Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Two Word Answers to Those Pesky Questions

I've discovered some new-to-me ways to deal with questions I don't want to answer. This may or may not be useful information for anyone else, but it works for me.

There are a only few people who know that I am working on a novel. Unfortunately, two of those people are neighbours of mine. One is a very sweet teacher who happened to notice me at a writers' workshop a couple of years ago and asks about my work every time she sees me. The second person is a retired man who only asks me about my progress after he has imbibed fortifying liquids in large quantities. When they ask 'how's it going?" I used to mumble and stumble through an explanation. I've given that up and have decided use - "can't say" or "no comment." I think the no comment thing could add mystery so I'll try that one out.

The other pesky question I encounter with some frequency is "why not?" As in: Why not buy a subscription to this magazine for only $15.95? Why not donate to this charity again? Why not have your carpets cleaned? - We'll give you a discount. I used to reply "no thanks" but they would keep on talking unless I hung up. So, now I take a different approach. When the "why not" question arises, I say, "I'm broke." I'm happy to report that this works quite well. I've even received apologies, though I assume they are only offered by callers who are new at telemarketing. I wonder if it works because it's different, or because hardly anyone wants to use those words. So far, no one has asked me what I mean by broke, but I do have a personal definition.

Broke means that by the end of the month I have spent all the money received in the previous month, and sometimes a bit more. It's not a technically correct definition, but so what.

And speaking of 'so what,' that might be a handy phrase to use when I visit my always grumpy friend this afternoon. He tends to raise minor complaints to major heights. I likely won't do it, but I know I will be tempted.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Back on the Fiction Track

It's good to be back in fiction writing mode. I began to wonder if it would ever happen again. In any event, a story came to mind a few days ago. I wasn't sure how to end it but the ending came to me out of the blue yesterday afternoon. I'd had one idea but then a second idea took over more or less in spite of me. I forgot to eat supper until about 7:30, normally I try to eat between 5 and 6:30, but I'm sure it didn't hurt to wait. I hope I'll still like the story after a few days have passed.

My feline editor has stopped trying to retype every word for me. He's been distracted by the smells that come through the window. The grass is emerging from under its snow blanket and the birds and squirrels are busy. I'm pleased that I can see some green, but of course, N. is not. She is super-stressed at the moment. It's always that way as spring approaches. This year there are added complications, what with renovations underway, the need to get ready to go to Mexico on Monday, and the continuing uncertainty about the pesticide laws and issues. I hope it all works out.

In other news, the Viking and I will have the pleasure of attending a birthday party in Toronto on Sunday afternoon . It's for a close friend who will be celebrating the end of one decade and the beginning of another. I'll l also see friends I haven't seen in eons.

It's also been good to see my words online. Okay, so it's not a huge deal , but it's something and I needed the boost. It gave me some energy.

Looking at this link also sometimes cheers me. I usually check it every other week or so to see if there is new addition.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Nap Prevention News and How to Kill Appliances

The guest cat is now ensconced at my place and has taken over. Dopey is very dog-like. He follows me wherever I go and demands to be petted. He also likes to supervise everything. I had cat assistance whilst writing a letter to the editor and so it took twice as long to complete. But never mind - I wrote it this morning and The Record called before noon. So, they may publish it, after they chop it. (I hope they don't take out the reference to the evils committed by the Harris government, but I'm not betting money on that, or on the letter seeing print either.)

I thought I'd take a nap this afternoon, but apparently, only the cat is allowed to take naps in the afternoon - and the evening - and the late morning. The naps are required so that he can wake me in the middle of the night by pouncing on my feet. I had forgotten that cats love to do that.

I have a talent which can be loaned out for a price. I kill appliances and I can manage to do it quickly. I was given two humidifiers at Christmas time. One lasted three days. I'm told that my water caused it to die, but I used filtered water so I must have jinxed it just by looking at it. The second one is so noisy that I can't sleep when it's on. It's not supposed to be so loud and probably it wouldn't be, if it was owned by someone else. I've returned to using my old vaporizer. There is also a problem with my coffee maker. I cracked the carafe (which was made of thin glass, honest). Then I bought a replacement carafe which was supposed to fit all coffee makers of the same brand. It doesn't. My computer printer had a conniption the other day and only agreed to operate properly after it was turned on and off several times. Perhaps I've neglected it and, like the cat, it needed constant attention. There has been a persistent rumour that I might receive a flat screen television sometime this year. I'm afraid that if I do, something strange will happen to it.

I am happy to report that my twenty-five year old stereo still works. Maybe I should acquire only used appliances. I'll have to think about that.

Meanwhile, at my daughter's house, all the appliances have been removed from her kitchen and she reports that there's nothing like the smell of cupboards being sawed apart in the early morning. I agree with that.