Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thursday Thirteen ~ Clouds

13 Facts About Clouds

1. Paintings are common enough that there is a name for the artists’ works – cloudscapes.

2. There are a tremendous number of names and classifications. Many of these can occur together in the same stretch of sky.

3. Irisation is a type of rainbow affect from the sun named after Iris, Greek goddess of rainbows.

4. There actually exists a cloud appreciation society. You can find their website here: Cloud Appreciation Society.

5. Morning Glory clouds are rare most places except for the southern part of Northern Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria. Glider plane pilots are actually attracted to the location to “surf” these cylindrical clouds. Here’s an image of several:















6. A cloud field is the name for a group of them but these can also have their own classification.

7. Cloud Feedback is the name for the interaction between the cloud cover and ground surface air temperatures. The temperature can alter the cloud formations which in turn can change the temperature.

8. Pilots should know the names of clouds and how they pertain to the weather. A friend of mine could always identify them from his private piloting days. It’s a fond memory of him now that he’s passed away.

9. Earth is not alone in having clouds. Any moon or planet with an atmosphere can have them.

10. Liquid methane is thought to make up the clouds of Titan, Saturn’s moon.

11. Fog can be a result of the lowest clouds, called stratus, contacting the ground.

12. Most clouds form in that part of the atmosphere called the troposphere. A few occur as high as the stratosphere and beyond that middle layer to the mesosphere.

13. Iridescence is an uncommon phenomenon caused by uniform water droplets caught by the light of the sun or moon. Here’s a picture:

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Hunt

Calm tracks in the snow
Water drips; icicles melt
The cat hunts his bird
~~~~~

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Captured Attention

The cardinal leaps
Tiny avalanche - silent
The writer looks out 
~~~~~

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow Day

Songbirds mostly stilled
Wind whistles from western skies
Snow rules all this day

~~~~~

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - Dekotora

Having recently heard of these decorated trucks, I was happy to have found a good selection of photos on Pink Tentacle. Here are thirteen right off of that website.



1. Blinding is the only word that comes to mind.

 




2. Love the dinoasaur theme!
















3. That's a lot of chrome






















4. I wonder what these additions cost


5. Do truck stops bother with overhead lights?






6. I wouldn't want to put anything in this beauty

















7. This reminds me of a slot machine somehow





















8. Can you imagine a parade of these things?

















9. I can't imagine this clearing a bump in the road





















10. Is this really street legal?
















11. Hitting deer must not be a fear for these drivers





















12. I'd love to see these going down American freeways!
















13. This rivals the Las Vegas strip

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

I was just awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by the talented Janice Seagraves! Thank you, dear. It means a lot that you would think of me.

If you haven't been there, dear reader, please visit her website: Janice's Home

Here are the rules:
1. Share 7 things about yourself
2. Pass The Award to 15 bloggers recently discovered (or however many you can manage).
3. Notify the blogger recipients.
4. Link The blogger who gave the award.

So, here are seven things about me:
1. I am studying Japanese and finding that I still know only a fraction of the beautiful language.
2. My favorite color is purple but it really doesn't look that good on me.
3. A dream of mine is to open a ryokan in Japan. I imagine a bed and breakfast welcoming tourists from abroad.
4. As an asthmatic, my biggest trigger used to be cats. Now I have more than one! Modern medication is wonderful.
5. A Catherine Noon is the author who got me started on blogging. I'm still influenced every day by her attitude and enthusiasm.
6. I'm part of two group blogs besides two of my own.
7. I have a pet betta fish virtually alone in a ten gallon aquarium because a tiny tank just didn't seem right.

My list of award recipients follows. Please check them out!

A Catherine Noon

A B Gayle

Ally Blue

Nicole Gordon

A Bit of Sunshine

Fireman Pat

The Pack Rat's Nest

Eaton Bennett

Simple Observations

Jennifer Leeland

Robin L Rotham

Tatiana Caldwell

Word Trix

~~~~~~

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rain

Grey, white, like most souls
Skies open, rain falls like tears
Birds sing, joyful spite

I could have spouted about finishing my rough draft of the NaNoWriMo novel but a friend inspired me with his Haiku, instead.  Well, the weather has something to do with it.  Anyway, come check out his blog!

~~~~~~

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Thirteen ~ Butterflies

I honestly don't know the names of most of these but I hope you enjoy this random display of butterflies from around the world.













Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The GLBT Bookstore is Up and Running

I'm thrilled to report that two of my titles and a slew of others by talents like Mel Keegan and Nicole Gordon are now available directly through The GLBT Bookstore blog page.  Come for some great deals and excellent reads!

GLBT Book Binge

~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - Japan After People

I have another list courtesy of Pink Tentacle.  I hope you enjoy. These post-apocalyptic images struck me as eerily beatiful. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - Songs with Breath in the Title

Listening to a station that’s not usually on my rotation, I heard a vaguely familiar and very haunting piece of music. Generous author Nicole Gordon from my Writer’s Retreat and Nightlight Blogs found the tune simply by knowing it was a female vocalist other than Faith Hill. It’s “Breathe (2 AM)” by Anna Nalick. I now own the full album “Wreck of the Day”.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Microsoft Word Help

No matter where I am, on my office computer or at home, both my old 2003 version of Word and the newer one at work have increasingly stopped capitalizing the first word of a sentence.  It's not every time, and the auto correct is set to capitalize them.  These sentence openings are not following anything but average sentences previously, either.

With a neurotic tendency to fix this as soon as it comes up, usually before beginning the next sentence - which is capitalized almost 100% of the time - I really don't want to be dealing with this problem during NaNoWriMo.  I'm nearly ready to pull my hair out.  The only time in the past few years that this didn't plague me is when I first got my laptop.  Then, once the problem settled in it has become more insidious every day.

I'm about ready to try different software.  The only reason I haven't is because sometimes the problem is less intrusive.  Well, that and I'm just used to MSWord.  At this point, though, I'll gladly learn new word processing software just to make this stop.

Nothing online has given me any help.  My partner, a computer guru, thinks I'm crazy and doesn't know how to make it go away.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

~~~~~~~~~

PS Dilo Keith found a resource that may have solved the problem.  The excluded words option under AutoCorrect was stopping a huge list of items from allowing the capitalization of the following sentence!  I hope that turning off this automatic function and deleting items off the list will work.

~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banned Book Week

This week, the American Library Association is promoting the right to read anything we want. No fan of censorship, I like the idea. Various libraries have displays of banned or threatened books. I imagine it's a big thing in some schools.

Have you heard of this peaceful protest? I'd like to know what you think of the idea. Any suggestions on such a book I should read?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - Parkside Observations

Thirteen things I can see from my picnic table at the park. I decided to write at lunchtime, and this odd little exercise came to mind. Let’s see…

1. A bag of pretzels, now scattered those for the birds, the bag tossed – why are people such pigs?

2. Butterflies, too far away to determine breeds

3. A big yellow beetle whose type I’ve never noted before

4. Robins, patrolling the field for insects

5. One large squirrel, not something I see here every day

6. An abandoned playground set, which Mr. Squirrel is now checking out

7. Distant shimmers from the hot summer sun

8. No crows – I’m seriously surprised and rather disappointed in their absence today

9. A port-o-pot, one reason outside of crowds that I avoid going to most summer festivals

10. Falling leaves, reminding me that cooler days will be here before I know it

11. A tiny, curious bee who seems to think there’s something good to eat around here

12. Still more plastic bags – how many do I have to pick up today?

13. And yes, a garbage can, several, in fact, in strategic points all over this park

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What Marriage Means

I ran into an online discussion of marriage and read the most beautiful definition. Kindly, my friend gave me permission to share his explanation. Here it is:

Love is the first and foremost part of any marriage. This sounds obvious, but I am amazed at the marriages I see that you wouldn't think would work but they do because there is love there. But, oddly enough, love is not enough. Your spouse is your best friend. Not your only friend, but the friend you can tell anything to, the person that will not judge you, the person that accepts you, completely, for who you are. I have met both women and men that say if only they could change a couple of things about their spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend, they could be totally happy. Rawr? No no no. If you love that person, completely, than you love all of them, completely. There is no such phrase as "I love you, but...". It's "I love you."

There must be trust, again, completely. Trust that your spouse or partner loves you and accepts you. Trust that your partner is loyal and true to you. Trust that your partner can forgive you, and believe you can forgive them, for minor trespasses, and major ones as well.

There must be honesty. Truth can be painful, but lies build upon lies and will be the death of a marriage.

There must be partnership. Your world is not completely your own anymore. You have agreed to share your life with another human, with someone that you have sworn to love and be one with. You certainly do not subsume yourself to another, but the world is not all about you anymore, either. Suddenly, maybe you shouldn't go out drinking with your buddies, but should stay home with the wife. Maybe you shouldn't have sex with the hot pool boy, but should be true to your marriage. Life is a choice of maybes, and with marriage the choices we make can have a larger impact than expected.

I know, for me, if I were single I would have a house, with my wife I have a home. I love coming home to her after work. I love being able to hold her when I am sad, and comforting her when she weeps. I love the decisions we make together, and our support of one another. Being married to her feels right.

I think that's the key. Being married should feel right. When someone asks me why I love my wife, I can't give them an answer. I just know that I do, that I can't imagine being married to someone else, or being alone. We never ask the question "Will we make it fifty years?". We ask the question "What will we do on our fiftieth wedding anniversary." There should be joy and happiness, pain and heartache, and all the emotions in between. There should be a life between a married couple.

Perfect, isn't it? Thank you, my friend!

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - Celebrating The GLBT Bookshelf Rummage Sale

To promote Mel Keegan’s GLBT Bookshelf rummage sale, I’ve listed thirteen books from the sale “table”.

1. Miya – of course I have to plug mine; this one is returning from the March sale

2. Unmasking Miya – this brings back the characters in a new tale

3. Almost Home by Nicole Gordon – I’ll have to buy my friend’s ebook even though I’ve already had the pleasure of reading

4. A Case of Mistaken Identity by Nicole Gordon – ditto; it’s a good read, folks!

5. Aquamarine by Mel Keegan – all his books that I’ve read are compelling; to keep with the theme, I already enjoyed this one

6. Painting Stephen by Jayne DeMarco – I had the joy of helping with final edits on this one

7. Queerpunk by Cecelia Tan and Kelly Kinkaid – now I’m out of titles I’ve read and will list ones I want to buy; this futuristic collection sounds quite titillating

8. Umbriel by Mel Keegan & Jayne DeMarco – a collaboration! I’m intrigued

9. Fun with Dick and Shane by Gillibran Brown – I can’t resist a bit of humor

10. The Game in Spain by Lydia Nix – this trio sounds sexy

11. The Geography of Murder by P.A. Brown – a mystery with sex in it? I’m there

12. Man’s Best Friend by P.A. Brown – ditto

13. Moving On by Fabian Black – about the only one I listed with a heat rating lower than five (tells you what I like, huh?), its theme of redemption caught my eye

And here's the sale page!

~~~~~

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

I have neat, family and work safe images on my Sand Castles blog today:

Sand Castles

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Save! Save! Save! The GLBT Bookshelf Rummage Sale is Here!

It's September, and that means Mel Keegan's GLBT Bookshelf is hosting its second rummage sale.  I'm honored to have two titles alongside the talented Mr. Keegan, the original "Miya" from March's discount sale table and now the characters are back in "Unmasking Miya".  There's a little something for everyone among the offerings, so I hope you'll join me in checking out the bargains!

The GLBT Rummage Sale *

* for mature audiences only

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hide and Go Seek

Yesterday, I trimmed the dead blooms off my rose bushes. Suddenly realizing that a bright green leaf sprouted legs, I found myself confronted by a katydid. These used to get into my parents’ house when I was a kid and disturb me with their sheer size. Now, I found it beautiful and decided to share the lovely image that an online conservation report borrowed from Mjlaff on Fickr. Happy gardening!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Out of my interest in Japanese culture, I've compiled images of architecture, both indoors and out.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hello Kitty

I have to admit to being a sucker for the cute Japanese phenomenon of Hello Kitty. As I type, there is a notebook on my desk featuring her little face. And there have been other items, as well, such as a Hello Kitty freezer pack for my lunch bag. Unfortunately, it finally sprung a leak.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Seventeen

Day seventeen. I feel like something is about to happen, for good or ill. The number seventeen must mean something.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

I’ve needed to face a lot of stress at my day job lately that has me wondering if facing that place every day is worth the money. My partner, accustomed to a certain lifestyle, insists the answer is yes. So I’m going to list thirteen things, besides the paycheck, which are good about my place of work.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wiley Wednesday ~ Comments on Writing

My humble treatise on the use of language is rather amusing today. I'll hope you'll stop in and have a read. Happy Wednesday!

The Lady with Dust Bunnies in Her Hair

~~~~~

Monday, August 9, 2010

Interview with Josh Lanyon

Come enjoy my quirky email interview with gifted writer Josh Lanyon. I'd love comments to make him feel welcome!

Nightlight

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Join me on my Sand Castles for thirteen reasons I enjoying studying the Japanese language.

Turning Japanese

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Going With the Flow

Life has been very interesting lately, and I mean that in all the best ways. The timing, as I journey with other dear travelers along Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way, can’t be a coincidence. Every day seems to bring a new sense of hope for a bright future. Granted, we never know when our time will be up, so I look forward to making the most of this newfound wellbeing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday Thirteen ~ Plastic

Plastic can be a controversial subject, but I personally don’t want to live without it. Whether they’re lighter, cheaper, more durable, more effective, or just plain inconceivable without the diverse polymeric materials in the world, here are thirteen things reliant upon plastic:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nightlight

Some fellow talents have invited me on a new endeavor featuring steamy adult material.  Nightlight already offers two great story premiers!  Come check them out!

Coffee and the Collar, Chapter 1 by Nicole Gordon

Trust and Desire, Chapter 1 by Sunshine

We'll leave the nightlight on for you!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Have You Thanked an Author Today?

I've gotten in the habit of contacting an author when I enjoy his or her story. It's been rewarding on both ends. Just today I read the short, romantic m/m piece "Lilac House" by Jay Starre. The e-book listed his email address at the end, so I immediately fired off a short note to praise his clear, concise storytelling and nicely developed characters.

Within ten minutes, I think, he replied with gratifying appreciation. So I'll ask again, have you thanked an author today? You'll both be glad you did. Now, I should probably go through my library and give a shout to one or ten others one of these days.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rice Paddy Art

I found stunning images on a favorite website, Pink Tentacle. Here's the link if you wish to see more:

Pink Tentacle ~ Rice Paddy Art 2010



Saturday, July 17, 2010

Not My Mommy's Back Rub

After a particularly rough patch at work, I decided to get a massage. I've had them twice before, nice and relaxing periods of about a half hour. Each time, I've walked out feeling relaxed and a little disoriented.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

I was stumbling around the internet and found an unusual collection of pictures on Flickr. So, here are thirteen images of very interesting bedrooms. They are mostly beautiful, but there are a few pretty horrific ones I couldn't resist sharing.

1. There's nothing like camping in style:



2. Here's a love nest right out of the seventies:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wiley Wednesday

Today is my opportunity to talk about writing on The Writer's Retreat Group blog. I ended up talking about my trials with "The Artist's Way", Julian Cameron's guide to unlocking your creative mind.

Cruel & Unusual ~ An Artist's Trials

Saturday, July 10, 2010

In the Name of Love

In discussing the lack of alternatives for the word "support" with my friend Dilo, I realized another big fault in that department. One of the very most annoying thing about English, if you ask me, is the word "love". We seriously need more than that and "like". Don't you agree? It's quite absurd.

In thinking about it, I'm reminded of Rosaria Dawson's great character in "Clerks 2". Her character, Becky, really illustrates my point in an acerbic way.

"I love my parents, I love my car, I love you. But romantic love? Hearts and Flowers. There's only one person out there for me... ugh... chances are there is always a better match for you out there than the person you end up marrying."

I would like to put forth the idea to fellow writers that we add some word to the English language that defines more flavors of love. What do you say, friends? Any suggestions? If we have to put up with "staycation" as a noun and "texting" as a verb, I think we deserve to take this initiative.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

For something a little different, my list is from a friend on Sand Castles. I hope you'll come on over and read:

Sand Castles

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Today I'm sharing images of my most surprising garden success, the Amorphophallus conjac (thank you for the correction to "conjac", Lucius Antony, from the incorrect "titanum"!). This so-called "corpse flower" actually bloomed this year! It's the third time since being introduced out of a little pot as an interesting but mysterious foliage specimen. The garden center owner didn't seem to know that he sold me a renowned food source from Asia. It's the tubers that are edible, though I do believe I'll pass on trying to eat mine.

Before I could even photograph the nub of a flower shoot protruding from the soil, this ubiquitous shape formed. I'll let the first few pictures speak for themselves.













After many days of stinky glory, the beautiful cloacking spathe shrivelled and the spadex at its center collapsed. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.



This isn't the best focus, but it sure reminds me of Jar Jar Binks from "Star Wars".



It lingered, getting uglier and uglier.



Then, the joy of rebirth brought these darling little shoots.



This mottled stem is what drew my eye at the garden center. That guy called it a "snake plant"!



This shows off the tropical leaves of an individual stalk.



Here you can see the resulting miniature jungle. Now, it's chest high and still spreading!

Summer Projects

A new, better retaining wall meant I finally had a good reason to plant the barren spot of my cottage garden. After much deliberation, I finally settled on grasses. They give pretty winter interest and even an invasive species won't be able to spread too far with a brick wall and another sturdy native like my Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium spp.) just to the right. I'll post more photos as it blooms.

In the meantime, here are the newest additions, which will hopefully fill in quite nicely through the seasons. I put in two northern sea oats and a perennial whose name I can't recall beyond the local common name of "chocolate plant". ~blush~ Research isn't turning up anything. Anyway, it's got nice contrasting summer foliage.