musings, thoughts, and writings of Barbara W. Klaser

September 11, 2006

Hey, where’d that Shrinking Violet person go?

I’ve been missing in action online because of serious computer problems. A few days ago my main computer that I use to blog and surf (and email and research) decided it wouldn’t boot in anything but Safe Mode, and until that’s fixed, I may not blog or visit your blogs very much. I may not answer email very promptly either, for those of you who keep in touch with me that way.

It’s been an uphill battle, two steps forward, one step back. Hopefully my resident computer medicine man will soon complete his magical mumbo jumbo, drive out the evil computer spirit thingies, and I’ll be a force to be reckoned with on the Internet. Since I never was before, that’ll be a feat of magic for sure.

Fortunately this doesn’t effect my writing computer, which I keep disconnected and safely backed up.

But I miss you!

I also miss being able to do a quick search whenever my brain hiccups out a question. I’ve become so used to having the world at my fingertips, this is a little like losing the use of a limb—or a major appliance.

Readers and fellow bloggers, thank you for your patience and stay tuned.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 11:13 am PST, 09/11/06

August 31, 2006

Oops! Almost missed World Blog Day

I just learned, via How to Save the World, today is World Blog Day, and I almost missed it. Figures.

I’m not sure what else I get done on all the days that I don’t blog, as opposed to days that I do. My day sometimes just speeds past and before I know it it’s over and I’m left attempting to assess where it went. That happens more during summer than in other seasons. My brain and sense of time become sluggish or warped when it’s warm out. I’m convinced, too, that blogging requires a different part of my brain than I’m accustomed to using. My thoughts can stay light or go deep, and I’m comfortable in both places, but expressing myself in a story or in hard facts, or even a personal journal (where I don’t even need to worry whether I understand, let alone whether anyone else does) turns out to be much different than the kind of writing I do here, clarifying my thoughts and ideas, or reviewing life events. Nevertheless, regular blogging is a good exercise. It’s like strengthening a muscle you rarely use, such as the one that bends your pinky when holding a teacup, or the one that lifts one eyebrow. It’s not necessary, but it’s a nice, sometimes elegant, ability to have. Besides, blogging helps me feel in touch during periods of writing isolation or silence.

Speaking of silence, Streams of Silence, by Bruce at Wordswimmer, takes a profound look at the silences we all face, particularly writers. An appropriate topic for me to ponder today.

Happy World Blog Day!

— Barbara @ rudimentary 4:40 pm PST, 08/31/06

June 8, 2006

From a distance

I don’t like memes or favorites lists, because my favorites are constantly in flux and too numerous to list anyway. Some of my favorites I can’t think of on demand. Others have replaced them in the forefront of my thoughts. The present distracts me from the past, overriding memories.

If you ask what my five favorite birds are, I may list the last five species that visited my yard and forget I’ve ever seen an osprey, a roadrunner, a California quail. I might forget the red-tailed hawk that dropped the pigeon it had just caught when it saw my van driving toward it, or the two times I came across a great blue heron standing beside my path while I walked. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 2:13 pm PST, 06/08/06

May 27, 2006

What good is hope?

Partially in response to some complaints that his blog is sometimes too pessimistic, Dave Pollard looks at hope and its place in enviromental activism, in an article titled, Beyond Hope: The Radicalization of Derrick Jensen. He includes an excerpt from Derrick Jensen’s book, A Language Older Than Words, which includes the following: (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 1:44 pm PST, 05/27/06

May 10, 2006

Gone Fishing

I’m internalizing a lot right now, I guess. I haven’t been blogging, and it’s not a reflection on my ideas, or my fellow bloggers, or commenters, but just that I’m internalizing and letting my thoughts gestate right now. Working on the novel, tweaking, tying loose ends, all that fun stuff.

Funny how we go through times like this. Lots going on inside, not much coming out (in the blog).

I’m sure that as soon as I’m done with this little fallow blogging period you’ll be hearing a lot more from me. Meanwhile, when I am online (haven’t been much lately) I will try to get around and visit you all more and make sure I comment. Happy blogging!

Meanwhile the cat wants dinner, it feels like spring today instead of winter, and we have a new neighbor, called Phainopepla, who is really quite awe inspiring and graceful.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 4:11 pm PST, 05/10/06

March 10, 2006

Why we blog

A recent Washington Post column queried Bloggers on the Reasons Behind Their Daily Words. Reading it got me to thinking yet again about why I blog.

I started my website back in 2000, when Shadows Fall was first published, for the same reason most writers do, to promote my work. Four years later I started this blog as a way to provide up-to-date content on my website and let visitors know what I was working on—basically as a way to keep the website from stagnating when too much time passed between novels. Little did I know at the time that the blog would engage so much of my attention.

The immediacy of this format holds a certain attraction. Type, click a button, and what you’ve written is published. But that has its drawbacks. As easy as email, which carries its own risks, a blog can suck you out into public view in a way that’s scary and in some ways deceiving. It’s easy to forget you’re putting yourself “out there” to the degree we do online. After all, I’m seated here alone at my home computer as I type this into a little window on my screen. It doesn’t feel public at all, at the time I write. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 2:55 pm PST, 03/10/06

March 6, 2006

No one saw it coming

Last night my dad’s house burned down. It was there at seven-thirty in the evening. By eight-thirty it was gone. Destroyed in 39 minutes. No one saw this coming. No one’s sure what caused the fire, at this point. It appears to have started in a bathroom.

All five people who were in the house got out okay, with only their clothes—or in my dad’s case his pajamas—on their backs.

Life is strange, how it plods along, and then—poof!—a puff of smoke and a pile of charcoal is all that’s left of everything you own, as if it was a cruel illusion—which I suppose it is. Physical things create an illusion of permanence in an impermanent life. Love is all that lasts.

I’m still in shock, and I wasn’t even there. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 1:55 pm PST, 03/06/06

February 10, 2006

Four Meme

Vikk at Down the Writer’s Path tagged me for the Four Meme.

Four jobs I’ve had:
1. Library Reference Room Page
2. Editorial Assistant
3. Technical Writer-Editor
4. Novelist

— Barbara @ rudimentary 1:33 pm PST, 02/10/06

February 5, 2006

While I wasn’t blogging

Linking the past days together— It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and I didn’t know. Isn’t that usually in January? I don’t pay attention to professional sports, and some years my only clue about when that event occurs is the date they tell you the winner of the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes will be announced, which doesn’t apply to me, since I don’t enter. If Ed McMahon shows up at my door it’s more likely to be about Neighborhood Watch, or because he just spoke to Johnny Carson and he’s heard I have an interest in contact with the other side. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 3:30 pm PST, 02/05/06

January 22, 2006

Habitual Meme

Rhubarb tagged me to post my response to this meme.

Five Weird Habits: (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 7:43 pm PST, 01/22/06

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