Saturday, August 31, 2019

It's Almost Time...

...though it probably already has been turning up in stores. I haven't personally seen any just yet, but then I haven't been looking.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Trying Not to Buy So Many Books...

I saw this today on Sandra's blog:

This is how I have felt lately. 

As for buying books, I have been trying to avoid that lately, though I did find a few books this month at second-hand stores that I just had to have. I was looking for two of the books in particular and had to get them while I found them. One in particular on the day I got it was half-off the price that the thrift store usually charges. So that was a good buy.

But for the most part, I've been trying to buy fewer books, if any. Only about three this month, so far. It gets hard to  want to read what I have purchased, as I like to get out and one of my favorite places to go is the library. It's hard to leave the library without checking out books, but I have been able to make this work when I want to. I went last Saturday to return some books and also to see the free movie that was showing that day. My county library shows free movies on Saturdays and last week they showed Poms. It was a good way to pass the time before my class reunion that same night. I left without checking out any books that day, deciding to read some of the stuff I have at home for a while. I've been trying to do this at least once each month, getting as many books as I can for my shelf at home for a while each month. Though I miss going to the library after staying away for a while. If I can't find a book at the library, and don't want to buy it on Amazon if it's not at any thrift stores nearby, I can get it through the library's promotion known as Zip Boooks. This allows readers to order a book not already at the library. The book is then shipped free via Amazon and mailed to the customer's address. The customer then has three weeks to take the book to the library, just as they would for borrowed books already at the library. I like doing this because it's free, but only one book can be requested at a time, and only up to five books per month.

One of the books I got this month I have just finished. It was Eat, Pray, Love which I'd been wanting to read and which is not at my library. When I saw it at the thrift store, I decided to get it so I could read it.  As I said above, it was half-off that day, which I was unaware of, so it was a good buy. I'm glad to have gotten it so cheap.

Monday, August 26, 2019

A Busy Month

It has definitely been a busy month, with work, events (the picnic at work on the 16th and the class reunion last weekend) and doctors' appointments--still one more of those to come this week. Now this month is almost over and Labor Day is a week away. 

I like activity, but too much of it can be overstimulating for me. After so much activity, I can feel anxiety coming on. But I was still able to have fun. The key is to know how much you can take.

Today is my usual writing class at work, and on Wednesday for art, we are   doing scrapbooking. It actually started last week; the mentor conducting the class decided to have it for two weeks so those doing it would not feel rushed. For mine, I chose some of the things I have written. I am pasting them on a page, with images to go with the work. 

Next month, the writers' lab will be back. I'm excited for that to happen. At the reunion on Saturday, I met a classmate's wife who says she is into writing. I told her what I had been doing and she thinks I should try to get it published. I told her I want to, but am uncertain how to go about the process. I also invited her to come to the writers' lab when it begins again in September. She and I certainly talked for a while, and we barely met. I did meet her at the last class reunion, but that was a decade ago, so I barely remembered. But she seems like a nice person.

Now I have to decide what to work on next. 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Another 80's Flashback

Last night at the 30-year class reunion we were given these souvenirs. One was placed at each dinner plate.

Pixie Stix, Pop Rocks, Candy Cigarettes and Fun Dip--all stuff I did not know was still around. Definitely 80s! Some of the sets came with a mini Rubik's Cube, but mine did not have one of those.  But that's all right by me. I have a feeling I would never be able to solve one of those even today. Back in the day, I had a Chex and Fruit Cube, a promotion from Chex Cereal. It was a Rubik's Cube with Chex Cereal on one side (and the Chex logo in the dead center) and different fruits on the other sides. I know I had trouble trying to solve the cube back then!

And it was a great night, with lots of food, music, dancing and most of all, old faces from school.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

1989 Flashback

Where has the time gone? Another decade is nearly over and it's been 30 years since the end of the 1980s. I graduated from high school in 1989, and tonight is my 30-year class reunion. Some schoolmates met last night at a local movie theater for a pre-party.

Below is the cover of my high-school yearbook from that year:

Here are some pictures form the 20-year reunion in 2009. Pictures to come from tonight's event. 

I'm in the middle of this one.

The image at the top of this post comes from this link. Remember any of the events listed? I recall most of them. And In October, comes the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. It struck  just as Game Three of the 1989 World Series was getting underway. I remember what I was doing that day. More on this to come when the anniversary arrives for this one. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Not Quite Time Yet

I don't really want to think about Halloween just yet, even though stuff is already in some stores. I was in Target last Sunday, but no Halloween there as of yet. Kids in the area went back to school this past Monday, so they were at Target getting school supplies at the last minute. While there, I picked up a pack of pens.

Yesterday, when I began looking for craft ideas for work next month, I looked up Fall crafts," but kept coming across Halloween ones. And I decided to try this one, though I'm not sure when just yet to do it:

And today I saw this on Facebook:

I agree to some extent with this. Though I feel September is a little too early to be thinking about Halloween, I often do start thinking about it then, often so that I'm not putting my ideas off until the last week before the holiday. And though I've been saying I don't want to be thinking about it at the end of August, I now am trying to come up with costume ideas (though no definite ideas just yet). I guess it's not too early to plan it, though. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

My Suncatcher

Here is the suncatcher I made at work last week, now hanging on the front door at home. Here are the instructions I followed.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Quiz: How 80s Are You?

Agree with most of this one. This quiz goes well with the fact I'm working on a book set in the 80s (when I grew up) and also because my 30-year class reunion is coming up next Saturday. 

Although I must say there are few "modern" things I have not gotten into. A few too many to name.

Click here for the quiz.

You Are 40% 80s!

You are so not 80s. You've moved on from this decade - if you even remember it at all.
You are a modern person with modern tastes, and to be honest, you don't entirely get 80s nostalgia.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Four Years Now...

...since I began on Prozac. Still going, and not ashamed to admit it.

Also happy to say this is still one of my favorite depression memoirs. Still want to get mine out there.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Changes to My Novel

I now think I have reworked You Can't Hide From the Teeth as much as I feel is needed. One thing I changed was part of the opening page, redoing a paragraph I have quoted on the blog several times:

... I hate the way I look. Curly dark hair, dull-looking brown eyes and teeth sticking out in all directions…an overbite. It should come as no surprise that my dentist said I need braces. Hearing this triggered my anxiety. I was sure Mom would not be able to afford it and I would have crooked teeth all my life. I’d said that I would gladly skip it, but no such luck. My mom is always working to be able to feed the two of us and now she says has to get a second job so that I can get braces. If Rachel Blair won’t let one thing slide, it’s the fact that my teeth need straightening. “You’ll look and feel so much better,” she’s been trying to convince me. But she will say we can’t afford other stuff, like that new thing called a VCR that allows you to record TV shows to watch later. ...

I have rewritten it as follows:

...I hate the way I look. Curly dark hair, dull-looking brown eyes, short and a bit chubby with chubby cheeks. I won’t be long before I start getting pimples all over my face.

But right now, my teeth are my biggest worry. They were sticking out in all directions, with gaps between them. My dentist said I had an overbite, and it was no surprise to hear him then say, “Martin, you need braces.” I began to panic.

I was sure Mom would not be able to afford braces and I told her that I would gladly skip it, but no such luck. My mom is always working to be able to feed the two of us and now she said may have to get a second job to help pay for my needed orthodontia. If Rachel Blair won’t let one thing slide, it’s the fact that my teeth need straightening. “You’ll look and feel so much better,” she’s been trying to convince me. But she will say we can’t afford other stuff, like that new thing called a VCR that allows you to record TV shows to watch later. ...

As much as I liked how I'd done it originally and how others had thought it was great, I felt I could still do something better. 

I also decided to put a header on each of the dates mentioned in the book (on which it is taking place). Some dates did not originally have a a title header, and  the suggestion to include one came from one of the people in the writers' lab I have been attending (it will be resuming soon after the summer break). I wasn't sure about this suggestion at first, but eventually decided it would be good to do. 

I have also attempted to draw a picture for a book cover. I'm not that great at portraiture, but felt compelled to try just the same. I decided to try this suddenly, on a piece of blue scrap paper that was lying near my computer. 

This is a photocopy of the drawing. It was harder to photograph the original on the blue paper and I have to admit, I don't know who to scan images on my printer! I felt it necessary to include the cat in the drawing as the character is seen talking to the cat several times.

Now I am deciding what to do next with my story...where to attempt to send it and such...

Monday, August 12, 2019

Announcing the Autumn Reading Challenge

This one is here.Will do as many as I can.

It's soon officially autumn and I've decided to host an informal and laidback autumn-inspired reading challenge from September 1st to November 30th.

There will be no pressure from me in doing ALL the categories. You can even combine them, if a book fits into more than one category if you want or read several books for one or more categories. Also, feel free to do some interpretation(s) on the prompt(s), as they are fairly open.

Reading should be fun and not feel forced, so I wanted to keep things as simple and easy as possible, even if it's a challenge.

The categories are:
Challenge completed on November 14

Sunday, August 11, 2019

I Hate to Say It, But...

...I knew this would be happening soon, and in early August. Dollar Tree now has out Halloween displays.

Notice in the right hand corner of this last photo there are school supplies adjacent to the new fall displays, with neighboring walls still looking like this:

The summer stuff at DT is now in cubes like this, near the entrance of the store (sorry for the blurry picture):

And there was this at Rite Aid:

This is as much as I have seen in stores so far. I didn't see any Halloween yet at Walgreens, Target or Kmart, when I was last at each of these stores. If they don't have it right now, they will soon, likely before September begins. Goodwill has yet to put out their displays of cowboy and cop costumes made from clothes sold at the store and the racks containing old baseball uniforms and medical scrubs that they think can be used as costumes. But again, I know it will be here soon, likely before the end of this month. 

I don't yet want to think about Halloween, though I know it's on a Thursday, and we will probably have the party at work the day before. Today I was looking for Halloween crafts for art class, when I haven't even done the one for this month yet (It will be this week, making sun catchers), let alone not knowing what I'll be doing for September. I just can't believe how fast this is all coming! One thing is certain: I don't expect to be buying any of the stuff above just yet. Definitely not in August.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Will Passing Notes in Class Become a Thing Again?

Recently I read via Facebook that my local school district will be banning cell phones during school hours. I may not have children, but I agree with most of what was said in the article. And I was immediately reminded of something:

If you grew up then, as I did, you will remember this sort of thing. Kids would try not to get caught so their notes would not be confiscated by the teacher. If that happened, the note would either be tossed into to the garbage can or stored in the teacher's desk drawer. Or even worse--according to many people--read outloud to the class by the teacher. Sometimes the students themselves were forced to read the note.

This was among the things I recalled in my memoir, along with not being able to have a Walkman or a boom box at school. Upon reading the article linked on Facebook, I replied, reminding people of note passing, asking will it become a thing again now that kids aren't allowed to text in class? A class mate then recalled not being able to have a Walkman at school in the 80s, saying "I think the concern was theft of valuables?" And kids today aren't worried about this with their cell phones and laptops? All this stuff can wait until they get home from school. I had to wait till then to use my cassette player or watch TV. Kids today have to learn to wait for things like this as well. Many things are just too easy and too quick to access for kids these days. 

Since I have been working on a book set in the 1980s, it seemed inevitable to include references to note passing. The mean girl clique are caught passing notes in social studies on the first day of school. In another scene, the protagonist and his equally geeky classmates find a note dropped outside the classroom and see remarks made about themselves. They immediately know that the note was from the mean girls. 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Chapter Break Bingo – August 2019

Here is the card for August.

August Bookish Bingo

My Books:
  1. There's a Bat in Bunk Five--Paula Danziger (6 squares): Short (Under 400 Pages), Shelf Love, Awkward Date, Multi-Word Title, Tourist, In a Series 
  2. Big Machine--Victor Lavalle (4 squares): Sci-Fi/SFF, Not in a Series, Physical Book, Deception
  3. Keeper of the Light--Diane Chamberlain (6 squares): Woman on the Cover, Sky on the Cover, Empowered Female, Secrets, Dream Job, Enemies to Lovers
  4. Our Town--Thornton Wilder (2 squares): Historic, Library Book
  5. Marcelo in the Real World--Francisco X. Stork (2 squares): Free Space, Musician/Band
  6. Riches to Rags--Casey L. Bond (1 square): Island
  7. I Wish You All the Best--Mason Deaver (2 squares): Free Book, Snarky/Sarcastic
  8. Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great--Judy Blume [reread] (2 squares): Audiobook, A Favorite Author
25 squares completed on August 15