woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Fall Beauty Other Than Trees

Around here, the first things to show up in fall are the forbs and grasses (standard for a former prairie area.)  Grasses are hard to photograph well, especially if the air is not dead still and the light just right (the two don't often go together!!!)   But here's my pick for the most elegant large grass in Texas, and one that should be a dramatic focal point in every "native plant" yard.

Lindheimer muhly-2
Lindheimer Muhly
Collapse )
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

"Don't Smile"??? Poppycock.

Policing of women's facial expressions goes on, including by women.   Hillary Clinton has been chided by reporters for "not smiling enough" when discussing serious things, and now comes a woman complaining that she smiled too much at the town-hall debate.  This article in the NYT, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/opinion/clinton-trump-second-debate-election-2016, by Judith Shulevitz (first part, titled as above) really ticked me off.   (Warning: this is about politics and sexism.  There are other places to read if you're tired of either.)

Collapse )
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Interesting blog post on the cost of bargains

http://www.jamesmayhew.co.uk/2016/05/a-penny-for-your-thoughts-the-true-cost-of-bargain-books.html    My reaction was yes, yes, yes!

Though this post concentrates on books,  the same may be said for other things in life.  With wages depressed in many places, many people cannot afford quality food, for instance.  And those who can afford quality food still buy the cheapest they can...which is destructive to farming practices that preserve and sustain agricultural land in all nations, land that is vital to the biological and chemical systems that sustain all life on this planet.  When land taxes and other costs force UK and US farmers to quit farming--and their land turns into hardscapes of roofs and roads and parking lots--there's both a loss of vegetation that produces oxygen and a huge load of additional carbon dioxide produced.  There's also increased runoff from rain--dirty water into the streams and rivers, causing floods, and less water soaking into the ground to emerge (filtered by soil and rock) as clean springs that provide cleaner water.  Moreover, the skills of sustainable farming--the best use of agricultural land, with a lower production of CO2 and production of quality food that is itself less contaminated by pesticides and fertilizers and contributes fewer of these chemicals to groundwater and runoff--are easily lost in the skip of a few generations.

Our human situation on this planet is not sustainable now, and saving as many human lives as possible requires changing our ideas about what is valuable and what is not.
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Book Progress

1. Page proofs done for Cold Welcome, and the next stage in its progress towards a release in Apri.

2. Untitled (and thus not in italics, because "untitled" is not a great title for this book...maybe writers should switch to the musical method of cataloging works, where some untitled things just have numbers)  new book is at 69,000+ words.   It is...more of a mystery, though it's still a Vatta book.

Collapse )
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

So, Socks in September...

It's been a bit hectic but I did finally finish the third pair of shorty socks today.   There's a long story behind that, but it's almost bedtime, so I'll just show you what they look like  in several views taken in the kitchen with flash.


Beach-house-socks-2
Hot off the needles, showing non-matching stripes, basic design
Collapse )
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

The glamorous life of a writer

Before I was published, I had pretty much the same romantic vision of the writing life that I'd had in high school and college and after, based on books and TV shows like _Murder She Wrote_ (or, more recently, _Castle_) in which a writer had a nice house or apartment, always "interesting" in its location, design, or decoration, lots of friends, and--most unrealistic--lots of time to go do interesting things (solve murders, take the handsome dog in the picture on long walks, travel all over (often on book tours paid for by someone else), and so on.  None of the writer characters were married with children or caring for aging parents.

Collapse )
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

News of the Day: Yes, I'm now on Facebook

Courtesy of my new website manager, Karen.   Who has done the setup, and will be posting for me, because I am just not up to adding One More Thing.   I think her idea is that she will mine what I write in my other blogs (including here) and put links and snippets over here.  She's very experienced with Facebook, so I'm sure she'll do a good job.   Meanwhile, I will spend 90% of my writing time on the fiction-writing.    Unless of course I get distracted.
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Multi-factorial Progress Report

NextBook, Cold Welcome, is in production and will be released in April, 2017.   New new book (untiltled so far) is sitting just over 55,000 words and rocking along nicely, this first draft somewhat under half done.  It's another Vatta book, following directly on Cold Welcome.  The story for an anthology is started, but was derailed for quite a while by illness and partial recovery.  When the new new book reaches 60,000 words (by the end of next week, I hope),  I will put it in second place for the six weeks I will have left to finish the story.  (A short story takes me as long as several chapters of a book because there's no momentum built up, and I can't let it run free.  It has to stay short.)  That's the writing part of the progress report.  The prescribed rest has helped--after two months without being able to write, but concentrating on recovery, including getting enough sleep, the words came back into my head.Collapse )
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Knitting Needles need new home

I bought and tried out a package of Knitter's Pride Karbonz carbon-fiber double-pointed needles.   My hands didn't like them once I was using them (old hands with some arthritis--I guess they're pickier than I realized.)   So if someone's crazy about that brand and kind, and wants a package of 5 of them, size 5 US, they're up for grabs.  Free to the first person who wants them.   US residents only--I'm not doing overseas postage, sorry.

WE HAVE A WINNER ALREADY!  (The internet's really really fast!)

Knitting-needles-Karbonz