In Writer Bliss Zone:
Taking time out from the weblog to get an idea worked out this weekend. I'll be back on Monday, have a good weekend all.
Happy 11th Birthday Michael!
You were the best early birthday present I ever got. :)
Happy Independence Day, America!
The Story of the Flag-Maker:
Samuel and Rebecca Griscom were Quakers who lived in eighteenth century America and had seventeen children. Their eighth child, Elizabeth -- also known as "Betsy", was born on January 1, 1752.
Betsy went to a Friends (Quaker) school, where like other little girls of her time she learned to read, write and sew. When she finished her schooling, Samuel apprenticed her to a local upholsterer. Upholsterers did much more than simply pad furniture during this era, so it helped that Betsy was extremely skilled at her craft. During her apprenticeship, Betsy fell in love with another apprentice, a boy named John Ross, who was of Episcopalian faith. Although the Quakers frowned on inter-denominational marriages, and shunned those who made them, Betsy eloped with John Ross and the couple started their own upholstery business. Betsy was rejected by the Quakers, and attended an Episcopalian church with her new husband. On some Sundays, a new American leader named George Washington would also attend the same church.
When the Revolutionary War began, Betsy and John Ross were hit hard. Fabrics that they needed for their business became scarce, and then John joined the Pennsylvania militia. He was later wounded during an explosion at an ammunition cache, and although Betsy tried to nurse him back to health, died of his injuries. A few months after her husband's death, George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris came to Betsy with the design for a new flag for the colonies. During their discussion about making the flag, Betsy showed General Washington how to make a five-pointed star with a single snip of the scissors. Impressed, George asked Betsy to make the first American flag.
Betsy married again and had two daughters. Although she would also lose her second husband Joseph to the war, she continued to support the cause of the American colonists and maintain her upholstery business as a widow. She returned to the Quaker faith and, after marrying a third time, had five more daughters. Betsy Ross died on January 30, 1836, at the age of 84.
Online SF e-zine Scifidimensions has created a new award
to recognize SF/F writers born or living in the Southeastern U.S. Although yours-truly-allergic-to-awards won't be on the list, Holly Lisle is up for the first award. You have to pay $7 to nominate/vote for one year, which makes it yet another pay-per-popularity contest. What the heck; I'm going to buy a membership so I can vote for Holly's "Memory of Fire." Or "Vincalis." Hmmm, decisons, decisions....
Quote for the Day:
"Destiny is not a matter of chance; but a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for. It is a thing to be achieved." -- William Jennings Bryant
And Destiny, being a nice guy, is willing to wait for us.
Semi-Medical Fact for the Day:
I had this whole thing written up on headaches and Blogger ate it. Now I have a headache. Go figure.
Blog for the Day: Hypnagogica
-- Try saying the name of this blog three times fast. Besides being a yoga teacher and serious athlete, Leila Easa writes here about life in San Francisco. She lives in one of my favorite towns on the planet, and her name actually rhymes with mine -- this is on the order of finding a rhyme for the dreaded word orange
-- so I'll be headed back to read more.
Blogger ate my entire morning post. I'm seriously upset.
Thing of Beauty:
Cleaning closets means finding hidden treasures; I'm notorious for leaving my pockets stuffed with money and odd objects. Today I found $15.23, a handful of tiny butterfly mollusk shells and a 4" cobalt metal sphere in the pocket of an old windbreaker I last wore about six years ago. I have no idea what the metal ball is or where I got it from, but it immediately sparked a wild idea -- what if it was a kind of robot egg? Would warmth hatch it -- or cold? What would emerge from it? How did it get to Earth? I had this vision of a tiny dark metallic serpent with irridescent plated scales sticking its head out of my pocket as I stood in line at the grocery store . . .
Quote for the Day:
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwies have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. -- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
I can think of, oh, about ten thousand ways I've proved this philosophy true. How about you?
Medical Site for the Day: CHID online
-- The Combined Health Information Database online site provides information on 16 health topics by the National Institute of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and Health Resources and Services Administration. These federal agencies have combined forces to provide titles, abstracts, and other information for health information and health education (they claim the information is not indexed anywhere else) and update the site quarterly. A really good reference site for med researchers.
Blog for the Day: I'd Like to Thank the Academy...
-- With all the theater and Maryland blood in my family, finding this weblog was a real pleasure. Craig's journal reminds me of my teens, when my mother moonlighted as stage actress for the Sunrise Community Theater. We rehearsed lines, worried about her voice, and dreaded/loved opening night. I'm keen to follow his progress with directing "Arcadia," directing that one sounds like a real challenge.
New Cover Art:
The first look at the cover art for my new book, due out in February 2003. What do you all think? Feel free to be brutal, I'd like to hear what you don't like about it as much as what you do like.
Big Game Meets Conservation:
Back from the field trip, and pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. First, the museum was so spotless you might think they built it yesterday, with very modern, hands-on exhibits, an art gallery, an outside walk-through mini wetlands, and a Subway cafe on the premises for a convenient place to have lunch. Here's the clan approaching the museum:
As we walked up, we had to admire the gorgeous fountain outside:
I admit, I was a little daunted by the lobby sculpture, which had been provided by a local taxidermist:
Many, many examples of aquatic life were everywhere, even on the ceilings:
Still, the museum exhibits and displays all heavily promoted catch and release fishing, and the emphasis was on preservation, not destruction. The museum has a small theatre where we watched "Journeys," a 20-minute movie about different types of fishing and love of the sport -- including a real shower of water that sprays the audience as the on-screen fisherman wrestles with a Marlin. We really liked the walk through the wetlands, where we fed turtles and various fish, and found some ducks hiding from the rain:
The staghorn fern outside the immense outdoor sports store impressed Mike, who wanted to buy one and chain it to his ceiling:
While Mom was impressed with the enormous on-premises library, and will return when she doesn't have small children to chase in and out of the shelves:
And we're off...
Today we're taking a field trip to the IGFA's
Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum down in Dania, to which I've never been but the kids went on a school field trip. I'm not as enthusiastic about fishing as the kids (they get that from their father) but I would like to check out the IGFA library, which boasts the world's largest collection of books on fish. I'm hoping if it's comprehensive enough, I can return sans progeny next week and do a little research for the new SF books.
On the Move:
For anyone who's been trying to access the Forward Motion community site, it's temporarily offline for the move to the new host location. Temporary chat and boards are available here.
Quote for the Day:
"Cleans -- Disinfects -- Seduces" -- Label on the bottle of Pine-Sol under the sink
I swear to God, for a minute there yesterday, that's what it looked like . . .
Non-Medical Fact for the Day:
If you like the smell of pine and are slightly compulsive-obsessive about surface cleanliness, walking into my kitchen will trigger an immediate need to return home and clean out the cabinets.
Blog for the Day: SubLunar Orbit
-- Another weblog I discovered via the most recently updated list at the Blogger home page. John Malay writes about family, work, politics, the Mets, books, movies and television (not necessarily in that order) with the kind of clarity and dry humor I enjoy. A true online journalist without the self-indulgent hype.
Unexpected marathon housecleaning day today, I started in the kitchen this morning and the smell of Pine-Sol drove me temporarily insane. I just finished dusting, vaccuming and wiping down everything under my roof that doesn't move. The kids joyfully chipped in to clean the kitchen cabinets, the tables and all the windows, and even sorted books to be reshelved (this is how I taught them both the alphabet.) If you want to know my secret, it's to give the kids a bottle of child-safe cleaner -- equal parts of water and white vinegar -- in squirt guns and a roll of paper towels. They love being able to shoot-spray things, the mixture won't hurt them, and it actually cleans the windows and surfaces better than toxic cleaners. Supervise young ones, though, unless you want
your furniture to smell like cucumber salad.
Finally, everyone wimped out and fell on the sofa while I moved the fabric stash from one closet to another and cleaned two of my sewing machines. My daughter found a purse my sister made her hidden under some cushions, and disappeared with it. I found her in her bedroom, carefully counting out a huge stack of play money she had in the purse. "Here, Mama." She handed me $7 in funny money. "You did a good job today."
Abortion, Religion, and Politics:
Those are the three things you should never discuss, according to my grandmother, who thought people got too hotheaded over them to be rational. The volume of e-mail that's come in regarding my comments on the outlawing of the Pledge definitely reflects that. It reminds me of the many debates I had with a Jehovah Witness friend over inflicting your beliefs on another person (I'm absolutely against it, the friend considered it God's mission for us in life.)
I would never force my beliefs on another person. Telling people how to think and/or despising them because they don't think like you is just plain wrong. Discussing differences, well, it usually doesn't work out, unless you talk to someone like Robert Sloan
, who is probably the most level-headed debater I've ever met (and Robert and I disagree regularly, and still remain friends in spite of it.) Raising my children is a completely different issue. The decisions I make as their mom is part of the responsibility of parenting. I do what I think is best, but I also combine that with respect for each of my kids as an individual. Guidance does not equal force in my household.
Everything I say here at Star Lines goes for me, and me alone. These are my beliefs, my opinions, and not meant as gospel I expect everyone to follow. If I make suggestions, that's all they are -- suggestions. Feel free to take what works for you or discard what doesn't.
Quote for the Day:
"Like freed prisoners who finally walk into the beautiful sunshine, we appreciate peace more after we've experienced the lack of it." -- Marie Brennan (Clannad)
Now if we could simply stop violating the terms of our parole...
Medical Site for the Day: wwwbonetumor.org
(rated R for some graphic surgical photos) -- an online resource site providing information about the types of tumors and cancers that affect the skeletal system, diagnosis, some treatments and risks, and more.
Blog for the Day: Nobody's Fool: What's for dinner?
-- I found this weblog while searching for a recipe for Cuban sweet potatoes. Don't read what Malika writes if you're hungry, because you'll end up in the kitchen crushing garlic and looking for the basil (at 2 am, no less.) Beautifully written and photographed.