Historiography at work

Historiography is the study of History.    It was one of my favorite mandatory seminars as a grad student at the University of Akron.

One of friends and cohorts here in Blog Land, raised a very interesting point in  a comment on how the Historians of 100 years from now would treat the scenario in rage now of the Great Republican Plan to Obliterate the Obama Presidency.    Obviously all of us reading this will have no interaction whatsoever in the future century.   Who knows how the History of our age will be preserved, or how it will be reported to future generations.    The History of the Present hasn’t happened yet.

The Trump-Obama factionalism is too multi-faceted to tackle here.   However, the question is a good one, and leads me to ponder the basic differences between Now and Then…meaning past and future coverage of historical events.     There can be two designations here: Paper and Digital.

The most glaring difference is that what was written, published, in real books is that they were permanent.   Not necessarily the absolute authoritative sources on a given subject, but through a sort of consensus of opinions and research, and yes credentials.   In order to reach a thesis statement for a given publication, the writer presented his or her own ideas….something new, an alternate position.   There are always at least two sides to any proposition.

Here is a proposal that when it comes to Digital History, that which is presented over the internet by countless diverse sources, the information comes across only as permanent as the print-out a student or proponent, or indeed, opposition commentator, understands—or prefers to present as Truth or Falsehood—to their respective readership at any given time.

Digital History is much easier to alter, re-write, or inadvertently  distort  because of its fluidity…never permanent, always subject to a myriad of changes.    We see reports on the internet news channels… a statement made by an anchor person on CNN or Fox, MSNBC, BBC…at a given hour—that never airs again.

No one in their right mind for long will be able to watch Cable News constantly to keep up absolutely on the stream of information.    Remember when the internet was actually referred to as the Information Highway?   That was back in the 1980s, when major newspapers made the change from individual typewriters to the chaotic stream of News-all-the-Time.   Up-to-date means “constantly changing,” which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

 

Mad Woman (Still) Searching for Lost Things (2)

Previously I re-posted an article I wrote two years ago.    I haven’t learned much since, when it comes to finding lost things.

The issue with the lost books from my inventory continues.    Yesterday’s book was right where it was supposed to be.   However, I won’t get complacent, because many of my books are not where I expect to find them.   The thing about that is annoying, but usually ends up with the book being found without much delay.    Only once in the years I have been selling books online have I had to run to HalfPriceBooks and buy another copy.

The search now involves a rotary slide holder, filled with slides and stored in the original yellow Kodak box the tray came in originally.    These slides are part of a slide-show production I put together to entertain my university class in World Civilizations, specifically a   2-credit course required of all students.   The courses were specifically designed History classes in world areas such as Latin America, Africa, Middle East…and many others.   The classes were usually chosen by students based on the time-slot as it fit in with their other classes, rather than any particular interest in a world region.

My presentation dealt with Mexican archeological sites in Yucatan including  Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, and Tuluum.  Obviously the slides that I selected were the ones I considered to be the best quality.   Most had been photographed by my late husband, I might add.    There are about a hundred slides.    The search is on…and the good part of it is that I have so far cleaned out and rearranged two major room closets searching.    I have located thousands of slides…but not this particular collection.

Last winter I ordered a Digital Film/Slide Projector, and it is the best thing since sliced bread.    It is very simple in operation, you just put the slides in the contraption, transfer the images onto an SD card, which corresponds to a photo site on my computer.    Perfect…..not automatic, exactly, but it isn’t bad because I get to view all of my slides from a thirty year period.       An added bonus is seeing the family shots of 30-something grandchildren as babies.   The farm is well represented in photos going back to the 1970s, as well as multiple vacations during the subsequent years.

Back to the subject…searching for that slide tray.        The closing of two shops at a flea market and an antique mall about five years ago resulted in half of my book inventory and dollhouse miniatures and all-kinds-of-stuff  into my garage, and most rooms in my house.     About half of my book inventory of about 2000 books now (not counting my personal library of books which is more extensive,) is catalogued on online book sites such as Amazon, Alibris, Biblio, Barnes&Noble…etc.     I have culled the inventory excess to the extent that most of what is left is  saleable. … in theory.     Every one of these books is numbered sequentially and readily available….except, of course, those that insist on misplacing themselves.

Oh yes, the point is that I am in the process of publishing many of my slides on my blog, and some of my best are missing.     However, my slide converter gadget also does film strips, so all is not lost.   I just haven’t tried the film strips yet.

Mad Woman Searching for Lost Things

First published here in February 2015.    I do find this whole situation to be pertinent though…even now in May 2017….I guess I never learn!

I already looked there, Sister.

When I lose something…or more accurately have misplaced it…there is no rest for me or anyone near me, until the missing item has reappeared.  I do believe in the old prayer to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things, or is he the saint of the people who have LOST something?

Either way, I am not ashamed to say that the quickest way to recovery is to recite some version of the verse:   This one was told to me by a stranger at the flea market when I was out there selling books:

Tony, Tony, Tony…Something’s lost and can’t be found,

Please help me find it when I turn around.

Many things have been recovered soon after pleading with St. Anthony for help.  Finding lost keys are a specialty of the Saint’s, and various and sundry other missing things have been recovered….not only by me, but by various other believers.

Once I even found a silver bracelet that I had lost in the garage.  I had been sorting books and must have caught the edge of the cuff bracelet, causing it to slip off of my wrist.  That was a mad search, which included a grocery store, pharmacy, restaurant, and several other places.  My evil twin even suggested the possibility that some unscrupulous clerk had pocketed my bracelet.  (I didn’t really believe that myself, as I have a basic belief in the goodness of people.)  The bracelet turned up after several calls to St. Anthony…and an email friend who is a Tarot card reader of some note, and also has a reputation for finding lost things.

Hmm… maybe that’s why it took the Tony, Tony, Tony thing so long.   I found the bracelet under a chair, behind a stack of picture frames, under a few boxes of flea market stuff…and a plastic red tablecloth, which may or may not have been key.  Just sayin’….

THE CURRENT EMERGENCY SEARCH was one that I have entirely too often.  I mentioned in an earlier post,  about how I handle my book inventory.  Although I was bragging about how well my alphabetical inventory system works, I did include a caveat that IF a given book was not where it was supposed to be… in this case #1746–which should have been between 1745 and 1747, but was not.

No, Baby, it's not outside.

Now, this has to be a case of Murphy’s Law of Inventories, because this was the exact book that a customer ordered.  It was a book about making Art items from Buttons (the kind on shirts,) and I distinctly remembered  being in the book room holding the book and thinking “how mundane.”  Yes, that’s what I forget for being judgemental.   I also recall my son coming in with his current emergency, pinning his church “Usher” badge to his shirt, and I  had to leave the room–with the book in hand–and debating where to shelve it temporarily.

As luck would have it, the very next order that came in was for THAT VERY BOOK.  Thus the mad search was on.  I have books all over the house, some already inventoried, most not.  To cut to the chase, I found the Button book within two feet of my left arm, on a shelf where I keep books that for one reason or another are in a “waiting” status.

I had looked in the very spot several times.  It was much smaller than I had remembered it, and had slipped partially behind two neighboring books: one on Tai Chi, and one on Ribbon crafts.  The inventory numbers matched several books in the immediate space.

This whole situation where a given book is not readily located happens too often to be coincidental.  There are nearly three thousands books in my inventory, on shelves, in order.     WHY is the one on order frequently misplaced?

I guess I’ll have to ask St. Anthony that question.

Deliyah…4-year-old reader of 1,000 books

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/01/12/meet-daliyah-the-4-year-old-girl-who-has-read-more-than-1000-books/?utm_term=.6403ea387b35&wpisrc=nl_mix&wpmm=1#comments

Now here is an inspiring story out of the Washington Post this morning, a four-year-old who has apparently read one thousand (1,000) books so far. She hangs out at the Library of Congress.

Yes…I hear you in the back there mumbling about the veracity of this story…and I’ll bet you either 1) don’t personally know any of Deliyah’s peers, other pre-schoolers, that is… or 2)are not paying attention. This child is indeed remarkable and a great role-model for other children—and she is not unique. (Meaning one-of-a-kind, not as in the modern fancy of “unique” as a mere synonym for unusual, or great.)

Today’s children all over the world are smarter and more aware than at any time in history.    Peer into the bright, shining eyes of a child…in person or in photographs…to see the intelligence shining through.

They “know” things, information gleaned from television shows, or books, chatting with other children…and, of course, school.   Pre-school kids commonly know the alphabet and basic number figures, understand the details about the hippopotamus, orangatangs, and mocking birds.   They often even know how to spell those words.

 

My Favorite Novels

The Name of the Rose, Humberto Eco.    (I love this book, have read it at least three times, its about a monastery library in the 12th Century.)

Snow Treasure, Marie McSwigan (All-time favorite.   My third grade Christmas present.  About some Norwegian kids and German soldiers.)

The Last Juror, Robert Grisham  (I like Grisham, this is my favorite novel of his.)

Wake of the Red Witch, Robert Rourk (My late husband’s favorite, he read it I don’t know how many times…I read it once, and it is the kind of novel that I didn’t want to end.)

Bad Spell in Yurt, C. Dale Brittain (series)   (I love her fantasy tales, I’ve read the series except for the last couple.)

The Queen’s Fool, Phillipa Gregory   (I enjoy this because although its fiction about Henry the VIII and his carryings-on, there is enough historical fact to justify reading romance fiction so avidly 🙂

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy  (I love this book, intriguing and romantic.)

The Sahir, Paulo Coelho  (Coehlo…anything he writes is wonderful.)

Mistress  of the Morning Star, Elizabeth Lane  (The plot is the very first account of the Aztec empire, Hernan Cortes, and his lady La Malinche.   This is fiction…but it is also my top influence for choosing Latin American Studies as my field.  I tried to use it for a reference once, but that was not well-received by my mentor 🙂

Fahrenheit 911, Ray Bradbury    (All the things I like: firemen, the future, books, crooked governments, and Science Fiction at its best.)

The First Eagle, Tony Hillerman (I have all of Hillerman’s books, and I want to read them again.   I like Navajos, indigenous people in general, Arizona, the Desert, and cops.)

She Who Remembers, Linda Lay Shuler.  (Historical romance again…about native society and a female head-of-state…and Kokopelli! )

These titles are all novels that I have read at least once, have some kind of personal attachment, and plan to read again.

So which are YOUR Top Ten Fiction Novels?

Please take out pencil and a piece of paper.      Number from one to 10.   (It doesn’t matter what kind of paper, and the numbers should be 1-10 in a vertical column.)     You are to list (not necessarily in order) YOUR  top ten Greatest Fiction Books Ever Written.      You have 30 minutes to complete the list.

Wow!      Moments ago I read a page on selling books on eBay.    I actually do sell books on eBay, but mostly on other venues, mainly Amazon.     The list, which the author of the article noted was A list, not intended to be THE LIST of the all-time great books.

Here is the eBay writer’s list:

Top 10 Books of All Time Photo from the eBay page.  I am duly impressed!

I believe I have now on my shelves ALL of the ten works on the list.     I would like to say that I have read and studied every single one of these books…but since I am a very truthful person, I can’t make that claim.

I did read part of  Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, which I enjoyed.    The other classics are so much discussed and made into movies, and snippets (or pages) have appeared in various sources, that they are impressed upon my mind having read the novels  per se or not.

OK, in my defense, English and American Literature HAVE been included in my curriculum,  but during my college career the only course I remember that specifically dealt with “classic great modern literature” was a University of Akron  graduate seminar on Latin American Fiction.    That course, I recall, came as I was overwhelmed (pretty much) with heavy-duty studying and reading…so much so that I was   reading non-fiction textbooks on the History of all sorts of times and places—and did not have time for the luxury of reading my favorite “lawyer-books” and Sci-Fi, and light bedtime reading…I would fall asleep with a huge textbook, not a little paperback.     Reading those Latin American novels (Isabel Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Garcia Lorca,)…was almost like cheating on the curriculum…a real treat.

Another seminar at Cleveland State dealt with Karl Marx and his assorted works.  Now this may sound stupid, but I was a tad shy at the time with my Essential Karl Marx paperback and reams of print-outs from reference books.   I mention that because one of the eBay writer’s TOP TEN GREAT BOOKS is the classic Vladimir Nabovosky book Lolita.    Well!  at the time I was in college ten-twenty years ago I would have kept THAT book in my book bag.      I have the book now for sale (I think.)   No, I haven’t been so inclined to read it.

While on that general subject, it always amuses me to recall that when I was a girl THE banned book (really…banned!) was Forever Amber,   by Kathleen Winsor.    Well, let me tell you…that book was not very interesting to me when I tried to read it years and years ago…and I never did find the titillating parts that I thought were hiding within the book.     Recently, like last year, I finally found out that the book was banned for political reasons…not for…well, you know…sexy stuff.  😉

So…good luck with those lists!

Do We Even Want to be Entertained? ReBlogged, Legends of Windemere

Excellent article on what we expect from entertainment. This is my first visit to Charles Yallowitz’s blog LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE, and like it a lot. I agree that when I like a film or book…I LIKE it…and I don’t care what the critics say. Some of my favorites are works that others say are terrible. Thanks for enabling the RE=BLOG button! 🙂

Legends of Windemere

So, I’ve been wondering this for a while now.  I wasn’t sure how to write this up either and have gone through it in my head many times.  Then I stumbled onto this part from a Suicide Squad review:

“In my sensible critical opinion, Suicide Squad wasn’t a complete disaster, but inexcusably mediocre. To be fair, the audience I saw the film with appeared to love every frame: big laughter, cheers for the action and clapping as the credits rolled. Is there a disconnect between critics and audiences?”

Now, I’m not going to touch on the question because I have another one.  Are people disconnecting themselves from movies, shows, and books before they even start?  I’ve seen so many people swear that something will be bad for months and then they begrudgingly indulge.  SURPRISE!  They didn’t like it for exactly the reasons either they said or the critics declared.  Sometimes word for…

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Missing Book finally Found

Here is something I wrote last week…sort of a poem/prayer…when I could not find a book that I had sold, and knew I had in my inventory.  My inventory has nearly two thousand books, all shelved in numerical order.     In theory, if I am looking for book number 452, it should be right there on the shelf between #451, and #453.   How easy is that?   The volume is always there….unless its not.    If it’s not, I undertake a frantic and massive search, and usually it turns up misplaced, behind other books on the shelf, in over-sized spaces, or having lost its number sticker.

I’ve blogged about this before…bragging (sort of) about my great system, which is basically fool-proof.     I am dedicated to filling orders from Amazon, and all my other venues, rapidly—most orders go out the same day they are received.      I am paranoid about maintaining my 100% performance rate, as the competition is fierce.   The description wording must be precise, and I always mention every little bend, pencil mark, dog-ear…in great detail.     If I say the book is “good” it is usually “very good” or better.

Without further ado, here is my account of my latest fiasco….which in the end turned out well, the book was located and shipped on time.    However…it was missing for a whole day and a half, and I was beginning to panic.      So I did what many self-respecting bloggers would do in my situation—write a poem.

Missing Book

Book Inventory is nice
in numerical order
instead of by price
or subject, size or color.

How hard can it be
to follow the scheme
with consecutive numbers
as the predominant theme.

It must be mischievous Fate
humor sense so gigantic—
it seems that this date
I have lost the Titanic!

A buyer waiting
counts on me for his book
what worries me is how long
the finding it took!

©Sometimes, 2016

 

 

 

Science Fiction Favorites

One of my blogger pals was chatting about Science Fiction writers and novels, and mentioned several that I’m not familiar with.   This is not unusual, as I rarely read the science fiction genre any more, in fact I think I would say my favorite are what I call “Lawyer Novels” written by and about lawyers and courts and fancy courtroom dance steps.  My favorite of this genre is Lisa Scottoline, who is a Philadelphia lawyer (really) in real life, and writes about female lawyers and other legal personnel.  I also like James Grisham, of course, and Peri O’Shaughnessy (who is really TWO authors…sisters…in one.)

Back in my late teens or early twenties I became intrigued and enchanted by Science Fiction in general, and set out to read every (or most) novels by such as Robert Heinlein, Robert Silverberg, and others whose names I can’t recall offhand because my Sci-Fi sections of my brain storage are nearing capacity.  I also tried to read Isaac Asimov, but he was a bit technical for me, and my interests lie more in robots-doing-stuff than in building robots from scratch.

Among the ageless store of knowledge about robots are the famous Laws of Robotics.   I’ll probably have to look it up, but basically those laws is that 1. Robots must obey any command by a human. 2. they can not harm or kill a human being under any circumstances and 3. must deal with the conflict of the first two Robot Laws.

There were some rules about space travel, especially after Einstein worked out his theory…and I believe that one of those is that while space travel is technically possible it had no contemporary basis in known facts.   This was back in the 1950s, following the discovery of the Atomic Bomb…and the Hydrogen Bomb… and proof that these things really did have the capability of wiping out entire cities.   They even did a second “test” after the first to reassure themselves that wide-spread death and destruction was indeed NOT just a pipedream, but an actual fact in the development of the human race.

The things I love most about Science Fiction is the use of imagination…extrapolating on wonderful ideas and things to foresee the future when dreams could come true…. Say robot-vacuum-cleaners in every home.  Wow!   Just last week, here in 2016 on saw on the television a little disc like thing that zips around by itself cleaning under sofas, terrifying cats…. (nah—most cats would love a thing like that!)  and just think of the possibilities!   “Robot! Fetch me a beer!”   “Feed the cat!”   “Stop sneaking up on me like that!”     I don’t think I would like one of those things zipping around under foot.

I aso like the inventive and fascinating scenarios of flora and fauna of other planets.   One I recall is a planet with landscape that was RED instead of green…red trees, grass…I think of that every time I see my Red Maple Tree doing its thing in the Fall, or the gorgeous Redbud Trees.

Anyway…I read every science fiction novel I could get my hands on back then, mostly borrowed from the library.  In fact… I even wrote some science fiction of my own–not actual published stories, but well-developed plot lines.   Maybe I’ll write about that in the next installment about Sci-Fi-and-Me.

 

 

The Book Business bugaboos

This is a new section of my blog.  In fact I have two blogs.   Maybe I should change one of them … but how will I decide which one gets the best stuff?  Should I have a separate Page, Category, Post Section, Feature, Widget Section…what?

I would like to open a branch of my electronic book store…Padre Books…and can’t decide if it should have a new name…Padrebooks is the name of my business, which lists my book inventory on several book selling venues, such as Amazon, Biblio, Alibris, E-Bay, Barnes & Noble, Volare.    I have an inventory service, The Art of Books, which does a fantastically great job of maintaining my inventory, pricing, listings, removal of sales, and other stats.

Maybe something of a misnomer there, “electronic book store.”  It is not a place where I sell electronic books, E-Books.  I have none of those in my inventory.  It is more of an “on-line presence” where browsers looking for a book can find my supply of used books available for sale through the above-mentioned book sales venues.   As of right now I have nearly three thousand books which are actually listed for sale.  Most of my sales are of specialized, out-of-print or “scarce” books.  That means that my inventory entries pop up when someone searches for a specific title, then orders the book from me through one of the venues.  This makes it relatively unlikely that anyone will discover my book through browsing casually or otherwise.

So…using this post so far as a brain-storming technique, it dawns me that the cause of my poor sales numbers is due to my poor work-skills.  If I treated my business AS a business, with my inventory on display where more people see it, rather than just someone who really wants a specific title.

General merchandising, and better exposure.   Better “shelf placement,” I might say.    When I had my brick-n-mortar shops with real books on real shelves, arranged alphabetically within subject, my sales were better.  Browsing a section on History dealing with World War II, in alphabetical order within the section, will turn up a selection of titles that may interest the searcher, and result in more sales.

So successful on-line placement of the merchandise is key to selling.   Understatement, I know… I always think better through my fingers on a keyboard, and my thought-processes connect better when writing than when I am speaking.  I tend to get tongue-tied and forget what I’m talking about 🙂  There is no editing the spoken word….and no dictionary-breaks to check vocabulary or factual information.

Maybe a new name?  I like Padrebooks, but maybe none but the most astute academic peruser of my virtual “stacks” really cares about the name of the shops regardless of how mundane or unimaginative.   Would a cute name like “Patsy’s Books” help me to sell my books?

I’m really open to suggestions.

L is for Library (A-Z Challenge)

My favorite place has always been a library, any library.

As a young girl one of my very favorite things was the Library Bookmobile.    Our town was too small to have the resources for a full-scale public library, so for kids like me me the Bookmobile was a Godsend…especially in the summer months when the school libraries were closed.    Any kid who had the privilege of frequenting the library-on-wheels…within walking distance of their home…can surely summon up a pang of memory at being told “the Bookmobile is in town today!”    Especially thrilling was having the brightly-painted old vehicle decorated with images of books, parked in a parking lot near the center of their town.   Anyone could visit the Bookmobile, and borrow several books to take home and read.

I recall sitting on the step of the bookmobile, reading books like the Bobbsey Twins, which was my favorite series.  In fact recently, in the last four or five years maybe, I collected Bobbsey Twins volumes by buying them online.  I have a least 20 now, although I have not read any of them recently.    Back inside the Bookmobile, I decided that I would read all of the books on the built-in shelves.   The librarian (and driver of the vehicle) seemed impressed by my ambitious reading agenda, although she explained about appropriate materials for 10-year-olds, and how the collection she had with her was limited in size.

Later, as a young secretary working in the city in the early 1950s, and living downtown in a residence for “working women,” I spent a lot of time in the Cleveland Public Library, which was a vast canyon of a structure.   The library contained many books on many subjects, but the one I was most into was…. poetry and Shakespeare, and of course fiction.    I wrote poems myself, penned into a brown notebook in my best starry-eyed girl handwriting.   I would check out books, and haul as many of them as I could carry back to my room.

As a college student (decades later,) I memorized the libraries of the universities that I attended–huge, many storied-and nearly deserted much of the time in summer months.   The feeling of being alone in these huge rooms on upper floors was one that I treasured…just me and basically all of the books in the world.    Anyway, I spent many hours in many university libraries during the twenty years working on my History degrees.

Then there is my personal library, books that belong to me.  There are books of many topics…mostly History: U.S. Civil War History, Latin American History (I have books on every country in Latin America,) our Government American Indians, South American Indians…lots of books on Mexico.    Science, Mathematics, college textbooks.  A small collection of children’s books; craft books; art books; needlework books; books on beads and making jewelry.   There is a whole section on Words, including dictionaries of many languages…including Papago, and Maya.

hen there is a whole other thing–my book inventory for my online book business, thousands of books from my bookshops (a flea market shop, and an antique mall shop.)    This endeavor doesn’t make much income, but it does satisfy my book-need.  Handling, cataloguing, selling, shipping…packaging, deals with postal services and customs forms… no–not a Library, per se–although you’d never know it by looking at it.

Well, enough of that…it’s making me yearn to visit HalfPriceBooks, or a book-sale somewhere!     Why the Letter L = Library to me.    It also explains my mother’s lament that I always had my nose in a book.  (So did She–so she ‘got it.’ )

 

 

 

A Gift for Baby

 

               A GIFT FOR BABY

Hey little baby, what do you say?
I’ve brought you a gift for your birthday.
I think it will be your favorite gift,
I know you will savor it as long as you have it.

Among the bears and baby dolls,
Rattles and things of lullabies,
This gift is perfect for chewing
and feels good to the gums.

This Book is the best gift of all.
With word sounds as nice as they feel.
More precious than other gift buys
That are poorly regarded and soon discarded.

No hard decisions came to mind when
deciding what present to buy.
Price was no object yet the gift that I chose
is not pricey…but priceless.

Literacy the goal–many years hence–
tactile and visual treats for the senses.
All the prerequisites in content and theme
are tactful, thoughtful, and tasty.

©Sometimes2015

Literate for a Day

 

There’s Work to be Done…but Poetry is SUCH Fun!

Writing 201: Poetry, Day Six — Faces, Found Poetry, Chiasmus
(what the heck is Chiasmus?)

just a few books
just a few books

            Booksellers Lament

Books in order means order in books
to find them is the key
with thousands of books the ONE that is wanted
is the one nowhere to be found.

Well, it MUST be somewhere unless it was sold!

If order is everything and if everything is in order
the book business thrives, sporadically
(at least theoretically)
but only if you’re listing, they keep insisting
books on the shelves can’t sell themselves

an order’s an order but books MUST be in order
to fill the order–when there’s an order to fill.

A PERFECT PAST PRESENT for Poetry Class

[Writing201, Poetry.   Today’s assignment involves the word GIFT, and Crostic, and Alliteration.]

        A Perfect Past Present

Better a book, than a boat or a bear

Or my childhood dream would be dashed

Only such a gift would

Keep me a happy child.

I would never have wanted clothing

Neither undies nor socks…in a box

A doll or a hat or even a unicorn of bisque would have been taking a terrible risk

of dashing my special specific dream of a gift

But–alas!  There was only one lonely gift left…and that in a box!

OXYDOL SOAP said the  boisterous box, causing my young heart to sink

X-actly!   I  cheered as I peered inside, and shouted — “MY BOOK IN A BOX!”

What to do when Not Writing

Not really…writing is my life, and it stays above everything else. So that means that if I am not actively engaged in writing/blogging/photographing/researching…but pursuing any other interests, time is spent on avoidance of the thing I want to do most.

What else is there?, you ask.

Well, there is gardening, which involves good intentions, wishful thinking, jungle-conditions, drought, over-watering, lack of energy, and weeds.    I don’t really enjoy the labor parts of gardening any more, because my poor knees refuse to cooperate…once I’m down, getting back up is painful chore.

There is Beading, which is something I really enjoy.  I love beads (boy, do I love beads…I never met a bead I didn’t like) but one of the joys of making lovely things from beads is playing with the beads: sorting them out by color and/or size, admiring the vast array of shapes and possibilities for projects.  Related to manipulating the beads themselves, is reading books about beading…bookmarking specific examples of fabulous creations that are, 1. too difficult, 2. too time-consuming, 3. too expensive to make, or 4. on second or third look at the project–ugly.

Crocheting is another thing I like to do.  Choosing yarn, buying yarn, combining colors, finding the right crochet hook…deciding which stitch to use for a certain project, ripping out mistakes…   One of the main things I like about crocheting is that it is relatively compact, the project consists of only the yarn, crochet hook, and the scarf-in-progress, in a bag to hold the lot.

I say scarf because scarves are the only thing I make and actually complete.  Oh yes, I make hats, but they are usually not any that anyone would wear.    Once I was going to make a gorgeous full-length evening cape of dark blues and purple variegated yarn.   Let’s just say that project fizzled out due to the enormity of it, intricate stitch, and the realization that I would never wear it because it would have looked dumb.  Who wears evening capes to the grocery store?

Then there are my books.  I am an online book dealer, and have a couple of thousand books listed and organized numerically (according to date sequence, so they can be found quickly.)   Invariably the particular book that I have an order for is lost, misplaced, or hiding.  Really I almost always locate the book in question fairly quickly, and get it out to the person who ordered it the same day.

To be fair, and accurate, I must say that my books operation is very close to Writing at the top of my list of things to do.    For one thing it makes a small contribution to my over-all state of reality on the brink of poverty, and provides a certain satisfaction at the existence of this business that I have created and maintain single handedly.  (Except for my son, who takes the packages to the mailbox, and my dear mail-lady, who whisks them away for their travels to far distant reaches of the book market in the United States.

Much more satisfying to me personally is my personal book collection.  I have thousands of books of my own, noteably History classics, and books on virtually every country of Latin America.  But I could easily digress here into book-heaven.   Yesterday I went downstairs and retrieved my big binders containing every notebook (and exams) from every course I ever took.  That includes my unpublished doctoral dissertation, which was what I was really looking for yesterday.

Talk about diversion…I spent two hours going over my notes from every class I took at the Community College twenty years ago–classes in United States History, World History, Sumerian History, World Civilizations… and I was much intrigued by this information.

So to make a long story shorter, all of the time I was fighting the cobwebs downstairs holding my bookshelves together…I had this nagging feeling I get from procrastination of the one thing that I really really want to do, which is to WRITE.

I have decided to publish some of my things that I wrote back in the day.  However, one of the drawbacks is that although everything I wrote was done and printed out with my computer.  I am afraid that the originals of these works of art are on discs and floppies that I may not be able to access.     So…I may have to scan some paper copies into my computer, or YIKES, type/keyboard stuff in.

Thank goodness I am a luddite that still believes in paper…reams and reams of it…and never throw anything away.  I won’t bore anyone here with my far-out views on the safety of preserving things on cyberspace.   Not here, anyway.   🙂