Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Round 'em Up - Head 'em Out

In the last week or so, I've been revising short stories that had wandered back home and I have two of them back in the mail. Maybe they'll fare better this time. I decided to enter a couple of contests since Customs and Revenue Canada kindly forwarded my tax refund. Usually, I don't enter contests because the entry fees can be high, but a little cash on hand has modified my opinion for the time being. And besides - it doesn't take eight months, or a year, or two years, to hear the results. Maybe I'll even enter a third contest this spring, if I can finish revising another story before the deadine. Why not be a big spender, temporarily?

Speaking of spring, it seems to be lurking close by, tempting us and then disappearing. Yesterday the snow banks diminished and its still mild today. If this weather continues, I may have to buy rubber boots. I was looking at some bright yellow ones in Zellers, but they turned out to be children's boots. Why can't I have bright yellow rubber boots? It would be fun to stomp in puddles while wearing them. Snow is predicted for the weekend so I guess I'll keep my staid old black boots close by, for now, and my daughter has told me to ask the weather gods not to send spring too early, so I suppose I must do that.

Saturday, I got a ride to the Chapters bookstore and used my gift card to buy two books about writing. Since I didn't know how much money was on the gift card, I chose two paperbacks. After paying for them I found out I still have $40.00 left on the card. Wow! I can't wait to get back to the store and spend the rest of it. I purchased "The First Five Pages: A writer's guide to staying out of the rejection pile" by Noah Lukeman, and "The Sound on the Page" (great writers talk about style and voice in writing) by Ben Yagoda. I've dipped into both books and think it likely that "The Sound on the Page" is the one I'll enjoy more.

Now, it's time to herd another story into the revision corral.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Reunited with Elvis

It's not that I meant to neglect Elvis. It happened because I've been a lazy so-and-so. I have an Elvis CD in my portable CD player and I listen to it when I'm on the treadmill in the exercise room downstairs. My friend Lori gave me the disc some time ago - it's got very early Elvis songs on it, and was recorded back when he was with Sun records, long before his music, and he, himself became overblown and um, over-stuffed. Lately, I'm a bit on the over-stuffed side too, so I had to get together with Elvis, and the treadmill today, before things get completely out of hand.

I think Elvis was wise and didn't know it. All the songs I listened to today seemed to have "messages" for me. That's All Right Mama was there to cheer me up and You're a Heart breaker, applies to the editors of more than one magazine. So, thanks, Elvis, wherever you are. We'll be getting together again soon.

Nora Ephron had a message for me too. I saw her yesterday on Oprah. Yes, folks, I watched Oprah, because I'd seen the promo saying that she and a couple of older actresses would be on the show. Ms. Ephron was promoting her book about her experiences with aging, and I'll bet sales will go through the roof. One thing she said stuck with me - she said, she's learned to enjoy carbohydrates, especially bread, now. Well, she should have come to me, long ago. I've been appreciating carbohydrates for years. Yes, indeedy, and I have the proof of that right here in my chair. It helps that we have some excellent bakeries in our area and I've also had the benefit of homemade spaghetti and meatballs this weekend. Now if only it was as easy to appreciate getting into a sweat on the treadmill as it is to appreciate all those lovely carbs, I'd have it made.

Maybe in an alternate universe.

In the meantime, I think I'll have a toasted tomato sandwich on light rye with mayonnaise and a dash of salt.