 pm PST, 06/12/05

June 8, 2005

How random is publishing today?

If you’re an aspiring writer, and even if you’re not but want to know more about the possible randomness of publishing today, I urge you to hop over to historical mystery author Eric Mayer’s Byzantine Blog to read his series of blog entries about Michael Allen’s On the Survival of Rats in the Slush Pile, beginning with Eric’s post, Considering Rats in the Slush Pile.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 6:07 pm PST, 06/08/05

June 2, 2005

The Writer’s Mentor, by Cathleen Rountree

I recently read The Writer’s Mentor, by Cathleen Rountree, which has already become a favorite resource for me, one of those books on writing I’ll keep on my shelf and go back to again and again.

The Writer’s Mentor isn’t a book full of how-to tips and writing exercises. It’s more about the writing life, and how to keep your creative self nourished. I found it vaguely reminiscent of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, but more specific to writers, and without structured exercises like morning pages and artist dates. Aspiring writers are instead encouraged to find their own best patterns of writing and creative renewal.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 4:17 pm PST, 06/02/05

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