Bold Fortune

fortune favors the bold

Month: November, 2010

The one book you MUST go read now. Well, don’t just stand there – get going! What you think I’m kidding?

by mollykl

Seriously. I couldn’t wait for the library anymore, so I purchased The Native Star by M.K. Hobson for my Kindle, and finished reading it today. This is, hands down, the best book I’ve read this year. I don’t care if you think Steampunk is ridiculous, hate sci-fi and loathe fantasy – go get this book. It’s amazingly well written, and the characters, well, you know how I feel about character development, they develop. The descriptions are wonderful, so much so that I actually had a new-found appreciation for the Sacramento Valley (and that can be hard to come by). I had no idea how the story was going to turn out so I never really felt like I could put the book down.

Ok, I know those of you who know me won’t take my opinion on beer, wine, movies or clothing, but trust me on books. I know books.

Post Script – To the collection development team at the Sacramento Public Library: what the HELL are you thinking not having this title?

Injured

by mollykl

That would be me.  Torn gastrocnemis muscle, so I’m off my feet for a week, then in to see the sports medicine people at UCD to find out how many more weeks after that.

In college one day we sat around talking about how great it would be to go to prison, because then you’d have enough time to read everything you wanted. One of our classmates, L, who was older than us, mumbled aloud, “No, because you never have the book you want on you when you’re arrested.” We all fell silent and stared, and he said, “Oh, did I say that out loud?”  I learned that day that apparently prison is not the best place to do reading even if you are lucky enough to be arrested while carrying a book you’ve been itching to get into. Also, try not to get arrested in Central America or Israel.

I have a Kindle full of books, thanks to Project Gutenberg (and thanks to my husband who surprised me with a Kindle last week as an early present). I have a writing project that I’ve been complaining about not having enough time to work on. Yeah, I do not want to do either of those things right now. What I want to be able to do right now is walk, better yet run. I want to go for a run on the bike trail and be outside enjoying the sunshine and the ridiculously cold weather. I want to chase son J around the back yard and play tickle attack. But I can’t.

I know that when I return to work I’ll miss all this free time, I just wish the free time came when and how I wanted it. So here’s the question: does it ever? And should I stop looking this gift horse in the mouth?

3 things about NASCAR that would translate nicely in the real world.

by mollykl

1. You get black-flagged for going too slowly. Seriously I was following a grey Pilot onto THE FREEWAY and he was going MFN 45 MILES AN HOUR! Black flag! 45 miles an hour onto Hwy 50 should actually be called the suicide attempt that it is.

2. You get fined for bad behavior. We have a swear jar at our house, and it weighs a ton. What if in real life you got fined for your bad behavior? Oh, and the “trip to the red trailer” as a talk to the NASCAR bosses is called – it’s basically a “time-out”. I know more than a few adults who could use one of those (I could use one from time to time).

3. The boring, dull-as-rocks family guy comes in first. Trust me, I’m sick of watching Jimmie Johnson win championships.  But there is something to said about the straight-arrow guy winning. It doesn’t seem to happen much in the world today.

Sometimes, good karma for someone else is enough

by mollykl

Sometimes life just sucks. There it is: my words of wisdom for the day. Sometimes, in fact, life sucks so badly that you just have to make it through the day and search desperately for anything good, even if it’s happening to someone else.

My friend at work, M, by completely random chance, won tickets to a concert in San Diego, where one of her best friends from college currently resides. She’d actually been thinking of visiting just for a pick-me-up, and this fell into her life. Sign from God one might say. After not being able to secure an airplane ticket she could afford, and crying in her office at work, she walked into the break room today so radiant we knew something had happened. Two of our co-workers helped her not only cover her shifts, but helped her get a plane ticket for this afternoon. She is, at this very moment, on her way to a Josh Radin concert (whoever the hell that is).

That just made my fucking day. When things are not going well it’s easy to descend into self-pity and this really made me just think about how happy she was, and how amazing it is that we have coworkers that would take the trouble to help someone cover shifts (which is not easy) and help find flights. And with that, the day got better.

Obligatory NANOWRIMO post

by mollykl

Yes, as the title not-so-subtly suggests this is my obligatory post about NANOWRIMO month. (And, yes, I’m aware that the “month” is already part of the abbreviation, so I shouldn’t add it to the sentence…)

I always think this is a great idea. I always think I’d love to do it, since I once, a long time ago (in a galaxy far far away…or Spokane) wanted to be a writer. But I never manage to. Instead, I either can’t think of anything to write, which is pathetic, or I think I don’t have the time. The interesting thing about this year is that I’m reading a lot of author’s blogs, and quite a few of them are participating. Writing is their day job, but they are still using this to their advantage, which I find quite inspiring.

I wonder: do participants of the non-professional variety have ideas already in play or do they just dive in? Outlines? Research already completed? I know that two of the authors I read are using the month to advance projects they’ve already started on (and in fact, have already been contracted for).  Husband J last took part three years ago, before our son J could walk or talk.  I know he enjoyed doing it, but I didn’t ask much about his process, because, like much writing, it seemed a highly personal thing. It’s one thing to do it for a living and have your work and process out in the world to be read, judged, etc., it’s another entirely to still be starting out.

I like the idea of having a set period of time to do the work in – but then I’m a deadline girl. I set deadlines for myself for personal and work projects and stick to them. The idea of writing 50,000 words in one month, one very busy month, doesn’t actually seem daunting (well, not too much). The trick, as with most things, is just sitting down and starting.

The death of print (just kidding!)

by mollykl

The compact disc is dead. So for that matter is the cassette tape. We all know the 8-track went the way of the Dodo ages ago (I’m sure I have co-workers who don’t even know what an 8-track tape is.) Vinyl is only still viable because it’s actually much more durable than the nice CD-making people at Sony led us to believe, and purists still cling to “that” sound.

I stopped buying music in tangible form about two years ago. I only buy mp3’s, and back up religiously (well, I don’t – husband J does). On my way to the store today I wondered, does anyone still buy cd’s? And if so, why? What a complete waste – of money (paying for plastic?), resources (ditto) and space (’cause you gotta put them somewhere.) It boggles my mind. I have a virtual music library that would take up half a room, and I can access it at any time.

So why don’t I feel the same about e-books? In an attempt to cure myself of my prejudice against electronic books I wrote about them for a paper – looked at pros and cons, and came out of it deciding that they weren’t the end of the world as I knew it. I also thought that if I had the money I might really like one of them thar little Kindle doo-hickies.

And yet… it’s still there, the feeling that it’s not really a book. Husband J, when asked about the subject, said that we feel that way because we assign a different value to books than we do to music. I’m not sure I agree with him. I am completely devoted to my “Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky” recording of “The Firebird” and it certainly merits more devotion than some of the crap I read, yet it exists in a purely digital form whereas the other sits on my bookshelf existing in more tangible form.

After moving 30 boxes of books, and the accompanying bookshelves, I’m probably more predisposed to an e-book reader. I have this fabulous notion of owning a Kindle and just keeping my first editions and the books with sentimental value. But then, I think, I’d have to pay to acquire the books in electronic form, when I’ve already paid for them.